CHA4028 RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Chapter 08 Runes Q&A

Official Answers by Chaosium

Using Runes (page 227)

An Elemental Rune may be used to augment the adventurer’s
chance with a single non-combat skill within its skills category

Using Runes, Elemental Rune, page 227

In the following example given it states that Vasana is going to try to augment her Broadsword skill by becoming inspired by her Air Rune. Which clearly isn’t a non-combat skill. I’m confused.

Ignore the use of the word “non-combat” in this instance. In this case, the Air Rune governs all Manipulation skills, which fundamentally overlap with combat skills. Furthermore, swords fall under the influence of the Air Rune (see page 49) so they would use that Rune.

Becoming Inspired (page 229)

Can we get some clarification on the use of the Runes?

The uses of Runes are covered in the Rune chapter on (page 227)

Uses covered are:

  • Casting Rune Magic (page 227)
  • Runic Inspiration (page 227)
  • Casual Use (page 229)
  • Magical Tests (page 230)
  • Conflicting Runes (page 230)
  • Conflicts with Passions (page 230)
  • Personality Disputes (page 230).

Can you clarify the words “all further rolls using that Rune”

On a failure to use a rune:

Failure: On a failure, the adventurer subtracts –20% from all further rolls using that Rune until they can spend a day meditating on the Rune. 

Becoming inspired, page 229.

Subtract 20% from any rolls involving the uses listed above.

and “The adventurer must even avoid acting in accordance with the Rune during that time.” with respect to how Elemental Runes affect entire skill categories?

on a Fumble:

During this time, the adventurer cannot use that Rune at all (including Rune magic based on that Rune). 

Becoming inspired, page 229.

The adventurer cannot use the rune for any activities listed above.

The adventurer must even avoid acting in accordance with the Rune during that time.

Becoming inspired, page 229.

The player and GM should look at the relevant Rune Affinities description on pages 48-50, so the player understands what to have their adventurer avoid doing. For Darkness it’s cold, cruel, patient, and secretive. So the player should avoid playing their adventurer in that normal manner. 

If, for example, a player fumbles their Darkness Rune inspiration and enters Psychic Turmoil, would using Maces, Clubs, the sense of Hearing, and Stealth skills be penalized in such a case, as using them acts in accordance with the Rune?

This is a roleplaying opportunity, it’s up to the player how their adventurer manifests their turmoil. The turmoil prevents augmenting the relevant categories, not using them. However depending on the action that the augment was for, that might influence their actions. If in the case of the Darkness rune, it was for a mace augmentation, they might shun, destroy, throw it in a river, run away from the weapon. They might want to roleplay being struck deaf if a listen roll, or run around screaming if a move silently roll. 

Finally, once a Rune is successfully used for inspiration, it cannot be used again that session.

Becoming Inspired (page 229)

Is the phrase Rune affinity (which is how success at casting Rune spells is determined) a “use” of a Rune?

No. Using a rune to cast rune magic is not inspiration.

The mechanics of Psychic Turmoil imply that casting “Rune magic based on that Rune” is a “use” of the Rune.

 No. It says if under the effects of psychic turmoil

During this time, the adventurer cannot use that Rune at all (including Rune magic based on that Rune).

Becoming Inspired (page 229)

Conflicting Runes Example (page 230)

In the example on page 230, right column, the Pendragon rule of “high roll wins a tie of opposed rolls” seems to be used.

But that isn’t right, is it? Considering that the updated pdf has changed the ambiguous wording on page 144.


Vasana ties her Harmony and Air rune rolls, yet the Air rune is the winner. Opposed Rolls says she tied, but this rule seems to say the high roll wins, as in Pendragon.

The result is a tie under the opposed rules, but the player, for MGF, can choose the outcome for a roleplaying opportunity if the result is not immediately clear. The Harmast example on 144 has clear results.

Personality Disputes (page 230)

Typo in the 4th sentence of 1st paragraph, 2nd Example (Vostor Son of Pyjeem is traveling…) on page 231.

“Vostor s uncertain.”     >>>    “Vostor is uncertain. “


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