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'Replacing and Copying Spellbooks' Question


Rules Questions


I've read the entire page and checked out several threads and I can't seem to find the answer. (I apologize in advance if it is stated somewhere and I've had blinders on this whole time.)

What is the gold cost for writing a spell into a spellbook actually for? What are you paying for when you pay the 5gp to scribe a 0 level spell into your spellbook?

Some background: I'm running a homebrew campaign and my wizard lost her spellbook escaping from a disaster in the party's home town. She's only level one, so it isn't necessarily a huge loss and she likes the realism of her character on the run learning all of her spells as she goes, somewhat starting from scratch. For the sake of this post, I'm referring to this bit from the Core Rulebook specifically:

Core Rulebook wrote:

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.

We understand the technical rules for the checks and costs to copy a spell down from another source into a new spellbook and in this case, she would be copying down into her new spellbook the spells she had prepared from her original spellbook earlier in the day. But where is the money going? We had originally assumed it was the fee paid to an NPC that a PC might be borrowing a spellbook from, but the above quote dismisses that theory. If the wizard PC is hiding out with the rest of her party in a cave outside of the destroyed town writing down her prepared spells from memory by candle-light, who is she paying the gold cost to?

I know that I could homebrew it so that there is no charge for this particular instance, but both my player and I want to keep things balanced and mostly want to know how you guys would handle the thematics behind this scribing cost.

Thanks in advance!


Rare, magically-conductive inks, I would assume.

Pathfinder rules don't seem to say exactly what you're paying for. In 3.5, the rule was "materials for writing the spell cost X per page", which seems to more closely tie the scribing costs to what's going on the page.

In this case, you might be able to get away with having him make some kind of spellcraft/arcana/nature/craft check to produce a handmade substitute that will hold the energies required without combusting (or running, or smearing over the course of your next couple levels, or coming to life once it's absorbed enough arcane energy...)


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

I seem to recall previous editions being more clear, but basically this is the cost of the materials themselves, special inks and whatnot.

Note that for whatever reason, copying a spell book costs half the price. It wouldn't be horrible to give the half price discount for spells that are being copied from preparation, rather than an existing spellbook.


shaventalz wrote:

Rare, magically-conductive inks, I would assume.

Pathfinder rules don't seem to say exactly what you're paying for. In 3.5, the rule was "materials for writing the spell cost X per page", which seems to more closely tie the scribing costs to what's going on the page.

In this case, you might be able to get away with having him make some kind of spellcraft/arcana/nature/craft check to produce a handmade substitute that will hold the energies required without combusting (or running, or smearing over the course of your next couple levels, or coming to life once it's absorbed enough arcane energy...)

Dave Justus wrote:

I seem to recall previous editions being more clear, but basically this is the cost of the materials themselves, special inks and whatnot.

Note that for whatever reason, copying a spell book costs half the price. It wouldn't be horrible to give the half price discount for spells that are being copied from preparation, rather than an existing spellbook.

Thanks for the feedback, guys! Having it be the ink/material used makes the most sense, especially as it coincides with the spell level and amount of pages it would take up. It was something my wizard and I considered, it just seems strange to have to buy the ink, book and other materials, etc, then pay for it again when you actually do scribe the spell.

I think I can combine both of your ideas, definitely making it half cost for this (hopefully) one time instance of her having to scribe down her prepared scrolls from memory and also coming up with some sort of check to use supplies she might not have.

As it stands (and as my player and I both experienced) there isn't an in-depth ruleset on this because it can bog down a game session trying to figure out how it all works. Having to scribe spells into your spellbook is a balancing factor that both my player and I agree with, but it just seems to really get in the way of the roleplaying aspect in a scenario such as this.

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