Spellbooks are the main source of spells in Elona. Reading a spellbook checks the difficulty of the book against your literacy skill (which can temporarily be boosted by the Divine Wisdom spell or a scroll of knowledge). If the check succeeds, you increase your spell stock in the spell, with the increase being boosted by your memorization skill and lowered by the amount of stock you already have. If the check fails it may cause the player to randomly teleport, to lose MP and possibly die as a result of magic reaction, or to summon monsters. Because of the possibility of summoning monsters, it is recommended that you read difficult spellbooks in the wilderness, a portable shelter or the Puppy Cave, rather than in a town or your home (though in Elona+ the monsters will eventually disappear from towns (but still remain in your home)). Further, since draining your MP to negative numbers causes damage, it is recommended that when reading difficult spellbooks that you est until your MP is full.
All spellbooks have a number after them that tells the maximum times the spellbook may be read; when the number reaches zero, the spellbook falls apart. This number can only be seen after the spellbook has been identified. The number can be increased by using a scroll of recharge or the Fill Charge on the spellbook. However, this has the chance of exploding the spellbook.
If you've joined the Mages' Guild then you can "reserve" most of the books which you've successfully read at a special shop, which will cause that shop to stock multiples of the reserved spellbook.
Use of spellbook reading failure
It should be noted that the third result of reading spellbooks may be used in both good and bad ways. Because artifacts have a chance to drop if the NPC carrying them dies, spellbook failures may be use to intentionally kill high level NPCs to retrieve their artifacts. Any players interested in attempting this should however be warned that NPCs, notably adventurers, are surprisingly more powerful than they should be. Any damage the player causes through spellbooks will be automatically repaired in a few days time, as well as any NPCs killed respawning. The worse that can happen to the player by doing this is dying to the monsters and not being able to return to town for a few days if the monsters are not killed. Note that monsters that can split or summon other monsters can be especially dangerous, as they can overwhelm the NPCs more easily and possibly make part of the city unusable. It is recommended to do this in a well-guarded city such as Palmia, where guards can kill the monsters more easily if they go out of control.
List of Spellbooks
Spellbook listing by a rough order of difficulty in reading them. This list is not complete. The number after them is the number of turns it takes to read the spellbook.
The number of turns it takes to read a spellbook is dependent on your literacy skill and maybe other things. Books that take about 10 turns or less are books your character can comfortably read with few failures. Books that take over 12 will begin to have high failure rates. You can record the number of turns by looking at your character sheet before and after reading a book. In Elona+, it added a note on the difficulty of reading each book.
Literacy skill gained seems to depend only on number of turns; blessed books read in the same amount of time.
Note: Some spellbooks have names different than the spells they grant upon reading; I have listed some of the spell names next to their corresponding spellbooks. (This list is incomplete; please verify, add, or correct as needed.)
- 4-Dimensional Pocket
- Holy shield
- Magic arrow [gives Magic Dart spell]
- Minor teleportation [gives Short Teleport spell]
- Make door [gives Door Creation spell]
- Darkness arrow [gives Dark Eye spell]
- Lightning bolt
- Fire bolt
- Ice bolt
- Detect objects [gives Sense Object spell]
- Wall creation
- Summon monster
- Weakness [gives Mist of Frailness spell]
- Knowledge [gives Divine Wisdom spell]
- Illusion eye
- Cure critical wound [gives Heal Critical spell]
- Nether eye [gives Nether Arrow spell]
- Healing hands
- Nerve eye [gives Nerve Arrow spell]
- Holy light
- Healing hand
- Holy Veil
- Fire ball
- Ice ball
- Acid ground
- Magic mapping
- Healing rain
- Holy rain
- Illusion beam [gives Mind Bolt spell]
- Darkness beam [gives Darkness Bolt spell]
- Chaos eye
- Weaken resistance
- Fire wall
- Sound ball [gives Raging Roar]
- Cure <Eris>
- Elemental Scar
- Magic laser [gives Crystal Spear spell]
- Heal minor wound (gives Heal Light)
Spellbooks and ancient books in Elona+
The base reading difficulty of ancient books is
- 20 + 10GP + 20GP2
where GP is the guild points that it yields in the mages' guild quest. A second Apocalypse ancient book was added in Elona+ ('True Apocalypse').
If the book is blessed, then
If cursed, then it is
The following checks occur every turn during book reading to see if reading should succeed during that turn, or fail and end the entire book reading attempt:
If the player character is blinded, then spellbook reading fails.
If the player character is confused (and dimmed in vanilla Elona), then spellbook reading has a 75% chance of failing.
It then rolls
- for every pet taking part in the Reading Party, with the contribution of every pet having a lower bound of 3 and upper bound of , and
- equals the attribute used for the spell that the spellbook is for, such as Dexterity for a spellbook of feather. If the book is an ancient book, then it will be the Magic attribute.
- If the value rolled on the left is equal or larger (equal or more skill than difficulty) than the one on the right, then spellbook reading succeeds for this turn.
- If this roll fails, then the game will perform up to 4 additional rolls to determine if book reading should fail - failing any of these will fail the book reading.
- First roll: 1/7 chance of failing reading
- If (Attribute * 10) < NetDifficulty, then it rolls a second time:
- (Attribute * 10 + 1) against (NetDifficulty + 1)
- If (Attribute * 20 + 1) < NetDifficulty, then it rolls a third time:
- (Attribute * 20 + 1) against (NetDifficulty + 1)
- If (Attribute * 30 + 1) < NetDifficulty, then it rolls a fourth time:
- (Attribute * 30 + 1) against (NetDifficulty + 1)
- If the above 4 additional rolls were passed, then book reading will succeed for that turn.
If book reading has failed, then it has...
- a 1/4 chance of absorbing your mana, followed by
- a 1/4 chance of applying confusion, then
- a 1/4 chance of summoning 2-4 monsters.
- Otherwise, the player gets teleported.
Turns to read is
If in a reading party, then turns to read is
In other words, it takes 1.5 times as many turns +5.
Note that turns to read is calculated with base difficulty, and not with net difficulty, so cursed and blessed books will read in the same number of turns.
Base reading difficulty of spellbooks is also the cast difficulty of their respective spells, except for Wish and Harvest, which adds additional casting difficulty based on their spell levels. See the Elona+ Spells (Technical) page for details.