Amanuensis was an arcane and divine transmutation spell or a creation ritual that copied ordinary, non-magical text.[2][3][1]


The amanuensis spell read non-magical text from a book, parchment, or piece of paper, and made a perfect copy on a supplied surface, copying at a rate of 250 words per minute. It would not print magical writings, scrolls, the sepia snake sigil spell, explosive runes, or the like. Such magical traps in writing would be set off by the amanuensis spell. It also would not duplicate pictures and illustrations. If the spell encountered magical writing or illustrations, then it would leave an empty space on the page.[2][3] Earlier, higher-level, versions could however copy a spellbook.[2] [note 1]

The spell could not translate a document.[2][3]

The later amanuensis ritual operated in a similar way, but could only copy 250 words in total, generally filling one page. It could however copy illustrations and even ritual scrolls.[1]


To enact the amanuensis spell, a caster pointed at a body of writing, as if holding a pen, quill, or stylus, then moved their hand as if writing while intoning the words of the spell. The copied text would then appear on a blank page close by.[3]

Apart from these verbal and somatic components, the spell required no material components bar those required for the copying: the original text to be copied, and a blank surface on which to copy it. This could be a book, paper, parchment, or the like. If the spell ran out of pages, it would pause until more were supplied or it was redirected to another writing surface.[2][3] If it was a spellbook being copied in the older, higher-level version, then the necessary expensive inks and other writing materials were still required.[2]

The amanuensis ritual instead required the caster to touch and trace each letter of glyph with a mildly glowing crystal. The copied letters then flickered into existence on the blank page. It required material components costing 10 gp.[1]


The amanuensis spell was originally provided by the god Deneir, god of scribes, to his followers. It later spread to other faiths and even to arcane spellcasters by 1372 DR.[2][4]

After the Spellplague, the ritual version of amanuensis was well known by 1479 DR.[1]



  1. The 3rd-edition version of amanuensis, in Magic of Faerûn, was a 3rd-level spell that was capable of copying a spellbook. However, in the Spell Compendium in 3.5 edition, this was changed to a 0th-level spell that could not copy a spellbook.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Matthew Sernett, Jeff Grubb, Mike McArtor (Dec 2005). Spell Compendium. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-3702-5.
  4. Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.