This answer talks about the 24 hours needed by a wizard to write a spell into a spellbook from a scroll or another spellbook, but I was wondering if that 24 hours needs to be consecutive. It doesn't seem to specifically say, but the requirement being 24 hours seems to imply that it requires a full day.

However, "Note that a wizard does not have to pay these costs in time or gold or the spells she gains for free at each new level. She simply adds these to her spellbook as part of her ongoing research" implies that these spells are written into the book over time, rather than in a consecutive block of 24 hours. Does this mean that spells gained from captured spellbooks and scrolls can also be written into a spellbook over multiple short sessions totalling 24 hours, instead of in a single continuous 24-hour session? Is this specified anywhere?


As the answer you link to states, the process of writing a spell into a spellbook is fairly complex, and is described on pages 178-179 of the Player's Handbook.

Basically there are two stages to the process:

  • First the one wanting to add a spell to her spellbook needs to study the scroll or spellbook containing the spell for a day in order to understand it, and then make a spellcraft check to see if she understands it.
  • Next the spell needs to be copied into the caster's spellbook, a process which "takes 24 hours, regardless of the spell's level".

While the first of these makes it clear that one day of study is needed, it isn't explicit that it needs to be uninterrupted, although that is how I read the intention of the text. Likewise with the required amount of time to write the spell into the spellbook, nothing is explicitly stated - and considering that it states 24 hours instead of a day, I'd say that following the magic item creation rules as jan.supol suggests in his answer seems reasonable.

However, considering that there is no information about this in the PHB that I can find, I'd say the GM will have to make the final call on how this works.

Finally in regards to your question about whether it is possible to complete the task of copying a spell in one marathon session of 24 hours, or several shorter ones adding up to 24 hrs, I'd say that neither strictly speaking is right, as the caster will also need one day to understand the spell before even attempting to write it into a spellbook.


When creating magic items, such as scrolls, DMG p.283 says:

Creating an item requires one day per 1,000 gp in the item’s base price, with a minimum of at least one day. (...)

The caster works for 8 hours each day. He cannot rush the process by working longer each day. But the days need not be consecutive, and the caster can use the rest of his time as he sees fit. A character who takes a break from item creation to adventure should keep track of how many days of work remain on that item.

I'd find an analogy between copying the spell to a spellbook, and creating a scroll, and I'd say the wizard cannot work 24 hours in a row.

The other analogy would be between 24 hours and 1 day; the spell would be copied to spellbook in 8 hours, but for the rest of the day the wizard neither can copy any other spell nor create any magical item.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any reference supporting the idea that sell books are treated as magic items in this one respect? Spell books aren't mentioned in the sections on crafting magic items, don't have magic auras, don't require experience points to craft, have no supernatural properties, and the main thing that differentiates them from a mundane book is that mundane books don't have nearly as much rule support. They have nothing else in common with magic items; Why this? \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Dec 8 '15 at 0:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ I do not say spellbooks are treated as magic items. I say that when you incorrectly write a spell to a scroll, the spell probably fizzles, but it's one time loss. When you incorrectly copy the spell to your spellbook, I'd be afraid what spell you'd prepare using it anytime you try. So I'd be much more careful with spellbooks and would not work harder then 8 hours a day knowing what happens when I try with scrolls. \$\endgroup\$ – jan.supol Dec 8 '15 at 9:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's one possible justification for ruling things the way you suggest. It appears to be pure speculation on your part, though - unless you have a reference to back it up? \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Dec 8 '15 at 22:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ More to the point: If, as you say, writing a spell is supposed to work the same way as crafting a magic item, why do the sections of the rules that describe those two activities express their time requirements so differently? \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Dec 8 '15 at 22:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ The difference in time units is given by the amount of time needed. Learning and writing a spell is matter of hours, creating magic items is matter of days. See e.g. Complete Arcane p.140, Mastering a Foreign Spellbook where they switch to days. Ordinary understanding the spell (PHB) is 24 hours, but mastering the spellbook is week + 1 day per spell. \$\endgroup\$ – jan.supol Dec 10 '15 at 0:18

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