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What's a spell focus and how does it work? Is it anything like an implement?

I've read somewhere you can use it instead of a Material Component when casting a spell. Does it mean I don't need the material components if I have a spell focus and that's it?

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Each spellcasting class has a Spellcasting Focus section under Spellcasting heading which indicates what type of focus can be used by that class. For example, a Bard can use a musical instrument (PHB 53), a Cleric can use a holy symbol (PHB 58), and a Druid can use a druidic focus (PHB 66).

Chapter 5 lists the costs of various spellcasting foci (PHB 150) under Arcane focus, Druidic focus, Holy symbol, etc. There are also a brief descriptions on the page following the list (PHB 151).

The Material section under the Components heading of Chapter 10 (PHB 203) indicates that a spellcasting focus can be used in place of material components for a spell if there is no cost indicated in the spell description and the material components are not consumed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, some classes do not have a section Spellcasting Focus in their class description. I guess that means these classes may not make use of a focus to substitute material components. \$\endgroup\$
    – ammut
    Dec 17 '15 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rayb, what you don't explain is: *Where a material component is needed, and a Spell Focus can be used, is the Spell Focus consumed as some material components are? \$\endgroup\$
    – javafueled
    Apr 10 '17 at 1:02
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For classes able to use a spellcasting focus:

  1. If no cost is specified for the component and the component is not
    specified as consumed, then a focus can be used and is not consumed.
  2. No focus is allowed if either a cost or consumption of the component is specified.

A thorough discussion of the rules involved can be found at: Are normal spell components consumed by the spell?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Feb 10 '19 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this is correct. By this reasoning, a Crystal Ball wondrous item would consume itself after one use as the Scrying specifies the required value of the crystal ball or other focus required to cast.The conclusion at the question you linked is that only materials explicitly listed as consumed, are consumed. \$\endgroup\$
    – ghostly_s
    Jul 18 '21 at 4:09

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