Wizards Spell Books

Another thought dawned on me in the context of my recent Wizards article in the context of spell books. How accessible spells are is a huge influence on the breadth of power available to your mage.

Corvell is primarily interested in necromancy and I have found access to this list rare in our campaign world to say the least. He is aware of only one Necromancer (by reputation) and is terrified of approaching her. Consequently Corvell feeds on the scraps he can find in the spell books he manages to capture during adventures.

For me this is a great focus. Finding a new necromancy spell I can cast is a huge bonus and far more rewarding than just popping to your local resident wizard and handing over some gold to copy a spell. I am not adverse to freely available spells and in other games we play this is the norm but if the same spell scarcity is applied to all casters, it places a new value on the spell book. It could even make you a target for other aspiring wizards.

I’m really interested in how others use spell access to shape the tempo of a game and the status/influence of wizards and would welcome your own experiences and comments on this aspect of D&D. In your campaign’s, are magic spells available through a wizard’s version of a 24/7 or are they rare arcana that only the brave can acquire?

P.s. Chris’ article on Ye Olde Worlde Magic Item Shop look at a different aspect of scarcity in a magical world.

Image Credit – The Mystery by Sally Butcher – CC-BY-2.0



  1. I haven’t thought about spell rarity in a long time. I think the concept was really big back in the AD&D days, but for what ever reason passed from favor. Hell whole adventures would be based around trying to find a certain scroll.

    Hell some of the required spell components were rare enough that even if you did know the spell, it was unlikely that you could use it. I’m not sure that is the case anymore.

    bonemaster´s last blog post..I didn’t know you could that

  2. For me, it would depend on where they are. I only allowed access to spells outside the norm of finding them when they were in a city big enough to possibly house some kind of guild or something like that. It was rare to and any spells they chose had to be approved by me. Plus I made them follow the spell copying rules to the letter while taking into account the need to do other things in said town (Like sleep).

    In other words, I made them jump through hoops to get them. So it was rare, but sometimes they did. Put a nice damper on the potential for just popping down some gold for a quick xerox.

  3. I want to be a wizard too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    my friend said it’s possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. i want to become a wizard i believe more than any one else.
    i want to become a power full and magnificent wizard.
    i am going to buy my wand in about three weeks from know.

  5. Hey chris, You might want to get rid of these above mails. They’re only going to attract more strange people.

  6. I keep them as a reminder of how amazing the world is.

    Sort of like having an ant farm except rather than marveling at the ingeniousness and complexity that simple creatures can produce, I’m marveling at the derangement and stupidity of apparently intelligent beings.


  7. i want to be a full power wizard and witch i think wizard and witch ares soooooooooooo cool and i want to be a loud singer and i want to have a magic wands and i want to have a horse i think horses are so cool i love wizard and witch and horses are so cool thank u and i want my wish to come true and i want to teleaport every where i love all sort of magic thank u and please soooooo please make my wish come true i will thank u for the rest of my life thank u bye
    from cydney
    and i am 12 years old but i love magic

  8. i wanna be a wizard too and i wanna fly in the sky and wanna really powerful wizard, im 12 years and i love magic, it can change someones life totally! being a wizard is kinda cool and fun! but it seems very difficult to get the right wand with magical powers, so please make me a wizard i would love that!

  9. Wow. It’s funny how you’ve kind of said NOTHING about being able to make anybody a wizard and yet you still get these people.
    Kids. IF (and I say IF) wizards do exist – they’re not on this site. Read the whole site before you post somthing.
    Of course the only wizard I ever met lived by the coast. Go bother him with this.

  10. well you all can become wizards and since you have internet just look for magical websites like “spells of magic.com” and sometimes they actually have shops/stores and they will sell things to you. if you want to be a witch or wizard then look for magical websites, buy books, and study them (follow them). your welcome.

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