When spellbooks get wet


Rules Questions

1 to 50 of 427 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>

When a spellbook is dunked in water, is it compromised in any way? Should some spells be inaccessible? Can it be fixed?


Technically, it should be.
but it's a kind of a dick thing to do to people, might as well steal their spell component pouch while you're at it.

a Mending spell might fix it, but since your spell book's more or less destroyed, you're stuck without it, and need someone else to do it.


I'd say it's up to you.

Do you assume Wizards are smart enough to 'weatherproof' their books?

If we don't assume that they are weatherproofed, *can* you weatherproof a book? Are there spells for doing so? (suggestion: level 0: Resist Weather:: The item subjected to this spell is not affected by weather (water, wind, sun et al) that does not cause HP damage.)

Is there a purpose to destroying a wizard's spell book? Is the campaign ready to deal with that? Bear in mind that destroying spellbooks is tantamount to taking away BAB to a melee! Sure you can take Spell Mastery, and get a few spells that you can prep but taking away the spell books castrates the Wizard.

GNOME

Silver Crusade

Anyone else vaguely remember something about spellbooks having pages made of some form of metal in some setting somewhere?

Shadow Lodge

Karjak Rustscale wrote:

Technically, it should be.

but it's a kind of a dick thing to do to people, might as well steal their spell component pouch while you're at it.

Ya gotta love how anytime anyone dares to suggest attacking a WIZARD'S weakness, they're called a dick and it's considered bad DMing.

Spam a fighter with will saves? Encouraged.

Come up with situations that call for a spell that the sorcerer doesn't know? Encouraged.

Put the paladin in a situation where he can either do a kamakazi run and die or end up falling? Encouraged.

But dare to screw with the board-appointed "win-button" called the wizard? F#@K NO! YOU'RE A HORRIBLE DM! YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

Christ, why bother actually playing the game? If someone says "I think I'll make a wizard" at character creation, just declare them the g!@&&+ned winner.


Kthulhu wrote:


Christ, why bother actually playing the game? If someone says "I think I'll make a wizard" at character creation, just declare them the g$$#**ned winner.

You gotta get them with Rogues and Barbarians before level 5, so when their Wizard dies and they are dejected, they try a different class instead. Something nice and manageable, like a Monk. Or maybe an Oracle.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
Anyone else vaguely remember something about spellbooks having pages made of some form of metal in some setting somewhere?

I thought they where vellum pages, i.e leather as oppose to plant material, so the structure would not be too badly affected by water.

The ink, well hey its magic so lets say its not affected.

If its an in game affect, i.e. there's a consequence for swimming across the amazon, give the spell book a save.

Sitting at the bottom of the ocean for a month would be a different consequence all together.

Grand Lodge

Kthulhu wrote:
Karjak Rustscale wrote:

Technically, it should be.

but it's a kind of a dick thing to do to people, might as well steal their spell component pouch while you're at it.

Ya gotta love how anytime anyone dares to suggest attacking a WIZARD'S weakness, they're called a dick and it's considered bad DMing.

Spam a fighter with will saves? Encouraged.

Come up with situations that call for a spell that the sorcerer doesn't know? Encouraged.

Put the paladin in a situation where he can either do a kamakazi run and die or end up falling? Encouraged.

But dare to screw with the board-appointed "win-button" called the wizard? F#@K NO! YOU'RE A HORRIBLE DM! YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

Christ, why bother actually playing the game? If someone says "I think I'll make a wizard" at character creation, just declare them the g#@@!%ned winner.

There is a difference between attacking a weakness and attacking a weakness that can't be made better. It's one thing to target a fighter's will save and quite another to say that there is no resistence spells, items and that fighters can't add their wisdom to their will save and then spamming will saves. Either the spellbook is assumed to be weatherproofed OR you have a houserule that ALL players know about as to how to go about doing it.

Dark Archive

Kthulhu wrote:

Ya gotta love how anytime anyone dares to suggest attacking a WIZARD'S weakness, they're called a dick and it's considered bad DMing.

Spam a fighter with will saves? Encouraged.

Come up with situations that call for a spell that the sorcerer doesn't know? Encouraged.

Put the paladin in a situation where he can either do a kamakazi run and die or end up falling? Encouraged.

But dare to screw with the board-appointed "win-button" called the wizard? F#@K NO! YOU'RE A HORRIBLE DM! YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

I'm not entirely sure your rant is very true. Basically you're saying that people are encouraging other GM's to actively try to kill their players. Do you really think that's true? I, for one, prefer a coherent storyline with most of the PC's reasonably intact at the end. Make a game challenging, fine. Ruin someone else's, probably one of your friend's, game for no good reason? Not frakking encouraged.

In any event, do you feel better for having gotten that off your chest?


I would say No.

If spell books did not need special inks, and time to scribe... my answer might be different, but as write i would say no.

Wizard already have enough of a weakness without moisture, and dunking in a pond.

(now ying/yang here): if a wizard goes diving underwater for more than 30 minutes then yes, there spell books are fair game, for being exploited, unless the wizard takes measures to protect vs water ((like bags of holding, water prof bags, Spell Bag ... aka Large wine skin made to hold a spell book.... which i would assume all wizard would have been give with the spell book.

Also, with the cost of inks, i would also assume a wizard would then lamination the page with bee wax ((Wax paper been around ages before plastic)). Like i said before more than 30 minutes of water at a time, and books fair game, but short term water damage can be prevented with some good old fashion bee's wax.

SO between bee's wax lamination & Wine skin.. Spell bags. Water should not be a problem.... plus then add Magic Protection and YAAAAAAA.

.
Now Fire on the other hand is a wizard greatest Fear :) ... and power:)
Strange how that works out.


Kthulhu wrote:
Ya gotta love how anytime anyone dares to suggest attacking a WIZARD'S weakness, they're called a dick and it's considered bad DMing.

It *could* be bad DM'n. Is it a plot device designed to push a sense of desperation? or is the DM 'crying' about Wizards being 'the winner'? It all depends on context. There are circumstances where you can cripple/hamper any character: "Oh No! The Fighter has contracted a disease that has taken away his reflexes and strength! Ack! We have to find a cure!" Or, "The rogue was captured and tortured; his hand mangled by torture! We have to find a powerful cleric ASAP!" Those kind of situations are on par with a Wizard losing his spell book. *IN CONTEXT* is it for the story or just peevishness?

I think you could do a whole campaign where the Wizard lost his spell book. Imagine the intro: "Uh. Guys. the trolls peed on my spellbook..." Done well, with lots of options for the Wizard to perform en-route that could be a fun, if difficult, campaign. As an example from literature as to a character losing his 'functionality' look at the Dragonlance Legends sereis: Caramon was a fat drunk pile o'turd at the beginning of that story :) Was it a bad story? Was it one a "winning" oriented player would have stomached playing the Starring role?

Your comment does highlight an oft overlooked aspect of Wizard'n: They are vulnerable not just in combat. How many Wizards (compared to those that do not) take Rings or Amulets over other Bonded items? Staves, wands, et al can be dropped, or disarmed. Rings? You *sleep* with them on... hard to steal a ring off of a finger, even if it's owner is sleeping ;) Is that why it may be seen as dirty pool when a DM *does* go after that weak link?

:D

GNOME


It's been brought up in another thread before but the entry for a blessed book lists a number of traits such as being locked, bound in iron, and water proofed this could be an added bonus over a normal spell book in addition to the extra pages and exemption from materials cost.

If the spell book is vellum it will be more resistant to water but the vellum itself as well as the stitching, glue, and ink can still be ruined. The beeswax idea is interesting i've never heard of any book laminated in such a manner historically, beeswax has been used to coat paintings so it probably would work, how well is another question though.

If the book is dunked in water and it isn't a blessed book or specially treated or protected in any manner I might have the wizard pay the materials cost or half to fix up the damaged pages. For extended periods of time under water use your best judgement.

You could just ignore the potential for water damage to the spell book. I personally feel that just like a paladins code a wizards spell book is a liability that should occasionally come into play. That doesn't mean the paladin has to fall or the wizard is constantly worried about their book being destroyed but it should be something they take into consideration when making decisions, a Wizard should have second thoughts about going for a swim with her spell book.


It depends on how wet you are talking. If it's just a little damp from rain, than it would probably be fairly safe to assume that the base material is not affected enough to be completely destroyed or broken, thus the magic is not affected, and repairing any damage to the base material is simple enough with a mending cantrip. If it's completely immersed in water, with no protection from it, than the base material would be effectively be sundered with the broken condition, if not completely destroyed, and since the spells are effectively written in magic, they would be inaccessible until the book was repaired, if merely broken, or completely gone, if the book is effectively destroyed. As far as it's physical intergrity and holding of magic is concerned, it is really no more than a highly specialized, borderline unique, weapon that is very, very difficult to replace and be effective without.


FireberdGNOME wrote:
[I think you could do a whole campaign where the Wizard lost his spell book. Imagine the intro: "Uh. Guys. the trolls peed on my spellbook..."

Like it... and if I was GMing I'd have some kindof bizarro magichemical reaction occur where the troll's pee mixes with arcane ink and creates an regenerating spellbook ;)

BD


Given everything in the above post, actual damage should be minimal in most cases since waterproofing a spellbook really isn't that difficult, and could realistically be assumed that such protection is part of the listed cost, for most situations that are going to come up. The only time it would really be an issue is long term immersion or being out a storm for several continuous days on end, neither of which really comes up all that often.

Edit: Fire would actually be a much greater threat to a spellbook than water. Water damage is slow and fairly easy to fix, while fire damage is usually instantaneous and flat out destructive.

The Exchange

I recall that in 2nd ed, my wizard always had some overlap between the different volumes of travelling spellbook that he took with him. The master set of books were at home and were duplicated in a different location.

They are as much fair game as having someone steal the fighters magic sword.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

If the suspension in water was long enough to cause some physical damage reasonably, I would first roll percentile dice to see if it was damaged at all -- say there's a 40% chance it took damage. I give the spellbook the advantage because it's probably contained in a protective container and written in good india ink that doesn't run easily, etc.

I would then ask how many spells are in the spellbook. If it's, say, 20 spells, I roll a d20 and whatever the result is, say that's how many spells have been marred. In this specific example, I would reroll a 20 so the wizard would not have lost all spells. And then randomly choose the spells which were messed up.

Or something like that.

I would make sure the wizard either got access to a new spellbook or was able to work on fixing the damage and re-writing the necessary spells as soon as the story reasonably allowed this time to be taken.


Mikaze wrote:
Anyone else vaguely remember something about spellbooks having pages made of some form of metal in some setting somewhere?

Try Magic of Faerun. Might also be hiding in Complete Arcane.

Shadow Lodge

brock wrote:

I recall that in 2nd ed, my wizard always had some overlap between the different volumes of travelling spellbook that he took with him. The master set of books were at home and were duplicated in a different location.

They are as much fair game as having someone steal the fighters magic sword.

I'd like to point out that there's an entire (fairly popular) monster dedicated to screwing over the fighter - the rust monster.

Sovereign Court

Quote:

Technically, it should be.

but it's a kind of a dick thing to do to people, might as well steal their spell component pouch while you're at it.

It is NOT a dick thing to do to people.

Wizards are no more immune to losing their spellbooks than anyone else is to losing their weapons, armor, holy symbols, magic items, etc. ad infinitum. They can be lost temporarily (Disarm, anyone?) or permanently (Sunder, anyone?). They can be stolen, removed, dispelled, disjoined, dropped, mangled, stapled, and used for reactor shielding. IT HAPPENS.

There are ways to be a dick about it -

GM: You wade through the stream. Your spellbook is destroyed.
Player: What??? Wait... I wouldn't have let it get wet.
GM: You didn't say you were protecting it.
Player: Yeah, but I'm not actually carrying this 10 pound tome, we've been playing for 6 hours, I was getting pizza. It's almost Christmas and I'm worried about making my rent payment, let alone buying gifts. It slipped my mind.
GM: Right... so, your spellbook is destroyed.
Player: Dick.

... but a player believing that he has proof vs. 'crap happens' is being a dick, himself.

Player: When the guard comes in to give us our food, I attack him with my +3 sword.
GM: You're in prison. You're wearing rags and you've been disarmed.
Player: WHAT? You took away my phat lewt??? How dare you!?!
GM: Dick.


The argument many people make in comparing a fighter's weapon to the wizard's spellbook is that a fighter can replace his weapon with a new one, or at least a weapon of some type, fairly easily, while a wizard without a spellbook in a the middle of nowhere is effectively shut down.

EDIT: To continue after my interruption, this is actually a semivalid argument, especially if you extend it to a bonded object, leaving the DM two ways to basically shutdown the wizard. At the same time, this liability is well known, or at least should be, from the very beginning, and as such, anyone who plays that class should do so knowing that he has major weaknesses that will require active work and lots of resources to protect. This is why I am amazed so many people are so willing to put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to the wizard; it is also why I have no sympathy for them when they start complaining the "mean" DM actually had the audacity to remind them of their weaknesses.


The main thing is any culture able to make Wine skin, should not have a problem making one big enough to put a spell book in.

These wine skins... aka Spell Bags would be common anyplace that has wizard in them.

The main reason a spell book should face water damage is if the wizard is using the spell book while in a wet/watery area or if someone opens the spell bag while underwater.

After all, that is what we use book bags for today. And if you have a 100 dollar book, it is not uncommon to put it in a second water tight bag today.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think most of you people are forgetting that a wizard's spellbook being ruined is a much bigger deal than a fighter getting targeted with a Will Save. If the Wizard's spellbook is ruined, not only does that mean he can't prepare spells for possibly several days until he's able to get a new one (meaning the wizard is more than useless for days), but that's a lot of MONEY that just went down the drain. It's like telling the Fighter, "Hey, because of something mundane that you could have easily prevented, that the rules don't actually cover, you not only lose your +5 sword, but you're unable to use any weapon until you're able to go back to town and buy a new +5 sword."


I would say the same thing that happens to a bowstring that gets wet, or kept taught for hours on end. NOTHING. Even though in real life, that string would be a liability or useless.

Same thing that happens when you strike a sword against something with higher hardness: NOTHING. Even though it could well snap IRL.

Same thing that happens to your morale when facing unsurmountable odds with no chance to win: Nothing. Even though IRL your mind would shatter.

Etc


UltimaGabe wrote:
I think most of you people are forgetting that a wizard's spellbook being ruined is a much bigger deal than a fighter getting targeted with a Will Save. If the Wizard's spellbook is ruined, not only does that mean he can't prepare spells for possibly several days until he's able to get a new one (meaning the wizard is more than useless for days), but that's a lot of MONEY that just went down the drain. It's like telling the Fighter, "Hey, because of something mundane that you could have easily prevented, that the rules don't actually cover, you not only lose your +5 sword, but you're unable to use any weapon until you're able to go back to town and buy a new +5 sword."

This is a very valid point, and it why I think the wizard class should come with a big red warning sign "THIS CLASS HAS A MAJOR ACHILLE'S HEEL." This is still not a good enough reason that the spellbook should be completely immune to danger. Any danger to it needs to be appropriate, but danger is a fact of life for an adventurer, and if that is too much for a wizard to accept, find a elder wizard with a tower to apprentice to.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I usually assume the spellbooks are built with a waterproof cover and seal up to avoid anything short of full submersion. Even full submersion shouldn't be an issue for a short time.

Basically, if you're shipwrecked, some of your pages are messed up from you floating in the water until you hit land. Actually had that happen in game. The wizard in question used his bonded dagger to cast 'Mend' on the page that had Mend on it, then he spent a day or two restoring the pages one at a time.

I don't generally roll for damage on instantaneous effects (like fireballs), but if they get hit with burning oil, or are in a flame effect for more than one round, I will do a check on the book.

Basically, you just need to strike a balance. Shredding a spellbook is no different than sundering the fighter's weapon or armor. It's a valid tactic, but you shouldn't use it to the point of making them feel like they're being singled out.


In my games? YES, it's ruined, if it's submerged in water. It's happened to a player in my longest campaign, and he's lost the spellbook twice due to other circumstances (thrown into a chasm by a devil, and stolen and destroyed by the thieves guild).

It is a vulnerability. The wizard should take measures to protect his spellbook, or have several at hand.

And no, it's not a vulnerability that can't be overcome. You say the fighter can take Iron Will, I say the wizard can take Spell Mastery or go get a blessed book!

In our games, players often lose their gear, sometimes without getting it back. They've been captured at least 6 times over the last year, have had their stuff sundered or stolen, and so on. Characters very rarely die, though. I know in other games it's the reverse; you might kill a character, but taking his stuff is seen as unfair when he is later raised.

Interestingly enough, this approach has gone a long way to even out help class balance. The wizard is a class with lots of powers, but with the weakness of the spellbook, that's a fair compromise. In the same vein, the monk, rogue, and barbarian are all well suited to fighting naked, and so aren't seen as below-average classes in our groups.


Mikaze wrote:
Anyone else vaguely remember something about spellbooks having pages made of some form of metal in some setting somewhere?

Complete Arcane(3.5) had ways to protect your books by making them of different materials.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Regarding the "GM morality" of losing a spellbook:

- It is a weakness that can be exploited. All classes have weaknesses that can be exploited.
- Exploiting it frequently is unfair, slightly akin to just filling every corridor with antimagic field
- Exploiting it rarely challenges the class and reminds the character of its other resources (more on that below).
- If this weakness is exploited, it should be done so as a temporary set back, akin to sundering a fighter's favorite weapon (e.g., it happens during a big fight, but the party will be able to go back to town the next day, and the wizard is only hindered for one or two challenges).
- It is something to keep in mind if the wizard does something foolish ("sure I'll dive into that lava! Nothing could happen to my equipment!")
- I like the idea of a spellbook taking water or other damage, because as I noted in my other post, only specific pages need be damaged, which temporarily limits the wizard's spellcasting but does not entirely take it away from him.

Why losing a spellbook doesn't have to be the end of the world/character (provided they do get their spellbook back in a reasonable amount of time):
- A Pathfinder Wizard specifically has a few spell school abilities to fall back on. This doesn't fix everything, but it means they still have abilities they can use without a spellbook (or a particular spell they've lost)

- A Wizard with Arcane Bond and/or Spell Mastery can cast a few spells without preparation. If you know your GM is the type of person who just might well "roll for water damage to the spellbook" taking one of these or both may be a good idea.

- A wizard of moderate level should have alchemical items and wands to fall back on, and make use of other magic items found during the course of adventure.

- A wizard should have butt-tons of skills that makes him useful in a variety of ways outside of combat.

I would never, ever, ever (in case you've not been paying attention) say taking a wizard's spellbook or damaging it should be something that happens often or permanently. It can however be perceived as a reasonable, temporary challenge to force the player to be resourceful, rather than just try to make a character useless.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kthulhu wrote:
Karjak Rustscale wrote:

Technically, it should be.

but it's a kind of a dick thing to do to people, might as well steal their spell component pouch while you're at it.

Ya gotta love how anytime anyone dares to suggest attacking a WIZARD'S weakness, they're called a dick and it's considered bad DMing.

Spam a fighter with will saves? Encouraged.

Come up with situations that call for a spell that the sorcerer doesn't know? Encouraged.

Put the paladin in a situation where he can either do a kamakazi run and die or end up falling? Encouraged.

But dare to screw with the board-appointed "win-button" called the wizard? F#@K NO! YOU'RE A HORRIBLE DM! YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

Christ, why bother actually playing the game? If someone says "I think I'll make a wizard" at character creation, just declare them the g&$@!@ned winner.

Taking a spellbook is not even in the same ballpark as forcing a will save. Without the spellbook the class is useless. It is akin to sundering the fighter's sword. The will save is closer to taking the spell component pouch. They are not so hard to replace.

I am not saying that sundering and taking the spellbook should be completely off-limits, but it should be done sparingly, and if just getting wet can mess the book up the player should be informed about such things ahead of time. Many DM never account for the weather's affect on a book so most players don't either.


DeathQuaker wrote:

Regarding the "GM morality" of losing a spellbook:

lots of really, really good stuff

I would add to the last line, properly cautious, as it makes the player play the character as an adventuring wizard, which all PCs are to some extent, even at high levels, rather than a wizard that can count on sitting in his tower all day completely unmolested for days on end.


clownpaladin wrote:
When a spellbook is dunked in water, is it compromised in any way? Should some spells be inaccessible? Can it be fixed?

Back in D&D 1st edition, it was clear that a wizard's spell-book was a quasi-magical item filled with magical inscriptions written with quasi-magical inks and whatnots...

Since then, the magic nature of arcane scriptures has diminished with each reiteration, to the point where I couldn't find a reference to anything magical about the spellbook, its writings or the inks and materials necessary to write a spell in a spellbook in the Pathfinder SRD (I do admit that my search-fu is poor however).

Nevertheless, with the 150 gp per level worth of rare ingredients (alchemical?) necessary to write a spell in a spellbook, it think it would be fair to assume that part of that "cost" covers alchemical waterproofing, insect-repulsion, fire-retardation and other basic considerations.

In other words, a wizard adventurer's spellbook should be made to last and survive such mundane "attacks", even if the basic 2 spells per level are given out for free for simplicity sake.

'findel


Laurefindel wrote:

Nevertheless, with the 150 gp per level worth of rare ingredients (alchemical?) necessary to write a spell in a spellbook, it think it would be fair to assume that part of that "cost" covers alchemical waterproofing, insect-repulsion, fire-retardation and other basic considerations.

In other words, a wizard adventurer's spellbook should be made to last and survive such mundane "attacks", even if the basic 2 spells per level are given out for free for simplicity sake.

'findel

This is generally the assumption I make. The only time it becomes an issue, to me at least, is if you fumble on a saving throw to avoid damage, especially fire damage with flammable pages, or a long period of immersion in an element it was clearly not designed to withstand.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
stringburka wrote:
In my games? YES, it's ruined, if it's submerged in water.

If the fighter submerges his +5 longsword in the water, do you immediately tell him that it's rusted and it's useless? I'd sure hope not, because in addition to being magical (which provides it certain mechanical bonuses), it's assumed that the fighter has done something (oils it occasionally, sharpens it, etc.) to keep it usable even when something mundane like water gets on it. Why is the Wizard not afforded the same privelege? Wizards spend tons and tons of money on unspecified magical reagents to scribe spells into their spellbooks (far beyond simple ink & paper), and seeing as how it is AT LEAST as important to their role (and their entire lives) as a Fighter's sword, I think it's safe to assume that even if they don't specify, they take at least as much care to ensure its safety as the Fighter's sword.

I'm not saying that damaging a wizard's spellbook should never happen, but it should never happen for something as mundane as submerging it in water (especially without notifying the wizard beforehand- someone with a 26 int would surely know if something so simple would damage his life's work). Spellbooks are magic, you know. Provide some physical proof that real-life magic books are susceptible to water, and I'll change my stance.


brock wrote:

I recall that in 2nd ed, my wizard always had some overlap between the different volumes of travelling spellbook that he took with him. The master set of books were at home and were duplicated in a different location.

They are as much fair game as having someone steal the fighters magic sword.

Or kill the wizard's familiar (which seriously screwed a wizard in 1st and 2nd edition. I know players that would have sacrifice a spellbook to avoid a familiar's death in those editions).

I have damaged spellbooks in 1st and 2nd edition, but not in 3.0+ or Pathfinder. My players have been more careful.

If I were to do it now, I would deal the book 1 point of "damage" each round it was completely immersed, bypassing hardness (unless alchemically waterproofed somehow). A "broken" book can be fixed just like any other item with the mend or make while spells. Perparing a spell from a "broken" book would require a Spellcraft check as if you were learning the spell from another Wizard's spellbook. Effectively, a damaged spellbook forces the Wizard to spend time relearning spells (but he would not loose them). Repairing the book would avoid the Spellcraft check.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My spellbook is magically immune to water. :)


If you know your DM is a hardass er I mean stickler for pseud-realism....

would you not simply purchase a waterproof bag in which to place your spellbook before placing it inside your back-pack?

And a small one to keep your bat guano dry as well?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Also, fighters should have to roll Craft (Weaponsmithing) checks to keep their swords sharp and rust-free. :P


For those who are saying the spellbook is magical, I don't think that is the case anymore. Certainly a case could be made that the writing is magical, but I don't think I've seen anything in Pathfinder that the book itself is. As such, I would expect certain basic protections since no one is going put magical writing in a book thats about to fall apart, but the book itself is still basically a masterwork book unless special investment is made beyond the norm. I could be wrong but that is my understanding. As such, immersing it in water would have the same effect as immersing any other really well made book in water. If enough damage is done, the book can no longer hold it's magic writing, otherwise the magic writing is effectively unaffected, and since mending a cantrip all wizards have, repairing any minor damage to the book itself is quite simple.


sunshadow21 wrote:
As such, I would expect certain basic protections since no one is going put magical writing in a book thats about to fall apart, but the book itself is still basically a masterwork book unless special investment is made beyond the norm.

If it was simply a magic book and nothing beyond that, it would just have a one-time cost befitting of a masterwork book (which it does). However, every time you scribe a spell into it, you're spending large amounts of money (even for a 1st-level spell, you're spending more money than an average commoner sees in a month). Where is this money going? Special inks and whatnot, right? You could easily say that the cost is simply an abstraction to keep game balance and that it's just as easily ruined as normal ink, but which fits the pseudo-realism better- spending a king's ransom on inks that have no built-in protection whatsoever and no wizard is more protected unless they specifically spend MORE money to do so, or to assume that the cost, as exhorbitant it is in a world of commoners and beggars, is at least partially responsible for making said inks resistant to anything that would be encountered on a normal basis?


UltimaGabe wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
As such, I would expect certain basic protections since no one is going put magical writing in a book thats about to fall apart, but the book itself is still basically a masterwork book unless special investment is made beyond the norm.
If it was simply a magic book and nothing beyond that, it would just have a one-time cost befitting of a masterwork book (which it does). However, every time you scribe a spell into it, you're spending large amounts of money (even for a 1st-level spell, you're spending more money than an average commoner sees in a month). Where is this money going? Special inks and whatnot, right? You could easily say that the cost is simply an abstraction to keep game balance and that it's just as easily ruined as normal ink, but which fits the pseudo-realism better- spending a king's ransom on inks that have no built-in protection whatsoever and no wizard is more protected unless they specifically spend MORE money to do so, or to assume that the cost, as exhorbitant it is in a world of commoners and beggars, is at least partially responsible for making said inks resistant to anything that would be encountered on a normal basis?

So it functions like a masterwork weapon does when it gets enchanted. The base material is rendered tougher, purer, more durable, etc., but it not fundamentally changed to a pure magic material. The more spells you have, the more magic ink and alchemical materials, the tougher it is, the more hp it will have, the more hardness it will have, and the saving throw will be that much better. Other than that it is still a masterwork (i.e. very well made and comparatively tough) book. Exposure to extreme elements will have it take damage, and if it takes enough damage, it will lose it's physical integrity and the magic will have nothing to bind to. This is difficult certainly, and should be a fairly rare event, but still entirely possible under the right circumstances.

Shadow Lodge

UltimaGabe wrote:
If it was simply a magic book and nothing beyond that, it would just have a one-time cost befitting of a masterwork book (which it does). However, every time you scribe a spell into it, you're spending large amounts of money (even for a 1st-level spell, you're spending more money than an average commoner sees in a month). Where is this money going? Special inks and whatnot, right? You could easily say that the cost is simply an abstraction to keep game balance and that it's just as easily ruined as normal ink, but which fits the pseudo-realism better- spending a king's ransom on inks that have no built-in protection whatsoever and no wizard is more protected unless they specifically spend MORE money to do so, or to assume that the cost, as exhorbitant it is in a world of commoners and beggars, is at least partially responsible for making said inks resistant to anything that would be encountered on a normal basis?

The super-ink can be however resiliant you want it to be, but if the page itself is ruined, then the resiliency of the ink doesn't really matter, does it?

I've once or twice dropped a book into water. If you grab it quickly, then it's will still be legible (although it swells up like a b+&*%, and never returns to normal). However, if it's left for more than just a minute or two, I'd probably rule that at least half of the pages are ruined. And if you leave it for 20 minutes or so, I'd call the whole thing a loss.

Maybe I just like a more realistic game than most, but the old "but I'm a wizard, you don't get to target my weaknesses" line doesn't hold any water with me. At least, not as much as a saturated spellbook.


I think the entire question has devolved from what it originally was.

originally:
Does getting it went ruin it

Devolve:
You can't take away a wizard's spellbook.

Myself I think it depends on the degree of wetness.
Did you take a 3 hour swim with it? Is it a mild rain?
What is 'wet'. I can get a book wet and wipe it off with no damage, or you can take a soaking sopping "used to be book" out of a knapsack that was left in the rain over night.

Both are wet. One is destroyed.

I think common sense should apply. If you take your spell book swimming with you, expect it to get destroyed unless you have taken measures to protect it. Measures such as.. Having it in a handy haversack or bag of holding, or some mundane but specific means of water proofing.. such as the afore-mentioned wine skin idea. (not sure it would work since it'd be hard to "cork" it, but the principle is there).

Obviously- a spell book is a weakness that a wizard has to live with. I think the degree of "jerk" that the DM is, is something you find out rather quickly and take appropriate measures to ward against. Some DM's will never ever injure it, others figure it as "common" fair game, and others will specifically target it with every rain drop.

Find out what your DM prefers and act appropriately.

In any event- even at level 1, buying a water resistant slip case shouldn't be too terribly expensive even if your DM is a jerk.

-S


Selgard wrote:


Myself I think it depends on the degree of wetness.
Did you take a 3 hour swim with it? Is it a mild rain?
What is 'wet'. I can get a book wet and wipe it off with no damage, or you can take a soaking sopping "used to be book" out of a knapsack that was left in the rain over night.

Both are wet. One is destroyed.

I think common sense should apply. If you take your spell book swimming with you, expect it to get destroyed unless you have taken measures to protect it. Measures such as.. Having it in a handy haversack or bag of holding, or some mundane but specific means of water proofing.. such as the afore-mentioned wine skin idea. (not sure it would work since it'd be hard to "cork" it, but the principle is there).

Obviously- a spell book is a weakness that a wizard has to live with. I think the degree of "jerk" that the DM is, is something you find out rather quickly and take appropriate measures to ward against. Some DM's will never ever injure it, others figure it as "common" fair game, and others will specifically target it with every rain drop.

Find out what your DM prefers and act appropriately.

In any event- even at level 1, buying a water resistant slip case shouldn't be too terribly expensive even if your DM is a jerk.

-S

Good points, and ones that people have been making. Simply being damp is not going to hurt most spellbooks as most will have basic protections built it, while actually being wet, something easily prevented under most circumstances, could cause partial or total damage.

As far as the whole "can't touch the spellbook" it really it's really the same argument in many people's minds.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Waterproof inks were not uncommon in the real-world's Middle Ages. There's no reason that a fantasy land's texts would be more vulnerable, especially since the ink costs a princely sum. Period inks were often made from iron oxide or oak galls, settling into the surface of the parchment with all the stubbornness of a modern rust stain.

Sketches or quick notes were often written using a sharpened stylus of silver or lead, their version of a pencil in many ways. The marks from such a stylus don't wash off. Silverpoint sketches and notes grow darker as they oxidize.

Additionally, parchment or vellum isn't paper. It isn't as vunerable to water damage as cheaper modern materials. Medieval scribes could even scrape the surface from period texts to reuse the vellum: Just try that with a modern book!


The book should be fine, or at least subject to mending or make whole.

As to targeting a wizards spellbook vs targeting a fighters will save, one is an action by a DM trying to beat his players, and the other is an action by an NPC who is supposed to be trying to beat the CHARACTERS. Its a huge difference.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Also, fighters should have to roll Craft (Weaponsmithing) checks to keep their swords sharp and rust-free. :P

HEY!!! I like that idea! *evil grin*

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
clownpaladin wrote:
When a spellbook is dunked in water, is it compromised in any way? Should some spells be inaccessible? Can it be fixed?

The real question here is what are you looking to do? And why?

There actually is a spectrum of possible answers between the two extremes of no effect and total ruination. And a lot of factors should be weighed in by the DM. The length of immersion, the quality of the liquid, the protection and ink quality of the books.

I'd assign a saving throw and then assess an appropriate amount of damage based on the circumstances, keeping in mind your plans for the immediate future. If you're going to place a bigger better spellbook in treasure that's upcoming soon and the wizard has at least a working set of spells in memory, then be free to do whatever.

However in most cases DM's having this in mind aren't inclined to be that generous. So what you need to ask yourself as a DM is what do I want this player to be doing the rest of this session, or the next few sessions if spellbook repair and replacement is not soon forthcoming. Do you want the player to be essentially a useless spectator, especially if he doesn't have wands or scrolls to fall back on? If the answer is no, then you might want to moderate the damage you inflict, maybe rendering just a few spells in the book unusable Or give him the opportunity to pen some scrolls as a hedge on replacement. Or maybe he'll crack that captured spellbook he's been toting around so long because he's been too afraid of protections to open it.

There is no one single "good" way to handle this. There are many bad ones though. The key of course is to take this question in the context of what's going on in your campaign.


UltimaGabe wrote:
stringburka wrote:
In my games? YES, it's ruined, if it's submerged in water.
If the fighter submerges his +5 longsword in the water, do you immediately tell him that it's rusted and it's useless?

A magical weapon cannot be damaged by things of lesser enhancement bonus, IIRC. So no. And not with a non-magical either.

I have a few instructions for you. Get a piece of steel, and a book. Drop both into a filled bathing tub. Pick them up.
I can tell you one will be destroyed and one will be fine, and you can guess yourself which is which.

Quote:
Wizards spend tons and tons of money on unspecified magical reagents to scribe spells into their spellbooks (far beyond simple ink & paper),

Where do you see this? I'm not seeing anything about magical reagents in the RAW. And if the book is magical, wouldn't it be easily identifyable with detect magic? Wouldn't that be a drawback since you can easily target it for sunders then? (more of a problem at low levels where it's location would glow and few other things on the wiz would).

Quote:
and seeing as how it is AT LEAST as important to their role (and their entire lives) as a Fighter's sword, I think it's safe to assume that even if they don't specify, they take at least as much care to ensure its safety as the Fighter's sword.

Sure. They probably do. That doesn't mean the fighter's sword is as easy to destroy. If the wizard went to special lengths to get a waterproof kind of spellbook (such as the blessed book, or even some kind of alchemical process) I'd have no problems with that.

But the fact that there's a magic spell book that has "waterproof" as a defined ability seems to hint that it's not the standard.

Quote:
(especially without notifying the wizard beforehand- someone with a 26 int would surely know if something so simple would damage his life's work). Spellbooks are magic, you know.

Show me ANY raw reference to a normal spellbook being magical. I can't find it.

And of course, if the player of the int 19 (as that's the wizard's int in our group) would say "I put my spellbook in the bucket of water" I'd probably look funny at him and ask if he's sure that's such a good idea, but when it was destroyed it was due to the party jumping from a cliff into the sea to escape pursuit of 20-or-so orcs.

And my players are okay with this. They wouldn't even consider a non-magic book waterproof unless otherwise stated.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
The book should be fine, or at least subject to mending or make whole.

... but you need the spellbook to prepare mending! Oh, the irony...

[all in good humour]

1 to 50 of 427 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / When spellbooks get wet All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.