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Esoteric Components

Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 152
This system uses four common esoteric components— entropic resin, geodes, prismatic sand, and verdant salts—plus one rare component called yliaster. A GM can change the descriptions of these components to different substances that better fit her game if she so chooses. The rare component could be a catchall for a number of equally potent magical substances. The blood of a god, a sliver of stone from deep in the earth, or a piece of ethereal substance made solid could each be used as the rare component, even within the same campaign.

Each entry includes the associated schools, a description of the esoteric component type, the greater component effect, and the limited magic effect. The limited magic effect entry applies only if the campaign is also using the limited magic system.

Entropic Resin

Associated Schools evocation, necromancy

This slightly viscous, pearlescent gray-black substance is most commonly stored in small vials, jars, and bottles. It’s most frequently found at sites of carnage and places where undead creatures dwell. Locations where multiple creatures died from flames, acid, or lightning are excellent potential sources of entropic resin. It seems to be organic in nature, or at least formed of trace substances from the bodies of organic life forms, though there is some debate on the issue among necromantic scholars.

Unrefined entropic resin is potent, but can still be distilled and refined. The more it’s refined, the darker and more solid it becomes. The most potent entropic resin is pitch black and snaps if bent.

Greater Component Effect: Treat your caster level as though it were 1 higher for determining the number of damage dice used by this spell. This also increases the maximum number of damage dice a spell can have by 1, if applicable. For example, a 10th-level wizard casting fireball could expend 60 gp worth of entropic resin to deal 11d6 points of fire damage.

Limited Magic Effect: Use your full caster level (to a maximum of the spell’s minimum caster level + 3) for determining the damage dice of the spell.


Associated Schools abjuration, transmutation Geodes are loose, spheroid, rocklike structures found within flows of lava rock, areas of upheaval, and places associated with earth and fire elementals. Often mistaken for simple rocks due to their nondescript coating, geodes are hollow with various crystal formations hidden within. Formed from molten rock and exotic trapped gases that turn into crystals, geodes can have innate properties that help extend perceptions and pierce barriers, both astral and physical.

Small or crudely worked geode fragments or nodes are more than potent enough to be used with low-level spells, but for more complex spells, it’s more efficient for the geodes to be cleansed, cut, and worked into a more refined state.

Greater Component Effect: Treat your caster level as though it were 2 higher for determining the duration of this spell.

Limited Magic Effect: Use your full caster level instead of the minimum for determining the duration of the spell.

Prismatic Sand

Associated Schools conjuration, illusion Made of incredibly tiny polyhedrons, prismatic sand reflects a rainbow of colors. Most commonly found by sifting sand from warm beaches, this substance appears to be normal glass cut into very specific multifaceted shapes. Due to the substance’s apparent mundanity, spellcasters frequently try to manufacture it, but so far no attempt has been successful. When gathered in enough quantity, typically 2 ounces or so, prismatic sand takes on a rainbow sheen across its surface.

To make prismatic sand more effective, it must be carefully separated from the normal sand it’s typically mixed with—it functions much better when pure. Prismatic sand also works better when treated with cleansing chemicals, polished, and shined with a variety of specialized cloths and materials. Individual grains come in all variety of prismatic shapes, and the more sides a grain has, the better its mirrored surface captures light. The most intricate grains bend, manipulate, and split light into a dazzling spectrum.

Greater Component Effect: You can either treat your caster level as though it were 4 higher for determining the range of the spell, or increase or decrease the spell’s area of effect by 5 feet if it’s a burst, emanation, line, or spread with a radius or length of at least 20 feet.

Limited Magic Effect: Use your full caster level for determining the spell’s range and area.

Verdant Salts

Associated Schools divination, enchantment Verdant salts are found upon the dried, post-flowering pods of a common plant used in making textiles. The salt gathers on the plant only on dewy mornings following a full moon. Consuming verdant salts alters perceptions, and is said to improve the eater’s health. Grazing animals drawn to the salty taste frequently eat the crystals, so following deer or livestock that exhibit erratic behavior can lead a spellcaster to fields where verdant salts can be found.

Raw verdant salts can be dissolved, refined, and processed into more complex salt crystals or solid rods of compressed salt. Such refinements take time, and require special training in order for a wizard, alchemist, or craftsperson to produce properly.

Greater Component Effect: Increase the DC of any saving throw, skill check, or ability check an enemy must attempt due to this spell by 1.

Limited Magic Effect: The saving throw DC of the spell equals the base DC + 3, or 10 + the spell’s level + your spellcasting ability modifier, whichever is lower.

Yliaster (Rare Component)

Associated Schools All The rare substance yliaster is the universal esoteric component, and has the same effect and price no matter the school of the spell it’s used on. It can even be substituted for an equivalent value of an expensive material component—5,000 gp worth of yliaster could be used to cast raise dead without a diamond worth 5,000 gp, for example. Yliaster is a claylike material found in small clods typically no bigger than a berry or thimble. It’s remarkably light, seems to be composed of many colors, and does not crumble or compress in the same fashion as normal clay or soil.

A spell cast using yliaster can’t also benefit from common esoteric components.

Greater Component Effect: Increase the DC of any saving throw, skill check, or ability check an enemy must attempt due to this spell by 1. In addition, treat your caster level as though it were 2 higher for this spell. This increase can also raise the maximum damage dice of the spell beyond its limit. For example, a 10th-level wizard casting fireball could expend 600 gp worth of yliaster to cast it at CL 12th and deal 12d6 points of fire damage. This bonus also applies on caster level checks to overcome spell resistance and on concentration checks while casting the spell.

Price: Unlike with other esoteric components, the required amount of yliaster doesn’t vary with caster level. The cost of using yliaster is always 200 gp per spell level. Yliaster is even lighter than common components, weighing 1 pound per 2,000 gp of value. Few people, even experienced spellcasters, are able to find yliaster easily. Treat it as though it were a major magic item for the purposes of determining its availability. It’s typically sold in pieces worth 1,000 gp (five castings of a 1st-level spell), or multiples of 1,000 gp for larger pieces.