House Rules - Runes


Not sure if this is going to be much use to folk, but its how I'm handling runes to give a bit more Gloranthy feel/flavour till the Gloranthan Magic/Cult books hit the shops - it may be useful it may not.

Child Runes
The parent receives half the bonus granted by child runes if applicable,
May cast spells associated to child rune at parent rune casting% / 2
Effects are not Cumulative

Opposed Runes
These runes may not be integrated if this rune is a rune opposed to it is integrated (However certain conitional Runes allow this integration).

Subjugated Rune
Any spells that targets a creature associated to the subjugated Rune suffers a –15% penalty on attempts to resist or counter spell them.

Modified Rues

Elemental Runes
Subjugated Rune: Water
Child Rune: Shadow, Taker, And Cold

Subjugated Rune: Earth
Child Rune: Ice

Subjugated Rune: Air

Child Rune: Heat, Light
Subjugated Rune: Darkness, Shadow, Taker, Cold

Subjugated Rune: Fire, Light, Heat

Power: Allows the integration of opposing runes. The rune casting of the opposed runes is limited/caped by the characters Moon Rune Casting.
Also considered a coditional rune.

Conditional Runes
Power: Removes restriction form the integration of opposing runes without limit on casting %.
POWx 1% chance of gaining a chaotic feature.
Restrictions: Tainted by chaos
Each 10% learnt in Rune casting of Chaos gives a +1% of being detected as chaotic.

(Upward pointing arrow)
Power: Any spells cast by the Rune Touched with a instant
trait inflict a –30% penalty on attempts to resist or counter spell them.

(an X)
Power: Once each day the Rune touched may draw 1d3 magic points from a target.
Allows the integration of opposing runes. The rune casting of the opposed runes is limited/caped by the characters sacrifice Rune Casting/2.

All form runes
plant, Man, Beast, Dragon, Dragonnewt, Undeath runes
General: Any spells that target a creature associated to the Form Rune inflicts a –30% penalty on attempts to resist or counter spell them.

Opposing Runes
(Opposed pairs may not be integrated together without a suitable conditional rune being integrated first)
Luck- Fate
Illusion - Truth
Fertility-Death (both opposed to undeath)
Stasis - Movement
Harmony- Disorder
Trade - Taker
Light - Shadow
Heat - Cold

Other Options
Runes once integrated, the Rune is permently integrated, at the heroes death the Rune remains integrated, going with the Hero the appropiriate afterlife.
Each rune has a Runecasting -90% that the site of death will spawn that Rune.
Rune so spawned are born by the site every 10-50 years dependant on the nature of the hero.
Typically such places become places of worship and enshrined.

Hope its useful to someone :)
Obviously, how you handle runes and rune magic is going to depend on the specifics of your campaign. The biggest issue I see is the commonality of said runes. The spells themselves are essentially re-writes of older RQ spirit magic (or battle magic as it was known even earlier). That was the most "common" form of magic available to adventureres. Pretty much anyone could learn it, and pretty much everyone did.

Which would not be a problem except that there's a disconnect between the relative power of those spells (they're identical in most cases to the earler "common" spells, right?), and the process and powers involved in integrating runes. It's kind of like requiring that someone perform a heroquest that alters their very magical nature just so they can use a simple spell. It just seems kinda "strange" to me.

The way I'd likely handle it is to separate the concept of rune integration and the casting of rune magic entirely. Why not just say that runes are relatively rare and grant special powers to those who integrate them, including the special benefits in the core rules, but also adding the ability to teach others spells based on that rune (for whatever price the market will bear, which basically means whatever you think is appropriate for your campaign).

Doing it that way, you can have "heroes" who have integrated runes and are the source of spell knowledge for everyone else. They're common enough that every town will have a few people with integrated runes to learn magic from (and certainly temples might have several), but uncommon enough that not everyone's going to have the special abilities that they grant. When integrated they become a physical part of the person, but will appear when that peson dies. This allows temples and magician schools to maintain the ability to continue to teach rune spells to their members/followers as long as they can retain the runes when their head members die off.

They can also be obtained by adventurers by killing off powerful foes (but not just any old broo with a few spells). They have to take out the high priest of a temple to get runes, not just a few minions. This can also open up doors for adventure ideas as well. Let's say the local healer has been killed and her runes stolen. The clock is running. The adventurers will have to track down the assassins and recover the runes or the town will lose its source of healing rune magic forever (or until someone else with appropriate runes settles there). Politics can get involved as well. City states might actually fight with eachother and hatch plots to steal away rune integrated people in order to increase their own status.

That's how I'd do it anyway...
We've also be allowing the cult to grant 'pseudo' Runes - Thus an initated or higher can learn the Rune casting skills for his gods runes, and is also allowed access to the associated spells that his local priest can teach.
(We've been thinking about changing the Rune Casting% to equal theology score)

This reduces the 'super powers' of the runes, and the requirement to flood the world with runes, making the runes far more sought after and 'Special'

Using a similar thing with Shaman - Spirits of Ancestors and 'things' have inherent Runes - allowing the shaman to learn cast spirit spells - this'll get used until Mongoose release there take on shaman.

The Runic associations are based on Glorantha and the structures put forward in RQ 2/3 - it is for use in a 3rd Age campaign I was planning on kicking off.

It would be nice to dee how it plays over an extended campaign - I do have concerns but best keep an open mind.