View Full Version : (3.X) Careful Reader [Trait] (PEACH)

2012-06-12, 11:56 PM
Careful Reader
You have great skill with the activating of scrolls, but at the cost of speed.
You treat all spells on scrolls as being one spell level and three caster levels lower for purposes of deciphering and/or activating them. The effects of a successfully activated scroll are unaffected by this trait.
Reading a scroll requires one full round, plus one round for each spell level. The reduction to effective spell level does NOT apply to this.
Roleplaying Ideas
Your speech when verbalizing written information may be precise but slow. You might never insert your own thoughts in leu of the text as written (unless, perhaps you are doing so very much intentionally) no matter how nonsensical and rife with errors the work may be.

This is fairly off the cuff. Mostly submitting it because I didn't want to forget the idea.

Are the benefits great enough? Remember, this makes both deciphering and reading scrolls that are beyond your normal casting abilities (including due to ability score reasons) easier, or possible in the first place.

What about a feat with this trait as a prerequisite (radical I know, but that is how I roll) that lets you activate scrolls that are on the wrong side of the arcane/divine split for your class levels?

EDIT July 12th 2012:
Huh... just had the idea of putting in a penalty to saves against written magic such as Sepia Snake Sigil, the various Symbols, and Explosive Runes. But that is probably the wrong way to balance this. It might actually be good as a seperate trait that gives a bonus against Secret Page... except the only thing it COULD give a bonus to would be that caster-level check to Dispel it... or maybe it could allow Comprehend Languages an opposed caster-level check to pierce the illusion and allow True Seeing to do so WITHOUT Comprehend Languages?

2012-06-13, 04:35 AM
This has fairly significant implications for in-combat scroll use. As in: anyone with this trait will not use scrolls in combat, or whenever there's any time pressure. (Move action + minimum of two full-round actions, provoking AoOs all the while = no way.)

I'm inclined to say that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits in most cases, and the exceptions are probably very cheesy builds that have somehow figured out a way to get around the drawbacks entirely. Without drawbacks, however, this is like a feat-and-a-half, given that it lets you circumvent normal restrictions. So it's either brokenly good, or brokenly terrible, without much in between.

It might be better to reduce the benefits considerably (one effective caster level lower?) and reduce the drawbacks in turn (full-round instead of standard action?).

2012-06-13, 12:41 PM
Yeah, I figured this basically came down to "DON'T use scrolls in combat".

The easiest way to avoid the drawbacks is to only use it for buff/recuperative spells. I don't know how often buffs off of scrolls get used, but I would imagine that recuperative (Cure X/Remove X) spells are nice to have a few of the more oddball ones on scrolls so the cleric doesn't have to bother preparing them.

Also, it only takes a move action (to "draw" the scroll I assume?) plus a full-round for a level 0 scroll. :smalltongue: Not that those get used in combat much I don't think, nor like you need the bonus much for those.

In short I think this is probably something good for clerics more than wizards.

Nota Bene: If this doesn't affect UMD as much as it does full-casters using scrolls then I need to tweak it to cover more of UMD.

I could create a smaller version and leave the "big" version with a note that there is probably some way of cheesing it.