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Space in the Spellbook: A spell takes up one page of the spellbook per spell level. Even a 0-level spell (cantrip) takes one page. A spellbook has 100 pages.

Suppose I (a wizard) have a spellbook that is running out of space, and I see that I have no need for all of my 0-level spells (who prepares resistance?!). Can I erase those 0-level spells from my spellbook? If so, does that free up space for other spells, or is it like ripping a page out of the book in which case there's just 99 pages left?

Does the spell erase have anything to do with this?


I should also mention that I am somewhat unwilling to invest in a bag of holding or handy haversack (and, with Str 7, I want to minimize the baggage I must carry on my person), so I'd like to avoid carrying multiple spellbooks, if that is possible.

Also worth mentioning is that this is for PFS, so "ask your GM" isn't what I'd like to hear.

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The spell erase is typically used during actual play for eliminating dangerous magical writing. A wizard could use the erase spell to purge unwanted spells from his spellbook—it's just writing, after all—, but, were a wizard to ever totally remove any spells from his spellbook without having a duplicate stored elsewhere, other wizards would be aghast (not a ghast—that's different).

If the current spellbook is low on space, most wizards just buy another spellbook (or persuade the GM to make available a bigger, single book). No wizard wants to have to make the terrible choice between an old spell and a new one; a wizard wants them all, no matter how inconsequential a spell may seem. (Pathfinder Society typically bans the majority of item creation, but in the typical campaign, for example, a wizard wants the spell resistance in his spellbook to manufacture cloaks of resistance.)

If a PC's Strength is so low that his carrying capacity prevents toting more than one 3-lb. spellbook, this player really does urge the PC prioritize acquiring means to increase his carrying capacity (like a heavyload belt or a handy haversack) or transferring his spells as soon as possible to a blessed book rather than the PC destroying his own class features! Wizardly power comes from an extensive library, no matter how much an individual PC would prefer traveling light. (Traveling light is for—ew!— sorcerers!)

(At the standard rate of spell acquisition—two spells per wizard level—a typical Int 20 wizard's starting spellbook lasts until level 11: 20 0-level spell, 10 1st-level spells, 4 2nd-level spells, 4 3rd-level spells, 4 4th-level spells, 4 5th-level spells, and 2 6th-level spell with 2 pages remaining. By then—and very likely well before—the burden of acquiring a belt, book, or haversack shouldn't be so great.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Using Erase on a Wizard's Spellbook could be God-Level trolling. I think it would be epic level prep to greater invisibility into a sleeping enemy wizard's abode and erase everything from his spellbook. \$\endgroup\$ – Zangief Feb 2 '17 at 7:27
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Usually wizards who need more space just pick another spellbook to have more space. If you have items like a bag of holding bringing many spellbooks is not a problem. For this reason there is no real rules for erasing spells from your spellbook.

Of course, an erase spell would work. You wouldn't recover the components for writing it but you would recover the space, indeed.

A GM could easily rule that there are other ways of cleaning a page, after all it doesn't really change the balance of the universe.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I expected this to be the answer. I ask exactly because I am somewhat unwilling to invest in a bag of holding or handy haversack (and wizards aren't known for their high carrying capacity), and I'd like to avoid having multiple spellbooks. It seems that I must compromise. \$\endgroup\$ – MGlacier Feb 1 '17 at 14:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ask the fighter to carry some of your books, and offer him buff spells as a compensation! You could also buy a mule to carry your stuff, if you are at the point where you don't have enough of one spellbook it should be pretty cheap, but I am not sure how this works in PFS. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Feb 1 '17 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure if leaving my tools of arcane success (the only things separating me from a weak commoner) on the street for any mule thief to find is such a good idea. Sure, it's PFS, the GM can't have a random encounter happen off-screen or whatever, but no sane wizard would risk losing their spellbook like that. \$\endgroup\$ – MGlacier Feb 1 '17 at 15:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ No sane wizard would just throw away his precious magical knowledge either, but that's what you want to do... \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Feb 1 '17 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreySage: I can imagine the case of a wizard who really wants to optimize the space in his spellbooks. Let's take the case of a wizard with two spellbooks with only 3 pages left in each (maybe the previous were removed previously) one contains spell1 (1 page), the other contains spell2 (2 pages) and he just found a scroll of spell3 (3 pages). He is in a hostile country where there is no paper other that his spellbooks (and the scroll he just found). In this quite extreme example wouldn't you like to "move" spell1 to book2 ? \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Feb 2 '17 at 8:35
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As a GM, I'd say that spells in a book are done in ink, not pencil. Therefore they would be immutable. You could rip out the page, but that wouldn't really help you much; it would reduce the page count AND make it easier to lose the spell, too.

I would allow a player to research a new spell that erases spells (or non-spell text, etc.) from a book.

Historically, parchment was erased and reused. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palimpsest But as a GM, I'd be careful with allowing that for spellbooks, especially. Mostly for game balance, but I'd say the higher the spell level, the more difficult the erasure would be and the more prone to page damage it is. And if they don't erase it fully, it might disrupt the spell permanently (is that faded letter part of THIS spell or the previous spell that I erased?) So the risk exists, but I wouldn't make it impossible or HIGH risk.

As the above answer recommends, I'd push towards buying a second spellbook rather than erasing and reusing.

At higher levels (and better income), I'd suggest having spells written in multiple books, even. Maybe a "master set" of all spells ever learned that stay at the home "office". Then a "travel" set that is focused more on the kind of spells needed while adventuring (those 1st level combat spells aren't really useful once you've mastered 6th and 7th level spells, now are they?).

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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems you didn't notice the mention the the erase spell by the OP. Welcome here btw. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Feb 1 '17 at 14:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi CM_Dayton, and welcome to RPG Stack Exchange. Check out our tour when you can to see how we work here. The querent is playing in Pathfinder Society which has fairly strict guidelines on what its GMs and players can or should do. In addition, we encourage basing answers on experience, facts and/or rules as appropriate; a GM opining on what they personally would do doesn't tend to score well (because anyone can opine) -- the answers that do well justify why their particular approach ought to be followed based on citations of experience, rules, advice from an authoritative source, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 1 '17 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ It isn't clear which answer you are referring to when you say "the above answer" -- please mind that different users sort answers differently so referencing answers "above" or "below" can create confusion. It's better to link to the answer directly. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Feb 1 '17 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, I was referring to Usually wizards who need more space just pick another spellbook to have more space from Anne Aunyme. \$\endgroup\$ – CaM Feb 1 '17 at 19:38

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