Re: Runes for non-theists [was: 'Three Runes']

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_UlT2K1KuPoQepPZWWI7Y3568mQhPz4gtvuOg4OQbId71zQsUexhDQwB-8CqZU9UgvM9>
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 22:25:58 +1300

I must confess to being a bit deflated by the non-theist rune suggestions. Most of what has been suggested can already done by the Orlanthi (Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes p75) and they don't have a special facility for doing so. So if the Orlanthi can do them then so can everybody else.

I should point out that as the rules stand, your personal runes do not have an ability rating so they can't be used to augment spells, grimoires or tradition knowledge. What the character creation process creates are affinities for thos runes. The personal runes aren't used to augment the affinities either but make them active. You could give them non-theists a special ability bonus for synergy between personal runes and their magics but that's a bit boring.

So my suggestions for use of personal runes for sorcerers and the like:

I think Animists use the runes to become a charm for their patron spirits (eg Waha, Storm Bull, Telmor and Kargzant). Not that they now have a charm for Waha etc but that their body and spirit becomes a charm for Waha etc. Obviously they still have freedom of action but if they stray from Waha or whoever their patron spirit is, then their spirits from that tradition go kaput until the charm is remade. Obviously this is powerful magic and used as an alternative to Shamans.

The charmed animist can use his patron spirit's charms without treating their abilities as stretches. Once per session, he can release himself from the charm and gain a bonus (+9 perhaps) on all his patron related magics and skills.

For the sorcerers, there are several option, based on their theological background.

  1. Hrestoli (knights in particular) fill themselves with the power and zeal of the Invisible God as revealed through their chosen saint. This doesn't transform them into superduper walking tanks - that's their day job - but it does free them from the confines of dusty grimoires and tomes. They live their scriptures and rely on prayer not formula for their spells. This causes wizards to fear them as and denounce them as illiterate fanatic berserkers.
  2. The power that flow through the Saints is shunned by the Rokari and the Brithini for different but related theological reasons. Instead they have two methods depending on whether one is a sorcerer or not.
	2a)  Non-sorcerers perform mental and spiritual exercises to 	
	emulate the True Being of their occupation (ie Horal for 	
	warriors, Talar for rulers etc).  This confers no spells by 			itself 
but the emulation "grimoire" acts as a bonus to all 		
	skills related to their occupation.  Non-sorcerers can still
	learn spells from other sources provided it does not conflict 	
	with the principles of their True Being.

	2b)  Sorcerers can prepare their essence to be the pages of a 	
	compatible grimoire (ie if you have the Law Rune, you can have
	the Abiding Book engraved on your essence).  This provides a 	
	special ability bonus of +6 to all spells within that grimoire 	
	but acts as a flaw to spells that use the power of the rune but
	are not within the grimoire.

These methods are heavy going spiritually and only the most devout practice them.

--Peter Metcalfe            

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