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Updating My Update on Scroll Costs

I had the occasion in a recent dungeon to try costing some alternative scrolls. This got me thinking that my scroll prices were too low. Checking in on my math with the benefit of hindsight, the problem is that the cost curve doesn’t increase fast enough with a simple level squared formula. Thanks to some Reddit comments and some excel testing, I think I like the curve best using 10*2.5^LVL.

LVL10*LVL*LVL10*2^LVL10*3^LVL10*2.5^LVL
010101010
110203025
240409063
39080270156
4160160810391
52503202430977
636064072902441
74901280218706104
864025606561015259
9810512019683038147

Of course, those numbers a quite rough and aren’t easily divisible for clean math. So, I cleaned up the numbers, and like all my generated numbers are based on the sell value of the item rather than the purchase price (1/2 the market-price).

Base Scroll SELL Price
RoughClean
1010
2525
6060
150150
390400
9751000
24402500
61006000
1526015000
3814535000

I would like to think that these are priced in the good-gameplay window of being pricey enough that they aren’t an auto-purchase but not so pricey that they aren’t worth buying or using if found.

Of course, since my spellbook price, wand price, and skillbooks are based on the scroll price, that increases them as well. I did tinker with the wand pricing for multi-use wands so that they still line up with my existing magic item prices. I list the multiple I ended up with under each category. The wand category likely only goes up to 4th level spells, but for higher level spells you could require them to be housed in a staff with a higher cost multiplier. I am not sure there even could be a fair cost multiplier for the higher level spells that wouldn’t either be so cheap as to make high level spell ubiquitous or too expensive to ever be worth carrying. I likely won’t allow multiple use wands or staves of anything higher than 4th or 5th level. Those spells get too game-breaking when they are common.

Wand
Spellbook1/dayLimitedAt WillSkillbook
MULT2.51011122
2510011012050
62.5250275300125
150600660720300
375150016501800750
10004000440048002000
25001000011000120005000
625025000275003000012500
1500060000660007200030000
3750015000016500018000075000
87500350000385000420000175000

Here’s how that roughly works out for odd spellbooks and wands with multiple spells:

Multi-Spell Spellbooks
L&L-1L&L-1&L-2L&LL&L&L-1L&L&L
05075
187.5125150187.5
2212.5237.5300362.5450
3525587.57509001125
413751525200023753000
535003875500060007500
687509750125001500018750
72125023750300003625045000
852500587507500090000112500
9125000140000175000212500262500

These are for wands with 1/day use of each of these spells, assuming a 50% added cost for the secondary/lower-level spells on the wand. If you want a limited use or at-will wand of the same kind, multiply the result by 1.1 or 1.2, respectively.

Multi-Spell WandsAdditional Spells @ 50% added cost
L&L-1L&L-1&L-2L&LL&L&L-1L&L&L
0250400
14006257751000
29751125150018752400
324002775375046506000
462507150100001225016000
51600018250250003100040000
640000460006250077500100000
797500112500150000187500240000
8240000277500375000465000600000
957500066500087500011000001400000

For reference, here is my current list of spell modifiers:

-Hasted, 1.5, spell usable as a free action.

-Enlarged, 1.25, spell’s area of effect is doubled.

-Twinned, 1.75, spell is cast again as a free action at the start of the user’s next turn.

-Maximized, 1.5, spell’s variable effects are maximized.

-Empowered, 1.25, spell’s variable effects are increased by 50%.

-Heightened, 1.1, spell is treated as one spell level higher, DC increased by 1.

-Masked, 1.1, spell appears as a different school of magic and spell, investigator must beat the DC to discover the deception.

-Relentless, 1.25, if the first target saves or ignores the effect, the caster can target a new target in range.

-Substitution, 1.1, one element of the spell is replaced by a different element.

-Enduring, 1.25, the spell lasts twice as long.

-Piercing, 1.5, the spell halves magical protections, immunities, and resistances against it. 

-Inconspicuous, 1.25, the spell is cast without overt motions or incantations.

-Safe, 1.25, if the spell would kill, the target is instead left at 0, unconscious.

-Catalytic, 1.5, if the target is hit by a spell of greater level in the next minute, the catalytic spell triggers a second time.

-Mutating, 1.5, the cast spell slot is filled with a random spell of the same school, one level lower without the mutating.

-Tough, 1.1, concentration saves with this spell are made with advantage.

-Malleable, 1.5, the spell’s area can form any contiguous, simple shape of the same area: circle, rectangle, square, cone, etc.

-Reaching, 1.1, the spell’s range is increased by one step: touch to close to medium to far to within sight.

-Lingering, 1.25, damage and wounds this spell causes cannot be healed for spell level minutes or their residue is dispelled.

-Careful, 1.25, the spell can be cast to exclude up to two targets from its area of effect.

-Double-edged, 0.9, spell is also cast on the caster, but rolls variable effects with advantage.

-Cheap, 0.5, creatures have advantage on saves against this spell.

-Chaotic, 0.75, the spell also casts a random spell 2 levels lower, minimum cantrip, targeting the target

-Berserk, 0.9, the caster must cast the same spell again, at no cost, on the next turn using their action

-Wandering, 0.75, Duration is doubled, 10% chance the caster must move it to a new valid target each round. No repeats.

-Contagious, 0.9, if the original spell kills the target, the spell is recast targeting the nearest target in range.

-Sympathetic, 0.75, if the creature has a magical resistance, protection, or immunity, this spell changes to be affected by it.

-Faint, 0.5, this spell rolls its variable effects with disadvantage.

-Illusory, 0.25, this spell has all its variable effects minimized.

-Anemic, 0.75, the spell is cast as if it was one level lower, minimum cantrip, DC decreased by 1.

2 thoughts on “Updating My Update on Scroll Costs

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