Calculating Spellbook Cost?


Rules Questions


Hi Everyone,

Very simple question: How are the values on this page (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spellbooks) calculated, and do you have a reference?

I'd really appreciate a pointer.

Thanks!

--
Ryan


Should the value of a spell book be factored into treasure?

I've argued that it should, but my group disagrees (since it can be gained from a class feature).


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You calculate a spellbook's cost by adding the spellbook cost (15 gp) then any gp it cost to write the spells into the book. The magic section details this.

Quote:

Materials and Costs: The cost for writing a new spell into a spellbook depends on the level of the spell, as noted on the following table. Note that a wizard does not have to pay these costs in time or gold for spells he gains for free at each new level.

Spell Level-----Writing Cost
0---------------5 gp
1---------------10 gp
2---------------40 gp
3---------------90 gp
4---------------160 gp
5---------------250 gp
6---------------360 gp
7---------------490 gp
8---------------640 gp
9---------------810 gp

Also note:

Quote:
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.

After that, double the cost to figure market value adjusting this if you're a GM and making a particularly rare or special spellbook.


Trikk wrote:
Should the value of a spell book be factored into treasure?

Yes, it should. Part of the balance of the Wizard is that they'll spend gold learning spells. Including spellbooks in treasure is just frontloading that. Although, I wouldn't count spells the PC already knows as most treasure than it would sell for.


First of all not all the spellbooks in UM have their prices calulated correctly but to answer your question the formula to price a spellbook is the following:
the price of the book itself (15gp for standard spellbook, 10gp for traveling spellbook etc.) + the material cost needed to scribe every spell the spellbook has.


Buri wrote:

You calculate a spellbook's cost by adding the spellbook cost (15 gp) then any gp it cost to write the spells into the book. The magic section details this.

Quote:

Materials and Costs: The cost for writing a new spell into a spellbook depends on the level of the spell, as noted on the following table. Note that a wizard does not have to pay these costs in time or gold for spells he gains for free at each new level.

Spell Level-----Writing Cost
0---------------5 gp
1---------------10 gp
2---------------40 gp
3---------------90 gp
4---------------160 gp
5---------------250 gp
6---------------360 gp
7---------------490 gp
8---------------640 gp
9---------------810 gp

Also note:

Quote:
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.
After that, double the cost to figure market value adjusting this if you're a GM and making a particularly rare or special spellbook.

That seems to get us close, but I don't think it's the exact formula they used. Check this out:

Spoiler:
Apprentice Chapbook of Rul Thaven (Level 2 Diviner)

This slim book is carefully but amateurishly bound, with leather stretched tight across thin boards. The writing inside is fussy and crammed together, with words that are occasionally illegible. Eight of its pages contain spells; the final 10 pages are blank. A portrait of a plain woman, unsmiling, has been bound into the inside front cover.

Opposition schools Illusion, transmutation

Value 155 gp

Spells

1st—comprehend languages S, detect secret doors S, detect undead S, identify S, protection from evil, protection from law, summon monster I, true strike

8 1st level spells x 10gp x 2 + 15 = 175gp, and they price it at 155gp,


leo1925 wrote:

First of all not all the spellbooks in UM have their prices calulated correctly but to answer your question the formula to price a spellbook is the following:

the price of the book itself (15gp for standard spellbook, 10gp for traveling spellbook etc.) + the material cost needed to scribe every spell the spellbook has.

Ah. Ok. Is it reasonable to allow a PC to buy a spellbook at market at this price?


Ryan_Singer wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

First of all not all the spellbooks in UM have their prices calulated correctly but to answer your question the formula to price a spellbook is the following:

the price of the book itself (15gp for standard spellbook, 10gp for traveling spellbook etc.) + the material cost needed to scribe every spell the spellbook has.
Ah. Ok. Is it reasonable to allow a PC to buy a spellbook at market at this price?

I would say no unless you want to run a very time constraining game and you don't want your magi, wizards and alchemists suffer too much, but other than that i suggest just allow them to view another caster's spellbook in order to copy the spell (after paying the fee of course)


leo1925 wrote:
Ryan_Singer wrote:

Ah. Ok. Is it reasonable to allow a PC to buy a spellbook at market at this price?

I would say no unless you want to run a very time constraining game and you don't want your magi, wizards and alchemists suffer too much, but other than that i suggest just allow them to view another caster's spellbook in order to copy the spell (after paying the fee of course)

It's more like I'm planning on running Kingmaker campaign, and so it'll be awhile before there are other level-appropriate wizards around. Other characters can order what they need from the store, I'm wondering if a wizard can likewise order spells in spellbook form.


Ryan_Singer wrote:
leo1925 wrote:
Ryan_Singer wrote:

Ah. Ok. Is it reasonable to allow a PC to buy a spellbook at market at this price?

I would say no unless you want to run a very time constraining game and you don't want your magi, wizards and alchemists suffer too much, but other than that i suggest just allow them to view another caster's spellbook in order to copy the spell (after paying the fee of course)
It's more like I'm planning on running Kingmaker campaign, and so it'll be awhile before there are other level-appropriate wizards around. Other characters can order what they need from the store, I'm wondering if a wizard can likewise order spells in spellbook form.

Ok this is a difficult case, i have played kingmaker (although we didn't have a prepared arcane caster at that point in the game), you can do that or you can include spellbooks as treasure.

kingmaker spoiler:

At some point the players find a nearly destroyed spellbook that has only a handful of spells, you can do that a few extra times, or you can have some of the bandits encountered (both the random encounter and the regular ones) be wizards.


My group is running through a particular section of RotRL that's pretty well littered with wizards, and I think they've collected several dozen spellbooks at this point. Some of the higher level 'casters will need multiple books just because an individual book is assumed to top out at 100 pages/100 spell levels.

I may need to throw together a quick spreadsheet to determine the total number of books and their resale value each.

A Wizard starting play with 18 INT, using only CRB spells and acquiring only the spells he gets free with a new level will ultimately need five spellbooks -- and how many Wizards limit themselves to just the CRB/free spells?

spellbook math:

18 cantrips* @ 18 pages
9 1st level @ 9 pages
4 2nd level @ 8 pages
4 3rd level @ 24 pages
4 4th level @ 32 pages
4 5th level @ 40 pages
4 6th level @ 48 pages
4 7th level @ 56 pages
4 8th level @ 64 pages
4 9th level @ 72 pages (427 pages total)

*no need to record Read Magic in the spellbook since all Wizards can prepare it from memory

I believe the resale value of that set of five books (even though the Wizard doesn't have to pay the usual scribing cost for the two-spells-per-level) would be one-half of { 18*5 + 7*10 + 4(40+90+160+250+360+490+640+810) } +5*15 for the spellbooks themselves = 5835gp


Ok. So, for a campaign like KM, where equipment gets ordered from the store, it should be ok to order spellbooks for a cost of 15gp + scribing costs as long as they fit below the maximum order value. Wizard's should remember, though, that those spellbooks will have been scribed by another wizard, and so need to be deciphered, and will always require spellcraft checks if used to prepare spells.


Ryan_Singer wrote:
Ok. So, for a campaign like KM, where equipment gets ordered from the store, it should be ok to order spellbooks for a cost of 15gp + scribing costs as long as they fit below the maximum order value. Wizard's should remember, though, that those spellbooks will have been scribed by another wizard, and so need to be deciphered, and will always require spellcraft checks if used to prepare spells.

Yes, also remember that the read magic spell deciphers the spell and they can take 10 in order to memorize the spell.

Dark Archive

Ryan_Singer wrote:

That seems to get us close, but I don't think it's the exact formula they used. Check this out:

** spoiler omitted **

8 1st level spells x 10gp x 2 + 15 = 175gp, and they price it at 155gp,

The preconstructed spell books all include all of the core cantrips excluding those of opposition schools (not sure why they exclude them but they do). There are 20 core cantrips with between 1 and 4 cantrips per school.

They then work out the value excluding the empty book cost itself = 5*number of cantrips + 10*number of of first level spells, etc.

Yup, that means the fluff text is wrong on your particular example.

And they always list value, not cost or price.

Dark Archive

Once they have a base of operations you could allow them to order scrolls from Restov via traders with a few weeks delay between order and receipt. Mail order magic. Ordering specific spell books could happen the same way.

Looking at the scribing process from the creators point of view they can only scribe one scroll per day, but they can write a spell book all day long. So as long as they are selling the spell book for twice cost they are making a fair bit more profit per day with spell books than they would with scrolls and for less investment. Cantrips, first and second level spells are particularly lucrative for scribers in spell book form.


ZomB wrote:

Once they have a base of operations you could allow them to order scrolls from Restov via traders with a few weeks delay between order and receipt. Mail order magic. Ordering specific spell books could happen the same way.

Looking at the scribing process from the creators point of view they can only scribe one scroll per day, but they can write a spell book all day long. So as long as they are selling the spell book for twice cost they are making a fair bit more profit per day with spell books than they would with scrolls and for less investment. Cantrips, first and second level spells are particularly lucrative for scribers in spell book form.

If you are an NPC vendor it costs the same to craft a spell book as selling it gains. If you find a spell book you can sell it for half that.

After doing a little more research after reading other posts in the tread your best bet is indeed to rent out other wizard's spell books. This service has a fee of half the cost to scribe the spell into your spell book. Buy a bunch of blank books and go to town in your background.


Hogeyhead wrote:

If you are an NPC vendor it costs the same to craft a spell book as selling it gains. If you find a spell book you can sell it for half that.

After doing a little more research after reading other posts in the tread your best bet is indeed to rent out other wizard's spell books. This service has a fee of half the cost to scribe the spell into your spell book. Buy a bunch of blank books and go to town in your background.

I seriously doubt he has spent almost 6 years waiting for you to tell him what his best bet is.


Damon Griffin wrote:

A Wizard starting play with 18 INT, using only CRB spells and acquiring only the spells he gets free with a new level will ultimately need five spellbooks -- and how many Wizards limit themselves to just the CRB/free spells?

18 cantrips* @ 18 pages
9 1st level @ 9 pages
4 2nd level @ 8 pages
4 3rd level @ 24 pages
4 4th level @ 32 pages
4 5th level @ 40 pages
4 6th level @ 48 pages
4 7th level @ 56 pages
4 8th level @ 64 pages
4 9th level @ 72 pages (427 pages total)

I know I am necroing SUPER hard here, but why are you doubling the amount of pages needed after spell level 3?

4x3 = 12
4x4 = 16
4x5 = 20

etc.


actually the price can be campaign specific, such as for PFS where it is half of what you paid to access & scribe the spells but nothing for the spells learned through level gain.

otherwise, classically, it is as outlined in the CRB.

Blessed book can alter the calculations.

I'll note that there are threads on copied spellbooks as a source of income but it falls 7.5GP short of a profit (scribe known spells at half + book cost, then sell at half including book cost). Selling at 75% is a talk you need to have with your GM. Letting others scribe from your copies keeps your archive safe AND turns a profit with time and multiple copiers.

I believe there's just an error in the page count on the old post... since you know it, ignore the mistake.


AS a baseline from decades ago

Book, Spell book Standard 1000gp, Plus 100gp/spell level written in.16" tall, 12" wide and 6" thick 25 lbs Bound with dragon, bulette, gorgon, Purple worm or other thick hide that has been tanned, Non-Human spell books may even be of Human skin, orc or other Humanoid Hides. Sewn together with Giant spider silk or other unusual strong material. They have 100 pages

Book, Spell book, Traveling 500 Plus 100 /spell level written in. 12" tall, 6" wide, and 1" thick. Bound with supple yet strong hide, such as Giant Cobra or other giant snake, Giant Fire Lizard, Ballisk, or even Hydra. These books can be sewn with similar material in regular spell books or by fine platinum, silver or electrum wire, gold being too soft. Though woven Blink dog hair is a thought. Non-Human spell books may even be of Human skin, orc or other Humanoid Hides, and will always be of the traveling type. They have 25 pages

Both spell book descriptions and information are taken from Dragon Issue
#62, June 1982, " Spell books, Rules for M-U's to read by E. Gary Gygax


LordXaviar7 wrote:

AS a baseline from decades ago

Book, Spell book Standard 1000gp, Plus 100gp/spell level written in.16" tall, 12" wide and 6" thick 25 lbs Bound with dragon, bulette, gorgon, Purple worm or other thick hide that has been tanned, Non-Human spell books may even be of Human skin, orc or other Humanoid Hides. Sewn together with Giant spider silk or other unusual strong material. They have 100 pages

Book, Spell book, Traveling 500 Plus 100 /spell level written in. 12" tall, 6" wide, and 1" thick. Bound with supple yet strong hide, such as Giant Cobra or other giant snake, Giant Fire Lizard, Ballisk, or even Hydra. These books can be sewn with similar material in regular spell books or by fine platinum, silver or electrum wire, gold being too soft. Though woven Blink dog hair is a thought. Non-Human spell books may even be of Human skin, orc or other Humanoid Hides, and will always be of the traveling type. They have 25 pages

Both spell book descriptions and information are taken from Dragon Issue
#62, June 1982, " Spell books, Rules for M-U's to read by E. Gary Gygax

That's . . . neat, I guess, but for a different game.

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