The class Tainted Sorcerer from Unearthed Arcana (p. 191) has, among other abilities, the class feature "Blood Component":

Blood Component

A tainted sorcerer must use blood in place of any spell's material component (if the spell has no material component, ignore this cost). [...]

Meanwhile, the Eschew Materials feat states:


You can cast any spell that has a material component costing 1 gp or less without needing that component.

So, is there information on how much (normal, say human or pig) blood costs in any setting, Greyhawk, Faerûn, Eberron or whatever? Can a Tainted Sorcerer get rid of the gruesome part of the Blood Component class feature by getting Eschew Materials, or is blood too expensive?


4 Answers 4


Packaged blood won't work here

Tainted Sorcerer says:

She has two choices for a source of blood: herself or someone else.

If she uses her own blood, the minor knife cut to draw the requisite blood is a free action that becomes a normal part of casting the spell. (...)

If the tainted sorcerer draws someone else’s blood to use as a material component, the rules given above generally apply.

The blood must be obtained freshly by cutting a creature as part of casting the spell. So packaged blood as a good that the feat applies to won't work.

You however could still power your spells by blood you bought, if you lugged around a proverbial sacrificial lamb.

Blood prices would depend on the kind of blood

Even when blood is not listed in the equipment list, you can buy blood by buying livestock (listed on the trade good table, or on the table for mounts). This also has the advantage that if you bring the creature along, you can use it as a source of blood for your tainted magic. The price would depend on the animal.

For example, a goat costs 1 gp, and has about 3.15 liters of blood, about 0.8 gallons so goat blood would cost you roughly 1 gp 2 sp per gallon. As the cost is measured in hp, not gallons, a goat has on average 5 hp, so a cost of 2 sp/hp.

A pig costs 3 gp, and has about 7.15 liters of blood, costing you about 1 gp 5 sp per gallon, with an average of 6 hp, of 5 sp/hp.

Human or elf blood may not be available to purchase this way, or at least would be evil or illegal in campaigns that encompass slave trade or human trafficking. Thanks to @From, I can report that "Slaves are costly (a young human field slave sells for about 50 gp in the markets at Eltabbar), so few commoners have the means to own them." - Unapproachable East, p. 159. A human would have up to 1.5 gallons of blood, for more than 33 gp per gallon, and a first level commoner has a d4 hit points, so on average 20 gp/hp.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As the tainted sorcerer measures blood in hp, it's possible to extrapolate a price based on how much it would cost to heal the damage dealt (perhaps by equating it with an NPC casting cure minor wounds?). That still wouldn't let a tainted sorcerer actually buy the blood, but at least then those who are supplying him have an idea of how much they should be paid. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 6, 2023 at 3:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan That's an interesting approach too. I think by buying lifestock animals you actually can buy the blood in a way that works, both mechanically, and from a flavor perspective. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 6, 2023 at 3:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trish Alternatively: "The basic method for determining the value of a slave is based on the creature’s CR, using the following formula: Cost = (CR, minimum 1) 2 × 100 gp" (Lords of Madness 101). \$\endgroup\$ Aug 6, 2023 at 23:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ "For example, a goat costs 1 gp, and has about 3.15 liters of blood, about 0,8 gallons so goat blood would cost you roughly 1 gp 2 sp per gallon." - This assumes uneconomical usage of the goat though (taking just the blood). Someone killing a goat to sell all of its blood would also have a bunch of meat that could be sold. Bones that could be used for crafting, maybe. Offal that can possibly be used for dog food, etc.. It should be possible to buy just the blood for less than the cost of the entire goat. \$\endgroup\$
    – aroth
    Aug 7, 2023 at 1:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ The Tainted Sorcerer class measures how much blood is needed in points of damage, not gallons or liters. Converting between the two seems very iffy to me. If each hit point mapped to a specific quantity of blood, then PCs would swell up like water balloons as their max HP increased. \$\endgroup\$
    – MJ713
    Aug 7, 2023 at 20:42

Blood has no listed price

If I'm reading the rules correctly, the amount of blood that you would need depends on the price of the component; it could be "1hp worth of blood", "5hp worth of blood", or even more than that. There is no market price that corresponds to this. When a material component has no listed price, Eschew Materials does not apply.

You can still apply Eschew Materials to spells with cheap material components, which will prevent you from needing to lose the 1hp that you would otherwise lose.

The blood costs of the tainted sorcerer are measured in hit points (not in gallons), so talking about a "price per gallon of blood" is not meaningful for this purpose.


A Tainted Sorcerer with Eschew Materials does not need blood for spells with a material component costing 1 gp or less

The Blood Component class feature and the feat Eschew Materials both affect the use/need of material components for the caster, but it makes a difference what you apply first: replace a spell's material component with the appropriate amount of blood or remove a spell's material component if it’s price is 1 gp or less.

If you you follow the faq guideline „whenever the rules don't stipulate an order of operations for special effects (such as spells or special abilities), you should apply them in the order that's most beneficial to the creature“, you should apply Eschew Materials first.

Eschew Materials says you don’t need material components costing 1 gp or less. If no material component is needed, the spell (for you as a caster) effectively has no material component and the Tainted Sorcerer can simply ignore the blood cost.

Consequently, the Tainted Sorcerer wouldn’t have to worry about blood market prices at all...

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, to be fair, if blood was cheap enough, applying the effects in the opposite order would be more beneficial...;) \$\endgroup\$
    – From
    Aug 6, 2023 at 8:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DanB I don’t say anything about the price of blood or whether you can buy it or not. I say if you have the Feat Eschew Materials, spells which normally have a material component costing 1 gp or less become spells with no material component for you. And spells with no material component do not require a blood component. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peregrin
    Aug 6, 2023 at 13:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ You're right, sorry. My first reading of your answer was that you were claiming the Tainted Sorcerer can ignore blood requirements entirely, but I think you actually just meant they can ignore blood requirements for material components costing 1gp or less. (?) \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Aug 6, 2023 at 14:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DanB Yes, I that's what I meant - and also what I wrote... :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Peregrin
    Aug 6, 2023 at 14:15

It's 'free'.

The cost for a Tainted Sorceror's Blood Component ability is measured in Hit Points, not Gold Pieces. No cost for the blood is mentioned anywhere within the ability.

This means that it costs less than a single GP, and therefore that a Tainted Sorceror with Eschew Materials doesn't need to pay for spell components at all.

Given the drawbacks of the class (casting using your Taint score rather than your ability modifier, needing a minimum taint score to cast spells, needing to make a Will save vs your Taint score every time you level up to avoid wasting a level on a class with no abilities other than spellcasting, making a save to avoid taking Taint every time you cast a spell until you hit 0 Wisdom and go comatose), this honestly doesn't seem that bad to me. It's strong, but not that much stronger than all of the other things you could be doing as a full caster.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The 0 gp = free Wishes was my initial reaction on reading the prestige class and the reason for asking the question. I had in mind a pretty evil "bad guy" sorc, but the blood sacrifices weren't "clicking" with the rest of my image of him, so I thought I'd ask SE if Eschew provided an "out". Consensus seems to be "no, unless you house-rule it to". :) \$\endgroup\$
    – From
    Aug 8, 2023 at 12:52

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