Arcanist and Wizard-Only Spells


Rules Questions


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Some spells (Blood Transcription, Mnemonic Enhancer, and Mage's Lucubration) are listed as "wizard-only" in the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list (not the spell text, only the list of names of spells), and from what I can tell, these spells are Wizard-only because they are incompatible with spontaneous casting. The spells are listed as learned at "Wizard X" instead of "Sorcerer/Wizard X" and the text of the spell does not specify that the spell is available only to wizards.

Arcanists use the same spell list, and these spells are not incompatible with Arcanist spellcasting mechanics. As far as I'm aware, this listing has existed since before Arcanists existed, so the fact that it is "wizard-only" instead of "non-sorcerer only" may be an oversight. Is the "wizard-only" listing meant to exclude all non-wizards using the spell, or only to exclude sorcerers?


It is worth knowing that in the spell description of Mnemonic Enhancer and ,Mage's Lucubration no mention of this being a Wizard only spell.

Blood Transcription, says it's a alchemist 2, magus 2, wizard 2, witch 2 spell


If the arcanist were forbidden from taking those spells, the same logic would prevent him from picking sorcerer/wizard spells as he is neither a sorcerer nor a wizard.

Simply put, it's all one spell list, and the original book simply put some effort into highlighting that some spells simply do not work for a sorcerer. Anyone who has access to the sorcerer/wizard spell list can select any of those spells.


Dr Styx wrote:

It is worth knowing that in the spell description of Mnemonic Enhancer and ,Mage's Lucubration no mention of this being a Wizard only spell.

Blood Transcription, says it's a alchemist 2, magus 2, wizard 2, witch 2 spell

Right, I mentioned in my post that none of these spells state in the spell text that they are wizard-only. They are tagged as wizard-only on the spell list on page 232 of the CRB, but this seems to serve to exclude sorcs, not to state that only wizards may learn this spell from the sorc/wiz spell list. It could be argued that by RAW the spell could be wizard-only on the sorc/wiz list, and the others are able to learn it because they use different lists that do not tag the spell as wizard-only.

Of course, IMO the RAI is that sorcerers are unable to learn the spells, even though they're on the sorcerer/wizard spell list, because they are incompatible with the sorcerer's spellcasting mechanics.


Johnny_Devo wrote:

If the arcanist were forbidden from taking those spells, the same logic would prevent him from picking sorcerer/wizard spells as he is neither a sorcerer nor a wizard.

Simply put, it's all one spell list, and the original book simply put some effort into highlighting that some spells simply do not work for a sorcerer. Anyone who has access to the sorcerer/wizard spell list can select any of those spells.

A sorc is not able to learn these spells at all. They're listed as "Wizard X" instead of "Sorcerer/Wizard X" but they are in fact on the sorcerer/wizard spell list. Right now I agree that the wording should be interpreted to mean that sorcerers cannot learn the spell, but it could be interpreted as meaning that only wizards may learn the spell unless the caster is getting the spell from a different caster's list.


To re-iterate, "sorcerer" being omitted from the levels list does not mean the sorcerer is prevented from learning the spell. Because if it did, then the arcanist wouldn't be able to learn any spells, because there's no spell in the game that has "arcanist" in the spell listings.

Simply put, any given class pulls from a spell list, and can follow all their class's rules for casting them. This means that a sorcerer can, in fact, learn blood transcription, because it is on the sorcerer/wizard spell list. The sorcerer just can't benefit from it. It's for this reason that they chose to omit "sorcerer" from the listing.

Another example of the same idea: The new "puppetmaster" archetype of the magus adds every bard spell to the magus spell list. That means the puppetmaster has access to every single one of the bard spells. However, even though he can learn and prepare Chord of Shards, there's no way for the puppetmaster to make use of it because it has to be cast during a bardic performance.


From the arcanist rules in ACG "Spells: An arcanist casts arnotbinells drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. An arcanist must prepare her spells ahead of time, but unlike a wizard, her spells are not expended when they're cast. Instead, she can cast any spell that she has prepared consuming a spell slot of the appropriate level, assuming she hasn't yet used up her spell slots per day for that level."

Okay, the observation that no spellist says "arcanist" is nullified by this. Further it is the sorcerer/ wizard list, not the wizard list they are drawing from. Suggests to me that RAW is no wizard only spells for an arcanist.


Sorcerer has the same language; "A sorcerer casts arcane spells drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time." where the word "primarily" covers the existence of sorcerer bloodline spells.

The wizard also has that language. "A wizard casts arcane spells drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list."

So, the "sorcerer/wizard" spell list is the "sorcerer/wizard" spell list.

Are you saying that Blood Transcription is somehow on the wizard spell list, but not on the sorcerer/wizard spell list? Impossible, because there is no such thing as a "wizard spell list".

It's pretty simple. Is Blood Transcription on the sorcerer/wizard spell list? Yes. Do sorcerers learn spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list? yes. Therefore, the sorcerer is fully capable of learning Blood Transcription.

But, again, that's not the same thing as benefiting from it. There are myriad cases where a character can take a feat/spell/ability/etc yet not be able to benefit from it. That doesn't mean it's against RAW or RAI, it just means that it's simply never going to happen because it's a bad idea.


This whole thing is fuzzy to me. Let's back up, what does the "wizard only" mean on the spell list? Or the fact that in the individual spell descriptions they are listed as being level wizard X, instead of sorcerer/wizard X? The answers to these should lead to all else being clear.


Java Man wrote:
This whole thing is fuzzy to me. Let's back up, what does the "wizard only" mean on the spell list? Or the fact that in the individual spell descriptions they are listed as being level wizard X, instead of sorcerer/wizard X? The answers to these should lead to all else being clear.

In the listing of the spell where it says Level, some spells on the sorcerer/wizard spell list say "Wizard 2" instead of "Sorcerer/Wizard 2".

That's pretty much the only way to suggest there's ever a "wizard only" list.


Mnemonic Enhancer and Mage's Lucubration lets you re-prepare a spell, which only classes that prepare spells can do. (Evan a Rogue could use these)

Blood Transcription gives you 24h to put a spell in your book/journal/familiar.

Spontaneous casters don't prepare or store spells to prepare.

"Wizard X" only means that the spell is useable only to prepared casters.
"Sorcerer/Wizard X" means all Arcane casters.


Huh, if you were going stupid strict RAW you could argue that if there is a "wizard" list, wizards can't actually use it, as their spells are drawn from the S/W list.

Which is clearly wrong. It seems totally reasonable for arcanists to use these, but heck if I am convinced of what RAW is, or even which zip code RAW is in.


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Java Man wrote:

Huh, if you were going stupid strict RAW you could argue that if there is a "wizard" list, wizards can't actually use it, as their spells are drawn from the S/W list.

Which is clearly wrong. It seems totally reasonable for arcanists to use these, but heck if I am convinced of what RAW is, or even which zip code RAW is in.

That's exactly the thought process I'm following. If there was a "wizard" spell list, the wizard could not draw from it because he draws from the "sorcerer/wizard" spell list.

I think you could actually post this in whatever this forum has that passes for a "CRB potential errors" topic.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

its crazy to me that this has never been clarified officially
AON still considers this issue up in the air as I reported this a while back


There are a lot of issues that are up in the air and have never been resolved, and likely never will be at this point.

In my view, this is a case of specific trumps general. The Sorcerer/Wizard spell list is normally shared between Wizard, Sorcerer, and Arcanist but these spells are marked as Wizard-only so they're Wizard-only.


Mage’s Lucubration and Mnemonic Enhancer should not work on an Arcanist. Since an Arcanist does not actually expend the spell combined that with the fact that their durations are instantaneous, would mean that these spells would allow the Arcanist to permanently add spells to his spells prepared list beyond what is listed in the book. That would lead to the Arcainist being able to prepare an unlimited number of spells per day. Obviously this is not how it should work. These spells should only work with a caster that cast spells as a wizard.

Blood Transcription on the other hand is listed as being an Arcanist spell. It is not listed as being a sorcerer spell because they do not have spell books or familiars that store their spells.

I would assume the reason there has been no official response is that they never saw the need.


more Commentary -
the only thing you could try is to sort through the Campaign Clarifications for PFS but I wouldn't have much hope. I'd check AoN to see if the spells are banned in PFS first. I can tell you Blood Money got banned as it was possible to do a Raise Dead on the cheap at higher level and that hit the WBL reflex to kick it out.
I'd agree that Paizo didn't see a need and left it to Home GMs to sort out. It's wayyy cheaper that way. Alchemist is a bigger mess. Just play a wizard as they're better.


Blood Money is one of the most egregious examples, but there are a lot of things in the appendices of adventure paths that are poorly designed and really shouldn't be available to PC's.

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