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D&D 5E Your favorite Creative Spellbooks

BookTenTiger

Adventurer
What are some fun, creative alternate Spellbooks you've experienced in your games?

The PHB notes that Spellbooks can have different appearances:

The Book’s Appearance. Your spellbook is a unique compilation of spells, with its own decorative flourishes and margin notes. It might be a plain, functional leather volume that you received as a gift from your master, a finely bound gilt-edged tome you found in an ancient library, or even a loose collection of notes scrounged together after you lost your previous spellbook in a mishap.

Xanathar's includes some really fun Spellbook ideas, including:


Small stones inscribed with spells and kept in a cloth bag

My current dwarf wizard us an archaeologist by trade, so his "spellbook" is actually his collection of artifacts from various tombs and dungeons! For example, he casts Grease by blowing into a horn made from a friend slug found in the tombs of the Slime Lords.

When I add new spells after levelling up, I choose new artifacts I found in whatever dungeons we've explored. We got through Forge of Fury, and when I gained the spell Rope Trick I described it as an old brick that was the mantel of a door in Khundrukar. Throwing it into the air produces a brick ladder and a doorway that opens into the memory of a room from the dwarven hold.

What are your favorite alternate Spellbooks?
 

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jgsugden

Legend
Tattoos. But you run out of space you say? I didn't say the tattoos were on the wizard. I had a bad guy hunting down former slaves because they had his spells inscribed on their skin (it allowed him to apply metamagic to the spells automatically by drawing upon their soul energy).

I also had a wizard lose their spellbook. They had no access to get another one, but they were high level enough (and had prepared) Magnificent Mansion, so he had the spells inscribed on the wall when he created it.
 


prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
My wife is playing a Diviner Wizard whose "spellbook" is a divinatory deck and a booklet of layouts, spreads, and interpretations. When she learns spells from an outside source, it's described as figuring out how to layout the cards to imprint that spell in her brain, so she can then prepare them. I kinda wish I were DMing for that character, but I'm not.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I havent followed the Tattoos as spells since 2E Spellbound boxed set. Is there a limit to the number of spells a person can tattoo on themselves and even then the spell level is capped?
I made up my own rules for it. It was for an NPC (BBEG) wizard, so the rules were a bit fast and loose. The two prisoners he was chasing had 9th level spells on their skin (1 each).
 

I made up my own rules for it. It was for an NPC (BBEG) wizard, so the rules were a bit fast and loose. The two prisoners he was chasing had 9th level spells on their skin (1 each).
Perfect! That's exactly what I would have done. Sometimes the "rules" just get in the way of a good time and a good story and do nothing more than cause unnecessary reading.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Tattoos. But you run out of space you say? I didn't say the tattoos were on the wizard. I had a bad guy hunting down former slaves because they had his spells inscribed on their skin (it allowed him to apply metamagic to the spells automatically by drawing upon their soul energy).
My partner has a wild soul barbarian who’s the escaped slave of just such a wizard. The wild magic surges are fluffed as accidentally activating the magic of the tattoos.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
I've given out these two in the past
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a bunch of these are swordmeow spells
1606341654014.png
I also like eberron's dragonshards & am leaning towards removing their scribing cost next time I have a player running a wizard

edit: The spellbooks in TCoE impressed me too
 

cbwjm

Hero
I quite like the thought of a wizard's staff having magical runes inscribed on them which acts as the wizard's spellbook. Whether they actually read the runes to change their spells of meditate while holding the staff to take in the magical knowledge is a thing I haven't quite decided on and maybe don't need to decide on.
 

aco175

Legend
I had a dwarf who had a book made from copper plates. He would etch his spells on each page. A halfling once used swamp reeds to draw his spell upon. They were kept in a waterproof (and fireproof) jar. My favorite was an elf mage who received a spell ring that would store his book inside a pocket dimension inside the ring. The DM was going to have a animal spirit inside who would talk to the mage and store his spells inside him, but changed it at some point.
 




There was a Dragon article about the Ashen Concord, I think it was called. They were drow, duergar and aboleths I think and they went around assassinating mind flayers. I think the spellcasters were sightless - since it would be not a disadvantage in the Underdark - and their 'spellbooks' were like having a staff that had the spells encoded on them in Braille, essentially.
 

I really like the suggestion in Xanathar's for one being a set of metal plates that has its spells engraved in it using acid. I've also had dwarven wizards in my campaign where their spellbook is a staff (used as their spellcasting focus) that they carve their spell runes into it. In Eberron, I like having an elven wizard that uses a crystal as both their spellcasting focus and spellbook.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It’d be cool to have a wizard who just kept all of their spells in a “mind palace.”
I was just thinking that!

Or, the wizards familiar as spellbook. The Wizard sits and talks over what they will need for the next day, going over formulas and theorems, and working out a spread of power and utility.

Another cool one I saw was that the Wizard had to engage in slow meditative Forms, like doing Tai Chi, and the spells were like accelerated versions, making the Wizard look like a martial artist when casting.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I’ve used knotted cords, with the spell being cast by untying the knot in a single pull (hence they have to be reknotted each morning)

I’ve also done a Painted Cave for a Prehistoric game (the PC would sleep in the cave and absorb its magic)

I also have the Wind Dancers cult imc, inspired by Whirling Dervishes they are Air Elementalist who use intricate dance steps to cast their spells

Similarly inspired by the Dance of the Seven Veils, the Wizard wears layers of silk, each of which is a spell that gets tossed and dissolves as it is cast.

In a modern game I used a Smartphone as a spellbook, with the gestures being specific screen swipes
 



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