A Wizard prepares and casts Spells from his Spellbook and can therefore cast pretty much any Spell he has the appropriate Slot for and can get a Scroll to learn it from.

I'd like to have a similar Method for a sorcerer. Say you have a 20th LVL Sorcerer building his Magic castle ( or Vila or...) and he needs to spend cash on every single protection Spell and unseen servant he wants to place... that's just plain stupid. So help my villain be self sufficient :)!

So I want a way for a sorcerer to expand his casting choices in a significant way.

The methods shouldn't involve a cost associated with each use. like buying scrolls, or using (limited) wish. An investment the character needs to do once is ok (such as an item to add additional Spells known). Increases in casting times are fine. Increased costs in resetting resources, like spell slots or 1/day abilities are fine. I'm mostly looking for feats or items, but PrC's like mage of the arcane order are ok as an option, though I'd prefer possibilities not interfering with the Classes of a build. The villain doesn't exist yet, so there aren't any more specific requirements :).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If the sorcerer is a villain, I assume you are the DM? If so, what is stopping you from simply assuming that your villain can do these things, without worrying about support in the rules? \$\endgroup\$ May 20, 2014 at 17:29
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Rule Zero is allways a possibility, but I enjoy the challenge of using the same rule System my Players use. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy
    May 20, 2014 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I won't post this as an answer, because - well, it can cause serious problems for a worldsetting if overused - but have you considered abusing the magic trap rules to enchant his fortress with whatever fixed-location magic this sorcerer needs? He could use scrolls or assistants to do the initial enchantment, and every use of the trap from then on is free. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    May 21, 2014 at 4:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I assume you mean creating, a self reseting trap, that casts a particular Spell? I actually had not :). Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy
    May 21, 2014 at 7:04

3 Answers 3


You're looking for this handbook, aptly titled: "Ways to Expand a Spell List".

With the requirements you stated above:

Magic Item Compendium - Runestaves - Item - allows an arcane caster to expend a slot to cast the spell in the staff

Explorers Handbook - Drake Helm - Item - Can attune spells to the helm; act as if they are on your known-spells list

Also, don't forget summons. Many summons can cast spell-like abilities, which makes your "spells known" a practice in "how well do you know your summon monster list?"

Furthermore, don't underestimate the leadership feat. A level 20 villain can have a level 18 cohort who specializes in arcane geometries and other nuanced spellcasting... and is a prepared spellcaster. If your main villain is the mailman and his "grand vizier" is an archivist or factotum/chameleon, you get a scary evil dude and his crazy-prepared henchman who gets all the work done. The henchman, himself, will have a psion as a cohort, and the psion will have a binder/anima mage as a cohort...

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 Summoning people to do your bidding is the way forward! \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob
    May 20, 2014 at 9:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mention hiring someone cross-plane to cast the required spells as a single contract (instead of paying for each spell), mention Dominate Person, mention that Planar Binding is typically more useful (especially for a cha-focused Sorcerer) than the Summon line. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    May 20, 2014 at 10:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @JackLesnie "The methods shouldn't involve a cost associated with each use." Hiring someone cross-plane per use is still hiring someone per use, and doesn't fit the terms of the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    May 20, 2014 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ The leadership feat for a 20th level sorceror would get you a level 17 minion plus 135 level 1 minions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob
    May 20, 2014 at 13:49

An important set of items missing from the handbook linked in Brian's answer are Knowstones, from Dragon Magazine 333, page 93. They are probably the most direct way a Sorcerer has to simply spend gold on their class-defining problem.

In short: A Knowstone grants a spontaneous spellcaster the knowledge of one, particular spell after being worn for 24 hours. It usually costs 1000 x spell level² GP.

But note: The existence of Knowstones in your game world means greatly expanded power for Sorcerers and similar spontaneous casters. You have been warned.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good Suggestion. Do you allow knowstones in your game? and if so do you have any limits on the Level and/or Numbers you allow? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy
    May 20, 2014 at 12:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ To be honest, it has never come up in the games I run that use an unmodified spellcasting system. In practice, I rely on this particular psionic rule, where the limit on use comes primarily from the action requirement. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ernir
    May 20, 2014 at 12:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Andy in the game I'm in, each character can use a single knowstone for each spell level. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Aug 26, 2015 at 9:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel Would you say that is balanced? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy
    Aug 26, 2015 at 9:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andy I have no idea, but the DM thinks it is (in a game where every character gets more feats and the sorcerer has one more, like in Pathfinder) \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Aug 26, 2015 at 12:07

I've recently been playing pathfinder, in which the answer would be: Use Staves.

A magic staff is a repeatable use item - you can cast spell X from the staff, and then recharge it with spell Y from your spell list, making it a way to convert your magic from any spell you can cast, into whatever spell you want - as long as you are able to pay the exorbitant price for the staff, of course.

There are also a number of other items - wondrous items, rods, rings, etc. - that allow specific spells or spell like abilities to be used from them, so your sorcerer could also have a room full of magic items that he pulls from when he needs something specific. You could even have him hire a wizard to design custom magic items for him.

Since dnd 3.5 does not, technically, have rechargeable items, you would have to house-rule them in. But, the staffs as described in pathfinder are entirely compatible, and there is really no reason not to swap them in, apart from their not following the exact rules as written.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Oops! You're right, I've been playing pathfinder recently and forgot they were different. \$\endgroup\$
    – Benubird
    Aug 26, 2015 at 9:17

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