Author Topic: Safe spell trading protocol (almost of it) , by taltamir  (Read 275 times)

awaken_D_M_golem

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Safe spell trading protocol (almost of it) , by taltamir
« on: June 17, 2017, 03:34:33 PM »
Still need Help! to recover the first 2 pages of discussion - iirc the most informed.


EDIT :
Here's the predecessor thread over at giantitp ---> http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?144744-scrolls-suck-for-learning-new-spells-EDIT-Spell-trade-protocols-roleplay-info
Has enough of it, with discussion meandering.


google drive ---> https://docs.google.com/document/d/14_nGit2j6auDKCPnYEJx-ekXwF9iFh35csCe5hYmoxo/edit
original post
D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Safe spell trading protocol, and how by RAW wizards actually do have libraries
« on: October 26, 2013, 10:32:15 PM »
I had encountered some formatting issues with posting this, so here is a cleaned up version on google drive
https://docs.google.com/document/d/14_nGit2j6auDKCPnYEJx-ekXwF9iFh35csCe5hYmoxo/edit?usp=sharing
However, it turned out it was mostly issues with the WYSIWYG editor, once I disabled it I was able to properly format this post.
End edit

I always see people refer to "buying scrolls" in order to learn new spells as a wizard. However, buying scrolls is the worst possible way to acquire new spells known as a wizard. From best to worst they are

1. The best is to acquire spells known via levelup, boosted by the collegiate feat, elven generalist substitution, and aerenal arcanist feat if needed.

2. Free spellbook to spellbook copying. This is either a quest reward, the result of joining a guild, looting it off a corpse of an enemy wizard, or stealing it from a still living enemy wizard or just trading spell X for spell Y (you let me copy haste from your book, I will let you copy fly from mine). The only cost is the magic inks, a mere 100gp per page, or nothing with a blessed book. This is ideal for a party containing more than one wizard.

3. A more pricy way to achieve the above is to a pay a wizard for the right to copy a spell from him. The standard fee for this is 50gp per spell level for the right to copy, plus standard scribing costs (100 GP per page in magic inks, or nothing with blessed book)

4. The final and least effective way is to use a scroll. It destroys a consumable item that cost both GP and XP to create, whose value is at a minimum (for a minimum CL scroll with no expensive material component or XP component) 25*SL*(SL*2-1)+100*SL
Where SL = Spell level.
SL*2-1 = Caster level.
The +100*SL is waived if you have blessed book.
This cost skyrockets for a spell with an expensive material component or XP cost, such as wish. (a scroll of wish costs an additional 25,000gp beyond the baseline 9th level spell cost due to the extra 5000XP it requires to create such a scroll)

Thus, scribing a 9th level spell with no material or XP component costs the following with each method:
1. free
2. 900gp, or free with blessed book.
3. 1350gp, or 450gp with blessed book.
4. 4725gp, or 3825gp with blessed book. +cost of spell's material component + 5gp per XP cost to cast the spell.

As you can clearly see, scrolls are the worst way to learn a new spell.
Interestingly with a blessed book you turn a profit on levelup by putting the free levelup spells in a mundane book (or better, copybooks, explained later) and then copying it for free into your blessed book. You could then sell the mundane books for 50gp a page. However, it is better to keep them as a backup.
Additionally you could break the economy by buying a blank blessed book, filling it up with spells, and then selling it. But you really shouldn’t.

Safe spell trading protocols:
Dangers of traditional methods: when a wizard sells access to his spellbook for purpose of copying spell to another wizard s/he does not know or trust, there are various risks to both the buyer and seller.

The buyer might be trying to steal the seller’s spellbook, the seller might plant a trap his spellbook to incapacitate and rob the buyer, both have to meet and do their research in a distracting public place, or one of them needs access to the other’s sanctum. Once they familiarize each other with their spellbooks, and know where the traps are, they can kill each other with impunity to steal the other’s spellbook. Also, the seller should spend the whole day with the buyer to ensure that his book does not leave his sight. Even if the buyer himself is not hostile, a third party might target both when the seller has no access to his book.

All of these possibilities are rather unlikely, most wizards would not resort to such trickery, especially if they wish to share spells with other wizards in the future. But the possibility exists. Therefore, a series of simple protocols to allow safe and lucrative sharing of spells between wizards must be planned.

Protocol: A blank spellbook costs a mere 15gp, a wizard can copy a spell he already learned from his spellbooks to a new book and pay only half the price in magic inks and take half time (2 spells a day). Which means it takes 50gp per page to scribe. This 50gp is not wasted, as a spellbook is valued for sale at 50gp per filled page. The typical cost for “the right to copy” a spell from another’s spellbook is also 50gp per spell level (page). This all adds up very neatly.

Spells (with the exception of very low level spells such as cantrips) should each be copied into a single spellbook, called a copybook. Here is a chart detailing the cost of creating such copybooks, their resale value/right of copy value (the two are the same)

Spell Level|cost to create copybook|value of copybook = copyright price = total price to a buyer with blessed book|scribe cost for buyer|total cost to buyer without blessed book
1|65|50|100|150
2|115|100|200|300
3|165|150|300|450
4|215|200|400|600
5|265|250|500|750
6|315|300|600|900
7|365|350|700|1050
8|415|400|800|1200
9|465|450|900|1350

When a buyer contacts a seller requesting to buy a spell, the seller can hand him a book containing only that spell. The buyer pays in advance for the copyright cost, and puts down a deposit equal to cost of creating the copybook. Thus a person wishing to copy a 5st level spell will pay 250gp, and 265gp deposit. He will receive his deposit back when he returns the copybook to the seller.

At worst, a dishonest buyer steals the copybook. The seller made full profit, but has lost one day’s work due to the theft (time it took to create the copybook). (had the deposit not included the 15gp cost of a blank book, the buyer would have actually made a 15gp profit by stealing said book; so even though the market value is X, the deposit should be X+15gp)

At worst, a dishonest seller has disappeared with the deposit. The buyer can then keep then seller’s copybook to sell the same spells to others. He has lost the choice on whether to make a copybook for that particular spell, but has gained 1 day of labor.
In either worst case scenario the buyer and the seller do not lose any money

These worst case scenarios assume no true malicious intent; it is always possible for either of the two to really be assassins trying to gain access to the victim. Either could place a deadly trap in the copybook, or the seller could provide a fake copybook written with non-magical ink (and thus useless).

The solution to that is quite simple, conjure a celestial monkey (summon monster 1) and have him read the copybook alone and away from others. It will trigger any traps; at absolute worst destroying the book.
At higher levels, the exchange can be made via a lantern archon who has been lesser planar bound.

Minor extra savings: Each spellbook contains 100 pages, weighs 3 lbs, and costs 15gp by RAW. It might be possible to create custom “copybook” with just the right number of pages, at a lower cost. (say that 15gp is actually 5gp for the cover and 1sp per page … a 10 page book would thus be 6gp)… not a big issue really.

Roleplaying Info:
Common criticism:
Quote

    "Oh, no! My wizard won't have access to every arcane spell in existence, for free, despite that such a strategy would have invalidated all conflict within the setting.”

to be fair, there are only a FEW spells you must have. a wizard determined to break the game can “win DnD” even without thousands of spells. and ~90% of the most broken spells are in core anyways. If anything, scribing a ton of spells is a trap, it wastes your money and time, which could have been spent better (time can be spent killing monsters for XP or casting spells for money, money can be used to buy items that increase CL or Int, etc).

For the leery DM:
If you feel this is overpowered there are ways to rein it in. You can say that EVERY wizard trades spells via copybooks in their free time and that the free spells gained on levelup actually come from the profit such trading provides. Sometimes this also means a wizard buys spells copybooks with higher level spells that s/he cannot use yet, so if you are in a dungeon and leveled up, it is assumed you had copybooks of your new spells which you carried with you. All those buying, selling, and hoarding is abstracted and assumed to only gain enough cash to finance the acquisition of those free spells at levelup. Every wizard is also assumed to have a wizard library with a copybook per each spell they know, and some they haven't learned yet.
Feats that give extra spells on levelup (ex: collegiate), actually means that you spend extra time trading spells rather than extra time training (some other feat).

This method of reining it in does not necessarily mean banning the acquisition of new spells via this protocol. It merely means that a PC cannot just point out this method to the DM and say “give me a bunch of free money”, if they want to make a profit with this they have to spend time in game positioning themselves as a major supplier, the same as if they wanted to run a merchant guild who corners the corn market. They can still use their WBL to buy extra spells beyond those that are granted by your class levels and feats as normal. (aka, it is assumed to you trade enough to finance the acquisition of 2 new spells per level; buying more cost WBL).

With some calculations, you can determine how many "buyers" each wizard will come across per week to maintain the 2 free spells per level if you do want to micro-manage this aspect of the game.

World building and Role-playing implications:
Every wizard actually has a library instead of one book. The library is made up of copybooks of spells known (created by yourself, or purchased), and copybooks you purchased of spells you don't know yet (level too high).

It also means that you can't just point at this thread and say to the DM "give me more money/spellbooks"... rather, you have to actually do something in game to position yourself as a high volume trader in spells (just as you would have to do something to position yourself as a high volume trader in magic items, silk, jewels, etc etc). A "low volume trader" (someone who never spent in character time setting up shop) is the traditional adventurer wizard, whose copybook trading merely funds his 2 free spells per level, nothing more, nothing less.

NPC wizards who never adventure probably have 2 of each "copybook" of their known spells; potentially in different locations. They use multiple small books to memorize spells each morning.
While adventurer wizards probably have 1 travelbook with all their spells (which they carry) and in additional to that 1 copybook per each spell (at their sanctum).

« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 06:48:17 PM by awaken_D_M_golem »

awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Safe spell trading protocol (most of it)
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2017, 03:35:34 PM »
Page 3 of original topic


 > D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder

Safe spell trading protocol, and how by RAW wizards actually do have libraries

<< < (3/5) > >>

taltamir:

--- Quote from: 123456789blaaa on October 29, 2013, 07:28:53 PM ---Have you considered making a twin topic on Gitp?

--- End quote ---

I actually originally posted this years ago on gitp forums.

@Dither: I agree

@Awakened_D_M_Golem: thank you

awaken_D_M_golem:
'Course screwing with this system is absolutely gonna happen
by Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Evil NPCs ; "should" with PCs.

There's room for a little Prisoners Dilemma mini-game and
throwing some Bluff / Sense Motive + Diplomacy (minus the "n")
in there too.  You'd never get perfect divinations as to what
the other Wizard will do.


Hey guys I'm going shopping.
Uh, you want a Mindlink first?
Yeah good idea, maybe the Animal Companion too?
 :rolleyes ... sure.
Druid turns to his AC and whispers:  Don't eat the other familiar this time.
AC:  Bark

Slippery_Chicken:
What if a Wizard simply buys a Blessed Book and writes out at least two copies of each spell he knows (one for personal use, the rest as sales inventory), then when someone asks to copy a spell, he just removes the pages which contain that spell and sells them to the buyer? Dividing the cost of a Blessed Book (12,500gp) by the number of pages inside it (1,000 pages) means that each page of spells is by itself only 12.5gp (since you can write spells into a Blessed Book for free). You might even offer a small incentive (so the end cost is the same as normal borrowing) if the buyer returns the pages in good condition (i.e. not covered in Explosive Runes).

A guildhouse could do the same thing, having each of its members contribute spells to the "inventory". Then when some sketchy-looking adventurer-mage bursts in asking to copy a boatload of spells, they simply take his gold (probably the default borrowing cost + 12.5gp per page), hand him some pages, and send him on his way. They might even include a bit of paper which mentions that he can get 12.5gp for each page returned in good condition.


tl:dr: Do the same thing you said, but the seller cuts pages out of a Blessed Book instead of selling default spellbooks.


--- Quote from: awaken_D_M_golem on October 31, 2013, 04:04:59 PM ---There's room for a little Prisoners Dilemma mini-game and
throwing some Bluff / Sense Motive + Diplomacy (minus the "n")
in there too.  You'd never get perfect divinations as to what
the other Wizard will do.

--- End quote ---

The thing about the prisoner's dilemma is that when you have repeat trials1, cooperation becomes the dominant choice. The value of future cooperation2 outweighs the short-term benefits from betrayal. An excellent example of this principle is how humans cooperate enough to to reap tremendous benefits from groups/civilization, even though the prisoner's dilemma (or rather a shallow reading thereof) would suggest that society should collapse into chaos as everyone betrays each other for personal gain.


1Like living in a society where other people know whether you cooperated or defected, and use that information to influence future interactions with you.

2(not just from the "wronged" party, but from everyone who knows you betrayed him, and "cooperation" includes things like "not being murdered/imprisoned")

taltamir:

--- Quote from: Slippery_Chicken on November 03, 2013, 09:47:44 PM ---What if a Wizard simply buys a Blessed Book and writes out at least two copies of each spell he knows (one for personal use, the rest as sales inventory), then when someone asks to copy a spell, he just removes the pages which contain that spell and sells them to the buyer? Dividing the cost of a Blessed Book (12,500gp) by the number of pages inside it (1,000 pages) means that each page of spells is by itself only 12.5gp (since you can write spells into a Blessed Book for free). You might even offer a small incentive (so the end cost is the same as normal borrowing) if the buyer returns the pages in good condition (i.e. not covered in Explosive Runes).
--- End quote ---

If the DM allows it, sure. The DM might also allow crafting a 10 page (instead of 1000 page) blessed books for 1% of the cost.

But remember that by raw a physically broken magical item stops working, and that a blessed book is made using the "secret page" spell. So it is very easy for him to rule that cutting out pages counts as physically breaking the item and causes all the spells to disappear.

awaken_D_M_golem:

--- Quote from: Slippery_Chicken on November 03, 2013, 09:47:44 PM ---
--- Quote from: awaken_D_M_golem on October 31, 2013, 04:04:59 PM ---There's room for a little Prisoners Dilemma mini-game and
throwing some Bluff / Sense Motive + Diplomacy (minus the "n")
in there too.  You'd never get perfect divinations as to what
the other Wizard will do.

--- End quote ---

The thing about the prisoner's dilemma is that when you have repeat trials1, cooperation becomes the dominant choice. The value of future cooperation2 outweighs the short-term benefits from betrayal. An excellent example of this principle is how humans cooperate enough to to reap tremendous benefits from groups/civilization, even though the prisoner's dilemma (or rather a shallow reading thereof) would suggest that society should collapse into chaos as everyone betrays each other for personal gain.

1Like living in a society where other people know whether you cooperated or defected, and use that information to influence future interactions with you.

2(not just from the "wronged" party, but from everyone who knows you betrayed him, and "cooperation" includes things like "not being murdered/imprisoned")

--- End quote ---

True, although I have a hard time assuming Kuo-toa Wizards would fully cooperate, or Faeries (they don't find my kitty avatar so cute).

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awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Safe spell trading protocol (most of it)
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2017, 03:37:04 PM »
Page 4 + 5



Safe spell trading protocol, and how by RAW wizards actually do have libraries

<< < (4/5) > >>

TuggyNE:

--- Quote from: taltamir on November 04, 2013, 12:04:25 PM ---So it is very easy for him to rule that cutting out pages counts as physically breaking the item and causes all the spells to disappear.

--- End quote ---
But that's damage, not breaking, and magic items function just fine until they're completely damaged.

taltamir:

--- Quote from: TuggyNE on November 04, 2013, 08:36:42 PM ---
--- Quote from: taltamir on November 04, 2013, 12:04:25 PM ---So it is very easy for him to rule that cutting out pages counts as physically breaking the item and causes all the spells to disappear.

--- End quote ---
But that's damage, not breaking, and magic items function just fine until they're completely damaged.

--- End quote ---

Ok, how much damage specifically per page cut?
And why do the individual pages continue to be magical? (after all, you cannot cut off 2 feet from the top of a magical longsword and put a handle on it to have 2 magical shortswords)

Gazzien:

--- Quote from: taltamir on November 05, 2013, 12:04:48 AM ---
--- Quote from: TuggyNE on November 04, 2013, 08:36:42 PM ---
--- Quote from: taltamir on November 04, 2013, 12:04:25 PM ---So it is very easy for him to rule that cutting out pages counts as physically breaking the item and causes all the spells to disappear.

--- End quote ---
But that's damage, not breaking, and magic items function just fine until they're completely damaged.

--- End quote ---

Ok, how much damage specifically per page cut?
And why do the individual pages continue to be magical? (after all, you cannot cut off 2 feet from the top of a magical longsword and put a handle on it to have 2 magical shortswords)

--- End quote ---
Damage to the page after you scribe the spell wouldn't matter, would it? Because you write spells on nonmagical paper already...

spacemonkey555:
The blessed book is only damaged and would continue to function, but the page is no longer part of a magic item, and has no extractable benefit. The secret page spell worked on the book, imo, not the page, regardless of how the normal spell would work.

Slippery_Chicken:

--- Quote from: taltamir on November 05, 2013, 12:04:48 AM ---
--- Quote from: TuggyNE on November 04, 2013, 08:36:42 PM ---
--- Quote from: taltamir on November 04, 2013, 12:04:25 PM ---So it is very easy for him to rule that cutting out pages counts as physically breaking the item and causes all the spells to disappear.

--- End quote ---
But that's damage, not breaking, and magic items function just fine until they're completely damaged.

--- End quote ---

And why do the individual pages continue to be magical?

--- End quote ---

The pages don't need to be magical at all. They just need the spell written on them, which already happened.


**


Safe spell trading protocol, and how by RAW wizards actually do have libraries

<< < (5/5)

taltamir:

--- Quote from: Slippery_Chicken on November 05, 2013, 01:28:32 PM ---
--- Quote from: taltamir on November 05, 2013, 12:04:48 AM ---
--- Quote from: TuggyNE on November 04, 2013, 08:36:42 PM ---
--- Quote from: taltamir on November 04, 2013, 12:04:25 PM ---So it is very easy for him to rule that cutting out pages counts as physically breaking the item and causes all the spells to disappear.

--- End quote ---
But that's damage, not breaking, and magic items function just fine until they're completely damaged.

--- End quote ---

And why do the individual pages continue to be magical?

--- End quote ---

The pages don't need to be magical at all. They just need the spell written on them, which already happened.

--- End quote ---

The blessed book is made out of 100 real pages which have been enchanted using the feat "create wondrous items" and the spell "secret page" to make 1000 magical pages total; who are also granted the ability to store spells without using up (magical) ink that costs money.

If the enchantment disappears then at a minimum 90% of the pages are destroyed. But arguably 100% of the info is lost (depending on the exact method of operation and construction, which is not revealed).

awaken_D_M_golem:
idk how this goes ; as a parallel ...

FC1 has a set of artifacts that are
"Somethings written on Skins" that belonged to a bigger book.
The individual pages are the separate parts of the "item set"
even though it's never referred to as such.

iirc there are regular magic items that only work with a complete set,
but others that are a set, and yet can work separately.

Arrows get enchanted by the batch, and retain
their magicyness even when totally separated.
So it's possible.

taltamir:
each magical arrow is a separate magical item, they are just enchanted in a batch.

Slippery_Chicken:

--- Quote from: taltamir on November 05, 2013, 05:23:36 PM ---
--- Quote from: Slippery_Chicken on November 05, 2013, 01:28:32 PM ---
--- Quote from: taltamir on November 05, 2013, 12:04:48 AM ---
--- Quote from: TuggyNE on November 04, 2013, 08:36:42 PM ---
--- Quote from: taltamir on November 04, 2013, 12:04:25 PM ---So it is very easy for him to rule that cutting out pages counts as physically breaking the item and causes all the spells to disappear.

--- End quote ---
But that's damage, not breaking, and magic items function just fine until they're completely damaged.

--- End quote ---

And why do the individual pages continue to be magical?

--- End quote ---

The pages don't need to be magical at all. They just need the spell written on them, which already happened.

--- End quote ---

The blessed book is made out of 100 real pages which have been enchanted using the feat "create wondrous items" and the spell "secret page" to make 1000 magical pages total; who are also granted the ability to store spells without using up (magical) ink that costs money.

If the enchantment disappears then at a minimum 90% of the pages are destroyed. But arguably 100% of the info is lost (depending on the exact method of operation and construction, which is not revealed).

--- End quote ---

[Citation needed], especially for the "100 real pages" bit. I'm looking at the SRD right now and it says 1000 pages.


Secret Page wasn't cast on the Blessed Book (and even if that was the case, cutting pages out would still work since each spell targets a specific page, not the whole book); knowing the spell is just a requirement for making it. Magic items often work much differently from their prerequisite spells. In this case, the spells are still written on the page, whether they retain their magical properties or not.

taltamir:

--- Quote from: Slippery_Chicken on November 05, 2013, 09:43:29 PM ---[Citation needed], especially for the "100 real pages" bit. I'm looking at the SRD right now and it says 1000 pages.
--- End quote ---
Wonderous items work by enchanted regular items, and a regular spellbook is 100 real pages.
Interestingly looking at the rules for making books in complete arcane and even comparing it to the basic spellbook, it is far lighter then it should be.


--- Quote from: Slippery_Chicken on November 05, 2013, 09:43:29 PM ---Secret Page wasn't cast on the Blessed Book (and even if that was the case, cutting pages out would still work since each spell targets a specific page, not the whole book); knowing the spell is just a requirement for making it. Magic items often work much differently from their prerequisite spells. In this case, the spells are still written on the page, whether they retain their magical properties or not.
--- End quote ---
IF a blessed book was just a regular book with secret page CAST on it then indeed cutting the pages out will not ruin them... but if that was the case then you couldn't scribe them for free either and it wouldn't cost you anything to make (since secret page material components don't have a GP cost)

I never said it was made via 900 casting of a blessed page on a normal book, i said it was enchanted via using the feat "craft wonderous item" and a single casting of "secret page" which was used as part of the item creation process.
Just like your single casting of fireball to make a sword of flaming burst, or a single casting of create food and water to create a ring of sustenance. The item has different properties than the spell used in the forging process.
This process takes 7 days (rather than the few months it would take to cast 900 secret pages), I don't even think you can cast 2 secret pages on the same mundane base page, and the blessed book costs an additional 6250gp and 500XP. Whereas 900 casting of secret page would cost 0XP and 0GP.


The reason I say it takes a single casting is because item crafting rules, in particular those of golem making, explicitly state you can use a single scroll to substitute a spell you do not know as part of the crafting process.

EDIT: It appears I either remembered incorrectly or that the golem rules are an exception. Looking at the SRD for wonderous item creation:
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm

--- Quote ---If spells are involved in the prerequisites for making the item, the creator must have prepared the spells to be cast (or must know the spells, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) but need not provide any material components or focuses the spells require, nor are any XP costs inherent in a prerequisite spell incurred in the creation of the item. The act of working on the item triggers the prepared spells, making them unavailable for casting during each day of the item’s creation. (That is, those spell slots are expended from his currently prepared spells, just as if they had been cast.)
--- End quote ---

So, it would take 7 castings of secret page to make a blessed book, not 1 casting. Still a far cry less than 900 and the rest of my points stand