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Spellbooks are lame.


Advice


Unless they're more like the spellbooks in Ultimate Magic. That section is really cool, but the rules for preparation rituals are kind of fuzzy.

Are there any other means of making a spellbook cool and interesting? I'm new to wizards and I want to play heavily into the R&D side of the arcane so my books are going to be very important.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, I heard that there's a method by which wizards can use them to allow them to bend reality.


please explain. I don't see what's wrong with spellbooks as is (or similarly, witch's familiars since it's close to the same.)


On the note of bending reality, how about things that help you protect your spell book for would-be thieves or vandals? Is Ultimate Magic the only source of "preparation rituals?"

Maybe there's a 3PP expansion on that?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There aren't any 3rd party preparation rituals that I know of. I've been thinking about it for awhile, but it's pretty niche.

Things I've heard of:
* Secret Page spell
* Locks
* Poisoned locks
* Symbol spells placed well
* Arcane Mark cast on it for Instant Summons
* Contact Poison on the covers hardcover.


Cheapy wrote:

There aren't any 3rd party preparation rituals that I know of. I've been thinking about it for awhile, but it's pretty niche.

Things I've heard of:
* Secret Page spell
* Locks
* Poisoned locks
* Symbol spells placed well
* Arcane Mark cast on it for Instant Summons
* Contact Poison on the covers hardcover.

Any insight on how that contact poison works. Seems detrimental to the wizard as well. Is it as simple as knowing to wear gloves?


Marthian wrote:
please explain. I don't see what's wrong with spellbooks as is (or similarly, witch's familiars since it's close to the same.)

Oh, the witch's familiar is lame all right. No possibility of redundancy unless there are multiple witches in the party. Lose all but your bare minimum spells if you die and don't get ressed fast enough. Lose all but your bare minimum spells if your familiar gets caught in an area effect. Can't use your familiar for anything that might put it in harm's way, defeating the entire purpose of having a familiar.

Of course these aren't problems with spellbooks. Yeah they're kind of obnoxious and loaded with stupidity (stupidly expensive ink and paper, absurd page lengths for the power word spells, costs feats for the 20 int wizard to remember some of the spells he prepares every freaking day, etc.) But they're better than a witch's familiar.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yep, knowing to wear gloves. :)


Enchant your spellbook (probably a Blessed Book as soon as you can afford it) as an intelligent magic item. Give it the ability to defend itself by casting multiple 1st level spells per day, give it a mobility power to free itself if stolen (limbs, flight or teleportation).

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Try and scratch and lick version of your spell books. They are far from lame.


One method i've used before was allowing a player to use an enchanted crystal shard as a spellbook. the thing radiates magic though, so it has drawbacks, but it is easily carried and doesn't look like a spell book.


Explosive runes. Snake Sigil. Tossing it in the Handy Haversack. Hiding it in another book. Hiding it among cursed items that appear valuable.

If your looking for a different thing to hold rather than a book there a few. Clay Tablets, Scrolls, Carvings on your staff, etchings on the inside of crystals that you have to shine light through to read.

Osirion

Cheapy wrote:
Yep, knowing to wear gloves. :)

Mage hand, 0 level cantrip FTW.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There was a 2nd edition softcover book entitled "Pages From the Mages" (which itself came from various articles within Dragon Magazine back in the day). It described several spellbooks, with most of them being fairly unique; pages made out of hammered gold, covers being leather from some magical beast, etc...

If you can find a copy (or find some of the articles in Dragon Magazine), it should give you plenty of great ideas...


Atarlost wrote:
Marthian wrote:
please explain. I don't see what's wrong with spellbooks as is (or similarly, witch's familiars since it's close to the same.)

Oh, the witch's familiar is lame all right. No possibility of redundancy unless there are multiple witches in the party. Lose all but your bare minimum spells if you die and don't get ressed fast enough. Lose all but your bare minimum spells if your familiar gets caught in an area effect. Can't use your familiar for anything that might put it in harm's way, defeating the entire purpose of having a familiar.

Of course these aren't problems with spellbooks. Yeah they're kind of obnoxious and loaded with stupidity (stupidly expensive ink and paper, absurd page lengths for the power word spells, costs feats for the 20 int wizard to remember some of the spells he prepares every freaking day, etc.) But they're better than a witch's familiar.

I never said they were lame. In fact, they are pretty cool. The familiar isn't as weak as you put it to be (they have Improved Evasion at level 1! Even nice reflex saves as well.) You're not really supposed to use Familiars in combat period. Unless you have improved familiar. On top of that, they give a free boost to stats based on it's type, and Alertness.

Qadira

Bomanz wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Yep, knowing to wear gloves. :)
Mage hand, 0 level cantrip FTW.

most GMs count spellbooks as magic items, so this wouldn't work in those games.

Qadira

saw a wizard type in 3.0/3.5 that tatooed his spell pages on his body...
guess if he was prepping Spider climb he might need to examine his feet for a while (removing his shoes).

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Back in 3.5, "Complete Arcane" had a section on spellbooks with ways to turn them into actual magic items, applying energy resistances, glamering them to appear as something other than a book, waterproofing, protection from pests, and the like.
I think there might have been a bit in Dragon Magazine about beefing up spellbooks, but I can't recall where.

@nosig --> if my GM tells me I can't use my own cantrips to turn the pages on my own book, I'm gonna look at him like he's grown an extra sphincter on his forehead.


Foghammer wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

There aren't any 3rd party preparation rituals that I know of. I've been thinking about it for awhile, but it's pretty niche.

Things I've heard of:
* Secret Page spell
* Locks
* Poisoned locks
* Symbol spells placed well
* Arcane Mark cast on it for Instant Summons
* Contact Poison on the covers hardcover.

Any insight on how that contact poison works. Seems detrimental to the wizard as well. Is it as simple as knowing to wear gloves?

If you don't have 'poison use' you always risk poisoning yourself if you are not immune to your own poison.

Spellbooks are a crux, but honestly, anyone smart enough to outsmart the wizard is going to get it no matter what you do. I wouldn't waste my time with poisons or hidden pages or anything silly like that which can simply and easily be removed by a few dispels.

I'd be more focused on magical retrieval of it, but I honestly don't know of any legitimate applications as though it's magical, it's not a magical item. It's basically a pile of scrolls so like you're mentioning, it would have to be a ritual of some sort.

Other than what you've mentioned, I don't know of any.

Qadira

Stockvillain wrote:

Back in 3.5, "Complete Arcane" had a section on spellbooks with ways to turn them into actual magic items, applying energy resistances, glamering them to appear as something other than a book, waterproofing, protection from pests, and the like.

I think there might have been a bit in Dragon Magazine about beefing up spellbooks, but I can't recall where.

@nosig --> if my GM tells me I can't use my own cantrips to turn the pages on my own book, I'm gonna look at him like he's grown an extra sphincter on his forehead.

LOL! yeah, been there. like the GM I played for who had a problem with players playing "cross-gendered" characters. I had created a female elf for his game... but had to change my PC to a Male elf. He had no problem with persons playing non-humans, just someone playing a different sex.

I was just pointing out that IF a spell book is a MAGIC item, Mage Hand can't manipulate it (turn the pages). By RAW.


nosig wrote:

saw a wizard type in 3.0/3.5 that tatooed his spell pages on his body...

guess if he was prepping Spider climb he might need to examine his feet for a while (removing his shoes).

This is the classical 'cop out' of the spell book that I'm aware of. It originated in some interesting places in 2E and the rest is history. I felt it removed one of the only real restrictions of a mage, their spellbook.

PF so far has seemed intent on maintaining this crux of the class. I think it's best that way, but players generally want it for the cool factor and munchin aspect of never relying on a heavy book for ultimate power.

Qadira

Creation of a few "Backup" spell books might be a good idea.

and cutting a deal with another local (NPC) wizard, a sort of "insurance policy", for help re-building your book if it gets lost (and helping him rebuild his). This might even net you a few new spells, as he will want you to have HIS favorite spells in your book (as his backup).


Craft construct and have it run away and hide if someone other than the owner tries to open it.

For those with a nasty disposition. Instead of having pages, it unfolds into one giant sheet which has to be refolded exactly the right way or it will never fit between the covers again (see any gas station map for an example).

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cnetarian, I do so love that idea.

"Haha! You may have learned my mystical secrets, but you shall forevermore have an awkward wad of parchment filling that bag of holding you prize so dearly! Muwahahahahah!"


Quori wrote:
nosig wrote:

saw a wizard type in 3.0/3.5 that tatooed his spell pages on his body...

guess if he was prepping Spider climb he might need to examine his feet for a while (removing his shoes).

This is the classical 'cop out' of the spell book that I'm aware of. It originated in some interesting places in 2E and the rest is history. I felt it removed one of the only real restrictions of a mage, their spellbook.

PF so far has seemed intent on maintaining this crux of the class. I think it's best that way, but players generally want it for the cool factor and munchin aspect of never relying on a heavy book for ultimate power.

It's not such a cop out when someone steals your 'spell book'.

Not an exact match for a story, but kind of close. In a homebrew campaign, the GM came up with a different holy symbol for each domain a god had, you'd pick the symbol of one of the two domains that you knew to carry with you. The god of law for the Law domain had a tattoo of an eye on your eyelid, representing how justice is always watching and all that.

We had a recurring villain, a fallen paladin who was killed and came back as a death knight. He had a fondness for killing clerics and collecting their holy symbols. We decided to try laying a trap for him, using my cleric, which his holy symbol tattooed on his eyelid. The trap didn't work so well, my cleric died and he took my holy symbol. After being raised, I was still missing my eye.

Moral of the story: tattoos can be stolen too.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Book Ward.

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