Books | Inks and Writing Utensils | Things to Write, Paint, or Draw On | Other Writing Supplies and Tools
Books, paper, and writing supplies also includes inks, quills, chalk, chalkboards, and other equipment either for writing, to store written things, or similar items.
Adventurer’s Chronicle Numerous volumes and editions of the Adventurer’s Chronicles exist. When used as a reference (an action that typically takes 1d4 full rounds of searching the text), an Adventurer’s Chronicle grants a +2 circumstance bonus on a specific Knowledge check. Each Adventurer’s Chronicle grants this bonus to a different type of Knowledge, but regardless of which type that particular chronicle is focused on, the overall cost of the book remains the same. Price 50 gp; Weight 1 lb. Source PCS:ISWG *Are you looking for the “official” version of this item? Click here to find it!
Arcane Family Workbook The elven predilection for becoming wizards and the social benefits that elven wizards enjoy often encourages families to dedicate themselves to wizardly studies for multiple generations. Older elven wizards take note of their own insights into the secrets of arcane magic and compile these thoughts with the ideas of earlier generations to form family workbooks. When used as a reference (an action that typically takes 1d4 full rounds of searching the text), an arcane family workbook grants a +2 circumstance bonus on a Spellcraft checks. This bonus increases to +4 if 1d4 hours are spent referencing the book. Price 300 gp; Weight 3 lbs. Source PRG:ARG
Blue Book This book details the seedier entertainment establishments in one major city. It contains the names of brothels, burlesque houses, and gambling halls in that city. By consulting the book for 1 hour, for the next 24 hours you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (local), Bluff, and Diplomacy checks to gather or use information in that city. At the GM’s discretion, you can use it in settlements near that city for a +1 bonus. Price 5 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Book of Letters This portfolio contains examples of official letters along with proper forms of address, etiquette, and turns of phrase. Used by bureaucrats, diplomats, and clerks, it’s also useful for counterfeiting official correspondence. It provides a +2 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy checks when dealing with city officials and a +2 circumstance bonus on Linguistics checks when creating forgeries. A book of letters is only accurate for a particular region, such as a country or even a town, and only provides its bonus relating to that region. Price 50 gp; Weight 3 lbs.
Book of Puzzles Each book contains 10 puzzles made to test the mind and stir the intellect. Solving a single puzzle requires at least an hour and a successful DC 10 Intelligence check, though every 5 points by which you exceed the check reduces the amount of time you need to solve the puzzle by 10 minutes (to a minimum of 10 minutes to solve an individual puzzle). Once you solve a puzzle, for the next 24 hours you can choose to roll twice on a single Disable Device, Knowledge, or Sense Motive skill check and take the higher result. Once all the puzzles are solved, the book is useless, though you can purchase another puzzle book with different puzzles. Price 50 gp; Weight 1 lb. Source PRG:ACG
Book of War Prayers This small, leather-bound collection of war prayers features pages of fine vellum. If you have a Charisma of 13 or higher, or at least 1 rank in Perform (oratory), you can read aloud prayers from the book before battle to hearten others for the trials to come. Reading prayers for this effect takes 10 minutes. You grant those who hear your prayers a +2 morale bonus on the next saving throw against fear they attempt, as long as that saving throw is made in the next 24 hours. Price 50 gp; Weight 1/2 lb. Source PRG:ACG
Cypher Books These books, always sold in identical pairs, contain numbered grids on each page which simply and easily catalog random lists of words. This allows a user to write messages which substitute letters and numbers that reference the page, row, and column of a particular word found within the cypher book. A creature without access to the appropriate cypher book takes a –10 penalty on Linguistic checks made to decipher each page of a coded message. Writing a message using the cipher takes 10 times as long as writing an uncoded message, and decoding it with the cipher book takes as much time as writing the original coded message. Price 150 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Dream Prophecies Book This is the religious text of a group who worship the ideals of cleanliness and sexual abstinence. It details the extremely strict dietary, sexual, and clothing restrictions which followers must follow. Price 75 gp; Weight 10 lbs. Source PC:AA *Are you looking for the “official” version of this item? Click here to find it!
Footprints Book (APG) This 50-page tome contains accurate drawings of various common animal, humanoid, and monster tracks, as well as notes on stride length, tread depth, and similarly useful information. The book gives you a +2 circumstance bonus to identify a creature by its tracks, though the use of shoes makes identifying many humanoids difficult or impossible. Though the book can’t help you identify unique individuals, it can help you tell an ogre footprint from a troll footprint, or an elf’s track from an orc’s. Books sold in different areas may have different footprints, depending on what creatures are common to that location. Price 50 gp; Weight 3 lbs. Source PRG:APG
Footprints Cast (ACG) TThis quick-drying cast is perfect for preserving a set of footprints in order to examine them later. By spending 1 minute setting the cast and waiting for it to dry, you can copy footprints, allowing others to examine them without traveling to the scene, and preventing the DC of the Survival check to analyze them from increasing because of time or weather. Price 2 gp; Weight 1 lb. Source PRG:ACG
Holy Text This is the religious text of a particular religion, with a title, text, and detailed rites specific to that faith. The cheap variety is a small, light book with no illustrations, printed or written on thin paper, and with a cover made of canvas or thin leather. A typical holy text for an experienced adventuring priest is durable, with a leather cover, chapter illustrations, quality paper; it costs 25 gp and weighs 2 pounds. The most expensive versions have detailed illustrations, gilded initials and border decorations, covers made of fine leather, wood, or even metal, and are often oversized and difficult to carry around. Price 1–100 gp; Weight 1–20 lbs.
Heritage Book This collection of genealogical tables, descriptions of common traits found in particular noble families, heraldry, scurrilous rumors, and ancestral deeds provides readers with a great deal of insight into the aristocracy. Consulting this book grants a +2 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (nobility) checks. Price 50 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Journal This is a blank, lightweight book with an oilskin cover. It has 50 paper pages. Price 10 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Obsession Log Gnomes use these small books to record information about their obsessions. When a gnome consults her obsession log (taking 1 minute), she gains a +2 circumstance bonus on the next Craft or Profession check she makes, as long as that skill was the one chosen for her obsessive racial trait. Price 25 gp; Weight 1 lb. Source PRG:ARG
Portrait Book This 100-page book contains face drawings of male and female dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, half-orcs, halflings, and humans. By selecting an appropriate drawing and adding hair, beard, or other small features such as moles or scars, even a poor artist can quickly create a reasonable likeness of a specific person— for example, an inquisitor making wanted posters of a half-elven witch. Price 10 gp; Weight 3 lbs. Source PRG:APG
Tome of Epics This hefty book is bound in oilskin and decorated with scenes of glorious combat between ancient heroes and ferocious monsters. It contains several tales of valor, defeat, and victory, all with brightly colored illustrations. After consulting the book for 1 hour, for the next 24 hours you gain a +2 bonus on Perform (oratory) and Perform (vocal) checks and a +2 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (nobility) checks pertaining to heroic lineages. Price 50 gp; Weight 3 lbs. Source PRG:ACG
Traveler’s Dictionary Each of these books references a specific language and has two sections. The first presents a wide variety of useful phrases and words in Common (arranged by category) followed by a phonetic representation of the same in the language that the book deals with. The second section provides an alphabetical (by phonetic spelling) collection of words and phrases in the second language and their approximate Common translation. Using this book does not grant a bonus on rolls to communicate, but at the GM’s discretion it can negate or reduce a penalty if the other creature is patient enough to wait for the translation. Price 50 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
While mundane and magical research are paramount to the planning stages of any expedition, the ultimate prize in dungeon research is undoubtedly a dungeon guide. Each of these valuable books is about a different dungeon of either wide-spread or local fame, and contains all manner of convoluted hints and ideas about its supposed locale—sometimes even maps. A dungeoneering group in possession of such a rare and unusual boon has a much better chance of seeing the light of day once again after its expedition.
Vast dungeons, megalithic towers, and submerged tombs are the focus of generations of scholarship and research. Any number of books have been written about these forsaken places—most, it must be said, scribed by sages who haven’t been within a hundred miles of the sites in question. After all, few adventurers have the time or inclination to write scholarly tomes about their experiences, so it falls to researchers and chroniclers to piece together dungeon guides. To do so, they draw on books of lore and accounts of dungeons before the sites became the abodes of monsters, scour the diaries and reminiscences of retired adventurers, consult extraplanar intelligences, and fill in the gaps with wild guesswork.
Dungeon guides vary in their reliability. Some read like tour guides of famous dungeons, dwelling on gory tales of monsters and exaggerated claims about treasure. Others are obsessive collections of picayune details, with hundreds of pages on honored animal cremation rituals or gnome pottery. Truly reliable guides are extremely rare, and some dungeon guides have become legends in their own right.
A dungeon guide serves two functions. First, adventurers can consult it to obtain information regarding specific areas of the dungeon. Second, a dungeon guide can provide its reader bonuses on up to three skill checks. Anyone can consult the guide for information on the dungeon, but only readers who possess ranks in the skill associated with the text can benefit from the guide’s skill bonuses.
A PC may consult a dungeon guide whenever he enters a new room or area of the dungeon to learn more about his current location, similar to how one gains information by making a Knowledge check. Consulting a dungeon guide takes 10 minutes, and a dungeon guide may only be consulted once in a given area. A dungeon guide only makes sense in context, and thus cannot be consulted outside of the relevant dungeon except for the briefest and most general information about the dungeon in question.
When a PC consults a dungeon guide, the GM makes an accuracy check for the guide by secretly rolling a d20 and adding the guide’s accuracy modifier to the roll. The GM then compares the result of the accuracy check to the DC of the information being sought (see the Accuracy Check DCs table). A GM may modify these DCs at her discretion. If the result is equal to or greater than the accuracy check DC, the GM should give the PC a clue or some knowledge about an aspect of the area in question. For example, the book might mention some historical detail of the room’s original purpose, how to disarm an obstructive mechanism, where an exit leads, or if the area is a good place to rest.
If the dungeon guide’s accuracy check fails by 4 or less, the book doesn’t have any relevant information on the area in question. If the dungeon guide fails the check by 5 or more, the GM should provide the PC with seemingly true information that is actually inaccurate or dangerous in some way. For example, the guide might reveal that there is a trap in the room, but give the wrong location for it.
If a PC possesses ranks in the dungeon guide’s associated skill, he may attempt a skill check with the associated skill each time he consults the guide. If his check surpasses the guide’s associated skill DC, the guide receives a +2 bonus on its next accuracy check and the PC cannot receive inaccurate information from the guide should it fail this accuracy check by 5 or more (in this case the PC simply receives no pertinent information from consulting the text that time).
Each dungeon guide can grant bonuses on up to three very specific skill checks both in and out of the dungeon. A PC who has ranks in the guide’s associated skill can attempt a check with that skill while using the guide, which takes 1 minute. If she succeeds, she gains a circumstance bonus on one of the guide’s listed skill checks (the amount of the bonus is listed with each skill), which the PC must make within 10 minutes. Failure indicates that the guide doesn’t include helpful details pertaining to that specific check or that the PC was unable to understand the guide well enough to gain a bonus from it at that time. A PC cannot try again to improve a skill check, though she can attempt to gain the skill bonus on a different check. For example, a PC who fails to gain a bonus from her dungeon guide on dismantling a wooden trap may try to improve a later check with a different wooden trap. A PC cannot gain more than one bonus from a dungeon guide at a time.
The following examples are but a few of the dungeon guides the PCs might encounter while adventuring. Each of these guides is keyed to a specific dungeon, and can be a great boon to PCs delving into such sites. GMs can create their own dungeon guides by referencing these examples, which use the following format.
Price 4,600 gp; Accuracy +6; Associated Skill Knowledge (religion) (DC 25)
This long-lost tome contains the detailed accounts of the mysterious and terrible things found when exploring a haunted burial ground centuries ago.
Price 3,500 gp; Accuracy +5; Associated Skill Knowledge (geography) (DC 25)
Compiled from the recovered diaries of a clerk, this waterproof volume is a useful guide to those exploring the drowned city. Most of the information is dated, but the sketched maps and descriptions of major buildings remain useful.
Price 6,700 gp; Accuracy +7; Associated Skill Knowledge (engineering) (DC 25)
This thick leather-bound book was stolen by unknown hands, and describes one of the earliest surveys of a famous mountain and nearby ruins. Assassins brutally hunt down anyone with a copy.
A GM may be hesitant to include dungeon guides in her campaign, since at first glance they might seem to eliminate the natural thrill and mystery of the dungeon by providing PCs with plenty of hints. This is not the purpose of dungeon guides, however—they should never give away all of a GM’s secrets, but instead should be used to plant additional details, histories, and intrigue into the party’s explorations. In addition, a dungeon guide always has some gaps in its knowledge, and won’t include details on new dungeon additions or inhabitants that have moved in since the guide was written.
A spellbook has 100 pages of parchment, and each spell takes up one page per spell level (one page each for 0-level spells).
Compact Spellbook The need to be able to record and travel with dozens or even hundreds of spells often forces some wizards to seek lighter spellbooks. Compact spellbooks hold only 70 pages of spells, but they weigh significantly less than an ordinary spellbook. Source PRG:ARG
Traveling Spellbook A traveling spellbook is lighter and less cumbersome than its full-size counterpart. It has 50 pages. Source PC:AA
Book Lariat This braided metal cord comes with a clasp that affixes to the lock of a standard spellbook. The other end of the cord attaches to a belt or belt loop. The cord is 10 feet long and retractable. If you drop your spellbook while it’s attached to the lariat, you can recover the spellbook as a standard action. While attached to you, the book can never be farther than 10 feet from you. Unclasping the book requires a move action, or the cord can be cut to free the book (hardness 5, hp 10). Price 3 sp; Weight 1/2 lb. Source PRG:ACG
This vial contains 1 ounce of ink. Ink in colors other than black costs twice as much. Price 8 gp; Weight —
This rich yellow ink reacts with a creature’s body heat to create a flickering, flame-like glow. It takes 10 minutes to apply fire ink, and 1 dose covers an approximately hand-sized area. Once applied, the ink glows as a candle for 24 hours. Four or more doses applied to the same part of the body glow as a torch for 24 hours. The alchemical reaction of the ink to the target’s skin and body heat is painful and irritating, giving the target the sickened condition while the glow lasts. A DC 15 Heal check can temporarily soothe these sensations, negating the sickened condition for 1 hour. Creatures immune or resistant to fire are immune to this sickening effect. Ifrits are especially known for their fondness for fire ink, and ifrit fire-dancers often decorate their skin with flaming designs before performing. A concentrated version of the ink costs 10 times as much and can be used to make permanently glowing tattoos.
Pale blue when wet, ghost ink quickly dries to near transparency 1 minute after application. Ghost ink is most often used to blaze trails and mark locations in a subtle manner. The pigment shines with a warm red glow under the light shed by fire beetle glands and sunrods, but under optimal normal conditions (such as a pale surface like parchment or a plaster wall) can only be noticed with a successful DC 25 Perception check. One vial of ghost ink is the size of a potion vial and sufficient for writing a page’s worth of characters.
Glowing ink emits a faint but steady light (typically red or green) that allows you to read it even in normal darkness. You have a +2 bonus on Perception checks to locate objects with glowing ink. Mixing glowing ink with marker dye makes the dye glow in the dark until it fades.
Messages written with invisible ink only become visible under specific circumstances. Revealing the secret message with the proper triggering agent is a full-round action per page of text.
Price 40 gp; Weight —
This alchemically infused ink ensures secret messages destroy themselves after being read. If light strikes the ink after it has dried, chemicals cause it to spontaneously combust within about a minute. The combustion is small—not significant enough to ignite anything but paper. Ink used on other materials such as stone or wood simply vanishes, leaving no trace of the writing. A vial of this ink holds enough to write 10 brief messages of no more than 50 words each.
Light fire ink can be created with a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.
Stink ink is a special, pungent, musk-based ink that allows its user to encode information with smell rather than visually. Stink ink dries clear but its sharp, extremely localized smell can be picked out by those with sensitive enough noses to make it possible to read by sense of smell. Only creatures with the keen senses trait or scent ability can read stink ink without aid of some form of magic. Reading or writing something with stink ink takes twice as long as going through the same amount of information written in normal ink.
Most common among ratfolk alchemists, arcane stink ink is used to inscribe formulae or spells into formula books and spellbooks. Like normal stink ink, the arcane version can only be read by creatures with the scent ability (although read magic works normally on spells and arcane formulae inscribed with stink ink). Using arcane stink ink to inscribe a spell or formula into a book costs +10% of the normal amount.
Price 1 sp; Weight —
Price 1 cp; Weight —
This fat piece of white chalk easily marks wood, metal, or stone. You can write with it for about 24 hours before it is expended. Chalk also comes in other colors, but these are rarer and can be more expensive.
Sticks of charcoal are useful for marking floors and walls, writing on paper or parchment, and making rubbings of engravings or other markings. In a pinch, they can even be burned to stay warm. A good quality rubbing generally takes 1 minute per sheet of paper.
Price 1 sp; Weight —
This is a wooden stylus with a metal tip that retains a small amount of ink after you dip it in a vial of ink.
Price 1 sp/sq. yd.; Weight 1 lb.
This square yard of heavy cloth is suitable for painting, for covering items in a rainstorm, for creating a sail, or as an improvised bag. It is not waterproof but can be treated with oil, wax, or resin to make it water-resistant.
Price 1 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
A wooden frame approximately the same size as a large book surrounds this thinly sliced piece of polished black stone. Rubbing a simple damp cloth over the slate erases anything scribed with chalk on its surface.
Price (per sheet) 4 sp; Weight —
A sheet of ordinary paper typically measures 9 inches by 6 inches and is unsuitable for making magical scrolls. It has hardness 0, 1 hit point, and a break DC of 5.
Glue Paper This 1-foot-square piece of paper is coated on one side with a weak glue or sticky material such as tree sap or even honey. It is stored folded in half. If you apply glue paper to a window before you break it, the broken pieces stick to the glue rather than noisily falling to the ground. Glue paper is good for a single use.
Price 1 sp; Weight —
Rice Paper This sheet of paper is made of rice, straw, or tree bark. It has hardness 0, 1 hit point, and a break DC of 2.
Price (per sheet) 5 cp; Weight —
Price (per sheet) 2 sp; Weight —
This sheet of thin, treated animal skin is a durable writing surface and is suitable for making magic scrolls. It has hardness 0, 2 hit points, and a break DC of 5.
Price 1 gp; Weight —
Generally used only by the wealthy, fancy stationery is a finer-quality 9-inch-by-6-inch paper, often embossed or engraved with the owner’s personal seal.
This metal framework of parallel strips is used to duplicate drawings, allowing enlarging (up to twice the original size) or shrinking (down to half the original size) of the copy in the process. The pantograph is anchored, then fitted with a stylus and a writing implement such as chalk, an ink pen, or a pencil. As the stylus is traced over the drawing or other item to be duplicated, the pantograph reproduces the motions, creating a copy. While handy for making quick, accurate copies of ancient carvings, runes, and drawings, a pantograph is unable to produce a convincing forgery. More elaborate and expensive pantographs allow even larger or smaller copies to be made, or multiple copies to be made at the same time.
A hand-cranked press uses a plate on which all of the text on a page is carved in reverse. Changing the plate is a simple process, but creating a new one is expensive and labor-intensive. The press prints one page at a time, at a rate of about five pages per minute. A stationer then needs to cut and trim the pages and bind the book.
A bone, leather, or wooden scroll case easily holds four scrolls; you can cram more inside but retrieving any of them becomes a full-round action rather than a move action. You must destroy the scroll case to damage its contents (hardness 2 for leather or 5 for wood, 2 hit points, Break DC 15). A scroll case is not water-tight.
Solid wax used for sealing scroll tubes or scrolls together.