Thursday, July 12, 2012
A New Spin on Magic: Pt 3
Under this idea scrolls are two things: not cheap, and fragile.
Ink is Not Cheap
Encoding scrolls requires special ink. This is an abstract concept, which individual referees may make as detailed as desired. I intend to keep it fairly abstract, as I present it here. It costs 100 gp per level of spell for the ink. Anytime a Scribe is in a town or larger, he may purchase ink simply by player declaration. The player notes how many gold pieces were spent on ink, and that is that. Of course, ink may also be found as treasure, which could be significant at lower levels or further from civilization.
Scrolls Are Fragile
Scrolls may be carried in reasonably durable containers, but they are bulky and make getting the desired scroll in play more difficult. At best, a container could provide a saving throw bonus to any scrolls in it, based on hazard. Unprotected scrolls would be subject to destruction from the most basic of hazards, especially water. Rain, creek/river crossings, or even water based attacks targetting the Scribe (they're not hard to spot) can ruin exposed scrolls. Of course, fire spells disaster for scrolls, as does acid, or anything with that form of attack, such as green slime.
Oops, I Meant to Grab the Other One
Finally, a large number of scrolls will make it increasingly difficult to grab just the right one. Of course, this being old-school play, clever players will describe in detail how the scrolls are tabbed and organized. Yet, in the heat of the moment there should always be some chance of grabbing the wrong scroll. I think that's how it should be handled, too. Not with some sort of fixed amount of time to fish it out, but with a chance to grab the desired scroll. That can then be modified by how they're carried and organized.
Limit the Number of Spells per Scroll
This would be based on level. Say, something like the maximum number of levels spells they can put on one scroll is equal to their level? That keeps the other limits above in play, but isn't too restrictive. Besides, with the fragility of the medium, would a Scribe put too many spells on one scroll anyway? All your eggs in one basket and all that.
These are just some ideas to offset players taking a week or so of game time to craft a library of spells. I'd like to hear others.
And Another Thing
In a similar vein, I think beginning Scribe characters should be allowed to start with one scroll of each spell they know.