Each spellbook or formula book is a unique reflection of the personality and capabilities of its creator. Many of these tomes contain more than just spells, such as notes on the caster’s other research, personal diaries, naturalist sketches, or even political treatises. Some contain preparation rituals, each of which grants a boon—or sometimes a hindrance—to spellcasters who use the book to prepare their spells.
The sample spellbooks and formula books below each list a description of the book, information on the caster’s specialty school and oppositional schools (if any), the book’s spells, and its preparation ritual (if any). Some books also contain precautions against prying eyes.
Descriptions, protections, preparation rituals, and spell content can be mixed and matched as desired from different books. Higher-level books can easily serve for lower-level casters—just drop the spell levels that aren’t applicable and remove lower-level spells as desired. Similarly, if you desire longer books, combine two together or add spells or formulae of your choice to the desired levels. These books also work as spellbooks and formula books for new characters. Just copy the list, hand it to the player, and go.
A standard spellbook includes all cantrips from the Core Rulebook except those in the wizard’s oppositional schools. Books containing cantrips from additional sources are noted in the content description.
Each book features a value, which represents what a character must pay for the book on the open market, though finding a seller may be difficult. The character may sell the book for half that value. Any book with a preparation ritual has two sets of costs, one for the book without the preparation ritual, and one for the book with the ritual. Using Preparation Rituals
When a spellcaster who prepares spells uses a spellbook or formula book with a preparation ritual, as long as he prepares at least three spells (not including cantrips) or formulae from the spellbooks, he gains a temporary boon granted by the ritual. The boon lasts until its effect is spent (as specified by the boon description) or the spellcaster prepares spells again (at which time it can be reapplied by preparing at least three spells from the book). A spellcaster can only take the effect of one preparation ritual when she prepares spells, no matter how many spellbooks with preparation rituals she uses to prepare spells.
A superscript “S” (S) indicates a spell from the caster’s specialty school, whereas a superscript “OP” (OP) indicates a spell from the spellbook creator’s opposition school.
Note: A superscript [errata removes 0-level spells] indicates that an errata update indicated to remove references to all listed 0-level spells. As we (d20pfsrd.com editors) have posted the previously missing 0-level spells which were made available in a Paizo blog post, we have left references to the spells intact. It is, as alway, GM discretion if these spells are usable of course.
This surprisingly ornate and heavy volume is more than three-quarters empty. Tightly written notes on the precepts of arcane defense and the vulnerabilities of supernatural entities fill the first two pages.
Protection Average lock (DC 25)
Value 185 gp
This slim book is carefully but amateurishly bound, with leather stretched tight across thin boards. The writing inside is fussy and crammed together, with words that are occasionally illegible. Eight of its pages contain spells; the final 10 pages are blank. A portrait of a plain woman, unsmiling, has been bound into the inside front cover.
Value 195 gp
This is a simple, unadorned spellbook. Notes on improving the efficiency of each spell crowd the margins, most of them hopelessly misguided.
Value 275 gp
This small book, no larger than a pocket notebook, is bound between wooden covers, and is clearly a copy meant to withstand the rigors of adventuring. The arrowhead lodged in the cover can’t be removed without magic.
Protection Simple lock (DC 20)
Value 365 gp
The leather wrapping of this book is of an indeterminate type, and gives off a faint and unpleasant scent, as of charred meat. The writing inside is in a jagged hand, and many notes on the ash-smudged pages indicate its previous owner sought ever more damaging magic. A glittering rune in the cover’s center is shaped vaguely like a lightning bolt.
Protection Average lock (DC 25)
Value 535 gp (900 gp with preparation ritual)
Harmful Surge (Su) You can maximize a spell, but doing so damages you. Spend this boon effect as a free action when you cast a wizard evocation spell. When you do, you can treat that spell as if it were cast with the Maximize Spell metamagic feat, but you take 1d4 points of damage × the level of the spell that you are maximizing. The damage you take cannot be reduced in any way.
The steel cover of this slim journal has taken its fair share of abuse; acid scars and minor slag spots show where the journal was subjected to intense working conditions. Equations, balances, and chemical notations mark the margins of the pages—with some formulae, it is difficult to tell where the notes end and the formula begins.
Value 395 gp (770 gp with preparation ritual)
Alchemical Protection (Su) The alchemical knowledge granted by this book protects you from poisons and alchemical items. Spend this boon’s effect as an immediate action when you make a saving throw against poison or an alchemical item but before rolling the saving throw. You gain a +4 bonus on that saving throw.
This tome reeks of decomposing flesh or some even fouler stench. Grave mold clings to the worm-eaten cover, and dirt stains the pages. Some pages have been torn out.
Value 815 gp (1,265 gp with preparation ritual)
Breath of the Grave (Su) As a swift action, spend this boon’s effect to breathe a 15-foot cone of rotting stench. Creatures within the cone must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + your highest caster level in a class that prepares spells) or be sickened for 1 round. This spends the boon. After this boon has been spent, you take a –4 penalty on Diplomacy and Stealth checks until you prepare spells again.
The title of this book is embossed into the scaly cover. Inside, the pages sparkle and gleam in even the faintest light, and the handwriting looks preternaturally clean.
Value 1,055 gp (1,755 gp with preparation ritual)
Glittering Eyes (Su) When casting an illusion spell, you gain expanded sight. Spend this boon’s effect as a free action when you cast an illusion spell. You gain darkvision 60 feet and a +4 bonus on saving throws to disbelieve illusions, with both benefits lasting for 1 minute.
This simple book is bound in white leather with a silver clasp. Careful notes on economic theory in a crisp and precise hand occupy the last few written pages, after which there is a page stained with a dark reddish-brown smear. The rest of the pages are blank.
Value 1,835 gp (2,635 gp with the preparation ritual)
Defensive Transmutation (Su) When taking another shape, you can increase your defenses. Spend this boon’s effect as a free action when you cast a transmutation spell with a range of personal. As long as you are affected by that spell, you gain a +2 natural armor bonus for the duration of the spell.
This medium-sized book has a creased spine and supple gray leather covers. The leather has rubbed away in certain spots, tiny pinhole burns pock the surface, and a brass lock holds the book shut. A woman’s portrait has been bound into the front cover, and text covers almost all of the image except her face: text in circles, with arrows pointing to new circles with suppositions. Underneath the woman’s chin are the words “Diabolist sacrifice?”
Protection Average lock (DC 25), and the 5th-level spells are hidden with secret page. The special word is “reveal.”
Value 2,195 gp (3,320 gp with the preparation ritual)
This ragged collection of scorched and stained notes is tied with cheap twine between wooden covers. A few formulae appear to have been deliberately obliterated, scratched through so thoroughly that the paper is torn in places.
Value 915 gp (2,165 gp with the preparation ritual)
Beastly Concoction (Su) This journal grants you the ability to make an extremely potent and savage mutagen. Spend this boon when you imbibe your mutagen. The mutagen grants you a +6 alchemical bonus to your selected ability score instead of the normal +4; you take a –2 penalty to all of your mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) while the mutagen is in effect.
Blood, dirt, wine, and more stain this white leather book. The owner’s name, Jack Were-son, is stamped into the cover in peeling gold, yet no more information about the author is immediately evident. Several of the pages contain careful diagrams and illustrations done by a competent but uninspiring artist.
Value 2,835 gp
Fine vellum sheets fill these two well-worn books. Beautiful illustrations depict the effects of each spell, many with a distinctly arctic theme. Though the pages and their wintry illustrations are of high quality, the protective leather case that encloses both books smells and feels greasy, as if the hide has been crudely waterproofed with animal fat.
Value 4,335 gp (5,985 gp with the preparation ritual)
Rime Bite (Su) You infuse your spell with a biting cold that few can withstand. Spend this boon as a free action when you cast a spell with the cold descriptor. Any damage from that spell ignores all resistance to cold, but does not ignore immunity to cold.
These two books are part of a set held together with a leather strap. The covers are of a shimmering and unearthly blue leather, and the spines are built of silver and iron. The books are chilly to the touch, and staring at them induces minor vertigo.
Value 4,555 gp (6,355 gp with the preparation ritual)
Sturdy Summoning (Su) A creature you summon gains augmented defenses for a short time. Spend this boon effect as a free action when you cast a conjuration (summoning) wizard spell. The creature you summon with that spell gains a number of temporary hit points equal to your caster level, and as long as the summoned creature has at least 1 of these hit points, it gains a +2 circumstance bonus on saving throws.
Stuffed between the pages of these two well-worn volumes are all manner of riddles, tidbits of lore, and fragments of maps. One of the covers is missing a corner, as if hacked off with a blade, and the text inside is tiny and cramped, as if the author were afraid of running out of room.
Value 6,475 gp (8,395 gp with the preparation ritual)
Travel Sage (Su) There is nothing like a magic book to enhance the memory. Unlike other boons, you do not spend this one. Until you prepare spells again, you are considered trained in Knowledge (geography). If you are already trained in Knowledge (geography), you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on those checks instead.
This pair of lexicons is covered in excellently preserved human skin, with an intricate lace of fingerbones forming the locks on the cover. A family seal has been embossed on the lower center of the cover, but flecks of gold leaf have begun to peel away, revealing that the embossed pattern in fact follows a faded tattoo on the skin itself.
Value 7,635 gp
The pages of this formula book are carefully varnished. Sprinkled among the formulae are details and diagrams of alchemical devices, many of which seem to defy the normal conventions of alchemy and physics. The last page contains incomplete notes on the preparation of experimental mutagens.
Protection Good lock (DC 30)
Value 2,545 gp
These three well-made books are covered with runes of warding against outsiders and undead. The pages inside show water damage along the edges.
Value 10,055 gp (13,055 gp with the preparation ritual)
1st—animate rope, detect secret doors, detect undead, endure elements S, feather fall, obscuring mist, protection from chaos S, shadow blade shadow weapon? S (missing) [UM], shield S, shocking grasp, touch of gracelessness [APG]
0—standard plus disrupt undead OP [errata removes 0-level spells]
Guardian Trick (Su) With a quick phrase of power, you attempt to foil an attack. Spend this boon’s effect as an immediate action when an undead or outsider hits you with an attack. The attacking creature must reroll the attack, taking the second roll even if it is lower.
Each volume of this three-book set is written in gold ink on jet-black paper. Illusory script hides descriptions of the geography and denizens of the Shadow Plane.
Value 11,865 gp (15,065 gp with the preparation ritual)
0—standard plus detect magic OP [errata removes 0-level spells]
Shadow Knowledge (Su) The knowledge in this book clings to your consciousness like the Shadow Plane itself. Unlike other boons, you do not spend this one. Until you prepare spells again, you are considered trained in all Knowledge skills as long as the check pertains to the geography and denizens of the Shadow Plane. If you are already trained in the appropriate Knowledge skill, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on these checks instead.
This trio of books is bound in leather as black as a starless night, clasped together with gleaming silver. The pages are filled with notes and errata. The handwriting becomes more hurried toward the end of the trilogy, and the final page says, “I have found her!”
Value 12,725 gp (16,550 gp with the preparation ritual)
Improved Eyes of Rul Thaven (Su) This improved boon allows you to see invisible creatures. You can activate the boon’s effect as a swift action to gain the effects of see invisibility for up to 10 rounds. The rounds need not be consecutive, but you must spend a swift action each time you activate the boon’s effect. The boon’s effect is only spent when all 10 rounds of see invisibility are used up, or the next time you prepare wizard spells.
The three volumes of this set are bound in black sharkskin, the spells inscribed in purple ink on fine paper. Spells conceal extensive notes on constructing a lich’s phylactery.
Value 17,165 gp (21,215 gp with the preparation ritual)
Revivifying Contingency (Su) You do not spend this boon with an action. When you are affected by this boon, the first time you are reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, you immediately regain 2d6 hit points. If this is enough for you to reach 0 hit points or higher, you do not fall unconscious.
This quartet of books is held together by a shining silver strand wound around the four tomes and tied in an intricate knot. Inside, the writing is expansive and sloppy, filled with marginalia; the author’s notes indicate clear excitement about her discoveries, and while the thinker is obviously brilliant, she is also apparently undisciplined.
Value 16,435 gp (20,720 gp with the preparation ritual)
Defensive Boon (Su) You throw up a quick burst of arcane energy that deflects an incoming spell attack. As an immediate action when targeted with a touch spell or spell-like ability, you can spend this boon’s effect to gain a +4 deflection bonus to AC against the triggering attack.
These four cloth-bound books are neatly printed—as with a printing press or some other form of mechanical transcription—with a title page, a table of contents, and a useful cross-referenced index. They have been treated well and are clearly reference works, rather than laboratory notes; the writer was obviously a most disciplined and focused inventor.
Value 6,615 gp (11,115 gp with the preparation ritual)
2nd—alchemical allocation [APG], barkskin, bull’s strength, cat’s grace, elemental touch [APG], fire breath [APG], perceive cues [APG], see invisibility, transmute potion to poison [APG], vomit swarm [APG]
Spontaneous Bomb (Su) When it comes to bombs, you have a special trick up your sleeve. Once per day as a swift action, you can apply a discovery that you qualify for (but do not already know) to a bomb. This does not allow you to stack non-stacking discoveries on a bomb.
This massive tome is the size of four normal spellbooks, bound in leather as hard as plate armor and stitched together with strands of thin, pliable metal rather than thread. Toward the end is a list of names, each crossed out.
Value 22,750 gp (27,250 gp with the preparation ritual)
Curse of Names (Su) When you are finished preparing your spells with this book, write the proper name of a single creature among the list of names in this book. As a swift action, when you are within 30 feet of the named creature, you can call out its name to bestow the curse of names on it. This spends the boon’s effect. The target creature takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls, and a –4 penalty on all attack rolls against you, for 1 minute. When you activate this curse, the name is crossed out in the back of the book. That creature cannot be the target of a curse of names originating from you ever again. The penalties of two instances of curse of names on the same creature do not stack.
(missing) The necessary information was removed from the source material. Some of these were later presented on the Paizo Blog. In these cases the spells are considered "unofficial" and are not supported by Paizo.
Section 15: Copyright Notice - Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jason Bulmahn, Tim Hitchcock, Colin McComb, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor.