CHA4034 Red Book of Magic – Chapter 03 Spirit Magic Spells Q&A

Official Answers from Chaosium

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Spirit rune

Spirit Magic Spells (page 108)

Spell NameRBMRQGNotes
Befuddle110256Updated description
Binding Enchantment110258
Comprehension111Cult special, restricted to Pamalt initiates only
Conceal Item111Cult special, restricted to Lanbril initiates only
Control (entity) 111258Command Cult Spirit vs Control (Entity)
All Detect spells112259-260How do Detect Spells work?, Detect Spells & Countermagic
Detect Enemies 112259
Detect Life112259
Detect Magic112259
Detect Spirit112259
Detect (substance)112260
Detect Trap112260
Detect Undead112260
Dispel Magic112260
Face of Lanbril113Cult special, restricted to Lanbril initiates only
False Healing114Cult special, restricted to Basko initiates only
Food Song114
Forget115Cult special, restricted to Lanbril initiates only
Glamour115262Updated description
Heat Metal115
Hotfoot115Cult special, restricted to Eurmal initiates only
Jumping116Cult special, restricted to Gerak Kag initiates only
Lantern116263Cult special, restricted to Yelmalio initiates only
Magic Point Enchantment117263
Meteor Swarm117Cult special, restricted to Red Goddess initiates only
Pamalt’s Touch118Cult special, restricted to Pamalt initiates only
Preserve Herbs118Cult special, restricted to Aldrya initiates only
Second Sight118264
Seek Sun Dome Temple118Cult special, restricted to Togtuvai initiates only
Sleep119264Cult special, restricted to Chalana Arroy initiates only
Sneeze119Cult special, restricted to Mallia initiates only
Spell Matrix Enchantment121265
Spirit Binding121265
Spirit Screen121265
Strength121265Updated description
Summon (entity)121265
Only linked spells have a section below

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Thus, with deceit or clever misdirection, a Befuddled opponent might end up acting against their own party for as long as the spell is in effect.

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A successfully Befuddled a creature has zero INT. Can it attempt to shake off the Befuddlement? Per the rules on RQG p.257, it appears not (unless the creature knows how to Meditate, which seems frankly unlikely). Defeating a Befuddle spell is usually easier for low-INT victims, but it seems to be impossible for a zero-INT victim. Was this intended?

Rules as written state that you must roll INTx5 for a creature with no INT. There’s always a 05% chance of success, though, and since this is a “roll higher than” effect that means that any roll of 06-00 will let the creature shake off the Befuddlement.

Binding Enchantment

Rules as written, if I have an empty POW Storing crystal (or an appropriate binding enchantment), can I cast Spirit Binding at any spirit that pops up during an adventure and bind it that round of combat?

Yes for POW Storing crystals, and yes for appropriate binding enchantments with the correct amount of POW sacrifice. Your GM will consider the spirits reaction.


Do Bladesharp and True Sword stack?

Yes. Neither spells’ description forbids it.

Control (entity)

See also Command Cult Spirit vs Control (Entity)

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Controlling a summoned elemental (entity)

In a game, an adventurer cast Summon Cult Spirit (Air Elemental), then Command Cult Spirit, succeeded in the control roll (POW vs POW.), and commanded it to attack some of the NPCs.

One of the a shaman NPCs engaged the elemental in spirit combat and reduced its magic points to zero, then cast Control (entity) on it, and sent it back at the adventurer.

As long as it was Control (Air Elemental)

The PC still has Command Cult Spirit, so I made them re-roll a POW v POW roll to wrestle control back.

Basically the elemental ping ponged back and forth – is this right or is it that once you have control of it it cant be “stolen”

Yes, the shaman has wrestled control from the controlling summoner and has forced it back on its caster. The Command Cult Spirit is still active so they need to wrest control from the shaman. Shaman are the Master of Spirits, and this is a perfect demonstration of that. Note that Command Cult spirit lasts 15 mins and costs 2 rune points, while Control (Air Elemental) costs 1 magic point and lasts two minutes.

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To control animal spirits with the “control (species)” spirit spell, what spirit spell I have to use to control a lion spirit (for example): control (animal spirit), control (large carnivorous mammal spirit) or control (lion spirit)?

Personally, I’d keep it simple, to Control (Animal Spirit) but a more detail-oriented gamemaster may wish to make things more focused with Control (specific type as per list in the RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary p167-168). 

How specific is this spell is when applied to spirits. I’ve already told my shaman player that there can’t be a single Control Spirit which works on everything but I need to know how far he will have to specialise.

Look to the RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary. You might break it down to Animal Spirits, Demons, Disease Spirits, Healing Spirits, Plant Spirits, Ghosts, Guardian Spirits, Landscape Spirits, Nymphs, etc.

The description implies that there is a separate Control for Elementals. Does this also imply a separate Control Fire Elemental, Control Wind Elemental etc? 

Yes. It’s Control Cult Spirit, which is usually specialized by type.

Is a discorporate human spirit a different thing if it’s living or dead? Do Wraiths need their own spell? What about nature spirits?

Yes, a discorporated human is a discorporated human, not technically a spirit. A human’s spiritual being whose “owner” is dead is a ghost or a wraith. Different things. Nature spirits are spirits.

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With the spirit magic spell Control (Entity), if the spell can’t be used for binding purposes (as clarified above), how is it used?  

You can handle this one of the following ways: 

Spirit rune Hard: The targeted entity is reduced to 0 magic points and is otherwise unconscious or incapacitated until it gains at least 1 magic point (natural recovery, POW crystal, etc.). The spell is described as Temporal and Active until the instructions are given, in which case it becomes Passive. 

Spirit rune Medium: The entity acts unnaturally: despite being at 0 magic points it continues to move and act (basically sleepwalking), but cannot perform any actions requiring magic points until it has recovered some. 

Spirit rune Easy: Stack the Control spell with 1+ additional magic points. After being defeated in spirit combat, the caster “gives” those magic points to the creature with which to act. 


Countermagic & Sorcery

How do you calculate the intensity of a Sorcery spell for the purposes of countermagic? As far as I can figure, the total intensity is 1 + the levels of intensity purchased, is that right?

That’s correct. 

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Countermagic & Shield rune spell

Does the order of casting of Countermagic and Shield matter?

If I cast Countermagic 1 then Shield 2, does the Countermagic get taken down by the shield? If I cast Countermagic 3 then Shield 2, would the Shield 2 be blocked?

Do I need to cast them in the other order, with the Countermagic powerful enough to get past the Shield? e.g., if I cast Shield 1, do I need to cast Countermagic 4 in order to get them to stack (as a spell lower than 4 points would normally be countered by the Shield’s Countermagic 2)?

Or, do Countermagic and Shield always stack regardless of the order and power of the spells?

I think I covered this in Basic Roleplaying, but generally, a rule of thumb would be to start with the defender’s body as being the closest/last line of defense, and then work outward. 

Spirit rune Protection 1st

Spirit rune Shield 2nd

Spirit rune Countermagic 3rd 

So then from an outside attack, these would be in reverse order, with the attack hitting Countermagic first, then Shield, then Protection. 

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If I want to dispel a Rune spell that has a Countermagic component (e.g. Shield or Suppress Lodril), does the Countermagic effect prevent the Dispel/Dismiss from manifesting at the target, or can it be targeted directly ignoring the Countermagic effect, without those extra one or two MP for boosting it through the Countermagic?

As I read the rules, when a rune spell with a Countermagic effect is stacked with the spirit spell Countermagic, the spell needs to be boosted to 2 points above the combined Countermagic effect, whereas when only rune spells with a CM effect are stacked, it is enough to add 1 MP more than the combined Countermagic effect for a spell to activate. Is that a) correct and b) intended?

In that case, a single point of Countermagic would block 2 points of incoming Spirit Magic or 1 point of incoming Rune Magic (and be dissipated in the process).

The description of the Spirit Magic spell Countermagic states (p.259) that you need 2 points of Countermagic to block 1 point of Rune Magic, but that doesn’t conform with the calculation above. Is this deviation from the calculation intended?

My inclination is that a spell with a Countermagic effect does indeed block Dismiss, so you’ll need to spend the additional magic points to overcome it. 

This is seriously verging on “we’re gonna be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws” territory. 🤪

Jason Durall, RuneQuest Line Editor


Can a discorporate shaman cast demoralize on incoming hostile spirits?  Does demoralize only work on beings with INT?

Yes, if the spirit has INT. Otherwise no.

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Can you cast Fanaticism when demoralised?


Can you cast Berserk when demoralised?


Can you cast other Rune magic or spirit magic that would remove the magical effect, such as Dismiss Magic?


The key parts about removing the effects are in the last sentence of the spell description:

A victim aware of the spell can spend an entire melee round to use the Meditate skill to remove the effects of this spell.

Red Book of Magic, page 112

So to do anything at all, the victim must be aware of the spell. Overt casting is the most obvious or being alerted by another adventurer that their behavior has shifted. Then they must use meditate to remove the effects, not magic.

As usual GMs use their own interpretations for their own games.

Detect Spells

How do Detect Spells work?

Does Countermagic protect (like it says in the Countermagic description), and if it does, does it protect against being detected? If it protects against having the spell cast on you, why do Detect spells all talk about letting the caster know stuff about what they’re detecting (as if they’re self-only, and the Range is the range at which they can detect things)? Does Detect knock down Countermagic?

Countermagic has no effect on Detect spells.

If you cast Detect Gold, you are aware of the gold armor Rurik Runespear is wearing – even if he has Shield 4 cast! (answer by Jeff Richard).

Detect spells & Countermagic

Can someone can blow down Countermagic on several people by casting an appropriate Detect spell boosted by lots of magic points?

For example, lets say a group is walking into a a good ambush site an, wary of such, someone casts  Detect Enemies, and boosts it by 7 MPs, getting the spell up to 8 MPs. Now, will that Detect spell blow down  Countermagic spells of 6 points or less on any and all enemies within the range of the spell? 

To clarify.

Detect does not affect or interact with Countermagic.

To keep it straight, Countermagic specifically prevents spells from affecting the target they’re cast upon, while Detect spells do not affect the target. 

Detect Enemies

It is clear that this spell detect sentient self-aware creatures that intend harm to the caster.

But will it detect:

The easiest way to answer this is to look at this part of the spell:

This spell gives the approximate direction and distance from the caster of any being intending to harm them, or it detects and locates a specific individual on whom the caster concentrates.

The relevant definition of being in my dictionary is:

a real or imaginary living creature or entity, especially an intelligent one.

So anything that the GM believes fulfills that criteria

reveal a Zombie or Skeleton that has “seen” the caster and is moving to attack them?

So under the above definition and in my game: Yes (entity)

And will Detect Enemies reveal a non self-aware creature with animal intelligence that intends to attack the caster, such as wolf, tiger or snake?

Yes, if it intends to attack the adventurers (living creature)

Lastly, what of creatures without any intelligence that act purely on instinct, such as a Gorp; will such a creature drawn to the caster to harm them be highlighted by Detect Enemies?

Yes (entity)

This question would seem to hinge on what it is the Detect Enemy spell is actually using to trigger a positive result – to detect an enemy.  Does the entity need to be able to “know” that they wish to harm the caster for the spell to pick them up? 


In which case, you could exclude Zombies and Skeletons, as well as Gorp; they have no brains and cannot “know” anything.  But can an animal predator be said to “know” that they wish to harm the caster, or are they just acting on instinct – the urge to assuage hunger or to protect their young for example?

It would detect either. The spell doesn’t read their mind.

The above questions are not “theoretical” but informed by an incident in a scenario of mine that I was recently running (Snakes on a Moonboat).  A chaos snake with the Chaos Feature (goes invisible at will) decided to avoid being killed by the players by – going invisible.  A player decided that they could cast Detect Enemy to reveal where the snake was so they could hit it.

okay. I’d suggest they learn detect chaos a type of Detect (substance) (I allow that in my games – taught only by Storm Bulls)

It’s your game, so what goes on at the table is up to you. If you rule that the spell on works on sentient creatures, that fine. In my game if the snake was trying to escape, it wouldn’t detect as an enemy as the intent wasn’t to fight. So flight or fight – flight doesn’t detect, fight does.

What about conditional enemies? If you cross that line, the ghost/temples Guardian/etc will attack and intend to harm you.

It will depend on the intent at the time of crossing. Again it’s a GM call.

Must the beings be aware of your presence?

It doesn’t matter until you cross the line.

Dispel Magic

I am facing an enemy, and I suspect that she has magic cast on her – Fanaticism, Shield, Strength, whatever.

I cast Dispel Magic at her, to take down some of her advantages.

Does she get a resistance roll to the Dispel Magic, before it encounters her protective spells? Bear in mind that normally, resistance rolls happen AFTER a spell gets past defensive magic, not before.

Please re-read the description of Dispel Magic on page 260, and the section Dispel, Dismiss, and Neutralize Magic also on 260. 

The defensive spells are hit first, then the personal resistance roll.

What if I cast Dispel Magic on her sword to remove a Fireblade or Bladesharp – do I have to overcome her MP?

  • Use POW not Magic Points.
  • If the spell is active (Fireblade) – Yes.
  • If the spell is passive (Bladesharp), – No unless the weapon contains a spirit, – that has POW – yes (Use the spirit’s POW).

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Dispel Magic & Sorcery Intensity

How do you calculate the intensity of a Sorcery spell for the purposes of countermagic / dispel? As far as I can figure, the total intensity is 1 + the levels of intensity purchased, is that right?

That’s correct.

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Can a powerful Dispel Magic remove multiple spells at once?

Yes. But it must completely overcome each of them.

One cannot Dispel only part of a spell.

Dispel Magic, page 260

A Dispel Magic 4 against Protection 3 and Shield 1, would only knock out the Protection 3. 

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Do you have to roll POW vs POW in order for Dispelling magics to work in the first place? Or is this only if you target an object/person, instead of targeting a specific spell? 

Dispel Magic does not require any POW vs. POW resistance roll. It just works if it has enough magic points.


The description for the Disruption states that success strikes a random hit location on the target.

The Rune Fixes II document on page 2 states that Aimed Blows cannot be made with spells.

Does this absolutely positively rule out any prospect of aiming a disruption spell?

Yes, but as a GM you may overrule this for the purposes of MGF, furthering the story or just because you can.

or indeed any spell, at a specifically targeted hit location?

No. We don’t know what the future holds. New supplements could for example detail a new spells like “Glue Fingers”, “Seal lips”, Stomach Ache, etc. However it’s unlikely that combat spells would alter the no Aimed Blows rule.


Spirit spell Distraction says you can “taunt” a Spirit while it’s in spirit combat to force it to attack the caster.

The printing I’m working from doesn’t use the word “taunt”.

Does the spirit actually have to be in spirit combat, or can you force a Spirit to attack you while it’s not in combat? 

No. It distracts an attacking spirit to change targets.


Does the Farsee spell make any difference to anything within the game system, or only the the value the GM assigns it ad hoc in a particular situation? Skills have no range penalties, and the spell description implies that Farsee makes no difference to missile or thrown weapon range or accuracy at range. 

It has no mechanic-specific effect on a case-by-case basis, but the gamemaster might interpret that as being able to use Perception-based skills like Insight, Scan, Search, or even Track at twice their ‘normal’ distance.

“Each point of this spell halves the apparent distance as seen by the caster to the rest of the universe”. It is also listed as a Ranged spell. Can Farsee be cast on someone else by the caster, or is it a spell that only works on the caster (and if the latter is the case, why is it a ranged spell then, and not a self spell?)

One of those weird nomenclature issues. It can be cast on others (that should be clarified) and has a long-range effect.



Touch, Instant, Passive

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Does Firearrow deal any additional special/critical damage?

No. Such is the unpredictability of magic. 

On a pragmatic sense, for a critical, rolling 3D6 (plus damage bonus) and ignoring armor is more-than-likely to disable whatever hit location it strikes. 

The gamemaster is wholly within their rights to decide that these results do in fact do special damage (impaling or slashing) but may soon discover that these spells become dominant tactics. 


I think there is a problem with Fireblade. A 4pt spell meant to be used by a melee combatant that has a better than even chance of going away if they take damage/are surprised/cast another spell is somewhere between totally overpriced and useless. Is this how you mean it to be?

It’s incredibly deadly for a spirit magic spell, doing 3d6 + damage bonus (11-14 pts. on average). That’s often enough to chew through most armor and incapacitate a limb, and has the chance of being a one-shot takedown if it hits the head, torso, or abdomen. It can do special/critical damage (it doesn’t say it doesn’t, so assume it does). You can parry or Dodge while the spell is up. If it is interrupted by failing the concentration check, it can be re-cast on the same weapon almost immediately.  

To us, that seems neither overpriced nor useless, but if you feel that it is, Your Glorantha May Vary.

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If someone has Fireblade on an iron sword, do they deal 2x the fireblade damage to a troll or elf? 

No. It is now magically a magical blade of fire, not iron. Roll for the Fireblade damage instead. 

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This damage cannot be magically resisted because it is real physical damage from the heat of the fire.

Fireblade, page 114

What does this mean? Just that Countermagic doesn’t work? Or also that magical armour and protection spells don’t?

The damage is not magical in nature, but physical. If your magical armor protects from physical damage (fire) then that’s fine.

Look at Fire in RQG page 157, armor, shield and protection spells can protect against flame. Bear in mind when looking at this section that Fireblade is a directed weapon used in combat.



This spell increases the target’s CHA by 8, spirit combat damage by one step on the Spirit Combat Damage table (e.g., from +1D6 to +1D6+3, RuneQuest, page 56), all Communication skills by +10%, and all Magic skills as follows:

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Using Charisma and Glamour together

If you have, say, a CHA of 16, and cast Glamour, it goes up to 24.

If you cast Charisma in the next round, does CHA double to 48? Or does it only double the base stat, making 40? Or does Charisma just supplant Glamour, making 32?

Use only the base stat:

  • Glamour, base +8 for two minutes (10 rounds) = CHA 24
  • Charisma, base x 2 for 15 minutes = 32 + 8 = 40

A GM could rule that they are incompatible, or Charisma displaces Glamour, avoiding the fiddley maths.

The correct use is to improve the base attribute, not the magical addition to it. 

That said, the difference between the results is not huge, and if you’d like to make your Rune magic that much more powerful, by all means do so. 

As for putting clarifications into the RBoM,… we did what we could, but if we tried to cover every single example of a potential combo of spell effects, the book would be triple the size. 

Jason Durall, RuneQuest Line Editor


If you want to cast a heal an unconscious friend, do you have to roll POW vs POW in order to succeed?

p. 244 heavily implies so. “A target always resists a spell unless that target voluntarily and knowingly accepts the spell.”

Yes, however your GM may rule otherwise. We suggest that unconscious friends do not resist Healing spells, but do suggest they resist broos casting Disruption.

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Heal cannot raise an adventurer from the dead. However, 2 points of Heal will cauterize any wound or severed limb, and 6 points of Heal will restore a severed limb to the body if both parts are available.

Heal, page 262

Does this mean Heal 2 (to cauterize) and Heal 6 (to restore severed limb),


or does it mean a person could use Heal 1 cast 6 times in a row could reattach a limb and twice in a row could cauterize a wound?


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Does Heal 6 to restore a severed limb also repair 6 points of damage? I’ve always assumed it does, but I’m playing with an equally experienced person who has always assumed it doesn’t…

Yes. My emphasis:

This spell repairs damage done to hit points. The caster must touch the part of the body being healed. Each point of Heal immediately repairs 1 hit point in that location



and 6 points of Heal restores a severed limb to the body if all parts are available.

Red Book of Magic, page 115 / RQG, page 262

In summary, Heal 6

  • immediately repairs 6 hit points in that location.
  • stops the bleeding of any wound or severed limb
  • restores a severed limb to the body if all parts are available

FYI the wording was identical in RQ1 & 2, RQ3 didn’t allow reattachment of limbs.


“The magical missile does the same damage as the original missile”.

Does this include the damage bonus for thrown weapons?


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We have can’t decide if multimissile hits all the missiles on the same location or if each missile rolls separately on the location table, what’s the usual way to do it?

Separate – Each missile attack is rolled separately. So attack, location and damage are separate rolls.


Why doesn’t the spirit spell Parry doesn’t increase the armor of the shield/weapon… I mean if Bladesharp and all the others increase damage on top of the percentage, why not Parry? Seems a bit weak in comparison. 

We didn’t see the need to change the spell. Given that we’ve conflated attack and parry chances, it seemed to be overmuch to add additional hit points to a weapon.

Weapons breaking or being damaged is a core feature of RQ combat, so anything that moves away from that is not particularly desirable.


Does Shimmer spirits spell works in spirit combat? And if yes how does it works?

No, “This spell blurs and distorts the target’s visual image”, not spirit image.

Your GM may rule otherwise.


Does the Silence spell have to be used with the Move Quietly skill or does it have other applications (such as suppressing the noise of a person or horse when they are moving without attempting a Move Quietly roll)?

When used with Move Quietly does it only remove the penalty for noisy armour or does it have other effects (such as changing a fail to a success)?

The spell suppresses normal movement sounds, unless they are deliberately (or disastrously) made. 

The sounds generated while walking around in your armor (bronze chain rustling against bronze plates, sword scabbard rubbing against your hip, leather squeaking, sandals slapping on the ground, breathing, etc.) will be suppressed, as will the clop-clop of your horse’s hooves. 

So no, you don’t have to make a Move Quietly roll, but if you want to do anything specific that isn’t naturalistic movement, you should take that precaution. 

It doesn’t shift a success… it’s a binary thing. It covers some things, but not others. If you engage in combat while under the spell’s effect, the onlookers would see you, hear your combat sounds, but would not hear your normal movement sounds (except in the case of a fumble). 


Chalana Arroy’s special spirit magic of Sleep may not be taught to outsiders under any circumstances. Befuddle was once a cult special spell as well, but knowledge of it was shared in the First Age, which led to its use to attack, perverting its merciful purpose. That mistake has not been repeated.

Gods of Glorantha, unpublished


Is there any resistance role for the spell Slow or is it always successful?

Resistance roll, as it directly affects another living being independent of something the adventurer is doing. 

For example, Bladesharp doesn’t require a resistance roll as it’s just adding to the efficacy of an attack already being made. Slow is affecting another being usually in defiance of their preference. If someone were to cast Mobility on an unwilling subject, that should probably call for a resistance roll too.

Spirit Binding

This refers to the practice for cults to have animals sacred to that god kept and bred within the temple grounds. Ernalda temples are likely full of snakes, Orlanthi temples might keep a sacred cattle pen, Eiritha cows, Engizi a pool of fish, Issaries maybe birds, etc. 

Eurmal would have a bunch of raccoons who run around loose and get into other temples, because they’re like that.  

The term ‘familiar’ appears in the text of this spell and nowhere else in the book. Is a familiar the same thing as a spirit bound animal as described on page 250, or something else?

Yes, a familiar is a bound spirit animal. You can use the following as a guide in the Bestiary:

  • Bestiary Vrok Hawk page 161, use as a base for other birds.
  • Bestiary Dog page 144, use as a base for other breeds of dog.
  • Bestiary shadowcat page 159
  • For monkeys just make a smaller Baboon, etc.

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The spirit spell Spirit Binding requires only a POW vs POW roll to put a spirit into a binding enchantment, while Control Spirit requires the caster to have won a spirit combat to bind the spirit… Making Spirit Binding much better for this purpose. Is this as intended? 

Yes.  It’s about the intent:

Spirit Binding allows a spirit to be placed in a binding.

Control (entity) cannot be used to place a spirit in a binding.

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Rules as written, if I have an empty POW Storing crystal (or an appropriate binding enchantment), can I cast Spirit Binding at any spirit that pops up during an adventure and bind it that round of combat?

Combat is not the best place to do this, you are unlikely to have enough SRs.

Empty POW storage crystals – you can use them immediately with no preparation, they are naturally magical.

Items – As long as you have prepared the item as described in the Enchantment section on page 249, inscribed the Runes of the enchantment on, in, or around the thing to be enchanted, spent the POW and your GM agrees that it’s possible to do this without an actual spirit present, then yes. I’d certainly allow shamans and their assistants to do this, but not anyone else. Anyone else has to do the Enchantment with a spirit present. If a shaman or assistant, I’d have the POW they’d spent held ready (and thus no longer available to use) until the moment of the casting, then roll. If they fail the POW is restored, if not the spirit is bound.

Players in my game always do ritual preparation to get the casting chance to 100% (so a player with 15 POW would have a 65% chance normally, but would always do at least an hour to get the +35% bonus). The GM is the adjudicator of failed rolls and remember if allowed are at -25% (Game System page 142). Rituals are never quick. Quote

Reviewing the spell description, it doesn’t look like any other procedures are required (defeating it in spirit combat, it isn’t a ritual spell, etc.). Am I correct in that understanding?

other than the preparation and obtaining a spirit, no. this part is a ritual:

Magical objects for holding spirits can be made using the Binding Enchantment ritual (page 249)



This spell increases the target’s STR by 8, and If the target’s STR+SIZ is 40 or less, increases melee combat damage by one step on the Damage Bonus table (e.g., from +1D4 to +1D6, RuneQuest, page 56), and all Agility and Manipulation skills (including weapon skills) as follows:

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Using Bear’s Strength and Strength together

If you have, say, a STR of 16, and cast Strength, it goes up to 24.

If you cast Bear’s Strength in the next round, does STR double to 48? Or does it only double the base stat, making 40? Or does Bear’s Strength just supplant Strength, making 32?

Use only the base stat:

  • Strength, base +8 for two minutes (10 rounds) = STR 24
  • Bear’s Strength, base x 2 for 15 minutes = 32 + 8 = 40

A GM could rule that they are incompatible, or Bear’s Strength displaces Strength, avoiding the fiddley maths.

The correct use is to improve the base attribute, not the magical addition to it. 

That said, the difference between the results is not huge, and if you’d like to make your Rune magic that much more powerful, by all means do so. 

As for putting clarifications into the RBoM,… we did what we could, but if we tried to cover every single example of a potential combo of spell effects, the book would be triple the size. 

Jason Durall, RuneQuest Line Editor

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