Grimoire for a Witch?


Rules Discussion

Scarab Sages

Grimoires include some confusing language, which makes it look like they could possibly be used by a Witch.

Secrets of Magic wrote:

Grimoires

Spellbooks are useful tools for any magic user to write down incantations and runes of power, but where most spellbooks are nothing more than ink on parchment, grimoires have absorbed the magic of the spells within—magic that knowledgeable spellcasters can use to augment their spells.

Most grimoires can hold up to 100 spells, like any spellbook, but allow spellcasters to erase spells written by a book's previous owner in favor of spells that employ their own magical formulas. If a spellcaster wants to transfer their spells from one of their spellbooks to a grimoire, they can conduct a simple, 1-minute ritual with the two books to cause the spells to vanish from their spellbook and appear in the grimoire.

If you prepare spells (whether from your class features, like a cleric or wizard, or from a special feat or ability, like the Esoteric Polymath bard feat), you can study a grimoire during your daily preparations to enhance one or more of the spells within. Until your next daily preparations, you gain the ability to Activate the grimoire. As you've already absorbed the power from the grimoire during your daily preparations, you can Activate it even if you later lose possession of the book itself. Grimoires' benefits apply only to spells cast via spell slots—not cantrips, focus spells, or innate spells. No one can use more than one grimoire per day, nor can a grimoire be used by more than one person per day.

On the one hand, the section starts off talking about spellbooks. On the other hand, it says that a grimoire can be used by a cleric. To me, this reads like only a caster with a Spellbook can put a spell into a grimoire, but that anyone who prepares spells can study the grimoire during their daily preparation to gain its benefit. Am I missing something? Is that intended?

Silver Crusade

I'd say anyone who prepares spells could use it.


Yeah. You would just have the grimoire as an item that gets used while preparing your spells for the day with your familiar. The only difference is that it isn't also the physical repository for your spells.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Cat sits on your lap while you're reading a book. Makes sense to me.


A grimoire certainly sounds like the sort of thing that a Witch may have laying around.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I mean, Hocus Pocus and the Sanderson Sisters are pretty much archetypal witches, and they use a living grimoire.

Scarab Sages

Then a follow-up question would be how does. Witch put spells into a Grimoire? Or would they need someone else to do it?


Ferious Thune wrote:

Grimoires include some confusing language, which makes it look like they could possibly be used by a Witch.

On the one hand, the section starts off talking about spellbooks. On the other hand, it says that a grimoire can be used by a cleric. To me, this reads like only a caster with a Spellbook can put a spell into a grimoire, but that anyone who prepares spells can study the grimoire during their daily preparation to gain its benefit. Am I missing something? Is that intended?

I would agree with that analysis.

Grimoires wrote:
Spellbooks are useful tools for any magic user to write down incantations and runes of power, but where most spellbooks are nothing more than ink on parchment, grimoires have absorbed the magic of the spells within—magic that knowledgeable spellcasters can use to augment their spells.

This is description of the item, not so much mechanical rules. (still rules, just not describing the mechanics)

Grimoires wrote:
Most grimoires can hold up to 100 spells, like any spellbook, but allow spellcasters to erase spells written by a book's previous owner in favor of spells that employ their own magical formulas. If a spellcaster wants to transfer their spells from one of their spellbooks to a grimoire, they can conduct a simple, 1-minute ritual with the two books to cause the spells to vanish from their spellbook and appear in the grimoire.

This part only works for characters that store their known spells in a spellbook.

Grimoires wrote:
If you prepare spells (whether from your class features, like a cleric or wizard, or from a special feat or ability, like the Esoteric Polymath bard feat), you can study a grimoire during your daily preparations to enhance one or more of the spells within. Until your next daily preparations, you gain the ability to Activate the grimoire. As you've already absorbed the power from the grimoire during your daily preparations, you can Activate it even if you later lose possession of the book itself. Grimoires' benefits apply only to spells cast via spell slots—not cantrips, focus spells, or innate spells. No one can use more than one grimoire per day, nor can a grimoire be used by more than one person per day.

This works for any caster that prepares spells. Wizard does, and Wizard also uses a spellbook. But Cleric also prepares spells and can use a grimoire even though they don't use a spellbook normally. Bard could also use the grimoire as long as they have the feat that lets them also use a spellbook to prepare at least one spell.

And that last example with the Bard is actually fairly loose. More loose than allowing it for a Witch. A more strict reading of the rules text would forbid Bard from using the grimoire since the Bard still doesn't actually prepare any spells even with Esoteric Polymath. The Bard just either selects another spell to be a signature spell, or adds one more spell to their repertoire. And neither of those is actually the same as preparing a spell.

So if a Bard with Esoteric Polymath can use a grimoire so can a Witch.

And a Sorcerer with Arcane Evolution since that is nearly identical to the Bard with Esoteric Polymath.


Ferious Thune wrote:
Then a follow-up question would be how does. Witch put spells into a Grimoire? Or would they need someone else to do it?

The Witch wouldn't store their spells in the grimoire. They wouldn't need to. It isn't required in order to activate the grimoire.

To reflavor it for a Witch: Erase all of the spell definitions from it entirely. Instead the Witch can write in their own thoughts and understandings of how magic works, what their patron wants, their guesses on who their patron is, their familiar's favorite snacks,...

Scarab Sages

breithauptclan wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Then a follow-up question would be how does. Witch put spells into a Grimoire? Or would they need someone else to do it?

The Witch wouldn't store their spells in the grimoire. They wouldn't need to. It isn't required in order to activate the grimoire.

To reflavor it for a Witch: Erase all of the spell definitions from it entirely. Instead the Witch can write in their own thoughts and understandings of how magic works, what their patron wants, their guesses on who their patron is, their familiar's favorite snacks,...

I think the issue comes in that most (? at least PFS legal ones) Grimoires include some version of "spell that you prepared from this grimoire" in their activation. For example:

Secrets of Magic wrote:

Instructions for Lasting Agony

This worn and stained manual emits a chill when opened.

Activate Single Action envision (metamagic); Frequency once per day; Effect If your next action is to cast a harmful necromancy spell that you prepared from this grimoire and that allows a saving throw, you warp and twist negative energy into the spell to cause intense pain. If the target fails its saving throw against the spell, it becomes sickened 1 by the pain.

Would that work for a Cleric or a Witch? Does the spell have to be in the Grimoire in order for it to work?


Ferious Thune wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Then a follow-up question would be how does. Witch put spells into a Grimoire? Or would they need someone else to do it?

The Witch wouldn't store their spells in the grimoire. They wouldn't need to. It isn't required in order to activate the grimoire.

To reflavor it for a Witch: Erase all of the spell definitions from it entirely. Instead the Witch can write in their own thoughts and understandings of how magic works, what their patron wants, their guesses on who their patron is, their familiar's favorite snacks,...

I think the issue comes in that most (? at least PFS legal ones) Grimoires include some version of "spell that you prepared from this grimoire" in their activation.

Hmm... Indeed.

I am still thinking that it is intended to work. The difficulty is in convincing rules lawyers that don't want it to work.

It would be better if the grimoire activation instead said

Quote:
If your next action is to cast a harmful necromancy spell that you prepared from and is written in this grimoire...

At that point a Cleric or Witch would clearly be able to use the grimoire as long as the spell was in the grimoire. And yeah, those characters may have to have the spell written into the grimoire by someone else - though I wouldn't run it that way.

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