CHA4028 RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Chapter 13 Rune Magic Spells Q&A

Official Answers from Chaosium

This covers the second part of Chapter 13, pages 317-348

For the Rune Magic rules section see Chapter 13 Rune Magic Q&A

The Q&A here relates only to corrections and Q&A for the Core Rules book. The main Rune Magic Spells Q&A in now in the Red Book of Magic Rune Magic spells Q&A.

Rune Spells (page 317)

The Q&A here relates only to corrections and Q&A for the Core Rules book. The main Rune Magic Spells Q&A in now in the relevant Red Book of Magic section.

Spell NameRBM
Accelerate Growth10317
Affix Darkness10317
Alter Creature10318Second printing corrections
Analyze Magic11318
Arouse Passion13318
Axe Trance14318
Axis Mundi14318
Bear Fruit15319
Bear’s Skin15319
Bear’s Strength15319Second printing corrections
Become [Other Shape]16319
Berserker16319Second printing corrections
Binding Enchantment17321
Bind Ghost17321Updated text
Blast Earth17321
Bless Animals17321
Bless Champion18321
Bless Crops18321
Bless Grave18321
Bless Pregnancy18321
Bless Thunderstone18322
Bless Woad19322
Breathe Air/Water21322
Call Founder21322
Chaos Gift27322
Clever Tongue30323
Cloud Call30323
Cloud Clear30323
Comfort Song30323
Command (Cult Spirit)30323
Command Priests30323
Command (Species)31324
Command Worshipers31324Updated text
Crack3432494Updated text
Create Fissure34324
Create Great Market35324
Create Market36324
Create Shadow37325
Create Wildfire37325
Cremate Dead38325
Cure All Disease38325
Cure Chaos Wound38325
Cure Poison38325
Dark Walk40325
Detect Honor42326Updated text
Detect Truth42326
Dismiss Elemental (type)44326Clarified Seven Mothers information
Dismiss Magic44326
Draw Beast45327
Earth Shield45327
Earth Power45328Updated text
Enchant (metal)46327
Extension49328Rune Fixes 2, Rune Fixes 1
Face Chaos50328
Fight Disease51328
Find Enemy51328
Find (substance)52329
Free Ghost53329
Gnome to Gargoyle54329
Group Laughter55329
Guided Teleportation55330
Heal Body56330
Heal Wound56330
Healing Trance56330
Hide Fire57330
Hide Wealth57331
Identify Scent58331
Illusory Motion58331
Illusory Odor58331
Illusory Sight59331
Illusory Sound59331
Illusory Substance59332
Illusory Taste59332
Impede Chaos59333
Incarnate Ancestor59332
Increase/Decrease Wind60332
Inviolable61332Updated text
Lock63333Second printing corrections
Magic Point Enchantment64334
Matrix Creation64334
Mind Read65335
Mist Cloud65335
Path Watch67336
Regrow Limb73337
Remove (body part)73337
Restore Health75337
Sanctify76338Updated text
Seal Soul76338
Sever Spirit77338
Shake Earth77338
Soul Sight80340
Speak with Herd Beasts81340
Speak With Insects81340
Spell Trading82340Updated text
Spirit Armor Enchantment83341
Spirit Block83341
Spirit Guardian83341
Spirit Melding83341
Summon Cult Spirit89342
Summon (type) Elemental 91342Updated text, Clarified Seven Mothers information
Summon Ancestor87341
Summon Specific Ancestor95344
Summon Household Guardian92344
Summon Spirit of Law95344
Summon Spirit Teacher95345
Summons of Evil95345
Suppress Lodril96346Second printing corrections
Swallow97346Second printing corrections
Sword Trance97346
Tame Bull98346
Transform Self10034787
True (Weapon)100347
Turn Undead101347
Wind Warp104348
Wind Words104348

Alter Creature (page 318)


Third paragraph, first sentence changed to “A beast that becomes a human gains 2D6+6 INT and 3D6 CHA.”

Part of Second printing corrections.

Bear’s Strength (page 319)


Last sentence changed to “…Rune Masters of Odayla or an associated cult.”

Part of Second printing corrections.

Berserker (page 319)

Additional information

A common question about the Berserker Rune spell (RuneQuest, pages 319–320) is what happens, exactly, when the spell ends. The text states that the Berserker is “completely incapacitated when the spell expires.”

This means that the adventurer is unconscious or insensate as if they have fallen deep asleep or are in a similar state of fatigue. They can be roused with a successful use of First Aid, or they can simply sleep it off.

If the adventurer wishes to act before they have had some rest, the player should attempt a Constitution check (CON×5) as described on page 141 of the RuneQuest core rules.

Success means the adventurer can act normally without penalty, while failure means that all skills are at half normal chance until the adventurer has had adequate rest.

The definition of ‘adequate rest’ is up to the gamemaster, based on circumstances, the individual adventurer’s CON, their current hit points, and any other relevant factors.

Part of Rune Fixes 2

Bind Ghost (page 321)


Ritual, Instant, Nonstackable

Command Worshipers (page 324)


Ritual, Ranged (special), Duration (special), Nonstackable

This spell signals all affiliated Orlanthi within five kilometers to finish their immediate business quickly,

Crack (page 324)

This is the updated version from the Red Book of Magic page 34

New spell description


2 Points

Ranged, Instant, Stackable

This spell must be cast at a non-living, non-magical object, likely a piece of armor, or a weapon or shield. If successful, it breaks the item into pieces. Each point stacked allows another item on the prospective victim to be shattered at once.

If a spirit lives in the item, the caster’s POW must overcome the spirit’s POW. The spell has no effect on spell matrices, crystals, or on elf bows of magical nature. Temporal spirit magic, Rune magic, or sorcery does not make the item immune to the spell. The caster may boost with magic points to overcome the magic at 2 points per Rune point, 1 point per point of spirit magic, or 1 point per sorcery strength. The caster may also boost with magic points to help penetrate Shield (page 78), Countermagic (page 111), or similar defensive spells.

A Repair spell (page 118) will fix a broken object.

Detect Honor (page 326)


Instant, Stackable, Ranged

Dismiss Elemental (type) (page 326)


Dismiss (type) Elemental

Rune varies depending on elemental being dismissed

Rune varies depending on elemental being dismissed.

How does this work for initiates of the Seven Mothers? Vostor doesn’t have the Fire rune, so can’t cast his Summon Fire Elemental (small) spell.

Seven Mothers initiates can Summon / Dismiss Elementals (max 1pt) using the Moon rune, but cannot Summon / Dismiss any form of Air Elemental. 

Dismiss Magic (page 326)

See also

Dispel, Dismiss, and Neutralize Magic Box (page 260)

Dispel Magic (page 260) Spirit Magic

Neutralise Magic (page 397) Sorcery

Earthpower (page 327)


1 point of POW and 1D8 magic points

Updated in the Red Book of Magic

Extension (page 328)

Revised Description

Part of Rune Fixes 2

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood or abused Rune spell is Extension (RuneQuest, page 328), particularly when it interacts with certain other spells. The intent of the spell is straightforward: to prolong the duration of another temporal Rune spell beyond its normal 15-minute duration.

Some concerned gamemasters have pointed out that the spell, when cast in tandem with a combat-oriented spell such as Arrow Trance, Axe Trance, Berserker, Sword Trance, etc., is ripe for abuse, turning any adventurer (or foe!) into an eternal murder machine, with enhanced attack chances and the ability to shrug off blows, ignore fear, etc.

Taken to extremes, for 1 additional Rune point spent on Extension, an adventurer might keep one of these powerful spells active for hours, days, weeks, months, or even seasons!

However, an adventurer under the influence of these spells is focused entirely on the action modified by the spell.

An adventurer with Arrow Trance is utterly concentrating on loosing arrows at potential foes. Given that a bow takes two hands to operate, the entranced adventurer cannot cast most spells, eat, drink, sleep, open doors, or do anything that requires putting the bow down. They are likely unable to hold any sort of conversation that is not entirely concerned with putting arrows into enemies.

Similarly, an adventure using either Axe or Sword Trance, or another equivalent spell, is entirely given to the purpose of the spell—killing foes with their weapon.

So, if this is the case, then when does the spell end?

Here, the intent of the spell should be judged though the lens of the god that granted it. A Rune spell is a gift of the god’s attention and power, channeled through the Runes. What does the god want that follower to be doing?

Does Humakt want his attention diverted while his followers are eating meals, performing First Aid, looking for traps, bargaining, sleeping, refilling their water flasks, performing toiletries, etc.? No, Humakt’s blessing of the Sword Trance should only remain in effect while the adventurer is doing things relating to killing foes with swords. Once the time of the blade has passed, the spell should expire.

If an adventurer insists on casting Berserker along with Extension, then the gamemaster should remind them that they will remain in that state for as long as they are acting in a berserk fashion. Doing so for anything beyond the normal spell’s duration should be cause to determine whether the adventurer becomes dehydrated or even starves, as described on page 161 of the RuneQuest core rules.

Furthermore, also, being in such a state prohibits participating in Worship ceremonies, which means that the adventurer is unable to regain any Rune points spent.

The same is true for any of these sorts of interactions in a way that is not true for many of the other types of temporal Rune spells. If the subject of a spell continues to act in the fashion the spell is intended to, then Extension should last until it otherwise expires. If they no longer are acting according to the spell’s function, then the gamemaster should announce that the spell’s effect ends.

This is explicitly subject to the gamemaster’s interpretation. A list of conditions under which a spell may or may not be operating outside its intent is far beyond the purview of any set of game rules, no matter how complete.

This rule should have been in the core rules, but somehow got missed.

Following is the revised version of Extension from the Red Book of Magic:


1 Point Range (as per spell), Temporal, Stackable up to 5 points

This common Rune spell extends the duration of any temporal Rune spell that has a normal duration of 15 minutes. The Extension spell and the spell to be extended must be cast by the same person in the same melee round, and for all game functions are cast simultaneously. This spell and the Illusion spells are the only exceptions to the rule that just one Rune spell can be cast per melee round by the same character.

Extension affects a spell’s duration as follows:

Extension DurationSpell Duration
11 hour
21 day
31 week
41 season
51 year

Rune points stacked in Extension and the affected spell cannot be regained until the spell expires.

Replenishing Rune Points and the Extension Spell

Part of Rune Fixes 1

A Rune spell must expire before the Rune points expended in casting the spell can be replenished. In nearly all cases, additional clarification is not necessary to even spell out in the rules, as the worship ceremony takes longer to perform than the standard duration of a Rune spell. When a Rune spell’s duration is prolonged because of an Extension spell, the Rune points used for both the Extension and the underlying Rune spell cannot be replenished until the Extended spell expires.

Example: Vasana casts Shield 1 and combines it with Extension 4 so that it lasts an entire season. This uses up all 5 of her Rune points. She cannot replenish those Rune points at the next seasonal holy day to Orlanth and must wait until the Extension expires before trying to replenish those Rune points.

Illusory Substance (page 332)

Final sentence


The illusion does damage equivalent to the item (and size) of the subject of the illusion.

Updated in the Red Book of Magic

Invigorate (page 332)

The Invigorate rune spell is in the rulebook, but no cult has access to it. Is this intentional?

Yes. It’s included as it’s part of the Conversion Guide. See the Spirit Magic Conversion table on page 435.

Inviolable (page 332)


Ranged (special), Temporal, Stackable

Lock (page 333)


Second sentence changed to “… magic points used in the spell multiplied by 10.”

Part of Second printing corrections

Sanctify (page 338)


Ritual, Duration (special), Stackable


When the ceremonies cease, the spell effects expire.

Updated in the Red Book of Magic

Spell Trading (page 340)


4th bullet point, change to

Each player simultaneously casts their rune spell as normal. On a success, the spell was traded successfully, on a fail the spell was not traded, and on a 96–00 result the spell is activated against the other party, and immediately takes effect!

The example is correct.

Summon (type) Elemental


Change Spell name to Summon (type) Elemental

Rune varies depending on elemental being summoned.

Summon Elemental,  page 342

How does this work for initiates of the Seven Mothers? Vostor doesn’t have the Fire rune, so can’t cast his Summon Fire Elemental (small) spell.

Seven Mothers initiates can Summon / Dismiss Elementals (max 1pt) using the Moon rune, but cannot Summon / Dismiss any form of Air Elemental. 

Suppress Lodril (page 346)


Change “Summon Shadow” to “Create Shadow”.

(Part of Second printing corrections).

Swallow (page 346)

See also

Changed from “Instant” to “Instant/Temporal”. Last sentence changed to “…items are recoverable and their condition once they have been swallowed.”

Part of Second printing corrections.

For the Rune Magic rules section see Chapter 13 Rune Magic Q&A

Related Pages