Spells Books

September 2006

This page provides expanded rules and information regarding the size and cost of spell books. I collected information from various sources, included the DMG, Dragon Magazine, and my own invention, to assemble these rules.

Spell Books

Magic-user and illusionist spell books are normally of a standard size, i.e. 8 inches wide by 12 inches high. The covers must be of a durable material, usually dragon hide, and are a minimum of 1/8 inch thick each. The pages are normally made of the finest vellum, each sheet being 1/100 inch thick. Spells generally require space equal to 1 page per level of the spell, plus an additional 1d4 pages of general notes and comments. Cantrips are counted as first levels spells for space purposes. The standard number of pages, number of spells the book will hold, and the encumbrance for the different spell levels is listed in Table A1.

Table #A1 — Spell Book Size and Weight

Spell Level # Pages # Spells Encumbrance
1 125 31 75
2 125 25 75
3 150 25 90
4 150 22 90
5 175 22 105
6 175 20 105
7 200 20 120
8 200 18 120
9 200 16 120

To determine the thickness of a spell book, divide the number of pages by 100 and add 1/4 inch to include the covers. This is the standard size, while books designed to hold any number of spells may be constructed.

All the books are made with the finest and most durable materials available, so the expense of a single book is quite high. The cost of enchanting a book so as to hold spells is also rather expensive, requiring an Enchant An Item or Major Creation spell, depending on whether the book is for a magic-user or illusionist. A book normally costs 1,000gp plus 500gp per level of the spell it is designed to hold. A traveling book (see below) costs 750gp plus 500gp per level of the spell. A book containing spells has the value of the book itself, allowing for condition, plus 100gp-300gp per level for each spell contained in it.

Traveling Spell Books

One of the most popular sizes is the “traveling books”, which are much smaller and easier to carry, but hold less spells. These books are normally 6 inches wide by 10 inches high and the number of pages, number of spells, and encumbrance of each is listed in Table A2.

Note: Due to the smaller page size, travelling books require an additional 1d2 pages per spell, regardless of level.

Table #A2 — Traveling Spell Book Size and Weight

Spell Level # Pages # Spells Encumbrance
1 50 10 25
2 50 8 25
3 50 7 25
4 55 7 30
5 6 22 30
6 60 6 35
7 60 5 35
8 60 5 35
9 60 4 35

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