So You're a Wizard, Here are the Best Ways to Keep Track of Your Spellbook
Jul 19 , 2022
So, you decided to be a wizard. Good for you. The power of a spellcaster is so very tempting, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not like playing a fighter or a ranger. The most important part of playing a wizard is playing smart. And really this can’t be emphasized enough. The strength of a wizard is in how much they know. A wizard is only as good as their spellbook.
A wizard’s spellbook is the life blood of the character. A wizard typically will not have high strength. They are not front line fighters. If there’s a wizard engaging in melee combat, they are in a lot of trouble. The mix of low hit points and average attack strength means keep them in the back throwing spells. They only know the spells they have in their spellbook. And spells do not come cheap. Even then, it takes time to write them into your spellbook. It is the class where you will do the most micromanaging. But, boy, is it worth it in the end. Any old school Dungeons and Dragons player respects a high level wizard because they have seen things. They have done things. They are the ones that survived.
Typically when a wizard reaches around level 5, that’s when they start to get some of the better spells. Fireball, for example, is the most famous spell in all of D&D. By the time your wizard reaches that lofty level, they will typically have about twenty or so spells in their spellbook. And remembering each spell, what it does, when to use it, and how to use it most effectively is a bookkeeping nightmare.
There is nothing more tedious than watching your friend search the player’s handbook for that one spell they just learned when they think this situation is a good time to use it. For example, let’s assume a horde of gnolls are coming and you really want to throw that fireball. Sounds great. Where are you going to place the center of that fireball? What’s the radius of the blast? How many dice do you roll? Is it going to set anything around it on fire? What’s the saving throw? Can you use a higher level spell slot for more damage? And this is just one spell! It’s absolutely unrealistic to expect any player to have all these memorized.
For the longest time players would use index cards and just take notes of the important information. 20 foot radius. 8d6 fire damage. Dexterity saving throw for half damage. But even then over time you’ll have a huge stack of index cards. Now there’s another organizational crisis because all the cards look the same. Then you’ll drop them on the ground and they’re all out of order. There’s another ten to fifteen minutes of messing around and not focusing on the game.
The best solution is two-fold. The first are the spell cards. Spell cards do all the work for you in terms of having spells ready, in your hands, and ready to go. It really is the best thing to have at the table if you’re playing a spellcaster. Thumbing through the book is annoying and time consuming. A normal session of D&D will be several hours and combat usually takes the largest amount of time. The biggest reason for that is players constantly asking, “What does this do?” Reference cards are so helpful in this regard. And just from an aesthetic point, having something with a picture and color is infinitely better than some hand written notes on a note card. For the second part, Forged Gaming has a very handy spellbook accessory. It’s literally a leather bound book filled with card sleeves perfect for reference cards. With these you’ll fit up to sixty spell cards without having to worry about them falling out. It’s easy enough to organize them once you pick up a new spell. In terms of roleplay and immersion, how cool is it to roll up to the gaming table with a physical book in hand ready to spread chaos and destruction to all who oppose you?
Having a book to put in reference cards helps in so many ways. The organization is entirely your decision. Having all your spells organized by spell level and/or alphabetically makes searching for that one spell you’re thinking to use so much better. The Book of Incantations spell card book is $15.99. If you’re looking for D&D spell cards, they aren’t too hard to find online as well. The cards and the spellbook will cost about $40. For the amount of stress free enjoyment at the table, it’s a bargain.