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One of the NPCs in the campaign I run doesn't have enough time to teach their spells to adventurers, but they have most of their spells carefully written into books they are ready to rent.

Their business model is quite simple: people pay the full price for the book but most of it works as a bail they recover if they bring the book back.

I am looking for a price for a spellbook that includes a dozen spells of ranks up to 4. I though I remembered such spellbooks already existing as predefined items but I must be messing up with first edition of Pathfinder.

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1 Answer 1

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No guidance is given

Filled spellbooks do not have a defined value but, contrary to the linked Paizo forum post, they are intended to be sold. The GM should determine the value of a spellbook when (before) it is made available to the PC's, such as during encounter building. There are a few tools to reference for that.

  • Base value is 1g, plus:
    • The Formula table
      • [0.5, 2, 5, 13, 25, 50, 100, 225, 500, 1200, 3500]
    • The Learn A Spell table
      • [2, 2, 6, 16, 36, 70, 140, 300, 650, 1500, 7000]
    • The Scroll item
      • [4, 12, 30, 70, 150, 300, 600, 1300, 3000, 8000]

Above are the 3 general values of each (common) spell in a spellbook, listed from least to most. I would think no spell should be less valuable than a formula of double its level, but should definitely be less than its value as a consumable scroll. Learn a Spell's table strikes a happy medium and is what my groups use to determine value. This value can then (optionally) be decreased for exceptionally common spells or increased for Uncommon and Rare spells.

The base value might then be halved, as normal, although spellbooks might be interesting enough Treasure to be 'affected by supply and demand' or haggled over.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't the "learn a spell" cost the cost to copy the spell to your book? Learn a spell is referenced from Wizard "You can also use the Arcana skill to add other spells that you find in your adventures (See Learn a Spell)." and says "You can gain access to a new spell of your tradition from someone who knows that spell or from magical writing like a spellbook or scroll.", so the scroll or writing is not part of the price. That still would leave open the value of getting the access, which is the question here. Of course, using the same price for that might work, too. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 6, 2023 at 5:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NobodytheHobgoblin of course you're right, but we don't have a lot of good options to go by. In this case, the book is the "materials with the Price indicated" and it approximates the value of learning every spell in the spellbook, which is the general effect gained by anyone interested in purchasing spellbooks. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2023 at 3:45

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