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10/02/2014 4:31 pm  #1


Cost of Scrolls

I would like to inquire about whether in your campaigns characters invest their hard-earned cash in creating scrolls. I, along with my players, came to the conclusion that this activity is probably too expensive, especially compared to the costs of researching a new spell altogether. What is your opinion on that?

 

10/02/2014 8:32 pm  #2


Re: Cost of Scrolls

IMC it's not so much the cost that inhibits scroll creation, but opportunity. They are always in a dungeon, on a mountain, in a cave, or on a boat. If they had more down time, they might make more scrolls. I think AS&SH scroll creation (modeled after the Holmes method) is one of the more generous methods. Also, keep in mind that scrolls are 100 gp per spell (known spell, no chance of failure) vs newly researched spells at 500 gp per spell level (with chance of failure). I think scrolls are worth it.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

10/03/2014 3:06 am  #3


Re: Cost of Scrolls

According to the following text (from the Magician's class ability descriptions) it's a lot more expensive than that:

To scribe a familiar spell onto a scroll, creating a single-use magical device, at a cost of 500 gp + 100 gp per spell level.

     Thread Starter
 

10/03/2014 5:14 am  #4


Re: Cost of Scrolls

Ahh, yes, that's right -- I was working from memory in my reply. So, the difference is (and this must be weighed out by the player) there is no chance of failure creating a scroll, and that it is one of the rare magic item creation opportunities in the game. I remember intending to embrace the Holmes rule (100 gp / 1 week per spell level) but I suppose we decided it was a little too easy. But we still went with scroll creation at every level as opposed to using the 1e rule of scroll creation starting at level 7. Even at 1,200 gp, a couple of extra sleep spell scrolls could mean the difference between life and death. It also gives magic-using PCs something to spend their accumulatd wealth on. Anyway, my apologies on misremembering the cost!


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

10/03/2014 6:02 am  #5


Re: Cost of Scrolls

Ghul wrote:

vs newly researched spells at 500 gp per spell level (with chance of failure).

I improvised a cost for this and happened upon 500 gp per level, not knowing that is actually the rule, haha. We call it "buying" a new spell, but it amounts to the same thing - incremental spell book contents.

Anyway, I'm fine with scroll creation expenses of 500gp+100/level. Creates a modest barrier to entry for solo low-level magic-users (else maybe you'd have shops selling them all the time, which is unappealing to me), but is still feasible (especially if a party pools resources). Being able to memorize an extra spell (for all intents and purposes) is huge at low levels, something I would expect most parties to strongly consider.

At the end of the day, I'm not terribly wedded to the RAW and have no problem changing them. If I wanted cheaper scrolls, I'd just do it.

Last edited by Chainsaw (10/03/2014 6:05 am)


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

10/03/2014 6:36 am  #6


Re: Cost of Scrolls

Well said, Chain. Nice sig, by the way! LOL


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

10/03/2014 6:44 am  #7


Re: Cost of Scrolls

Ghul wrote:

Nice sig, by the way! LOL

Haha! Yeah, classic referee-player interaction.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

10/03/2014 7:56 am  #8


Re: Cost of Scrolls

My players have not done so yet, but they definitely have researched new spells to add to their books. I think at low levels, esp. for sorcerer classes other than magician, cleric, and priest, this is really encouraged--they're just not starting with nor adding many spells to their books through regular progression. I think that once they would have (/will have had [that TPK even hurts syntax!]) reached 3rd level, there would have been more scroll creation.

So, a couple other thoughts. First, I've set things up now so that when they straggle back into town, they get 1/2 XP for treasure collected. After they divide their loot, they can set aside whatever they want for training or sorcerous scroll making and spell research. Also, you know, equipment. But whatever they don't set aside is risked on the most excellent Drunken Debauchery Table! And they get the rest of the XP for all treasure so risked!

Also, something I've been noting in some modules and whatnots that I've been reading is "vim" (see especially Rob Conley's works). Vim takes different forms but is essentially (heh) concentrated magic that is useful in the magic-item creation and various other sorcerous tasks. Now, I don't want to make anything too formal here. Given some of my (deliciously decadent) lifestyle choices, I don't like to have to remember too much stuff (which is why the RAW is so convenient!). But the way I figure it, since my players are *already* always cutting the eyes, livers, bladders, fangs, teeth, tentacles, cloacae, sense nodules, musk glands, genitals, brains, hearts, ganglia, poison sacs, jawbones, wing membranes, pin feathers, fetlocks, crops, dewclaws, spore cysts, and fingers out of/off everything they kill, they may as well reap some benefit for the effort. So I'm figuring that when one of them *does* try to make a scroll or research a spell, we can take a look at what s/he's collected and see if any of it fits thematically with the spell. That stuff will automatically take some cost off, depending on the magical puissance (if you will) of the "donor" and the effort put into preservation. (It's fine to tell me you cut out the swine daemon's bladder, but if you're just dropping that in your pack, there might be some issues when they open it up at customs.) Then whatever else s/he has collected might provide some benefit, based on either a roll against Chance to Know Each Spell from the INT stat or a save. Haven't decided. They keep dying before it comes up.

Edit: Part of the rationale here is to have some treasure other than piles of coin or standard magic items (I like a pretty low-magic-item game; it keeps them hungry). Also, with the seven different magical languages in AS&SH, killing the sorcerer and getting his spell book isn't always going to end up completely benefiting a PC the way it often does in AD&D. So you kill the necromancer, and maybe no one can make use of her spell book, but that necklace of mummified hands that always seems to be in a different configuration each time you look at it? That's going to really help with CLW, hold person, and finger of death scrolls!

Last edited by Handy Haversack (10/03/2014 8:40 am)

 

10/07/2014 5:09 pm  #9


Re: Cost of Scrolls

Thanks everyone for their input! For now, I won't change the price of writing scrolls (I'd like to give a chance to the raw rule, first).

     Thread Starter
 

10/08/2014 2:51 am  #10


Re: Cost of Scrolls

Ynas Midgard wrote:

Thanks everyone for their input! For now, I won't change the price of writing scrolls (I'd like to give a chance to the raw rule, first).

That is the way I have approached AS&SH when it varies from my normal procedure, such as with critical hits and a few other things. I sort of feel like I may as well give RAW a chance at first, else what's the point of trying a variant system? Having said that, customization is an important part of the hobby. Without it, we'd have no AS&SH at all! So, over time, as I get a handle on things and understand how it all works together, I will not hesitate to make adjustments where necessary.

Last edited by Chainsaw (10/08/2014 2:52 am)


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

10/08/2014 7:31 am  #11


Re: Cost of Scrolls

Chainsaw wrote:

Ynas Midgard wrote:

Thanks everyone for their input! For now, I won't change the price of writing scrolls (I'd like to give a chance to the raw rule, first).

That is the way I have approached AS&SH when it varies from my normal procedure, such as with critical hits and a few other things. I sort of feel like I may as well give RAW a chance at first, else what's the point of trying a variant system? Having said that, customization is an important part of the hobby. Without it, we'd have no AS&SH at all! So, over time, as I get a handle on things and understand how it all works together, I will not hesitate to make adjustments where necessary.

Along those lines, I'm thinking about stealing this from Last Gasp Grimoire for whenever a spellbook is captured or a cleric scroll is used that is scribed by a cleric of a different god. It has the advantages of being batshit insane, which I like!

http://www.lastgaspgrimoire.com/cunning-linguists/
 

 

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