It’s always nice to see Thief engaged in actual thievery. And for a good cause, no less! Wizard would surely be over the moon about such a thoughtful gift. After all, what mage doesn’t want a shiny new spellbook full of all the latest necromancy? Such bounty could even prompt a return to Wizard’s goth phase, and I have no doubt that the eyeliner would be spectacular. Unfortunately for Wizard’s repertoire, however, it wasn’t meant to be.

Now I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but spellbooks have always been something of an off-limits target within my group. PCs don’t sunder enemy casters’ spell component pouches; NPCs don’t steal spellbooks. That’s the unspoken gentleman’s agreement, and it’s held thus far. Nevertheless, any time I roll up a prepared caster, there’s always that specter of paranoia hanging over me. Do I need to throw down a sepia snake sigil? How many copies of my spellbook do I need to make? Should I learn secret chest so I’ve always got access to a backup? And won’t all of the above be wasted effort if we’ve got a gentleman’s agreement anyway?

Well folks, I take my lead from the Handbook on this one. It’s better to be a little paranoid than a lot sorry. The prospect of losing my hard-won magic and starting over from cantrips fills me with all manner of unreasoning dread, and I’ll go out of my way to make sure that contingencies are in place. Locks, wards, and anti-scrying spells are all relevant here. But for my money, the best and simplest technique is the buddy system. You just find a friendly NPC caster, swap spellbooks, and get to copying. A backstory master is especially useful for the purpose. Should the worst happen, you just retreat to your master’s tower and make with the scrivening. It’s unlikely that your ally will have also suffered spell thievery.

“But wait,” I hear you say. “Isn’t that just an invitation for GMs to mess with you? This is exactly the sort of situation where enemy wizards will descend on you and your buddy-system pal in a simultaneous book-napping!”

Think about it, bro. That’s the best possible outcome! Once you track down and slaughter all those nefarious NPC casters, you’ll get to steal all of their spellbooks in turn. That’s a windfall of free magic! If you should be so lucky as to capture an enemy spellbook, however, be on your guard. I hear there’s locks and wards and alarms and such. And nobody wants to end their spell-thief career by reading the words “exploding runes.”

So what do you say, brother magi? Have you ever lost your spellbook? Do you regularly seek out and capture enemy wizards’ libraries? Or do you too subscribe to the gentleman’s agreement against magical thievery? Let’s hear your tales of tome-taking, folio-filching, and grimoire-grabbing down in the comments!


THIS COMIC SUCKS! IT NEEDS MORE [INSERT OPINION HERE] Is your favorite class missing from the Handbook of Heroes? Maybe you want to see more dragonborn or aarakocra? Then check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. You’ll become part of the monthly vote to see which elements get featured in the comic next!