View Full Version : Flavored Magic

10-01-2010, 04:49 PM
A long time ago, back in the time before there were "editions," I tried to use logic to explain some of the rules that were in those tiny books. One of them was the rule that a caster had to roll to see if he could read a found scroll (effectively a DC roll). If you didn't make the roll, you couldn't read it - or attempt it again until you leveled up. "Why," I asked myself. The "obvious" answer was because of the caster's TWIST on casting.

Bob the caster has learned and recorded all of his spells - and therefore, scrolls - in ancient Latin, and the finder may not understand it.

Kate the caster uses intricate dance moves in her spells - and her scrolls describe each in exquisite detail. This is why the finder may not be able to decipher it.

Tim the enchanter uses a cipher code to write them - so they may be really hard to read for the uninitiated.

Does anyone else do this?

Second part, clerical scrolls. When Bob the cleric casts a spell, he invokes the name of his deity, i.e. "Be healed by the power of His Great Noodly Appendage!" Does this not seem to lead directly that a scroll written by Bob will also call upon the FSM to work the divine magic of the scroll?

When Tim the cleric finds that scroll, will his deity ALLOW him to cast a spell that calls on the power of the FSM as opposed to his chosen deity? Will Odin ALLOW his cleric to cast a spell from a scroll that is written and invokes the power of Zeus?

WAY back in the day, after I had thunk this through, we had clerics collecting scrolls and selling them back to their various churches.

What say ye? Am I on drugs? If so, which ones, so I can get more!! :lol:

10-01-2010, 07:50 PM
Wild cherry! I choose that... ohh wait.

For me, it was more like you are good at some things naturally. Like different subjects in school, some just come easier. Once in awhile a teacher explains it in a way you get, then it all makes sense suddenly. "Wow, it is so simple! How didn't I see this before!"

I do think I like the flavored thing though.

I think you can get some more 'flavor' at the corner of Broadway and Dousman in my neck of the woods.

10-02-2010, 12:25 AM
Decipher scroll:
Arcane writing isn't in an alphabet. It's in symbols, and those symbols cause the caster's mind to take the appropriate shapes for forming spells. Since each mind is different, different symbols will be needed to form the appropriate mind-shapes. That's why you can't automatically read another caster's writing, and why (at least in 3rd Ed) you get a bonus to these checks for being intelligent.

Priest scrolls:
These are basically prayers for supernatural intervention. Since arcane casters don't pray very well or have deities in close contact with them, the scrolls don't work for them. Priests, on the other hand, DO have those advantages, so when they recite a prayer that may already have some magical influence in it, they're more likely to get a result.
(Scrolls in my game are written in normal languages. The trick is to know the language in which they're written. Not sure if priests are supposed to decipher, but that could be replaced by a piety check, in which the patron god decides if the priest is worthy of casting that spell anytime soon.)

10-04-2010, 03:52 PM
Arcane Scrolls--I've always done the idea that magic is written down on a scroll in a type of 'magical shorthand'. The basic structure is well known to mages, but there are lots of variations. Many spellcasters, in fact, make their own codes, symbols and such. So no two scrolls of the same spell will read the same. But they still have the same basic structure. So an intelligent spellcaster can figure out how to read a scroll and use it.

Also, I've always liked the idea that 'magic wrting' is dangerious for non-spellcasters to look at, and add minor effects for ones who do.

Cleric Scrolls--I've always though of them as generic. The scroll says ''By the power of the great god [insert deity name here] I call upon your power.'' Again the scroll list just a basic 'divine shorthand' prayer. The cleric needs to use figure out the shorthand and then change it to fit thier diety.