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Can the School of Conjuration wizard's Minor Conjuration feature (PHB, p. 116) be used to summon rare, expensive, and/or consumable spell components?

It seems to fit within the scope of the feature in a rules-as-written manner, and I am inclined to allow it - but not having fully experienced the dynamics of higher level play where it might come more strongly into play, I have some uncertainty.

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By RAW:

Yes. There is nothing in the description that says that you can't use the created object as a material component. The only qualifiers are related to size and mass, and that the created object be nonmagical. Since material components are not typically magical, you can create them with the class feature.

In play:

I'd be very wary of allowing this kind of thing. Material components on spells exist for two reasons: reduced availability, and opportunity cost. In order to cast a spell with an expensive component, you need to have purchased that component at some point before, which means that you need to have thought about the number of times you wanted to cast the spell beforehand. Also, you have the opportunity cost of having to tie up some of your wealth in spell components that you may or may not ever use. Allowing Minor Conjuration to make expensive material components totally bypasses both considerations, and makes them basically pointless for a Conjuration Wizard. It feels like if the class feature was intended to bypass a system like that, they would have said so.

That said, this is a game of rulings, not rules. Maybe you like the idea of a world where conjuration wizards can make material components out of thin air. Maybe there's a shop in every city where a conjuration wizard sells half price spell components that you have to use right then. Maybe a cabal of conjuration wizards and their simulacrums secretly runs the world with expensive magic that the rest of the world has to pay for. If that's the world you want to play in, then by all means, allow conjuration wizards to bypass expensive spell components.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that ability checks would change anything. It's an at-will ability with no real cost outside of some combat action economy considerations, so ability checks would just slow down play for no real benefit. I don't think that giving suggestions for how to limit abuse of this feature other than "don't allow material components" would make the answer better. \$\endgroup\$ – DuckTapeAl May 30 '15 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ The only thing I'd add is that, in the vein of "opportunity costs", this wizard's incurred the opportunity cost of selecting another tradition. I think all your points are good ones, but it's not like all wizards would be gaining this workaround--just those who've chosen Conjuration over the relatively-popular Evocation or Necromancy schools, for instance. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Aug 5 '16 at 12:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ A relevant unofficial tweet from November 2016 by rules designer Jeremy Crawford: "Minor conjuration: object is 3 ft. on a side or less, period. Composition is DM's call. It's worth 0 gp; it's a magical facsimile." That said, the "worth 0 gp" bit isn't actually specified in the rules anywhere - but it's also not specified as having any gold value in the rules, either. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Oct 4 at 9:56
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Logically and by RAW, there is no problem with this, as the effect clearly states you can replicate any nonmagical item in certain sizes. However, if you need a reason to ban the level of effect that uses several thousand gold pieces in components, you could change some of the spells material components so that they need to be enchanted, or larger than a conjuration wizard can produce. Otherwise, it seems rather harmless to the game to let him create a tarot deck for augury, or a tiny diamond for chromatic orb, especially if it only lasts an hour.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A relevant unofficial tweet from November 2016 by rules designer Jeremy Crawford: "Minor conjuration: object is 3 ft. on a side or less, period. Composition is DM's call. It's worth 0 gp; it's a magical facsimile." That said, the "worth 0 gp" bit isn't actually specified in the rules anywhere - but it's also not specified as having any gold value in the rules, either. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Oct 4 at 9:56

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