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

Official Answers from Chaosium

This covers the first part of Chapter 13, pages 313-317.

For the Rune Magic Spells, see Chapter 13 Rune Magic Spells Q&A

See also the Red Book of Magic


    Gaining Rune Magic Spells (page 313)

    Am I right in thinking that standard rune spells that are not one use, do not need dedicated runepoints but instead can use from the rune point pool freely? 


    You accumulate Rune points via POW sacrifice. You regain them through worship and other methods.

    You can use any Rune points in the pool dedicated to a specific cult/deity to cast spells you know through that cult.

    You can cast common knowledge Rune spells using the Rune points from any cult (assuming that the cult teaches common Rune spells), but any specific to a cult must come from the Rune points dedicated to that god. 

    For example, if somehow you were a member of Orlanth’s and Humakt’s cults, you could not cast Wind Words with your Humakt Rune points, nor could you cast Truesword with your Orlanth points. 

    Spells gained through spell trading, enchantments, etc. are a bit trickier, so the gamemaster should determine where the Rune points come from based on cult compatibility and common sense. If in doubt, consider what the god who gave the Rune points would think of the spell being used. 

    Casting a Rune Spell (page 314)


    Casting a Rune magic spell prevents an adventurer from casting any other Rune magic, spirit magic, or sorcery spells that round. Exceptions that allow simultaneous casting, such as Extension, which is cast with the spell it is intended to extend, and Illusion spells are detailed in their spell descriptions.

    Can you combine rune points from more than one god/cult when casting a common rune spell?

    e.g. I have 4 RP with Ernalda and 4 RP with Orlanth; Can I use all 8 RP to cast Dismiss Magic 8?


    Can you cast one spell using the Rune Points from one cult, and add Extension for that spell but using another cult’s Rune Points? 


    How long do ritual spells take?

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    Ritual spells generally take one hour to cast per point of the spell. However, the gamemaster may be flexible about this, as rituals are almost always cast outside of combat and may be combined with ritual preparation and other means of increasing the chance of successfully casting the spell.

    Red Book of Magic, Characteristics of Rune Spells, page 9


    Often there are multiple runes listed on a Rune spell. Which can you use when casting? For example, Charisma has three possible Runes:

    Now only one of those is an Ernaldan Rune: The Fertility Rune, but our Ernaldan initiate possesses the Fertility and Illusion Runes. Can she use either Rune or must her choices for fuelling a Rune spell be Ernaldan only. 

    Any of the runes. It’s runes the adventurer shares with the spell, not what the cult shares with the spell:


    The adventurer must roll D100 equal to or less than a Rune affinity the adventurer shares with the spell.

    Casting a Rune Spell, page 314. 

    Normally there would be little reason for an Ernaldan not to use their Earth rune. It would likely be their highest chosen Elemental rune affinity at 60%, the other two Power runes would likely both be at 50%.

    Unless she had fumbled an augment using Earth… or…

    Yes, but normally there would be little reason for an Ernaldan not to use their Earth rune.

    Stackable Rune Magic (page 315)

    See Stackable Rune Magic in the Red Book of Magic

    Replenishing Rune Points (page 315)

    Minor Holy Days (page 315)

    Where can I find the minor holy days of each cult, during which Rune Points can be replenished?  

    Of particular interest to me are the minor holy days of Orlanth, Humakt and Daka Fal.

    Few cults have minor Holy days (only Ernalda & Issaries in the rules book). Humakt and Daka Fal do not have minor holy days. Orlanth has a minor Holy Day each Windsday.

    Associated Cults (page 315)

    Initiates worshiping with an associated cult on the associated cult’s high or seasonal holy day:

    Does the worshiper get the Sacred Dates bonuses, considering that “the deity’ is not their own deity?



    An adventurer gets a bonus to their Worship skill by performing the ritual upon a date sacred to the deity

    Replenishing Rune Points, page 315

    Their worship (Deity) is not the same as the deity on who’s day they are worshipping.

    Do they get the sacred places bonus, considering that the place is not sacred to their own deity?

    No. Again their worship (Deity) is not the same as the deity they are worshipping in that place.

    Does the initiate not have a chance at all on the associated cult’s minor holy days?

    No. Minor Holy Days do not usually include the associate deities of a god to a degree that they would be able to receive benefits.

    As usual a GM may alter these rules to suit their own game.

    Votive Image (page 315)

    Do votive images automatically give you back a Rune point every holy day that they remain in the temple or just on the day that you put them there?

    Votive images automatically give you back a Rune point every Seasonal and High Holy day only, per image.

    If you had 3 votive images in your temple you would automatically regain 3 RP on the seasonal and high holy days without having to make a worship roll.

    Remember that you need to convince the priest with your Loyalty (temple) to place each one, if there is space…

    Sacrifice (page 316)

    Magic Points (page 316)


    Initiates and Rune Masters must sacrifice at least 2 magic points during a Worship ritual to their deity. For each additional magic point sacrificed, they get a +10% bonus to their Worship skill during that ritual. Magic points sacrificed regenerate normally.

    Magic Points, page 316

    I think I’m missing something. Is this saying that a player can spend magic points to give himself a 100% chance of recovering rune points and those magic points will return within 24 hours. That’s not much of a sacrifice. Am i missing something?

    That’s as intended. You’re supposed to be able to commune with your god easily through Worship and regain your Rune points. Your god wants you to to have them. You run a small risk of being magic point shy for the day after a worship ceremony, but that’s a small price to pay for the power conferred by your returned Rune points.

    One-use Rune Spells (page 316)

    One-use Rune Spells update

    See also the Red Book of Magic (page 9) for additional clarification of One-use Rune Spells. The Q&A below has been updated to reflect this. Jan 2021.

    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)

    Chapter 13 Rune Magic Spells Q&A

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