CHA4034 Red Book of Magic – Chapter 02 Rune Magic Q&A

Official Answers from Chaosium

This covers the first part of Chapter 2, pages 8-9.

For the Rune Magic Spells, see Rune Magic Spells Q&A

What is Rune Magic?8
How Does Rune Magic Appear, Sound, and Feel?8
Common Rune Magic table8
Characteristics of Rune Spells8-9
Stackable Rune Magic9
One-use Rune Spells9
Devising New Rune Spells9
Rune Magic Spells Q&A10-104

Stackable Rune Magic (page 9)

I was GMing a game in which the players were preparing for spirit combat with a huge entity. They proposed to stack several castings (from different characters) of Spirit Block on the one doing the fighting. I ruled that it is not possible, since the definition of stackable in TRBOM says “The caster can add additional Rune points to the spell if the spell is described as ‘stackable.’ “, which implies that only the caster can stack additional points. Is that correct ?

Yes only the caster can stack additional points. The others would be casting separate versions of the spell, with only the largest being effective. A GM may also reasonably rule that each casting of the same spell displaces a previous one, leaving only the last one active.

There are are circumstances where you can stack, but it’s usually only with POW, see Combining Rune points in the Q&A.

Do magic points spent increasing a spell’s efficacy (e.g. points spent as part of Sword Trance or Heal Wound) increase the strike rank, or just those added to make the rune spell harder to dispel?

All magic points, unless the spell states otherwise.

Stacking spells from different sources – Shield and Protection, for instance. A character with Protection 3 running from his allied spirit may receive a Shield 2 from the Ernaldan supporter. Do these spells stack?

Yes as the description of Shield states:

The effects of this spell are cumulative with both Protection (page 118) or Countermagic.

RBM page 78.

Would a Shield 1 by the character himself (boosted with 3 MP) add to the Ernaldan’s two points, or would that spell only stack with the Protection?

A Shield 1 cast by the adventurer on themself while a Shield 2 has already been cast on them would have no effect (not work). As a GM you can decide if the spell just doesn’t work or they waste their Rune point.

Would it not get cast to any effect at all?

Yes. No effect. It just doesn’t work.

Or would it exist but just not stack? That is, if the Shield 2 gets dispelled, is there still a previously non-stacking Shield 1 “underneath” it that now has an effect? 

As a GM, you can have that happen if you so choose. The former will save adventurers’ Rune points.

One-use Rune Spells (page 316)

With One-use Rune Magic, after casting do you loose the spell as well as the associated Rune points, or is it just the Rune points? 

So in other words will characters be needing to sacrifice Power again to regain the spell after casting?

You permanently lose the Rune points, but not the spell itself.

The description on page 316 does not mention losing the spell, so there’s no reason to think you would lose the spell.

Can the same One-Use Rune Spell be memorised more then once for multiple castings by a single person? 

You only need to learn it once. You don’t loose the spell when you cast it. You can cast it as many times as you have available Rune points. As you permanently lose the Rune points, it’s an expensive thing to do in terms of lost Rune points and the POW needed to expand your Rune pool again..

If a one use spell has been cast, permanently spending rune points, and you have remaining rune points, can those be used to make an additional casting of that one use rune spell?

Yes. See above.

What happens if casting a one-use Rune Spell would lower a Rune Priest’s RPs below the required minimum (typically 5 RPs)?  Is it:

While loss of POW below is dealt with in the rules (see here in the Q&A), Rune points have no such restriction.

They can’t, the spell won’t be successfully cast (similar to not being able to voluntarily reduce their POW to less than 18)

No. No rules restriction.

The spell is cast and the Rune Priest’s RPs are reduced to below the required minimum and the priest loses their Rune Priest benefits (similar to if their POW does go below 18)

No. No rules restriction.

The spell is cast and there are no issues.  Rune Priests are allowed to have less than 5RPs once they have successfully qualified as a Rune Priest


In a similar way can an Initiate (or priest if option 3 above) go to 0 RPs


and if so, what happens?

Nothing, they just have no rune points until they sacrifice some of their POW.

If by casting a one-use Rune Spell their RPs are now less than the number of special Rune Spells they “know”, do they also lose access to one or more of those special Rune Spells, bring the total they ‘know” down to their new number of RPs? 

No. The number of Rune spells you can access and the number of Rune points you have are unrelated. This comes into play when you may know more Rune spells than your CHA (which limits your Rune points)

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