Scrolls are generally found in cylinders--tubes of ivory, jade, leather, metal, or wood. Some tubes are inscribed with magic runes or writing PCs must read in order to open the container. This is up to the DM. Taking this approach encourages players to select and use read magic or comprehend language spells. It also makes it possible to protect power scrolls with traps (symbols, explosive runes) and curses.

Each scroll is written in its own magical cypher. To understand what type of scroll has been found, the ability to read magic must be available. Once a scroll is read to determine its contents, a read magic spell is not needed at a subsequent time to invoke its magic. Even a scroll map will appear unreadable until the proper spell (comprehend languages) is used.

Reading a scroll to find its contents does not invoke its magic unless it is a specially triggered curse. A cursed scroll can appear to be a scroll of any sort. It radiates no evil or special aura beyond being magical.

A protection scroll can be read by any class of character even without a read magic spell.

If a scroll isn't immediately read to determine its contents, there is a 5% to 30% chance it will fade. The DM sets the percentage or rolls 1d6 to determine it for each scroll.

When a spell scroll is examined, the following table can be used to find its nature:

D100 Roll
Scroll Type

Other classes in the priest group can, at the DM's discretion, have unique scrolls as well. Only the indicated class of character can use the scroll, except
thieves and bards , who can use any scroll, as explained in the Player's Handbook.

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