A wizard can copy a spell they find into their spellbook. This is described in the "Your Spellbook" section of the Wizard's class features:

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.

Notably, it does not say "when you find a wizard spell in a spellbook". Are there any instances in published adventures where a wizard can copy a spell from something other than a spellbook?

I'm obviously not concerned about spell scrolls here. I'm looking for something like a spell written on a wall or stone tablet, or other surface that does not require a check like a spell scroll does.

This Q&A firmly establishes that the wizard can copy their spells from any written source, but I am not aware of any published examples of this outside of found spellbooks.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why are you asking? This seems like a weird thing to care about for the pure mechanics of it, which suggests that there is some underlying thing you;re trying to address. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Sep 17 '20 at 18:21
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @fectin I was hoping there was a context where Wizards had implemented this themselves to inform my own implementation of this in my games. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 17 '20 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related on Does a Wizard's spellbook need to be a book? \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Sep 18 '20 at 0:22

There are a few examples.

From Storm King's Thunder

There is a specific room in one of the major locations which has the following:

Chapter 10 says, in Room 25 - Library (p. 212):

Five rocks have the following wizard spells inscribed on them: antimagic field, conjure elemental, fabricate, legend lore, and stone shape. The rocks function like pages of a spellbook, but each weighs 600 pounds. A character who has a spellbook can record these spells in it.

These are not spellbooks, but can provide spells for wizards to copy.

...and there are a few books that aren't strictly spellbooks but do contain wizard spells:

From Out of the Abyss

In one of the major locations, an important NPC has the following item:

Chapter 4 says, in the Treasure section under "Finding Droki" (p. 69):

Pages of lizard-skin parchment held together between two leather covers from two different books. The pages are full of mad scribbles and arcane formulas, but a character proficient in Intelligence (Arcana) can study them for 1 hour to discover that they constitute a spellbook containing the Tenser’s floating disk and feign death spells.

This is not quite a typical spellbook but provides a couple spells in a manner similar to one.

From Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden

There is a book found in a major location:

Chapter 5, in Room G22 - Chamber of the Codicil, contains The Codicil of White, a magic book whose description appears in "Appendix D: Magic" (p. 317):

The codicil was written by followers of Auril as a primer on her worship. The first page is a title page with the snowflake symbol of Auril on it. The remaining pages describe various priestly rituals and ceremonies in chilling detail. Nestled among these descriptions is a spell that wizards can learn (frost fingers, described later in this appendix) [...]

While it is a book, it is explicitly not a spellbook, simply containing a spell that wizards can transcribe.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you've squeaked by on a technicality with the first one. I said no spell books, and that's two halves of different spellbooks, which is not technically a spellbook. The example from SKT is exactly what Im looking for. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18 '20 at 13:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov I always read the Out of the Abyss example as counting a spellbook for copying purposes only. The NPC is not a spellcaster, so I figured it was just random mystic scribblings, but I suppose it could be considered a spellbook as well. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18 '20 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ The example from ID:RotF blurs the lines here a bit. Granted, I asked for no spellbooks, and this is a liturgy book with spells in it. Close enough, definitely helps. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18 '20 at 13:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov I reorganized in an attempt to bring it more in line with what you are looking for (separating the books from the rocks in this case) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18 '20 at 13:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.