In the PLAYER'S HANDBOOK you can copy a spell into your own spellbook. In the DMG (p200) if a spell is copied from a scroll, the scroll is destroyed. If a spell is copied from a spellbook however, does the same apply? And could more than one wizard copy the same spell (or spells) from a found spellbook?

My thoughts are that more than more wizard could copy the same spell from a book. Two key reasons being; scrolls are consumable items (whereas spellbooks are not), and wizards can make a copy (or multiple copies) of their own spellbooks without destroying them.


1 Answer 1



Spell scrolls are a unique one time use magical item and the DMG introduces a specific rule whereby trying to transcribe the spell into a spellbook the scroll is destroyed in the process.

A wizard spell on a spell scroll can be copied just as spells in a spellbook can be copied. When a spell is copied from a spell scroll, the copier must succeed on an Intelligence(Arcana) check with a DC equal to 10 + the spell's level. If the check succeeds, the spell is successfully copied. Whether the check succeeds or fails, the spell scroll is destroyed.

This rule is specific to spell scrolls.

There is no generic rule that determines that the original form of a spell is destroyed when you try to copy it into a book. A found spellbook can be used by any number of wizards to transcribe spells from it.

In addition, a wizard is able to make a backup copy of their spellbook. This would not be possible if the original was destroyed in the process.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That's what I was thinking also; particularly given that a wizard can make copies of their own spellbook (and any number of copies also). \$\endgroup\$
    – ant_aoe
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 9:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, if you have two wizards in the party, I think they can copy from each other's spellbooks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joshua
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 22:52

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