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3E Rune Magic

by Sheldon Morris

Interpret Runes
Level: Clr 2
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Target: Rune tiles
Duration: instantaneous

Using a specially carved and enchanted set of wooden tiles (one for each of the twenty-four commonly known power runes of Odin), the caster can ask the Immortal he serves for guidance on a course of action. The subject casts the spell, addresses his Immortal with the proper ritual phrases, describes the course of action he proposes, then casts the wooden tiles before him. In the tiles the subject reads the answer of his Immortal patron.

Note that the runes used on the tiles for this spell are not actually inscribed with the powers of any of the power runes of Odin. When a cleric creates his own set and uses this spell on them for the first time, there is a faint magical aura that remains on them as if they were a very minor magical item, and only the tiles creator can use them for an interpret runes spell. Hence, a cleric's rune tiles are a very sacred thing to him, meaning just as much as his holy symbol.

Bless Rune
Level: Clr 2
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Target: 1 power rune
Duration: 10 rounds (unless noted otherwise)

This spell activates a power rune which has previously been properly inscribed on an object by a cleric. The rune need not have been inscribed by the cleric casting bless rune.

The best-known magical powers of the 24 Power Runes of Odin are listed in the Northern Reaches Player's Handbook. Other powers of these runes might be learned through adventuring. Different power runes may also exist, and these additional runes might be discovered through adventuring.

Bless Rune activates only one of the various powers inherent in the rune. The spellcaster must specify which power he wishes to invoke before casting the spell or the spell fails and the rune is not activated.

Know Rune
Level: Clr 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Personal & touch (see below)
Target: You and special toxin
Duration: 9 nights

Use of this spell permits a cleric to learn one of the 24 Power Runes of Odin, or some other power rune made available by the DM.

To be effective, this spell must be accompanied by the ritual appropriate to the cleric's cult. (See "Rune Cult Rituals" in the Northern Reaches Gazetteer.) Each use of this spell results in the semi-permanent loss of one Constitution point due to the extreme strain of the ritual on the body; it is recovered after six months. The ritual also drains the cleric of 1000 experience points and if the loss would take him below the 10,000xp mark for a fifth level character, the spell and ritual automatically fail. This spell is cast at the beginning of the ritual to prepare the cleric's mind & body, and also to "activate" the toxin that must be taken.

Inscribe Rune
Conjuration (Creation)
Level: Clr 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Touch
Target: 1 object
Duration: Permanent
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell permits a cleric to inscribe a power rune on an object. The cleric must know the rune (see the know rune spell above) and perform the appropriate rituals (below). Any error or omission in performance of the ritual spoils the spell effect; therefore, a knowledge (religion) skill check must be made against a DC of 15.

Unless inscribed using this spell, a power rune has no magical properties and cannot be activated. Once properly inscribed upon an object, a power rune may be activated by a cleric using the bless rune spell.

An object inscribed with a power rune becomes linked to the cleric that performs the ritual and casts the spell. Henceforth the cleric will know whenever the rune is activated by a bless rune spell, or when it is destroyed physically (i.e., by destruction of the rune or the object) or magically (i.e., by a dispel magic or similar spell). This occurs regardless of distance from the object. The cleric knows nothing of the circumstances of the activation or destruction of the rune - only that it has been activated or destroyed.

There is a limit to the number of power runes a cleric may have magically inscribed at any one time. The total is equal to the number of third level spells the cleric may memorise at one time; this includes their base number and bonuses for Wisdom, but does not include any domain spells or those granted as domain powers. If the cleric attempts to inscribe a greater number of runes than his limit, all power runes currently inscribed by him immediately lose their magically properties, and his current inscribe rune ritual is spoiled as well. Objects properly inscribed by a cleric retain their properties after his death.