Thursday, January 12, 2017

SCROLL usage

SCROLL usage is basically like casting a spell, but the scroll must be read aloud and no material or somatic components are required.  Unlike a known or memorized spell which usually takes merely one round to cast, a spell read aloud from a scroll requires one round per spell level or casting time listed under spell description, whichever is greater. Written upon parchment or vellum, scrolls store their magical power within the substrate of their specially prepared inks.  Upon completion the incantation,  the ink sparkles and vanishes from the page.  Multiple spells may be contained on a single scroll.

No karma or personal energy is lost when casting a spell from a scroll. Once a scrollz magic is identified, the DC of casting a spell contained within equals TEN plus twice the spell level or five times spell level if spell restricted to another class.  Difficulty for scroll usage is reduced two (-2), if this scroll was personally prepared by the caster.

Examples; Presto, a 6th level mage, finds a cleric scroll with second level spell, cure moderate wnds, that DC for Presto the mage is 20 (10 = 2 x5) and casting or reading time is two rounds. 
Presto also has prepared his own scroll with the third level spell, lightning bolt; his DC to cast this spell is fourteen  (14 = 10 + 3x2 -2 ) and casting time is 3rds; if he was not in a hurry, Presto can ‘take 10’ assuring success.

When using a scroll, if the character rolls a natural ‘2’, the writing always fades harmlessly from the page with no adverse effect. When reading a scroll, a natural ‘1’ indicates the spell backfires with undesirable and unpredictable effects:    

d6 is rolled for  backfire  by the caster

            1)         Reader/ caster is subjected to spellz effects*  

            2)         Reader/ caster ages 2 years

            3)       Reader/ caster has minor body change**                    

            4)         Spell affects random target within range

            5)         Obscuring cone of glitter, smoke or butterflies 

            6)         Spell effect delayed for d6 rounds

* Any spell, scroll, RSW or magic item is reflected back on original user if cast upon another spell caster and opponent rolls a ‘20’ on his saving throw.  With area effect spells, roll the most powerful enemy spell casterz saving throw first.

** donkey ears, webbed feet, baldness, gynecomastia , etc.. Typically a remove curse will negate this visual (-1 Ch), but not visual handicap.

            Protection scrolls are often written in mundane or non-magical alphabets; therefore, language skill, instead of scroll skill, is used to harness their magic.  There is generally no ill effect from improperly reading a protection scroll unless it is secretly cursed.

Clearly, there is a historical distinction between divine and arcane based spell craft.  Prior to the papal inquisition of the Renaissance, magic was seen as a natural force under dominion of (not opposing) God.  Witchcraft or harmful magic was a crime prosecuted under secular courts and not necessarily demonic or diabolical in origins.  Other forms of magic (alchemy, dowsing, fortune telling, etc.) were often practiced openly and tolerated in the middle ages.  Hence, scientists, physicians and surgeons are considered magicians (Dr. Jekyll, Faust, etc.) while divine healing is clerical.

It was confessions obtained (many thru torture) during the papal inquisition that prompted the change of the jurisdiction of harmful magic or witchcraft from secular to church courts.***  There was a distinction in the High Middle Ages (11-13th century) between naturalistic, arcane or magical knowledge from that of divine power and wisdom. Much magic of this time period was concerned with mundane activities that concerned ordinary pursuits such as romance, husbandry, fertility, weather, dousing, etc..  Two examples from our own Earth’s history: Agrippa wrote one of the seminal texts on ceremonial magic and alchemy, yet he was a devout Christian.   Born in 1365 AD, the author Christine de Pizan was the daughter of Thomas who was both astrologer and court physician for the Christian King of France.

*** The legal ramification being that if convicted of heresy, the government would take your property, land and title.  If merely convicted of a capital crime, the government would take your life; however, the government could not take your land and title unless you actually confessed. This is not a minor distinction!  Imprisoned in a dungeon, as long as your will to resist held out, your family would not be denied the use of your land and property and your oldest son would inherit your title.

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