Scribe (5e Class)

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Scales.png This page is of questionable balance. Reason: Core feature conflicts with the magic item rules in the DMG. The DM decides on the cost, availability, and creation process of creating a magic scroll. The recommended values of a 1st level spell scroll are a fraction of the cost presented below. Even if the campaign requires this class's method of making scrolls, the costs are beyond the means of low-level PCs, giving the class not much to do for a long time. Scribe Tracks seems to be describing occupation: anyone attempt these tasks anyway, using a downtime activity. Overall you shouldn't have to pay to use class features and the class as a whole could use some significant work to make the class more usable.

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Recycle.png This page was marked as abandoned on 01:06, 6 March 2020 (MST) because: Needsbalance issues have not been addressed in over 2 years and it does not look like this class's issues will be fixed any time soon. (discuss)

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Scribes come from all walks of life. Some dress in fine silks and write beautiful calligraphy. Others sit at dusty public stalls writing correspondence for the illiterate poor. But, they all write for a living. In addition to their skill with the quill, scribes are adept at making writing supplies, crafting magic scrolls, and even casting a spell or two.

Creating a Scribe[edit]


Class Features

As a Scribe you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per Scribe level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + Constitution modifier per Scribe level after 1st


Armor: none
Weapons: Quarterstaff or dagger
Tools: Calligrapher's Supplies
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Charisma
Skills: Arcana, Religion, History, Medicine


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) Quarterstaff or (b) Dagger
  • Calligrapher's Supplies
  • Scholar's Pack

Table: The Scribe

Level Proficiency
Features —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Make Black Ink
2nd +2 Make Common Paper / Make Colored Ink / Language 2
3rd +2 Make Waterproof Ink 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Make Fine Paper 3
5th +3 Make Invisible Ink 4 2
6th +3 Make Uncommon Paper / Make Reagent / Language 4 2
7th +3 Make Magic Ink 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Make 1st Level Scrolls 4 3
9th +4 - 4 3 2
10th +4 Language 4 3 2
11th +4 Make 2nd Level Scrolls 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3
13th +5 - 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Make 3rd Level Scrolls / Language 4 3 3 1
15th +5 - 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 2
17th +6 Make 4th Level Scrolls 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Language 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Make 5th Level Scrolls 4 3 3 3 2


Cantrips: Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Message

1st Level: Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic, Identify, Illusory Script

2nd Level: Alarm, Find Familiar, Tenser's Floating Disk, Unseen Servant

3rd Level: Knock, Non-detection, Locate Object, Arcane Lock

4th Level: Arcane Eye, Greater Invisibility, Leomund's Secret Chest, Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum

5th Level: Animate Objects, Legend Lore, Scrying, Telekinesis


To make a scroll, a scribe must craft sufficient uncommon paper and magic ink, purchase additional spell components to add to the ink (equal to the level of the scroll x 1,000gp) and make a successful DC check equal to 15 + the level of the scroll (Proficiency Bonus and Intelligence bonus apply). If the roll proves unsuccessful, the 1,000gp of spell components is still lost.

1st Level: Disguise Self, Fog Cloud, Grease, Silent Image

2nd Level: Continual Flame, Darkness, Invisibility, Darkvision

3rd Level: Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Remove Curse, Levitate

4th Level: Arcane Eye, Greater Invisibility, Leomund’s Secret Chest, Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum

5th Level: Animate Objects, Legend Lore, Scrying, Telekinesis

Ability Score and Language Increase[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of you choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Also, because of your constant exposure to other languages, you become fluent in a new language every 4 levels starting with 2nd level.

Scribe Tracks[edit]

Scribes are needed at all levels of society - from the royal calligrapher to the shady guy making fake passports over a beer in the back of a seedy tavern. The four scribe tracks reflect this diversity. Pick a track and add your Proficiency Bonus to the appropriate Ability Score Bonus when rolling for results from that track. The DM will assign a DC based on the difficulty of the job:

5 = very easy, 10 = easy, 15 = moderate, 20 = hard, 25 = very hard, 30 = nearly impossible

Scribe Tracks

Court Scribe: Calligraphy (Dex), Detect Forgery (Wis), Heraldry (Int), Genealogy (Int)

Public Scribe: Copy (Dex), Transcribe (Wis), Recite (Chr), Translate (Int)

Religious Scribe: Calligraphy (Dex), Copy (Dex), Illumination (Dex), Book Binding (Wis)

Rogue Scribe: Forge Document (Dex), Detect Forgery (Wis), Encrypt (Int), Decode (Wis)

Description of Scribe Abilities

Calligraphy - You are skilled at the art of writing beautiful letters. (Fine Paper, Waterproof Ink)

Detect Forgery - Your keen eye can spot a fake official document. (Reagent)

Heraldry - You are well versed in the heraldic symbolism of the nobility.

Genealogy - You have extensive knowledge of the family history of the noble houses.

Copy - You can make a legible, accurate, fast copy of a document. (Common Paper, Black Ink)

Transcribe - You are able to create a document from what another person is saying. (Common Paper, Black Ink)

Recite - You are skilled at reading documents to the illiterate.

Translate - Your extensive knowledge of language allows you to attempt to translate languages you are not fluent in.

Illumination - Your artistry turns a dull page of religious text into a colorful work of art. (Colored Ink, Fine Paper)

Book Binding - You are skilled at the art of codex making.

Forgery - You can make a fake document look like it came from the Royal Palace. (Fine Paper, Waterproof Ink)

Encrypt - You have become adept at conveying information in documents that remains hidden to those who do not know how to decipher it. (Common Paper, Invisible Ink)

Decode - You are able to spot and decipher encrypted messages. (Reagent)

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