Quote Originally Posted by icanseeuuu View Post
I don't know why he had to research the spell in the first place. It already exists . It's not in the Player's Handbook, but it's in the Spell Compendium and Tsukiko already used Orb spells, which are also non-core.
She almost certainly had to research them specifically, though. For simplicity, I usually assume that all spells in the SRD are "common knowledge" and everything else is "obscure/non-existent" unless someone has researched it. That's because the bulk of the reading audience won't know about each and every spell in 3.5, but most of them have the Player's Handbook.

Plus, I didn't know Mass Death Ward was an actual spell until right this moment. I was merely extrapolating, I never checked any of the books for it. But it doesn't really affect the story either way, except for that I was pegging it at 7th level instead of 8th.