Scrolls, Identification and Magic

Lack of sensible magic creation rules always appalled me in D&D. Possibly because I tend to play magic users and possibly because the difficulty and investment needed to create magic items doesn’t really match up with the relative abundance of it in the standard D&D game.

Same for magic item identification: the only way to identify magic items in BECMI is the slate of identification found in the companion handbook (can’t tell about B/X as i don’t have the cyan box).

Anyway, I decided to mix Holmes Read Magic and normal Identify in a new spell:

Unveil Arcana – level 1 MU, level 1 CL

Range: 1′

Casting time: 1 turn

Duration: instantaneous

The magic user will properly identify and understand one unknown function of a magic item:

For scrolls and spell books: similar to Read Magic, but will identify just a single spell of all the unknown spells present in the scroll or spellbook.

For other magic items: the weakest unknown function of the object will be identified first.

Regarding magic item creation, I’ve made up my mind about spells and potions:

Spell Scribing

A spell-caster can scribe a known spell into a scroll. The process will cost 100 mo and a week per spell level in rare ingredients. No other item production, adventuring or spell research can be done by the caster.

Potion Brewing

A spell-caster can brew a potion that when imbibed will have the effect of a spell that the caster can cast. The process will cost 300 mo and seven days per spell level in rare ingredients. It’s necessary to peruse a laboratory worth at least 5000 mo per spell level. No other item production, adventuring or spell research can be done by the caster.


4 thoughts on “Scrolls, Identification and Magic

  1. I do very much the same thing with Read Magic, taking ‘read’ to mean something broader. Your scrolls & potions rules are simple & cool! Stolen!

    • I’m glad you like Unveil Arcana. AFG comes with a bunch of new, slow to cast divinations similar in spirit to UA, I really think divination is not used enough in RPGs, especially considering that most occultism revolves around foretelling.

      • You’re really making me curious about AFG. As for foretelling, yes it’s a big part of real world magic beliefs, but it’s usually hard in rpgs to foresee what will happen, what with all the dice rolls…. This, and lots of players prefer fire balls 😀

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