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While some minor magical effects can be created with basic spell components, powerful magic is a product of runes, written pictographs that channel arcane energy. These runes are inscribed on weapons, armor, books and other items to enhance their ability.
Spell casters who use a spell book are portraying the rune through words, gestures, or thoughts. Instead of requiring spell components, casters channel their spells through wands, staves and other implements which hold arcane or divine energy sources. Without these implements, spells are only fractionally effective.
There are two phases to enchanting a magical item, inscription and empowerment. The first writes one or more word symbols which appears black before it is empowered representing its vessel state which is usually a suffix. The second involves instilling energy into the blank rune, giving the rune a descriptive prefix. This gives the magical enchantment a form and a characteristic. Empowerment has varying degrees of permanency.
Example: A masterwork longsword has the rune ‘Strike’ inscribed on it. It is empowered by expending a small inferno ruby, known by its elemental name of ‘Fire’. The finished runeword is “Firestrike” and its stability is feeble. It grants the user a +1 enhancement bonus. The user gains an additional +2 bonus against enemies with the water or cold type. If its user rolls a 1, the rune is dispelled for 1d4 hours.
Players can take Crafting: Runes as a skill as they could any other skill. Players must choose to add ranks to either empowerment or inscription. Higher skill checks means inscribing more complicated runes or empowering stronger energies with a higher degree of permanency.