My character has only a few years to live and wants to become a lich. Lich-friendly spells tend to be in Necromancy but I specialized in Conjuration and forbid Necromancy/Enchant instead of Illusion/Enchant (like most wizards). Now I need that school.

Are there any ways my character can gain access to the necromancy school without using scrolls/wands?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Unless you are using Use Magic Device, scrolls and wands are out of the equation too: "Spells of the prohibited school or schools are not available to the wizard, and she can’t even cast such spells from scrolls or fire them from wands." (PHB1 p57) Also see this question \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 10:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What lich-friendly spells did you want access to? Maybe there's a workaround for the specific effect you're after. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Enchantment/Evocation is the most often recommended pair of bannings. Illusion is a powerful school no wizard wants to be without; Necromancy is typically recommended for banking before Illusion is. See this question for details. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 15:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Illusion's more powerful spells, mirror image and invisibility, are both at low enough levels that they can be easily replicated with a wand and UMD. That's my reasoning for abandoning it. Something like Clone is difficult and expensive, I don't know of any particularly good Illusion spells past level 5. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


Liches do not require access to the school of Necromancy; the only requirement to become a lich is to have a phylactery, and that only requires Craft Wondrous Item, the ability to cast spells (any kind of spells), and caster level 11th (and a lot of money and XP).

Liches also do not have special affinity for necromancy; their magical talents apply equally-well to all schools of magic.

In fact, the word “necromancy” does not appear anywhere in the Lich monster entry on the SRD.

But anyway, getting spells from a banned school as a wizard can be done. A wizard cannot use items of banned spells without Use Magic Device, but he can use UMD. Eternal wands from Magic Item Compendium don’t even require that a spell is in your spell list, so those shouldn’t even require UMD. Banning schools as a wizard also doesn’t affect other classes, so multiclassing is an option. But neither of these is casting the spell as a wizard.

For that, options become somewhat more obscure:

  • Recaster (Races of Eberron) and wyrm wizard (Dragon Magic) are prestige classes that let you learn spells from other spell lists entirely. No restriction based on banned schools is mentioned.

    • Rainbow servant (Complete Divine) goes further, letting you learn all cleric spells, again without reference to being limited by school banning.
  • The Spell Reprieve feat (Lost Empress of Faerûn) lets you learn one spell from a banned school.

    • The Arcane Transfiguration feat from the same source requires Spell Reprieve and Item Reprieve, so it's extremely expensive, but it does allow you to open up an entire school you had previously banned.
  • The Diversified Casting feat (Dragon vol. 325) lets you cast three spells from a banned school.


I found an answer in page 192 of PHBII under Class Feature Retraining.

Some class features offer two or more different options, such as the choice of combat style a ranger must take at 2nd level. Class feature retraining allows you to swap out one option for another [...] Upon gaining a new level, a necromancer could change her school specialization to evocation, thus becoming an evoker. At the same time, she could also choose to change her prohibited schools from conjuration and illusion to abjuration and transmutation. Doing so would cause her to lose access to all spells from the newly designated prohibited schools. Even if her spellbook contains those spells, she would lose the ability to prepare and cast them.

Also, I'm aware that liches don't need Necromancy, but debuffing is crucial to me. Also Clone. Really the only two spells I use regularly are Mirror Image and Invisibily, both of which can be turned into scrolls and used with UMD.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Both of those spells are extremely expensive in item form, since they are not 1st level and they want higher caster levels. And again, Evocation is a much more easily-banned school; Conjuration has plenty of blasting, and Illusion can always replicate its few actually-useful effects with shadow evocation. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 19:28

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