Say I’m a Pact of the Tome warlock with the Book of Ancient Secrets invocation. I have Detect Magic in my Book of Shadows as a ritual spell. I otherwise don’t know Detect Magic.

Can I make a scroll of Detect Magic?

I’m pretty sure the answer is no, since a ritual spell in my book doesn’t count as a spell known, but it feels a little strange since I can cast the spell as much as I want (albeit as a ritual).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Upon deeper reflection, maybe the answer is yes, because you can scribe scrolls for known spells. And it does seem like you know the spell (but can only cast it as a ritual). \$\endgroup\$ – Ira Aug 23 '19 at 5:20
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No, they can't; only known spells can be scribed into scrolls.

The optional rules on scribing a spell scroll state (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 133; emphasis mine):

Scribing a spell scroll takes an amount of time and money related to the level of the spell the character wants to scribe, as shown in the Spell Scroll Costs table. In addition, the character must have proficiency in the Arcana skill and must provide any material components required for the casting of the spell. Moreover, the character must have the spell prepared, or it must be among the character’s known spells, in order to scribe a scroll of that spell.

The Book of Ancient Secrets eldritch invocation states:

You can now inscribe magical rituals in your Book of Shadows. Choose two 1st-level spells that have the ritual tag from any class’s spell list (the two needn’t be from the same list). The spells appear in the book and don’t count against the number of spells you know. With your Book of Shadows in hand, you can cast the chosen spells as rituals. You can’t cast the spells except as rituals, unless you’ve learned them by some other means. You can also cast a warlock spell you know as a ritual if it has the ritual tag.

Nothing in the description of the invocation says that you know the spell, and it actually says such spells don't count against the number of spells you know. It also specifies that you can't cast them except as rituals unless you learn them in some other way (i.e. you can't cast them as regular warlock spells if you haven't learned them as a warlock specifically). Thus, since they're not added to your regular known spells, you can't craft spell scrolls of them either.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate your quotes, but I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation. Two specific points: 1) It doesn’t seem crazy to think that if you can cast the spell consistently over and over, you know the spell. 2) If the rules go out of the way to say it “doesn’t count against spells known” that actually implies to me that you know it. If you don’t know the spell, then obviously it wouldn’t count against spells known. But if you DO know it, then the rules need to acknowledge that it doesn’t count against your limit. Either way, thanks for your thoughts. \$\endgroup\$ – Ira Aug 23 '19 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ira: There are no secret rules. If you learned the spell and thus knew it, the invocation would say so. It doesn't, so you don't. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 23 '19 at 22:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the feature says you can cast the spell, don’t you know it? That’s not some secret rule. In your initial response, you deduced that “doesn’t count against spells known” means you don’t know it. But that’s superfluous if you don’t know it. A good reason why you would need to write that it doesn’t count against spells known is because you DO know it. Thoughts? \$\endgroup\$ – Ira Aug 24 '19 at 0:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ira: "If the feature says you can cast the spell, don’t you know it?" No. There are plenty of abilities and feats that let you cast a spell in a limited way without you "knowing" the spell. I didn't deduce that "doesn't count against spells known" meant you don't know it, it just clarifies that it doesn't count against your number of known spells per the Warlock Table and is just one of many indicators that it's not a spell you know as a warlock. There's plenty of otherwise redundant rules text that's there only to clarify what might otherwise be misinterpreted. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 24 '19 at 1:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ OK, thanks for the discussion! That's a good example, but it could be the case that such a barbarian with the arcana skill could make those two scrolls, but it certainly feels less intuitive. It's not 100% clear to me that "being able to cast a spell repeatedly as a ritual" isn't the same as "knowing the spell," but in the absence of additional clarification, it's safest to say that it's not possible to create a scroll that way. Thanks for the lengthy discussion - I appreciate the time and energy you put into it. Best wishes! \$\endgroup\$ – Ira Aug 25 '19 at 18:21

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