If a spell has a casting time of one swift action, does a scroll of that spell also take a swift action to activate, or does it still take a standard action?


1 Answer 1


Even if it's a scroll of a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action

A Scroll Takes a Standard Action to Use...

According to the Dungeon Master's Guide

Activating a spell completion item [like a scroll] is a standard action and provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does. (213)

...Unless One Uses the Rules Compendium

According to the Rules Compendium

Activating a scroll takes the same amount of time as the casting time of the spell stored on the scroll and provokes attacks of opportunity as spellcasting does. (85)

Talk to the DM. Battles rage over the rules in the Rules Compendium.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Rules compendium isn't really something you should decide to use or not. It's considered to be a primary source, so it's akin to an errata. This is particularly true in this case: when the DMG was written, the swift action was not a thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    May 9, 2014 at 11:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel If you don’t have the Rules Compendium, it’s pretty hard to use it or consider it “in play.” Furthermore, from a super-strict RAW perspective, it has been argued (not by me!) that the Errata rules don’t actually let a book claim errata privileges, that only actual errata can do that, meaning the DMG is still the primary source even though RC says it is, because the errata file itself is the primary source on what is or is not primary and thus RC’s contradiction of that is invalid. Which is a kind of insane argument, but some people didn’t like some of RC’s changes. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    May 9, 2014 at 13:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan [Citation needed]. Or perhaps just some further context. \$\endgroup\$
    – Etheryte
    May 9, 2014 at 14:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Nit You can totally ask the question Does the Rules Compendium overrule the core books?, grab a beer, and watch the firworks. It's an important enough question that here's not really the place to address it. \$\endgroup\$ May 9, 2014 at 17:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dr.Bak I'm not sure it's contradicting so much as repeating? "[T]he casting time of a spell is the time required to activate the same power in… a scroll," it says first, then it says, "Activating a spell completion item is a standard action" (DMG 213). Both sections allow for exceptional scrolls. (Scrolls that didn't contain spells but protected character from monsters, for example, were prevalent in prior editions, so perhaps this is future-proofing?) If there's a contradiction that you're seeing that I'm missing, though, please, (ahem) spell it out. :-) \$\endgroup\$ May 28, 2022 at 14:08

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