The Magic of Runes

Using the Northern Reaches Runes under the d20 rules

by Giuliano Michelon



This article provides a set of rules for employing runic magic from GAZ7 The Northern Reaches in campaigns using the 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules, or other variations of the d20 framework.


Masters of the Runes

In addition to the arcane and divine there is a third form of magic, possibly even more ancient and mysterious, mastered by a very limited number of people: the magic of runes. The runes are actually ancient symbols, full of energy, knowledge of which has been gradually disappearing with the passing of ages and with the spread of the two best known forms of magic. Only Nordic peoples and the followers of the Asgardian pantheon retain this knowledge, maybe thanks to their great tradition of oral transmission. Thus, finding a cleric who masters the magic of the runes is not as rare in the Northern Reaches as it is in the rest of the world.

There are therefore only two viable ways for a mortal to access the knowledge of the runes. Either to faithfully serve an immortal of the north (Odin, Thor, Loki, Frey, Freya, or Hel) or to spend part of his life studying and researching the ancient runes of power, becoming a Lord of Runes (LoR).

Clerics of the North

The clerics of the north can access runes in a relatively easy way, though few of them reach a very high mastery of these powers. In game terms, a cleric of one of the deities listed above may, at any time when he can choose a new feat, take a Rune Feat.

The Write Rune feat must be the first Rune Feat acquired, since it grants the character the ability to gain knowledge of a rune (player’s choice) as well as the power to write it.

This feat can be taken multiple times, adding new runes to the character’s repertoire. However, the feat cannot be taken more times than the character’s Wisdom modifier.

Prestige Class: The Lord of Runes

The Lords of Runes devote part of their lives to researching the ancient runes, studying them and assimilating their power. Therefore, compared to the Norse clerics, they often have a greater knowledge and a broader mastery of runes. They also have exclusive access to a special kind of Rune Feats.


Hit Die: d6

Requirements

To qualify for the Lord of Runes prestige class, a character must fulfill the following criteria.


Alignment: Any

Craft (wood or stone cutting): 7 ranks

Knowledge (arcana): 10 ranks

Feats: Read Rune

Class Skills

The Lord of Runes class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (Religion and Arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis) and Spellcraft (Int).1


Skill Points per level: 2 + Int modifier

Class Features

The following are class features of the Lord of Runes prestige class.

Weapon and Armory Proficiency: as for the cleric class.


Spells: the Lord of Runes prepares his spells and selects them as a cleric and from the cleric's spells list.


Rune Feat: At each level, the Lord of Runes gains a bonus feat. These feats are drawn only from the special rune related feats presented with the Magic of the Runes.


Rune Mastery (Ex): unlike clerics, who have limited and more difficult access to the study of runes, the Lord of the Runes has simpler access to their magic. Most importantly, however, his body and mind do not suffer in comprehending and mastering their mystic power. In game terms, the Lord of Runes does not suffer any Abilities loss when gaining runic knowledge. This is balanced by the fact that Lord of Runes, who devote most of his life to study rather than combat, have d6 hit dices instead of the standard d8 for clerics.


Class

Level

BAB

Fort.

Save

Ref.

Save

Will

Save

Special

1

+0

+2

+0

+2

Write Rune Feat, Rune Mastery

2

+1

+3

+0

+3

Rune Feat, +1 level of existing class

3

+2

+3

+1

+3

Rune Feat, +1 level of existing class

4

+3

+4

+1

+4

Rune Feat, +1 level of existing class

5

+3

+4

+1

+4

Rune Feat, +1 level of existing class

6

+4

+5

+2

+5

Rune Feat, +1 level of existing class

7

+5

+5

+2

+5

Rune Feat, +1 level of existing class

8

+6

+6

+2

+6

Rune Feat, +1 level of existing class

9

+6

+6

+3

+6

Rune Feat, +1 level of existing class

10

+7

+7

+3

+7

Rune Feat, +1 level of existing class




The Runes

The runes are magical symbols that, through a complex ritual, are impressed into a bearer -- either an inanimate object or a living being. Once the rune is magically engraved, it becomes invisible and does not alter in any way the surface of the bearer. As long as it remains in this state of inactivity, the rune is considered dormant and may remain so until it is activated or removed.

When a rune is activated, it enters the active state and remains in it for as long as the duration of its effect2. When the effect ends, the rune disappears and must be engraved anew to be used once more.

A rune can be activated in two different ways: on command or on contingency. The type of activation way must be decided at the time when the rune is inscribed on its bearer and in any case in accordance with the provisions in the description of the specific rune.

A rune is activated on command when the bearer (a sentient, free-willed creature) or the cleric who carved it (when the container is an object or creature without an own will and language, such as an animal) pronounce loudly the rune’s name.

In the latter case, the cleric needs to cast a Bless Runes spell. The vocal component for the spell is the name of the rune.

A rune activates on contingency when the bearer experience the exact conditions laid down by the cleric at the time of the engraving. Many runes require an activation by contingency. Runes with multiple uses specify for each use whether the activation is on command or on contingency.

Activating a rune is a standard action unless otherwise specified in the specific description of the rune.


Sidebar: Examples

Orm, the mighty cleric of Thor, writes the rune Urur, the Auroch, on his companion Deneor the dwarf. The magical symbol remains latent for several adventures until Orm’s teammates are facing a dangerous opponent: a storm giant. Deneor decides to activate the rune: he utters the command word aloud (Urur) and the rune briefly glows with golden light as if the skin of Deneor had been branded with fire. Then the symbol disappears and the strength of Deneor becomes that of a Wild Bear (Str 31) for the duration of the rune effect, after which it returns to normal and the rune disappears.

Before the same adventure, Orm decides to write a rune Kaunna (Fire) on his warhammer. Later, during the battle with the storm giant, Orm decides to evoke its powers. He casts the prepared spell Bless Runes and calls aloud the name of the rune (Kaunna) as the spell’s verbal component. The glowing rune appears on the warhammer surface and the weapon catches fire. The hammer burns without being consumed by fire and without damaging the wielder. Every other creature hit by his weapon takes 3d4 additional damage from fire for every successful hit. When the fire effect ends, the rune is expended.

Before the same battle, Orm writes on himself the Odala (Birthright) rune. This rune can only be activated on contingency, which Orm sets to “whenever he is damaged by an attack that would bring him below 0 hp”. Orm, who has only 20 hp, is hit by the storm giant with a devastating axe blow that inflicts to the cleric a total of 32 hp of damage. Orm is knocked down by the impact but, under the astonished gaze of the giant, he stands up from the ground unharmed and still with 20 hp. The rune of Odala has protected Orm from the deadly blow and therefore it is expended and disappears from his body.

Writing the runes

Writing a rune, whatever the nature of the bearer, is a complex and delicate task taking valuable components and time, besides an XP sacrifice. The time required to engrave a rune is equal to an hour for every 100 gp of required components.


Once the rune is engraved, the cleric or Lord of Runes needs to cast the spell Create Rune. This applies when the cleric writes the rune on himself or on an object. When he writes a rune on another person, to make it possible for the bearer to activate the rune, the cleric needs to transfer to the bearer part of his knowledge, represented by an amount of XPs equal to the component cost. These XPs are permanently lost.

Acquiring the runes

Every time a cleric takes the feat Write Rune he can add a new rune to his list. In game terms, however, the acquisition does not happen automatically. One of the following three ways can be employed to gain the new rune.


The simplest and most traditional method is the oral transmission by a mentor (a cleric of the Asgardian pantheon who already knows the rune). The learning time depends on the complexity of the rune and is equal to one day per 100 gp value. At the end of this period, the cleric must pass a test of spellcraft [DC 15]. Success indicates that the new rune has been learned while a failure indicates that the cleric will have to undertake another learning period, at the end of which he may repeat the test with a DC decreased by 1 for each previously attempt made.


The second method is to contact directly the patron god and ask for a divine concession through the use of the spell Know Rune.


The third method is to find, through research or adventure, ancient and rare manuscripts in which the desired rune is described. In this case, the writing task is almost always complex and the spellcraft tests have a higher difficulty [DC 18]. The time for self learning is equal to twice the time normally required to learn the rune. As in the first method, the DC decreases by 1 for each period of time it took to decipher and learn the rune itself.


In any case, a cleric can never have a higher number of runes than his Wisdom modifier.


For a cleric of the Asgardian pantheon, learning a new rune always requires a major sacrifice and the expenditure of energy. Therefore, it causes the permanent loss of 1 point from one of the three basic physical characteristics (players choice of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution). This last effect does not apply to the Lords of Runes.

Limitations of the runes

The number of runes latent and/or active at the same time can never exceed the value of Wisdom modifier of their maker. Besides, no bearer can be inscribed with more than one rune.


Rune Feats

Write Rune [Special Feat]

The character learns the powers of a rune and how to write it.

Prerequisites: Ability to cast divine spells and follower of one of the Immortals of the Pantheon of Asgard.

Benefits: The character gains a rune and learns how to write and how to access his powers.

Normal: runes cannot be used without this feat.

Special: The feat can be taken multiple times. Each time, knowledge of a new rune is gained.

Improved Rune Knowledge [Special Feat]

The character increases his knowledge of runes.

Prerequisites: Write Rune and minimum 15 Wisdom.

Benefits: The character can learn up to two runes more than the maximum allowed by his Wisdom (a cleric with 15 in Wisdom, for example, can learn up to four runes instead of two).

Normal: Without this feat a cleric can learn a maximum number of runes equal to his Wisdom modifier.

Improved Rune Crafting [Special Feat]

The character can inscribe a greater number of runes.

Prerequisites: Write Rune and minimum 15 Wisdom.

Benefits: The cleric can write (and keep in latent or active state) up to two runes more than the maximum allowed by his Wisdom (a cleric with 15 wisdom, for example, can write up to four runes instead of two).

Normal: Without this feat a cleric can have a maximum number of active and/or latent runes equal to his Wisdom modifier.

Maximize Rune [Special Feat]

The runes, when activated, act to their full potential.

Prerequisites: Write Rune and minimum 17 Wisdom.

Benefits: Where applicable, all variable, numeric effects of a maximized rune magic are maximized. Thus, the rune deals the maximum damage, cures the maximum number of hit points, or affects the maximum number of targets as appropriate. For example, the rune Kaunna (Fire), which normally inflicts 3d4 hp of fire damage, when maximized automatically inflicts 12 hp.

Writing a maximized rune costs 50% more and requires twice the time than a normal rune.

Extend Rune [Special Feat]

The runes, when activated, act for twice as long than their standard duration.

Prerequisites: Write Rune and minimum 17 Wisdom.

Benefits: An extended rune lasts twice than as long than a normal rune (if it has a duration effect -- instantaneous effects are not modified).

Writing an extended rune costs 50% more in gp.


Runes of Power

Each rune is briefly described. Then is listed the various powers that each one can evoke, both depending on the vessel on which it is inscribed, both the activation method and finally the crafting cost.

Fehu: Cattle

This rune represents wealth. Northern people traditionally gauge wealth by the amount of livestock owned.

1 When activated on contingency, it senses the presence of a treasure (at crafting the cleric shall specify the minimum amount of treasure that the rune is active for) within a radius of 30 meters. No obstacle can hide the treasure even if physical barriers or magical means can conceal it from sight of the bearer of the rune. Cost 100 gp.

2 When activated on command, the rune indicates the direction to a specific treasure (for example: the treasure of Jorg the pirate) or of a specific object (e.g. the Eye of Traldar). The duration of the rune, once activated, is 1 hour / level of the engraver and the cost of 200 gp.

3 This rune can be engraved on an object with a specific aim protection of the item itself from any form of magic identification and has a duration of one day per level of the engraver (or until it is removed) and a cost of 300 gp. This effect is activated on command.

4 Warns the character who bears this rune that he is in sight distance from an object that has engraved a rune or another kind of magic protection (i.e. explosive runes, sepia snake sigil, etc.). This effect is activated on contingency. The cost is 100 gp.

Urur: the Auroch

This rune represents the strength of the wild beasts and is often represented by a huge bear.

1 The rune is activated on contingency when it senses the presence of a hostile wild animal. The animal is automatically calmed down, its aggression cancelled, unless the animal has been magically summoned or is under magic influence. In this case, the bearer must make a Wisdom check, against a DC of 1d20 + the Will Saving Throw modifier of the animal. The bearer can choose instead to make an Intimidate, Animal Empathy or Charisma check. If the check is failed, the animal is unaffected. If the animal is eyes or voice contact with its summoner, the summoner’s Will Saving Throw determines the check DC, and he can impose the nature of the skill or ability check. Costs 100 gp.

2 Engraved on a willing bearer and activated on command, it gives the bearer the strength of a wild bear (Str. 31, +10 atk / dmg) for 1 minute / level. Costs 300 gp.

3 Activated on command, it forces all hostile creatures within 9 meters (30 feet) to attack the recipient of the rune (which cannot be an object or a non-sentient creature) rather than his companions. This effect lasts for 1 round per level and costs 100 gp. Of course sentient creatures may resist this effect by succeed on a Will ST with a DC equal to 10 + ½ the level of the runes' bearer plus his Charisma modifier.

Thurs: the Giant

This rune describes all giant and giant-kin races.

1. The rune can be activated on command, in the presence of a giant. The giant must make a Will saving throw with DC equal to 1d20 + ½ Cleric Level + Charisma Modifier of Cleric) or be fascinated as the spell Charm Monster. The duration of the charm is 1 day and the cost is 300 gp.

2. This rune can be activated both on command or on contingency at the choice of its maker (who must choose the activation mode during the crafting). When activated, the rune influences all giants located within a radius of 5 meters (15 feet) as the spell Emotion. The kind of emotion is chosen by the maker when the rune is inscribed. This effect does not allow a Saving Throw. The duration is 1 minute per level and the cost is 300 gp.

3 The character activates this rune on command. He grows to the size of a hill giant, with an increased Strength 25 and Constitution 19. However, Dexterity drops to 8, if it was higher. The character can use giant-sized weapons, dealing double damage. The duration is 1 minute per level and the cost is 400 gp.

As: the Immortals

This rune represents the Immortals and their realm beyond the Prime Material Plane.

1 The rune is activated on contingency, in the presence of an Outsider (e.g., a demon or an Immortal) magically hidden and/or disguised enabling the rune’s bearer to see the disguised one like for a true seeing spell. The duration is instantaneous and the cost is 500 gp.

2 On command, the rune creates around the bearer, in a ​​5 meters (15 feet) radius, an area of ​​protection against evil Outsiders (such as demons) equivalent to the spell Repulsion. The affected Outsiders are allowed a Will save with a DC equal to 17 + Wisdom modifier of the maker. This effect has a duration of 1 round per level and a cost of 500 gp.

3 Once activated on command, this rune gives to its bearer a +2 bonus on all Saving Throws for one hour per level of the maker. This effect costs 300 gp.

Raidu: Journeying

This rune represents the journey.

1 This effect activates only on contingency. It wakes up the container when a hostile creature or other enemy approaches within a 30 meters (100 feet) radius. Once activated, the rune has a duration of 6 hours. During this time, the rune continues to shine when enemies approach. This effect costs 200 gp.

2 Whenever the cleric is lost or, for some reason, cannot find directions (either due to poor weather conditions or for magic interferences) he can activates it, on command, to control the power of the rune which, although not indicating the distance, indicates the right direction to reach the desired destination. It costs 100 gp and a duration of 10 minutes per level.

3 Activated on command confers to the bearer, for six hours, the Endurance feat. This effect costs 100 gp.

Kaunna: Fire

This rune represents the heat that gives life, the light of the torch and the destructive force of fire.

1 On command, the rune burns like a torch for two hours even though it does not consume the object on which it was written (the bearer cannot be a living being). The fire burns even under a heavy rain but not underwater. This effect costs 100 gp.

2 On command, the rune envelops with magic fire the weapon on which it was written (the bearer cannot be a living being) without harming it. The magic fire last for 1 minute per level and allows the weapon to inflict an additional 3d4 fire damage. This effect costs 200 gp.

Gefu: Giving

This rune represents generosity and hospitality.

1 When activated on command, this effect allows its bearer (the container cannot be an object) to positively change the reactions of relatively intelligent creatures to requests for food, shelter and clothing for the duration of 24 hours. This effect costs 100 gp.

2 When activated on command, this effect modifies positively the reactions of hostile creatures, giving +10 bonus on reaction roll dice for 1 hour per level. This effect costs 200 gp.

Wunju: Joy

This rune represents great joy and appreciation for life.

1 On command, the rune influences for the duration of a performance (a poem, a song, a ballad) the reactions of those present with +10 modifier. The cost of this effect is 100 gp.

2 On command, the rune influences a single individual, providing the bearer a reaction bonus of +20 for 10 minutes to level. The cost of this effect is 300 gp. An individual with an opposite alignment (good vs. evil) to the bearer can try to resist this effect with a Will save (DC = 1d20 + ½ level + the maker’s Charisma modifier).

3 When activated on command, the rune compels all creatures within a radius of 6 meters (20 feet) from the bearer to temporarily stop fighting. Creatures with more HD than maker’s level can resist the power of the rune with a Will saving throw with DC = 1d20 + ½ level + the maker’s Charisma modifier. Creatures with the same (or lower) level/HD are automatically affected by the effect of the rune and stop fighting as if hit by the effects of the spell Daze. The effect lasts for as long as the activator maintains his concentration plus one more round or until it moves more than 6 meters from the affected creatures or until one of them is attacked. Creatures with more levels of maker can repeat the saving throw each round. The cost of this effect is 500 gp.

Hagia: Cruel Nature

This rune represents the violent and destructive side of nature.

1 On command, the rune creates the effect of a Lightning Bolt spell for 1d6 hp of damage per level of the maker (max. 10d6). Alternatively, it can be written on an object with activation on contingency. The cost of this effect is 300 gp.

2 On command, the rune creates a violent storm of rain and wind concentrated in an area of ​​6 meters (20 feet) radius. Creatures within the area can not run, fly and their movement is considered halved as long as they succeed in a test of strength or Balance with DC 20 (failure means movement zero). The storm can move up to 3 meters (10 feet) per round. The effects of the storm last as long as the activator maintains concentration on them. The cost of this effect is 300 gp.

Naudir: Desperate Need

This rune represents great danger and the great fortune necessary to avoid it.

1 When inscribed with activation on contingency, the maker must clearly specify the type of attack he intends to delay (for example: the first energy drain attack”, or the first attack by fire or even more specific conditions, such as “the first fire breath of a red dragon). Then, once an attack of the chosen type strikes the bearer, the attack will be "frozen" and its effects suspended for 1 minute per level. After this time, the bearer suffers damage normally expected from the attack. The cost for this effect is 700 gp.

2. This effect allows the bearer, once the rune has been activated on command, to move to twice its normal speed for 1 minute per level. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

3 This effect, activated on command, confers to the bearer a +2 bonus on all saving throws for 1 minute per level. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

Isar: Ice

This rune represents ice and cold.

1 On command, this rune transforms a water area of ​​3 x 3 meters into a solid platform of ice. If placed on a river or current water, the platform can be used as a raft and supports the weight of an average man. The effect lasts for 10 minutes per level. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

2 Activated either on command or on contingency, this effect creates a tiny blizzard in an area of ​​3 meters in diameter (no more than 18 meters from the rune) that inflicts to all creatures within its area of effect 3d10 hp of frost damage (Reflex saving throw with DC 18 for half damage). The duration is instantaneous and the cost for this effect is 300 gp.

Jarn: Fruitful Nature

This rune represents the wealth of wildlife.

1 When activated on command, this effect enables the bearer to tell whether an animal or plant is edible or poisonous or otherwise dangerous. The effect lasts for 1 hour per level. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

2 This effect enables the bearer to identify, within a mile radius, the direction of the nearest medicinal herbs or healing berries. The rune is activated on command and its effects last 1 hour. The cost for this effect is 200 gp.

Ihwar: the Hunter

This rune represents the hunt and the art of ambush.

1. A throwing or missile weapon (except crossbows and mechanical weapons), on which the rune is inscribed, gains for one hour per level of the maker a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls and its user is considered as if he had the Precise Shot feat. This effect is activated on command, and its cost is 400 gp.

2 As an effect activated on command, this rune enables the trap on which it is inscribed to automatically capture its prey without causing damage. The rune lasts 24 hours and costs 200 gp. It does not work against magical or unnatural creatures.

3 When activated on command, this rune enables the bearer to follow the tracks left by a specific "prey" regardless of the terrain, the time elapsed and any measure taken to conceal it. The effect lasts for one hour per level of the maker and costs 400 gp.

Pethru: the Unseen

This rune represents secrecy and concealment.

1 Activated on command, this effect makes the bearer completely invisible and undetectable by any means by all creatures within a radius of 18 meters. Only a true seeing spell can reveal his location. More distant observers are not affected. Th effect lasts as long as the bearer maintains concentration and remains immobile. The cost for this effect is 200 gp.

2 The maker can write a runic message and protect it from prying eyes by inscribing this rune on it. When in the presence of the designated receiver, the rune activates on contingency and allows him to read it. Thereafter, the entire message vanishes. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

3 As an effect activated on contingency, the rune glows in presence of invisible creatures in a range of 18 feet. The bearer cannot see the invisible being, but is aware of their presence. The cost for this effect is 200 gp.

Aigir: the Elk

This rune represents protection.

1. Activated on command, this rune, which must be inscribed on a shield, bestows a +5 special magical bonus for 1 minute/level of the maker. The cost for this effect is 300 gp.

2 The bearer, upon activating on command this effect, benefits from a +3 bonus on all saving throws for 1 minute per level. The cost for this effect is 300 gp.

3 The rune can be inscribed on a weapon. This effect, activated on contingency the first time its holder is hit by a critical hit, causes the weapon to parry it automatically. The cost for this effect is 300 gp.

Sowelu: the Sun

This rune represents healing and health.

1 On command, this effect is activated and maximizes the hit points restored by a healing spell cast on the following round. If no spell is cast on the next round, the rune is lost. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

2 This rune can be written on one person who died within the last hour. Once completed and blessed, it can be activated on command to restore life to the dead creature as for the spell Raise Dead. The effect restores life, but does not repair extensively damaged body parts, so it will be useless on a decapitated body, or one missing other vital organs. The cost for this effect is 800 gp.

Tiwar: War

This rune represents might and prowess in battle.

1 This rune can be written on a weapon. When activated on command, the first successful hit inflicts an automatic critical hit even on those creatures normally immune to them (such as the undead). the effect has a duration of one round per level of the maker or until it is "discharged". The cost for this effect is 200 gp.

2 This rune is activated on contingency when the bearer fails a Saving Throw against fear or paralysis. It allows it to resist the fear or paralysis effect as if the Saving Throw had been passed. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

3 When this rune is activated on command, it affects the morale of all enemies within 3 yards as for the spell Bane (with no Saving Throw allowed). The effect lasts 1 round per level of the maker. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

Berkana: the Birch

This rune represents the vitality of durable birch.

1. a command activates this rune, it lasts 1 round per level and gives the cleric a natural armor bonus of +4. Costs 200 gp.

2 this rune is activated for contingency after the cleric has suffered damage (be it physical or magical in nature). After having calculated the amount (through the outcome of the dices, for example) the cleric can choose whether or not to activate the rune that subtracts to the total damage half of it, then the rune disappears. Costs 500 gp.

3 When activated on command the cleric cures 2d8 +1 / per level of the cleric (no limit) hp, then the rune disappears. Costs 300 gp.

Ehwar: the Horse

This rune represents both communication with and mastery of horses.

1 The rune can be inscribed on a horse. On command, it allows the activator to establish a telepathic contact with the bearer, which allows communication and mind reading for 1 hour/level of the maker. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

2 The bearer activates the rune on command gaining a +10 competence bonus on all Ride skill tests for 1 hour/level of the maker. The cost for this effect is 100 gp.

3 The cleric activates this effect on command and summon a specific horse that is within 10 miles of the caster. If the horse knows the cleric well and has been well-treated, it will answer the summon immediately. It will arrive as soon as possible, risking combat with other creatures and risking its life in difficult physical maneuvers if necessary. If not in such a good feeling toward cleric the horse may attempt to resist the summon performing a Will save with DC equal to 1d20 + ½ level + the cleric mod. charisma. Costs 200 gp.

Mannar: Man

This rune represents knowledge and wisdom.

1 Once activated on command, it enables to the bearer to understand the true intentions and the basic personality of a stranger. If the foreigner is of the same level or lower than the maker, success is automatic. Otherwise the stranger can resist the effect with a Will Save against 10 + ½ level + the maker’s Wisdom modifier. If the stranger wins the Will contest by more than 5 points, he will be aware that someone has tried to read his mind. If he wins the test by 10 or more he will also identify the bearer. The effect has a duration of 1 round per level and a cost of 400 gp.

2 The rune is activated on command, allowing the bearer to produce an ESP-like effect on a target in the range of sight, allowing the bearer to read from the victim’s mind the response to a single question. The victim can resist with a Willpower test against 10 + ½ level + the cleric's Mod. The duration is the time needed to communicate the request and its response. The cost for this effect is 400 gp.

3 The maker can write this rune on an object. The rune is activated on command, giving the activator knowledge of the direction is which the object’s owner is found, but not his distance. The duration is instantaneous and the cost for this effect is 100 gp.

Lagur: Water

This rune represents protection from drowning and from the power of the sea.

1 Activated on command, this rune allows the bearer to breathe underwater as Water Breathing spell for 2 hours to level. The cost for this effect is 400 gp.

2 Activated on command, this rune allows the bearer to walk on water for 1 hour/level. The bearer, besides his equipment, can carry a maximum of one person, in which case his movement is halved. The cost for this effect is 200 gp.

3 The rune can be engraved on the hull of a boat or a ship. The effect is activated on contingency, the first time the ship suffers enough damage to sink it. The effect lasts for 1 turn/level and protects the ship from any structural damage that could sink it. The cost for this effect is 500 gp.

4 Engraved on a stick and activated on a contingency when the holder runs the risk of drowning, the rune allows the stick and the person holding it to float for up to 24 hours. The cost of this effect is 200 gp.

Ingwar: Growth

This rune represents the power of growth in natural things.

1 The rune can be activated either on command or on contingency. It creates an effect identical to the Entangle spell. The effect lasts for 1 minute per level and the cost is 100 gp. 2. On command, the rune replicates the effect of the Animal Growth spell on the animal on which it was inscribed. The effect lasts 1 minute per level. The cost for this effect is 700 gp.

3 On command, the rune replicates the effect of the Plant Growth spell. The effect lasts for one hour. The cost for this effect is 500 gp.


Odala: Birthright

This rune represents power over the destiny preordained by the Immortals.

1 Activated on contingency when the bearer suffers a blow that brings him below 0 hp, the effect allows the bearer to shrug off entirely the damage. The effect is instantaneous. The cost for this effect is 1,000 gp.

2 Activated on contingency when the bearer suffers a blow that brings him below 0 hp, but not below -10 hp, the effect automatically stabilizes the wounds of the bearer. This effect costs 700 gp.

Dagar: Day

This rune represents the powers of light and darkness.

1 This effect is activated on command. It illuminates everything within a radius of 60 meters. In addition, within 6 meters, the light is so intense that it has the same effect as the Sunburst spell. The effect is instantaneous and costs 1,000 gp.

2 This rune, when activated either on command or on contingency, obscures all light sources within a radius of 30 meters. This magical darkness last for 1 minute per level of the maker This effect has a base costs of 300 gp and for every 30 gp of additional cost, the maker can extend its duration by another minute up to a maximum of one hour.

3 Activated on command, this rune gives to the bearer infravision (as a dwarf) for 1 hour per level of the maker. The cost for this effect is 200 gp.

Rune Spells

Bless Rune

(enchantment)

Level: 2

Components: V, S, M

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 50 ft.

Area: one rune

Duration: instantaneous

Saving Throw: None

Spell Resistance: No


This spell activates the power of a rune of the cleric previously wrote. The effects are those described in the rune listing, and must be selected at time of writing of the rune.

Rune Interpretation

(divination)

Level: 2

Components: V, S, M

Casting Time: 10 minutes

Range: personal

Area: caster only

Duration: instantaneous

Saving Throw: None

Spell Resistance: No


Through throwing and interpreting the runes inlaid on wooden or bone tiles, the cleric receives a response from its Immortal patron on an action he is about to undertake. The cleric casts the spell, describes exactly the actions he intends to take, and then throws the runes. Through them interprets the response of the God. The answers are almost always generic and can be:

"You have chosen well. You have my blessing "(Good Idea)

"Your fate is uncertain, but you still have my blessing" (not a bad idea).

"Your choice is not wise. May the fate bless your luck. "(Bad idea. You'll need luck).

"Your choice offends me. May you live to regret this. "(Not only the choice is very bad but it also goes against your principles and those of the Immortal your worship.)

"Silence!" (Which can mean either "how dare you waste my time for such nonsense" to "do it and not just you'll die but your spirit will also have to find another Immortal to serve!")

Of course, the DM can vary at will the answers, from a single word to a long monologue on ethics.

The material component of the spell are the wood and/or bones runes themselves, which are not consumed by the casting.

Create/Remove Rune

(abjuration)

Level: 3

Components: V, S, M

Casting Time: 1 full round

Range: 50 ft.

Area: one rune

Duration: Permanent

Saving Throw: None

Spell Resistance: No


Once a rune has been inscribed, this spell must be cast to empower it. Once the spell is cast, the rune becomes invisible to all but the cleric, who will always be linked mentally with all the runes (latent or active) he wrote. The rune is permanent until removed or activated. The cleric may use this spell to remove one of his latent runes. He can also use it to remove a latent rune inscribed by another cleric, in which case the spell works as Dispel Magic.

The material components for this spell vary depending on the surface on which the rune must be inscribed (e.g., a chisel for a stone surface, a knife for wood, etc.) and must have a minimum value of 100 gp.

Know Rune

(divination)

Level: 3

Components: V, S, M

Casting Time: Special

Range: personal

Area: caster only

Duration: instantaneous

Saving Throw: None

Spell Resistance: No


This spell allows the caster to learn a new rune from his or her Immortal patron. The casting requires a secret ceremony lasting 9 hours. During the ceremony, the caster cannot be interrupted. He must also perform a ritual specific to the rune he is trying to learn. The rune is automatically learnt when the ritual is completed. However, the process is so exacting that the caster permanently loses one point from a physical ability score (Strength, Dexterity or Constitution, player’s choice). Members of the Lord of Runes Prestige Classes do not suffer this loss.

The cost