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Dragons of Eberron printed a spell, strength of the true form. It’s a level 1 transmutation, and, somewhat unusually, it is only on the sorcerer list (not sorcerer/wizard).

How can I get access to it as a non-sorcerer?

Obviously, something like lesser wish will get me there, but that’s much later, and is a much more significant investment. Instead, I would like to find something approximately equivalent to adding it to a wizard’s spell list.

The specific case is for an illusionist, ideally by level 7 or so. However, I would be interested in a way to add it to arbitrary spell lists (say, cleric and beguiler).

This is for something I’m playing around with, so more theoretical optimizations are fine. I know that “be Pun-Pun” is in some sense a real answer, but it’s also a joke answer. Similarly, I am aware of the argument that wizards can add any arbitrary arcane spell to their spellbook, but I don’t buy it: assume they can only add wizard spells by default.

So: what’s the most efficient way to get ready access to strength of the true form?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Obviously campaign-dependent, but are a few wands of Strength of the True Form viable? \$\endgroup\$
    – Phoenices
    Jun 12 at 3:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Phoenices that’s actually what prompted the question: wands were fine, until I thought about adding metamagic to it or sticking it in a contingency. So, good catch, but quite not what I wanted. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Jun 12 at 4:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Phoenices A wand would not help, because to activate, you must have the wand’s spell on your class spell list... \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12 at 13:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeregrinTook d20srd.org/srd/skills/useMagicDevice.htm - see the Use a Wand section. \$\endgroup\$
    – Phoenices
    Jun 13 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Phoenices Yes, if you have enough ranks in Use Magic Device (which is a cross-class skill for most classes) that's an option, if course. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 13 at 18:37

2 Answers 2

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There is an argument that Extra Spell from Complete Arcane can do it, because it never mentions anything about the new spell you learn coming from your own spell list. This does not seem to be a popular interpretation; in fact, people often get very angry about it. It basically comes down to whether you believe “You learn one additional spell” automatically refers to your class’s specific mechanics for learning spells, or if it is a separate mechanic with its own rules (which don’t say anything about spell list). Anyway, the FAQ says that it cannot do this, which may be an indication of where WotC stood on the subject.¹

Dragon Magic has a prestige class called wyrm wizard which, unsurprisingly, is open to wizards (and wu jen). At even levels, its spell research feature explicitly allows you to take spells from other classes and add them to your arcane spell list.² Unfortunately, it also misses spellcasting progression at most even levels (2nd, 4th, and 6th), so you pay pretty dearly for this option. It also requires 9 ranks in Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft, so you can’t get in (barring cheese) until 7th and thus can’t get your first off-list spell until 8th.

Recaster from Races of Eberron is better, in that it loses just one spellcasting level total (at 1st, though, so no getting around it), and then can learn a spell from any list at 2nd and 4th. It also has a ton of nifty pseudo-metamagic effects, so it’s a fairly decent class despite the lost spellcasting level. Best of all, it requires 8 ranks, so you can get to recaster 2nd and get this spell at 7th, as requested. Unfortunately, it requires that you be a changeling, so odds are good that it’s useless to you.

There are a few others (e.g. unseen seer from Complete Mage, fiend-blooded from Heroes of Horror), but these only allow spells from certain schools or with certain descriptors, and none of them allow for strength of the true form.

  1. On the other hand, the Complete Arcane errata did not change it, and the FAQ is a dubious source. So your mileage may vary on that one.

  2. The precise verbiage is “You can add this spell to your arcane spellcasting class spell list,” which assumes that you only have one arcane spellcasting class. It is unclear how this would work for ultimate magi...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If missing spellcasting progression is a serious option, then we might as well put Spell to Power Erudite on the table. I suspect that will be reasonable if it's just for grabbing a 1st level spell, but I don't know that class or its book very well. \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Jun 12 at 10:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.Mini That doesn’t let you use your wizard spell slots for it, which I believe to be the point here. Otherwise we could just dip sorcerer. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 12 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’m going to leave this unaccepted for a while, but I don’t really expect to see a better answer. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Jun 12 at 15:07
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Page 198 in the DMG contains rules for researching original spells. If your DM allows spell research, a level 1 spell would take 1,000 gold and a week of time to research. The main rule for wizards researching a spell is that they cannot research spells that heal. There's nothing in the rules for this particular spell that would seem to limit it to sorcerers necessarily. It just has some flavor that it was originally researched by dragons, and that's why it's in the sorcerer's spell list.

I personally don't see any reason why a wizard cannot research this same exact spell since wizards also cast polymorph. In this case, one would be researching the same spell for use on the wizard spell list much as dragons originally did back in the day for adding it to the sorcerer's spell list.

One thing to know, though, is that the DM does not tell you if the spell can be researched until after research begins. So you unfortunately will not know until after a thousand gold is spent if your DM is going to allow this particular spell research to succeed, and that's even if spell research is allowed. General guidelines for new spells can be found on page 35 in the DMG.

Finally, I want to add that researching a new spell is not restricted to wizards only. Each class that wants the spell on their list would need to research it accordingly. Note that classes such as bard or sorcerer that have limited spells known would not gain access to the spell even if they researched it until they were able to replace an existing known spell or gained access to a new spell slot, if such a thing is possible for that class.

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