2013-02-16 Spell Book Notation


A problem I often have is spell books. What spells are in those books? Which spells has the magic user memorized? What about his apprentices and friends?

Here’s my solution to this dilemma:

  1. No caster has memorized a spell twice.
  2. I create a master spell book and related casters just use subsets of these.

This works with my conservative interpretation of spell books (but does not depend on it) and  it gives every group of magic users a distinct flavor.

Recently I was wondering how to write it down, however. I used to just write down the master spell book. That slows me down when figuring out which spells lower level casters know. Here’s how I wrote it down for my neogi deathspider spelljamming mages (these have a level of 1d8). The important part is the second column. I also like to include alternative spell names in order to add flavor.

Spell Level Caster Level Spell Name Traditional Name
1 1 Power over lesser minds charm person
1 2 Power of a merchant’s greed detect magic
1 7 Mind blasting cattle brains sleep
2 3 Listening to the chatter of idle brains ESP
2 4 Bending perception phantasmal force
2 8 Unity with our arachnid ancestors web
3 5 Blasting of rebellious cattle lightning bolt
3 6 All seeing eye of the overlord clairvoyance
4 7 Bending the will of all creatures charm monster
4 8 Blessing of chaos eternal confusion

(I’m not sure, perhaps it would make more sense to sort this table by the second column?)



Is sleep at caster level seven correct?

– Harald 2013-02-17 02:07 UTC

Sure, that’s when they get their third first level spell.

Level 1 2 3 4
1 1
2 2
3 2 1
4 2 2
5 2 2 1
6 2 2 2
7 3 2 2 1
8 3 3 2 2

Perhaps your wondered whether adding sleep at level seven is appropriate? Why pick charm person and detect magic instead? I think that’s just a question of flavor.

AlexSchroeder 2013-02-17 08:13 UTC

i get it now (-:

– Harald 2013-02-17 15:08 UTC

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