How can a character create a Spell Scroll?
I've read through the DMG, and the section "Creating a Magic Item" on p.284 is about creating the design of a magic item "type", rather than create an actual magic item
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Xanathar's Guide to Everything adds optional rules for creating spell scrolls. They can be found on page 133, but I'll highlight the basics here.
A character must have proficiency with the Arcana skill as well as the spell prepared/known and must have the material components required to cast the spell.
The cost to scribe a spell scroll is in gold required and time taken. See chart below, all Cantrips scribed are cast as if the caster were 1st level.
|Level||Time Cost||Gold Cost|
|Cantrip||1 day||15 gp|
|1st||1 day||25 gp|
|2nd||3 days||250 gp|
|3rd||1 week||500 gp|
|4th||2 weeks||2,500 gp|
|5th||4 weeks||5,000 gp|
|6th||8 weeks||15,000 gp|
|7th||16 weeks||25,000 gp|
|8th||32 weeks||50,000 gp|
|9th||48 weeks||250,000 gp|
The Create a Magic Item section on page 284 of the Dungeon Master's Guide is for the Dungeon Master not PCs. It's there to help the DM create a homebrew magic item that doesn't already exist in the rules.
PCs have to craft magic items in their downtime (if the DM allows them to), rules for which can be found in the Crafting a Magic Item section on page 128 of the aforementioned DMG, or (for spell scrolls specifically) on page 133 of Xanathar's Guide to Everything.
While this question has been asked and answered: it is completely up to the GM. As a GM I find the guidelines in Xanathar's Guide to be unreachable. The prices provided do not match up with magic item cost guidelines provided in the DMG.
If your campaign allows for trade in magic items, rarity can also help you set prices for them. As the DM, you determine the value of an individual magic item based on its rarity. Suggested values are provided in the Magic Item Rarity table. The value of a consumable item, such as a potion or scroll, is typically half the value of a permanent item of the same rarity.
DMG Page 135
|Common||1st or higher||50-100 gp|
|Uncommon||1st or higher||101-500 gp|
|Rare||5th or higher||501 -5,000 gp|
|Very rare||11th or higher||5,001 - 50,000 gp|
|Legendary||17th or higher||50,001+ gp|
DMG Page 200
|Spell||Level Rarity||Save DC||Attack Bonus|
These tables lead you to the "value" of the scroll, not the cost to create. The creation cost would have to be lower than the value, or no one would sell at such low prices. If Xanathar's Guide to pricing of scroll cost was used, the value of the scrolls would be much higher. At 250,000 gp for a 9th level spell keep in mind that you have this from the Player's Handbook.
PHB Page 114
Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher Each time you gain a wizard level, you can add two wizard spells o f your choice to your spellbook. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the Wizard table.
The system is giving the player two spells per level, for free. It is assumed that players are researching these spells while they are adventuring. So if you utilize Xanathar's pricing guide, then your wizards are somehow coming across 500,000 gp or each level from 17 to 20th and beyond.
Perhaps utilize Xanathar's Guide for the creation of a new customized spell the player wants, while sticking to the DMG guidelines for the creation of scrolls the player already knows.
If you follow the guideline of previous editions and the crafting of things costs half its value, you would instead get a table that looked like this.
|Rare||251 -2,500 gp|
|Very rare||2,501 - 25,000 gp|
Be sure to add in the additional cost of material components for a spell without halving that. 100gp of diamond dust is still 100gp of diamond dust... unless you're crafting it (ie mining it from the ground). But let's not go into the outrageous pricing of gems. =)
This is what I was able to figure out for COST to scribe a scroll, comparing the DMG and XGtE methods. The DMG actually has 2 tables for costs: 1 for Crafting Magic Items (p.129) and the one JamesA quotes, called Magic Item Rarity (p.135).
JamesA's table has a column called "Value" and is in the Treasure chapter just above the "Buying and Selling" section, so that seems more like market PRICE (as opposed to cost).
The p.129 table has a column literally labeled "Creation Cost", so that's what I'm using. The DMG also mentions that cost for consumables (scrolls) are halved, but it also says time is based on cost. I am assuming therefore that the time is also halved. In the table below, I have already cut the cost and time in half.
Overall, I think the monetary costs are very similar, but the times vary dramatically.
|0||50 gp/2 days||15 gp/1 day|
|1||50 gp/2 days||25 gp/1 day|
|2||250 gp/10 days||250 gp/3 days|
|3||250 gp/10 days||500 gp/1 workweek|
|4||2500 gp/100 days (3+ mos)||2500 gp/2 workweeks|
|5||2500 gp/100 days||5000 gp/4 workweeks (1 mo)|
|6||25k gp/1000 days (3- yrs)||15k gp/8 workweeks (2 mos)|
|7||25k gp/1000 days||25k gp/16 workweeks (4 mos)|
|8||25k gp/1000 days||50k gp/32 workweeks (8 mos)|
|9||250k gp/10k days (27 yrs)||250k gp/48 workweeks (1 yr)|