Scrollmaster cantrip Scrolls


Advice


The scrollmaster wizard archetype says that when a scrollblade reaches 0 hp, it is destroyed, but it also says that the starting HP is determined by the highest spell level in the scroll.

So, does this mean that cantrip scroll blades will never be destroyed by this effect because they start at 0 and thus cannot reach it?


Nope. A Cantrip is a Cantrip, not a "zero level spell". In calculations they're treated as having .5 of a level, so the scrollblade has 1HP.

Shadow Lodge

Id feel safe saying it's has half a spell level -and thus 0.5 HP- just like when you were scribing the spell. It prevents a scroll with a cantrip from being invincible.


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What I really don't understand about this archetype - as much as I REALLY want to play it effectively - is that Parchment, by its listing under Adventuring Gear, has 2 hit points on it own. Which means that having a 0-level or 1st level spell on a scroll LOWERS its hit points.


Second question, if I stop using the scrollblade, reverting to a normal scroll, and then use scrollblade again to turn the scroll into a new scrollblade, does the new scrollblade have full hp?


I also love the Scrollmaster in theory, but the rules are a broken mess. It's a shame, really. It'd be my first pick for an Archetypes Unchained book.

Here are some threads on the issue, some I found, some I started.

My thread

Another Thread

Another other thread

You'll see that your questions are not uncommon, and the best advice is "Ask your GM." But you'll also see some cool solutions people have proposed. I used Slim Gauge's solution--if you drop the scroll, it becomes a normal scroll again, but if you pick it up and use it as a scrollblade, its prior damage is still there. You need houserules just to make this thing function.


It looks like the scroll blades base HP is listed, but we still have to add the extra HP and Hardness from the enhancement bonus at time of use.

This means that the base weapon is 0 hardness, hp = to highest spell level, and then the enhancement bonus stacks on those, so a scroll with a level 2 spell would be a +1 Scrollblade with 2 hardness and 12 hitpoints (0 hardness base, +2 hardness from +1 enhancement, +10 hitpoints from +1 enhancement)


Reasonable, still it's hard to say for sure what the order of operations should be.


That archetype if useful for level 10 only. And the shield one, if you have cool spells.
But the level 10 is worth if you dont like having wizard bond. You can now invest in scrolls that will become super useful lasting your CL, which is the most important reason.
Also using feats and INT for DC is just great. Scrolls of Fireballs, of enervating, anything you can think of and you will never be out of spells.
Wizards dont really need Wealth to be usefull except +INT, so even if you go scroll crazy, youre still going to be contributing more than enough to your party.


As advice, I don't think adding to the hardness and hit points based on enhancement would be too bad if it only applied to sunder attempts or such. However, from reading it, I really have to believe that if they wanted a 2nd level scroll to have +10 attacks, they would have mentioned it. I mean, the way it's written seems clear (though the possibility that they just grossly failed to convey their intent exists). Since the blade loses 1 hit point per successful attack, I think it would be a glaringly inadmissible to think a 0 or 1st level scroll would get destroyed with one while a 2nd level can make 10 hits. It's just too much of a variance. Again, entirely possible they were just careless and neglectful and if that's the case, I would not allow the archetype just based on general principle (the principle being that if I have to rework and redesign such a significant part, I may as well just be using my own.)

I have the same problem with the scroll shield ability. It loses 1 hit point per successful attack against the wizard. That makes little sense to me. This makes it less likely that someone will use a scroll shield against an attacker that has a high chance of hitting them or against a lot of attackers. It's counter-intuitive. If your shield doesn't block the attack, why is getting damaged? Sure, we can say that you're blocking every single attack but they're 'blowing through' your scroll, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

For instance, you can give a scroll shield the ghost touch property, but let's say you don't. You get hit by a ghost or incorporeal attack and by the wording, your scroll shield loses a hit point, even if it had no chance of affecting the attack, even if it couldn't possibly be hit by the attack because the attack passes through the scroll shield. The same deal if your getting pelted with ranged touch attacks (technically, as written, they might not even have to do damage, such as ray of fatigue, though I would easily expect that to be rare in most GMs case). I would end up having to houserule and rework it to where the scroll shield only loses a hit point if it 'deflects' an attack, ie. if the attack misses by the amount of shield bonus granted by it.

Sorry, got sidetracked. Obviously the OP's actual question was answered. The cantrip scroll blade isn't indestructible, it has 1 hit point. I am not sure adding hit points for enhancement is implied here either, however. The wording seems pretty focused on making the scroll sword (and shield) very fragile hit point-wise.


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@Lectric: My experience of the archetype is that while the level 10 ability looks great (but I never got that far), its real power is the shift in player psychology. Playing my scrollmaster gave me an incentive to blow my treasure on powerful over-leveled scrolls, which in turn meant that I was able to solve the toughest early encounters for the party while a normal wizard is still casting level one spells. Even the rapid degradation of the scrolls made me more likely to actually cast them, rather than risk their disintegration. Super fun. But the broken rules kept me from feeling fully comfortable with the archetype, so I stopped playing it.

@Pizza Lord: yep. A lot of it doens't make much sense. The GM ends up deciding how it functions, which is especially bad for PFS.

You know how sometimes the author of a thing pops up on the forum and says what they intended? That would be so great right now. So, if you're out there and reading this--and I know the archetype is really old so said person may well be elsewhere--we'd appreciate a pointer or two!

It's in a hardback, after all.

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