On Orlantia, Barbarians from the western third of the northern continent of Tor have a distinctly Norse-Like culture. As this continent is mostly tundra - except along the southern coastlines - most humans there live along this coast and make much of their living from the sea. The kingdom there is actually ruled by frost giants and a giant society, and the humans (who use these runic magics) live along the coast but within this kingdom, mostly at peace with these giants, but sometimes . . . well, things happen.
Now there just happens to be an exceedingly powerful current flowing southwest about 20 miles off the coast of the Kingdom of Fridgell. It would be rare to go so far out to sea in coasters - the prevalent craft of that culture - but it sometimes accidentally happens due to fog and poor navigation, storms, or other possible reasons. Once caught up in Larimen's River - the name given to this current - oar power alone will never be able to fight a small ship back to Fridgell. It would be a death sentence, except the Imperial Continent lay to the southwest approximately 350 miles away. The current itself will carry a coaster there in about 72 hours, and if one were actually rowing with the current and toward this continent, landfall could be achieve in as little as 48 hours.
The point of that bit of knowledge only serves to show how a similar Norse-Like culture probably arose on the Imperial Continent, north of the Scale Mountain Range, and well past the lands of the Mostoli Dwarves. And, of course, the reason why we are looking at these cultures is because of their almost unique use of Runic Magic.
The Local Map (The Immediate Area Around The Alodarian Empire and the Western half of the Imperial Continent.)
The Local Map (The Eastern half of the Imperial Continent)
The World Map (An Overview Of The Continents Of Orlantia, Their Outline And Shape.)
Today, naturally enough, improved knowledge, better designed ships, and superior navigation all make it possible to avoid Larimen's River - unless you want to use it - and the connection between the two cultures is now purposeful and two-way with the use of more seaworthy vessels. The fact these two cultures were separated for over three hundred years before better techniques reunited them can be seen in subtle differences between them, but they both employ Runic Magic with equal effectiveness, thus indicating this has been part of both their cultures for over three centuries.
Runes are naturally occurring forces of the universe. Their secret is known only to a chosen few. They are found in Norse Mythology more than anywhere else. Odin, All Father of the Norse gods, for example, hung himself from a tree for nine days and gained the secret to all Runes.
The powers of the Runes range from very weak to unimaginably powerful, and from the extremely trivial to the highly useful. Those who have access to Runic power probably master only one or two Runes, and even then, the less powerful of those.
Runic Magic is usually employed through the use of tattoos. The Runes are inscribed on the skin, and a subsequent scratch on the tattoo to darken them with blood at the appropriate time, along with concentration upon the Rune, will manifest the power in the desired fashion.
Of the Runes that may be found, healing Runes are the most common. It is believed the actual shapes or Runes have some natural and intrinsic resonance with the universe, and as such they have a distinct power or effect on their surroundings. Yet it is typically the case that though these Runes will have a desirable effect, it often leaves the caster somewhat fatigued.
No one knows why, but the Runes are discovered most often when they visit an individual in their dreams. It is there one may learn their secret shape and glimpse the barest understanding of their true connection to the universe. It is said one shares Odin's vision when this happens. Knowing the shape alone will not suffice to utilize their power, however, which is why Runes cannot simply be taught to anyone, or freely exchanged. One must typically have received this vision in a dream to work the Runic Magic since both shape and understanding of its nature are required. To date, no one has been able to adequately explain their dream's vision and also impart the necessary understanding to another so this third party could employ the Runic magic as well. You either get this in a dream or you probably never get it at all.
Oddly enough, it is only those who spend considerable time in this culture who are ever blessed with such dreams. You need not be native, but it helps. Yet if one spends a few years immersed in the culture, or even simply adventuring in those northern lands, such dreams may occur to these visitors.
NOTE: On other worlds, the DM may have Runic powers in other cultures. On Orlantia, however, it is mostly the Norse-Like cultures of the north. Though barbarians from this area are well known, ALL classes are possible. Furthermore, anyone who worships a Norse god is entitled to a roll to see if they may have access to Runic powers. It is NOT the case one must be a barbarian or must come from this area - barbarians and natives are just more likely to have these powers - that's all.
Most often, an individual will only be visited once in their entire lifetime with such a dream. Rarely will you find those with multiple Runes at their command - not counting Runic Priests.
The culture holds that if one is so blessed in a dream, they should immediately draw the image's shape, and later get a tattoo of that shape somewhere on their body - usually on the arm opposite their strong arm to make it easier to use. Once this is done, by scratching the lines of the Runic tattoo with a sharpened metal stylus or dagger's point, actually breaking the skin and drawing blood, the Rune's power may be released through proper mental concentration. This process only takes one round's action. The effect takes place the following round, but one is free to do anything they wish in that round. A side effect of the power always heals the scratches the stylus or dagger made, so infection or later pain is hardly ever a problem.
Unlike most disciplines that favor the strong, the quick, the intelligent, the wise, the hearty, or what have you, a Runic vision can visit anyone at anytime - though usually only adults. Non adventurers, therefore, possess Runes with equal likelihood as adventurers. This is about 1% of the population.
NOTE: If the DM allows for Runic Magic in their game, under direct DM supervision, a player in the appropriate culture or with the appropriate exposure to said culture may roll 1d100. If double zero (00) appears, they will be visited with a Runic vision. If 01 to 99 comes up, this character will never have such a vision.
This roll does not happen automatically. A character must deliberately attempt this dream quest. A brief ritual may be involved - usually after fasting for a day and then praying to one of the Norse gods. When the applicant next falls asleep, their dream spirit will go on this quest of discovery. Most fail to find anything (01 - 99). Some few (00), however, will be enlightened, and may continue to be enlightened periodically thereafter. Even fewer may 'touch the eye of Odin,' as it is said, and have the option to become Runic Priests. As no one is forced to go on this dream quest at any particular time or by any specific age, it may happen almost anytime in one's life. Usually, however, sooner is better, and those with strong connections to this culture are encouraged to make the attempt early.
If 00 did appear, roll 1d100 again, and if 00 appears a second time, they may become a Runic Priest in addition to their other class or classes. More on this later.
For those who rolled only one 00, they should now roll 1d6. If a 6 appears, they will receive a second Rune. Roll 1d6 again. Another 6 means a third Rune. Keep rolling 1d6 until you fail to roll a 6. Once the d6 rolls a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, stop rolling; you're done. Your PC will eventually gain the number of Runes equal to 1 plus the number of 6's they rolled. No one shall ever receive more than 6 total Runes in this fashion, no matter how many 6's they roll.
Though the player may see how many Runes their PC will eventually acquire at this time, they only receive one Rune at a time. If a DM wishes a player to remain in the dark about how many Runes their character will eventually get, do not roll now, but let them roll the d6 each time they go up a level - until they fail to roll a 6, in which case they never roll again - they are done. If the roll is a 6, they will get another Runic spell for that level in addition to any other normal class abilities. Next level, roll again as before. Should they ever roll other than a 6, they are done and will receive no more Runic visions no matter how many more levels they might achieve. Should they actually get 6 Runic spells, they are done then, too, as they have reached their limit.
For non-adventurers, instead of this happening when they go up a level, it happens almost randomly instead - the DM will decide when, but once/year is about right. For adventurers, they get one Rune immediately, and one Rune - if they still have any coming - each time they go up a level, or each time they roll a 6, until all Runes they have coming are received.
EXAMPLE: Kaylee of Korum rolled 00 after her vision quests - her second 1d100 roll was 45, so see cannot become a Runic Priest. Since she did this while training in her arcane wizardry studies, she gets one Runic spell right now, at 0th level. Each level thereafter, the DM has Kaylee's player roll 1d6. At 1st level, she does this and receives a 6 - Hurray! Kaylee is granted a second dream vision at this time in her life. Later, when she achieves 2nd level, another roll comes up with another 6 - Fantastic! Kaylee is about one in 216, or about as rare as someone with an 18 statistic. She now has three Runic Spells. At 3rd level, her player rolls again and gets a 4. Oh oh. Well, Kaylee did far better than most. Forever after, Kaylee will have only those three Runic Spells. Of course she is a Wizard in her own rite, so these Runic abilities are just nice supplemental powers, and hardly something to complain about ;-)
Those who may employ Runic magic but are not Runic Priests are known as Runic Novitiates, or just Novitiates. They employ the same spells as Runic Priests, but are always considered 1st level for this purpose, no matter what their actual level.
NOTE: For a Novitiate, the odds of having 6 Runic spells is 1 in 7,776, so as you can see, this is quite rare.
NOTE: Each Rune may only be employed once/day, unless you are a Runic Priest.
'Casting' Runic Spells draws upon one's personal energy and stamina. Each time a Novitiate does this, it leaves the caster fatigued for a number of minutes equal to (20 - CHA + N), where N equals the number of other Runic spells they had cast within the last 24 hours.
EXAMPLE: Eric the Blonde has a CHA of 15 - and he has 3 Runic spells, the lucky S.O.B. After casting his first one, a Light Healing Rune, he is fatigued for (20 - 15 + 0), or 5 minutes, or 50 rounds. During this time, his attack rolls are at -1 and his AC is at -1 penalty, as well - this is given in terms of 3e combat, so these are penalties, naturally. This is why Eric rarely casts this Rune unless he feels he will later have time to rest.
NOTE: This system was written for 3e, but may easily be adapted to 2e games. No details are given, however, as the game mechanical differences should be obvious.
Now Eric may employ another Runic spell before he is fully rested, but if he does, each additional use will further fatigue him and always subtract another 1 from whatever penalty is left to his attack and AC, plus add an additional (20 - CHA + N) minutes to his fatigue clock.
EXAMPLE: Eric finds he needs to cast another Rune before fully rested. Casting his second Rune while he still has 25 rounds to go until he is fully rested, he first adds another (20 - 15 + 1), or 6 minutes, or 60 rounds to his fatigue clock. 60 + 25 = 85 rounds. For the next 85 rounds or 8.5 minutes, Eric will be at -2 to attack and -2 to AC. As you can see, this practice is exhausting if you do not rest. You might think after 25 rounds goes by, he'd be partially rested and back to -1 to attack and -1 to AC, but no; this extra exertion took its toll and the full penalty remains until fully rested. That is why rapid use of Runic magic is not common. Yet, though many rounds may seem like a long time, it is really only a handful of minutes. Unless battle is in progress or eminent, it is usually not a problem to wait. Usually.
For those who rolled 00 twice, they may opt to become Runic Priests. If they do not wish to follow this path, they need not do so. Just give them a bonus of one extra Runic spell and they will receive two Runes immediately, and then allow them to use the d6 method as detailed above to determine how many other Runes they might encounter at later times. They would still be limited to a maximum of 6 Runic spells, however, no matter how many 6's they might roll. If the PC forgoes becoming a Runic Priest, they may not later change their minds, so one should think well before letting this rare opportunity slip past them.
If one wishes to exercise their option to become a Runic Priest, they must use their next level to do so - unless that is their first level, in which case they must use their second level to do so. Instead of going up a level in one of their former classes, they gain one Runic Priest level. This level adds +1 to their REFLEX, FORT, and WILL saving throws, has a Hit Dice of d6 like a rogue, but offers no attack bonus, and no spells for classes like wizard, sorcerer, cleric, etc. This is the only level of Runic Priest they ever have to take. After that, they are considered a Runic Priest at their total character level.
EXAMPLE: If one were a 3rd level wizard, 5th level fighter, 4th level rogue, and had taken a level as a Runic Priest, they would be a (3 + 5 + 4 + 1 = 13) 13th level character as well as a 13th level Runic Priest. This Runic level never factors into any xp penalty for 'uneven' levels or favored class. If using the N level rule, one may take this class without penalty but must then continue in their normal training afterwards.
Runic Priests channel their power more effectively than Novitiates and never become fatigued or incur attack or AC penalties due to casting Runic spells. Upon becoming a Runic Priest, they receive one Runic spell. They will receive an additional Runic spell each time they go up one level, and they may do so without limit - the normal limit of 6 spells does not apply to Runic Priests. If this character is not an adventurer, the DM will randomly determine when this may happen - but once/year is still about right to begin with, but may eventually lessen to once/decade for a non-adventuring NPC Runic Priests. As you may notice, if the ability to become a Runic Priest comes late in a PC's adventuring career, it may be a long, long time before they acquire even a handful of spells. If they do not like this, tough.
Runic Priests have a number of Runic points each day equal to their CHA score. For example, Tarra of Whitemore (CHA 14) could cast up to 14 Runic points' worth of spells each day. More on this later.
As you may notice, Runic Priests have limited power in this fashion, and do not really represent a powerful class unto themselves, but a rare, supplemental power for the adventuring PC, or quite a boon for the non adventuring NPC - and a fun NPC for the DM to play with as well. The DM may add a splash of magic without dealing with the improbability of yet another highly trained classed individual popping up, so it's handy that way, as well.
Such non-adventuring Rune casters are often quite useful to their communities and highly respected or well treated. Sometimes, though, if the Runic Priest goes too far in making magic items, they may become ugly and disagreeable, often becoming hermits and living on the outskirts of town. Though still respected or feared, few people visit them unless they need something, and they are often expected to pay dearly for any service since by then, the Runic Priest may resent such mercenary intrusions into their lives.
NOTE: It should be obvious that Runic powers are mostly rare in the adventuring population, and few PCs will ever really have them. But it should also be equally obvious that many PCs will encounter NPCs who have a Rune or two, and these powers may find their greatest use in the NPC populations. Moreover, one should keep in mind a PC's family member, friend, neighbor, or acquaintance may be a Runic NPC, and all PCs will likely see Runic powers several times during their adventures if the DM includes them on his or her world, so it is something one may wish to know a little about.
Runic Priests do not have to use tattoos on their body, though they may if they so desire. If they wish, they may instead inscribe the Rune on an item they will carry with them. Several Runes may be inscribed on the same item, such as a sturdy staff, a sword, or a shield, for example, though most often each Rune is placed alone on its own item like a ring or a medallion. The Runic Priest simply concentrates on this Runic item, which is called a focus. Each focus takes about one week to make and cost about 10 GP beyond what the item would normally cost, and the Runic Priest may make as many duplicates as they wish. These foci do not carry intrinsic power, however, and have no particular value for non-Rune casters beyond a bit of jewelry or whatnot. Rune Casters who share the same knowledge of the same Runes may employ each other's foci if they wish, or use those they find if they happen to be of Runes they personally already know. No matter how many foci one may have for a particular spell, this does not make it possible to cast the spell more often. They are simply back up copies. Runic Priests may cast spells as often as they wish, as long as they have Runic points to spend. More on this later.
Runic Priests also have the ability to make permanent magic items. This is quite costly, unfortunately, as part of their essence is locked up in the item, and should it become lost, stolen, or destroyed, that's too bad. Each time a Runic Priest makes a permanent Runic magic item, their player permanently subtracts one from their PC's CHA score. The character looks weaker, somewhat drawn, and even 'looks' older, as well as a bit haggard. Obviously, they can only do this a few times before it will take a measurable toll, and their power is based on their CHA score, so they are weaker Runic Priests each time they do this. This CHA is never regained, except possibly through the means that normally and permanently raise one's CHA score. One may never willingly lower their CHA to lower than 3 in this fashion.
EXCEPTION: They may still do this, but it will kill them within 24 hours once their CHA dips below 3. Yet, in that time, they might cast the Gift Rune twice more, the last time taking their CHA to 0 when death will occur the following round. Though this may sound like the actions of a madman, this is often done as it may be an old, dying Runic Priest who wishes to make a few magic items or bestow a Gift Rune (or two or three) as their last acts upon this world. In fact, many Runic Priests see it as their duty to bestow the Gift Rune of Charisma at least once in their lives in the hopes the child will become a Runic priests as a sort of replacement. They may even possibly use their last 2 CHA points to ensure another Runic Priest will arise. See Gift Rune below.
NOTE: Charisma is a combination of will, persuasiveness, and good looks. It should be known when a Runic Priest sacrifices CHA to make magic items or bestow special gifts, it is almost purely their looks that are harmed, and their will and persuasiveness are not as seriously effected. Thus, Runic Priests who have sacrificed many CHA points over the years may look horrible, but still command some measure of persuasiveness. It's just by this time they often live in seclusion and use intermediaries and go-betweens - people they trust and who are quite used to their shocking disfigurements - rather than deal with the public more directly. Thus, it would be a mistake to think, due to their low CHA, no one would pay them heed. Much of the reaction penalties due to this low CHA score may be negated by hiding under a cowl or behind veils, or dealing from behind curtains or in darkened rooms, etc. Elderly Runic Priests have an entire mystique about them. Though Runic Priests may sacrifice CHA at any time, and might do it once or twice while younger, they usually don't do so until much later in life when they are more apt to lead a more settled and secluded existence. Finally, all Runic Priest are blessed - or cursed - insofar as they know when their end is near - if this end is coming due to old age or disease. As such, they will have about one year's notice before such an end, and may act upon this insight, and, barring accidents, often do.
In any event, once such a magic item is constructed, it will faintly radiant of magic under a Detect Magic spell, but any Identify spell will never discern any useful information if cast upon it. Runic Priests will probably recognize it for what it is since they are familiar with all the Runes, even if they can't cast them all. These priests may use this item once/day at no cost, other than one round's concentration, and this is above and beyond any of their other Runic spells they may employ that day. The item will operate at 7th level efficiency if its creator was 7th level or higher, or at its creator's level at the time it was made if they were lower than 7th level.
Novitiates may also employ such magic items once/day by simply concentrating upon them, IF they learn what the Rune is first. They need not actually have the Rune, but must be told what it is. They may have to consult a Runic Priest to find out, unless they already know the Rune. Whether they have that Rune or not, using the magic item has the same fatiguing effect as if they had cast the spell. Remember that the magic item may only be used once/day. If the item is of a Rune the Novitiate already has, they may use the item and still cast their own Rune in the same day.
Finally, Normals - those who do not cast Runic magic at all - may also use such an item once/day, if they have the Rune explained to them by one who knows what it is first. A Normal employing this magic item does NOT become fatigued. Unfortunately, there is a 1% chance of the destruction of the Runic magic item each time the item is employed by a Normal.
NOTE: It should be made clear the item itself may be employed once/day, and NOT that each person may employ it once/day. Many low powered weapons may actually be Runic. A weapon with an Attack Rune on it is a good example. Any Normal may concentrate on the Rune for one round, if they learn what Rune it is first, and then it may act as a +1 weapon for up to 7 rounds - the actual duration depends on the level of the Runic Priest when they made the item; see above. They may do this once/day, so it's kind of nice, even if there is a 1% chance the weapon will be destroyed each time they use its magic. Depending on the type of campaign, whether it is high or low magic, this kind of magic item may have several advantages and adds to the DM's options.
Each time the DM awards a Rune, consult the tables below. Remember that Novitiates may cast each Rune only once/day and at first level power only, but a Runic Priest has as many Runic points each day as they have CHA points. The more points they use for a spell, the more powerful it becomes.
EXAMPLE: Tarra of Whitemore (CHA 14) could cast up to 14 Runic points' worth of Runic spells each day. Let us say she is a 7th level character, and therefore, a 7th level Runic Priest as well. If she casts a Flight Rune, the duration is up to one hour/level. She must decide how long she wants to fly BEFORE she casts the spell. She decides to use 2 points' worth, thus the spell will operate at 2nd level and will last 2 hours. Tarra cannot exceed her ability of 7th level, but she can use less, like she did here. This cost of 2 Runic points is subtracted from her daily limit of 14, leaving her with 12 points left. She next decides to cast the Light Rune, choosing to keep it up for 7 hours, her maximum effort at her current level. This cost 7 points, leaving her with 5 points left. Later in the day, she uses the Attack Rune to augment her friend's spear, making it +1 to hit and +1 to damage for five rounds. Tarra is now out of Runic spell points for the day and can no longer cast Runic magic, though she might still employ a Runic magic item if she has one.
As you can see, Runic points dry up quickly, especially when greatly boosting the power level of some spells.
The DM will tie each Runic Spell Caster to some astronomical marker, such as the sun or moon or whatever, and thus some special time of day will become the set time for that particular caster. It might be quite weird, such a 4:23 P.M. for example, but noon, midnight, dawn, dusk, or some special hour of holy significance is more usual. At this time, they will regain all spent Runic spell points. They never have more than their CHA score, so even if they didn't spend them all during the previous 24-hour period, it doesn't matter. This will mean, however, it is possible a Rune Caster will wait to use a lot of magic in the last hour, and then be fully restored. If they can arrange this to fit their schedule, that's perfectly fine. Bear in mind, though, for the Novitiate, the amount of fatigue is calculated on how many Runes were cast within the last 24 hours, and not on how many were cast in the current 24-hour cycle.
Be mindful that some spells have two level dependent variables, such as the Blast Rune. The Runic Caster only picks and pays for one particular level, and both variables operate at that level. For example, if you wanted to reach something 45 feet away with the Blast Rune, you have to spend at least 5 points, and this will also determine how much damage it does (50 hit points). If you want to hit it softer, you have to get closer first.
Finally, many Runic spells mimic other standard spell like abilities, so if there is some question the Rune write up does not answer, it may be safe to assume it is similar to a standard spell and may fall under the same rules as they do. Despite being of different origins, Runic magic is still magic and may be dispelled, and won't work at all in anti-magic fields.
When a Novitiate or a Runic Priest has a Rune coming, roll on table one using 1d10. A 10 indicates you proceed to table two and roll 1d20. If you receive a 20, roll 1d10 on table three. Whatever Rune your PC eventually gets, that's it. If they ever roll for a Rune they already have, they may either roll again - starting on the same table they were last on - OR they may take the spell again and be able to cast it twice/day. Runic Priests would, naturally, roll again since unlike the Novitiates, they can already cast their spells more than once/day. As you can see, Runic Casters usually are quite limited in their personal selection of Runic spells. But then, this ability is, at best, a supplemental power and was never meant to be a stand-alone class.
OPTIONAL: Runic Priests may be able to pick their Rune when they have another one coming instead of rolling for a random Rune, but this Rune must come from a select, very short DM approved list. As a suggested rule, this list contains only the Light Healing Rune, and the Gift Rune. The DM may include others. Ask your DM.
Remember, as far as Rune spell power is concerned, all Novitiates are always treated as 1st level Runic Priests, no matter what level character they are.
NOTE: Some Runes are not represented in the above tables. The DM may substitute these Runes for others, if so desired, or pick them when indicated.
NOTE: Quantity/level is here given to mean the Runic Priest may cast up to their current level. They may not exceed their current level. And each level of power cost one Runic point. They may not exceed their remaining number of points for the cycle. Some spells may have two variables/level given, but when the spell is cast, both variables will operate at the same chosen level of power.
Attack Rune: This Rune will make any non-magic weapon +1 to hit and +1 to damage for one round/level of the caster when employed. This Rune will not stack with itself or other magic.
Augury Rune: This Rune will cause some planar spirit to answer one yes or no question. The chance of the spirit knowing is 10%/level of the caster. If the spirit knows, they will answer truthfully, and if they do not, they will say as much. Only one question may be asked, and if the spell is employed again in the same day, the same spirit will answer. Thus, if they didn't know the first time, they won't know the second time, so it's useless to ask the same question on the same day.
Beast Rune: This Rune will cause the caster to alter form and become an animal, though their mental faculties remain intact. They might not be able to cast spells in their new form, however. The animal is always the same type, always a normal animal (not fantastic), and always weighs one tenth to twice what the caster normally weighs. The caster may gain the ability to breathe water (if it is a fish, for example) or fly (if a bird, for instance), but their equipment and clothing do not undergo any change. Once the caster picks the animal type, that will forever be the only animal they may ever change into using this Rune. They will NOT gain any newfound ability to communicate with animals of a similar type. The alteration will revert after 1 day/level of the caster when employed, or when the caster wishes if before this time. Once reverted, if they wish to change back, they must employ the spell again.
Blast Rune: This Rune will cause inanimate objects and/or non magical object to take damage, perhaps shattering rock or even twisting steel. Such objects may not be in the actual possession of a living being, as objects so held would be protected, just as living matter is protected. It does about 10 hit points of damage/level of the caster when employed - that is, the same as if you hit the object with a mace for 10 hit points. This may break locks, shatter windows, and gouge wooden furniture or snap thin beams, and similar effects. It may blast open locked doors if they are not overly strong, for example. The object must be within 10 feet/level of the caster when employed. This distance level factor and damage factor is the same level. The DM may or may not assign collateral damage to those standing too close to shattering objects - like glass, or crystal, or splintering wood. If so, this damage would never exceed 1d2/level. Creatures further away than 5 feet from such a shattering object will not be so damaged.
Breath Rune: This Rune allows the recipient to breathe where they normally could not (such as under water, in carbon dioxide or other poisonous atmospheres, etc.) for 1 hour/level of the caster when employed. It does NOT negate the effects of pressure, so water deeper than 50 feet may become quite a problem, causing 1d6 damage per each 10 foot increment or fraction thereof below 50 feet each round they remain at that depth.
Critical Healing Rune: This Rune will heal the recipient for three hit points/level of the caster when employed.
Dart Rune: This Rune will cause one hit point of damage/level of the caster to any target that is both in line of sight and within 10 feet/level of the caster when employed. The target may make a fortitude saving throw, and if successful, will take NO damage.
Death Rune: This Rune will cause a touched creature to die. A successful touch attack must be made vs. its touch AC. This Rune will only effect a creature of one hit dice/level of the caster (or less) when employed. And finally, the creature gets a fortitude saving throw. Success negates the effect.
Eradication Rune: This Rune will cause a small amount of any substance to vanish. Material up to 1 cubic inch/level of the caster may be eradicated. It will not work on living beings or living material or even inanimate material held by living creatures, but if a recipient is willing, it may be employed to remove held matter, poison or foreign material in one's body, or the like. The caster must be familiar with the material in question. i.e. know what poison it was, what item it is (like a swallowed marble) or the like.
Flight Rune: This Rune imparts the ability to levitate, hover, or fly (similar to the Fly spell) to the recipient for up to one hour/level of the caster when employed. For each 50 pounds beyond the recipient's normal body weight, subtract one hour from the duration. Thus, nearly anything beyond one's clothing and a few pounds of equipment is prohibitive, and carrying other people is nearly impossible. Like the Fly spell, this spell also imparts the ability to swim quite well during its duration.
Fog Rune: This Rune will produce a fog of water vapor measuring 1000 cubit feet/level of the caster when employed, and will stand, baring strong winds, for one minute/level, or 10 rounds/level, of the caster before dissipating.
Gift Rune: This Rune is rather powerful and rarely given as it carries a high penalty for the caster. The penalty may take several forms, but is usually the permanent loss of one point of CHA, OR one level of experience, OR 3 years of the caster's life (if the caster is going to die of old age before 3 years, this last method of payment will not work). It may only be cast upon a recently born sentient creature (most often a new born baby) and upon it will be bestowed a great gift. (The baby must have been born within one day/level of the caster when employed). The creature will grow up with one augmented statistic. It will eventually mature into an 18, but whether it is for STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, or CHA is the caster's choice. This spell is stackable. If the Rune Caster wished to, they could pay for the spell several times and really give an individual a fantastic head start. The Gift Rune has one other effect. If CHA was chosen, the recipient will automatically be a Novitiate upon reaching majority age, and if they roll 00, may become a Runic Priest. In fact, if the Gift of CHA is given twice to the same individual, they WILL become a Runic Priest upon becoming an adult (no roll is required). As a last act on this world, many Runic priests feel it is their duty to grant the CHA gift twice to a baby so a replacement is assured for that priest's community.
Health Rune: This Rune increases the CON score of the target creature by 1. This effect lasts one hour/level of the caster when employed.
Ice Rune: This Rune will freeze 1 cubic foot of already present water/level of the caster when employed, or produce 1 cubic inch of ice/level of the caster out of nothing when employed. (1 cubic inch is a good-sized ice cube). It may be fresh, salt, pure, or polluted water.
Life Rune: This Rune will restore life to a formerly living creature. It may have been dead up to 1 day/level of the caster when employed. The risen creature will lose one level of experience, or forever have one hit dice less, or permanently lose one CON point (recipient's choice). However, due to the nature of this link, the caster of this spell may opt to sacrifice his own level or hit dice or CON point in the raised creature's stead.
Light Healing Rune: This Rune will heal the recipient for one hit point/level of the caster when employed.
Lightning Rune: This Rune will cause 1 hit point of electrical damage/level of the caster to a creature when the caster touches it. A roll to hit is required, but do not count metal armor or metal shields in the target's AC, unless they are magic, and even then only count the magic bonuses. There is no saving throw.
Light Rune: This Rune will cause an inanimate object to radiate light for one hour/level of the caster when employed. This light is fairly bright, far brighter than torchlight but not as bright as direct sun light.
Luck Rune: This Rune last one hour/level of the caster when employed, or until used. During this time, the player of the recipient of the spell may reroll any one roll, then decide which of the two rolls actually happened. This Rune may not be cast to alter past events, but must have already been cast before the event in question occurs or the DM calls for the saving throw or roll for an instantaneous action. For example, if not already up and hit by a Fireball spell, it is too late to cast luck to have an effect. If about to make a jump roll and your DM tells you what to roll, your PC can stop and cast the luck Rune first before making such an attempt.
Medium Healing Rune: This Rune will heal the recipient for two hit points/level of the caster when employed.
Mind Rune: This Rune increases the INT or WIS score (caster picks one) of the target creature by 1. This effect lasts one hour/level of the caster when employed.
Mitigation Rune: This Rune will subtract 1 from all damage dice (not to be lower than 1) due to heat or cold. If no dice are used, just subtract 1 hit point/level of the caster when employed, and in such a case, this may be all the damage there was, so no damage is possible. This protection will last 1 hour/level of the caster when employed. It may not be stacked with itself, but may work with other similar protections.
Protection Rune: This Rune will add +1 to any one saving throw. It effects expire when used, or when the duration of one hour/level of the caster runs out, whichever comes first. This Rune may be used in another way, however. Cast upon a non-magic item of protection (like a shield or armor), it makes the item +1 for one hour/level of the caster when employed.
Sight Rune: This Rune will restore normal vision from those who lost it. It will restore 20/20 vision if the eyes already work but are performing worse than this. It will also restore normal color vision to the color blind, if that's all that is wrong with them. This Rune does not do all three things at once, and must be used multiple times to fix multiple problems. Once cast, it must be employed within one round/level of the caster.
Speed Rune: This Rune increases the DEX score of the target creature by 1. This effect lasts one hour/level of the caster when employed.
Strength Rune: This Rune increases the STR score of the target creature by 1. This effect lasts one hour/level of the caster when employed.
Sympathy Rune: This Rune causes the target creature to feel sympathy and understanding for the caster on an empathetic level. Thus, the target will more likely give the caster some favorable response. i.e. let them pass without the password, open the door for them, stop attacking them, kiss them, hug them, offer them healing - if they have it - or some similar favorable action. It must be quick, however, since if the action is not yet complete within one minute/level of the caster - aka 10 rounds/level - the target will likely stop and act accordingly, perhaps even violently upon the realization they were being magically manipulated. If the action is completed before this duration expires, and the caster is no longer in the area at that time, the target will not look too closely at recent events and probably forget them at best, or remember them in a foggy way at worst.
Thunder Rune: This Rune causes a conical shaped blast of sonic waves to wash over the target. The range is 5 feet/level, and all within this cone of sound take 1 HP of damage/level. However, this Rune does not exceed 7th level in power without causing feedback damage. For each level beyond 7, if so employed, the caster takes 2 HPs of damage themselves. The Rune's power generates a visible effect of a ripple in the air between the Rune caster and the target.
Truth Rune: This Rune allows the recipient to know if one thing recently spoken was an outright lie, a partial truth, or completely true, as far as the speaker knew at the time they said it. The spoken utterance must have been in a language the recipient understands and heard them self, and must have been uttered within one minute/level of the caster when employed.
Vanish Rune: This Rune causes an inanimate object to disappear from sight. It is still there, but can no longer be seen by normal sight. This effects lasts one minute/level of the caster - aka 10 rounds/level - when employed. The object can be no larger than 40 cubic feet/level of the caster when employed.
Water Rune: This Rune will produce 1 gallon of water/level of the caster when employed. The water magically appears within 1 foot/level of the caster.
Wink Rune: This Rune, once cast, will last one round/level. During this time, any non-magical melee attack has only a 50% chance of hitting. 01-50 means the caster 'winked' out into the ethereal plane just long enough to be missed by the physical attack. 51-00 means they were hit as normal. Some weapons reach into the ethereal plane, however, and might still do partial damage; ask your DM. Magical spell attacks are unaffected. It is possible to use this Runic spell to move through solid objects, up to 5 feet/level. If this is done, the spell's duration fails immediately once the other side of the barrier is achieved. If the barrier is thicker than 5 feet/level, the caster is forcefully thrown back from whence they came, or forward (if the remaining distance is less) and stunned for 1 minute - 10 rounds - and takes 3d10 HPs of damage.
NOTES: If you like this idea and would like to submit a Runic power, feel free. I will usually include your Rune - if it's acceptable - in the Runic Write Ups and not include them in the tables. DMs are encouraged to substitute these Runes for others, if so desired, or to select from them should the table call for the DM to make one up or pick one. I leave it up to the DM to decide which table the Rune's power is best suited.
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© March of 2002