I always thought that spells were prepared then expended when they're cast, in much the same way that a scroll holds a spell that's ready for casting yet casting the spell from the scroll causes that spell to disappear.

Why, then, is a wizard forbidden from preparing a spell from a scroll directly? What's the difference between a wizard having a scroll of a spell (that's already prepared and ready to be used) and the wizard having the spell in his spellbook?

  • \$\begingroup\$ If that's not the question you wanted answered originally, please change it back. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2016 at 9:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please, understand, that was exactly the question I wanted to ask, it would be dishonest to change it just to stop downvotes, the question was based on my lack of knowledge about D&D 3.5e rules. I readed somewhere Wizards cannot learn spell from scrolls, that was a fake assumption because I not checked that against original manual. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2016 at 10:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ But changing the question so it's the question you want answered isn't dishonest. 3.5e is vast and peppered with precise jargon that's often opaque to even longtime fans. Your question is/was being punished because of a vocabulary gap that you didn't know existed (learned and prepared are two different things, for example, and memorized isn't a thing at all). I think I or another 3.5e person should've stepped in earlier to ask for clarification rather than letting the question get beaten up this badly, so mea culpa. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2016 at 10:17

1 Answer 1


Wizards can, as per the rules, copy spells from scrolls into their spellbooks. Wizards don't memorize spells but rather jot them down in their spellbooks and then prepare them (usually) early in the day. The spells a wizard has prepared are the spells he can cast for that day, barring any other abilities he may have.

Traditionally, aside from gaining new wizard levels, spell scrolls and found spellbooks are the primary sources from which wizards can copy and add spells to their own spellbooks.

If your question is asking about why wizards can't simply prepare spells from scrolls, bypassing the spellbook entirely, well, you'd have to go to the designers of 3.0e/3.5e and ask them. What I can tell you is that copying a scroll has a cost associated with it (100gp per page and 24 hours time) and the scroll itself is consumed, just as if it had been used to cast the spell. If you could prepare spells directly from a scroll, there'd be no reason to keep a spellbook around or to ever spend your resources copying spells into your spellbook.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok thanks for updating the answer on the edited (not by me ) question. I would assume as "in world explaination" that a scroll needs to be deciphered, and hence it is more convenient transcribing it than learning by heart the deciphered version. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2016 at 11:37

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