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In our campaign, I play a warlock and brass braziers are hard to come by. I want to carry a brass brazier in case my familiar dies and I need to again cast find familiar.

  1. How bulky is a small brass brazier? Can it be carried for several weeks without hindering long distance foot travel? That is, because of its shape or weight, does the typical brass brazier reduce my speed?
  2. What's the price of a small, simple brass brazier?
  3. How long would it take a brass worker to make a small, simple brazier? How long would it take the brass worker to make one specifically designed to be eminently portable? In both cases, assume the brass worker works nonstop exclusively on the brazier.

What I'm looking for are references, similar cases, and information that can help handle these issues properly and accurately. First and foremost in D&D 5e (especially RAW) and then other RPGs and even real world, if they could be used to make estimates about the answers to these questions when we compare how similar cases translate to D&D 5e mechanics.

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Looking at similar games with more published material, in Pathfinder there's a normal piece of adventuring equipment called a thurible,

Price 50 gp; Weight 3 lbs.
When filled with coal and common herbs worth 2 sp, this miniature brazier fills an area 30 feet in diameter with light smoke for 1 hour.
Any creature in the area of this smoke gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saves to resist inhaled diseases.

A copper brazier with religious carvings is also a 50 gp art item. So it sounds like as you make them smaller, the price doesn't go down because it requires more craftsmanship.

Is a miniature brazier OK for use with find familiar? That's a question only your GM can answer. Or, if you're pretending to be the GM, only you can answer.

If I'm the GM, "50 gp, 5 pounds." If then further heckled about it I just say "No."

How long would it take to make it? See the crafting rules. Costs should be equivalent between 5e and Pathfinder.

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Your question mentions a small brass brazier, but Find Familiar doesn't call for a small one. The spell calls for a brass brazier which can hold 10gp worth of charcoal, herbs, and incense. It doesn't specify the volume of burnables or size of the brazier — however, if it wasn't very much, the spell would have said “a small brass brazier” too, like you did, to indicate that it's portable. It doesn't though, strongly suggesting that it's a normal brazier of the inconvenient sort suitable for a magic ritual, not an especially adventure-portable one.

So, what's a normal brazier, large enough to contain the spell's materials? This is:

A medieval brazier
Scale model of medieval brazier, by Linda Sweigart of CalicoJewels

It's about the size of an end table. It's the sort of thing a warlock might stand over while casting magic rituals.

The thing is, a brazier in a fantasy context is patterned on the braziers in our own history from back when homes and castles were heated with wood or coal, but multi-roomed buildings didn't have fireplaces in every room. It's basically a portable room heater — but only portable in the sense that a normal person could pick up a small table and move it to another room. They're furniture, not adventure-portable.

So if you're looking for a normal brazier to make emergency castings of Find Familiar convenient, you're looking at the inconvenience of lugging around bags of coal and a piece of medieval furniture.

All is not lost

But all is not lost! This is fantasy, after all, where wizards fly airships held aloft by magic and shruganium, and gnomes build clockwork contraptions with no apparent fuel source that can knock down a house. Or at least, some games of D&D are that kind of fantasy.

If your DM is running a more fantastic game of D&D, ask them about finding someone who can build you a special, collapsible brazier. Maybe with a bowl made of rotating segments that cleverly fan out and collapse into a wedge in a circular telescoping action, and legs that can fold up and be strapped to your backpack. Who knows what that sort of thing would cost or how long it would take to craft — ask your DM about these kinds of interesting details.

Or maybe your DM will look at this request, taken a bit aback, and literally wave their hand and say “don't worry about it, just write down ‘brazier’ on your sheet and let's get on with attacking this giants’ castle, okay?” Not all DMs care about these details, or accurately handling medieval room furniture.

We don't know your DM, so the critical information about whether this is important to them, in their world, is unavailable to us. I can only tell you superficial things, like what a brazier is, and that D&D 5e doesn't have any guidelines for how long they take a blacksmith to make or how much they'll charge (leaving even that detail back in your DM's lap). So this comes down to:

Ask your DM. They're the one you have to play with.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, in the end all of these details will be handled by the DM. But what is there any info that can lead us to an accurate ruling? Ultimately the answer to any question can be "ask your DM", but I'm here to increase my knowledge. That way even a beginner DM or someone who's just curios about this issue can benefit from this question as well. So I did not get my answer about crafting and price. Also isn't a "small brass brazier" still a "brass brazier"? Do you believe the brazier should be a "normal brass brazier" or just "large enough to contain the spell's materials"? \$\endgroup\$ – TheGrayed Feb 12 '17 at 0:15
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Just dug into this (because I need one), and it looks to me like this may be just a poor word choice. A 'brazier' is a thing you burn stuff in. In Pathfinder the equivalent item is called a "thurible". In Google, if you search for 'thurible' it converts it on the fly to 'censer', which is also a thing you burn stuff like incense in.

And guess what, if you've got a priest in the party, chances are they're already carrying a censer, because the priest pack comes with one. It's used for exactly this purpose: You burn incense offerings in it. Looks to me like the 'brazier' was supposed to be a trivial thing you'd have easy access to, rather than an obscure thing you have to chase all over the landscape looking for.

The fact that there is no "brazier" in either the DMG or the PHB supports the idea that it's just another word for a "censer" -- otherwise, given how commonly find-familiar is cast, that's a pretty large oversight.

And by the way, a very common material for censers in the middle ages was brass (or so I've read). They have chains so they can be swung and hung, but other than that they're the same deal as a common charcoal brazier. So, the most likely form for the censer your priest is carrying is exactly what you're looking for: A brass brazier.

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A 2015 tweet from Jeremy Crawford states that a brass brazier is not necessary to cast Find Familiar.

On July 2, 2015, Twitter user "@seekay" asked official D&D rules arbiter Jeremy Crawford:

Find Familiar: Does a component pouch/arcane focus provide/sub for the brass brazier? Seems an intentionally big component.

Crawford responded:

The 10 gp of other components need to be burned in something, brazier or not.

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Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue, a reference book from 1992, lists bronze braziers in large (6' diameter), medium (4' diameter) and field (18" diameter)for 30gp, 17gp and 4gp respectively. The Field brazier is designed to be strapped to a backpack and taken on adventures.

Find Familiar doesn't give a required size, only a value of charcoal, incense and herbs that must be consumed in the brazier. The fire can be stoked up to burn more coal in a short period or time, or the value of incense and herbs can be higher (ask your GM for specifics).

The Player's Handbook (p. 187) states that crafting an item allows for one person to craft 5gp of value per day the time to smith one would depend on the size, with the market value/5 equalling the number of days required. A field brazier should typically only take a day.

Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue is probably difficult to find in hard copy these days, but it can be found in PDF version online.

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The lack of details in this spell means it's something for the DM to determine, though if you can put forward a reasonable argument for your case, they might be willing to accept it.

In this situation, if you want to use a portable brass brazier, then I would suggest that you focus on the fact the spell does not ask for a large brass brazier, so a small one may be usable.

So, how can we fit in 10gp of materials in this small brazier? Well, the spell takes 1 hour to cast, and you could argue that not all of the materials have to be put in at once but can be spread out over the hour. This allows you burn a lot more materials in a small brazier. Alternatively, you could suggest that the materials are one 10gp cube of expensive incense, one small lump of charcoal and a few sprigs of herbs, all of which can fit into a small brazier.

There are small brass braziers on eBay with diameter 16cm, height 7cm, and weight ~1lb.

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Can't find a brazier at the local hardware store market?

Could any sufficiently strong material be used as a brazier in a time of need? I'm thinking the primary purpose here is to have a heat-proof vessel in which to burn the ingredients. If that's the goal, then as a GM I would say that a cooking pot and campfire could be pressed into service. Though you'd want to wash it really well before and after.

Or, if you're really desperate, a metal shield. It would probably only be useful for one or two uses as a brazier, but that may be all you require of it. I'd also say this would require ruining it as a shield: you'd need to remove any leather -- like the grips -- and the fire would ruin the temper of the steel.

These implements are not ideal braziers. As we're talking about magic, you might could argue that the cooking pot would only work if it was never used for food (so a new, unseasoned, pot), or that the shield would only work if it has never had blood on it. You might therefore require some additional material components to "magically cleanse" these non-standard braziers prior to the spell casting. And that this cleansing would take an hour or two at minimum to complete. Note, this isn't from the rules but from just saying, "Hey, you're doing something with the wrong materials. That is going to cost you in some way."

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    \$\begingroup\$ If any brazier could do, the spell would have just needed "a brazier" not "a brass brazier". Also I think since it's a spell, it might need more than just a container, and be more complicated. I think it should be at least something that looks more like a brazier than anything else. \$\endgroup\$ – TheGrayed Feb 11 '17 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ooh, good point. \$\endgroup\$ – CaM Feb 11 '17 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheGrayed I'll offer that you are overthinking this. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 6 '18 at 3:12
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I think most of the interpretation is easy; it's a:

  1. Brass
  2. Brazier.

I think it is reasonable to assume it needs to hold all of the components at once, but the volume of the components and the cost/volume ratio are up for DM interpretation.

Now keep in mind most D&D sessions range around 4 hours, and I think you can see the advantage of not being top picky on this stuff. As a DM, I would have allowed the players to have all the components to all the spells they picked at character creation for free. So yes, the 100 gp pearl for identify, and if you want to sell braziers for 50 gp... fine.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! I cleaned up your answer a little, feel free to edit further or ask if you have any questions. Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 14 at 23:33

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