PDA

View Full Version : Wizards, Archivists, and Spellbooks (oh my)



SilverClawShift
2008-12-22, 05:43 PM
My group (currently four players plus our DM), is starting a new campaign. We're going to be playing in our own homebrew Dustlands setting (found in my sig), so picture Fallout 3 with magic instead of technology. We're planning on playing level 1-20, but not going epic (even though the game itself will likely continue past the point we hit 20).
Well, my three partners in crime have made their characters: A Wasteling Rogue, a Halfling Swashbuckler, and a Human Barbarian. The Wasteling Rogue is going to be a skillmonkey/party face, the Halfling Swashbuckler is going to be our Indiana Jones/sharpshooter, and the Human Barbarian is going to smash stuff that starts getting close to the rest of us.

You may have noticed a distinct lack of magical potential in that party.

The Barbarian allready said he'd roll up something different, but all three players were really excited for the characters they were planning on playing. Whenever possible, my group likes to work AS a group, and if all three of them want to be non-magical characters, then my DM will work around our shortcomings.
That said, since I allready know they're not going to have jack in the way of spellcasting, I'm taking it upon myself to be as magical as humanly possible. Well, as magical as elvenly possible. All things being taken into consideration, I'm planning on rolling up an elven Wizard/Archivist, and planning to become a Mystic Theurge.

Before anyone starts, I'm well aware that I'm going to be behind the power curve of magical potential, and I'm fine with that. The versatility of being a dual-caster is what I'm looking to accomplish, power gradient be damned. In the end, I'm going to be Wizard7/Archivist3/Mystic Theurge10, so I'll have 9th level arcane spells and 7th level divine spells.
Since I'm going to be Lil Miss Bookworm, Schoolteacher with a Fireball (and TWO prepared spell lists to focus on), I'm obviously going to be doing a lot of book-keeping this game, in character and out. Which FINALLY brings me to the point of my post.

Ya see, since I'm basically going to be dedicating all of my wealth, time, and effort into cataloguing and organizing my spell selection (in game), I'm going to be carrying a lot of books.
And since my DM is a sadist who isn't afraid to seperate prepared casters from their source material, I'm going to be very paranoid ABOUT those books. I'm going to have redundant copies of certain spells, smaller spellbooks stashed in different places, a huge master spellbook being vaulted somewhere safe with one scribing of anything I learn.

Well playgrounders, I'm also interested in using some alternate spellbook methods. For one, I'm going to be tattooing certain key spells on my body. For two, I'd like to use some sturdier materials like bone, wood, metal, ect to keep safe travel copies of other key spells.
My problem is, I can't find WHERE there are rules for doing stuff like that. I distinctly remember reading about tattooing your spellbook on yourself, but I don't remember where I saw it. I'd love to be able to have a little ornately carved admantine cylinder with an important spell etched on its surface, but I'd like some basis in existing rules before I start doing what I'm doing.

So, if anyone knows where I can find rules for alternate spellbooks, I'd be thankful.
If anyone has any additional suggestions for alternate spellbooks, I'd love to hear them.

And if anyone has a reason why I should go for 9th level cleric spells and 7th level arcane, let me know now rather than later :smalltongue:.

(PS. No Boccob's Blessed Books. My DM's usually pretty lax, but finds those to be a reprehensible bypass of the point of spell-tracking in the first place).

tonberrian
2008-12-22, 05:52 PM
Complete Arcane is what you're looking for.

Toliudar
2008-12-22, 05:59 PM
Given the amount of extra book-keeping that you're taking on for this character, giving you access to a blessed book would be only fair to you, the player. But your DM clearly doesn't see it that way.

Lore Gems (Magic Item Compendium) make a decent mini-spellbook - enough to get you the spells you need to find and kill the person who found your real books.

I think that the tattooed option was described in Complete Arcane.

Other possible non-standard ways of storing spell info (none of these are statted out):


Woven into tapestries/articles of clothing.

Painted onto the walls of a bedchamber or meditation room.

Stored in a braille-like fashion on a long strip of fabric or paper.

Retained in a series of crystals - one crystal per spell. Memorization occurs by focusing on the crystal and truly absorbing its structure.

Incidentally, any particular reason why you're not going Wizard 3/Archivist 3/MTX? You're going to get more powerful options at the end of the character's career than you are with straight levels of wizard early on. The Mystic Theurge is tough enough to pull off in a way you'll find fun - I'm not sure why you'd further hamstring yourself with fewer levels of dual casting early on.

Kurald Galain
2008-12-22, 06:05 PM
At the risk of stating the obvious,

Spell Mastery.

Also, if you're breaking out CArc anyway, consider taking one or two reserve feats, so you'll have a modicum of magical power even without your spellbooks. Or, if you've got the feats to spare, a set of heritage feats for the SLAs.

The Glyphstone
2008-12-22, 06:09 PM
Given the amount of extra book-keeping that you're taking on for this character, giving you access to a blessed book would be only fair to you, the player. But your DM clearly doesn't see it that way.

Lore Gems (Magic Item Compendium) make a decent mini-spellbook - enough to get you the spells you need to find and kill the person who found your real books.

I think that the tattooed option was described in Complete Arcane.

Other possible non-standard ways of storing spell info (none of these are statted out):


Woven into tapestries/articles of clothing.

Painted onto the walls of a bedchamber or meditation room.

Stored in a braille-like fashion on a long strip of fabric or paper.

Retained in a series of crystals - one crystal per spell. Memorization occurs by focusing on the crystal and truly absorbing its structure.

Incidentally, any particular reason why you're not going Wizard 3/Archivist 3/MTX? You're going to get more powerful options at the end of the character's career than you are with straight levels of wizard early on. The Mystic Theurge is tough enough to pull off in a way you'll find fun - I'm not sure why you'd further hamstring yourself with fewer levels of dual casting early on.

He said they're not going Epic, and PrC's can't be taken into epic levels before level 21.

PurinaDragonCho
2008-12-22, 06:10 PM
Just a suggestion... if your DM will be flexible on what domain spells and spells from other class lists you can get, you'd probably be better off going straight Archivist. You can get a significant number of good wizard spells that way, you can cast them sooner, and you get all of the Archivist class goodies.

I know that's not what you asked, but I can't resist the urge to make the suggestion. Straight Archivist is really awesome.

SilverClawShift
2008-12-22, 06:15 PM
Complete Arcane is what you're looking for.

Thank you :). Dunno how I missed it.


Incidentally, any particular reason why you're not going Wizard 3/Archivist 3/MTX?

That's exactly what I'm doing, but at the tail end of it (level 16) I'm going to go back into wizard levels for the last bit of things.
So at level 16 I'll have 7th level spells in both classes, and then I'll go for the last two spell levels of wizard.


Spell Mastery.

Goooood call. That and the reserve feats (though frankly I'm going to have more spell slots than hitpoints, so reserve feats are less important than finding new sources for the spells themselves).

Fcannon
2008-12-22, 06:16 PM
You can take the Illusion Mastery variant, which gives you free Spell Mastery on all your Illusion spells (as well as some bonus Illusion spells known) in exchange for your specialist spell slots. Kinda steep price, and obviously useless if you don't like Illusions, but it'll give you a large cache of spells that you don't need a spell book to prepare.

SilverClawShift
2008-12-22, 06:21 PM
Just a suggestion... if your DM will be flexible on what domain spells and spells from other class lists you can get, you'd probably be better off going straight Archivist. You can get a significant number of good wizard spells that way, you can cast them sooner, and you get all of the Archivist class goodies.

I know that's not what you asked, but I can't resist the urge to make the suggestion. Straight Archivist is really awesome.

Suggestions are welcome, but my DM's really harsh on archivists. He's actually really loose with the rules most of the time, but for full spellcasters (especially prepared casters) getting stuff to sneak by is much harder, he knows a full spellcaster can be immpossible to keep up with under certain circumstances, so any RAW limiters get cracked open and laid out hard.

To that end, my DMs stance on archivists is that they get a max of two domains to nap spells from, just as clerics do. You can either pick a deity and grab two of those domains, or pick two dedicated to a cause, but you can only have so many domain spells.
The justification is reasonable to me. If you look hard enough, you can probably find ANY spell on a domain list somewhere, and archivists are allready scary good.

PurinaDragonCho
2008-12-22, 06:37 PM
What about the item familiar rules in Unearthed Arcana? I haven't tried this, but it seems like it should be possible to make an intelligent spellbook that has the ability to teleport itself to you.

Epinephrine
2008-12-22, 07:03 PM
And since my DM is a sadist who isn't afraid to seperate prepared casters from their source material, I'm going to be very paranoid ABOUT those books.

Hmm. And one wonders why nobody wants to play a caster.

Honestly, given the DMs proclivity for separating you from your books, I'd be tempted to do something that doesn't depend on them.

Even a cleric/wizard or sorceror/archivist would at least have one set of spells available should disaster befall your spellbooks, and a sorceror/favoured soul would be even safer.

As other potential alternatives to Mystic Theurge, don't forget about the Fochluran Lyrist and the Arcane Hierophant.

SilverClawShift
2008-12-22, 07:09 PM
Hmm. And one wonders why nobody wants to play a caster.

We've had games that were nothing BUT casters before, and usually we've got two or three, this was just a fluke.


Honestly, given the DMs proclivity for separating you from your books, I'd be tempted to do something that doesn't depend on them.

Our DM doesn't specifically gun for the players spellbooks. It's just that gear gets damaged, lost, or stolen, and if we leave a valuable book sitting in an unlocked pack while we get drunk at a tavern, something might happen.
As such, we know that we need to pay attention to the care and location of our characters favorite things, just like we would if they were our real valuables.

mostlyharmful
2008-12-22, 08:14 PM
I allow a homebrew add on to any spellbook that allows it to be subdermally implanted for 3k gp, get two BBB, one for each list and then talk your DM into allowing the same kind of ballgame. You're a player thats essential to the funcitioning of the team under 3.5, you yourself are a player of this game. It's not unreasonable to come up with a way to stuff those tomes where the sun dont shine for the duration and forget about them. Just don't expect it to be comfortable.,:smallsmile::smallwink:

In a game like DnD when your whole group is depending on you a decent guy will let you stuff your Krytonite down you trousers to ensure nobody else gets eradiated with your coolness.

Roderick_BR
2008-12-22, 08:33 PM
If you don't mind losing those 9th level spells, you could go sorcerer6/blessed soul4/MM10, just to spite your DM, as a spontaneous caster, so he can't mess with your character's important tools.

I'm off before the "thou shall not lose spell levels" chorus arrive.

kamikasei
2008-12-22, 08:37 PM
I'm off before the "thou shall not lose spell levels" chorus arrive.

Can I squeeze in a "would a pair of spontaneous casters with limited spells known really give the versatility of a theurge build that she's after?" harmony first?

2008-12-22, 08:50 PM
Any chance that your party members would let you tatoo them?

May I also suggest that you take time to decently trap your spellbook, teleport especially, but you probably already have that taken care of.

maijstral
2008-12-23, 12:41 AM
(PS. No Boccob's Blessed Books. My DM's usually pretty lax, but finds those to be a reprehensible bypass of the point of spell-tracking in the first place).[/QUOTE]

If it's the cost of scribing spells that your DM doesn't want you to give up, see if he'll allow the Eidetic Spellcaster from Dragon 357. By forfeiting your ability to have a familiar (no loss really) and the Scribe Scroll bonus feat, you gain the ability to prepare all your spells from memory. You still have to pay all the normal costs for learning a new spell using special incenses rather than ink.

Kurald Galain
2008-12-23, 05:25 AM
By forfeiting your ability to have a familiar (no loss really) and the Scribe Scroll bonus feat,
Not having a familiar is a loss (familiars imbued with spells are very powerful). Also, there's several other useful things you can get in place of a familiar (e.g. Sudden Shift), or of scribe scroll (e.g. Imp Initiative).

maijstral
2008-12-23, 06:15 AM
Not having a familiar is a loss (familiars imbued with spells are very powerful). Also, there's several other useful things you can get in place of a familiar (e.g. Sudden Shift), or of scribe scroll (e.g. Imp Initiative).

Since she's multiclassing as a Wizard7/Archivist3/Mystic Theurge10, she'd only be able to advance a familiar to 7th level (do Archivists get familiars?). As far as the alternate abilities go, she is asking for options for spellbooks, so that's what I gave. Also I never really considered Familiars optimal unless you're willing to burn feats on them.

And since she's saving the last 4 levels of wizard for last, she actually be at 3rd level for familiar advancement for the first 16 levels. Although she would be better off taking the last 4 levels as an Archmage. She'll certainly have the spellslots to spare.

jcsw
2008-12-23, 06:27 AM
If you really wanna roleplay a character who's paranoid about his/her spellbook you could ask your DM to let you scribe spells onto a false tooth which can be attached and re-attached. ^^

If you get high level enough you could dip geometer and request to your DM that all your spells can now be scribed on tiny trinkets. (the equivalent of a one page spell) Then you could keep them as keychains on both you and your companions.

JackMage666
2008-12-23, 07:01 AM
He doesn't like the idea of giving a Blessed Book, but he'll let you be an Archivist? That's a reversal of ideas if I ever heard one.

I'd research a spell that allows you to instantly call your spellbook to your side, provided it's on the same plane of existance of you, and spell mastery/tattoo/whatever to always have it available. This'll protect you from it being stolen, for the most part. CArc has a number of good enhancements you can put on your spellbook to protect it from damage. Honestly, though, you're going to end up carrying a library with you. Most of the reason Blessed Books exists is so a Spellcaster of higher levels doesn't *need* to carry 10 books (which you will, considering a spell takes a number of pages equal to it's level, even those Lvl 5 spells will add of quick when you get 8 of them BEFORE you do any research on the side). I'd ask him to reconsider the Blessed Book, even if just for that purpose.

Iku Rex
2008-12-23, 07:27 AM
The Eberron Campaign Setting has the Wizard's Spellshard (3 gp). It's a crystal that can hold up to 20 pages of spells.

Aureon’s Spellshard (6250 gp), from the same book, can hold 500 pages of spells with no scribing cost. Your DM probably won't allow it though.

The force chest (lv4, SpC) spell can protect your spellbook(s) from almost anything.

woodenbandman
2008-12-23, 08:57 AM
Why not just let there be a no magic game? If your DM is good, and he sounds pretty good, he'll be able to adjust challenges to still be fun no matter what characters you're playing. Do something like an initiator (Crusader's nice) if you wanna have the spell feel.

Epinephrine
2008-12-23, 09:29 AM
Our DM doesn't specifically gun for the players spellbooks.

Ok, your use of the word sadist (one who enjoys inflicting pain on others) leads one to believe otherwise.

I (and it's just me, I'm sure) wouldn't want to play a character who can be reduced to zero effectiveness with a single spell (like Miasma of Entropy), if I could help it.

I mentioned Arcane Hierophant in part because you mentioned being elven - it's a PrC from Races of the Wild, and suits an elven divine/arcane user. Your party lacks a wilderness type (from what I can tell), as well as lacking a healer/arcanist, and a druid3/wizard3/arcane hierophant10 would allow you to function in more roles. The Hierophant offers a better BAB, better skill points, better HD, and extra abilities compared to a Mystic Theurge, though you lose out on some small measure of flexibility when compared to an archivist.