Photo by chelle

Dear Osvaud,

This is Osvaud. The worst part about being an ancient wizard is daily preparation. As time marches on, the list of magic we’ve learned gets longer and longer. We end up with a library of known spells and have to create a filing system to track them all. By comparison, the number of spells we can prepare in a given day doesn’t ever get much longer. Daily versatility is nice. I mean, we could be a sadsack lich sorcerer stuck with the same spells for eternity… but it can also get to be too many potential choices. Like, do I cast symbol of death or symbol of insanity on this page of our diary to screw with privacy violators?

Actually, that’s a false dilemma. Spoiler alert, we went with both.

Which brings us to today’s topic: spellbooks.

We, for some reason, still have to “rest” for eight hours a day before we prepare spells. The actual preparing then takes another hour. I mean, we literally never get fatigued, but we still have to spend more than a third of our day refraining from movement and talking? Putting it in literal terms, that means in the last millennia, we’ve spent upward of 375 years zoning out or rereading the same freaking spells.

That was an off-topic tangent. I needed to vent for a second.

As noted previously, it is worth the time and money to have more than one copy of your go-to spellbooks. The back-up copy should be somewhere relatively easily accessible but nearly impossible for other people to get at (like a secret chest).

Blessed books are a must have. Without factoring in magic items that give us access to more spells per day, we need about 200-300 pages of spellbooks to fill out our selection. We can either deal with a dozen books to cover every base, or a single convenient tome. Huh… I wonder why these things are blessed? Clerics can’t even cast secret page. Who exactly is blessing this thing?

Anyway, the idea of being prepared for any potential situation isn’t practical on a day to day basis. It’s better to have a broad system for spell selection defined by need. Thus, each “blessedbook should be subdivided into three sections that define your preparation, depending on what sort of activity you expect. This prevents you from wasting even more time picking through every single spell you know.

Expect to be fighting adventurers? Reference the Offensive section. Think you won’t be doing much more than crafting in a safe environment? Reference the Utility section. Taking a road trip to hell? Consider going with the Defensive section. Don’t hyper-focus in each category and retain some versatility. Also, having a few slots set aside for limited wish and wish is always wise.

A pre-chosen spell selection like this saves a ton of effort and also retains the innate versatility of being a wizard. I can’t tell you how many lazy antagonists I’ve seen who always prepare the same spells, no matter what.

Preparing the same darn spells every day makes you worse than a sorcerer. That’s right. I said it.


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