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Crazy evil overlords and stashing spellbooks

Written by Expy - Published on November 25, 2007

Random thoughts

Who lives in an underground lair? You’d think it’s something evil overlords do, but I think the common characteristic of the of all underground lair owners is folly.  Even evil overlords will get depressed if they stay underground for years.  Unless they’re dwarves. But I don’t think I could take an evil dwarven overlord seriously.  Dwarves are inherently funny.

Handling spellbooks

Anyhow, the wizard in my party carries only one spellbook with him – his battle tome (he doesn’t have much of a choice since he’s got a strength score of 8). He has a library full of spellbooks in his underground lair (he’s chaotic neutral).

What started as a way to speed up the game – too many spells can be brutal on the game flow – ended up being beneficial to many aspects of our ongoing campaign.

Having different spellbooks (adventuring, battle, and home) promotes backstory and roleplaying because the wizard has to settle down somewhere or at least stash his books somewhere, and that could lead to roleplaying with NPCs and getting involved in a community.

Spellbook house rules

  • I don’t roll dice anymore to see if the wizards manages to learn or copy a spell.  That’s just rolling for the sake of rolling, IMHO.
  • I don’t use material components because they’re a logistical nightmare (except for spells that have a prohibitive cost in gp or xp like “Identify”).
  • Spellbooks can burn or be destroyed but can also be repaired with the “Mending” spell if they not completely disintegrated.  I don’t think I ever succesfully destroyed a spellbook but it would be a nasty trick to pull on the PCs!

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Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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 Comments

6 Responses to “Crazy evil overlords and stashing spellbooks”
  1. rekres says:

    My house rule: All spellcasters get Eschew Materials at first level… so long as they have a spell component pouch with them, they don’t have to worry about tracking individual components, with the exception of those that require XP or a GP cost greater than 1GP.

  2. rekres says:

    Who lives underground? Dwarves, drow, earth elementals, xorn, dragons (Smaug in The Hobbit?), gnomes, and any creature from the Monster Manual with underground as an environment.

    I’d guess that your average D&D campaign world has at least 1/4 to 1/3 of the sentient population who lives underground…. at least some of the time.

    “Dwarves are inherently funny.” Say what?!? Where are you getting that from? Now if you said Kender or Tinker Gnomes… yeah, that I’d agree with… ;)

  3. Yax says:

    Who was the comic relief in the Lord of the Rings? The hobbits were funny but I think the dwarf was funnier.

  4. Ian says:

    Uhh… In 3rd edition, a spellcaster only needs a spell component pouch and they’re assumed to have any non-costly spell components. From the SRD:

    Spell Component Pouch

    A spellcaster with a spell component pouch is assumed to have all the material components and focuses needed for spellcasting, except for those components that have a specific cost, divine focuses, and focuses that wouldn’t fit in a pouch.

  5. Yax says:

    Well… That solves that issue.

  6. Fishercatt says:

    My house rules for spells/components:

    – Mages and such are researchers, so I think that finding a spell and copying it are kind of silly. Kind of like saying a poet cannot make original poems, or a chemist only has to copy information over.

    – So I use spell components. Sort of. They are, as Yax has suggested, a logistical nightmare and take a lot of hte fun out of the game. So I make my players have to use a spell component only to write the original spell in their spellbook. I switch things around some, too. The side adventure may consist of looking for invisible ink to write their invisibility spells, or Red Dragon blood for fire spells.

    The players seem to really enjoy this. I’m able to limit the number of spells their able to write (this vial of Invisible Ink is good for a total of ten spell levels) and it enables the players to be creative.

    If anyone else wants to try this please give me some feedback.

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