Couple of questions on Scrolls/Potions

Hey, sorry to bother but my google-fu and/or reading abilities are apparently lacking, but I have a couple of quick questions regarding scroll use.

Firstly, what Caster Level does the scroll get cast at? The minimum level, the level of the actual caster (both these make sense to me) or something else entirely?

Secondly, from what I gathered looking through the forums for an answer to my first question, there is nothing preventing a spell caster from using a scroll of a spell at a level they cannot yet cast at. Is this correct?

Thirdly, with regards to potion duration, Alex stated that it was always 1d6+6 turns (with the obvious exception of certain instantaneous ones such as Potion of Healing). Does this override the spell always? I understand that if the duration is longer, it only goes for potion duration, but what about in the reverse? Is this an easy (but quite expensive most of the time) way to increase the duration of certain spells?

Thanks in advance.

[quote="ACKS Core, pg. 216"] A spell may be cast even if it is not normally usable by a spellcaster of the reader’s level. These spells are cast as if from a spell caster of the minimum level required to cast the spell. [/quote]

My own understanding of Potions is that, yes, duration is always 1d6+6 Turns, unless the Potion states otherwise.

Nimas: The potion duration rules are in fact a terrifying loophole that an enterprising arcane researcher will one day exploit, creating a series of incredibly powerful 1st level spells with tiny durations designed solely for use as potions. 

Hopefully before that day comes, ACKS will have a 2nd Edition and I'll have fixed this loophole!

Trivialities like this (someone might use the spell-creation system in the supplementary book to make really expensive cocktails with longer durations than originally intended!) are why there's a Judge. You're never going to catch everything, and shouldn't have to. The Judge needs to apply some Judgement, and then bring down the hammer when a player attempts something exploitative.


Em, excuse me. Thank you for the clarification (actually was seeing whether the hypothetical Potion of Find Traps was a bit more useful then the actual spell).

It should also be noted that going by the base spells in the book, there really aren't any level 1 spells that break with increased duration with one notable exception. Protection from Evil. I'm honestly not sure you'd even be able to use that given it's duration is Concentration? Not sure how that would work in a potion form. The only likely one would be Sanctuary, as that in potion form would actually be pretty nice as a defensive buff. Only other round duration is Trance, and honestly that would be a hilarious trap (basically taking them out of action for the duration, but can act as an early warning system for undead). 

It *does* enhance the duration of a number of spells, but mostly the counter argument would be: It's goddamn expensive. At the point where you'd actually *want* to have this stuff, it's prohibitively expensive for a low level character, and beyond that you can just hire some goddamn mage henches.

I will say, the other use would be for making a few of the buff spells (Ogre's Strength, etc) last over double the duration, but I think you have inbuilt protection against that, as you can only have a single potion buff at a time.

However, it breaks in two as soon as you try to break it unfortunately, as you can simply make custom spells with making them potions as the aim.

Take a basic Haste with only single target, make it last only 6 rounds and voila! You have a Potion of Haste that doesn't age you and only costs a mere 500gp!

Does that mean that all spells cast from scrolls are at minimum level? Based on that quote, it seems to imply that only spells beyond a spellcaster's abilities are cast at minimum level.

I'm not sure how you fix that loophole without creating a lot more complexity. You might be better off by adding a statement along the lines of:

Potion creation is the result of thousands of years of research, trial and error with the existing canon of spells. While PCs can research their own potion formulas, what they're actually doing is reverse-engineering off the efforts of thousands of years of prior alchemists and spellcasters completing the primary research. Creating potions based off of newly created spells are beyond the scope of the typical ACKS campaign.  


“A potion of a spell with a duration (when cast at its minimum level) of less than one turn lasts 1d6+6 rounds. All other potions last 1d6+6 turns.”

You can still get some duration extension by making it a potion, but it’s not remotely as abusive (and honestly, if you spend the time to research a new spell, and then to make a potion of it instead of casting it, I think there probably is not anything wrong with a slight duration extension).

(This might have loopholes in it I haven’t considered, I’m just proposing an option that popped into my head.)