Westlaws 2.0 - The Devouring
Valuable texts filled with important information on a specific topic.
Books in Argoth are treasured things that only the wealthiest folk can afford. Each copy is hand-written by a practiced scribe, and months can be absorbed in the copying of a single volume. Some larger tomes can take a year to pen. The subjects are therefore carefully chosen, and those who can read them treasure the contents for their artwork, their content and their rarity.
Sometimes referred to as “Illuminating Manuscripts”, Key Texts are valuable forms of writing that describe key portions of knowledge regarding a specific topic. In a library, they represent the first book examined when researching a topic, and treat their subject so thoroughly and accurately as to become a source of great knowledge.
To gain the insight found in such a book, one must first have an intelligence of at least 12. Next, the reader must begin a dedicated study of the subject, meaning a full, uninterrupted day of poring over the words. At day’s end, one must attempt an Intelligence Check (DC 12). If successful, one can be assumed to have understood the topic enough to have mastered it.
Once mastered, the Key Text grants one a +1 Item bonus to any skill check detailed in the manuscript (ie- History or Religion). This bonus may be stacked with any Item bonus provided by access to a library, or another Key Text on the same topic.
Producing such a valuable text requires an extra-ordinary amount of time, effort and coin. These works have a value of 50 gp on the open market, though some Key Texts grant better bonuses and are worth even more.
Originally found in “The Master’s Decree”, a d20 adventure published by 3am Games. Modified and altered to fit a 4th Ed game.