Magical Scrolls in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

Magical Scrolls

Magical Scrolls are a means by which magical energy can be stored up in a piece of parchment or vellum and released later by anybody capable of reading the language in which the scroll was written - even if that character or creature does not have the Interpreting Magic Acquired Specialty.

A Scroll contains the magical energy associated with one spellcasting, which is released when the scroll is read aloud. Thus, all scroll spellcasting requires an Audible Element, even if the spell being read does not normally require one. A newly discovered scroll can be read silently in order to discern what it does without triggering the magic within the Scroll. Scroll spellcasting never requires Gesture or Material elements - even if the spell being read normally would require them. As the words on the Scroll are read aloud, they disappear from the page. This requires that the reading of the Scroll be without interruption, as it is impossible to restart the reading once it has begun. Interrupting the reading of a Scroll will cause the spell energy contained within to dissipate without effect.

The Scroll does not contain every bit of magical energy required to complete the spellcasting; the reader must provide some energy as well. As a result, reading a scroll and triggering its magic causes the same Stamina Drain as would be felt by one casting a spell from a Spellbook.

Crafting a Scroll

In order to create a scroll, the crafter must have access to a piece of fine parchment or vellum - simple paper will not suffice. Furthermore, a special ink must be used in the writing of the Scroll. The formula for this ink is a carefully guarded secret, though it could be purchased if one knows where to look, or discovered as loot during exploration. This formula is sufficiently complicated that even after it is acquired, a character or creature of Level 3 or higher is needed to make proper sense of it. Preparation of the ink requires, among other more mundane ingredients, the addition of 10gp of powdered silver in order to make sufficient ink to write a single scroll.

In addition to having the medium and ink are available, the crafter of the scroll must be capable of casting the desired spell, which in turn requires that they have acquired the Interpreting Magic specialty, and have the spell in a Spellbook. During the crafting, the spell is actually cast into the Scroll, making use of all Audible, Gesture and Material components that the spell normally requires. This is why Material components are not needed to trigger the spell from the Scroll; they have already been expended in its creation. The Stamina Drain of casting the spell is felt as well.

The Scroll is written in a nonmagical language of the caster's choosing (though the caster must be able to communicate in that chosen language). Once completed, anyone who can read that language can release the Scroll's energies; this is why most, though not all, Scrolls are written in the Common language.

It takes a full day per spell level to write a single Scroll. Thus, this is typically an effort reserved for Downtime. Player Characters might have the opportunity to purchase scrolls if they come across the right sources, but due to the cost of preparing materials, the time expended, and the energy drain, purchased scrolls can be quite costly.

Cursed Scrolls

In order to prevent unauthorized use, some crafters add a special security measure to the scrolls they create. Such scrolls are called Cursed Scrolls. Reading a Cursed Scroll - even silently - without first uttering the correct Trigger Word will activate the Curse mechanism.

In some cases, the triggered curse effect might be immediate. The Scroll may explode, doing damage to its holder. The holder may be Poisoned, or Enfeebled, or Befuddled. Other times, the curse acts to change the nature of the spell being cast. Spell effects may be focused on the reader rather than a chosen target. Spell effects may be the opposite of what was intended. Gamemasters are encouraged to be creative in their use of curse effects with discovered Scrolls, but are at the same time cautioned not to overuse them. Player Characters who craft their own Scrolls are free to apply these security measures as well!


The Laurels and Loot Rule System is published by Bob O'Brien
It is available to all in accordance with the Creative Commons (Attribution) license
(Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

Laurels and Loot Rules are derived in part from the following sources:
Knave 2.0 TTRPG System Rules published by Ben Milton
in compliance with
(Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

The banners on these pages was composed with art attributed to:
b0red from Pixabay (treasure chest image)
Gordon Johnson from Pixabay (laurels image)

The side panels are composed with art attributed to:
Evelyn Chai from Pixabay (dungeon passage)


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