Save vs Dragon: Scrutinizing the Scroll

Richard J. LeBlanc, Jr at Save vs. Dragon knows quite a bit about writing technologies of olden times (at least, I assume so since he is ‘an educator on the history of graphic communication’).

He is writing a series on ‘Scrutinizing the Scroll’ that explores the various elements and technologies that go into creating written works.  For those who liked the AD&D model of magic item construction rather than the abstraction presented in D&D 3e and after, this promises to be a useful reference.

  • In Papyrus, Parchment and Vellum he starts with the substrate the work is written on.  In fact, he goes rather earlier than the easily portable media and includes cave walls and clay tablets.
  • In Comprehending the Quill he describes a range of writing instruments, from ‘fingers’ through styluses, pens, and brushes.

I imagine the next in the series will be inks, then he might continue with binding or other storage mechanisms.  In any case I am finding myself wanting to get back somewhat to the old school item creation where it actually mattered how you did it and what tools were used — you don’t just throw a bit of money and time at it and you have a new item.

Incidentally, I’m really looking forward to his d30 Companions being available.  I’ve been a fan of his d30 tables for a while now, and am likely to pick up a d30 or two the next time I hit the FLGS (I was there yesterday and it slipped my mind) because this d6+d10 thing is getting old.

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