When a wizard copies a new spell into his spellbook, it costs 50 gp. Where does that money go?

According to PHB p. 114:

For each level of the spell, the process takes 2 hours and costs 50 gp.

Does the money go to who he is copying the spell from? If so, and it is a friend, could the fee be waived?

I'm playing a poor wizard from a small town that gives most of his money away. I still want to learn new spells, though. At the moment 50 gp seems like a lot. I'm just wondering where the money is supposedly going.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE. We need to know specifically which game and edition you're talking about in order to answer the question, because our policy is to never guess. For example, if it's D&D 5e, we need you to edit the question to tag it with [dnd-5e], or just let us know in the comments. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 20:52
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Verdan: Don't answer in comments, especially when you don't even know what RPG/edition OP is playing (but even when the system is known). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 2:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry. I answered in comments since answering was blocked. I made a guess that OP was asking 5e and his page reference matches my 5e copy oh PHB. \$\endgroup\$
    – Verdan
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 18:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Mini, putting the answer in the text of the question is discouraged here. Could you remove the edit you made to add your answer to your question and instead post it as a self-answer to this post? Alternately, one of us can do it and make it a Community Wiki answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Xirema
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 19:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What Xirema said. I've edited your answer out of the question for now; you're welcome to leave it as a self-answer to your own question (i.e. in the answer space, not within the question body). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


Take a look at the next sentence after the one you quote (from the same the sidebar in the Wizard section):

For each level of the spell, the process [of copying a new spell into your spellbook] takes 2 hours and costs 50 gp. The cost represents material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the fine inks you need to record it.

This would suggest that you find some merchant somewhere who sells the requisite inks, paper, and miscellaneous reagents to copy the spell.

It is important to note that Wizards can learn learn spells both when they level up and by copying spells they find during their day-to-day adventures (for instance, if the wizard comes across a spell scroll that holds a wizard spell s/he does not yet know).

The cost of copying a spell does not apply to the two spells you get each time you level.

Each time you gain a wizard level, you can add two wizard spells of your choice to your spellbook for free.

So copying the spell scroll above would require 50gp but if you level up and pick the same spell, you would know it for free.


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