View Full Version : Learning New Spells as a Wizard: the Time Frame [3.5]

Twilight Jack
2010-03-15, 12:09 PM
I've come across something in the SRD that I've not noticed before, regarding the length of time required for a wizard to put a new spell into his book.

The operative passages are as follows:

No matter what the spellís source, the wizard must first decipher the magical writing (see Arcane Magical Writings, above). Next, she must spend a day studying the spell. At the end of the day, she must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spellís level). . . If the check succeeds, the wizard understands the spell and can copy it into her spellbook (see Writing a New Spell into a Spellbook, below). The process leaves a spellbook that was copied from unharmed, but a spell successfully copied from a magic scroll disappears from the parchment.

And from a passage just below it:

Once a wizard understands a new spell, she can record it into her spellbook.

The process takes 24 hours, regardless of the spellís level.

All emphases are mine.

So, question the first, are the studying and the recording separate processes, each with their own time frame? I had always assumed them to be the same but they seem to be intended as separate processes.

The second question speaks to the strange choice of words regarding the time required to record the spell into the book: not "one day," but "24 hours." Now, the general rule on a day of work is that it represents eight hours of effort in a given 24 hour period. Hence, when the SRD says it takes one day of study to learn the spell, I understand that to mean 8 hours of continuous study within that day. But it doesn't say it takes one day to copy it; it says it takes "24 hours."

Offhand, I can think of three different ways to read this.

They meant 1 day, and failed to take the discrepancy with the specifics of their definition of a work day into proper account.
They meant 24 hours, as they wrote, either done all at once or spread out over any span of time the wizard chooses. By this reading, a wizard may choose to pull an all-nighter to get a spell recorded in a single day, whether concurrently or consecutively with the day required to study and learn the spell.
They meant 24 hours, but the character may not work more than 8 hours out of any given day, for the same reason that a character building a magic item can't put in 16 hour days to finish the project in half the time. By this reading, it takes a minimum of three days to record your spell, in addition to the one day of study.

So, what's the right reading? How long does my wizard need in order to learn/record a spell from a "borrowed" spellbook into his own.

2010-03-15, 12:20 PM
I think it's intended to be two days. Mostly we just assume it happens during downtime when we play.