What is allowed to be considered damage to a spellbook? The easiest understanding is clearly damage that reduces the HP. Is alteration or loss of information inside also damage?

For instance, the spell Erase could be considered very damaging to a spellbook, but can the lose of information be considered damage?

Would spilled ink over a written page be considered damage?

A ripped out page is clearly damage, but what about the contents of the page?


2 Answers 2


To the first part of the question. Erase is not considered damage to the item because it doesn't do HP damage. Physical violence is not done to the book at any point during a casting of Erase. If I stab the book, throw it in a fire, or otherwise physically harm it, it takes hit point damage like any other object.

Pathfinder doesn't model the theoretical loss of information in the spellbook well because that's actually handled as a sort of damage to a character. The spellbook is a record of character progression in a way. A wizard or alchemist whose formula/spellbook is damaged in the way you've described loses access to those spells if they didn't have them prepared. However, a wizard or similar caster could rescribe prepared spells, as mentioned here

Replacing and Copying Spellbooks

A wizard can use the procedure for learning a spell to reconstruct a lost spellbook. If he already has a particular spell prepared, he can write it directly into a new book at the same cost required to write a spell into a spellbook. The process wipes the prepared spell from his mind, just as casting it would. If he does not have the spell prepared, he can prepare it from a borrowed spellbook and then write it into a new book.

Duplicating an existing spellbook uses the same procedure as replacing it, but the task is much easier. The time requirement and cost per page are halved.

The good news here is that duplicating the spellbook is easier, and so most of the time a caster who needs a spellbook should spend the time duplicating it, just so they don't lose what amounts to their entire character progression.

Mending, Make Whole and so on typically cover the structural damage to an object, that is the HP of the object, more or less. Those two are the only ones I could find on the Paizo SRD which cover it. So if your spellbook was a jar full of scrolls, and the jar was broken, the scrolls fall out, neither of these spells would return the contents to the jar. So, [mending][2] is a cantrip and reads like this.

All of the pieces of an object must be present for this spell to function. Magic items can be repaired by this spell, but you must have a caster level equal to or higher than that of the object. Magic items that are destroyed (at 0 hit points or less) can be repaired with this spell, but this spell does not restore their magic abilities.

Mending would only let you repair the jar if you had all of the fragments. My understanding of the spells leads me to believe that mending would allow you to, were you in posession of the ripped pages of your book and it suffered scrapes, and so on (the typical sort of things that a book might suffer really) you could put it back together and it would be none the worse for wear. If those pages were burned, digested or otherwise discorporated, mending isn't going to be able to repair the book at all. It might fix spills and so on, that's probably at the discretion of the GM.

Make whole can fix destroyed magic items (at 0 hit points or less), and restores the magic properties of the item if your caster level is at least twice that of the item. Items with charges (such as wands) and single-use items (such as potions and scrolls) cannot be repaired in this way.

This looks pretty good but,

This spell functions as mending

Which means we still need all the pieces unless I'm mistaken. Which is why the spell Book Ward exists. Unfortunately it isn't in the Paizo SRD and I'm away from my books at the moment. It does confer acid and fire resistance to an object, which would definetly help keep that "destroying pages" problem.

Long Story short, if you could put your spellbook back together with mundane means, these spells will save you the trouble. Pages would be knit back in as though they were never ripped, the spine would be uncracked, locks and clasps would be reattached, etc.

If you would actually have to replace pages, their contents or the materials that make up the book, these spells likely will not help you, and you're out of luck. Backup your spellbook just like you (should) backup your files.


Anything that makes sense, really. Fireball, the staple in wizard-offs, deal fire damage in an area of effect. Anything exposed suffers the xd6 fire damage, including your clothes and spell tome, if you were foolish enough to not have it in a bag in between castings. Alteration and loss of information would be considered removing spells that were stored in the spellbook, but not damage to the actual book. Same can be said for the erase spell. Spilled ink would damage the pages, but a simple cantrip[In 3.5, there is Prestigitation, but am not sure about Pathfinder], or the erase spell, as mentioned, could reverse the damage. Only your example of ripping a page out could give the spellbook permanent damage, but keep in mind that the page itself, if carefully taken out, would still be usable [probably a DC 5 or 10 dexterity check]. As for the information on the page, if the check to carefully take it out succeeds and the information doesn't continue onto another page, then it can easily be used as if it was still attatched to the spellbook and have spells cast from it.

As for the spilling of ink on a page or set of pages with spells inscribed, it would be best to ask your GM for an official ruling, but due to how the part that makes a spell in a spell book a spell is the magic imbued in it, it should still work as if the page hasn't been altered, or perhaps you need to make a spellcraft check to salvage it. Again, ask your GM.

As for the actual HP and harness, it is a book, not a cube of adamantium. It would most likely have a hardness of 2 if hard copy, and 15 hitpoints if hardcopy (I'd like to imagine all wizard's spellbooks being hard copy grimoires). It can survive a single dagger to the binding, but any more hits and it is pretty much worthless.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why could Prestigitation tell the difference between the bad ink and the good ink? It would clean the page and remove everything is my understanding. You might get away with it if they are different inks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jan 7, 2017 at 15:13

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