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The Book of Exalted deeds states

This section begins with a list of sanctified spells, which are available to any class that prepares spells rather than casting them spontaneously. Book of Exalted Deeds, p. 84

What does that mean for a wizard? Does he have to write the sanctified spell in his spellbook? Does he need a teacher or a copy to learn it? Or can he prepare sanctified spells instead of spells written in his spellbook?

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The same way they acquire any other spell. The Book of Exalted Deeds makes no mention of any exceptions or special rules for a wizard to learn or otherwise acquire a sanctified spell. In the absence of a specific exception, the general rules for wizards to learn spells still apply. This is further supported by page 83's statement that "spellcasters prepare sanctified spells just as they do regular spells," which seems to indicate the need for all the usual steps involved in preparing a "regular spell," including the spellbook. That means you'll need to obtain a copy of the spell and add it to your spellbook, as usual.

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The rules for sanctified spells specify that anyone who can prepare a spell of a sanctified spell’s level can prepare the sanctified spell. To me, and those I’ve played with, that means finding a source and scrubbing it in a spellbook are unnecessary. The costs associated with casting the spell effectively replaces the cost and/or difficulty of finding the spell or putting it in your spellbook. Otherwise, the statement that “sanctified spells [...] are available to any class that prepares spells,” wouldn’t really seem true to me.

As usual, though, since Book of Exalted Deeds is poorly written and edited, this is rather unclear. Check with your DM first.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to check, since I don't have a copy of BED handy - are sanctified spells explicitly in the cleric spell list, wizard spell list, etc? \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Dec 17 '18 at 4:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman They are not. The text clearly means at least that much. I just think it means somewhat more. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 17 '18 at 4:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm. Personally, then, I would interpret "available to any class that prepares spells" as meaning that, where if it said "available to any spellcaster/caster/character that prepares spells" I'd be 100% behind your interpretation. But, as you say, BED is a hotbed of unclear editing. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Dec 17 '18 at 4:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not entirely the Book of Exalted Deeds's fault, though. The rules for sanctified spells are pretty much a copy-and-pasted then find-and-replaced version of the Book of Vile Darkness's rules for corrupt spells. The vagueness starts there. The Book has no excuse for perpetuating that vagueness, though — Somebody else wrote vague rules first! is a playground argument. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 17 '18 at 12:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Don’t get me wrong, Book of Vile Darkness is also poorly written and poorly edited. Though on the whole I think Book of Exalted Deeds is worse. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 18 '18 at 0:43

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