The Empty Waste
Magic users will have to keep up with material components that cost over 25 gold pieces. This is not meant to handicap casters, but rather is just to reflect that the expensive spells can't be cast just because the caster has the correct amount of gold. However, magic casters will not need to keep track of mundane ingredients.
For instance, if a wizard has the spell 'acid arrow', he does not need to keep track of the number of rhubarb leafs and adder stomachs he possesses. He can just cast the spell without worrying about the material components. However, if a cleric wishes to cast Divination (which requires incense and an appropriate offering worth 25 gp), the cleric should have that written down. All that has to be done is write down Material components for Divination x 4 or some other indication that the character has purchased those ingredients. This would have cost the cleric 100 gp and that should be deducted from the sheet.
If the party is in a major town, then it will be assumed that these ingredients are available. Therefore, if the cleric wants to cast two divination spells while in the city of Celedon, he does not need to have the ingredients written down, since the character could just go to the store and purchase the necessary ingredients right then. However, if the party is about to enter a cave and want to divine whether or not its a good idea, the cleric must have the ingredients written down and the spell available in order to cast the spell.
I will allow the character to easily trade the ingredients back for the full amount paid. For instance, a Cleric purchased the ingredients for a Resurrection spell (10,000 gp diamond), but now has need for gold. He can trade the diamond in for 10,000 gp in any major city.
I do not want to get bogged down with role playing the purchase of these ingredients, instead we will assume that every major city has the necessary ingredients. Please note, the following spells all have a material component (this is not inclusive): Raise Dead (5000 gp diamond); Restoration (100 gp diamond dust or 1000 gp diamond dust); Greater Restoration (5000 gp diamond dust); Resurrection (10,000 gp diamond); True Resurrection (25,000 gp diamond – these will be difficult to find); True Seeing (250 gp eye ointment); etc. If the cost for the material components is not listed or is below 25 gp, just consider those components mundane.
I do not anticipate this becoming a hardship in getting these items. Rather, if the party has not properly planned, then certain spells will not be available to the party and they will have to return to a major city to obtain the necessary components.
If you are running a spell caster, please be aware of your spells and the necessary components.