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In D&D 5E Wizards get an additional two spells per level to add to their spellbook:

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

If a Wizard has a handful of Scrolls and another Wizard's spellbook they have found while adventuring, can they attempt to scribe them all (assuming they are of the necessary spell level and have the time and money to do so), or are they limited to 2 new spells per level?

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Copied spells and the two free spells are separate

Note the full wording1 of the Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher section (emphasis mine):

Each time you gain a wizard level, you can add two wizard spells of your choice to your spellbook for free. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the Wizard table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your spellbook (see the “Your Spellbook” sidebar).

There is a clear distinction here. Whenever you gain a level, you get two free spells. Separately, you might add other spells to your spellbook, as detailed in the spellbook sidebar. These are two separate methods of getting additional spells for your spellbook.

So if you have scrolls or another spellbook, you can copy any of those spells following the costly copying method, independently from the free spells obtained at level up.


1. Apparently some older versions of the PHB did not have "for free" at the end of the first sentence of the quote. It seems to have been added silently (without being noted in the errata docs), according to Someone_Evil.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Probably worth noting that the "for free." at the end of the first sentence is silent errata (ie. not noted in the errata doc). It is not present in the asker's quote, nor in the 1st printing of the PHB, but does appear in later (and DDB). \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 9 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil that's interesting but unfortunately I don't know how I can verify that or include a source. Any ideas? \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jul 9 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ To verify: have access to an old printing of the PHB and a newer one (/DDB). Checking that it's not in the errata doc should be easy. Perfectly fine for you to state you have it through someone else, it's not ostensibly more difficult to verify than a claim about any other physical book. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 9 at 12:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I feel like this answer is good, but can be improved by emphasizing the 'other' in the passage, which appears to be a clear indication that these other spells are extra, or in addition to the two from the first sentence. \$\endgroup\$ – aherocalledFrog Jul 9 at 20:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like that wording was there at least as of the 8th printing of the PHB, which I got in March 2018. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 10 at 1:19
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The section “Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher” states:

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

So when you level, you get two spells for free.

This section continues:

When you find a wizard spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a spell level you can prepare and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.

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. Once you have spent this time and money, you can prepare the spell just like your other spells.

Learning spells this way is not free. This is a distinct class feature from learning spells by leveling up, so the two do not restrict each other in any way.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Probably worth noting that the "for free." at the end of the first sentence is silent errata (ie. not noted in the errata doc). It is not present in the asker's quote, nor in the 1st printing of the PHB, but does appear in later (and DDB). \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 9 at 12:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like that wording was there at least as of the 8th printing of the PHB, which I got in March 2018. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 10 at 1:20

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