Gaining Spells

Priests differ from wizards, because they pray for their spells each day and gain access to the new spells from their god when they increase a level. Clerics, Oracles and Priests have access to all cleric (divine) spells, they also may gain extra powers from their domains (mysteries for Oracles). The may chose any spell on the Cleric's Spell list, although using evil spells or spells from an evil source can be an alignment problem. Each day they must select their spells in advance, except for Cure, and Inflict Spells. Good Clerics and Oracles can spontaneously cast any spell as a cure spell, of that level. Evil Clerics and Oracles can spontaneously cast any spell as an inflict spell, of that level. Neutral Clerics and Oracles chose to cast cure or inflict spells at character creation and must stick to that choice (this spontaneous casting of spells holds only for spells with "cure" or "inflict" in the title; not for restoration or heal).

Paladins and Rangers all get their spells granted to them by their gods and so must pray for them, like clerics and are allowed access to the entire list, using spells from evil sources (like the Book of Vile Darkness) can be an alignment problem.

Clerics, Priests, Paladins, and Rangers all regain their spells at either midnight (for evil creatures) or at dawn (for good creatures). Neutral creatures chose when they regain their spells at dawn or midnight during character creation and must stick with it. All of them require at least eight hours of rest each day to gain the power to cast their spells, though it they may regain the spells at dawn or midnight while resting. Since evil creatures may not have had their full 8 hours of rest by midnight they will regain their spell casting power only after their rest period. A rest period is one that involves no travel, no combat, spell casting or any vigorous activity.

Assassins, Bards and Sorcerers have their spells imprinted Into their minds and they regain the ability to gain their spells in the morning, after a night of rest, like all spell casters do, but they don't have to re-memorize their spells (songs for Bards) all they have to do is rest to recharge their "spell batteries." They are not able to learn new spells while adventuring though. They are limited to their maximum number of spells as determined by their spell matrix; both spells that can be cast each day and spells that can be known. For this campaign I am allowing assassins, bards, oracles, sorcerers and other spontaneous casters to increase the number of spells they can learn at each level by their Intelligence modifier. That is they add their Intelligence modifier (if positive) to the base number of spells per spell level that they can know thus giving them more spells than normal. In another words they get a wider range of spells. I am not using their Charisma modifier to try and keep the number of extra spells down, nor am I allowing assassins, bards, oracles, sorcerers and other spontaneous casters to cast more spells per day, but this increases the number of spells that they can learn and allows them to take some utility spells making them more versatile. Assassins have a more restricted spell list, as noted on their spell class spell list. Otherwise Assassins learn and cast spells like bards and sorcerers do.

Alchemists, Wizards and Magus are different and get to learn new spells each time they advance a level or encounter new spells. If an alchemist, wizard or magus finds a new spellbook or a spell on a scroll then they can try to learn those spells. The spells on scrolls must be inscribed into the arcane caster's spellbook before the wizard can memorize them; for scrolls this will consume that spell, erasing it from the scroll. If there is more than one spell on a scroll then the wizard or magus can attempt to learn each spell one at a time (without losing the rest from the scroll). To learn a spell from a scroll the arcane caster must pass a Spellcraft DC 15 + spell level to learn the new spell. Part of the magic in scrolls is that the spell read magic is not needed to read them. Learning spells from another creature's spell book requires the casting of the spell read magic. When ever alchemists, magus or wizards come across a new spellbook they can try to learn spells from them after casting read magic, this is because each spellcaster, who memorize their spells, develops their own code/shorthand notation to write their spells. To learn a spell from someone else they must cast read magic and pass a DC 15 + spell level Spellcraft check. For each successful check the alchemist, magus or wizard may inscribe that spell into their spellbook. If they fail a check they can't try to learn that spell again until a week passes. When a magus or wizard advances in levels they get access to two new spells from their guild (they do not have to pass a Spellcraft check for these spells). They must inscribe those spells from the master spell book into their own spellbook or learn them through their own research. They are still limited to the spells on their spell list; meaning that wizards will have the largest spell lists.

Alchemists, Magus and wizards must study their spells and re-memorize the spells that they have cast that day. Or they can memorize new spells if they wish to change their spell inventory. Changing one spell to another requires 3 minutes of study per level (maximum 15 minutes) When a magus or wizard goes to sleep then the previous days uncast spells remain in their memory. If the character goes for one week without re-memorizing their spells though then those spells are lost. Each morning after 8 hours of rest all spellcasters regain enough magical power to cast their normal matrix of spells.

Assassins and bards gain access to all spells from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, the Spell Compendium, and any other book of official spells from the main books, but not from the campaign setting books (Eberon, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Pathfinder settings etc.). Bards are friendly and share their spells so that they can learn any spell available to the campaign. Other arcane casters can learn any spell from their spell list. Assassins, inquisitors, magus and summoners have their own spell list and can chose to learn any spell known by their guild. Most spellcasters are limited to spells from the Core rulebook, the Complete Arcane, the Complete Mage, the Advanced Player's Guide (Pathfinder only rulebook), the Spell Compendium, and Ultimate Magic (Pathfinder only rulebook). Only those with access to the Mage's Guild spell list are able to learn the restricted spells. Through adventuring they may gain access to restricted spells and learn them, but teaching them to others is strongly discouraged (with the use of assassins and theives if necessary).

Once an assassin, bard, sorcerer or summoner has learned a spell it remains imprinted in their minds and short of mental surgery or amnesia it cannot be forgotten. However, they require the same rest that all spell casters do to get their "spell batteries" recharged. Normally, they recharge after 8 hours of sleep and so start each morning with new spell power. There are other ways to learn new spells like with a feat, but these are specific to a creature's heritage, bloodline or other category. Inqisitors are spontaneous spellcasters and can learn any spell from their spell list. Oracles are divine spontantous spellcasters and can learn any divine spell or the spells offered by their special mystery.

An alchemist, magus or wizard starts the game with a standard spell book that holds all zero level spells (or cantrips) from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, and 4 first level spells plus one for each Intelligence modifier point (Read Magic is a spell that the Wizard knows by memory and doesn't need to re-memorize in order to use it). When a wizard advances to a new level then they are offered 2 new spells. There is no need to determine if a spell caster can learn these spells, it is assumed they develop them on their own. If learning spells from other sources (like other wizard's spellbooks) a spellcraft check must be made vs. 15 + level of the spell. When an alchemist, bard, magus, sorcerer or wizard advances a level then they may chose what spells they want to learn from the list of available spells and can learn enough new spells to fill their spell's per level known matrix. For Bards this represents new songs. For a spellcaster to cast a spell their primary modifier must equal to or be higher than 10 + the spell level, the DC of their spells equal the same number (10 + their primary modifier, Charisma for bards and sorcerers, Wisdom for clerics and oracles, and Intelligence for magus, summoners and wizards).

As a character attempts to learn spells each spell it is recorded in their records, and the character must keep track of those spells that they can and cannot learn. If they fail to learn a spell then they must wait a week before trying again.

Bards have access to a different spell list and their spells are actually songs that they perform, so they can't use wizard or sorcerer spells. They can't learn new spells from a spellbook, they would need to get access to their guild's bard song sheets to learn a new spell. They are able to use arcane scrolls normally though, provided the spells are on their spell list. Since assassins cast spells like bards they too can cast arcane spells from scrolls; provided they are on their spell list. For a bard or assassin to cast a spell (arcane or divine) that is NOT on their spell list they must make a Use Magic Device check and "pretend to be a the proper spellcaster."

If a player wishes to Introduce a new spell into the campaign then the Dungeon Master must be provided with a copy of that spell. If the player wishes to invent a new spell then the spell must be researched and experimented with, a process similar to creating a magic item. Any spellcaster may attempt to create a new spell, but they cannot create a spell beyond their ability to cast.

Remember a spellcaster can learn spells at the level of their primary stat +10. So a character with 16 as their primary stat may learn up to 6th level spells. The Spellcraft DC for learning their spells is 15 + the spell level.

Learning Spells from other Spell Casters

Caster Level x Spell Level x 10 crowns + Material Cost + 1/10 Focus Cost. Some casters will do it for more or less.

Spell Books

The bread and butter of any good wizard is their spell book. They start off with a standard spell book and will probably spend the rest of their life trying to gain new spells. To a wizard a spell book is priceless and represents a lifetime's work.

The Standard blank spell book costs about 15 crowns and is approximately 16" high, by 12" wide, and 6" thick, it weighs 3 lbs. The Traveling spell book has a smaller spell capacity. It costs about 10 crowns and is approximately 12" high, by 6" wide, and 1" thick, it weighs 1 lbs. A standard spellbook has 100 pages (a traveling spellbook has 50 pages). it takes 1 page per level (minimum of 1 page) to copy a spell. (Custom made spell books can be created with rules from the Complete Arcane and are summed up in the table at the end of this article, it still takes 1 page per level to copy a spell.)

Traveling spell books are used by adventuring characters as a more portable backup spell book. Due to the book's stronger construction it receives a +1 saving roll modifier. It is strongly suggested that a character gets a traveling spell book as soon as possible and that they store their standard spell book in a safe place, guilds will provide good places to hold backup spell books.

Typically a spell book will command prices of about 100 gold pieces per spell level per spell (2x third level spells and one 4th level spells would have a total value of 1,000 gold pieces). However, the selling of spell books is not appreciated by most wizards, who can enforce their beliefs with potent spells. The Mage's Guild is very protective of their spells and any spells researched by their members. So if a character wants to sell a spell book then they may have to deal with a wizard and risk facing their anger. Any member of the Mage's Guild that is caught selling spells to a nonmember risks expulsion from the guild. Serious breaches of this policy can warrant a contract for assassination. If a new spell is researched or invented by a guild member then they are expected to make a copy of that spell available to other guild members. The Brothers of the Staff have a very limited spell selection and while they may learn spells that are not on those lists, they have to do so in secret and may not teach those prohibited spells to others.

The capacities of spell books vary with the spell level and type of book involved. A standard spell book holds up to 100 spell units (100 pages), while a traveling spell book holds up to 50 spell units (50 pages). A spell unit is a chapter on that spell (taking 1 page per level, to a minimum of 1 page). It covers information on the components needed to cast the spell (focus, material and/or somatic) research notes, and other notes that the caster will need. A wizard may write any combination of arcane spells into their books, provided they do not exceed the books capacity. Spells cannot be partially written in one book and then finished in another, so any unused space is wasted. Extra space in a spell book can be used to hold maps, or adventure notes.

The special ink required to inscribe spells into a spell book costs 8 crowns per vial and each vial may be used to write one page worth of spells. A normal quill or writing pen can be used to scribe any spell into a spell book. Scrolls will require custom made quills (part of the price for creating the scroll) and special inks. Normally spell books are embellished by their owners, either using special materials or spells on the book itself to improve the book, enhance its saving rolls, or protect it from theft. Such embellishments should be discussed with the Dungeon Master.

Spell Books
(From Complete Arcane)
Cover Weight Hardness Hit Points Cost
Leather 1lbs 2 +0 5 gp
Wood, Thin 1 lbs 3 +1 20 gp
Metal, Soft 5 lbs 5 +4 100 gp
Metal, Hard 5 lbs 7 +5 200 gp
Dragonhide 2 lbs 4 +2 200 gp
Slipcase +1 lbs +1 +1 +20 gp
Pages (100) Weight Hardness Hit Points Cost
Parchment 2 lbs +0 1 10 gp
Paper, Linen 2 lbs +0 2 20 gp
Vellum 2 lbs +0 3 50 gp
Bone or Ivory 4 lbs +0 4 100 gp

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