Acquiring a spellbook without being a Wizard

Is there any way for an arcane spell-casting class other than wizard to obtain and use a spellbook without multi-classing into wizard?

I’m interested in this because a campaign my group is currently playing is in the process of switching into 5th edition from Pathfinder. I’m currently playing a Magus and (tentatively) switching into Fighter (Eldritch Knight). Problem is magical research is a large part of the character’s fluff and I’m not sure how to do that as a spontaneous caster.

Conditions:

I don’t want to drop the swordplay (I dual-wield with the War Caster feat), I’d like to have access to the spell Misty Step, and evocation spells at the very least. I’m not beyond dropping Eldritch Knight, though this seems to be the best fit so far for other fluff-related reasons. Bottom line: I’m a gish.

I’d also like to avoid Divine classes, as they don’t fit the fluff of the character.

Options I’ve considered:

I’ve already picked up the Ritual Caster feat, so I can expand my library of spells that way (though only those tagged as rituals). I’m also aware of the Magic Initiate feat but this doesn’t grant a spellbook. I could go wizard and gear myself towards physical combat, but that is obviously not an optimal choice. Multi-classing is also out, more so out of personal preference than anything; I’m not going to write it off completely, though. (I’m still interested in finding a method that doesn’t involve wizard levels.) In the end, flavour is more important than optimization.

After taking a look at Warlock (with Pact of the Tome and the invocation Book of Ancient Secrets) I don’t see much difference between that and the Ritual Caster feat. They both grant a book, but only allow Rituals¹. As a Human character the feat is much easier to pick up than investing in a 3 level dip that weakens my main class.


Note: I’m aware that, without the DMG, this may be a bit pre-emptive. I won’t be accepting any answers (unless there is a definite, by-the-book, answer) until after it’s released.


  1. Player’s Handbook, page 110, “Eldritch Invocations”, “Book of Ancient Secrets”, emphasis mine:

    On your adventures, you can add other ritual spells to your Book of Shadows.

Can I use the Wizardly Quill to make a free copy of my actual Awakened Spellbook?

I know the Order of Scribes can already make a copy of the Awakened Spellbook by making the ritual in another blank book, but that leaves the old Awakened Spellbook in blank. I want to have both Spellbooks in hand for pure Roleplay.

Here’s the rules for Wizardly Quill from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything:

As a bonus action, you can magically create a Tiny quill in your free hand. The magic quill has the following properties:

  • The quill doesn’t require ink. When you write with it, it produces ink in a color of your choice on the writing surface.

  • The time you must spend to copy a spell into your spell book equals 2 minutes per spell level if you use the quill for the transcription.

  • You can erase anything you write with the quill if you wave the feather over the text as a bonus action, provided the text is within 5 feet of you. This quill disappears if you create another one or if you die

Here’s the rules about replacing spellbooks from Player’s Handbook:

Replacing the Book. You can copy a spell from your own spellbook into another book— for example, if you want to make a backup copy of your spellbook. This is just like copying a new spell into your spellbook, but faster and easier, since you understand your own notation and already know how to cast the spell. You need spend only 1 hour and 10 gp for each level of the copied spell.

If I’m not wrong, I don’t need to spend nothing to test the spells I already know. Just need the right amount of ink and time to copy them. The Wizardly Quill is exactly made for this purpose of saving time and ink. That’s my interpretation. Am I wrong?

Can an Order of Scribes Awakened Spellbook communicate in any way?

Can an Order of Scribes Wizard’s Awakened Spellbook communicate in any way? This seems like it would be up to the DM but it’s not clear whether it is a possibility or an expectation.

Arguments against communication

No rules text gives the spellbook any languages or abilities to communicate, either by speech or telepathically.

The spellbook is not given the ability to perform any actions independently from its user.

Arguments for communication

The description of the subclass references the Awakened Spellbook as a companion one can talk to.

And while all wizards value spellbooks, a wizard in the Order of Scribes magically awakens their book, turning it into a trusted companion. All wizards study books, but a wizardly scribe talks to theirs!

The Awakened Spellbook feature states that the book is sentient.

Using specially prepared inks and ancient incantations passed down by your wizardly order, you have awakened an arcane sentience within your spellbook.

Beyond that, the subclass features refer to the Awakened Spellbook’s mind as an entity able to take a person’s spectral form, who is able to help on certain skill checks and which has a soul.

Finally, an ability for a sentient magic item to perform actions independently of its user is not unusual for sentient magic items.

In-game treatment

Given all this, how should the Awakened Spellbook be treated?

  • Using the rules for sentient magic items? (DMG p.214)
  • As a sentient but unintelligent entity which doesn’t communicate, as would be the case of a familiar obtained from Find Familiar without Pact of the Chain?
  • Some other way?

How does the Order of Scribes feature Awakened Spellbook work with multiple damage types?

Awakened Spellbook, a level 3 Order of Scribes feature, says the following:

When you cast a wizard spell with a spell slot, you can temporarily replace its damage type with a type that appears in another spell in your spellbook, which magically alters the spell’s formula for this casting only. The latter spell must be of the same level as the spell slot you expend.

If I cast a spell that deals multiple damage types, for example Ice Knife (https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/ice-knife), how does this work? Could I change both damage types to a different type (for example force damage on initial hit, fire damage on burst) or only the same damage (force damage on both damage rolls). Also, could I switch the two damage types inside the spell, having cold damage on initial hit, and piercing damage on the burst?

Does the Order of Scribes Feature Awakened Spellbook also change the damage type of Absorb Elements?

The Order of Scribes from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything has the "Awakened Spellbook" feature. Part of the feature reads as follows:

When you cast a wizard spell with a spell slot, you can temporarily replace its damage type with a type that appears in another spell in your spellbook, which magically alters the spell’s formula for this casting only. The latter spell must be of the same level as the spell slot you expend.

Can i change the absorbing damage type of the spell "Absorb Elements"?

Absorb Elements is a spell with casting time of Reaction and an asterisk when the Reaction can take place as follows:

which you take when you take acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage

Can you replace the damage type of the trigger with that feature? That way you could absorb every type of damage with this spell. Absorbing poison, psychic, force or physical damage types.

Do any published adventures contain spells a wizard can copy that aren’t written in a spellbook?

A wizard can copy a spell they find into their spellbook. This is described in the "Your Spellbook" section of the Wizard’s class features:

When you find a wizard spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a spell level you can prepare and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.

Notably, it does not say "when you find a wizard spell in a spellbook". Are there any instances in published adventures where a wizard can copy a spell from something other than a spellbook?

I’m obviously not concerned about spell scrolls here. I’m looking for something like a spell written on a wall or stone tablet, or other surface that does not require a check like a spell scroll does.

This Q&A firmly establishes that the wizard can copy their spells from any written source, but I am not aware of any published examples of this outside of found spellbooks.

Can a multiclass divine soul sorcerer / wizard add cleric spells to the spellbook?

I am in a campaign where I am a level 2 sorcerer and level 1 wizard and I have a paladin, a cleric, and a druid in my party. I was wondering if I am a divine sorcerer and have access to the cleric spell list, can the cleric or the paladin write cleric spells in my spellbook?
Or if I find or buy cleric spell scrolls can I add them to my spellbook?

Why? or Why not?

Can a spellbook contain cantrips?

Is it possible for cantrips to be written in a spellbook? Their description suggests not, as well as the fact that the Wizard’s cantrips are ‘known’ rather than being in their spellbook.

For example, if a Wizard found a scroll with a cantrip on it (can cantrips even be on scrolls?), could they copy it into their spellbook and ‘know’ it henceforth?

The reason for the question isn’t that I’m hoping to know more cantrips than the rules allow, it’s for a character’s backstory I’m working on. The character will only know the allowed number of cantrips, but it doesn’t make any sense for the character to know any cantrips unless they were in a spellbook. (The character is a Rogue who stole a spellbook and started learning magic from it.)

(It’s fine if this can’t be answered now, I’m happy to wait for the DMG release if there’s no answer beyond ‘who cares, just make it up’.)