Copying Spells: What Cost?

I understand spell repertoires well enough, but what happens if you just want to copy a scroll into your spell-book? Does it just take a negligible amount of time? Does it take a week? A week per spell level? A week or more and thousands of gold?

It seems as though you could copy it at the cost of the ink and parchment, as long as you have room to write it down in your spellbook. It doesn’t even seem to cost anything to commit a spell to your repertoire as long as you have a slot open. It just takes a week of time. The cost comes with changing out your repertoire or scribing a spell scroll.

It’s a good question, but that’s what it looks like to me - the text is a little muddy.

From the ACKS Core Rulebook page 67:

“If a new spell is found on a scroll, or another arcane spellcaster’s spell book, it may be added to the arcane spellcaster’s repertoire if the character can still learn new spells of that level. If the spell is of too high level to be cast, it cannot be put into the repertoire, but it may be saved to be put into the repertoire in the future. It takes one week of study to add a spell to the character’s repertoire. Scribing a spell from a scroll uses it up in the process, but copying spells from a spell book does not erase spells from the book.”

It take one week of study. There's no cost other than ink and parchment. The cost has been "paid in advance" by the creator of the scroll, so as to speak.

What about copying from spellbook to spellbook? No one necessarily paid to scribe the book and their spellbook doesn’t even lose the spell! It seems like copying spells from spellbooks has no cost (save for time). I’m I reading the rule incorrectly, or is it time to start working on a back-up spellbook next time an extended period of off-time comes up?

No cost. Yes, no one paid to scribe the book BUT you cannot cast a spell from a book.

Who wants to start hiding spare spellbook pages on one’s person? A bra stuffed with spell pages might prove useful for a prudent sorceress…

*Rise from your grave!*

A couple follow-up questions for Alex:

1) Would it be one week to copy each spell or any (reasonable) number of spells? Is it one week, regardless of the level of the spell in question?

2) Can a mage copy spells into his spellbook that are higher level than he can cast?


I'm reminded of a particular campaign (that I heard about but never played in) where a mage started embroidering spells onto clothing as a countermeasure against spellbook confiscation. Apparently this worked - though it didn't justify the "robe covered in mystical sigils" trope as much as you'd think, since the mage specifically only embroidered spells where they wouldn't easily be spotted.

Bump for Alex on these questions? I'm prepping for a session tomorrow... :)

1) It's one week per spell, regardless of level.

2) My default answer is "no". That said, a mischevious Judge might want to allow it, perhaps with some sort of roll required with magical mishaps a possibility on a failure. The young mage who steals a spell that's too powerful for him is such a trope of fantasy that it seems justifiable. 



I created a class that takes it one step further - the Skinscribe, who tattoos spells upon himself. Upside: no lost spellbook, and instead of speaking, he traces spells - Silence doesn't stop spellcasting. Downside: adding or changing spells REALLY hurts, so it requires bedrest afterward...