Spell Research

Spell Research

Update: %e Conversion nearly done, using standard framework from D&D sourcebooks like XGtE.

(needs 5th edition conversion)

Independent Research: A wizard can also research a spell independently, duplicating an existing spell or creating an entirely new one. The cost to research a new spell, and the time required, are left up to GM discretion, but it should probably take at least 1 week and cost at least 1,000 gp per level of the spell to be researched. This should also require a number of Spellcraft and Knowledge(arcana) checks.

The spells a magic user chooses upon leveling up do not require research or money expenditure. They are assumed to be learned through experience. Commonly known spells may be acquired this way upon DM approval. (Let DM know you are “researching” them prior to level up.)

Additional spells or rare and unique spells from sources other than the Player’s Handbook may require research and development, as would uniquely designed new spells.

Spell research is completed and the spell is created/inscribed after three successful skill checks (Spellcraft or Knowledge (Arcana)). Each skill check requires at least a day’s time and research costs as listed below. Situational bonuses such as a wizard’s library may reduce costs or increase chance of success at the DM’s discretion.

Spell Research Costs per check

Level GP Cost Days Difficulty Check*
0 150 1 20
1 300 1 21
2 600 2 22
3 900 3 23
4 1200 4 24
5 1500 5 25
6 1800 6 26
7 2100 7 27
8 2400 8 28
9 2700 9 29

*+2 to the skill check if the spell being researched is in the magic user’s specialty school.

Example The supremely intelligent and haughty battle wizard Aeron wants to create a cantrip to sharpen his arrows. After discussing it with his DM, they decide on the particulars of the spell.

Aeron will need to make three successful Spellcraft or Knowledge(Arcana) skill checks to create his spell. Since it is a cantrip, he knows it will cost him 150gp and one day per check, at a DC of 20. If he makes all three checks successfully without any failures, he saves a lot of time and money. Wisely, he uses the advantage of the local wizards library to take avoid distractions and take 10. Plus the DM agrees he gets a +2 library bonus. If he had been in the wilderness travelling, the DM could have ruled he could not take 10. He is unable to take 20 on his check because failure has penalties in time and money. Aeron gets a 21 on his check and has one success. If Aeron is skilled or lucky enough, he will make the next two checks, spending 450gp and three days, resulting in a new and unique spell.

Spell Research

Unconquered Kingdoms SkidAce