Scrolls will generally be found in cylinders -- tubes of ivory, jade,
metal, or wood. You may require that players read certain magic
runes/writings inscribed on tubes in order to open the container in some
cases. This enables you to have read magic (or comprehend languages)
spells taken and used, as well as giving the possibility for traps (symbols,
explosive runes) and curses along with a powerful scroll.
Each scroll is written in its own magical cypher, so to understand what
of scroll has been found the ability to read magic must be available. Once
a scroll is read to determine its contents, a read magic will not be needed
at a subsequent time to invoke the magic. Note that even a map will
appear magical until the proper spell is used. Reading a scroll to find its
contents does not invoke its magic unless it is a specially triggered curse.
The latter scroll appears to be a scroll of any sort. It radiates no evil or
special aura beyond the magical.
Scrolls not read to determine contents immediately are from 5% to 30%
likely to fade;
it is your option to set the percentage or use a d6 to randomly determine it for each scroll.
When scrolls are examined, the following table can be used to find their
|First Roll||Second Roll|
|01-70 Magic-User||then 01-10 Illusionist|
|71-00 Cleric||then 01-25 Druid|
Only the indicated class of character can use the scroll, except thieves.
<Remember: thieves can use all scrolls, except for clerical scrolls>
Protection scrolls can be read by any class or race of character even without a magic spell.
Spell Level of Scroll Spells: All scroll
spells are assumed to be written so as
to make it as easy and quick as possible for the writer. Thus, the level of
the spell, its characteristics with respect to range, duration, area of effect,
etc., where level is a factor, is typically but 1 level higher than that required
to actually use the spell, but never below 6th level of xperience.
Thus, a sixth level magic-user spell is written at 13th level of ability, a seventh at 15th level, etc.
A scroll fireball or lightning bolt spell is of 6 dice (6d6) in most cases,
but as DM you may decide to make certain scroll spells more powerful by increasing the level at which they are written;
however, this will certainly affect the chance of spell failure as given below:
Magic Spell Failure:
If a spell-user acquires a scroll with a spell(s) of a level(s) not yet usable by the character,
the spell-user may still attempt to USE the spell;
the chance of failure,
or other bad effect,
is 5% per level difference between the character's present level and the level of magic use at which the spell could be used.
For example, a 1st level magic-user finds a scroll with a wish spell inscribed upon it.
The chance of failure is 85%, as wish is a spell of 9th level magic attained at 18th level of magic use- 18-
1 = 17 X 5% = 85%. Dice are rolled, and any score of 85 or less indicates failure of some sort, and the following table is consulted:
|Level Difference||Total Failure||Reverse or Harmful Effect|
|16 and up||30%||70%|
USE of Scroll Spells: When any given scroll
is read for purposes of copying
the spell's formula (so as to be able to "know" it) or to release its magic,
the writing completely and permanently disappears from the scroll. The
magic content of the spell is bound up in the writing, and use releases and
erases it. Thus, reading a spell from a scroll of 7 spells makes the thing a
scroll of 6 spells. No matter what a player may attempt, a scroll spell is
usoble but once and once only. No exceptions should be made save in the
cose where you have a special magic item in mind - perhaps a scroll
which can be read from once per week or whotever - and always only in
Note Regarding Use Of Scroll
Spells: Those characters able to read and
employ scroll spells may do so regardless of other restrictions, and once
the spell is known, it is not necessary to use a special read magic in order
to effect its powers. Reading of such scrolls is possible even to magic-users
who are otherwise unable to employ such a spell for any reason whatsoever,
be it inability to learn or above level of use -- although in the latter
case there is a chance of spell failure (q.v.). Ability to use scroll spells does
not permit a cleric to use a druid spell, a magic-user spell, or a magic-user
to use a cleric spell. Likewise, it does not extend the ability of spell use to
non-spell-using characters except with respect to protection scrolls.
Spell Level Range: This gives the parameters
for random determination of
spell level for those scrolls you do not set beforehand. When spell level is
determined it is a simple matter to randomly find which particular spell it is
by consulting the appropriate SPELL TABLES (cf. PH).
Special Note: All protection scrolls are cumulative in effect but not in duration.
Protection scrolls will generally be found in cylinders -- tubes of ivory, jade, leather, metal, or wood.