Clerics normally have access to every spell in the Divine spell list. However, most other Divine casters only learn so many spells as they levels up.

Wizard class feature specifically says:

A wizard can also add a spell to his book whenever he encounters one on a magic scroll or in another wizard’s spellbook. No matter what the spell’s source, the wizard must first decipher the magical writing (see Arcane Magical Writings). Next, he must spend 1 hour studying the spell. At the end of the hour, he must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell’s level). A wizard who has specialized in a school of spells gains a +2 bonus on the Spellcraft check if the new spell is from his specialty.

Is any other caster capable of learning a spell that is on his spell list from a scroll, similar to Wizards? Does it require you to be Arcane, or could a Divine caster do it? Is this a spellbook-only thing?


2 Answers 2


There are other arcane spellcasting classes that use spellbooks, like the magus. The alchemist has a “formula book” that works mostly the same way, and the witch has a familiar that functions like a spellbook for her.

In all of these cases, however, learning from scrolls is reserved for a class with very wizard-like spellcasting, that is, they must prepare exactly which and how many of each spell they know in advance.

As you note, the divine spellcasters who, like the wizard, prepare spells ahead of time don’t need to bother with spellbooks at all. Clerics, druids, and similar divine spellcasters can pray for any spell on their list, even one they have never seen before. In effect, you can think of the gods they pray to as being giant spellbooks that already have every spell available ready to go.

On the other side of the coin, we have spellcasters that do not have to prepare their spells ahead of time. The sorcerer is the quintessential example, but others exist, including some like the oracle that are divine (as you note). These “spontaneous” classes do not keep a spellbook or similar, and they cannot take advantage of the rules for copying a scroll into a spellbook. Scrolls, for them, can only be used as a scroll, not used to learn a spell. To learn a spell, they need the vastly more expensive page of spell knowledge, or the even more expensive ring of spell knowledge (which then does allow them limited ability to learn spells from scrolls and other sources).

The advantage to spontaneous spellcasters is that they are free to use these spells in any combination they like, up to their spells per day limit, where spellcasters that prepare have to choose exactly how many of each spell they want. However, generally speaking, the advantage of having access to so many spells is vastly superior, so clerics and druids and wizards are generally better than oracles and sorcerers and the like.


Besides Wizards, the magus, the alchemist (and the investigator who works like the alchemist) and the witch can learn spells from scrolls. While for the magus and the alchemist as spellbook classes, it works the same as for the wizard. I never familiarized with the Arcanist but it should work similar to the wizard.

An alchemist can also add formulae to his book just like a wizard adds spells to his spellbook, using the same costs, pages, and time requirements. An alchemist can study a wizard's spellbook to learn any formula that is equivalent to a spell the spellbook contains. A wizard, however, cannot learn spells from a formula book. An alchemist does not need to decipher arcane writings before copying them.

For Spellbook/Formularbook classes:

If the spell was from a scroll, a failed Spellcraft check does not cause the spell to vanish.

The witch has different rules for adding spells to her familiar.

A witch can use a scroll to teach her familiar a new spell. This process takes 1 hour per level of the spell to be learned, during which time the scroll is burned and its ashes used to create a special brew or powder that is consumed by the familiar

This means for the witch the scroll is used up in the process whether it works or not. As a trade-off she doesn't need costly inks to write it in the Spellbook like the others do.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Plus the arcanist and investigator. But thats base/core classes, excluding possible archetypes of several classes. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 12:41

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