Friday, October 3, 2014

D&D Rules Comparison 12

Scrolls
Scrolls are written on parchment or paper.
There must be enough light to read a scroll.
Scrolls must be read aloud to cast a spell.
Cleric scrolls are written in the common tongue but only Clerics know how to use them.
There may be up to 3 spells on a scroll (D&D 74 has up to 7 spells) as follows:

D6
Number of Spells
1-3
1
4-5
2
6
3

Cursed Scrolls

Just looking at the writing sets off the curse – no reading needed.  D&D94 includes a different curse list from D&D74 as follows:

1. The reader turns into a frog (or some other harmless animal).
2. A wandering monster of the same level as the reader appears and attacks the reader by
surprise (a free attack with bonuses).
3. One magical item owned by the reader disappears (the item is chosen or randomly determined
by the DM).
4. The reader loses one level of experience, as if struck by a wight. (The DM should roll
again for a first-level character to avoid unfair "instant death.")
5. The reader's Prime Requisite must be rerolled.
6. Wounds will take twice as long to heal, and healing spells will only restore half
normal amounts until the curse is lifted.

Protection Scrolls
Protection scrolls  verses monsters hinder the warded creature from entering the protection circle, but they do not prevent spell or missile attacks from the warded creature.

The circle is broken if a protected creature attacks a warded creature.

Protection from magic differs only in duration.  In D&D74 it lasts 8 turns, but in D&D94 it lasts but 1d4 turns. 

Discussion:  I think the basic rules for scrolls given in D&D94 are good clarifications, although I don't agree that scrolls have to be on parchment or paper.  They same spells might be scribed into stone, wood, or clay tablets, I should think.

I also like the change to less spells on a scroll, but only because in my campaign I prefer to consider "scrolls" of 4-7 spells on the treasure tables to actually be spell books. 

I also much prefer the cursed scroll effects given in D&D94.  The D&D74 ones have a few similar entries but also contain two that result in being transported out of the game.

Lastly, I also think the clarifications in D&D94 for protection scrolls are good ideas, but I see no reason to reduce the time a protection spell lasts.  Let the players have their 8 turns.

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