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5E Market price for a spell book?

Feels like creating an objective price on this creates a slippery slope no matter how you come at it. And probably because this shouldn’t happen in normal course: specifically, it seems to me that wizard guilds do not want spellbooks being sold in unregulated markets (think doctors and prescription drugs). With spell scrolls being a historical exception (and those theoretically being one-time use only).
I agree with the slippery slope. Shouldn't this give wizards the incentive to make sure that their spells are safeguarded from other wizards, even if someone bypasses the wards on their spellbook? In real life terms say I had a notebook filled with notes from calculus, geometry, physics and geology, between my diagrams, comments in the margins, short hand and really shitty handwriting, equating that to a spellbook Id be hard pressed to say just any wizard could pick it up, read and copy it. This would also deter other wizards even wanting someone elses spellbook. Think 5E simplified the system for wizards reading, learning and copying spells. I suppose ultimately the laws of supply and demand will dictate what the spellbook is worth. Seems to me buying a hot spellbook in a dark back alley would be like buying a .38 Special off a street corner.
 

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jgsugden

Hero
There is no right answer, as there is no specific controlled guidance in the books. As such, use common sense and ask yourself how much a PC might consider paying for it. Would they trade a wand of fireballs for it, for example?

In general, wizards tend to have 'enough' spells and obtaining a bunch of new spells is just 'gravy'. As such, I don't generally put too much value on the books. The ones that tend to buy them tend to be wizards and libraries as they can then charge fees to wizards that want to learn spells from them. The price tends to be a few hundred gold for low level books, a few thousands for spellbooks with mid level spells and perhaps 10K gold for a spellbook with high levl spells.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
My favorite answer: Spell both rare and cheap.

Elaboration: There is no detriment to Wizards sharing spellbooks and thus many Wizards share to further their knowledge. Thus, a spellbook is worth less than the components required to make it because a Wizard can find another Wizard that knows the spell - given time of course. Since a spellbook is more expensive to produce than to sell then the only time you run across them is finding in adventure, dead wizard, stolen etc.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
Supporter
Hi guys, long time lurker, first time writer, and so on.

The wizard in the group I'm DMing took the spell book from the body of an enemy wizard,
copied the spells he needed and now would like to sell it.

They are in the world's biggest commercial city so let's assume finding a buyer should not be a problem.

What would be a good formula to compute the market price of a spell book? Is it in the manuals somewhere?

Thanks!
a better question would be to ask your gm how much you would need to spend to buy that spellbook. What spells are inside (it might matter lots). Spellbooks range from priceless & you can't even finda wizard to mutually copy spells from each other's spellbook if you try all the way to "are you a guild/library/etc member with up to date dues & good standing?... if so yea you can copy up to x level spells from someone, tell soandso whatcha looking for & he will try to point you in the right direction". Look through the patrons section of Rising.
 



Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I think the most by-the-book answer would be 25 gp + 10 gp per level per spell written in it.

How I arrived at this number: A blank spell book costs 50 gp according to the adventuring gear table, and players are able to sell adventuring gear at half its market value. Crafting an item usually costs half the item’s market value in crafting supplies according to the PHB downtime rules, and copying a spell into a spell book is said to require 50 gp worth of material components and expensive inks per level of the spell. If we consider this to be equivalent to the cost of the supplies to “craft” a spell book, its market value should be 20 gp per level per spell (plus the base 50 gp for the book itself,) and players should be able to sell it for half of that.

This is kinda neat because if all the spells in the spell book are new to the wizard, they can copy them all and then sell the book to offset the cost of copying them, leaving them with a net gain of 25 gp, same as if they had just found and sold a blank spellbook. If they already know any of the spells in it, (or if no one in the party is a wizard) those spells are still valuable to them as treasure, with higher level spells being worth more.
 

lordxaviar

Explorer
I'm gonna call for a specific source like book & page number because I don't think your talking about what you think your talking about.
you need to read more

Value of spell books
A standard spell book has an Experience Point Value of 1,000 points per spell level contained therein (considering cantrips as first level spells for this purpose), and a Gold Piece Sale Value of 200 gp per spell level (but only 150 gold pieces for each cantrip, if the book is of that sort). A travelling spell book has an Experience Point Value of 500 points per spell level contained therein (again, considering cantrips as first level spells), and a Gold Piece Sale Value of 1,000 gp per spell level (applies to all spells, including cantrips).
As with any other magical items, spell books must either be sold immediately or else the X.P. value taken. This holds true regardless of whether or not any tome is eventually sold. Thus, a spell book cannot be kept while a particular spell or spells are transcribed, and then the work be sold for G.P. Sale Value and
the proceeds taken toward experience points dragon mag, article by gary
 

you need to read more

Value of spell books
A standard spell book has an Experience Point Value of 1,000 points per spell level contained therein (considering cantrips as first level spells for this purpose), and a Gold Piece Sale Value of 200 gp per spell level (but only 150 gold pieces for each cantrip, if the book is of that sort). A travelling spell book has an Experience Point Value of 500 points per spell level contained therein (again, considering cantrips as first level spells), and a Gold Piece Sale Value of 1,000 gp per spell level (applies to all spells, including cantrips).
As with any other magical items, spell books must either be sold immediately or else the X.P. value taken. This holds true regardless of whether or not any tome is eventually sold. Thus, a spell book cannot be kept while a particular spell or spells are transcribed, and then the work be sold for G.P. Sale Value and
the proceeds taken toward experience points
Travelling spellbook indicates this is 2E or earlier id imagine? Think they were done away with by 3E.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
Supporter
you need to read more

Value of spell books
A standard spell book has an Experience Point Value of 1,000 points per spell level contained therein (considering cantrips as first level spells for this purpose), and a Gold Piece Sale Value of 200 gp per spell level (but only 150 gold pieces for each cantrip, if the book is of that sort). A travelling spell book has an Experience Point Value of 500 points per spell level contained therein (again, considering cantrips as first level spells), and a Gold Piece Sale Value of 1,000 gp per spell level (applies to all spells, including cantrips).
As with any other magical items, spell books must either be sold immediately or else the X.P. value taken. This holds true regardless of whether or not any tome is eventually sold. Thus, a spell book cannot be kept while a particular spell or spells are transcribed, and then the work be sold for G.P. Sale Value and
the proceeds taken toward experience points dragon mag, article by gary
uhh... I'm pretty sure we are talking about 5e, pricing in old editions doesn't mean much to 5e & certainly is not capable of holding the weight you give it. You know that the issue of dragon mag is pretty important right? It looks like you were quoting
1584142407770.png
from 1982.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
you need to read more

Value of spell books
A standard spell book has an Experience Point Value of 1,000 points per spell level contained therein (considering cantrips as first level spells for this purpose), and a Gold Piece Sale Value of 200 gp per spell level (but only 150 gold pieces for each cantrip, if the book is of that sort). A travelling spell book has an Experience Point Value of 500 points per spell level contained therein (again, considering cantrips as first level spells), and a Gold Piece Sale Value of 1,000 gp per spell level (applies to all spells, including cantrips).
As with any other magical items, spell books must either be sold immediately or else the X.P. value taken. This holds true regardless of whether or not any tome is eventually sold. Thus, a spell book cannot be kept while a particular spell or spells are transcribed, and then the work be sold for G.P. Sale Value and
the proceeds taken toward experience points dragon mag, article by gary
What on earth are you talking about?
 


uhh... I'm pretty sure we are talking about 5e, pricing in old editions doesn't mean much to 5e & certainly is not capable of holding the weight you give it. You know that the issue of dragon mag is pretty important right? It looks like you were quoting
from 1982.
Agreed at best its suggestion as to how to possibly pricing spellbook and what may factor into that cost. Earlier editions layed things out a bit better but it certainly isnt gospel by any means.
 


lordxaviar

Explorer
well the more i read the less i like 5e, like everything else, being dumbed down. Still dont understand why things written by the games creators have no "weight". New isnt better. but I leave you to your Hasbro cleansed game.
 


the more i read the less i like 5e, like everything else, being dumbed down
Still dont understand why things written by the games creators have no "weight"
IMO, there were parts of 1E and 2E that were too "weighted" to the point of being restrictive. It made things almost impossible at times. In the dragon article you posted the player either needed to take the XP and sell the book or keep the and use the book. Even then if the player took the XP and sold the book it states something to the effect that its irrelevant if the book is actually ever sold, meaning the PC may be stuck with a "weighted" paper weight. What purpose does any of this serve? The player adventured and gained XP and also was rewarded by finding a spellbook, why cant he get both? Clearly this was an attempt at balancing the game but it was unreasonably restrictive and in game terms doesn't make any sense. That's why things were changed in the editions that came after. Just because a rule doesn't appear in 5E doesn't mean you cant introduce and use it, which is kind of the whole philosophy this edition is built on. In comparison, even though house ruling was common place since day one, 1E and 2E were written to be played by the book for the most part. As I recall the rules were pretty firm and heavy handed at points making it difficult for players to realize a character concept or perform tasks that should be rather common for adventurers, like selling a spellbook.

New isn’t better. Old isn’t better. Better is better.
Nothing could be truer when talking about music fads over the last couple centuries, but I digress. Even though each successive edition of the game may not be for everyone and has its pros and cons, I do believe that the designers are trying to improve the game for the better. Coming back to the OP, that's why they've left the price of a spellbook on the open market up to the DM and players as opposed to having a strict set rules for pricing quantified. As a DM in this situation I would ask myself based on the player/party level how much gold am I willing to give them and base any sale negotiations from there, and that's what's its worth in my game.
 

aco175

Hero
I tend to value it based on a similar magic item of level and level of party and spells inside. I also tend to value the actual spell. Say a group of 5th level PCs find a book with up to 3rd level spells inside and a +1 sword. The rest of the party tends to say the mage gets the book and everyone else roll for the sword. Does the mage get stuck, maybe, depends on the players and such.

Now the mage PC looks at the spells and sees just some basic spells like read magic and magic missile. Nothing big inside so he can sell it for something like a magic item, but I would tend to undervalue it and pay him 500gp or 300 and a scroll he could use or something. Say there was a new spell named fiery death that nobody has heard of and I wanted this as a reward or hook to use, then the book value would be 1000gp.

Another thing to think about is that 5e tends to assign the number of spells that casters can get. Mages automatically get more spells at certain points and this is assumed to be from non-play things like training or getting to copy spells from other books. DMs are free to give out more spells, but now this makes the wizard a bit more powerful, but really not more than the fighter that got the +1 sword.

My players tend to keep these things to trade more than to sell. Prior editions had them copying the spells into their book and holding the other in case theirs was lost or they needed to bribe someone. The actual cash was not needed as much.
 

lordxaviar

Explorer
Gygax wasn’t the creator of 5e. no kidding... he is spinning in his grave. He lost control of dnd fairly early. long story. agree with the better is better, shame very little has been made better, just different for the sake of the mighty profit margin.
 

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