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5E Am I too strict?

bulletmeat

Explorer
How about an INT check; pass & no cost, fail & you need more study, retry w/new materials, etc.
Might be a compromise?
 

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aco175

Hero
Bottom line is that if your group and you the DM are ok with it, then you do not need to change it.

I did not count, but it looks like 3/4 think this goes too far. By asking the question, you can at least go back to your group which is what you done. Good for you.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
For the first time, a player called me too strict for a ruling I made.
Here is the ruling:" Although the wizard learns too free spells to add to his spell book, I ruled that the wizard still have to pay for the materials (inks) to write it in his spell book." I also ruled that you can only add spells during downtime unless you want to risk a failure in case you are attacked during the transcription.

My reasons are two folds.
1) By Raw, the spells are free to add. But right in the side bar they say that whenever you find a new spell you have to copy in your spell book.

2) The spells do not appear out of nowhere. You have to have the special inks to put them in your spell book.

I gave the following example: A group is in the desert. They barely have enough food to get by. They have a weapon, an empty backpack (almost, the dried camel is stored in their backpack) and in case of caster, they have a spell focus. The group rise in level, they are now level 3! Yeah! The wizard adds two spells to his spell book but where did the ink came from? Did the spell appeared out of nowhere?

Nope, the new spells are a sudden inspiration. The wizard knows them, he gets them in his mind but now if he wants to change them, he needs to find ink to copy them in his spell book. Yes, they were free as in he did not buy them from an other wizard, he did not have to capture the spell book of an enemy, he did not have to make a quest to know it. But otherwise, he has to abide by the side bar.

I am a bit old school. Spells costs a lot in my campaign. First and second level spells cost 50 gold pieces per level just to copy. You still need to have the inks to copy them.
third through fifth level cost 250 gp per levels and 6th to 8th level are 1000 gold per level. A single spell of 9th level costs 15,000 gold and that is IF the other caster is friendly, very friendly to you (as in, (s)he owes you BIG TIME).

Is this too strict? Money to copy and acquire spell is a big money sink in my games and that is at all levels.
I have the feeling that he wants them totally free only to make more low level scrolls during downtime.
Sorry, you're charging 15,000 gp for a 9th level spell... and your reasoning is that it costs that much for inks?

Hell yeah that's strict.

Now I get it can cost time to copy it down, or the material components are expensive... but your reasoning here for ink is bananas.

Your game your rules of course, but if I was one of your players I would definitely not want to be a spellcaster with those rules.
 

Sorry, you're charging 15,000 gp for a 9th level spell... and your reasoning is that it costs that much for inks?

Hell yeah that's strict.

Now I get it can cost time to copy it down, or the material components are expensive... but your reasoning here for ink is bananas.

Your game your rules of course, but if I was one of your players I would definitely not want to be a spellcaster with those rules.
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I am not the one that says that ink is too much. Quite the contrary. 15k gold for buying a 9th level spell means that the player can save 120k with his 9th level free spell knowledge. And one player would cringe at the cost for the ink? AND you only buy if you have no other choice. More often than not, a quest, a service or simple exchange spell for spell is made for additional spells. It pays to be kind with other wizards.

And strangely, almost the enterity of all wizards that played at my table were quite ok with this rule. Satisfied enough that the great majority of the casters are wizards and not warlock or sorcerer. I guess that my tax on versatility is not big enough...

On second reading, it seems you are confusing spell cost and ink cost. These are unrelated in my games. You pay the spell, then you pay for the ink to write it down. The free spells you gain each level are just that, free spells. You still have to copy them though. This is not a big cost when you think about it (unless your DM is starving you of money, which I am not).
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
On the inverse of this issue: what happens when the party defeats a cabal of evil wizards, and confiscates their spellbooks? Do they get to sell them for the value of those spells enscribed within? Or do the evil wizards conveniently "forget" to bring their spellbooks to the battlefield?

Because with this rule interpretation, the spellbook of just a 1st level wizard would be worth its weight in gold, and the spellbook of a 13th level wizard could easily be worth a king's ransom.
 

Yep, they get to sell them. I usually get to pay about 10 to 15%% of the value of the book or up to 50% if the players are ready to be paid in goods. A wizard's spellbook is litteraly, at very high level, almost worth a kingdom. They are usually well hidden, trapped and protected. More than one spellbook has been destroyed with careless handling. Even player's spellbooks are so protected. It would be too long to go on the specifics but let's just say that a high level spellbook on sale brings a lot of problems and unwanted customers. But once the sale is done, the players have a lot of money. It goes both ways.
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Yeah, spellbooks in my D&D games (all editions) have always been better than gold! Even if a Wizard only picks up a spell or two, the book can usually be sold for something afterwards.

As I said before @Helldritch , I don't think this is a bad house-rule at all if your game resources match it. In our main game, we are drastically looking for things to spend our gold on and having a heck of a time finding things. We decided just to rebuild a ruined castle and make it our base of operations. :)
 

jayoungr

Hero
Supporter
So you're saying that "add to your spellbook for free" doesn't mean "add to your spellbook for free"? I just want to be clear that's what you're saying.
It could be argued that "for free" refers to the cost of acquiring the spells themselves--for example, it means you don't have to go out and buy or otherwise earn a scroll to copy them from.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
It could be argued that "for free" refers to the cost of acquiring the spells themselves--for example, it means you don't have to go out and buy or otherwise earn a scroll to copy them from.
I guess you could argue that, sure, but there's still the "add to your spellbook" part, which seems to imply they are added to your spellbook. I mean, if you want to say you get the spell for free but you have to pay for inks or whatever so you can write it in your spellbook, that doesn't sound to me like "add to your spellbook for free."
 

UPDATE!

I would like to thank you to remind me of the training rule. Going into my notes, now I remember why I had made this rule. Players had downvoted the training rule and this houserule was to compensate a bit for it as wizards were already the most played arcane characters. Now leveling is instaneous and I wanted to see more warlocks and sorcerers. Even that ruling was not a deterent so...

So I take a bit of my time to tell you that I have put the houserule in question to vote by the group(s) in question abiding by the RAW and put the training rule back in force or leave things as they are right now. 5 to 6 in favor of keeping things as they are (I do not get to vote on these matters). Players clearly prefer instantanous leveling instead of training. Fine by me.
I'm vaguely uncomfortable with this.

Basically, the choice you are giving them is that either everyone has to deal with training rules (including time, money, and access I assume) or just wizards do (via spell scribing).

Well of course everyone is going to vote for the less restrictive one. Even those who sometimes play wizards would likely only vote for the more restrictive version if they wanted to spread the misery. (Some might vote for it out of verisimilitude if you aren't giving any other good way of making leveling fit in the system, like most 5e games don't.)

The fact that everyone voted for it has no significance. Everyone just voted for the lesser penalty. The only way the results of that vote would be meaningful is if there was an actual trade off, where each option has benefits. There was no benefit of the other option. It was, from a player perspective just the choice between bad that may not affect me, and worse that always affects everyone. Of course they all voted that way.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Yep, they get to sell them. I usually get to pay about 10 to 15%% of the value of the book or up to 50% if the players are ready to be paid in goods. A wizard's spellbook is litteraly, at very high level, almost worth a kingdom. They are usually well hidden, trapped and protected. More than one spellbook has been destroyed with careless handling. Even player's spellbooks are so protected. It would be too long to go on the specifics but let's just say that a high level spellbook on sale brings a lot of problems and unwanted customers. But once the sale is done, the players have a lot of money. It goes both ways.
If I were a wizard player in your game....and had access to a spellbook...

1. Could I establish a spell copying lending library where I charge NPCs the same amount of gold it would cost me to copy a spell from another NPC?
2. Could I undercut the other NPCs by 10% and get all the business?
3. Could I learn how to make magical inks myself rather than buy them from a store to lower the price?
4. Could I industrialize the manufacture of inks and undercut the alchemists by 10%?
5. Could I establish a wizard cartel of spell copying?
6. Could I create a second wizard PC that is a member of the cartel who enjoys reduced or nearly zero price for finding and copying spells?

Been watching a lot of Narcos recently...
 

1) Yes. You open yourself for a removal of competition as wizards do not like to share knowledge. You also open yourself to theft. As you have to make the spells known to bring in customers. This could lead to a very profitable bounty on your head and the spell book. Spell copying is usually done one on one and thrust must be established first. A wizard will not tell you if he knows a spell, only if he has access to it. Even a lawful good wizard might lie on which spells he knows for his own sake.
2) See the above
3) You do not buy the inks. You buy the materials to create them on your own.
4) Nope. The process though relatively short needs you to do it yourself or buy it already made (at a higher price). Mechanized ink making is not possible due to the magical nature of the components, oils and minor enchantments needed.
5) Wizards would not lose their time on this. Researching new spells and leveling is their maingoal. If a willing wizard could be found, it would be a lot more costly to make her/him do it for you. But it would save you time for adventuring. So yes. But it would not be profitable as much as you would like. You should make scrolls. This is way better cost and money wise.
6) Nope. 1 character per PC. NPC are in the hands of the DM only.

Hope I was helpful
 

Mercurius

Legend
Not how I'd do things, but it is your campaign.

My first question would be: why bother? And is it worth the grief? D&D is, by its very nature, a simplification, and when adding this sort of graularity, I think it has to be done with cost/benefit in mind.

Now if you insist on the rule, why not let the wizard buy ink to bring adventuring? Ink bottles are small. Maybe levelling up represents when they finally finish copying (and understanding) that new spell.

Finally, I've always thought that new spells and leveling up in general is only artificially instantaneous. A wizard would be doing research most days, even while adventuring, a fighter doing push-ups and practicing blade forms. The new spells could be like finally working out a mathematical formula: "Oh, I see how that works!"
 

Now if you insist on the rule, why not let the wizard buy ink to bring adventuring? Ink bottles are small. Maybe levelling up represents when the finally finishing copying (and understanding) that new spell.
They can and do bring the inks. Never said they could not.

Finally, I've always thought that new spells and leveling up in general is only artificially instantaneous. A wizard would be doing research most days, even while adventuring, a fighter doing push-ups and practicing blade forms. The new spells could be like finally working out a mathematical formula: "Oh, I see how that works!"
That is exactly how I see it. Now you only have to copy it in your spell book.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
1) Yes. You open yourself for a removal of competition as wizards do not like to share knowledge. You also open yourself to theft. As you have to make the spells known to bring in customers. This could lead to a very profitable bounty on your head and the spell book. Spell copying is usually done one on one and thrust must be established first. A wizard will not tell you if he knows a spell, only if he has access to it. Even a lawful good wizard might lie on which spells he knows for his own sake.
Surely a group of like minded good wizards would see the benefit of freely sharing spells in a collective? If not wouldn't the first set of wizards who started doing so immediately become much more formidable than any of the hermit keep-to-themself individual wizards? A guild of 20 fully-spellbook-stocked wizards (who could immediately replace a stolen or destroyed spellbooks) would be a terror in a world where everyone else is at best a master/apprentice team of two. They would also have way more resources at hand to protect such a venture, having 20 spellcasters to protect the fort and all.

I mean, if your world has super expensive wizarding, thats fine and not a bad hook, but as a PC in that world I would be looking at taking advantage of the fact that X number of people copying my Charm Person gets me a Charm Monster added to my book, and raising the costs of both finding and copying makes this even more lucrative than the game as designed.
 

You assume wizards are numerous. They are not. Wizards are taught one on one over a long time (apprenticeship). There is only one academy and it is in Greyhawk. It is there to teach low level wizards and to offer a place where wizards can discuss spells and research. Actual sharing of knowledge, even between lawful good wizards, is rare to the extreme as power corrupt even the most pure of heart. Who knows if the wizard asking for the right of copying a spell is not a future Vecna?
 

jsaving

Adventurer
I guess that my tax on versatility is not big enough...
At least you are acknowledging this for what it is, a tax you are imposing on players because you personally disagree with the choices they are making at character creation. I still think the place to start is a discussion with your players, though. If you're going to "raise taxes" until they comply, you ought to tell them that now and then encourage an honest exchange of views about that.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
???????????????
I am not the one that says that ink is too much. Quite the contrary. 15k gold for buying a 9th level spell means that the player can save 120k with his 9th level free spell knowledge. And one player would cringe at the cost for the ink? AND you only buy if you have no other choice. More often than not, a quest, a service or simple exchange spell for spell is made for additional spells. It pays to be kind with other wizards.

And strangely, almost the enterity of all wizards that played at my table were quite ok with this rule. Satisfied enough that the great majority of the casters are wizards and not warlock or sorcerer. I guess that my tax on versatility is not big enough...

On second reading, it seems you are confusing spell cost and ink cost. These are unrelated in my games. You pay the spell, then you pay for the ink to write it down. The free spells you gain each level are just that, free spells. You still have to copy them though. This is not a big cost when you think about it (unless your DM is starving you of money, which I am not).
Save 120,000... from what? Where is this 120,000 coming from? Is there a rule I'm missing here?
 

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