The Darkened North
Acquiring New Spells
Acquiring New Spells
Spellcasters, both arcane and divine, seek to add new spells to their repertoire but the process for adding new spells is different for each group.
Most arcane spellcasters desire, beyond all other treasure, the acquisition of new spells for their spell books. Wizards and illusionists learn and add new spells through several methods.
GAINING A LEVEL: Just as a fighter constantly practices with his weapons, a wizard or illusionist spends time researching and learning about arcane magic and spells. When a character gains a new level, he chooses one new spell to add to his spell book. The spell chosen must be of a level the character can cast. For example, upon attaining second level, a wizard may add one additional first-level spell to the character’s spell book. The wizard automatically knows the spell and can prepare it.
DECIPHERING SPELLS: To decipher spells in another’s spell book or a scroll, a character must first cast read magic on the spell to be deciphered. Once the character successfully casts read magic, the character can learn or attempt to learn a new spell and add it to a spell book. The rules for adding new spells to a spell book depend upon the source of the spell. Even reading spells already known by a character contained in another’s spell book requires the casting of read magic, because no two spells are inscribed alike.
Once a wizard deciphers a spell book or scroll, the character does not need to decipher it again to read it at a later time. Deciphering a magical writing allows the reader to identify the spell and gain some idea of its effects although the character must still learn the spell in order to cast it. If the magical writing is a scroll, the wizard can use the scroll.
LEARNING AND COPYING SPELLS: A character must first decipher the spells contained in a spell book or scroll as described above. Thereafter, the character can learn the new spell from the book by spending one day plus one day per level of the spell being learned in study of it. If the person who created the spell book is on hand to help the reader, the reader can learn the spell in one-half the normal time. The number of days necessary to learn the spell is reduced by a number of days equal to the character’s intelligence modifier, with a minimum of one day. The Dungeon Master may choose to require the character to make a successful intelligence check to learn a new spell (after the necessary days of study). Once the new spell is learned, the character can copy it into a spell book, as described below. The process of copying leaves the spell book or scroll from which it was copied unharmed.
WRITING SPELLS: Once a wizard understands a new spell, it can be copied into a spell book. The process requires one day plus one additional day per spell level. Zero-level spells require one day. A spell takes up 2 pages of the spell book per spell level, except zero-level spells, which take up a single page. A normal spell book has 100 pages. Materials for writing a spell cost 100gp per page, per level of the spell.
REPLACING SPELLBOOKS: The same procedure for learning a spell is used to reconstruct a lost spellbook. If the character already has a particular spell prepared, the character can write it directly into a new book at a cost of 100 gp per page. The process wipes the prepared spell from the character’s mind, just as casting it would. If the spell is not prepared, the character may not reconstruct it from memory but can prepare it from a borrowed spellbook and then write it into a new book. Duplicating an existing spellbook uses the same procedure as replacing it, except that the time requirement and cost per page are halved.
RESEARCH: A character can also research a spell independently, duplicating an existing spell from the spell list or creating an entirely new one. At the end of the process, the character must write the spell into a spell book as described above.
READING A SCROLL INTO A SPELL BOOK: A character must first decipher the spell contained on a scroll by casting read magic. Because a scroll is magical, and the reduction of the spell to the scroll involves all the necessary components for casting the spell from the scroll, a character can simply read a scroll into a spell book. Doing so copies the spell to the character’s spell book, but destroys the scroll in the process.