From the Archives: Scroll Controversy

This tale is not too old, but it is still likely to surprise most of the current players. I relate it because it is unlikely that anything can come of it now and the player who is at the centre of what happened is unable to continue playing with us for the forseeable future, which is a shame. Bert, this one's for you.

Our party had defeated some baddies and were looting the place, which we take to be our right upon a victorious battle. Part of the loot turned out to be some scrolls of Nightmare, an evil, necromantic spell. 'Oh, this just won't do. We definitely shouldn't use these, and we couldn't possibly sell them on so that others could use the scrolls on innocent people', said our Good Cleric. Our Good Rogue agreed; 'we must dispose of them', he added. Even our financially-motivated Mage, master of double-entry bookkeeping, begrudgingly agreed, although he had to be reminded that he was Good and that his pseudo-dragon Familiar may take exception to any other course of action from him. 'Yeah, whatever', I think were his precise words. The protestations of our Chaotic Fighter and my Monkish Neutrality fell on deaf ears, with the others refusing to sell them on for profit with the rest of the loot that we couldn't use. Bah.

The scrolls were thus put in to the party's pool of general loot holding overnight, supervised by the Mage, and were taken out and destroyed the next morning.

Or so they thought.

Unbeknownst to the rest of us, the Fighter had other plans for the scrolls. He got up during the night and quietly and carefully exchanged the scrolls in the pool of general loot holding for some useless parchment, with the odd scribble on it so that it looked 'authentic'. Only I, with my stupidly high Spot check, noticed him doing this and just gave him a nod and a wink at the time. This was good for the Fighter, because I had no inclination to shop him to the rest of the party and destroy the scrolls. On the other hand, it was bad for the Fighter, because I wanted a cut of the money from selling them. The other party members remained blissfully unaware as to what he did, destroying worthless pieces of parchment in the morning, and the Fighter and I managed to get some time in the nearby town to sell the scroll and split the proceeds amongst the two of us. Score!

Sorry, chaps.

14 Responses to “From the Archives: Scroll Controversy”

  1. Elf Says:

    Not only did the characters not know what was going on, but the players themselves also seemed to remain unaware of what had happened under their noses. Sure, a few scrolls wasn't a significant haul, but it was so effectively carried out that it deserves praise.

  2. Chaotic Fighter Says:

    Mwahahahahaha, mwaHAHAHAHAAA!
    It's true, all true I tell you! Good old Vecna priests.
    I also get a sneaking memory that I may have split the proceeds more like 60/40 in my favour, but I can't remember for sure. Sorry monk, but y'know, I took the risks :-)

  3. Elf Says:

    You're an EVIL GENIUS.

    See, this is why we're going to miss you.

  4. Reggie Krayfish Says:

    When you say Monkish neutrality...did you conveniently forget the Monkish Lawfulness which is crucial to a Monk...
    Sorry but I dont think your monk would have done this based on his alignment....remember Monks are based on lawful chars and this act was a chaotic act, stealing party loot that had been agreed by a majority to destroy.

  5. Elf Says:

    That's an interesting point.

    The original discussion and motive for not selling the scrolls was based on the Good/Evil alignment range, and considered the alignment of the scrolls and what they would be used for, and this is on what I based my decision when I saw the Fighter take the scrolls out of the pool later. I hadn't thought that the decision had changed to the Lawful/Chaotic alignment range, as it meant sticking to the party's decision, and instead continued to think of it in Good and Evil terms. Thanks for pointing that out; I'll have to be more careful in the future.

  6. barry Says:

    As fun a thing to do as it obviously was for the monk and fighter. I can't help but think we might have checked which scrolls we'd picked out of the Bag before touching them. If someone who can't actually read magic can work out which scrolls are the nightmares then surely someone who can read magic all the time would notice that these scrolls where not in fact the right ones. Still if the cleric had learned of this when the fighter was still in the party, one of us would have been leaving.

  7. Elf Says:

    If you had not suspected anything was amiss, and you had no reason to do so, you would probably only have grabbed the scrolls from where they were kept, rather than making sure they were legitimate. I guess that's what the DM assumed would happen.

    As for finding out, it's a good thing that the Cleric, as well as the rest of the party, still have no idea what happened that night.

  8. barry Says:

    Also if the stuff was in the bag of holding, how do you get it out?
    Do you have to think of the item you want and then stick your hand in a grab it, like the handy sack.
    It's not a case of suspecting something it's more a case of burning all the heal scrolls buy mistake.

    I was hoping that this wasn't going to become another game where you have to explicitly state every little thing you do. I already play in one of those.

  9. Elf Says:

    Perhaps the reason why you didn't have to 'explicitly state every little thing' you did when burning the scrolls was because you didn't suspect anything was wrong, so you didn't inspect them thoroughly, or cast Read/Detect Magic to see that they were legitimate scrolls. Maybe the DM had made secret rolls for whoever was involved and no one succeeded in spotting something was wrong.

    But I am only speculating. Take it up with the DM, if you must; my character only saw that something was happening.

  10. marka Says:

    I would like to think that the DM made the Fighter do a 'forgery' roll to to make the fake scrolls look believable. Still, I find it hard to believe that neither the Cleric (with his immense wisdom) or the Wizard (with his vast intellect) noticed anything wrong :-)

  11. Reggie Krayfish Says:

    If there were other scrolls in the bag of holding then surely when we came to destroy the nightmare ones, the mage or cleric would have checked each scroll to make sure it wasn't a heal one....
    Maybe time to let this one lie and for Graham to take note and think through it a bit more next time and ask himself the questions, how would a fighter know a nightmare scroll from a heal scroll, would the Monk really do something like this (if he has a good reason then fair enough and can argue that reason with the DM), would the magic users not notice the scrolls missing or replaced when they come to destroy them later (does read magic mean once you've used the spell to read a scroll, it stays read as in you dont need to read magic again to read it again)

  12. barry Says:

    To answer your last point RK, yes that's exactly what read magic does.

  13. Chaotic Fighter Says:

    Oops, didn't realise the kerfuffle this would cause. If it helps, as I remember I had to make a Sleight of Hand roll, and got very high on it (18-20), hence only Harve's super-scan spotting me doing it. We'd found so many scrolls of nightmare I had a good idea what they looked like I'd have thought. I replaced them with rolls of the quality parchment we'd found in the same room - hence the paper was the same and any cursory look wouldn't have noticed the difference.

  14. Chaotic Fighter Says:

    Just to add a bit more, I would have thought the scrolls would have been burnt in the rolled state, not unfurled, as you knew that those were the nightmare scrolls. I don't think the read magic stuff comes into it because it was just on outward appearance.