A manual of gainful exercise was a magical book that contained exercises and enchantments designed to supernaturally increase its reader's strength.[1]


Manuals of gainful exercise were thick books that contained fitness exercises and diet suggestions.[1][2]


Charged within the book's words was a powerful magical enchantment. If the reader completed the book within a period of 6 days, an activity that required a total of 48 hours of reading, the reader was endowed with a substantial improvement to physical might, including the ability to further extend it beyond natural capabilities.[1][2]

Once the book was fully read, it spent its magical power and became an ordinary book.[2] However, the book recharged its power after one century.[1]

Notable OwnersEdit

The githyanki knight Al'chaia, who led a detachment of githyanki inhabiting Stardock in the Year of Three Ships Sailing, 1492 DR,[note 1] owned a manual of gainful exercise and a tome of clear thought that she had falsely promised to share with her most accomplished soldiers.[3]



  1. Canon material does not provide a year for the events described in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, but Christopher Perkins answered a question via Twitter and stated the year was 1492 DR. Unless a canon source contradicts this assertion, this wiki will use 1492 DR for events related to this sourcebook and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (which is referenced on pages 5 and 98 of Dragon Heist).


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