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Paper making is extremely simple:

The method of making paper is essentially a simple one—mix up vegetable fibers, and cook them in hot water until the fibers are soft but not dissolved. The hot water also contains a base chemical such as lye, which softens the fibers as they are cooking. Then, pass a screen-like material through the mixture, let the water drip off and/or evaporate, and then squeeze or blot out additional water. A layer of paper is left behind.

Is there any reason that quality paper couldn't be created with the fabricate spell?

Similarly, ink has a number of ingredients but can be as simple as carbon (in the form of ash) and a binding agent.

Is there any reason that a wizard couldn't create their own paper and ink for recording spells if they had some time to practice/acquire the ingredients?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the source of the quoted text? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 20 at 2:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks like A Hand Book on Wood: Identity and Necessity: you may see the related passage in google books tinyurl.com/sb29w22 \$\endgroup\$ – mcy Nov 20 at 6:08
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You can make paper and ink

Consider the examples given by Fabricate:

For example, you can fabricate a wooden bridge from a clump of trees, a rope from a patch of hemp, and clothes from flax or wool.

Do you think making paper or ink is significantly more difficult than making a bridge, a rope, or clothes?

No way. Making clothes is by far the most difficult task. Not only do you need to process the flax or wool into thread, but then you have to magically weave it too.

If all you need to do is record spells, you can certainly grab some sticks and leaves from the ground and form them into paper, and prick your finger and form the blood into ink. I'm sure you could pick up a twig and form it into a pen too.

The limitations of course are:

The quality of objects made by the spell is commensurate with the quality of the raw materials.

You need high quality fibres to make high quality paper.

You also can't use it to create items that ordinarily require a high degree of craftsmanship, such as jewelry, weapons, glass, or armor, unless you have proficiency with the type of artisan's tools used to craft such objects.

You probably can't create some kind of artisan embossed special paper or fine ink without proficiency.

This doesn't much help a wizard

Your book is presumably already made of paper, so that's a good start. But, the Wizard spellbook rules state:

For each level of the spell, the process 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.

Creating a "fine ink" is probably quite difficult and expensive. You can create the ink yourself for a discounted price so long as you have an appropriate proficiency and expensive enough materials.

However even if you can make the ink, you still have to pay for the other material components to practice the spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So would this mean that a wizard of high level effectively never has to pay for adding spells to their spellbook again? \$\endgroup\$ – EagerToLearn Nov 19 at 23:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ My bolded question is: "Is there any reason that a wizard couldn't create their own paper and ink for recording spells if they had some time to practice/acquire the ingredients?" Since that part wasn't explicitly answered I asked the question :) \$\endgroup\$ – EagerToLearn Nov 19 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ adding the DMG and PHB Downtime guidance might flesh out this answer a bit and point toward a more "mundane" approach \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 20 at 1:47

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