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Spellbook

From PathfinderWiki
A wizard's spellbook.
See also: Images of spellbooks.
See also: Formula book, prayer book, meditation book, familiar, and trinket

A spellbook — sometimes termed a grimoire,[1] shadow book, eldritch tome,[2] or codex — refers to collections of spells stored as writings. They are used by several types of spellcasters,[3] but are most associated with wizards.

Physical description

Most spellbooks resemble hardbound paper books also known as bound codexes, but any object that collects written spells can suffice, and many variants exist.[3] A new, empty spellbook can hold 100 spells, weighs about 3 pounds, and costs anywhere from 1[4] to 15 gold pieces,[5][6] while spellbooks containing spells can be worth tens of thousands of gold pieces to a buyer, depending on their contents.[2]

Variants

Folded codex
A pleated codex made of one long sheet of paper or several adhered to each other. While faster and less expensive to create than a bound condex, they are also more fragile and awkward to use.[3]
Palimpsest
A reused spellbook whose spells have been removed (though not always completely) from the salvaged pages. Palimpsests are most often found in the possession of apprentices and low-end magic shops.[3]
Scrolls
Distinct from the ephemeral magical item, codexes in scroll form predate bound spellbooks. Many scroll codexes use papyrus wrapped around spindles to make them easier to store and use. While rarely used by modern spellcasters, they are still employed by traditionalist dwarves and in parts of Garund.[3][2]
Tablets
Spells can also be engraved into solid materials, such as durable damage-resistant wood, student-friendly wax tablets that can be more easily erased than a palimsest,[3], bone, clay,[2] and rings of metal disks.[4]

Regardless of their materials, formats, and origins, most spellbooks become unique items whose design and contents evolve alongside their owners, and are often magically, mechanically, or alchemically secured, treated, or trapped in order to preserve their function and protect their contents.[2]

Writing in spellbooks

A magus carrying her spellbook.

Wizards scribe new spells into their spellbooks, with more complex spells requiring more space. Spells can be acquired from numerous sources, including:[7]

  • from another wizard's spellbook[8]
  • from an arcane magical scroll
  • upon achieving a greater understanding of magic and spellcasting
  • after creating a new spell from independent research

Spells can be rewritten through certain extraordinary means, such as a spell.[9]

Whatever the source of the spell, writing it into a spellbook is a costly business in terms of both time and money, since the process often requires special inks and materials.[7] Likewise, standard printing presses cannot produce magic items, including spellbooks.[10][11]

As personal items of a spellcaster, spellbooks also often contain copious non-magical writings that provide context for their beliefs, research, and practices.[2]

Reading from spellbooks

Spellcasters who regularly prepare their spells perform simple preparation rituals to do so. For spellbook users, these rituals are often also recorded in the spellbook itself.[12]

Known spellbooks

See also: Category:Spellbooks


This section is a stub. You can help us by expanding it.

Associations

In crime

Spellcasters who cast any significant spells within five miles of the Esoterium Lodge in Corentyn without being registered members can be punished by having their spellbooks confiscated and burned.[33]

In magic

A spellbook can be temporarily stored in a random part of the Ethereal Plane by use of a spell.[34]

In wizardry

Each wizard is required to study their every day in order to prepare spells, and can prepare only the spells written in their spellbook, with the one exception of the cantrip read magic that all wizards can prepare from memory only. Sometimes wizards might share their spellbooks in order to copy new spells from each other's repertoires.[35]

Wizards who adhere to the journals and works of Arustun, founder of the ancient Jistka Imperium, sometimes bond their minds to a spellbook in a way that makes its capacity effectively unlimited while obfuscating its contents from others. Such Poleiheira adherents also specialize in exploration instead of a specific school of magic.[36]

With creatures

Venedaemons slowly strengthen themselves from their victims' spellbooks.[37]

If given an opportunity, a crepitus goes well out of its way to destroy wizards and burn their precious spellbooks to ashes.[38][39]

References

Arcane Anthology discusses spellbooks in detail.

For additional resources, see the Meta page.

  1. Dave Gross. (2015). Lord of Runes, Tor Books. ISBN 978-0-7653-7451-6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 2. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. inside front cover. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  4. 4.0 4.1 Logan Bonner et al. (2019). Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p. 204. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-168-9
  5. Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 158. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  6. Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 161. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 219. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  8. Logan Bonner et al. (2019). Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p. 480. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-168-9
  9. Logan Bonner et al. (2019). Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p. 367. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-168-9
  10. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 257. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  11. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 237. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  12. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 4. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  13. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 6-11. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  14. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 30-31. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  15. Greg A. Vaughan and Rob McCreary. (2011). Wake of the Watcher. Wake of the Watcher, p. Inside Front Cover & p38. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-311-8
  16. 16.0 16.1 Todd Stewart. (2011). Horsemen of the Apocalypse, p. 40. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-373-6
  17. F. Wesley Schneider and Jerome Virnich. (2015). Hell Unleashed, p. 18-19. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-757-4
  18. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 24-25. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  19. Adam Daigle. (2013). Continuing the Campaign. The Dead Heart of Xin, p. 66. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-491-7
  20. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 5. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  21. Ron Lundeen. (2016). NPC Gallery. Dreams of the Yellow King, p. 56–57. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-899-1
  22. Alexander Augunas, Russ Brown, John Compton, Alex Riggs, and David Ross. (2016). Divine Anthology, p. 4-5. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-894-6
  23. Amanda Hamon, Gareth Hanrahan, David Ross, and Jerome Virnich. (2013). Dungeoneer's Handbook, p. 30-31. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-510-5
  24. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 18-23. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  25. James Jacobs. (2018). The Runelord Legacy. Secrets of Roderic's Cove, p. 76. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-062-0
  26. James Jacobs. (2018). The Runelord Legacy. Secrets of Roderic's Cove, p. 79. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-062-0
  27. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 26-27. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  28. Gareth Hanrahan, Steve Kenson, Patrick Renie, Tork Shaw, and Jerome Virnich. (2012). Knights of the Inner Sea, p. 28-29. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-460-3
  29. James Jacobs et al. (2012). Appendix Eight: Magic Items. Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, p. 426. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-436-8
  30. Logan Bonner et al. (2019). Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p. 206. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-168-9
  31. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 28-29. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  32. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, and David N. Ross. (2016). Arcane Anthology, p. 12-17. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-814-4
  33. Brian J. Fruzen. (2016). Let Bygones Be, p. 8. Paizo Inc.
  34. Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, Thurston Hillman, and Ron Lundeen. (2016). Magic Tactics Toolbox, p. 17. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-838-0
  35. Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 79. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  36. John Compton et al. (2018). Blood of the Ancients, p. 16. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-038-5
  37. Todd Stewart. (2011). Horsemen of the Apocalypse, p. 60. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-373-6
  38. Mike McArtor. (May 29, 2008). The Creepy Crepitus, Paizo Blog.
  39. Stephen S. Greer. (2008). Tower of the Last Baron, p. 30-31. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-102-2