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I am DMing a game in which one of the main plot elements involves multiple different factions (several different groups of NPCs in addition to the PCs) searching for pages of a powerful book of lore that was torn apart centuries ago. It is inevitable that the PCs eventually find pages due to the nature of this plot.

My question is about how to implement these pages mechanically and physically. Should I put actual information (images of the planes, true names of demons, portal locations, etc.) in the pages, or should I have them be more mechanical in nature (give bonuses, unlock abilities, etc.)? I think it would be engaging and fun for them if I were able to make physical copies of the pages for them to look at, but I also am not sure if I would be able to think of enough viable information for that to be realistically possible.

What is a good way to implement pages of secrets to players?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Xirema, Rubiksmoose, Miniman, Trish, KorvinStarmast Oct 16 '18 at 21:42

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Idea Generation topics are generally off-topic for this site, because they don't really work well for this format. We can't determine whether any one idea was better than any other, because such things are inherently opinion-based. This sort of question is better taken to a forum. Alternately, if you gain at least 20 rep, you can join us in the RPG.SE chat, where it's a lot more likely we'll be able to help you. \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Oct 16 '18 at 21:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another alternative is if you present specific, detailed ideas you have for implementing these pages, this question will be more on-topic, since we can then provide feedback on whether they are good or bad in terms of balance, player engagement, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Oct 16 '18 at 21:11
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Each Page is a Reusable Scroll

My idea is to have each page be a scroll that has reduced caster requirements allowing the spell written on it to be cast once per day. The scroll is reusable (instead of consumable as per normal). This will allow the group to have access to spells that they normally wouldn't be able to (thus the power).

Artistically you could write the words of the spell (make them up) on a paper and add several runes and filigree to it (which allows for the reusable nature of the page).

The incentive to collect them all is that if all the pages are found and studied, then the owners could unlock the secrets of these runes and be able to produce this type of scroll for any spell that a caster knows the words to cast.

I once used a collection of equip-able items (not book pages) with these types of runes and the items themselves had once per day abilities. I made the abilities be strange types of spells that were integral for solving other puzzles I put to them rather than combat. It made for a very fun and flavorful campaign.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you used this method before? How did it work out in practice? Answers like this should be backed up with experience \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Oct 16 '18 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ For me it was a collection of equip-able items (not book pages) with these types of runes and the items themselves had once per day abilities. I made the abilities be strange types of spells that were integral for solving other puzzles I put to them rather than combat. It made for a very fun and flavorful campaign. \$\endgroup\$ – Mathaddict Oct 16 '18 at 21:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Add that to your answer. It lends some credence to your idea:) \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Oct 16 '18 at 21:28

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