Scrivener/Clerk

The character must have the Literatus skill in order to be equipped with the Scrivener skill. The SL of the Scrivener’s skill indicates the precision of his efforts, his speed and accuracy, and how neat and pretty the work he does. This skill gives the character the ability to pick suitable feathers in order to clean and cut his own quill-pens, not just from the preferred and plentiful goose quills but from whatever type of feathers he may have on hand, provided they are of sufficient length and stiffness (GM’s discretion). If the character also has the Forage skill in some other capacity from some other source, he also has the knowledge necessary for gathering his own materials and rendering his own ink, even to powdering it for storage and later reconstitution.

Though often considered to be an inseparable part of one’s language skills, in the period of the game that simply is not true. The ability to write, especially with a fine, neat hand, is considered a highly skilled craft, generally reserved to the clergy and professional scriveners and secretaries, all trained in the schools administered by the church, or at least the “college prep” schools set up by the various trades and crafts in the towns for training their children and apprentices in the needs for reading, writing, and languages of their class and station. It is the regular practice among the commons to go to a scrivener’s shop to have one’s correspondence neatly written when one cannot afford to keep one on staff at home.

In terms of the character’s actual facility with the quill, this skill makes the character familiar with all conventional text forms for scribing documents and script forms for scribing correspondence, and enable him to render them fairly well. The higher the SL the better the result. The results accompanying an AV of 12 is what most patrons expect if/when the Scrivener character finds a need to seek employment as a means of steady pay in a dry-spell.

The Scrivener character is only able to compose original works for and take dictation from their clients in those languages with which the Scrivener is also a Literatus (copying over), or literate Linguist (taking dictation). It is quite possible to be a Scrivener and not be able to read at all, but to spend all of one’s time copying the works of others. This is especially true among monastic scriptoriums and copy rooms of book makers in university towns, where a great number of certain tracts or whole academic books must be made available for students’ use.

Under optimum circumstances, with good lighting and a good surface and materials to work with, a character is able to scribe up to [(CRD + SL) ÷ 4] pages per AWA activity-slot he devotes to the task each day. The character must cut himself a new quill after every [(CRD ÷ 4) + SL] pages he scribes.

In order to be able to engage in rubrication, illumination, or fancy engrossing and artistic calligraphic initial capitals at the openings to chapters or frontispieces to a book or its sub-sections, the character must have the Craftsman-Artisan trade specializing as a Limner of miniatures in addition to being a Scrivener.

The attmod. for writing is based on the character’s CRD score.

IF the character is an Artisan, regardless of the craft to which it is related, that trade grants him a bonus based on the Artisan trade SL to all work he assays as a Scrivener, as well.

 

GM’s Notes

The DV for scribing a page should be equal to the number of the page worked on, starting with 1 for the first and working upwards from there. When a mistake is made, the character should be allowed one additional check vs. the same DV to correct it. If that is failed, the page must be discarded and done over. Each attempt to correct a mistake should also be added to the accumulating DV whether it is successful or not when moving on to any additional pages. The DV stops accumulating and returns to 1 only after the scrivener has taken a break of no less than the current DV in minutes.

The GM should have any letters a character dictates to a scribe or writes himself written out by the player on plain unlined paper to approximate its length in script. The volume of paper covered should be multiplied by four for any proper textwriter’s style, such as might be used for formal declarations, invitations, or legal instruments, mercantile contracts, or other documents or instruments of a similar nature, or only doubled if a style like Carolingian Miniscule is specified to save space.

To determine the success of rubrication, illumination, or fancy engrossing and artistic calligraphic initial capitals at the openings to chapters or frontispieces to a book or its sub-sections, the GM should follow the guidelines provided for the Craftsman-Artisan trade.

 

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