... now with 35% more arrogance!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Read Magic House Rules

To continue with my investigation of the Read Magic spell, here are my current thoughts on how it works.
It's a shortcut.
Spell research can be used to decipher any magical writing, but that takes time and money. Read Magic lets you read magic right now.
It applies to both spells and words of command.
... And almost all magic items have words of command. Potions and other magical substances don't. Magical enhancements of natural functions (improved protection from magical armor, improved attack ability for magical weapons) don't have command words, either, but other special powers (flaming, for example,) do. All rings, amulets, wands, staves, magic cloaks, etc. have magic words of command.
It doesn't apply to spells you know.
... Unless it's a different version of the spell. Find a scroll of Read Magic? You recognize that's what it is immediately. No need to cast the Read Magic spell to use a Read Magic scroll. This is easier to keep track of than keeping a list of scrolls that have been skimmed with Read Magic.
If you find a new spell and use Read Magic, you now know it.
That's the flipside of the "It's a shortcut" rule that I hadn't considered until now. It's probably my most controversial ruling, but it now makes Read Magic extremely valuable. You can add spells to your repetoire without spending as much money!
It isn't limited to a single scroll.
The spell description is vague, but implies it's not limited to one scroll or inscription. I'd rule that it applies to 1d6 spell levels. Each word of command counts as 1 spell level. Scrolls count as whatever their actual spell level is. Side effect: if I decide to toss in a 7th level spell scroll, it can't be read with Read Magic. The M-U must use spell research.

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