D&D Next Spellbooks

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Learning New Spells

A mage gains access to new spells in one of two ways: he can either research them or he can study spells that he finds. Either of these approaches allow him to understand the spell in question.

Researching Spells

  • Automatic Research: As mages advance through their levels, they are assumed to constantly be researching, studying, experimenting and discovering or awakening new magical techniques and understandings. These form a body of ongoing "research". At each level, a mage may add 2 new spells to his spellbook.
    • These spells must come from the list of common spells, or from spells whose formulae the wizard has had a chance to read but not copy.
    • There is no cost to scribe these spells.
  • Additional Research: In addition to the normal, ongoing but painstakingly slow research that goes on for most wizards, others also maintain more immediate research projects, as detailed in the Downtime page.
  • Once A Spell is Learned: Once a spell has been successfully researched, it must be immediately scrivened into a spellbook to be prepared.
    • Even if this doesn't happen immediately, the insights and notes are there: they just have to be set down and codified into something useful.
    • If more than a week passes between successfully researching the spell and writing down, the mage must make an Intelligence check (DC 5 + 1 per week that has passed) and the amount of time needed to scribe the spell. Failure on this roll results in wasted time, and 1d6gp worth of wasted scrivening materials.

Copying A Spell

The other way to learn new spells is to copy and already-finished formula, whether one that is written out in another mage's spellbook or one that has been imbued onto a spell scroll.

  • Another's Spell Book: Whether a mentor's spellbook lent for the purpose of copying, or an enemy's taken as a trophy of war, a mage may copy a spell out of another spellbook.
    • This process takes a number of hours equal to the level of the spell in question.
    • Once this time passes, the mage now knows the spell as though he'd just successfully finished researching it, and can move on to scrivening it in his spellbook.
    • This spell need not be scrivened into the mage's spellbook. If he continues to have access to the written form of the spell he studied already, he may simply prepare the spell from that book, rather than also add it to his own.
      • This is the reason so many mages collect the spellbooks of their foes and end up with vast libraries: it is expensive to both scribe spells, so it is often easier (and cheaper) to simply keep the other spellbook on hand to learn from.
      • Many mages will consolidate the best of their trophies' contents into singular traveling spellbooks and the like sometimes.
  • Spell Scroll: Perhaps the easiest of the methods, it literally takes only a single round and no materials in order to divine the formula of a spell from a spell scroll on which it is written.
    • Using this method does consume the spell scroll as though its spell had been cast, however.
    • The downside is that there is no room for lolly-gagging - the mage must immediately scribe it into his spellbook. If even an hour passes between the reading of the scroll and the beginning of the scrivening, the spell is lost.

Scrivening New Spells

By whatever method is used, once a spell is understood by a mage, he may now copy it into his spellbook.

  • No roll is involved to do so.
  • This takes one hour per level of the spell to be added. (Note that if copying another's spellbook, the hours spent experimenting during that process count as time towards this total.)
  • This requires the expenditure of 25gp per level of the spell to be added.
  • Once both these requirements have been met, the spell is added to the character's spellbook.
  • A newly added spell takes up a number of pages in a text equal to 1d4+level of the spell in pages.
    • This is halved if the spell is being scribed into a folio, or doubled if being scribed into an octavo.

Spellbook Types & Costs

Spellbook Costs

Spellbook Costs

These prices provide the Base Cost referred to below

  • Blank Spellbook, Quarto (Standard; 12" x 9.5"), sold in signatures of 8 pages, at a cost of 6gp per signature. (Minimum 2 signatures • Maximum 37 signatures)
    • 16 pages (2 signatures): 12 gp
    • 40 pages (5 signatures): 30 gp
    • 80 pages (10 signatures): 60 gp
    • 200 pages (25 signatures): 150 gp
    • 296 pages (37 signatures): 220 gp
  • Blank Spellbook, Octavo (Traveling; 9" x 6"), sold in signatures of 8 pages, at a cost of 3 gp per signature (Minimum 1 signature • Maximum 25 signatures)
    • 8 pages (1 signatures): 3 gp
    • 16 pages (2 signatures): 6 gp
    • 40 pages (5 signatures): 15 gp
    • 80 pages (10 signatures): 30 gp
    • 200 pages (25 signatures): 75 gp
  • Blank Spellbook, Folio (Sanctum; 15" x 12"), sold in signatures of 8 pages, at a cost of 12 gp per signature. (Minimum 2 signatures • Maximum x signatures)
    • 16 pages (2 signatures): 24 gp
    • 40 pages (5 signatures): 60 gp
    • 80 pages (10 signatures): 120 gp
    • 200 pages (25 signatures): 300 gp
    • 296 pages (37 signatures): 440 gp
    • 400 pages (50 signatures): 600 gp
    • 496 pages (62 signatures): 740 gp


Costs are assumed to be for quarto-sized books. Halve costs for octavo-sized books, and double them for folio-sized ones.

  • Cloth: Ragcloth: 5 sp • Sturdy: 1 gp
  • Paperboard: Basic: 1 gp • Sturdy: 2 gp • Cloth-Covered: 3 gp
  • Leather: Scrapstitch: 2 gp • Basic: 5 gp • Decorative: 20 gp • Fine: 40 gp
  • Wood: Glueboard: 3 gp • Simple: 5 gp • Decorative: 15 gp • Fine: 25 gp • Sealing: +15 gp
  • Metals: Thinsheet: 5 gp • Simple: 10 gp • Decorative: 30 gp • Fine: 75 gp • Sealing: +30 gp


  • Gilding: Silver +10% of Base Cost; Gold +20% of Base Cost
  • Precious Metal & Gem Accents: Cost of gems and metals, plus 10gp (5gp for octavos, 20gp for folios)
  • Cover Artwork: Varies

Practical Additions

  • Key Lock: DC 15 - 25gp; DC 20 - 50gp; DC 25 - 100gp
  • Puzzle Lock: DC 15 - 35gp; DC 20 - 70gp; DC 25 - 150gp


  • Minor Property: 150gp
  • Arcane Locking: 250gp
  • Arcane Words: 50gp
  • Immunity: 100 gp + 50gp per additional damage type
  • Illusory Appearance: Single Appearance 100gp; Variable Appearance 200gp; Mutable Appearance 400gp
  • Levitating: 75gp


  • Cantrips: 30 gp each
  • Higher Level Spells: 50 gp per spell level each
  • A quarto spellbook is the standard for most wizards. They are usually 12 inches in height by 9.5 inches in width. A quarto spellbook can be purchased for 75 gp per 100 pages, with a practical maximum (in terms of binding strength) of 300 pages. The page count modifier for the quarto is 100% (i.e. unmodified).
  • The so-called "traveling spellbooks" are octavo in size, measuring 9" x 6". These can be purchased for 40 gp per 100 pages, with a practical maximum of 200 pages. The page count modifier for the octavo is 200%.
  • Finally, "sanctum spellbooks" are larger spellbooks - highly impractical to transport, save as cargo - are called folio sized tomes, measuring 15" x 12". These sell for 150 gp per 100 pages, and can be bound in books of up to 500 pages. The page count modifier for the folio is 50%.


Basic spellbook prices assume simple leather covers, which are rarely "hard" leather - they tend to be softer leather covers that often tie shut.

  • Other Leathers: A spellbook covered in "decorative" leathers such as buckskin, fish scale, shark- or snake-skin or goat- or wyvern-hide are possible for an additional 20gp. Those covered in "fine leather" such as dragonscale, eel- or stingray-skin, behir- or bullette-hide, giant snakeskin or displacer beast- or unicorn-hide are also possible, for an additional 40gp. Most of these are hard leather covers, though a skilled craftsman can make them hard or soft as the customer desires.
  • Wood Covers: A spellbook covered in "decorative" woods - such as apple, ash, ebony, hornbeam, oak or many of the more common woods - can be had for an additional 15gp. Covers of rarer woods such as chime oak, laspar, roseneedle pine, shadowtop and similar specimens can be had for 25gp extra. On the other hand, books that are covered in scrap wood (often untreated and poorly constructed) reduce the base price of the spellbook by 5%.
  • Metal Covers: Spellbooks covered in "decorative" metals such as brass, bronze, copper, iron, silver or steel cost an additional 35gp. Those bound in electrum, gold, mithral, platinum or a lesser metal treated with everbright or blueshine cost 75gp (and softer metals such as gold are almost always plating rather than full solid covers, for strength if not cost).


Decorations and other pieces of art may improve the quality of the final book's cost.

  • Gilding: Silver gilding costs an additional +10% of the Base Cost, while gold gilding on the pages costs an additional +20% of the base cost.
  • Precious Metal & Gem Accents: This costs the cost of the materials used (precious metals and gems), plus an additional 10gp for the design work and incorporation (5gp for octavos, 20 gp for folios).
  • Carvings, Tooling and Other Artwork: This can cost anywhere between 5gp for a simple tooling into leather, carving/burning into wood or etching into metal, all the way to several hundred gold pieces for full cover pieces lovingly wrought by a skilled craftsman.

Practical Additions

  • Sealing Cover: Only available on wood or metal covered books, the covers are designed so that when the book is closed, portions extend over the pages and fit together, closing like the lid on a box. The fastener easily closes it well, giving it additional resistance to wear and tear. It is also very easy to fit a lock into the cover. This costs an additional 20gp for octavo, 30gp for quarto and 50gp for folio spellbooks.
  • Key Lock: A lock is set into the cover. If the book does not have the sealing cover addition (above), the other end of the locking mechanism is in a strap of leather which extends from the back cover. When locked in place, it is sealed (the leather is quite difficult to cut without damaging the book). The key lock's price includes the small lock and a pair of keys that unlock it. These locks are priced according to how difficult they are to pick: 25gp for DC 15, 50gp for DC 20, 100gp for DC 25.
  • Puzzle Lock: Like the key lock, except in order to unseal it, the lock requires the solving of a strange puzzle made up of grooves and sliding mechanisms that not only require brain power to solve, but make them nigh unpickable (Lock Picking DC is 5 higher than the DC to solve them). Anyone who is taught the trick for them gains a +5 to their Intelligence checks to open it. Each attempt to open the lock takes 30 minutes (or 5 minutes for those who've been taught the lock solution). These locks are priced according to how difficult they are to solve: 35gp for DC 15, 70gp for DC 20, 150gp for DC 25.


Certain priesthoods or wizards can enact these enchantments.

  • Minor Properties: A spellbook imbued with a Minor Property. This costs an additional 150gp.
    • Beacon: Bearer can use a bonus action to cause the item to shed bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet, or to extinguish the light.
    • Compass: The bearer can use an action to learn which way is north.
    • Conscientious: When the bearer of this item contemplates or undertakes a malevolent act, the item enhances pangs of conscience.
    • Delver: While underground, the bearer always knows the item's depth beneath the surface and direction to the nearest staircase, ramp, or other path leading upward.
    • Diplomatic: Bearer gains the ability to speak, read, write, and understand a language.
    • Gleaming: The item never gets dirty or scuffed.
    • Guardian: Item whispers warnings to its bearer, granting a +2 bonus to initiative if the bearer isn't incapacitated.
    • Hidden Message: A message is hidden somewhere on the item. It might be visible only at a certain time of the year, under the light of one phase of the moon, or in a specific location.
    • Illusion: The item is imbued with illusion magic, allowing its bearer to alter the items appearance in minor ways. The item reverts to its true appearance when no one is carrying or wearing it
    • Key: The item is used to unlcok a container, chamber, vault, or other entryway.
    • Sentinel: Faintly glows when creatures of a certain race are within a 100 foot radius.
    • Song Craft: When this item is struck or used to strike a foe, its bearer hears a figment of an ancient song.
    • Temperate: Bearer suffers no harm in temperature as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit or as warm as 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Unbreakable: The item cannot be broken, requiring special means to break it.
    • War Leader: Bearer may choose to amplify voice to be heard up to 300 feet clearly.
    • Waterborne: This item floats on water and other liquids. Bearer gains advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks to swim.
    • Wicked: When the bearer is presented with an opportunity to act in a selfish or malevolent way, the item heightens the bearer's urges to do so.
  • Arcane Locking: With a command word, the book seals as though by an arcane lock spell. The same word unseals it. (Unless a book has a lock or sealable cover built into it, it cannot normally be affected by arcane lock.) 250gp
  • Arcane Words: When the book is opened, words speak aloud, emanating from the book. This can happen everytime, or only if a command word is either spoken or not spoken. The words and volume (from a whisper audible only to the one who opens it to the loudness of a large-lunged man shouting) are chosen when it is enchanted. (50gp)
  • Immunity: The book is immune to damage of one type entirely. (100gp + 50gp per additional damage type)
  • Illusory Appearance: With a command word, the book can be made to look like another book entirely. The cheapest such enchantments make it look like a single alternate appearance, but more expensive ones can cause it to look like any other sort of book the one who speaks the word imagines, or even any inanimate object of roughly similar size. (Single Appearance 100gp, Variable Appearance 200gp, Mutable Appearance 400gp)
  • Levitating: When opened, the book can be commanded to simply hover in place, allowing the reader to work with both hands and still consult the book. This costs an additional 75gp.