Bryan's Dungeon Masters Guide Supplement
Spells & Spell Research Information

September 2006

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

Spell Books

Magic user & 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 1-4 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 & 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. 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.

Table #A2 -- Traveling Spell Book Size & 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

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 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.

Spell Research

The research of new spells requires the use of a library of magical knowledge. The types and levels of spells that can be researched depend upon the depth and breadth of the library, as indicated by value. The more valuable the library, the higher the level of spells that ca be researched. The minimum value of the library required for research at each level is given in Table A3.

Table #A3 -- Library Minimum Values

Level

Value (GP)

1

2,000

2

6,000

3

12,000

4

20,000

5

30,000

6

42,000

7

56,000

8

72,000

9

90,000

The cost of research with a proper library is 200 gp per spell level per week, plus an additional 100-400 gp per week for incidental expenses. If the character does not have such a library then space must be rented in another's library. This will typically cost 50-200 gp per spell level per week.

Research helps to build a library. Some materials must be bought and new things can be learned, so that books and papers can be written. 10% of the cost of research goes towards adding to a character's library. Please note that the character must have a secure space to store such materials, and that may incur an additional cost after the research is completed.

The time to research spells varies. It always takes a minimum of 1 week per spell level, plus 1 week. Each week upon reaching the minimum time the researcher has a percentage chance of success. The percentage chance of success is 10% plus the level of the researcher plus the intelligence of the researcher, minus twice the level of the spell. This percentage is checked weekly until success is reached or the researcher gives up.

For example: Karl Klutz, 10 level cleric with 12 wisdom, decides to research a 5th level spell. His chance of successfully completing the research in the 11th week is the base success value (10) + his level (10) + his wisdom (12) - twice the level of the spell (5*2=10), e.g.,

10 + 10 + 12 - 10 = 22%

So each week he checks for success. Each week he fails increases the cost of his research.

However, if the library is valued above the minimum necessary for research of a given spell level, a maximum of 20% increase in the success rate may be achieved. This bonus is calculated by dividing the value of the library by the minimum value necessary for research. For each whole multiple the researcher receives an additional 5% chance.

The minimum value of the library to research a 5th level spell is 30,000 gp. If the library Karl uses is valued at 75,000 gp, divide the actual value by minimum value, e.g.,

75,000 / 30,000 = 2.5

This value rounds down to 2 and is then multiplied by 5%, means that Karl has an additional 10% chance of success each week.

Cost of NPC Spells

Spells case by NPC's for characters cost large sums of gold, depending upon the level of the spell, the level of the caster, the material components required, and the danger involved. Rare or expensive components will have to be supplied or paid for, and a fee of 50gp cumulative per level of the caster may be required. This extra fee may be lowered for well known associates or assistants, but hazardous spells may increase the per level fee up to 250gp, assuming the caster is willing to take the risk. There is also a basic charge based upon the level of the spell, listed Table A4.

Table #A4 -- Cost of NPC Spell Casting

Level

Cost (GP)

1

100

2

300

3

600

4

1,000

5

1,500

6

2,100

7

2,800

8

3,600

9

4,500

Hazardous spells may multiply the basic cost per spell by as much as 5 times, depending on the level of the caster. Note that these prices are not firm. A caster may charge as much as he thinks the spell is worth or as much as he thinks he can get.

Spell Memorization

Spells, regardless of class, require 15 minutes per spell level to memorize. However, high intelligence (wisdom) will lower the time required. The time per level decreases with increasing intelligence (wisdom) to a minimum of 5 minutes per spell level for those with an intelligence (wisdom) of 19 or higher. Spellcasters cannot have an intelligence (wisdom) less than 9 so 15 minutes is the maximum time required. The exact times are shown in Table A5.

Table #A5 -- Spell Memorization Time

Intelligence or Wisdom

Time (minutes)

9

15

10

14

11

13

12

12

13

11

14

10

15

9

16

8

17

7

18

6

19

5


Copyright 2007 Bryan Fazekas