I'm a bit confused because the section on Magic Items that talks about scrolls being Spell Completion items states;

If he can't already cast the spell, there's a chance he'll make a mistake.

Then the Scrolls section states 3 conditions to use scrolls;

To have any chance of activating a scroll spell, the scroll user must meet the following requirements.

  • The spell must be of the correct type (arcane or divine). Arcane spellcasters (wizards, sorcerers, and bards) can only use scrolls containing arcane spells, and divine spellcasters (clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers) can only use scrolls containing divine spells. (The type of scroll a character creates is also determined by his class.)
  • The user must have the spell on her class list.
  • The user must have the requisite ability score.

Emphasis mine. So does that mean that a sorcerer can use any scroll as long as the scroll's spell comes from the wizard/sorcerer spell list, or will there be a problem when using a scroll of a spell he does not know.

I would assume the same also applies to a bard?


1 Answer 1


Sorcerers can use a scroll of a Sorcerer/Wizard spell they do not know.

The "If he can't already cast the spell" line that causes you confusion is more clear in context:

To use a spell completion item safely, a character must be of high enough level in the right class to cast the spell already. If he can't already cast the spell, there's a chance he'll make a mistake.

It refers to the Sorcerer's class level, the character's potential to learn and cast such a spell.

The clause you emphasized in the second quote, "The user must have the spell on her class list", reinforces this. It mentions that the spell must be on the correct list (in this case, the Sor/Wiz) list. It need not be on that Sorcerer's list of spells known - that would be a more stringent condition. Luckily for Sorcerers, that's not the case.

And yes, the same applies to Bards.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Since you mention bards, I just wanted to note that they have to have arcane cure spells on scrolls - they can't share with the cleric, but they can with the witch. Likewise a bard's cure scrolls can't be used by the cleric. Wands are a different story. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Jul 21, 2014 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bobson Pathfinder doesn't really make the distinction between arcane and divine scrolls. In fact, this is mandated in official PFS play: "For the sake of simplicity, there is no difference between an arcane and divine scroll or wand." Guide to PFS Organized Play, p. 24. \$\endgroup\$
    – Paul Z
    Jul 21, 2014 at 14:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PaulZ - Interesting. The system explicitly does (as per the quote in the OP), but I hadn't realized that PFS did away with that. Not that my characters use many scrolls. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Jul 21, 2014 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bobson note that you still can share scrolls like that, but at least one of the casters will need to making UMD checks. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 2, 2015 at 1:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer - True, but once you bring in UMD, you can share spells with the party rogue (or fighter) the same way. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Mar 2, 2015 at 15:51

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