Material required? None
80/100 giving extra checks? Yes
Obtainable in game? Yes
Wishable Yes

The primary skill to read and write scrolls, and to read spellbooks and other texts. The skill value also governs the PC's chance to read unidentified scrolls successfully.

Manual info[]

This skill governs your ability to read and write texts. If your learning score is at least 10 and you are neither a Barbarian nor a Beastfighter, you will receive this skill for free.


The skill determines the PC's chance of successfully reading unidentified scrolls. A successful check will result in the magical effect of the scroll being activated when it is read. A failed check may sometimes result in the scroll disappearing completely without being activated, if the scroll would have had a once-off magical effect (e.g. a failed Literacy check might destroy a scroll of corruption removal, but not the papyrus scroll or scroll of warning).

The skill is a major factor in the PC's ability to read spellbooks. It also has a minor effect on the number of castings recieved per read. Note that a failed check in this case is likely to just return a "don't manage to decipher" message, while negative effects of reading spellbooks appear to be more related to the B/U/C status of the spellbook, and possibly the PC's Concentration skill value.

Literacy also affects the chance to successfully write scrolls using a magical writing set. This seems to be similar to book reading chances (depending on the book or scroll), and is influenced by extra checks — so raising literacy to at least to 80 is recommended before writing anything. Keep in mind that at low levels of skill there is a good chance of destroying a writing set independently of the number of charges left.

Literacy is also required to read a number of other things: graves, other books, and fortune cookies.

Advanced uses[]

Literacy is a unique skill due to how it can be affected by dark sage corpses:

  • It can be learned by eating non-cursed dark sage corpses.
  • Cursed dark sage corpses reduce literacy by a rather significant amount that is not dependant on stats and skill dice (5-6 corpses might be enough to go from 100 to zero). While dropping down in skill value, the PC actually gets an increase in the dice roll for advancing the skill (analogous to the reduction in dice for every 10 points in a skill).

It is possible to reduce the skill to zero (unskilled). At zero the PC can't read unidentified scrolls, and reading spellbooks always results in a "don't manage to decipher" message with no negative effects. There is no known way to naturally train the skill while it is at zero.


The skill is granted if the PC is generated with Learning score of at least 10. This does not apply for Barbarians or Beastfighters, though they can get the skill racially.

Races that train in literacy, thus guaranteeing it for PCs of any class or intelligence: High Elf, Gray Elf, Mist Elf.

Classes that train in literacy regardless of starting learning score: Druid, Elementalist, Healer, Merchant, Mindcrafter, Monk, Necromancer, Paladin, Priest, Wizard.

Otherwise, the skill might be gained by eating a dark sage corpse, by drinking the potion of literacy, or by accepting the Weird tome from the Ghost librarian.

Thrundarr will provide a potion of literacy to illiterate characters and characters with a literacy score below 50 upon completion of his first quest.


There are various methods for training literacy:

  • Reading documents such as books and scrolls appears to train this skill, though reading reusable scrolls such as the ratling pamphlet seems to have little effect.
  • Successfully reading graves is an effective method for training literacy.
  • Drinking the potion of literacy will substantially increase the PC's literacy score.
  • Accepting the Ghost librarian's quest will increase the PC's literacy score.