Arcane Symbols

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Arcane Symbols is the skill which determines a character's proficiency with scrolls. Increased training will increase one's success when activating and deciphering scrolls, as well as adding to the duration of magic initiated from scrolls. In addition, certain traps (such as scarab and glyph traps) are easier to spot and/or disarm. Also used as a secondary success factor when casting Ensorcell (735).

Type Square Semi Pure
Profession Rogue Warrior Monk Bard Paladin Ranger Cleric Empath Savant Sorcerer Wizard
Max Ranks Per Level 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 2 - 2 2
Training Point Cost 0/7 0/7 0/6 0/4 0/5 0/5 0/2 0/2 - 0/1 0/2

Reading Scrolls

To view which spells appear on the scroll, read it. Arcane Symbols training increases the level of spell that can be read, but players cannot read spells higher than their level + 1.

If the spell level is 20 or less, it requires a skill of (spell level * 5) to read. If the spell level is 21 - 40, it requires a skill of (100 + ((spell level - 20) * 3). If the spell level is greater than 40, it requires a skill of (160 + (spell level - 40)). Spells which have reached zero charges will no longer appear when the scroll is being read. In order to obtain a more precise reading of which spells exist on a scroll and how many charges of each remain (including spells with zero charges), a sorcerer can use the odeir'cos rune upon it.

Scroll Activation

With the scroll held in either hand simply INVOKE {spell#}. If successful the spell will be available to be cast. There is no longer a requirement to have one empty hand when invoking a spell from a scroll. However, if the off-hand is holding an item a 100 point penalty will be added to the activation modifiers. Once activated you will have approximately 20 to 30 seconds to cast the spell.


>invoke 101
  1d100: 58 + Modifiers: 266 == 324

You raise the crumbling scroll and gesture to invoke the Spirit Warding I spell.
Sparks begin to fly between the crumbling scroll and your fingers.  With a sudden burst of enthusiasm, the sparks jump into your hand and a charged feeling surrounds you.
You gesture.
A light blue glow surrounds you.
Cast Roundtime 3 Seconds.

Calculating Activation Success

The character's stats, skills and other relevant variables (as seen in the formula below) are factored together. This total is displayed as the "modifiers" value. A d100 roll is then added, and if the total is greater than 100, the activation is successful.

Modifiers = (Arcane Symbols Skill bonus) + (Stat Modifier)
+ (Magical Knowledge Bonus) + (INTUITION bonus) + (LOGIC bonus)
- (Armor Penalty) - (Encumbrance Penalty) - (Spell Level × 5)
- 100 (if both hands full)
  • The armor penalty applies to invocation, while spell hindrance applies to the prepared spell as normal.
  • One must be able to see the spell on the scroll by reading it in order to be able to invoke it.

Stat Modifier

Stat modifiers are determined by which spell circle the spell to be activated is in. For this table, use stat bonus and not the value of the stat itself (round down).

Spell Circle Modifier
100s Minor Spiritual WISDOM
200s Major Spiritual WISDOM ÷ 2
300s Cleric Base WISDOM ÷ 2
400s Minor Elemental AURA
500s Major Elemental AURA ÷ 2
600s Ranger Base WISDOM
700s Sorcerer Base (WISDOM+AURA) ÷ 4
900s Wizard Base AURA ÷ 2
1000s Bard Base AURA †
1100s Empath Base WISDOM ÷ 2
1200s Minor Mental LOGIC
1600s Paladin Base WISDOM
1700s Arcane (AURA+WISDOM+LOGIC) ÷ 3

† Not yet confirmed.

Magical Knowledge Bonus

Whether or not the spell to be activated lies within a character's sphere of magical knowledge can enhance the possibility of success.

Character has direct knowledge of the spell to be activated,
regardless of whether or not they can cast it yet
Character can learn spells from the same circle of the spell to be activated,
but has not trained that rank yet
Character can learn spells from the same sphere of the spell to be activated,
but cannot directly train from the same circle
Character has no influence in the spell's sphere 0
  • Warriors and rogues are not magical enough to claim influence in any sphere; they receive bonuses for both minor circles and none for all others.
  • Hybridists (bards, empaths, and sorcerers) are considered aligned with multiple spheres, and receive bonuses accordingly.
  • When activating magic from a hybrid circle, it is considered "within a known sphere" by characters fluent in either sphere. For example, sorcerer magic is partially elemental, therefore a wizard would receive the full +20 bonus for their affiliation with the elemental sphere.

Armor Penalty

Not being adequately trained for worn armor may penalize a character's attempt to invoke a spell. This penalty is based on the armor's Roundtime adder and the wearer's Armor Use skill. There is no armor penalty to the activation roll if the character is properly trained, or is wearing robes or light leather. The penalty for AsG 6 (full leather) and higher is 20 points per second of untrained RT adder. The formula for calculating the amount of armor use skill required to fully negate the penalty is (RT adder * 20) - 10.

For example, brigandine armor (AsG 12) has a roundtime adder of 6 seconds. To fully negate the armor penalty requires ((6 * 20) - 10) = 110 armor use skill (27 ranks). A character wearing brigandine with no armor use skill would have an activation penalty of 120 (20 points per second).

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Encumbrance Penalty

Encumbrance will reduce the activation modifiers by 1 for each 1% of encumbered body weight. E.g., a halfling with a body weight of 120 lbs. and 24 lbs. of encumbered weight will have a penalty of -20 since 24 lbs. is 20% of the character's body weight.

Encumbrance penalty calculations:

100 * (encumbered weight / character's body weight)

Calculating Duration

Calculating the duration of magic invoked from a scroll is similar to activating magical items, but there are no different activators to take into account. Activating spells from scrolls provides half of the normal duration.

Duration = (Base Duration ÷ 2) + [(Arcane Symbols Ranks) × (Per Spell Rank Duration ÷ 2)]

Casting Strength and Maneuver Bonuses

Applicable Spells
All warding spells Call Wind (912)
Elemental Wave (410) Sandstorm (914)
Major Elemental Wave (435) Earthen Fury (917)
Call Swarm (615) Lullabye (1005)
Spike Thorn (616) Song of Noise (1017)
Grasp of the Grave (709) Force Projection (1207)
Table provided by GM Viduus

As of August 2017, Magic Item Use or Arcane Symbols ranks are treated as effective spell circle ranks for the purposes of calculating Casting Strength (CS) for warding spells or offensive bonus on maneuver-based spells when activating a spell from a magic item or scroll at the ratios shown below.

Ranger Base, Bard Base, and Paladin Base bonuses are halved in all cases.

These bonuses do not stack with natural Spell Research bonuses to CS and offensive maneuver spells — the higher bonus takes precedence.

CS Calculation

Activating a warding spell from a magic item or scroll will grant a CS bonus similar to spell ranks using the following formula:

CS Per AS/MIU Rank Limit
0.75 Up to level
0.5 Up to 2x level
0.33 Over 2x level

While Mystic Focus is active, warding spells from the Elemental (MnE, MjE, Wizard, Bard) and Sorcerer spheres receive a further bonus based on the caster's Magic Item Use or Arcane Symbols skill, depending on whether the subsequent warding spell is cast from a magic item or a scroll. The Elemental/Sorcerer sphere bonus does not stack with Elemental Targeting (425).

Maneuver Roll Calculation

Spell maneuver bonuses are sphere/spell specific, but generally follow the pattern of:

Bonus Per AS/MIU Rank Limit
0.5 Up to level
0.33 Up to 2x level
0.1 Over 2x level

Lore Effects

A character may train in Elemental, Mental, or Spiritual Lores to gain the same lore benefits for spells activated by Magic Item Use or Arcane Symbols (as applicable) as through native casting (learned via Spell Research), with different training requirements depending on the type of spell circle (Minor, Major, or Profession). When activating an item to cast a Minor Circle spell, all trained lore ranks will count and thus the potential lore benefits are identical as native casting. Major spell circles (Major Elemental and Major Spiritual) require double the lore ranks to unlock the same bonuses (i.e. only half of the ranks will count towards lore benefits). Profession circles (Bard Base, Cleric Base, Empath Base, Paladin Base, Ranger Base, Savant Base, Sorcerer Base, and Wizard Base) require triple the training (i.e. only one third of the ranks will count towards lore benefits).

Mana Control Effects

One may also train in Elemental, Spiritual, or Mental Mana Controls to gain applicable additional benefits from spells prepared (and later cast) by invoking scrolls. Mana control training is counted fully when the spell cast through scroll is a native learned spell to the character's profession, a minor circle spell, or known through a spell knowledge item. When the spell is a major circle or unknown profession base spell, only half of the pertinent mana control ranks count toward the effect of the spell invoked.

Scarab Traps

While Arcane Symbols does not directly aid in disarming a trap from a box, it does contribute to successfully disarming a scarab once it has been removed from a box. The formula is unknown, but having 20 ranks in Arcane Symbols is enough to always get the best disarm message (*scritch scritch* If that had been any easier, you could have done it blindfolded.) when disarming scarabs.