In the Dungeons & Dragons Out of the Abyss campaign, players start off with no equipment at all. How would a player obtain a petrified eye of newt logically within the game context?

Background: my friend and I are players in this campaign and he is playing a monk with the Magic Initiate feat. He took the Hex spell (from the list of Warlock spells) but it requires a material component which is a petrified eye of newt. We're level 2 and we just escaped from the initial prison and are on our way to the nearest village/town.

So we're wondering how he could obtain this material component. Can a live newt be petrified through magical means (basilisk, spell) and satisfy the Hex spell condition? Or is it something like finding a newt fossilized in some tree sap (Jurassic Park concept)?

No spoilers would be preferable but it's fine if there are few other choices.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm just curious as to whether the newt was petrified before or after the eye was removed... \$\endgroup\$ – anaximander Sep 12 '16 at 9:02

One of the Drow's quarters in Velkynelve (the outpost where the PCs are help prisoner) would probably be the best place if you haven't left/dare to go back to the outpost.

(Spoilers as to who's quarters and some of the treasure within)

... while another purse is llvara's spare spell component pouch. Additionally, the chest contains any valuables once held by the characters and NPCS, including any spellbooks, components, focuses and magic items lost to the adventurers.

Depending on the makeup of the rest of your party, the monk could take and use one of these treasures in particular or if the character previously had the petrified eye of a newt on them before they got captured then that's a bonus.

Otherwise the campaign book specifically tells the DM that:

Spellcasters might be without material components for their spells. They can acquire component pouches and spellcasting focuses from defeated enemy spellcasters, settlements, and traders, or they can craft such items during their downtime activities while travelling. (pg.21)

So in short the best way to obtain the petrified eye of a newt is probably just to ask the DM for one. Depending on how hardcore of a game your DM runs, your friend might have to work for it but he may not be without one for too long.

Also, regarding how the newt's eye is petrified and whether it still counts as a material component; that's left entirely up to the DM. There are no rules that cover the specifics of how a material component is "made". The only thing the rules care about is that you have said material component.


Negotiate an alternative with your DM

There’s no convenience store selling crucial spell components when your back’s against the rock face in the Underdark. Could naturally occurring materials stand in for their above-ground counterparts?

Suggestions from the following Dragon+ magazine article Underdark Spell Components;

Spell name: Hex. Current material component: The petrified eye of a newt. Alternative Underdark component: Pickled rat tail.


Without spoilers, I would say that, as the DM, you could provide an encounter with a spell caster that, when all is said and done, is no longer in need of his components or focus. However from your question I am not sure if this is necessary. You said he is casting as a monk, I couldn't find hex as one of the spell options for a monk, but as a general rule, if you are casting using Ki, you are not require to have material components. Additionally Monks do not use a focus.

  • \$\begingroup\$ from OP: "he is playing a monk that's multiclassed into warlock." And Hex is on the Warlock list. (The "cast the Hex spell as a monk" line, to me, explains the dip into Warlock, not an attempt to somehow access Hex as a monk, per se.) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jan 4 '16 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also the querent is a player in this campaign, not the DM. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Jan 4 '16 at 1:39

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