How does the Spell Savvy from the GM Star Reward Boon Sheet work?


Pathfinder Society

Silver Crusade *****

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a question about

this boon on the PFS student of Scrolls chronicle sheet.

Scroll-Savvy

:
(9th-Level, 5 Stars): After penning countless reports and poring over myriad texts, you have developed a natural affinity for using magical scrolls. You can cast spells from scrolls as though all spells were on your class’s spell list (treat your caster level as 1 if you do not already have a caster level); however, if you fail the caster level check to activate a scroll, the Wisdom check DC to avoid a mishap is 8.

How does this work?

Lets say I have a 9th level wizard who would like to cast a breath of life off of a scroll. What would happen? Would he be able to cast the spell?

How about a 9th level cleric, who would like to cast cone of cold off of a scroll. what would happen? Would he be able to cast the spell?

Thanks

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There are multiple requirements to activating a scroll. One of them is that you have the spell on your Class's spell list. That's what this Boon does. You must still meet the other requirements, such as having a sufficiently high enough Caster Level, and the requisite ability score.

If you don't have everything, you can only activate the scroll with a successful UMD check.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

PRD scroll rules wrote:

Scroll rules.

  • The spell must be of the correct type (arcane or divine). Arcane spellcasters (wizards, sorcerers, and bards) can only use scrolls containing arcane spells, and divine spellcasters (clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers) can only use scrolls containing divine spells. (The type of scroll a character creates is also determined by his class.) This rule is waived for PFS.
  • The user must have the spell on her class list.
  • The user must have the requisite ability score.
If the user meets all the requirements noted above, and her caster level is at least equal to the spell's caster level, she can automatically activate the spell without a check. If she meets all three requirements but her own caster level is lower than the scroll spell's caster level, then she has to make a caster level check (DC = scroll's caster level + 1) to cast the spell successfully. If she fails, she must make a DC 5 Wisdom check to avoid a mishap (see Scroll Mishaps). A natural roll of 1 always fails, whatever the modifiers. Activating a scroll is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer) and it provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does.

Prerequisite #1 is waived in PFS, scroll-savvy helps you meet prerequisite #2, and if you meet prerequisite #3, then you can make a caster level check (using your 1st caster level granted by scroll-savvy) against a DC of the scroll's caster level +1 to use the scroll.

Silver Crusade **

Breath of Life is a 5th-level cleric spell. So, a 9th level wizard with scroll savvy can cast it as if the spell were on the wizard's list, and 9th is a high enough caster level to cast a 5th-level spell.

Having a 15 wisdom (or charisma as an oracle) is a different consideration, not covered by this boon.

Since all scrolls in PFS are arcane, divine and psychic, the required ability score may not be necessary, or covered by the wizard's intelligence score.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

THe type is arcane but it's still a cleric oracle warpriest / whoever spell, which requires a stat to get it off, the same as if it were an arcane bard only spell, you'd still need to be oh so pretty to cast it because not all arcane spells are wizard spells.

*

But if the scroll is on your class's spell list, wouldn't that mean you check your class's ability modifier?

Mr. McMage has a high enough Int to be able to cast 9th level spells as a Wizard, but his Wis and Cha are both 10. He has two scrolls, Obscuring Mist and Remove Fear. Both are CL1 scrolls, and both spells are on the Cleric list. Now, since he's a Wizard, he has no problem casting Obscuring Mist - it's on his class spell list, and he has the appropriate ability score. If the boon says the spell is now on your class spell list, why would Remove Fear be treated any differently?

Or take Stone Shape as another example. In PFS, that scroll MUST have been scribed by a Cleric or Druid, because you can only buy them at CL5. Wizards can't scribe it any lower than CL7. However, a Wizard can use a purchased scroll of that spell. Why? Because it doesn't matter (in PFS) who scribed it; what matters is the spell list of the person trying to cast.

Silver Crusade **

shaventalz wrote:

But if the scroll is on your class's spell list, wouldn't that mean you check your class's ability modifier?

That's an incredibly good point, and may have been the end result of my thought process I was heading for in my previous post.

UMD wrote:
Emulate an Ability Score: To cast a spell from a scroll, you need a high score in the appropriate ability (Intelligence for wizard spells, Wisdom for divine spells, or Charisma for sorcerer or bard spells). Your effective ability score (appropriate to the class you're emulating when you try to cast the spell from the scroll) is your Use Magic Device check result minus 15. If you already have a high enough score in the appropriate ability, you don't need to make this check.

If having the scroll's spell 'on your class's spell list' is the same as making it a wizard spell for a wizard, then it should use INT to cast it.

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

In PFS you select the more beneficial casting stat.

*

Nefreet wrote:
In PFS you select the more beneficial casting stat.

Not quite.

First, that FAQ specifically refers to UMD.

Secondly, it lets you pick the most beneficial casting stat IF multiple classes could have scribed it. If it's not normally on the Wizard (or presumably Psychic) list, but IS normally on the Cleric list, it must have been scribed by a Cleric and use Wis.

Thirdly, (and this is more of a pet peeve than a rules issue), that FAQ is just silly when you consider that the only other thing affected in PFS by who scribed it is CL. Wizards can use a Cleric scroll like a Wizard, even if the scroll's CL is low enough that no Wizard could ever cast it with that little power. And Witches can use a Cleric scroll of CLW like a Witch, but Wizards can't UMD a Cleric scroll of CLW like a Witch.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

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Ugh. That faq contradicts itself.

The FAQ:
Casting a spell from a scroll using the Use Magic Device skill requires "a minimum score (10 +spell level) in the appropriate ability." How do I determine the appropriate ability score?

The Roleplaying Guild Guide describes how to determine which class's spell list to use when pricing a scroll. In the organized play campaign, we assume that a character of that class created the scroll. The appropriate ability for the scroll is the typical spellcasting ability score of that class. If more than one class could have created the scroll following the rules in the Guide, you may choose the class. For example, endure elements is a 1st-level spell on the cleric, druid, and sorcerer/wizard lists. You may choose to purchase a scroll crafted by a cleric or druid to use Wisdom, a scroll crafted by a sorcerer to use Charisma, or a scroll crafted by a wizard to use Intelligence.
posted Mar 13, 2017 | back to top

Potions, Scrolls, and Wands:

All potions, scrolls, wands, and other consumables are
made by clerics, druids, wizards, or psychics in Pathfnder
Society Roleplaying Guild play. The only exceptions are
spells that are not on the cleric, druid, wizard or psychic
spell lists. For example, a scroll of lesser restoration must be
purchased as a 2nd-level scroll created by a cleric and can’t
be purchased as a 1st-level scroll created by a paladin.

Sorcerers aren't on the list of people making scrolls in the guide, but they are on the list in the example.

*

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Ugh. That faq contradicts itself.

...
Sorcerers aren't on the list of people making scrolls in the guide, but they are on the list in the example.

Yup. I wasn't even going to bring that up, but yeah. It's possible that sorcerers were included because Charisma is the standard ability for UMD, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
shaventalz wrote:
If it's not normally on the Wizard list, but IS normally on the Cleric list, it must have been scribed by a Cleric and use Wis.

Or an Oracle and use Charisma.

You choose the more beneficial casting stat.

PFS makes it easier to use scrolls, not harder.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

Nefreet wrote:
shaventalz wrote:
If it's not normally on the Wizard list, but IS normally on the Cleric list, it must have been scribed by a Cleric and use Wis.

Or an Oracle and use Charisma.

You choose the more beneficial casting stat.

The FAQ says otherwise but the FAQ's example would back this idea.

*

Nefreet wrote:
shaventalz wrote:
If it's not normally on the Wizard list, but IS normally on the Cleric list, it must have been scribed by a Cleric and use Wis.

Or an Oracle and use Charisma.

You choose the more beneficial casting stat.

PFS makes it easier to use scrolls, not harder.

I wish that was the case. Prior to the FAQ, my Wizard (using Int for UMD) could easily activate several scrolls as a Witch or Occultist. Now he can't.

According to the Guide, Oracles do not scribe the scrolls purchasable in PFS. According to the FAQ, the requisite ability score when using UMD is based on the NPC scribing it. There's a possibly-erroneous clause for Sorcerers, but not for Oracles.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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Bear in mind there are two ways of activating scrolls: UMD if the spell is not on your list or the specific rules for using scrolls if it is.

The scroll-specific rules only require that you have the spell on your list and a high enough ability score to cast it. (And it be “of the appropriate type” but PFS ignores that). So if breath of life is considered to be on your spell list as a 5th level spell, you need 15 in your primary casting stat (whatever that might be) to use it.

Don’t confuse UMD with normal scroll activation.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

shaventalz wrote:

But if the scroll is on your class's spell list, wouldn't that mean you check your class's ability modifier?

Hmmmm. Thats a good point and would make the ability far more usable. I can't decide if that's a point for or against that interpretation...

Scarab Sages ****

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Ugh. That faq contradicts itself.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Sorcerers aren't on the list of people making scrolls in the guide, but they are on the list in the example.

Nefreet, thanks for posting that link I thought that had been clarified, but couldn’t remember where.

BNW, the FAQs could be worded a little better, but my understanding of it is that the second one is meant to set the cost of the scroll and the caster level, and the UMD FAQ is basically saying even though scrolls are restricted to being created by those limited classes, they aren’t going to penalize a character that meets the requirement for a class that could normally scribe the scroll.

Since it’s not possible to buy a scroll created by a Sorcerer or Oracle, it created a restriction they didn’t intend (requiring INT or WIS instead of INT, WIS, or CHA). In any other situation, the UMD character could just pay a little more to buy a scroll scribed by a Sorcerer and use CHA. In PFS they can’t. So that means a high CHA Rogue focused on UMD would also need a high INT or WIS. The UMD FAQ is basically saying that wasn’t an intended result of the scrolls, potions, and wands FAQ.

It still leaves a character like my Investigator in a bad spot where cleric/oracle scrolls are concerned. He’s got INT based UMD, and only a 12 in WIS and CHA, so a breath of life scroll takes 2 rolls for him, because there’s no INT-based class that could normally scribe it (barring maybe a few archetypes).

Silver Crusade *****

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Scroll Savey boon is something you earn after GMing at least 150 scenarios (10 of them being specials) and building your character from 1st up to 9th level. So having a boon that allows your character to to read a scroll, and cast the spell written on it is a nice "capstone" ability in my opinion.

I will need to go over this thread with a fine tooth comb to see what rules people are quoting and how they are interpreting them.

Thank you everyone for your posts

***** ⦵⦵⦵

I can't parse anything but a direct contradiction between the FAQ and the example.

As a DM i'd take the more liberal interpretation as a player.. i think i'll be picking up racial spells till season 20

Silver Crusade *****

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you again for your posts.

From reading the posts in this thread. I think Kevin Williams has summed up how Spell Savvey works in a nut shell "The scroll-specific rules only require that you have the spell on your list and a high enough ability score to cast it. (And it be “of the appropriate type” but PFS ignores that). So if breath of life is considered to be on your spell list as a 5th level spell, you need 15 in your primary casting stat (whatever that might be) to use it."

I think that this line: "treat your caster level as 1 if you do not already have a caster level" refers to someone who doesn't have a caster level, like say a monk, or rogue etc.

Thank you all for your posts and thoughts .

Scarab Sages ****

BigNorseWolf wrote:

I can't parse anything but a direct contradiction between the FAQ and the example.

As a DM i'd take the more liberal interpretation as a player.. i think i'll be picking up racial spells till season 20

Hmm... actually, reading it again, you might be right. The FAQ does say, "following the rules in the Guide." Which would mean you'd need to use INT or WIS in most cases. That's... rough for a Rogue or other CHA based class using UMD.

Note, with regards to the example, there are a few spells that are Oracle only. Some of them won't function unless you are an Oracle (they rely on having a curse), but a lot of them will. So in those cases, the scrolls would be crafted by an Oracle even in PFS, and CHA would be the stat.

I don't think there are any Sorcerer only spells currently.

I don't get the reference to racial spells.

Shadow Lodge

Ferious Thune wrote:
I don't get the reference to racial spells.

Pretty sure BNW is referring to this:

GM Star Reward, Student of Spells wrote:
The Spells Know All Secrets (9th-Level, 5 Stars): Together with Aram Zey, you have studied the spellcasting secrets of another race and reverse-engineered a closely-guarded incantation. Choose one legal, race-specific spell from Chapter 1 of Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide (except paragon surge). So long as you possess this boon, all of your Pathfinder Society Organized Play characters have access to this spell as if they were members of that race.

EDIT: Also, for some reason there seems to be an old version of the PFS FAQ attached to the product page for the GM Star Rewards chronicle...

Scarab Sages ****

Oh, I see, I think. Choosing a different option on the boon because the rules on the Scrolls one are unclear?

***** ⦵⦵⦵

Ferious Thune wrote:
Oh, I see, I think. Choosing a different option on the boon because the rules on the Scrolls one are unclear?

Just because it opens it up player wide, as opposed to a character nearing retirenement.

Shadow Lodge

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Just because it opens it up player wide, as opposed to a character nearing retirenement.

Which touches on the reason I'm so thoroughly uninterested in the GM Star Rewards chronicles; they're very minor boons I can only give to a single character, unless I literally have hundreds of tables of GM credit. If I were to apply one of them to a character I currently have, said character would inevitably be retired long before I get enough table credits to get the more interesting boons, and even if I weren't concerned about that, there's the option paralysis with the decision of which character do I like enough to apply one of these to?

Personally, I don't think anything short of the five-star boons are worthy of being one-character only; I'd prefer to be able to apply one of these per character, but only buy each of the five-star boons once (per boon), with an additional purchase per 50 tables beyond 150.

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
SCPRedMage wrote:
which character do I like enough to apply one of these to?

I gave mine to my character that has a dire crush on Kreighton Shaine ^_^

His Confirmation notes included pictures of the elf's face with hearts and different hyphenated combinations of their names together.

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