Author Topic: Papyrus & Ink:A Player's Guide to Scrolls for the Aspiring Spell Scribe  (Read 2378 times)


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originally posted by TC X0 Lt 0X on minmax on November 09, 2011
Author's Disclaimer: I am not an exact expert at the rules of D&D, particularly in the finer details, and this Guide is likely full of many errors and I may very well be spouting nonsense and have no idea what I am talking about. I decided to make this guide in my spare time as a means to understand the potential of one of the character I am currently playing in a orderly fashion, and as a way to share my findings to those unaware of the potential of scrolls. Feel free to point out any mistakes I’ve made, as I certainly won’t see them, and I don’t want to be putting out false information to the masses.

Papyrus & Ink:
A Player's Guide to Scrolls for the Aspiring Spell Scribe

"Thats no wand, its a Metamagic Rod! And who says he's a Dwarf? Clearly a larger then average Gnome!"


As a player I have always noticed that scrolls have always been considered a backup item, used for emergency situations where specific spells, otherwise rarely prepared, are necessary to progress or survive. In always bothered me that while many classes have Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat, it almost always goes unused except in a once in a great while, when it can be used instead to generate resources daily for minimum investment, especially at lower levels when for most spellcasters have few spells a day. And always, they took backseat to Wands and Potions at lower levels, and staffs at higher levels, some for more obvious reasons, others not so much.
With this guide I plan to show the player base how to utilize their Scribe Scroll feat and Scrolls to the fullest extent, as well as how to become a Master Spell Scribe, able to produce Scrolls that cast spells more efficiently than actual spellcasters with the same spell.

Scrolls 101

Scrolls are different from Wands and Staffs. Unlike them, which have charges, Scrolls are one time use. Generally speaking, Player’s get scrolls as random loot or from shops for situational spells needed only once in a while.
The Scroll’s greatest rival is the Wand. Each has its Advantages and Disadvantages, which I will list below

Spell Completion Item  Spell Trigger Item
Can have spells of up to 9th levelCan have spells of up to 4th level
Single use per spell on scroll50 charges (uses) per wand
Can hold different kinds of spellsCan hold one spell
DC 20 + Caster Level to activate with UMDDC 20 to activate with UMD
Potential for Scroll MishapsNo Mishaps
25 x level of spell x level of caster in GP750 x level of spell x level of caster in GP (or 15 x level of spell x level per charge)
Bonus Feat for Multiple Classes at 1st levelRequires Caster Level 5th
Provokes an Attack of OpportunityDoes not provoke an Attack of Opportunity
Little support from Feats and ItemsGreat support from Feats and Items

So Scrolls have a greater power potential then Wands, and craftable from 1st Level, however harder and more dangerous to use then Wands. Scrolls cost more than Wands per use, but generally speaking players are not going to need 50 copies of the same spell on an item. If they needed that many of the same spell, they would prepare it or put it on their spell lists. Only spells like Lesser Vigor and the like are placed on Wands by the average party. And as will be shown, it is possible to make Scrolls much cheaper than Wands with dedication, eventually becoming free.

With access to higher level spells the powers of Scrolls over Wands is obvious in most situations. Scrolls may have a more difficult time with Blasting then wands, given that wands have lots of support which allow multiple wands to activate at once, and stacking Metamagic is easier as well with Metamagic Spell Trigger (for Artificers), but Scrolls do have access to extra spell levels for Metamagic with lower level spells, and they do have the similar Metamagic Spell Completion, which while only usable a certain amount of times per day, does bridge the gap. And unlike Wands, Scrolls are not as wasteful with such optimizations (or at all if you are crafting at 100% cost reduction).

Another Advantage of Scrolls over Wands is the ability to have multiple spells on a single scroll, while a Wand can only have its base spell. The DMG states a Scroll can be a “collection of spells”. The DMG does not directly specify how many spells can be on a single scroll, which potentially means it can be limitless. To be fair however, the Random Treasure Tables for Scrolls list 3 types of Scrolls, ‘Minor’, ‘Medium’, and ‘Major’. The Major scroll can have 1d6 spells total, or in other words, 6 spells maximum. As far as I know, this example shows the highest number of spells on a scroll printed, so I am to assume this is an acceptable maximum. But still, this means a character does not need to be pulling out new scrolls every round.

One Major obstacle for a Scroll user is that you can only make 1 scroll a day at best, unless you are using one of the magical items that lets you otherwise. With the above on how a scroll can have multiple spells however, it is clear that making a scroll a day does not necessarily mean a spell a day. It does get a bit hazy though, as the crafting rules for scrolls list the cost as ‘1/2 x 25 x level of spell x level of caster’. This does not account for the possibility of creating a scroll with multiple spells. I think the best assumption to go with here is you calculate each spell to be put on the scroll separately, then add the final numbers together for the final price of the scroll. With this we can craft 6 Spell Scrolls each day (assuming the base price does not exceed 1000gp). If this does not seem right to you however, then going with the idea of 1 spell a day for a scroll should also be fine.

To be fair, Let’s compare the Scroll to the two other expendable Magic Items in the SRD, Potions/Oils and Staffs.

   Spell Trigger Item
Can have spells of up to 3rd levelCan have spells of up to 9th level
Single Use Item50 charges (uses) per Staff
Can hold one spellCan hold multiple spells
Can be used by any characterDC 20 to activate with UMD
No Mishaps   No Mishaps
50 x level of spell x level of caster in GP    300 + 750 x level of highest level spell x level of caster + Other Potential costs in GP
Requires Caster Level 3rdRequires Caster Level 12th   
Provokes an Attack of Opportunity   Does not provoke an Attack of Opportunity
Can use Users Stats for DC   
Little support from Feats and ItemsLittle support from Feats and Items

Potions/Oils have an advantage in being able to be used by anyone, but have the lowest max spell level and cannot be used for offensive spells. It also costs more than other items per use. Generally Potions are for characters unable to use the other options available, and when you craft them, you are generally crafting them for other players, not yourself.
Staffs are by far the most powerful item of the bunch, essentially Wands+. It has essentially the same price as wands, can hold multiple spells by increasing the price, can use 9th level spells, and most importantly can have DCs higher than the Base DC of the spell. When it comes to no Save Spells, it is pretty evenly matched to scrolls, though potentially either cheaper or more expensive in use. It can use some support that Wands have also being a Spell Trigger item, but it falls short of some of the best ones. In the average users hands, Staves are superior, but Scrolls come out to be superior in the hands of a dedicated Spell Scribe, being the most cost efficient of any of the items when crafted by them.

Making Scrolls

"Spell Scribe hard at work on a Scroll."

When making scrolls there are three things you need. The Feat to make them (Scribe Scroll), the spell to be put on the scroll, and the costs.
It is entirely possible for multiple characters to work on an item and add the necessary requirements, and this is suggested, as it is a way to get spells not normally on your list onto a scroll. Even Artificers benefit from this, letting them skip the need to make a UMD check while crafting.
One character has to be designated the creator when crafting an item. Generally speaking you want to be the creator, as you will have be able to lower the cost requirements (and as far as I remember, the creator must have the feat and provide the XP).

For prepared casters, you must expend the spell being used for crafting for that day. This may come out as a disadvantage, but it is not much of one when you consider the following. On off days you will not need to worry about spells unless you are ambushed for instance. Also, while you may lose a spell for that day, you get the spell back and keep the spell for as long as you need to until you use it. If you are using some method of crafting while adventuring, if you had one day prior for crafting, you should have 1 scroll. The next day when you craft, you expend a spell, but have the scroll to fill in the gap. There is a decent chance you will never even use all our spells at mid levels, so the loss of a spell is  no big deal, and if you do get to that point, the scroll will cover the loss for the day. If not, you get to keep the scroll for the following day and get an extra scroll to add to your pool as well. On that day you will actually have more spells then usual. And there is always the possibility you will have an extra spell unused at the end of the day as well, and you can use that spell with a Quill of Scribing or similar to craft while you sleep. So generally speaking, it is almost always worth it to craft a scroll each day as a prepared caster.

For spontaneous casters, scrolls are not much of a hindrance to create but are also not as useful. You don't need to spend a daily spell to crate a scroll, so you can have a scroll made everyday with no drawback. But Spontaneous Caster always have access to all there known spells, and have plenty of spell slots to boot. for the spontaneous caster, crafting a scroll is all about having more spells of your highest level available. For instance, instead of starting everyday with four 4th level spells, with a Scribe Scroll you can have five 4th level spells a day. If you don't use that scroll, you will have six 4th level spells the next day. So when the day comes when you have exausted all your spells, you can potentially have an extra set of spells to almost just as powerful as your actual spells. So generally speaking, it is almost always worth it to craft a scroll each day as a spontaneous caster.

Scrolls & You

What scrolls are to you as a player is different based on your occupation in the party and your goals as a character.

Character with UMD (such as a Rogue or Factotum):
An extra tool to get a job done and to add versatility and power to your character.

Character with Scribe Scroll (Such as an Archivist, Artificer, or Wizard)
A means to produce extra resources or prepare a tool for out of combat or situational circumstances.
With investment into a Quill of Scribing, 1 to 6 extra prepared spells a day (depending on spell level) which you can keep until they are used, which cost a small amount of GP and an unnoticeable amount of XP.

Aspiring Spell Scribe (Character with one or more levels into Unbound Scroll)
A weapon and tool you can build with any situation in mind, and keep in hand until that situation presents itself, be it today, or 10 years from now. All for either cheap or free. Each day (or 4). Anything unused is saved for a later date, and there is no limit to the amount you can save.


"... Racism."

If you are not dedicating yourself to the Ways of the Quill, this section is not for you.
For the dedicated Spell Scribe, you have two options. Gnome and Gnome.

I mean Changeling with Racial Emulation, if you don’t want to be all Gnomey (Who wouldn’t want to be a Gnome though). Still, you’ll have to look like a Gnome regardless anyways, so again, your options are Gnome and Gnome.
Reason being is you must have the Mark of Scribing to get into Unbound Scroll, which is exclusive to Gnomes.
Here is a list of Gnomish Races, for you to choose your preferred choice.
There is an option available HERE which allows other races to have Dragonmarks not normally available to them (look at side bar 'Reincarnation in Eberron'). With this it is possible to be, for instance, a Human Unbound Scroll. If you manage to convince your DM to let you be Reincarnated, then I suggest going with the preferred race for your class. Not all DMs will let you use this obscure options though, so be ready to get all Gnomey.

Rock Gnomes {SRD}
Standard Gnome, and nothing to amazing. For some reason you can talk to animals that are burrowing mammals 1/day, but with a scroll you can talk to any animal. Weird regardless.

Forest Gnomes {SRD}
Similar to Rock Gnomes overall, but are far stealthier. Instead of being able to talk with burrowing mammals once a day they have Pass without Trace at will on themselves, making them virtually untrackable. They also have a +4 to Hide (or a +8 in forests) so your average Forest Gnome is better at hiding then most Human Rogues, once you account their Size. Oh, and they hate reptiles. Get a Lizard as a Familiar!

Deep Gnomes – Svirfneblin {SRD}
Bigger, badder Gnomes whom live in the Underdark. They have some strong bonuses to losts of their defenses and come with the usual Gnome fair of Racial Abilities, but their racial ability modifiers are really bad, with a -4 Charisma being the worst, making it extremely difficult to use Scrolls as Artificers. And they have a LA +3 on top of it all. Unless you are playing in a game where You get levels to LA or are actually forced to play a Svirfneblin, skip this and NEVER look back.

Aquatic Gnomes {SRD}
Like their rock cousins, but have bonuses to two social skills in place of listen and Alchemy. They also have a Swim speed, a +8 bonus to Swim, Aquatic Subtype, and Aquan as a bonus language. Descent for an Aquatic/Seafaing Campaign, but I must wonder what will become of scrolls in water, or how they are made under the waves for that matter…

Arctic Gnomes {SRD}
Rock Gnomes, but suck at Alchemy and are better at seeing through lies. They also have Fortitude bonuses against cold weather and such. Okay if you are stuck in the snow.

Desert Gnomes {SRD}
As Rock Gnomes but have social skills instead of Alchemy and Listen, and Fortitude bonuses against Hot Weather. If you are going for a more social character, this is superior to the standard.

Jungle Gnomes {SRD}
Gnomes that Don’t hate Giants? WHAT? Instead of the usual skill bonuses, you get four other skill bonuses; two semi useful physical skills and two useless skills. Not really worth it overall.

Air Gnomes {SRD}
Instead of hating Kobolds, Goblins and Giants, you hate the Earth Subtype. Slightly more broader I suppose, but you also take a -2 penalty to Saving Throws against them as well so it is not all good. Instead of a +2 to Con, you have a +2 to Dex, which means you are not as hardy but harder to hit. But the best racial ability is being Breathless, making you immune to suffocation and effects that require you to breath. Overall very worth it.

Arcane Gnomes {D#291}
Ho ho ho. Same as Rock Gnomes, but get this, UMD is ALWAYS a class skill for them. They also have a +2 to Int and a -2 to WIS in addition to the standard racial modifiers of Rock Gnomes. All they lose is Speak with Animals, which is utterly useless. Being from Dragon Mag though means some DMs won’t allow it. But otherwise, this is one of the best Subraces for any Spell Scribe who is not a cleric (and there are like no Spell Scribe Clerics), and even for them, UMD is priceless.

River Gnomes {D#291}
Rock Gnomes, but they can talk to ducks instead of burrowing mammals (okay, any river dwelling animals). They also have a Swim Speed, +8 bonus to swim checks, take 10s on Swim Checks, and can hold their breath much longer than usual (Avg of about 4mins/40 rounds). Also a cool +1 to Initative. They lose a Gnomes other usual Spell-Likes though, but whatever they can be replaced with Scrolls. Overall I’d say a bit better then Aquatic Gnomes in Water based Campaigns. Hmm, scrolls in water… How does that work…

Ice Gnomes {FB}
Lose Ghost Sound 1/day and the ability to speak with burrowing mammals once per day and be able to use Ray of Frost 1/day and Speak with Artic Mammals 1/day. No bonuses against cold environments as far as I see as well. (-_-) Ghost Sound is actually useful and I can use a Crossbow to do better damage then a Ray of Frost. Also, if my Logic is correct many Artic Mammals (not all, but many) burrow anyways right? What am I saying, we can make a scroll to talk with any animal. Skip this really hard.

Whisper Gnome {RoS}
The crown jewel of Gnomish Evolution. On top of most of the usual Rock Gnome traits, it has Darkvision 60, and a +4 bonus to hide and Move Silently (rivaling Forest Gnomes in stealth), a +2 to Spot, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, and Message 1/day each (instead of the usual Spell-Likes), SILENCE 1/day (Don’t even need that bonus to Move Silently), and the most unique part for not only Gnomes but Small races in general? 30ft Movement Speed. Godly. It does have a +2 to Dex and -2 to Cha though, so UMD is slightly harder, but overall a great chassis for your Spell Scribe. 

Chaos Gnomes {RoS}
The usual for Gnomes and then some. Have +2 to Dex and Cha in addition to the usual (which helps with UMD), a slightly different Spell-Likes list, a +1 bonus to Caster Level with spells with the Chaos descriptor, as well as Immunity to Confusion Effects (probably because these poor souls are already confused). And most importantly, the ability to Reroll a dice roll 1/day. With that Artificers have a real easy time with this race for crafting and using UMD. There is one thing though. LA+1. This makes it less than optimal. But if you are playing in a game where LA buyoff is allowed, this is probably one of your best choices.

Tinker Gnomes {DLCS}
A little different from the Standard Gnome, but has its own merits. These Gnome do not hate anyone, so no racial bonuses against Kobolds, Goblins or Giants. No Con bonus, but a +2 to Dex and Int to a -2 Str and Wis. Bonuses to either all Craft, Profession, or Knowledge checks, (chosen when making your character), and a bonus to Will Saves. It is actually great overall, getting rid of the situational and easily emulated stuff for decent bonuses. I hate Krynn and Dragonlance with a burning passion, but I would play one of these over a Rock Gnome if I had the choice.

Mad Gnome {DLCS}
Same as the Tinkers above, but lose the +2 to Int and -2 to Wis, the guild affiliation, as well as the Will bonus for a bonus to Open Lock and Disable Device as well as the ability to use those skills untrained. Overall bad. Not actually Mad in the normal sense, just Mad in the Tinker Gnome sense. It’s too bad everything in Krynn is so Damn Retarded.


"Wizard in the process of casting Fireburst from a scroll."

Base Classes
These classes are the preferred and best users of Scrolls, and if you want to at least be making effective scrolls everyday, these are for you.

The unrivaled king of crafting. Not much of a spellcaster on its own, but it does get just about every crafting feat in core (and then some) and has the ability to utilize spells from any list for crafting. And it gets Scribe Scroll at 1st level. There is a reason I generally assume you are a Artificer. They can make any spell from any list into a spell, and has access to those spells at least 2 levels sooner than the actual class does, and manipulate them with Metamagic far easier. It can even craft 2nd level Scrolls at 1st level, though you probably won’t have the gold for making such scrolls at that level so it is no big deal. The only problem you will face is the possibility of failure in both crafting scrolls and using them, sense they rely on UMD checks with DCs of 20+ to do either. It takes some investment to make them effective at what they do, but again, they are the best. Unless Campaign Specific Material is banned, always choose Artificer.

The iconic Spellcaster. Wizard gets Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat 1st level, so right out the gates is able to make scrolls. It also has a massive spell list full of the best spells in the game. Gathering all the spells will be tough for one, of course, but once you have a decent library of scrolls available to you they will become a great help.

Cleric w/ Rune Domain
Clerics can make scrolls too, and with the Rune Domain can get Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat. Scrolls are particularly useful for cleric with good Domain Spells, letting them utilize the spell more than once per day. Also with the Spell and Magic Domains, Clerics can craft and utilize Arcane spells to a limited degree. And with their d8 HD and ¾ BAB, they are decent fighters too. They have no access to Unbound Scroll being Divine Casters though, unless they have the Spell Domain or another ability to Prepare Arcane Spells, but even if they did, they won’t be able to progress their spellcasting.

The Divine equivalents of Wizards, these bad boys not only have access to the Cleric Spell list, but ALL divine Spell lists, including Domains, and per usual get Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat. Able to have any divine spell at its lowest possible level, they are in a great position for scribing a library of scrolls. With some trickery they can even get access to Arcane Spell Lists. They have the same problem Wizards in the need to gather spells, only it is much more difficult for them. The only downfall to this class is it is Divine, and can’t get access to Unbound Scroll without trickery, and even then do not get all the benefits. Still, great Class.

Caster-lite basically, they have access to a few abilities but never run out. They also have UMD as a Class Skill, and Charisma is in many builds one of their primary stats. At 4th level they also get Deceive Item which lets them take 10 on UMD checks, so activating Scrolls is not much of a problem. They can’t do much in crafting until 12th level, when they get Imbue Item, which is essentially the Artificer’s Class Feature for emulating spells, but at a much lower DC. With this they can make any item as long as they have the proper Item Creation Feat. They can also potentially craft items with minimum caster levels much higher than 12th by getting boosts to their CL, able to craft 9th level Scrolls once they get Imbue Item if they increase their CL by 5. They don’t need Scrolls for blasting as they are already good at that, but they benefit the most from scrolls, second only to the Artificer himself, sense Warlocks don’t have a real Spell List and don’t have the versatility that comes with it. You won’t be able to make it into Unbound Scroll with this though, unless you somewhere picked up the ability to prepare 3rd level Arcane spells.

With access to Astaroth you can gain access to any crafting Feat. There are two problems with the Binder overall though. A) He still needs access to a spell he needs for crafting, and will need to borrow a party wizard or cleric or find a willing NPC to help him with crafting, and B) He does not have access to UMD, and the one bind normally used with Astaroth can only let the Binder use Spell Trigger items, like wands, not Spell Completion Items like a scroll. If you desire you can probably take Leadership to get access to spells with a cohort, but then you might as well make your Cohort an Artificer at that point. This is doable with Anima Mage and a Arcane Spellcasting class, which will help get access to Unbound Scroll.

Prestige Classes

Unbound Scroll
Indeed, this prestige class gets a section all its own, being key to reaching 100% Crafting Efficiency (along with Legacy Champion) and able to essentially make seven 2nd level Scrolls a day as it’s capstone ability, or even better. Simply Great.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Profession (Scribe) 4 ranks.       
Relatively valueless skill, but cost only a few ranks which you will most likely have available anyway. You could also use it to get a few extra gold a week at lower levels during downtime, sense you will be penny pinching for scrolls until later in your career.
Feats: Least Dragonmark (Mark of Scribing-Arcane Mark), Scribe Scroll.
One is essential for the profession and easy to acquire, and the other while useless at lower levels fuels are class features.
Spellcasting: Ability to prepare 3rd-Level Arcane Spells or Imbue 3rd-Level Infusions.       
In other words, you need to be 5th level. Do to some of the specific wording, Spontaneous Casters are a no go unless you take the feats necessary to allow them to.
Special: Must have performed a task specified by the Viceroy of the Ninth College   
A Flavor/RP requirement that can be met in character background, or ignored entirely in non Eberron Games if your DM is not a total rules Nazi.

Class Features
You continue progressing your spellcasting ability each level except 3rd. The fact you lose a caster level means slow your progression to be able to create higher level scrolls, but this really does not bother the Artificer at all, and the Wizard can live with it. Better than half progression at least.

Heir’s Mark
Utterly useless. You don’t need your Arcane Mark at a higher caster level (or really at all beyond it uses/day). It does not hamper you  at all though, luckily.

Master Scribe (Ex)
The more you invest into Unbound Scroll, the cheaper Scrolls are for you to make. If you go Legacy Champion after your 5 levels and take the Artisian Feats, you can be crafting at 10% Gold Cost and XP Cost. Also if you take note in the Resources section of Unbound Scroll, it states you can reduce the GP/XP Cost by an additional 10% which stack with both Artisan Feats and Master Scribe, reducing the cost of scrolls down to 100%. Because who doesn’t want to craft Wish Scrolls for no cost? If only this reduced crafting time, your only nemesis.

Scroll Mastery (Ex)
This is more or less directed at Artificers, and makes it that much easier to activate scrolls, almost eliminating any chance of failing your check. Great.

Improved Arcane Mark (Ex)
Gain additional uses of your Arcane mark a day equal to your class level? Sounds worthless, but don’t forget half this class features are fueled by Dragonmark uses. At higher levels this essentially becomes Free 2nd level or lower scrolls equal to your class level a day, so this is gold.

Strong Words (Su)
Potentially helpful for spells with CL dependent effects, like Orb Spells. You have to use a Swift Action to activate However, so only viable in combat if you for some reason have no use for a Swift Action in the round, which is unlikely. Still, Great out of Combat.

Metamagic Scroll (Su)
Applying a Metamagic to a scroll adds great versatility. But really this should only be used on your high level scrolls sense you can create Metamagiced Scrolls of lower spells anyways. In combat it is superior to Metamagic Scroll Infusion, which takes a minute to use comparable to a swift action for this, but like Strong Words you will want to be using your Swift Action for other things in combat most of the time. It doesn’t stack with Metamagic Scroll Infusion or similar, but still, it is a useful option out of combat to, for instance, extend a spell from a scroll.

Charged Words (Su)
Not useful at all. You shouldn’t be using scrolls with DCs anyways, and at best this will increase a scroll to average DCs of the spells level cast by your average caster. Only useful as a kicker in obscure circumstances when you may as well do so. Don’t even consider it an option.

Ghost Writing (Su)
Second only to Master Scribe itself, this Class Feature essentially makes your Arcane Mark/day into free 2nd level Scrolls/day. Note that it has no time duration, allowing you to activate one day, and potentially use the effect sessions into the future. It even appears you can stack Ghost Write on the same scroll multiple times, so you gain massive resources in downtime. This Class Feature Alone makes getting the Lesser and Greater Dragonmark Feats worth it.

Other Prestige Classes

Legacy Champion {WoL}
This class is mentioned as not only is it great class, offering a d8 HD to beef up squishy Casters as well as ¾ BAB and a decent amount of skill points and extra skills, but when combined with Unbound Scroll lets us obtain 100% Crafting efficiency with Scrolls. If you are going Unbound Scroll, you want to go Legacy Champion. And it is assumed that you will, for most characters, because there is little reason not to unless you cannot meet the qualifications.

Bloodlines {SRD}
Not actually a Prestige Class, but regardless I will put it here. Bloodlines count towards abilities that calculate based off of Class Level, like Caster Level and the like. As far as I can see, this will progress the Artificers maximum CL for crafting, as well as Master Scribe and other Unbound Scroll abilities. It won't progress spells/infusions, but with the Artificer it does not matter anyways. If you don't go Legacy Champion, this a is a decent alternative, at least for Artificers. Fey, Djinni, or Efreeti are probably best, but any Major Bloodline will do.

Maester {CAd}
Proof that Gnomes are the best crafters ever. Probably. Anyways, the reason to consider this class if for the Quick Crafting class feature, which will increase you’re crafting to 2000gp/day. Essentially doubling the amount of Spells you can put on Scrolls. Do to losing a caster level I would not suggest this until you get your 9th level spells. Otherwise it’s requirements are pretty easy (the other crafting feat is probably Craft Contingent Spell, the best crafting feat for spellcasters ever). You also get a bonus crafting feat, which can be a legitimate crafting feat or one of the Artisans. Consider it if you have a spot open for it.

Chameleon {RoD}
Chameleons have access to all Divine and Arcane spells of up to 6th level, and have feats which can be changed each day. More for the non caster, as it would be better to stick to your usual casting as a caster to get higher level spells. Overall it has great versatility options and able to capitalize on downtime with crafting items such as scrolls, and remain completely combat effective otherwise. Only available to Humans, Doppelgangers, and human blooded individuals with either the feat or variant rule in place.

Geometer {CAr}
With a 1 level dip all your scrolls will have Silent Spell for a 25gp extra price. Just don't use the Spellglyph with spells that have costly material components or else the price will skyrocket. For a 2nd level dip, you can scribe spells into your spellbook on 1 page regardless of the spell level, which will save space and gold in the process. Only useful to Wizards though, but Wizards are pretty much the only casters that qualify to enter this Prestige class so meh. Weird skill requirements for getting in though, so you might have a problem with those.


"Wait a minute (-_-) ..."

Scribe Scroll {SRD}
Unless you are a rogue utilizing UMD and have no interest in Crafting Spells yourself, this feat is essential for any Spell Scribe. This feat is necessary for crafting Scrolls, and is a prerequisite for Unbound Scroll. But you probably have it as a Bonus Feat anyways, so lets move on.

Least Dragonmark [Mark of Scribing – Arcane Mark] {ECS}
A prerequisite for Unbound Scroll and powers half its class features. If you are going US, you are taking this. If not, it is useless, never consider it.

Lesser Dragonmark [Mark of Scribing] {ECS}
If you want more powerful versions of US class features, this will help. Only 1/day for any of them though, and beyond powering US all your choices are relatively useless. If you are going this route, you need to boost the uses/day in some fashion to make it effective.

Greater Dragonmark [Mark of Scribing] {ECS}
Like above, but requires even more dedication to access. Also like above, your choices are not great and you only get 1/day use. Increase your uses/day ASAP if you get this. But even so, it is effectively a feat that lets you make an additional 6th level scroll a day so it has its uses.

Magic in the Blood {PGtF}
Dragonmarks are described as innate spell-like abilities, and otherwise appears to be racial. This will get you +2/day uses of your Lesser and Greater Dragonmark. Best deal for increasing their quantity. As a bonus it also increase your Gnomish Spell-Likes. Your a Gnome right?

Dragonmark Prodigy/Adept/Visionary {DrMk}
Essentially grants you 3 more uses/day of Least or Lesser Dragonmarks, or 2 uses/day of a Greater Dragonmark, respectivily. If taken with Magic in the Blood, you get 4 uses/day for a Dragonmark. Visionary is preferred, being the feat associated with Greater Dragonmarks.

Skill Focus [Use Magical Device] {SRD}
A simple +3 to UMD. Makes it easier for Artificers to craft and use Scrolls. Great. I prefer Shape Soulmeld though for its extra +1 and bonus to other skills, but this is untyped and potentially better at higher levels.

Quill of Sivis {DrMk}
Gives a +2 to UMD checks with scrolls, as well as letting you reroll a Decipher Script or Forgery check, and making you unable to trigger a small list of spells including Explosive Runes according to the level of Dragonmark you possess. Overall Skill Focus is better, but if you already took that and Shape Soulmeld is inaccessible, this can help bring up your UMD checks. Wish that reroll was to UMD checks though…

Shape Soulmeld [Mage Spectacles/Elder Spirit] {MoI/DM}
Grants a +4 Insight bonus to UMD checks, as well to 2 other skills, and use them untrained. Mage Spectacles are more thematic, but Elder Spirit is overall superior, especially if you are going the Legacy Champion route.

Item Familiar {SRD}
Grants godly bonuses to you, such as 10% BONUS XP, and bonuses to skills of your choice (cough cough UMD). It can also grant you a bonus spell slot, the Alertness Feat, and can gain abilities from a list. It also makes the item sentient. Obviously you cannot make a scroll into an item familiar. Any qualifying item the character has will do, but I personally suggest an Infinite Scrollcase. The only thing of note is that you must never lose the item, as you will lose the benefits of this feat as well as anything you invested into it. More the reason to make your Infinite Scrollcase the Item Familiar, because if you lose your scrolls you are done for anyways. Great flavor synergy with Legacy Items too.

Exceptional/Extraordinary/Legendary/Magical Artisan {ECS/PGtF}
Reduce the crafting costs (Time/GP/XP) for crafting Items. Extraordinary and Legendary are both necessary for reaching 100% cost reduction before epic levels. Exceptional is not all that useful sense Scroll can be made quite quickly anyway (only useful for Scrolls with six 9th Level spells, for example), but the reduction is not much. Magical Artisan applies to a specific Crafting Feat and applies to all costs, great for Wizards which normally only have Scribe Scroll anyways, but do not it does not directly stack with the other Artisan Feats or USs Master Scribe ability (though you do get to calculate cost reduction of 75% the normal cost of the item). Useful at lower levels but should be retrained once you hit 100% efficiency.

Chameleon Crafting {D#349}
If you are going a caster/manifester route, this feat is quite acceptable. In essence, it lets you put psionic powers you know on magic crafting feats and vice versa. The Psionic powers cannot be augmented, and you need 1st lv casting and 1st lv manifesting to get it, as well as knowing the power. It has limited uses, but there are some nice powers you may want on a scroll just in case. If you are capable of taking this feat and have room, go for it. Otherwise, you are not missing out on much.

Twin/Quicken/Chain/Repeat Spell/Split Ray {SRD/CAr}
Anything to increase the amount of spells you cast a round. You can craft these in or use one of the abilities that let you add in Metamagic on the fly. It all depends on the situation at hand and what options you have available. The First two are best, but the others can come in handy too.

Extend/Persistent Spell {SRD/Car}
With Ghost Writing you can use Metamagic Scroll (CF or Inf) or Metamagic Spell Completion to buff yourself daily without necessarily wasting any resources. And Extend can be crafted into Scrolls so they last the entire day and still be Ghost Writable.

Alternate Spell Source {D#}
This feat is a great way to change your Divine Spells into Arcane Scrolls and vice versa. this is beneficial for getting around some of the limits of each and getting some of the advantages of each, or for spells that have different effects based on the type of spell it is. It does lower the CL by 1 but this is not a huge problem, and if you can benefit from this then go for it. Also as a side not this feat will allow Clerics and Archivists to enter Unbound Scroll, but note that they will not be able to progress their spellcasting if they do.

Craft Contingent Spell {Car}
Best crafting feat ever, and useful for any occasion. Don’t think, just take it.

Other Crafting Feats
Scribe Scroll is a bonus feat for quite a few classes and usually it is not a choice to have it. For most, other crafting feats have to be chosen over other options and might weaken the build overall, for both Spell Scribes and general Spellcasters. If you need the feat, then take it. If not them skip it. Of course Artificers get most crafting feats for free so they don’t count in this.

Other Metamagic
For specific builds other Metamagic might be necessary for them to function. As long as you have space for them and they are useful, go for it.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 02:01:56 AM by Bullet06320 »


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"Prove me wrong."

The following Items are choices to consider for the aspiring Spell Scribe.

Dedicated Wright [2100gp + 160XP] {ECS}
The most time efficient method for crafting not just scrolls, but Magical Items in general. Simply put, it crafts items in place of its Master, whom need only waste an hour on it for it to get started. Then you can go and adventure away. Only Available to Artificers or those with the Craft Construct Feat, so the Quill of Scribbing is the preferred option for non-Artificers. Too bad they can’t help you craft multiple items a day.

Quill of Scribing [1750gp] {CM}
This Handy little item when activated crafts a Scroll for you. And if you want it is easy to craft by Lv5 as well. Like a Dedicated Wright for any kind of Crafter, it allows you to keep adventuring while continuing to produce scrolls. It is naturally limited to only scrolls however, but Wizards, Archivists, and other non-Artificers will fine this extremely useful. The only problem I see is that, like Dedicated Wrights, it does not allow you to craft more than one magic item a day. It is also limited to 1 single spell per scroll a day. Bummer, but it is still worth picking up one.

The Autoscribe [55000gp]
Similar to the above this item crafts scrolls for you. Unlike the above however this item has a few advantages and disadvantages associated with it. The device can be taught 10 spells (of any level) and hold material components to craft the 10 spells 10 times each. The ten spells cannot be a mix of Arcane and Divine spells. To teach it a spell you need to copy a scroll onto it (I don’t think this uses up the scroll, just that you need a base scroll to teach it).
There are two advantages to the Autoscribe. A) It does not count as you crating the item, so you craft scrolls alongside an activated Autoscribe. B) The Scrolls take 1 hour per spell level to create (in addition to 1 hour to fill it with materials), so you can produce multiple scrolls a day, including two 9th level Scrolls in 19 Hours. However there is a drawback, it does not look like you can apply any abilities that reduce costs to the Autoscribe, as it is not you crafting the item, and it in fact doubles the XP cost of the scroll (and doubles that cost for Artificers).
The Autoscribe is potentially worth it if you need to produce multiple scrolls quickly, but most will fine it to cost too much to use regularly.

Infinite Scrollcase [2800gp] {MiC}
This item can hold up to 50 scrolls in it (in other words 300 spells, or more with Ghost Writing). This in itself is nothing that a Handy Haversack could not do. It however has two more functions. First it provides a +4 Competence bonus to casting defensively with scrolls stored in the Scrollcase. And Second and most importantly, the scrollcase allow you to retrieve a scroll from it as part of a move action (note, NOT as a move action). So you can pull out a scroll and move in the same round. In Mid battle this also means you do not need to drop your scroll mid-battle, as you can use a Move Action to store the scroll in the Scrollcase and pull out another scroll. Very Handy. A must have.

Spellsight Spectacles [2500gp] {MiC}
Gives you a +5 competence bonus to deciphering scrolls with Spellcraft (mostly worthless) and to activating scrolls with Use Magical Device (which is great). If you are lacking a competence bonus to Use Magical Device as large as this, and need an extra boost to use Scrolls effectively, this is for you.

Caster’s Shield [3153gp] {SRD}
Essentially a Light Shield with a spot which can have a single scroll made on it (reusable). The Scroll only cost half the normal gp, which is nice, but it can only be of up to 3rd level. Still, as a Light Shield it does not hinder your ability to hold another scroll in it. Best spells to put on it are emergency spells, like Close Wounds, or Feather Fall. Either way it is a 7th spell in hand. And naturally provides a Shield bonus to AC.

Spare Hand [12000gp] {MoE}
An extra hand which can be used to handle items for it’s user. It cannot activate magic items, but the extra hand can be used to swap items between your other hands as a free action.  Note however that you do not need to be holding a Scroll to activate it (need clarification), all you need is to be able to see and read the writing on the scroll. Beyond this it also has enhanced uses if you power it with a Infusion. Of note is the ability to stow an item or retrieve a stored item as a free action once per round (essentially Quick Draw on any item once per turn) by spending a 1st level infusion on it. The other two enhance it further by letting you weild a shield in it or use a light weapon with it, but are not especially amazing. It also provides a +2 competence bonus to Climb, Escape Artist, and Grapple checks.

Scarf of Spellcatching [18000gp] {DMG2}
This item grants a +2 Luck bonus vs Spells and Spell-like abilities. In addition to this, it can absorb a spell you successfully save against, as long as that spell specifically targets you, and you can cast that spell as if it were being cast from a scroll with a UMD check. It can only absorb up to 20 spell levels, and after that it destroyed. Note however that if an incoming spell has a higher spell level then it can absorb, the spell is completely negated, with no need to save (then it is destroyed). Overall a bit expensive for a temporary item, but at mid-levels it can absorb a BGs spells which may be higher level then you normally have access to, giving you extra fire power, and negating any spell bigger than it can hold is a life saver.

Casting Glove [25000] {MiC}
Acts as a glove of storing, but you can activate any magic item stored in it as if you were holding it. Essentially it lets you keep an extra scroll in hand. Also if I am reading correctly, activating a magic item without retrieving it from the gloves requires a standard action, meaning scrolls with casting times of 1 round or greater can be cast as a Standard action from a Caster glove. I must be misreading here.

Robe of Many Sigils [7300gp] {F&P}
This item can have up to 10 spells (any level) scribed on it as if it was a scroll, and the spells cast from it are cast as if scrolls. Really handy item which adds 10 more spells to your total spell count in hand. I don’t believe you can use Ghost Writing with it, so it is best to scribe your 7th level or higher spells onto this when you gain access to them. Note you need 8 ranks in Craft(Weaving) to inscribe the spells however, so some characters with limited Skill Points may have to skip this.

Optional Spell Components [Various] {CM/CC}
OSCs can increase the effectiveness of a scroll dramatically. The costs are equal to the OSCs base cost * the spell level of the spell being applied to. Do note that once you scribe the scroll, with Ghost Writing you can multiply the effects of the OSCs over multiple castings, until you use the base scroll for some reason. You can only apply these to non Metamagiced spells, and only 1 can effect a spell. Not very good for higher level spells overall, but definitely great for anything Ghost Writeable.
Angel Down/Fairy Dust/Possibility Dust/Serpents Tongue: Extends Abjuration/Transmutation/Creation/Enchantment spells, respectively.
Devil's Eye/Dragon's Tear: Heightens Spell Level by 1 (which means +2 CL/+1 DC) to Divination/Fire or mind-affecting spells, respectively.
Fairy Button/Singing Shell: Widens Illusion/Sonic spells, respectively.
Golden Desert honey: Rapids Summoning Spells (Casting time 1 full action = 1 standard).
Singing Shell: Enlarges ranged Sonic Spell.
Ashes of Power: Roll Twice and choose better result for Dispel Magic or Break Enchantment


The thing about Spells in Scrolls is, unlike spells cast by Spellcasters, they have low DCs that you cannot boost easily, and are not worth boosting for that matter. So when choosing spells for your scrolls, spells that do not allow Saving Throws, have effects which either have reduced effects with a save or effects separate from the ones which allow a save, or spells that buff allies are the best choices. At higher levels, a Scrolls Save DC would likely only be failed on a 1 by the average character. Also be weary of SR, as spells crafted at lower levels will have hard times piercing SR, and while not as devastating as DCs, it can hamper your effectiveness.

Spell Suggestions
I will only be suggesting Spells from Base Classes and the usual Prestige Class spell lists. I am well aware of some of the obscure spell lists of some prestige classes like the Trapsmiths 1st Level Dispel Magic, as well as some of the cheese that allows for instance 9th level spells at CL1. While most dedicated Scroll Users will be Artificers and have access to some of this cheese, I’d like to show options available to, for instance, the Wizard who can’t craft scrolls with these spells. There are already lists out there which will list the low level spells for you. If you see a spell here you want lower, go look at those lists.

(click to show/hide)

TC X0 Lt 0X

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Oh hey look someone posted my Handbook. I was going to get to it eventually, but now I dont got t. Thanks  ;)


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yea, I been grabbing and reposting stuff so its not lost, I put it up at GitP too, so there's deuplication