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Author Topic: D&D Books and Libraries  (Read 2877 times)

ColonelHardisson

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D&D Books and Libraries
« on: March 01, 2006, 10:16:40 PM »
Ars Magica has a system in which books and libraries help the magi research new spells. I was wondering if there is anything out there along those lines for 3e/d20? I like the idea of having non-magical books having some value as treasure beyond the gp value.
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Knightcrawler

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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2006, 10:31:46 PM »
FFG's Spells & Spellcraft supplement has some rules covering libraries.  They give bonuses to skill checks, usually knowledges, to skill checks using the library.

Mongoose's Quintessential Wizard also has a chapter on spellbooks and libraries that it actually pretty good.

Also Bastion's Ink & Quill (A Free Download) also covers various books and scrolls.
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Spoony Bard

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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2006, 11:22:14 PM »
These are my house rules regarding libraries...
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A character can research a question in a library or book.  These items have ranks in knowledge skills just like characters do, and a character can have them make a knowledge check for them as outlined above.  However, the more ranks a library or book has, the harder any given bit of information will be to find.  Every rank the library has adds a day to the research time.  Searching through the largest library in the campaign world might guarantee you’ll find the answer – if you have 6 months to spare.  Fortunately most libraries have attendants who make it their job to find information in the library – see the Profession (Sage) skill.

Try Again: No.  The information is either there or it isn’t.  If a critical failure is rolled the character finds bad information.
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So a library with 25 ranks in geography will take up to 25 days to search. Each day shaved off reduces the effective rank of the library by 1.  Hmm... Come to think of it, this does need some refinement - any takers?
 

Knightcrawler

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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2006, 11:30:13 PM »
FFG and Mongooses approach is similar but I don't think the time related is 1 day per point but it does go up as the ranks go up.  They do flesh it out more as a library can have major and minor focuses that give different bonuses.
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Maximum Fu

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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2006, 11:37:27 PM »
Quote from: Spoony Bard
These are my house rules regarding libraries...
_____________________
A character can research a question in a library or book.  These items have ranks in knowledge skills just like characters do, and a character can have them make a knowledge check for them as outlined above.  However, the more ranks a library or book has, the harder any given bit of information will be to find.  Every rank the library has adds a day to the research time.  Searching through the largest library in the campaign world might guarantee you’ll find the answer – if you have 6 months to spare.  Fortunately most libraries have attendants who make it their job to find information in the library – see the Profession (Sage) skill.

Try Again: No.  The information is either there or it isn’t.  If a critical failure is rolled the character finds bad information.
______________________

So a library with 25 ranks in geography will take up to 25 days to search. Each day shaved off reduces the effective rank of the library by 1.  Hmm... Come to think of it, this does need some refinement - any takers?



Assuming I understand this correctly, one potential area of re-work or modification is here:

Quote
However, the more ranks a library or book has, the harder any given bit of information will be to find.  Every rank the library has adds a day to the research time.


This makes sense when you insert the assumption that larger books (with more information) are more likely to contain the information you are looking for than not.

It's not necessarily a bad assumption, but I can see areas where it won't hold up.  Say, for example, an adventurer has a very defined question as to what date such and such battle was fought and knows its somewhere between the years 800 and 810.

The better book to search is arguably "A History of the World from 800 to 810" and not "A History of the World: All Known Time" and yet the former volume should logically be shorter.

The shorter, more accurate volume should have a higher DC in your system and should be shorter to search...the exact opposite result your system generates.

Just a thought.  Overall, an interesting concept.  Congratulations on that.
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Name Lips

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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2006, 11:44:46 PM »
Offhand... I'm going to say every day of research in a library adds +1 to your knowledge check. The size of the library reflects how many volumes it has, and thus, the maximum number of days that can be spent researching.

A level 5 library, then, would allow 5 days of research to add a +5 to a knowledge check. No more. A level 20 library would allow a +20, after 20 days of research. There is no limit to the level of a library.

However... collecting a bunch of books is an expensive proposition. A library costs 2000gp/level to construct. So a first level library costs 2000, and a 20th level library costs 40,000gp.

A given library can specialize in 5 categories of knowledge. If you want a library to specialize in more than 5 categories, price it as building several separate libraries - they just happen to be in the same building.
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Knightcrawler

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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2006, 11:56:46 PM »
Quote from: Harry Joy
I haven't played a game in a city setting for sooooo long...
 
How do you guys handle this in wilderness settings?


Basically just gets into what your carrying as a spellbook.  Or perhaps what you find in ruins/dungeons or someones hoem/castle that you stop at.
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Name Lips

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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2006, 02:02:06 AM »
Quote from: Harry Joy
I haven't played a game in a city setting for sooooo long...
 
How do you guys handle this in wilderness settings?

Easy as pie. In the wilderness, there are no libraries. Libraries only live in civilized areas.
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways, it's still rock and roll to me.

You can talk all you want about theory, craft, or whatever. But in the end, it's still just new ways of looking at people playing make-believe and having a good time with their friends. Intellectualize or analyze all you want, but we've been playing the same game since we were 2 years old. We just have shinier books, spend more money, and use bigger words now.

Hreidmar

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D&D Books and Libraries
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2006, 02:23:11 AM »
Troll like books.  He has many uses for books.  Troll eat for roughage and can light fire with books.  Troll use book page when he go behind tree.

Krishnath

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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2006, 05:45:52 AM »
I handle it pretty simply actually. Books and libraries give a static bonus on the appropriate Int based checks.

For example a collection of books on magic theory might grant a +4 competence bonus on Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft cheks, while a cartography would give a bonus to Knowledge (Geography) checks.

A well stocked library could give a bonus of up to +10 if the library is sufficiantly large. Most libraries would grant a bonus of +4 to +6 to most int based checks, while private collections might give +6 to one Int based check, and only +2 to the others, depending on the tastes of the owner of course.
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Ottomsoh the Elderly

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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2006, 09:38:37 AM »
Ah, libraries. One of my favorite things. They are places of power in their own right. All those fine scrolls of velum giving a material shape to thought and knowledge! Oh yes, each library can really help researchs. A library has a number of dedicated fields of knowledge, each more or less complete. The more numerous and trustworthy the books contained, the higher ranked it is.

But the difference between a rich library and an useless heap of book is the librarian. The countless thousands of tomes, grimoires, books, and reports in my Archive Room would be useless waste if they were not cleverly and methodically inventoried, sorted, categorized, ranked, and so on. And with more reports coming everyday from my numerous eyes; and clients wanting to access my informations and trying to deny them to other clients, this would quickly become an unmanageable mess if left to the hands of unskilled librarians.


So, in short, one may posit a library possess skill ranks like a character in a number of Knowledge skills. A library also possess an overall organisation level that depends on its librarian's Profession check (equal to one-tenth the roll result, must be rerolled everytime the whole library is reindexed).

A character making researchs at a library gets a circumstance bonus to his Knowledge check (which he gets to make even if untrained) equal to one per day spent looking for informations, this circumstance bonus being further limited by the library's level and the skill rank in this field of knowledge.
 

ColonelHardisson

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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2006, 01:09:00 PM »
A lot more answers than I thought I'd get with this thread. Great work, all.
"Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell

4e definitely has an Old School feel. If you disagree, cool. I won't throw any hyperbole out to prove the point.

Cyberzombie

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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2006, 03:30:11 PM »
I like the idea of libraries giving a bonus per day spent researching, with a cap equal to the library's score for that Knowledge skill.  Relatively simple and straightforward.  :)
 

sunfear

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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2006, 05:41:21 PM »
Seems to me that a more approrite way to deal with libraries is to make a knowledge (research) or knowledge (library) skill.

Most characters in a typical fantasy world probably do not have access to libraries or really literacy. If you allow them to be literate then they can take this skill. The DC is based on the size of the library and how helpful attendants are as well as how obscure the knowledge the character is looking for is.

Example:

Year of a commonly known of battle would be a pretty easy check I'd say DC 10.

True name of a mad wizard who has destroyed all documents he can find with the information DC 25.
 

Name Lips

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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2006, 05:44:59 PM »
Quote from: sunfear
Seems to me that a more approrite way to deal with libraries is to make a knowledge (research) or knowledge (library) skill.

Most characters in a typical fantasy world probably do not have access to libraries or really literacy. If you allow them to be literate then they can take this skill. The DC is based on the size of the library and how helpful attendants are as well as how obscure the knowledge the character is looking for is.

Example:

Year of a commonly known of battle would be a pretty easy check I'd say DC 10.

True name of a mad wizard who has destroyed all documents he can find with the information DC 25.

Dude, a 1st level character can make a DC 25 check. For something rare and powerful it's gotta be 35 or higher.
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways, it's still rock and roll to me.

You can talk all you want about theory, craft, or whatever. But in the end, it's still just new ways of looking at people playing make-believe and having a good time with their friends. Intellectualize or analyze all you want, but we've been playing the same game since we were 2 years old. We just have shinier books, spend more money, and use bigger words now.