Custom Magic Item: Self-rescribing scrolls


Homebrew and House Rules


I would appreciate comments on the following magic item, as well as my logic for pricing it.

Self-Rescribing Scroll
Aura: Moderate transmutation
CL: Varies
Slot: None
Price: (Spell Level x Caster Level x 400gp) + (50x component cost, if any)

A self-rescribing scroll is a heavy sheet of fine vellum from any creature with fast healing. (AC 10, 2 hit points, hardness 0, and a break DC of 9). Each scroll is 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches long and can hold one spell. Using a self-rescribing scroll is a spell-completion item and using it is identical to using a normal scroll, except that spell rewrites itself onto the scroll once per day. The spell that is placed on a self-rescribing scroll must be determined at the time the item is created and cannot be changed. Self-rescribing scrolls that work more than once per day cannot be crafted.

Construction:
Requirements: Scribe Scroll, the creator must be able to cast the spell placed on the self-rescribing scroll; this is a spell completion item. The cost to create a self-rescribing scroll is half its base price.

My thoughts on calculating the cost: The cost of a single-use spell completion item is half that of a single-use use activated item so I applied that to the base cost of a use-activated spell effect item, but then because it is a slotless item, the cost is doubled so that base cost is identical. The cost is then divided by 5 because it is restricted to be used once per day.


Quite reasonable, in most cases. A bit bland, but a nice boon for higher levels when Scribe Scroll becomes much less useful in general.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

This is technically a 1/day charged item, which is what you'd have to compare it to, being a permanent item.

So, your pricing schema is going to be off. Too, the spell inscribed on it may force other pricing if, for instance, it deals with AC granting spells, or the like (A mage armor scribed at level 20 is for all practical purposes a set of Bracers+4).

A scroll you can cast a fireball from every day is little different then a ring that casts a fireball a day. You would use identical pricing schema for such, not a separate one 1/4 the price.

==Aelryinth


My understanding is that the cost of a use-activated item has a base cost of Spell level x caster level x 2000gp. I halved this because single use spell completion items are half the price of single use use-activated item, then doubled it again because it is a slotless item. I then divided it by 5 since it is 1/day, which gives the formula I posted. How do you get that it's 1/4 the cost it should be?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It works out well. Aelryinth, you say that that scroll is, for all intents and purposes, a set of Bracers of Armor +4, but it can be dispelled, which the Bracers can't, other than being rendered inoperative for 1d4 rounds, if I recall.


It's certainly cheaper than a ring, because spell completion is restricted to certain users and takes more effort. And can go wrong. I'm not sure you should double it for slotless, because it's not really slotless in the conventional way: you need to hold it to use it, so it's effectively occupying the sword slot.

Compare it to a wand: 750 x CL x SL for 50 uses with fewer restrictions. Your pricing scheme suggests that you'd use it about 26 times over the course of your career (or maybe 13 times, then sell it for half price). For some spells that's reasonable; for some it's too high and for some it's too low.

I suspect it's a bit expensive on average, but as you want to aim it at the things people will want to make, it's probably about right.


Slotless shouldn't be relevant as it has no effect for being worn. Note that scrolls themselves are not priced as slotless items.


It's a good way to get around the stupid spell level limits on wands and potions. Does it use scribe scroll or craft miscellaneous magic?
I'm ok with either price.


I hadn't thought about it taking the place of a weapon for use. Interesting idea.

Goth Guru - It requires Scribe Scroll because it's a scroll.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The rules don't differentiate between charged and continuous items as far as effects go. A 5 charge a day item is priced the same as a continuous item, the only difference is a 10% discount from 2000 gp to 1800 for command word.

An item that gets you an AC bonus when you want it is almost precisely as valuable as one that grants you a bonus all the time, and the game treats them largely identically.

Bracers that grant you a Mage Armor (or a scroll doing the same) 1/day will be priced at 1/5th of bracers +4...you price similar items/effects before using lesser formulas, simply because of the major differences in spells of the same or close levels.

So, your 400 gp x cl x sl works for most spells, except notably AC affecting spells, because of the existing pricing schema.

The reason for this is exemplified by the following 4 spells:
Mage Armor, +4 Armor bonus, level 1.
Shield of Faith, +1 Deflection bonus, level 1, scales.
Shield, +4 Shield bonus, level 1.
Barkskin, +2 AC bonus, scales, level 2.

3 are the same 'level', and would be the same 'price', except the affects are varying wildly. Hence, the AC bonus tables form the basis for these effects. Barkskin is even higher level, and doesn't even offer a +1 bonus...but is accordingly based on the Nat AC table.

Otherwise, I think you're okay on the price. A scroll is no more a slotted item then a book or tome is. I believe elixir wondrous items also get slotless item pricing, right?

It's a wondrous item. Elixirs use Wondrous Item, not create potion. This would follow the same pattern as a permanent item.

==Aelryinth

Dark Archive

Slotless wondrous items that have to be held to be used aren't doubled in cost.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aelryinth, what you haven't calculated in your table of spells is that each spell adds something different. Take Mage Armor, it doesn't stack with any other Armor bonus for AC. Now, Barkskin specifically adds natural armor, which will stack with any natural armor the beneficiary already has. Shield will not stack, but does add the benefit of absorbing magic missiles, Shield of Faith, with its deflection bonus, does stack, if I recall correctly, with any other deflection bonus. That's why they offer different benefits, a spell isn't judged against others strictly by the numbers.


Aelryinth wrote:


So, your 400 gp x cl x sl works for most spells, except notably AC affecting spells, because of the existing pricing schema.

Is that why other spell completion items that replicate AC affecting spells are priced differently? I always wondered why a wand of mage armour was more expensive than a wand of magic missile!


Thanks everyone for your responses; I learned a lot.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Val'bryn2 wrote:
Aelryinth, what you haven't calculated in your table of spells is that each spell adds something different. Take Mage Armor, it doesn't stack with any other Armor bonus for AC. Now, Barkskin specifically adds natural armor, which will stack with any natural armor the beneficiary already has. Shield will not stack, but does add the benefit of absorbing magic missiles, Shield of Faith, with its deflection bonus, does stack, if I recall correctly, with any other deflection bonus. That's why they offer different benefits, a spell isn't judged against others strictly by the numbers.

The table for Armor specifically cites enhancement bonuses. Bracers are an outlier because they can actually get above +5, but are actually the target of the enhancement bonus, with a base of 0. So the Armor table actually 'stacks with existing armor', except the target armor for bracers is always 0.

The game prices the 'differences in spells' as moot. You price the increase to Armor on the Armor table.

Barkskin is an Enhancement bonus to Nat AC. You are comparing it to creatures that have nat armor. This is an error...you compare it to an Amulet of Natural AC, which provides an identical benefit, and you price both effects off the same table.

Deflection bonuses don't stack. A Shield of Faith and Ring of Protection do NOT provide an enhancement bonus to existing deflection bonuses...they provide a deflection bonus. As such, exactly like Bracers of Armor, they don't stack with existing deflection effects.
Shield of faith provides exactly the same benefit as a Ring of Protection, and is priced off the same table.

=======
Blakmane, your snark aside, a wand is a charged item, and we are referencing a permanent item. They are treated differently. Wands of Mage Armor don't use the Armor table like Bracers do, either, and the Bracers don't cite the price of a wand when being calculated.

That's because they price on the AC benefit, not on the spell level (where benefits can be wildly uneven). The biggest abuse in item creation is from using the spell level/caster level for command word/uses per day items against the defined tables and existing items.

You always use existing items FIRST...then appropriate tables (largely for AC items), THEN go to spell level x caster level. It's way too easy to loophole stuff by playing cl x sl games. If you get a higher level spell providing multiple bonuses that exceed the cost of the armor bonus, you should be fine.

Comparing charges/day items to charged items is not how you price permanent items.

==Aelryinth


I like this item. Its interesting but simple and straight-forward :) I think I will be adding one of these into a treasure pile soon.

Dark Archive

Seems similar in concept to the eternal wand from (I think) Eberron, which had 2 charges per day and never ran out rather than the 50 charges of a normal wand.


Knight Magenta wrote:
I like this item. Its interesting but simple and straight-forward :) I think I will be adding one of these into a treasure pile soon.

Thanks.


Given that it's a quasi-permanent item, I wouldn't put it on an impermanent medium like vellum or parchment. It should probably be engraved on copper sheet, dragon scale or something equally resilient, and ideally reflecting the nature of the spell. But otherwise it's fine.


Vellum is lamb skin. Some maps and things from medieval times have survived to the present day.


I would price it as pearl of power and have it made using blood money and the spell needed so that if you use one with a component cost greater than 1gp it gives you a paper cut, and the cursed version of it gives bleed damage that removes spell levels prepared and then causes regular bleed and scurries off with a +15 stealth and finds a place to hide. Remove curse turns it into a single use rescribing scroll.


Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
I would price it as pearl of power and have it made using blood money and the spell needed so that if you use one with a component cost greater than 1gp it gives you a paper cut, and the cursed version of it gives bleed damage that removes spell levels prepared and then causes regular bleed and scurries off with a +15 stealth and finds a place to hide. Remove curse turns it into a single use rescribing scroll.

You don't have to use this in games you GM.

The monster scroll you describe, however, is a lot of fun. Just needs hit and XP points.


For Eternal Wands, you needed both Craft Wand and Craft Wondrous Item. I'd suggest going a similar route with this, i.e. require both Scribe Scroll and Craft Wondrous Item to make them.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

You don't need Create Potion to make Wondrous Item Elixirs. So, entirely elective.

==+Aelryinth


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Price it as the appropriate 1x/day command word item (must read and speak the spell inscribed): spell level x caster level x 1,800 gp (plus 50 x any material component costs) and reduce the price by 30% (item requires specific class/alignment; in this case, requires spell on spell list and sufficient casting level as if it were a spell completion item).


And if you try to use the scroll of teleport, and fail because of level or use magic device, welcome to The Cleaves! :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

a penalty that isn't a penalty shouldn't give you any discounts at all. That there sounds more like a restriction preventing others from using it as opposed to much else. I probably wouldn't give much of a discount for it. That's like giving a character a discount because he can use Arcane wands cause they're on his list. The caster level restriction is virtually a moot point.

==+Aelryinth

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