Books, Scrolls, and Maps

bookAgain, this system tries to determine the apparent qualities of the book or scroll first, because the PCs can perceive those immediately.

Only determine the contents of the text once the PCs have demonstrated that they can actually read it.

Appearance

Anyone examining a text can determine whether it’s a book or scroll, what it’s made out of, how long it is.

Anyone trying to read the text will also rapidly discover how easy, or difficult, that is.

Is This a Book or a Scroll?

Roll 1d.  (Need a die roller?)   Results: (1-4) Book; (5-6) Scroll or scroll set. Either of these could turn out to be a map!

What Is This Book or Scroll Made Of?

Roll 1d, 1d.  (Need a die roller?)  See Dungeon Fantasy 8 (pp. 27-28) for details.

Then roll another 1d.  (Need a die roller?)  On a 5-6, the cover or carrying case of the text is also decorated: refer to the Embellishments tables, also in Dungeon Fantasy 8.

Material
1, 1-3 Paper
1, 4-6 Rice Paper
2, 1-3 Parchment
2, 4-5 Papyrus
2, 6 Bark Cloth
3, 1-2 Common Leather
3, 3-4 Cloth
3, 5 Fur
3, 6 Plumed Bird
4, 1 Fish or Reptile Scale-Hide
4, 2 Exotic Leather
4, 3 Contraband Leather
4, 4 Wood
4, 5 Durable Writing
4, 6 Lacquer
5, 1 Etched Glass
5, 2 Stained Glass
5, 3 Tempered Glass
5, 4 Engraved Metal
5, 5 Decorated Metal
5, 6 Clay Tablet
6, 1 Stone Tablet
6, 2 Dwarven
6, 3 Faerie
6, 4-5 Fine, plus roll again.
6, 6 Very Fine, plus roll again.
How Long Is This Book or Scroll?

Roll 1d.  (Need a die roller?)  Subtract two for scrolls.

1 Very short
2-3 Short
4-5 Medium
6 Long
How Hard Is It To Interpret?

Roll 1d.   (Need a die roller?)

The “Modifiers” refer to the skill roll needed to interpret the text.  “Adventure” means that it’s simply not possible for the PCs to interpret it at this stage – instead, they need to undertake an Adventure in order to acquire the means to do so.

Modifier CF
1 Trivial No roll 0
2 Easy Roll 0
3 Medium -Peril 0
4 Difficult -Peril+1 -0.2
5 Extremely Difficult -2xPeril -0.4
6 Virtually Impossible Adventure -0.5
Contents

Once the PCs have managed to read the text (or have taken it to someone who can), roll to determine what it actually says.

What Does This Text Contain?

Roll 1d, or 1d, 1d, and consult the rows appropriate to the text’s length.  (Need a die roller?)

Don’t roll until you’ve deciphered the text!

Base Value
Very Short 1-2 A Single Spell, Charged See Spells
3 Map – see Maps table, below See Maps
4-5 A brief note concerning the dungeon: offers one Research-re-roll. $1
6 A very short document that ought to be worth something to someone. $1dxPeril
Short 1 2 Spells, Charged See Spells
1-2 Primer $25
1-2 Common Knowledge
3-4 Obscure Knowledge +1 CF
5 Esoteric Knowledge +2 CF
6 Primer on Spells +3 CF
3-4 Map Collection, Alas, or Guidebook – see Maps table; roll for 5 maps See Maps
5-6 A short document that ought to be worth something to someone. $2dxPeril
Medium 1 4 Spells, Charged See Spells
2 Textbook $50
1 Common Knowledge
2-3 Obscure Knowledge +1 CF
4-5 Esoteric Knowledge +2 CF
6 Textbook on Spells +3 CF
3 Collection of 2 short texts Keep rolling!
4-6 A document that ought to be worth something to someone. $3dxPeril
Long 1 8 Spells, Charged See Spells
2 Thesis $25 x points
1-2 Common Knowledge
3-4 Obscure Knowledge +1 CF
5 Esoteric Knowledge +2 CF
6 Thesis on Spells +3 CF
3 Collection of texts
1-2 4 short texts Keep rolling!
3-4 2 medium texts Keep rolling!
5-6 1 medium and 2 short texts Keep rolling!
4-6 A long document that ought to be worth something to someone. $5dxPeril
Maps – Map Contents

Roll 1d, 1d.  (Need a die roller?)

The map describes…
1-3 1-6 …this Dungeon
4-6 1-2 …another Dungeon*
4-6 3 …the current Region
4-6 4 …another Region*
4-6 5 …the way to Treasure!*
4-6 6 …a lost or secret route*

* Feel free to roll up an appropriate Explore adventure!

Maps – Map Quality

Roll 1d.  (Need a die roller?)

Quality and benefits when read
1-2 Sketchy Reading it provides 1 research success.  Worth $2dxNxPeril if sold.
3-4 Average – Reading it provides 2 research successes.  Worth $5dxNxPeril if sold.
5-6 Annotated – Reading it provides 4 research successes.  Worth $10dxNxPeril if sold.
Texts with Charged Spells

Anyone who can read the text can attempt to cast the charged spell.  Whether successful or not, any such attempt destroys the relevant part of the text.

To attempt to cast a charged spell, roll against IQ at the penalty specified on the table below.  Skills like Thaumatology, Occultism, Religious Ritual, and similar can be use instead.  Magery and Clerical Investment both provide their usual bonuses; other supernatural traits may also provide bonuses, at the group’s discretion.  Success casts the spell, at no energy cost to the caster.  Failure has no effect, except for destroying the relevant part of the text.  Critical successes and critical failures have their usual results, as for normal spellcasting.

How Powerful is the Spell?

Roll 3d and subtract Peril.  (Need a die roller?)

The penalty to read the spell is… The text casts the spell at skill… The text provides  up to … energy.  Base Value*
0 or less -8 25 20 $2500
1-3 -6 20 15 $750
4-6 -4 18 10 $320
7-9 -2 16 8 $200
10-12 0 15 6 $120
13-15 +1 15 4 $80
16-17 +2 15 2 $20

* These values are largely theoretical.  In practice, charged spells are exceptionally difficult to sell: in most cases PCs should either use the spell themselves, or else face a very difficult time finding the right buyer.

Spell Type

Roll 1d.  (Need a die roller?)

1 Offensive
2 Defensive
3 Alteration
4-5 Environmental
6 Influence
Offensive Spells

Roll 1d, 1d, 1d.  (Need a die roller?)

1-3, 1, 1 Acid Ball 4-6, 1, 1 Lightning Stare
1-3, 1, 2 Acid Jet 4-6, 1, 2 Lightning Whip
1-3, 1, 3 Air Jet 4-6, 1, 3 Mud Jet
1-3, 1, 4 Arboreal Immurement 4-6, 1, 4-5 Pain
1-3, 1, 5 Ball of Lightning 4-6, 1, 6 Pestilence
1-3, 1, 6 Breathe Fire 4-6, 2, 1 Rain of Acid
1-3, 2, 1 Breathe Steam 4-6, 2, 2 Rain of Fire
1-3, 2, 2 Burning Death 4-6, 2, 3 Rain of Ice Daggers
1-3, 2, 3 Burning Touch 4-6, 2, 4 Rain of Nuts
1-3, 2, 4 Clumsiness 4-6, 2, 5 Rain of Stones
1-3, 2, 5 Concussion 4-6, 2, 6 Rooted Feet
1-3, 2, 6 Debility 4-6, 3, 1 Rotting Death
1-3, 3, 1 Dehydrate 4-6, 3, 2 Sand Jet
1-3, 3, 2-3 Explosive Fireball 4-6, 3, 3-4 Shocking Touch
1-3, 3, 4-5 Explosive Lightning 4-6, 3, 5 Sickness (cast)
1-3, 3, 6 Fire Cloud 4-6, 3, 6 Snow Jet
1-3, 4, 1-2 Fireball 4-6, 4, 1 Sound Jet
1-3, 4, 3-4 Flame Jet 4-6, 4, 2 Spider Silk
1-3, 4, 5-6 Flash 4-6, 4, 3 Spit Acid
1-3, 5, 1 Flesh to Ice 4-6, 4, 4 Steal Energy
1-3, 5, 2 Frailty 4-6, 4, 5 Steal Vitality (cast)
1-3, 5, 3 Frostbite 4-6, 4, 6 Steam Jet
1-3, 5, 4 Hinder 4-6, 5, 1 Steelwraith
1-3, 5, 5-6 Ice Dagger 4-6, 5, 2 Stone Missile
1-3, 6, 1 Ice Sphere 4-6, 5, 3 Stun
1-3, 6, 2 Icy Breath 4-6, 5, 4 Sunbolt
1-3, 6, 3 Icy Missiles 4-6, 5, 5-6 Two at once!
1-3, 6, 4 Icy Touch 4-6, 6. 1-5 Three at once!
1-3, 6, 5-6 Lightning 4-6, 6. 6 Four at once!
Defensive Spells

Roll 1d, 1d, 1d.   (Need a die roller?)   Treat “Always on” as “cast”

1-3, 1, 1 Bladeturning
1-3, 1, 2 Blink
1-3, 1, 3-4 Blur 1
1-3, 1, 5-6 Blur 2
1-3, 2, 1-2 Blur 3
1-3, 2, 3 Blur 4
1-3, 2, 4 Blur 5
1-3, 2, 5 Catch Missile
1-3, 2, 6 Catch Spell
1-3, 3, 1 Force Wall
1-3, 3, 2-3 Hide (cast)
1-3, 3, 4 Invisibility (cast)
1-3, 3, 5 Iron Arm
1-3, 3, 6 Mage-Stealth
1-3, 4, 1-2 Magic Resistance 1
1-3, 4, 3-4 Magic Resistance 2
1-3, 4, 5-6 Magic Resistance 3
1-3, 5, 1 Magic Resistance 4
1-3, 5, 2 Magic Resistance 5
1-3, 5, 3-4 Mirror
1-3, 5, 5 Missile Shield
1-3, 5, 6 Reflect Gaze
1-3, 6, 3-4 Resist Acid (always on)
1-3, 6, 1-2 Resist Acid (cast)
1-3, 6, 5-6 Resist Cold
4-6, 1, 1-2 Resist Fire
4-6, 1, 5-6 Resist Lightning (always on)
4-6, 1, 3-4 Resist Lightning (cast)
4-6, 2, 1-2 Resist Sound (always on)
4-6, 2, 3-4 Resist Sound (cast)
4-6, 2, 5 Resist Water (always on)
4-6, 2, 6 Resist Water (cast)
4-6, 3, 1 Return Missile
4-6, 3, 2 Reverse Missiles
4-6, 3, 3 Scryguard
4-6, 3, 4 Steelwraith
4-6, 3, 5-6 Talisman 1
4-6, 4, 1-2 Talisman 2
4-6, 4, 3-4 Talisman 3
4-6, 4, 5 Talisman 4
4-6, 4, 6 Turn Blade
4-6, 5, 1 Utter Wall
4-6, 5, 2 Wall of Light
4-6, 5, 3 Wall of Lightning
4-6, 5, 4 Wall of Wind
4-6, 5, 5-6 Two defenses at once!
4-6, 6. 1-6 Three defenses at once!
Alteration Spells

Roll 1d, 1d, 1d.  (Need a die roller?)   Treat “Always on” as “cast”

1-3, 1, 1-2 Alertness 1 4-6, 1, 1-2 Keen Sense 1
1-3, 1, 3 Alertness 2 4-6, 1, 3 Keen Sense 2
1-3, 1, 4 Alertness 3 4-6, 1, 4 Keen Sense 3
1-3, 1, 5 Alertness 4 4-6, 1, 5 Keen Sense 4
1-3, 1, 6 Alertness 5 4-6, 1, 6 Keen Sense 5
1-3, 2, 1 Balance (cast) 4-6, 2, 1 Might (cast)
1-3, 2, 2 Bravery (always on) 4-6, 2, 2-3 Might 1
1-3, 2, 3 Bravery (cast) 4-6, 2, 4 Might 2
1-3, 2, 4 Breathe Water 4-6, 2, 5 Might 3
1-3, 2, 5 Climbing +1 4-6, 2, 6 Might 4
1-3, 2, 6 Climbing +2 4-6, 3, 1 Might 5
1-3, 3, 1 Climbing +3 4-6, 3, 2 Reflexes (cast)
1-3, 3, 2 Climbing +4 4-6, 3, 3 Resist Pain
1-3, 3, 3 Freedom 1 4-6, 3, 4-5 Strengthen Will (cast)
1-3, 3, 4 Freedom 2 4-6, 3, 6 Strengthen Will 1
1-3, 3, 5 Freedom 3 4-6, 4, 1 Strengthen Will 2
1-3, 3, 6 Freedom 4 4-6, 4, 2 Strengthen Will 3
1-3, 4, 1 Freedom 5 4-6, 4, 3 Strengthen Will 4
1-3, 4, 2 Grace (cast) 4-6, 4, 4 Strengthen Will 5
1-3, 4, 3-4 Grace 1 4-6, 4, 5 Vigor (cast)
1-3, 4, 5 Grace 2 4-6, 4, 6 Vigor 1
1-3, 4, 6 Grace 3 4-6, 5, 1 Vigor 2
1-3, 5, 1 Grace 4 4-6, 5, 2 Vigor 3
1-3, 5, 2 Grace 5 4-6, 5, 3 Vigor 4
1-3, 5, 3 Haste 1 4-6, 5, 4 Vigor 5
1-3, 5, 4 Haste 2 4-6, 5, 5-6 Two at once!
1-3, 5, 5 Haste 3 4-6, 6. 1-6 Three at once!
1-3, 5, 6 Hold Breath
1-3, 6, 1 Jump 1
1-3, 6, 2 Jump 2
1-3, 6, 3 Jump 3
1-3, 6, 4 Jump 4
1-3, 6, 5 Jump 5
1-3, 6, 6 Jump 6
Environmental Spells

Roll 1d, 1d, 1d.  (Need a die roller?)   Treat “Always on” as “cast”

1-3, 1, 1 Air Vortex 4-6, 1, 1 Mystic Mist
1-3, 1, 2 Boil Water 4-6, 1, 2 Noise
1-3, 1, 3-4 Clouds 4-6, 1, 3 Pollen Cloud
1-3, 1, 5 Cold 4-6, 1, 4 Pull
1-3, 1, 6 Cool 4-6, 1, 5 Purify Air
1-3, 2, 1 Coolness 4-6, 1, 6 Purify Water
1-3, 2, 2 Create Acid 4-6, 2, 1 Rain
1-3, 2, 3 Create Air 4-6, 2, 2 Repel
1-3, 2, 4-5 Create Fire 4-6, 2, 3 Sandstorm
1-3, 2, 6 Create Ice 4-6, 2, 4 Seek Water
1-3, 3, 1 Create Steam 4-6, 2, 5 Shade
1-3, 3, 2-3 Create Water 4-6, 2, 6 Shape Fire
1-3, 3, 4 Destroy Water 4-6, 3, 1 Shape Plant
1-3, 3, 5 Extinguish Fire 4-6, 3, 2 Shape Water
1-3, 3, 6 False Tracks 4-6, 3, 3 Silence
1-3, 4, 1 Fast Fire 4-6, 3, 4 Slow Fire
1-3, 4, 2 Fog 4-6, 3, 5 Smoke
1-3, 4, 3 Foul Water 4-6, 3, 6 Snow
1-3, 4, 4 Freeze 4-6, 4, 1 Spark Cloud
1-3, 4, 5 Frost 4-6, 4, 2 Spark Storm
1-3, 4, 6 Garble 4-6, 4, 3 Stench
1-3, 5, 1 Gloom 4-6, 4, 4 Storm
1-3, 5, 2 Glue 4-6, 4, 5 Thunderclap
1-3, 5, 3 Grease 4-6, 4, 6 Umbrella
1-3, 5, 4 Hail 4-6, 5, 1 Warm
1-3, 5, 5 Heal Plant 4-6, 5, 2 Waves
1-3, 5, 6 Heat 4-6, 5, 3 Whirlpool
1-3, 6, 1 Hide Path 4-6, 5, 4 Wind
1-3, 6, 2 Hold Fast 4-6, 5, 5 Wither Plant
1-3, 6, 3 Hush 4-6, 5, 5-6 Two at once!
1-3, 6, 4 Ice Slick 4-6, 6. 1-4 Three at once!
1-3, 6, 5 Ignite Fire 4-6, 6. 5 Four at once!
1-3, 6, 6 Melt Ice 4-6, 6. 6 Five at once!
Influence Spells

Roll 1d, 1d.  (Need a die roller?)   Treat “Always on” as “cast”

1, 1 Animal Control 3, 6 Plant Speech (all plants)
1, 2 Beast Summoning 4, 1 Plant Speech (one type)
1, 3 Charm 4, 2 Repel Animal
1, 4 Command 4, 3 Repel Spirits
1, 5 Control Elemental 4, 5 Silver Tongue (always on)
1, 6 Drunkenness (cast) 4, 4 Silver Tongue (cast)
2, 1 Emotion Control (cast, any emotion) 4, 6 Suggestion
2, 2 Emotion Control (cast, single emotion) 5, 1 Summon Elemental (Air)
2, 3 Fear (cast) 5, 2 Summon Elemental (Earth)
2, 4 Glib Tongue 5, 3 Summon Elemental (Fire)
2, 5 Great Voice 5, 4 Summon Elemental (Water)
2, 6 Loyalty (cast) 5, 5 Summon Spirit
3, 1 Madness (cast) 5, 6 Terror
3, 2 Mass Suggestion 6, 1 Turn Spirit
3, 3 Nightmare (cast) 6, 2 Weaken Will (cast)
3, 4 Panic 6, 3-4 Two influence spells at once!
3, 5 Plant Control 6, 5-6 Three influence spells at once!