To add a spell to his spellbook, a wizard has to pay a fee depending on the level of the spell. I remember seeing somewhere that this is because of the need to use magical ink though I am not certain about that.

During a standard campaign usually the origin of this ink is hand-waved and the wizard would just pay the fee. However I am currently playing a campaign during which the PCs are lost on a boat somewhere in the middle of the sea, so there is no place to buy this ink.

The GM ruled that somehow I managed to craft the components from what we have on the boat, deducing the price from the price of the merchandise (which seems a fair ruling to me), but since then I am wondering if there is an official ruling for that. After all the ink can't be appearing by itself in shops.

I would prioritize as an answer direct citations from rulebooks, but even vague lore information would be better than nothing.


1 Answer 1


Scribing scrolls and spellbooks does not need magical ink

Yes, that is correct. The materials required for scribing a scroll or writing spell on a spellbook are not necessarily magical, but the exact nature of them is left at GM (and player) discretion. This means that it could be any ink, some rare herbs, some incense, and even an exotic cigar that tunes your mind with the astral while writing your spell.

This can be seen on the physical description of several magical books, the materials used on the writing is often mundane, but infused with magic by the creator.

Inks, in general, are considered alchemical creations in pathfinder. The price of ink, however, can go anywhere from 1 cp (like cheap Tattoo Ink) to whatever price the GM says is required for the job at hand ("Nope, to write a scroll of Wish you need the ink of a Kraken, worth 800 gp an ounce").

Ink made from certain insects (Glowing Ink) is cheaper than Ink regularly used for writing on parchment. There are also special inks that will act as ink for scribing spells, like the Stink Ink used by ratfolk. Stink Ink is 10% more expensive than normal.

If we compare the material cost necessary to write a 1st level spell on your spellbook (10 gp), with the Magic capital from the (optional) downtime system (100 gp), writing a spell is only a tenth of this material. While the skills used to earn this capital could be mundane (like craft).

PS: The 800 gp price on the Kraken's ink is an exaggeration. To write a 9th level spell you need 810 gp on materials, and 9 free pages on your spellbook, which means that the ink would cost 90 gp per page written if no other material was required. This price is consistent on all spell levels, increasing by 10 gp per spell level per page (10 gp at 1st, 20 gp at 2nd, 30 gp at 3rd and so on).


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