The arcane (A) Minor Creation spell notes that in order to create stuff, you need a little bit of it as a Material Component. The psionic (P) one tells that it OS the same as arcane except some stuff in description - and while A states that it needs Somatic, Verbal and Material component, the P just shows some ectoplasmic goo prior to casting... But to be safe - does Psionic Minor Creation REALLY work without Material Component?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've removed the extra question. Since questions about what you can make with the power are unrelated to your question about material components, they should be posted separately. Please do post is as its own question so that it can get properly focused answers! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2013 at 17:06

4 Answers 4


Based on the other answers and comments reasonable people have room to disagree on how to handle this. So I'd like to work down the logic tree and see if we can come to a certain conclusion (or at least approximate one). God speed, adventurer!

The General Rule

As others quote from the Expanded Psionics Handbook and SRD, the rule is "no, Psionics doesn't use components", and from the otherwise quoted Wizards:

Psionic training, on the other hand, allows a psionicist to become the source of his own power, rather than channeling external power through himself. The game's rules reflect the subtle differences between psionics and magic in various ways. Chief among these is a psionicist's pool of power points. Other aspects of psionics are less obvious; for example, psionic powers don't employ verbal, somatic, or material components, and a psionic effect cannot be recorded on a scroll.

And the ESH is said to say the same thing, and I have no reason to disbelieve that (not having a copy on hand myself).

So this should be a slam dunk, right? If only!

The Specific Case

As you noted, minor creation says "except as noted", and the spell version explicitly uses components. So what overrides what? Well, I find arguments on both sides convincing, so I don't know. Let's continue on to...

Comparable Cases

Does Psionics never ever require components explicitly? At first, I thought the answer was clear:

Psionic Power Overview


A metacreativity power draws raw ectoplasm from the Astral Plane to create an object or creature in the place the psionic character designates (subject to the limits noted above). Objects created in this fashion are as solid and durable as normal objects, despite their originally diaphanous substance.

And if we look at the Shaper (Metacreativity) Discipline Powers, we see that with Psionics one can create an Astral Construct, mini-plane, crystals, quintessence, and more and yet none of these require any components in accordance with the general rule.

So far we note a lack of any explicit rule that Psionics ever uses any components or materials. That is, until we get to Creating Psionic Items, where every item requires all sorts of materials and this is unquestionably plainly written.

Now we know for a fact that some Psionic abilities require physical substances, and this allows a very real possibility that others might as well. This clearly contradicts the idea that Psionics doesn't require "material components", and it does so in a way that clearly must take precedent over the general rule.

As KRyan pointed out in an earlier comment, we now should compare Minor Creation to Major Creation, and we see that Major Creation specifies no components even though Minor Creation does. The same link is provided from Psionic Minor Creation to Minor Creation as the link between Major Creation and Minor Creation.

So we have two choices of interpretation: either Major Creation as a spell requires no material components and thus Psionic Major/Minor Creation certainly doesn't, or it does require components and Psionic Creation does (might?) too.

Worse, D&D Wiki quotes the SRD differently: Major Creation needs material and explicitly says the spell needs components but doesn't say the Psionic version does either. *[The validity/reliability of D&D Wiki is in question, and I do not know enough of the site to determine this - so caveat emptor and all that]


The decision that must be made, from a pure RAW standpoint, is whether or not Minor Creation should be treated like other Metacreation skills and so requires no material component, or if it should be treated like other material creation skills of that level and Psionic Items (of any level) and thus require at least a sample of the desired material.

In my mind, given the cited sources, one cannot make an iron-clad determination without some additional rule or source. It seems like it should be house-ruled to remove the ambiquity.

If I had to pick myself, I'd say that it makes little sense that a 1st level Shaper spell requires no sample material while a 4th level Wiz/Sorc/Arcanist spell does, given that when creating magic items every class in existence needs materials and components to create an item.

One final note: "psi-like" abilities are said to never ever require components or XP, though it does word it like this:

Psi-like abilities have no verbal, somatic, or material components, nor do they require a focus or have an XP cost (even if the equivalent power has an XP cost).

The wording goes out of its way to point out it has no XP cost even if the power would have one, in a way that indicates that it was taking for granted that it would have no material component and didn't even need to clarify that point - but did see a need to 0 the XP cost, as some Psionic abilities do have XP costs.


I'm sorry, but I just can't see how one can say for sure precisely what the RAW rule should be, due to conflicting indications and implicit statements with no explicit clarification.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 A valiant effort. This does seem like quite a mess and entanglement of rules! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 2, 2013 at 3:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Fair enough, I'll restrict my opening statement to the task at hand and not attempt to pass judgement on a book I haven't read. Maybe that will help to quell the 60% Up/40% Down voting trend I'm seeing here ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – BrianH
    Aug 2, 2013 at 16:10

Yes, it does not have a material component.

When it says:

As the minor creation spell, except as noted here.

... it really does mean that it works exactly like minor creation except for the changes made by having a different stat block. Since psionic power blocks don't even have a material component line, the power doesn't have a material component cost.

A slightly different angle to look at it is that psionic powers have an entirely different stat block, so the block listed with minor creation (psionic) is a complete replacement for the stat block of minor creation (arcane) when it says "except as noted here."

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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't. Argue. In. Comments. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2013 at 23:51

Quoted from the Wizards website:

The game's rules reflect the subtle differences between psionics and magic in various ways. Chief among these is a psionicist's pool of power points. Other aspects of psionics are less obvious; for example, psionic powers don't employ verbal, somatic, or material components

That means that any psychic power, even one that is like a spell, does not need verbal, somatic or material components, regardless of what the spell requires.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this actually have grounding in the rules, though? This appears to be an article discussing some key psionic concepts, with that quote being part of a brief introduction to psionic powers - not the text of rules, just a fallible summary. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 2, 2013 at 6:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would consider anything stated like that on the official wizards website to be use able as a rule. That said if any source in the d&d rule books seems to be in conflict a d the wizards website didn't specifically state it was a correction to that rule, then I would go with the rule book. In this case what is on the wizards website doesn't contradict any rules in the book, so I would take that as being the case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Styphon
    Aug 2, 2013 at 7:26

Strict RAW, I think it does, though I think that’s an oversight. There is no general rule that psionic powers that behave like spells automatically don’t have that spell’s components, even though the description for psionics indicates that components are not used, indeed, and most powers do not have them (Expanded Psionics Handbook, pg. 53).

So while it’s true that most psionic powers do not have components (the general case), the psionic minor creation power explicitly states that it behaves like the spell, which does. It is common for specific cases (e.g. psionic minor creation) to override general rules (such as the description found on page 53).

And here we have a case where a power says it behaves “like” a spell, “except as noted here.” And nowhere “here” is a statement that they don’t have the components they ordinarily would. Ergo, the components are still there.

I don’t think this is appropriate – particularly with somatic and verbal components – but I do think it’s what the rules have left us with. It’s probably an oversight. I think you should rule that it does not have any such component. But I think it’s worth knowing what the rules are when you go to change them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't. Argue. In. Comments. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2013 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know that in Internet terms this is ancient, but—after happening upon this question while researching the impact of a PC taking the psionic minor creation power—do you still stand by it? Further, by extension, should this apply to, like, a focus for similar powers like psionic plane shift? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2018 at 4:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I never supported actually requiring the components in practice; this answer was merely noting that, strict RAW, they would seem to be a requirement. But the lack of components is so fundamental to psionic powers I’m about 99.5% sure that the authors just assumed that it went without saying that they were gone. Certainly, as someone who has (since writing this answer) written psionic material professionally, I’d be somewhat horrified to learn that someone construed (fairly or not) something I’d written as indicating any psionic power used spell components. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 12, 2018 at 4:15

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