The first step in creating a spell scroll (not a protection scroll) is for the
wizard or priest to know and be able to cast the appropriate spell—the desired
spell must exist in his spell books. If he has never seen the desired spell or
has failed to learn it, he certainly cannot create a scroll for that spell.
When creating a protection scroll, the wizard is limited to those protective
spells that fall within the purview of his art, for example, protection from
elementals, magic, and petrification.
If a wizard knows the spell, he can begin fabrication. His first step is to
assemble the appropriate materials: quill, ink, and paper. These materials can't
be commonplace items lest they mar the final product or be consumed by the very
magical energies the wizard seeks to enscribe.
The quill used for each spell must be fresh and unused. Lingering energies of the spell
just transcribed cling to the quill. If the quill were used again, these
energies would flow and intermingle with later attempts, causing them to fail.
Furthermore, the pen can't be just an ordinary goose quill. It must be from a
strange and magical creature, perhaps one appropriate to the nature of the
spell (the feather of a cockatrice for a flesh to stone, etc.). The task of gathering the right quill can be an adventure in itself.
Quills hand-picked by the wizard himself increase the chance of success by 5%.
The paper or other material upon which the scroll is inscribed must also be of fine
quality. Paper is best for this purpose, followed by parchment, and then papyrus.
Each affects the chance of success as follows:
The ink is the final consideration. In this area, the DM has the greatest leeway to
demand the most exotic ingredients and processes. The ingredients could be
simple—the ink of a giant squid mixed with the venom of a wyvern's sting, or the musk
of a giant skunk brewed with the blood of a gorgon. They could also be complex
in meaning—the tears of a crocodile and a drop of water from the bottom of the
deepest ocean, or a drop of mead from the cup of King Thyas blended with the
lamentations of the women from the funeral of a great hero.
In general, the ink's ingredients should relate to the overall purpose of the
scroll. As with the quill, the ink required for each spell should be different
and even each inscription of the same spell requires the batch to be brewed
After the character has gathered and brewed all the materials, he can begin
the actual process of writing. Wizards must have their spell books at hand to
guide their work, while priests and others must work on a specially prepared
altar. The actual process of writing the scroll requires one full day for each level
of the spell inscribed.
Protection scrolls require six days of work. During this time, the spellcaster
must be undisturbed, breaking only for food and sleep (and then for a minimum
of each). If the spellcaster halts before the transcription is completed, the
entire effort fails and all work done to that point is for naught.
After the work is completed, the DM secretly checks for success. The base
chance is 80%. This can be increased or decreased by the materials used. For every
level of the spell, 1% is subtracted from the success chance, but every level
of the spellcaster adds 1%. Thus, a 15th-level mage (+15) making a scroll of a
7th-level spell (-7), using papyrus (-5) and writing with a cockatrice quill
plucked with his own hand (+5) would have an (80 + 15 - 7 - 5 + 5 =) 88% chance of
If the number rolled on percentile dice is equal to or less than the required
number, the attempt succeeds. If the roll is higher, the attempt fails, though
the player has no way of knowing this.
If the attempt fails, the scroll is cursed in some way. The DM secretly
decides an appropriate effect based on the spell that was attempted. A failed attempt
to create a fireball scroll may result in a cursed scroll that explodes in a fiery ball of flame
upon reading. The player character cannot detect the cursed effect until it is
Note: A remove curse spell will cause this faulty scroll to turn to dust.
A single scroll can contain 1 to 6 spells, the number determined randomly by
the DM. The player can never be certain of the amount of space required even for
the same spell on two different scrolls. A failed attempt to transcribe a
scroll automatically fills the remainder of the page, although other spells
successfully written before the failure remain. In this case, the cursed effect of the
failed spell will not come into effect until that spell is read.
When using a scroll he himself has prepared, a wizard does not need to resort
to a read magic spell to understand the writing.
Table of Contents