0
\$\begingroup\$

Or must they use the 50gp spellbook? (PHB pg 150)

RAW only, please.

\$\endgroup\$
0

4 Answers 4

15
\$\begingroup\$

Pg. 150/153 holds the answer.

PHB pg. 150
A book might contain poetry, historical accounts, information pertaining to a particular field of lore, diagrams and notes on gnomish contraptions, or just about anything else that can be represented using text or pictures. A book of spells is a spellbook (described later in this section).

And...

PHB pg. 153
Spellbook. Essential for wizards, a spellbook is a leather-bound tome with 100 blank vellum pages suitable for recording spells.

Emphasis mine, but it seems to strongly indicate that there is something special about the more expensive spellbook.

\$\endgroup\$
0
12
\$\begingroup\$

You can copy spells into a regular book.

You can copy a spell from your own spellbook into another book—for example, if you want to make a backup copy of your spellbook.

That's about as far as it goes, though. A book and a spellbook are separate items, and anything that requires a spellbook won't work with a regular book.

You can't prepare spells from a regular book.

You prepare the list of wizard spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of wizard spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + your wizard level (minimum of one spell).

You also can't cast ritual spells from it.

You can cast a wizard spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your spellbook.

You can't get your free spells from levelling without a spellbook.

Each time you gain a wizard level, you can add two wizard spells of your choice to your spellbook for free.

You can't use Arcane Recovery without a spellbook.

You have learned to regain some of your magical energy by studying your spellbook.

You can't gain the Spell Mastery feature without a spellbook.

Choose a 1st-level wizard spell and a 2nd-level wizard spell that are in your spellbook.

And you can't gain the Signature Spells feature without a spellbook.

Choose two 3rd-level wizard spells in your spellbook as your signature spells.

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent answer. Can they copy only into a book, or can they copy into a backup spellbook? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2016 at 17:34
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @SorcererQzot Thanks! As for that question, if you want a strict RAW answer it might be worth asking it as a separate question - it appears to be much more complicated than I expected. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Apr 23, 2016 at 17:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SorcererQzot A spellbook is a book, just a particular type of book. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Apr 26, 2016 at 1:08
6
\$\begingroup\$

A book would not be suitable, as it already contains ". . . poetry, historical accounts, information pertaining to a particular field of lore, diagrams and notes on gnomish contraptions, . . . ", leaving just the margins for a wizard to scrawl his notes. The more expensive "spellbook" is blank, ready to have spells written on its pages.

\$\endgroup\$
0
2
\$\begingroup\$

Any empty book will do, but you want the spellbook

The description under "Your Spellbook" for the wizard on page 114 PHB states:

Your spellbook is a unique compilation of spells, with its own decorative flourishes and margin notes. It might be a plain, functional leather volume that you received as a gift from your master, a finely bound gilt-edged tome you found in an ancient library, or even a loose collection of notes scrounged together after you lost your previous spellbook in a mishap.

So, a spellbook is just a normal, mundane book that you record your spells in. It is not magical nor endowed with mystic powers by itself. It does not even have to be a book, it could be a loose collection of notes scrounged together. It does not have to be the spellbook from the equipment list, you can use any book, and by writing your spells into it, it becomes your spellbook.

So, to answer your question, you do not have to buy a spellbook for backing up your spells. You could use a cheaper book as the replacement spellbook.

But there are good reasons why for the low, low price of just 25 gp extra, you want to buy a spellbook. It is empty, it is lightweight and it is more durable. Look at their descriptions:

Spellbook. Essential for wizards, a spellbook is a leather-bound tome with 100 blank vellum pages suitable for recording spells. [Price: 50 gp, Weight: 3 lbs].

Book. A book might contain poetry, historical accounts, information pertaining to a particular field of lore, diagrams and notes on gnomish contraptions, or just about anything else that can be represented using text or pictures. A book of spells is a spellbook (described later in this section). [Price: 25 gp, Weight: 5 lbs].

(This confirms that if you fill a book with spells, it counts as a spellbook, as discussed above.)

Empty

The normal book on the equipment list is already filled with just about anything else that can be represented using text or pictures, so technically the spellbook is the only empty book you can buy from the equipment list.

Surely you should be able to buy an empty notebook at a price that would be as cheap if not cheaper than one laboriously filled with art and writing, even if that is not on the list. So what else is special about the more expensive spellbook?

Lightweight

This is the main reason, because it always applies, no DM rulings involved: the normal book weighs 5 pounds, while the spellbook weighs 3 pounds. This weight difference is a huge difference for the typical wizard and his anaemic strength, easily worth 25 gp. This is the "something special about it" in this answer.

From my own experience playing a wizard, every pound does count. My wizard has been spending a lot more money than 25 gp for obtaining lightweight silk clothing and similar items to save a pound here and there. If I had the choice to use a cheaper empty book instead of a spellbook, I would buy the more expensive book in any situation I would be able to afford it.

Durable

The spellbook is bound in leather, and the pages are vellum, a high quality, expensive material made from calfskin, not just paper or papyrus. And that is more durable and costs more.

Sure, you could buy a flimsy pulp book with cardboard cover, but is that what you want to record your precious spells in? What if you fall into water, trigger a fire trap, or exprience any of the many other dangers adventuring brings? You want the book to survive.

Now, what is the game mechanics effect of this? After all, your equipment having to make saving throws in a fireball is a thing of editions past. Consider that a DM still can still rule that a cheaper, less durable book is more easily damaged in a mishap, after all there can be consequences for cutting corners. You don't want to take that chance with that for a mere 25 gp difference.

\$\endgroup\$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .