Last Updated on May 22, 2023
Welcome to our guide to the Enduring Spellbook in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. In this guide, we’ll break down everything this wondrous item does and how it could save your wizard a whole lot of problems should they attempt such daring feats as running into a burning building or, uh, falling in a puddle.
Also, we’ve come up with a few homebrew options for more powerful versions of the Enduring Spellbook (and indestructible books in general), so let’s get started.
Wondrous item, common
This spellbook, along with anything written on its pages, can’t be damaged by fire or immersion in water. In addition, the spellbook doesn’t deteriorate with age.
Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
What Is an Enduring Spellbook?
An Enduring Spellbook is a spellcasting focus and repository of magical knowledge that is immune to aging, fire, and water damage, making it less likely that its owner will have to start their collection of arcane knowledge from scratch following a house fire or nautical-themed adventure.
How Useful Is an Enduring Spellbook?
As a Common rarity wondrous item, it’s no surprise that a lot of players would probably pick just about anything else — either something with an active effect like the Cloak of Many Fashions or a passive effect you’ll make use of more often, like the Ruby of the War Mage.
Unless you’re playing a campaign set on the Elemental Plane of Fire, it’s honestly unlikely that the Enduring Spellbook’s benefits will come up all that often. However, the item starts to take on a greater appeal once you contemplate the experience of a wizard losing their spellbook.
A wizard’s spellbook not only acts as their spellcasting focus but also functions as a repository of all the spells they know.
That includes the ones learned when leveling up (you begin with six spells in your spellbook and can copy two more per level for a total of 44 spells plus cantrips), but it also refers to spells found in moldering old tomes, transcribed from the spellbooks of defeated enemies, and purchased from strange otherworldly beings.
This is one of the reasons why wizards are so powerful and versatile when it comes to spellcasting: there’s no limit to the number of spells you can record in your book. Sure, clerics and druids can just pray for a new spell overnight, but their spell lists are comparatively tiny; wizards have the longest spell list in the game by a long, long way.
A wizard who runs around collecting as many spells as possible is going to have a gigantic magical arsenal at their disposal, allowing them to switch up their prepared spells each time they take a long rest and even cast ritual spells directly out of the book without preparing them.
Unless, of course, their spellbook is destroyed.
If the unthinkable happens, you’ll be reduced to your cantrips and the spells you currently have prepared. All those spells and all that time and money (50 gp and two hours per spell level) spent transcribing them into your grimoire up in smoke. You won’t even be able to cast the remaining spells you have prepared until you find a new spellcasting focus.
It’s a very cruel fate that happens very, very rarely (most DMs aren’t complete psychopaths, you know) but it could still happen to you. It’s during moments like these that something as seemingly dull as an Enduring Spellbook starts to feel like it might have been the right choice all along.
Homebrew Corner: An Even More Enduring Spellbook
An Enduring Spellbook might make a great first magic item for a budding wizard, especially if their starting spellbook had a few close calls in the first adventure.
However, what about an Enduring Spellbook that a high-level wizard or even a fully realized archmage would be proud to lug around on their adventures?
We’ve put together three more versions of this magic item for ascending levels of rarity.
Vazznoharion’s Dust Jacket of Miraculous Protection
Wondrous item, uncommon
This magical dust jacket comes in a matched pair and can be added to any existing wizard’s spellbook to gain the following benefits.
- If both dust jackets are placed on books, anything written in one book also appears in the other. This allows a wizard to immediately create copies of their spellbook without the need to spend additional time and money.
- If the wielder of the Dust Jacket is affected by an area-of-effect spell that deals acid, thunder, lightning, fire, cold, bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, roll a d20. On a 10+, the dust jacket immediately transports the wielder to a small, completely dark pocket dimension. The damage is negated, but the wielder must pass a DC 12 Intelligence check to return to the material plane. Otherwise, the dust jacket spits them back out in 1d4 rounds.
I like magic items that are expressions of the neurotic wizards who created them. Leomund’s Tiny Hut being an arcane panic room is good, but this item that has a chance to Zzorpp you off to a pocket dimension every time you stub your toe is funnier.
Superior Enduring Spellbook
Wondrous item, rare
This spellbook, along with anything written on its pages, can’t be damaged by fire, immersion in water, acid, lightning, thunder, cold, bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. In addition, the spellbook doesn’t deteriorate with age.
Additionally, if the spellbook’s wielder is targeted by the spell Magic Missile, the book absorbs the spell’s effects. If all darts from a casting-of-magic missile are absorbed by the book at once, the wielder regains expended spell slots equal in number to the spell level used to cast the Magic Missile.
For the most part, this is a pretty linear improvement over the original item (with the book still able to take damage from necrotic, radiant, and force damage) with an added benefit that riffs on the Shield spell’s secondary feature.
Spellbook of Eternal Endurance
Wondrous item, legendary
This spellbook, along with anything written on its pages, can’t be damaged or destroyed by any means. Its contents cannot be erased from the universe, even by means of a Wish spell.
It’s a very Borges thing to find a book brimming with intricate details of a completely alternate reality that you’re absolutely positive never happened… and yet you can’t shake the creeping feeling that… no. Best not think about it.
That’s all from us on the subject of the Enduring Spellbook. If you have any questions or ideas for your own rugged spellbooks, let us know in the comments below. Until then, happy adventuring.
- About Author
- Latest Posts
I played my first tabletop RPG (Pathfinder 1e, specifically) in college. I rocked up late to the first session with an unread rulebook and a human bard called Nick Jugger. It was a rocky start but I had a blast and now, the better part of a decade later, I play, write, and write about tabletop RPGs (mostly 5e, but also PBtA, Forged in the Dark and OSR) games for a living, which is wild.