CHA4028 RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Chapter 10 Magic Q&A

Official Answers by Chaosium

Spirit rune

Can one combine RPs from several sources to fuel a spell of greater potency then one can supply oneself Is there a limit or cap to this, and is it CHA? Seems to me that the temple ate by a dragon was the target of a 20 year multi-being spell/ritual.

Can one combine MPs from several sources to fuel a spell. Same follow up, is there a limit a and what is that limit?

MGF dictates that there is no limit. You just need sources and the more points, the more time, and a method of combining it altogether.

Resisting Spells (page 244)

If a character is a target of a spell that requires a POW vs POW resistance roll, can the character use runic and/or passion augment to better resist the spell?

Yes, as it uses the resistance Table, see page 146. Augments to the Resistance Table.

Spirit rune

When you are protected by a magic affecting spell (Shield, countermagic, …), does the effect of the spell count to blocking the spells you cast on yourself (heal is the one that comes to my mind, but in fact, any other spell)?

The easiest way to understand this is to think of the defensive spells as layers protecting you. So an incoming spell would for example have to penetrate countermagic, then shield before reaching you. If you cast heal on yourself, it doesn’t have to travel out and back in to reach you, it’s already inside the defensive layer.

Rune Points


A worship ritual takes a full day.

Worship, page 244

Is this correct?

yes. Sunset to sunset. 

Sanctify can be cast to allow the ceremony, but only on a holy day, not just any time?

For worship on a holy day – yes

It would need Extension 2 to last for a day, so 3 Rune points in total

Doesn’t need to be extended, except in size. Sanctify lasts until the next sunrise or sunset.

All participants could ritually prepare for 30 minutes beforehand to get +30% to Worship skill (as per p245 and example on p246).


Ernalda (e.g) has minor holy days every Clayday (p293)


So if the party is travelling with an Ernaldan priestess, they can all worship every week,

In an Ernaldan worship ceremony, Yes. On a minor holy day Ernaldan initiates receive:

With a successful Worship roll on a minor holy day, initiates get 1D6 Rune points restored and God-talkers, Rune Priests, and Rune Lords get 1D6+1 Rune points replenished. With a failure, no Rune points are restored.

page 315

Associate cults get no Rune points restored on Ernalda’s minor holy days:

Associated Cults: With a successful Worship roll during an associated cult’s high or seasonal holy day, initiates get 1D6 Rune points restored, and God-talkers, Rune Priests, and Rune Lords get 1D6+1 Rune points replenished. With a failure, no Rune points are restored.

page 315

Associate cults are

Aldrya, Asrelia, Babeester Gor, Barntar*, Chalana Arroy, Choralinthor*, Gata*, Good Shepherd, Mahome, Maran Gor, Minlister*, Three Bean Circus, Ty Kora Tek, and Voria*.

page 293

with preparation, getting +10% (weekly holy day) +30% (ritual preparation) minimum and by so doing get back 1d6 RP, or 1d6+1 RP if higher than initiate.

If Ernaldans:

For a few extra MP over the required 2 they can boost their Worship to 100%. This will of course mean they have to stop somewhere for a day to do so which might not be expedient, and 1/6th of the time the Ernaldan won’t get all her 3 RP back.

If they are an Ernaldan priestess, they will stop anyway: 

They must observe the cult holy days and sacrifice 2 magic points during cult Worship rituals.

Duties and Restrictions of Rune Priests, page 278

Babester Gor followers should be on hand to guard the ceremony and take part (that’s their job) if in a dangerous place.

Are the RPs regained rolled once for everyone (of a particular initiation level?), or does each participant roll separately?


Everyone who is not a Ernaldan initiate or associate cult member can take part as a lay member: 

Any non-Chaotic sentient being that is welcomed. This includes all the Elder Races. Membership is permanent unless they are outlawed.

Lay members are required to join in the weekly services and sacrifice 1 magic point.*

* from the upcoming Cults of Glorantha.

Vasana’s Saga (page 245)

it says said that Harmast and Yanioth, not being initiated, are standing outside the circle during the ceremony, on the other side of the guards. After the Red Swordswoman has been defeated, it says here that Harmast shows Vasana the scars that the Red Swordswoman gave him. Now, unless these are pre-existing scars that he is now flashing at Vasana, how did Harmast get scarred during the ceremony, if he was all that way outside the circle of guards? Was this ceremonial battle a big free-for-all ?

Apparently Harmast and Yanioth respected the circle, while the Red Swordswoman did not. It’s the spirit of Jar-eel, who massacred pretty much everyone in a huge area when she showed up in the flesh.

Spells (page 247)

Spells / Types of Spells (page 247)

Where can I find the rule about concentrate in the rulebook? Mentioned in the last sentence of this post.

Page 247, under Active Spell (rules that apply to all magic). It’s also mentioned again in the chapter on Spirit Magic (p255). 

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Types of Spells / Active Spell (page 247)

If you are concentrating on an active Tap spell (or getting extra MPs from somewhere else), can you at the same time pump MPs into a matrix or a crystal?

While the Active Spell information on page 247, does not specifically exclude doing this, moving magic points is another activity that would trigger a concentration roll.

Given the way that sorcery works, there is scope for a tap spell that could specifically recharge POW storing crystals (eg Crystalise Breath could specifically recharge a crystal). See Creating New Spells on page 390. Making a tapping passive crystal recharger would be a INT x3 creation IMO. 


Spellcasting / Riding while Spellcasting

Is it possible to cast a spell while riding a mount? if it is how does that interact with movement?

Ultimately this is situational. The answer would be for the gamemaster to determine, based on:

What’s the rider’s relative skill?

Are they used to casting spells while riding?

Is the spell active vs. passive?

What type of mount is it? Is it used to a rider?

What speed is the mount moving at?

What’s the terrain and environment?

Is it a chaotic battle, or is it a relatively open plain?

The gamemaster could call for a Ride roll, a concentration check. If undistracted, I’d allow the mount’s regular movement.

This is why chariots are preferred by many Gloranthan magicians and why there are chariot rules in the game.”

Jeff Richard

Spellcasting / Holding Spells

Is it possible to hold spells? instead of casting or aborting a given spell it it possible to instead wait to cast it at a later time?

It depends on the the situation.

Is the caster just holding off, or is this some sort of “overwatch” situation, holding a spell while hoping to get it in a split-second before another action?

The gamemaster should handle these on an ad hoc basis, with the relevant situation calling for a DEXx5 roll, an opposed DEX or INT roll, etc. depending on circumstances.

Boosting a Spell (page 248)

you can boost additional magic points any spell to make it harder to dispel or dismiss.

Is this an official ruling?

It’s in the rule book:

Boosting a Spell

A caster may always use additional magic points to boost a spell, regardless of type.

Boosting a Spell, page 248

My emphasis.

Do all spent MPs go into dismiss resistance (so that a Sword Trance that you pumped with a lot of MPs for a big bonus becomes hard to affect), or do you have to spend “dedicated” MPs to achieve the resistance (so that you could put, say, 5 MPs for effect and 3 MPs for dismissal resistance into a Sword Trance, making it size 5 (1×2 Rune Points, 3 MPs)?

If you are casting a spell that has its own magic points, the boost is separate from any points needed for effect. There is no “dismissal resistance” or “size” for spells.

Casting Sword Trance boosted with 5 magic points for +50%,  at the same time you could boost it with an extra 3 magic points.

Using Dismiss Magic as an example, each point of Dismiss Magic cancels 2 points of spirit magic Rune Magic or sorcery, or 1 point of Rune magic. so Dismiss Magic would need 3 rune points (2 points cancels the boost, 1 point cancels the rune spell 1 point, 2+1=3 Rune points.) Without the 3 point boost it would cost only 1 rune point to dismiss.

Be aware that in the text of Sword Trance, the term “boosted’ is used to refer to increasing the spell effect and that I am using the term “boost” to refer to the rule on page 278.

Enchantment (page 249)

In RQ3 there were armouring enchantments to increase armour, and strengthening enchantment to increase either location or general HP.

I can’t see these in RQG ? Have they gone for gone away ? Am I not looking properly ? Are they coming back in a different supplement ?

They’re discussed briefly on pages 249-250. They’ve been de-emphasized as they were historically woefully abused.

Binding Enchantment (page 249)

The bound entities are bound to the physical world by the life force of the binder. If the binder dies, all their bound entities are immediately freed.

Binding Enchantment, page 249

If a magician that made several binding enchantments in different items, and summoned and bound entities in those enchantments, and during the next years some of those objects had been lend, lost, sold or whatever. When the magician dies, all entities go back to the spirit world according with that rule.


If your adventurer finds/buy one of those magical objects. Technically, they can wake up one day to discover that the elemental they had in their magical item has disappeared.

Yes, but this is trumped by the rule below.

In a similar way, if you convince a shaman to summon and bind a new elemental into the item, the passing of the shaman will have the same result. Following that logic, most ancient magical items resting in ruins should have empty binding enchantments.

Yes, but this is trumped by the rule below.

Is all that intended?

Yes, but this is trumped by the rule below.

What if the adventurer use a dominate / control spell with the bound entity at least once, does it means that now the adventurer IS THE LAST BINDER of the entity and thus, it is with the adventurer’s death when entities get freed?

yes, if you think that’s a cool way of resolving this issue. There are dozens of other ways of this working as well.

The important rule is:

Maximum Game Fun

When writing, thinking, and gaming in Glorantha, always ask yourself, “Now, in this situation what is the most fun?” and then go with it. That’s Maximum Game Fun (MGF). Keep this principle in mind whenever you apply the rules of RuneQuest to any situation.

Maximum Game Fun box, page 6
  • Is it fun to have the adventurers cool bound spirit weirdly vanish  – No – use MGF.
  • Is it fun to have all the ancient magic items missing a bound spirit – No – use MGF.
  • Is it fun to get an adventurer to learn a dominate spell so they can keep their acquired bound spirits -Yes – MGF.
  • Do you need to explain why the spirits haven’t disappeared – No – MGF.

Spirit rune

Thus, a typical spirit binding enchantment requires a sacrifice of at least 2 points of POW (as spirits always have CHA and POW, and sometimes INT), while a binding enchantment for an elemental requires at least 3 points of POW (elementals always have SIZ, STR, and POW).”

Binding Enchantment, page 249

Which of the following is true?

a) The enchant is non-specific to the characteristics. That is, I enchant a binding for 3 statistics and then it can be used for a ghost (INT, POW, CHA) or an elemental (STR, SIZ, POW)?


Thus, if we defeat a Mallia shaman with a Binding Enchantment previously used for a Disease Spirit, can our High Healer use it to bind a Healing Spirit? We defeat a Seven Mothers priest with a Lune in a binding enchantment, can we bind an Umbroli in it or a Landscape Spirit?

yes, unless unless it has specific user conditions attached to it (see page 251). I always add only friendly cults to it (my players usually do the same). Prevents magical proliferation in games. 

Also, I found another contradiction. From the quote above “as spirits always have CHA and POW”. Yet the Bestiary says that Disease Spirits and Healing Spirits only have POW, no CHA. So either they should also have CHA, or RQG RiG show modify Binding Enchantment to allow “a sacrifice of at least 1 point of POW” for Disease or Healing Spirit bindings.

RQG, page 249 says: “a typical spirit binding enchantment requires a sacrifice of at least 2 points of POW”

Disease Spirits and Healing Spirits are atypical.

Spirit rune

Can spirits bound to an item learn spells in RQG?

Not under the currently available rules. However MGF allows for it.

For suggestions using MGF see this post here:

Spirit rune

Is Spirit Binding possible to use against all spirits that are not allied spirits?


In spirit combat and also against more “physical” elementals etc?


Binding Enchantment / Limit to Binding (page 250)

See Spirit Combat on page 336 for more information.

Limit to Binding (page 250)

change to

See Spirit Combat on page 366 for more information.

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