Holy Symbol 5e dnd | Cost, Uses on undead & Spellcasting foci

Holy Symbol 5e

What is the cost & weight of Holy symbol 5e d&d?

The cost of Holy Symbol 5e is 5 GP. Their weight varies from 1 lb to 2 lb. Refer to the table below.  It is sub-categorized into 3 parts.

Holy Symbol 5e price & weight table
Item Cost Weight
 Amulet 5 gp 1 lb.
  Emblem 5 gp
  Reliquary 5 gp 2 lb.

A holy symbol in dnd 5e is a representation of a god or pantheon. As described in the Spellcasting section, a cleric or paladin can use a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus. To use the symbol in this way, the caster must hold it in hand, wear it visibly, or bear it on a shield.

A few different options are listed in the rules – amulet, emblem, and reliquary – but they only differ in weight (1, 0, and 2 pounds, respectively). They all have the same cost. Exactly what they are (beyond the regular English definition of the words) is not defined – it could be steel, gold, stone, etc., as long as it’s worth 5 GP and has the appropriate symbology.

The nature of a holy symbol is not a matter of the rules because there are no mechanics behind it. Even within the same church, followers of a given deity may use different holy symbols. The themes and design of the symbols follow a pattern (in the Realms, Kelemvor uses a scale), but the exact construction varies.

The price is only an issue for buying something that qualifies for the game’s mechanical use of a holy symbol, which is only relevant to Clerics and Paladins. A token of bone or wood with the right markings may be good enough for a lay worshipper.

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Holy Symbol 5e spellcasting focus clarification

  • Clerics can use a holy symbol as a focus for spells.
  • The spellcasting chapter (10) says that a material component or focus has to be accessed with a free hand.
  • The equipment chapter (5) says that it must be held or worn visibly to be used as a focus. 
  • 10 is a general statement about foci, 5 is specific to holy symbols and overrides the need to have a free hand.
  • The holy symbol is either a physical object held in hand, worn on a chain, or painted/engraved on a shield. RAW: holy symbol on a cloak would not suffice.

To adopt the symbol in this way, the caster must hold it in hand, wear it visibly, or bear it on a shield.

Do clerics need their holy symbol?

Clerics do not need Holy symbol. Spellcasting foci by design are only used to replace non-costly, non-consumed material components. Suppose your player is casting a spell without material components. In that case, they do not need their holy symbol and can cast it normally.

Can you have multiple holy symbols?

If you have more than one holy symbol, you can use any of them (but only one at a time – not that that matters). If you find one lying on the ground, you can use it. As written, even if it doesn’t depict your god (this is where your DM may prohibit something).

Lords of Darkness, page 86 wrote ( Holy symbol uses on undead)

Most faiths have a holy symbol, some sign which serves as a representation for the god and his faith. This symbol is usually duplicated in wood, glass, or precious metals and carried by priests of the god. Ordinary followers of the god also can carry the holy symbol. Holy symbols cannot just be made from mundane materials. The cleric’s order must be specially prepared or created by the 2nd level priest spell creates the holy symbol. Holy items are small representations of all those things revered by religions–stars, crosses, hammers, rosaries, anointed oils, blessed wine, sacred teachings, and more. Just what constitutes a holy item depends on the campaign your character is in. All good, holy items have similar effects on the undead and other evil creatures, provided they are wielded by a follower of a belief associated with these items. Thus, rules that refer to holy symbols and holy water apply to all similar items. The cleric’s order specially prepares these items.

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Because of their special nature, holy items cannot normally be purchased. Different sects tend to protect the symbols of their faith to prevent their misuse or corruption. Therefore such items must be obtained through the auspices of a local congregation. That is not difficult for sincere followers of that faith. However, requests for rare or unusual items must always be justified. Nonbelievers are given holy items only if there is a clear and present danger to the faith.

A holy symbol is required for turning, destroying, or damning, or (for evil clerics) compelling undead to service. Any attempt to turn undead without a holy symbol will automatically fail, with one exception: clerics of ninth level or greater, and paladins of 11th level or greater, can attempt to do so. When doing so, they function as clerics of the only third level, i.e., they cannot destroy or command undead or automatically turn any undead. Paladins can never successfully use the holy symbol of another deity in a turning attempt. Clerics using the holy symbol of another deity (a serious matter indeed) in a turning attempt, even one allied to, or identical in alignment to their own, function as clerics of six levels lower than they do with the holy symbols of their deity. If this results in a negative level, they cannot turn undead with that holy symbol.

All undead except poltergeists, revenants, and penanggalan in full human form suffer burning damage from actual contact with a holy symbol, identical to the damage they suffer from a vial of holy water. It replaces any physical damage; a mace or crossbow bolt with a consecrated holy symbol on its business end does not deal both holy symbol damage and physical attack damage to undead.

This damage will occur regardless of wielding or discharging the holy symbol as a weapon; class and alignment have no effect. Priesthoods and deities will take a somewhat dim view of adventuring bands of non-worshipers bearing their holy symbols as weapons, however. Clerics loaning holy symbols typically give them only to companions who worship the same deity as they do. Holy symbols strike intangible undead or undead normally struck only by silver or magical weapons, regardless of the composition of the holy symbol.

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The holy symbols of lawful good deities cause vampires to recoil, although the mere sight of such devices does not harm a vampire in any way. Vampires of all alignments and faiths (in life) are affected by lawful good, holy symbols, even if they have never seen them before. Why vampires and of all undead, only vampires are affected by lawful good, holy symbols remains a mystery.

Monstrous Manual, page 262 wrote:

Greater mummies can be turned by those who have the courage and conviction to attempt this feat; however, the older the mummy, the harder it is to overcome in this fashion. Once again, the details are provided on the Age & Abilities Table. They are immune to damage from holy water, but contact with a holy symbol 5e from a non-evil faith inflicts 1d6 points of damage. Contact with a holy symbol of their faith restores 1d6 hit points.