Using a scroll doesn't take any material components. Instead, these were used up when scribing the scroll. However, other than that the book isn't exactly clear on what one must provide in order to use a scroll.

I am not talking about the requirements to be able to use a scroll. I am talking about what is needed to actually use it. For example, does a scroll still require verbal and/or somatic components? Is use of a scroll always a set amount of time, or does it take an amount of time equal to the casting time of the original spell?


Spell completion is the activation method for scrolls. In the Core Rules it says:

A scroll is a spell that is mostly finished. The preparation is done for the caster, so no preparation time is needed beforehand as with normal spellcasting. All that’s left to do is perform the finishing parts of the spellcasting (the final gestures, words, and so on).

So even if it´s just the final parts of them, verbal and somatic components are still required.

The time that is needed to activate a spell from a scroll is identical with the time that is normally needed to cast it. I got this piece of information from Skip Williams Rules of the Game article on using magic items (I know, that´s not RAW (... but it´s helpful)):

If the spell contained in a spell completion item has a casting time other than 1 standard action, that is its activation time. For example, a scroll containing a summon monster I spell has an activation time of 1 round because that's the casting time for the spell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I disagree; the general failure of the Rules of the Game articles to be accurate means they are not helpful—you still have to double-check what the actual rules are, so Skip’s commentary doesn’t really help. This is addressed explicitly in both the core rules and Rules Compendium, and if I remember correctly, there is a discrepancy between them that ought to be in this answer if you are going to talk about the activation time of scrolls. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 21 '19 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there any difference between "Activation time" and "casting time"? Because now, it just makes me think that using the scroll still takes a standard action, and then the scroll will take effect after its "activation time" of 10 minutes no matter what happens to whomever activated it. \$\endgroup\$ – Arthaban Nov 21 '19 at 18:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ No. „Activating a scroll takes the same amount of time as the casting time of the spell stored on the scroll“ (Rules Compendium, p. 85) ( - So here is the reliable source …) \$\endgroup\$ – Peregrin Took Nov 21 '19 at 21:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ The PHB lists "Read Scroll" as a standard action - not taking into account the casting time of the spell. This touches the general discussion whether the Rules Compendium revises/overrides the Core Rules. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/37466/… \$\endgroup\$ – Giorin Nov 24 '19 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ While unpopular in some circles, the main FAQ agrees with the Rules Compendium. \$\endgroup\$ – joedragons Nov 26 '19 at 22:40

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