Order of Scribes 5E Guide | Wizard Subclass from Tasha’s Cauldron

order of scribes 5E

With a brand new expansion comes all sorts of brand new content. Ranging from new potential storylines, items, and cool ways to alter your character’s playstyle. One of the more interesting things that the new expansion Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything has added is a handful of brand new subclasses. Which is always an exciting thing to jump into and mess around with when a new expansion comes around. And today we’re taking a look at a new subclass for the Wizard, the Order of Scribes. A fun and interesting route to making your wizarding adventures more exciting. So let’s jump right into all of the stuff that the Order of Scribes subclass adds!

Order of Scribes Wizard 5E

So the first thing to note about this subclass is that it is almost entirely centered around knowledge. Which might be fairly obvious if you take a few seconds to look at the name. The Order of Scribes is a group of Wizards that record magical discoveries near and far. All in the name of discovery and knowledge. And as an extra little quirk, they don’t just use their personal book as you’d expect. They can actually awaken it and turn the book into a talkative companion!

Wizardly Quill

The first ability you gain access to in the Order of Scribes subclass is actually a pretty useful one. Even though it may not seem like it at first.

 As a bonus action, you can magically create a Tiny quill in your free hand.

A 2nd-level feature that allows you to magically create a Tiny quill as a bonus action. Which might not seem very useful at first, but just wait. The quill itself doesn’t need any kind of ink to be used. You can write with it regardless of whether you have ink in your possession. Plus it can be whatever color you want it to be. Then, when copying a spell into your spellbook, the time to copy it equals 2 minutes per spell level when the quill is being used.

You also get to erase anything that you write with the quill by brushing the feathered end over the writing. This counts as a bonus action and the text has to be within 5 feet of you. Now the usefulness of this ability ultimately comes down to how clever you are with your character role play. There are a bunch of different circumstances where a magical quill could come in handy. And the ability to quickly copy spells into your spellbook is a nifty little tool.

Awakened Spellbook

Next up we’ve got another 2nd-level feature. Alright so this is where this subclass really starts to get interesting.

When you cast a wizard spell with a spell slot, you can temporarily replace its damage type with a type that appears in another spell in your spellbook, which magically alters the spell’s formula for this casting only. The latter spell must be of the same level as the spell slot you expend.

So this is a pretty interesting ability and can be a great help when you have a certain spell that doesn’t quite work for the situation. Essentially it lets you swap out the damage type, or in other words the element, of a spell with another spell in your spellbook. Which can be extremely useful if the spell that you want to use can more effectively attack/reach your target, versus a spell that affects the creature’s weakness but won’t be able to reach them successfully. There’s a lot of possible applications for an ability like this and can make way for some pretty interesting encounters.

It also has an extra ability, where when you cast a wizard spell as a ritual, you can use the spell’s regular casting time. Saving the need to add 10 minutes to the overall cast. And really this ability just makes the act of casting ritual spells much easier. But it can’t be used again until you’ve had a long rest. So you’ll want to be doubly sure that the spell you’re casting as a ritual won’t be a waste. And as an extra little benefit, the spellbook can be used as a spellcasting focus for your spells.

Manifest Mind

This next ability is a 6th-level feature for this subclass and has some really useful utility.

You can conjure forth the mind of your Awakened Spellbook. As a bonus action while the book is on your person, you can cause the mind to manifest as a Tiny spectral object, hovering in an unoccupied space of your choice within 60 feet of you.

 So this skill is a very unique one and can lead to some really interesting moments during the game. You get to summon an apparition from your Awakened Spellbook that can take the form of a ghostly tome, a cascade of text or a scholar from the past. This spectral object also sheds a dim light in a 10 foot radius which can be useful if your party has found themselves in a dark cave with no light sources. Also since it’s a spectral object it won’t actually occupy it’s space because it’s intangible.

In terms of it’s more special abilities, it comes with a pretty useful one. It can use Darkvision with a range of 60 feet and can hear its surroundings. Which means it can relay information to you from a distance. Which is incredibly useful in dungeons that could be littered with traps or for scouting out any locations that you don’t want to risk setting foot into. And what makes it better is that it costs no action for it to relay information to you. So there won’t be any situations where it’s seen something dangerous and not had the time to tell you about it. It can also hover up to 30 feet to an area that both you and it can see.

Let’s get into its limitations now and of course there’s only a set distance it can travel away from you. It can travel up to a maximum of 300 feet away from you before it stops manifesting. But for most situations this might actually be enough to still be really useful. It can also only pass through creatures, not objects. So if there’s a locked room and you want to know what’s inside, this ability won’t be able to tell you unless you can visibly look into the room itself through a decent sized gap. If Dispel Magic is cast on the spectral mind, it stops manifesting and the manifestation of the Awakened Spellbook is destroyed. It also disappears if you die and you can also dismiss it voluntarily as a bonus action.

Master Scrivener

Next up is a 10th-level feature that offers up a useful utility for your character.

Whenever you finish a long rest, you can create one magic scroll by touching your Wizardly Quill to a blank piece of paper or parchment and causing one spell from your Awakened Spellbook to be copied onto the scroll. The spellbook must be within 5 feet of you when  you make the scroll.

 So this is a fairly simple ability but it’s still a great one in the right hands. Essentially it lets you copy a spell that you have written in your spellbook to any piece of paper or a kind of parchment. Letting you use that spell without expending a spell slot like you would normally. This of course only works if you have a piece of paper on hand to copy the spell to. This doesn’t mean that anyone can use the scroll and its use is strictly limited to you.

There are also limits to what you can place onto the scroll. It has to either be a 1st or 2nd level spell and have a casting time of 1 action. But once the spell has been placed onto the spell, its power is increased by one level higher than normal. So this ability can also be used to turn a weaker spell into a more powerful one for deadly foes. Using the scroll counts as an action and once you use it the spell disappears from the page and can’t be used again. It also disappears when you take a long rest without casting it. This skill also comes with the ability to make spell scrolls for half as much money and twice as fast. As long as you are using the Wizardly Quill to make it.

One with the Word

The final ability granted by the Order of Scribes is a fantastic defensive utility that can get you out of serious danger.

If you take damage while your spellbook’s mind is manifested, you can prevent all of that damage to you by using your reaction to dismiss the spectral mind, using its magic to save yourself.

 What this ability does is let you use your Manifest Mind ability to take the damage that you would take during a reaction. Which is incredibly useful if you’re approaching near death and could die from another attack. As well as that you also gain advantage on all Intelligence (Arcana) checks.

But having the ability to simply save your life is actually not that simple. Instead, you have to trade a sacrifice for a sacrifice in this scenario. If you were to face an attack that you decide to block with this ability, you have to roll 3d6. Then with that number, you’d have to sacrifice spells that have a level equal to the roll. If the roll amounts to a number such as 4, you could discard two level-2 spells, or perhaps 4 level-1 spells. But if you don’t have enough spells with the levels to cover the outcome of the roll, you will drop to 0 hit points and die.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the spells are gone forever, they’ll actually reappear in your spellbook after you do a certain number of rests. The number is determined by rolling 1d6 and until you take those rests, you cannot use the spells that you sacrificed. A fairly heavy cost but in a life or death situation it’s the best option you’ll have.

Best Types of Characters for Order of Scribes

So you’ve probably gone through each of the abilities that we’ve shown you here and might be wondering if this is the subclass for you. But obviously it tends to favour certain kinds of characters over others. So we’re just going to highlight a couple of the key traits that your character should possess if they’re going to join the Order of Scribes.

A Thirst for Knowledge

So purely from a roleplay perspective, your character should have a desire to learn and seek knowledge. It needs to be one of their defining traits and the main motivation. Since attaining new knowledge is so vital for the subclass to work well. You’ll want to make sure that you have the History, Arcana, Insight and Investigation are all skills that will greatly benefit this subclass.

Be Intelligent

This probably goes without saying but Wizards with low Intelligence don’t tend to get very far. And even though they try their best they can find themselves facing difficulties here and there. So your character should have a decent number of points allocated to their Intelligence. Wizards should aim to have a high Intelligence in order to power their spells, but also this subclass has a few abilities that are driven by the Intelligence score. Just bear in mind that you should be Intelligent to go with this subclass.

Wrapping up our Order of Scribes Wizard 5E Guide

That concludes our Order of Scribes 5E Guide. Any questions? Hit us up in the comment section below. And don’t forget to learn about the other options available in our Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything Subclasses Guide.

Sam Robins
About Sam Robins 52 Articles
When not spending his time playing Video Games, Sam is busy planning out the next D&D campaign or wondering which tech upgrade is coming next. After all of that is when he decides to write about them.

3 Comments

  1. With “Manifest Mind”->”Dispel Magic”->destroys awakened spellbook…

    …does that mean your Wizard has no spells (no spellbook) until they get back to a city with a library, and a shop to buy a new blank spell book, then pay a crap ton of gold and materials?

    (the PHB says about “You need spend only 1 hour and 10 gp for each level of the *copied* spell” but if there is nothing to copy…)

    • The writer misread the spell. When cast on the Spectral Mind, Dispel Magic only destroys the manifestation. It does NOT destroy the Awakened Spellbook

      “The spectral mind stops manifesting if it is ever more than 300 feet away from you, if someone casts dispel magic on it, if the Awakened Spellbook is destroyed, if you die, or if you dismiss the spectral mind as a bonus action…”

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