Thursday, August 29, 2019

8 Rune Spells

Magic Runes are always inscribed on something. They are activated when read. You only get a save to avoid reading them if you detect the writing is dangerous, otherwise the spell effect will trigger. Illiterate creatures, or very unintelligent beings with a -2 or worse Int modifier, can also avoid activating this rune on accident due to the slowness and deliberate nature in which they can read, if they can read at all.

8 Rune Spells
[1] Phalanx Rune - 1st level
When read, all of the other text on the scroll or within the book is shuffled into rows and columns, and 'marches' like an army instead. You can only 'defeat' a rank by reading it, and all ranks march linearly. This essentially means you cannot read anything secretive or sensitive until the very end if the spell-scribe wanted to protect it; greatly increases research time and makes the book impossible to use for quick research. This spell is mostly written on books to protect their secrets.

[2] Alteration Rune - 1st level
This rune doesn't automatically activate when it is read, it must first detect changes made to the text it is written on- the original draft of the text is what is now forever bound by the rune. It can “scan” a number of pages equal to the caster level of the one who scribed it, so a very well furnished spellbook may have multiple runes spaced out every 'chapter'. If the book has been altered in some way in the text, such as through ripping out pages, spilled ink, gotten wet, or doodles drawn in the margains; the rune will activate when it is read to reformat the book's text back into order. Due to the limitations of this spell and the magic, words will become cramped into the corners to avoid wet spots, text will use ellipsis and generalizations to parse over missing sections from destroyed pages, and excess ink or graffiti within the book will be reused to make the text bold at random points, and so on. This cannot repair all the damage done to a body of work, just to the text, helping to keep it back in shape. Some clever spell casters may also use this to do things like create self-wiping notepads or cleverly hide notes in wizard school that they can destroy in an instant.

[3] Rune of Inspiration - 2nd level
When this rune is read, the reader feels a rush of creativity and mental resurgence. They instantly gain another saving throw against any minor mental effects currently plaguing them, like a brain fog curse, and gain a +1 to their Intelligence modifier for their next action. Whenever this rune is read, it turns gray from its normal brilliant blue coloring and takes 1d4 weeks to recharge. Magic users often scribe these into their spellbooks on a specific page or even on the end of their staff, covering it with a cloth until it is time to use the magic rune for a burst of mental activity.

[4] Blinding Flash Rune - 3rd level
When read, this rune destroys itself in a blinding flash of light. The target must make a saving throw else they go blind for 1d4 days. If the being had poor eyesight to begin with, or was reading with glasses, they may go blind permanently instead on a second saving throw.

[5] Rune of the Cell - 3rd level
This rune only works on beings who are either two dimensional, or are beings who were warped into a flatland/flat world space. Touching or trying to behold this symbol while close enough reveals it is a box; and the being is warped inside. To them in the flat world, it has surrounded them entirely, where as in the three dimensional world looking in, their figure is simply trapped in a small square rune. The 3rd dimensional being can then destroy this figure by pressing their finger into the page, or burning it or whatever other method to annihilate this being, or can set them free by erasing part of the Rune. This useful rune is often employed against spies trying to steal secrets directly out of a Wizard's library, as only a few books need to be trapped to hopefully catch a thief, or to catch flatlander creatures like word-worms and spell-thieves among the text. High level thieves can express a moment of inter spatial power to slip out of this rune if they are skilled enough, leading to incredible exploits of the 2nd dimensional rogues and their ability to move “over” and “under” things; inconceivable to the minds of beings native to that dimension.

[6] Flying Curse Rune - 3rd level
When this rune is read, it peels itself off the paper and has three additional effects. First, it sours all milk in the area, sickens livestock, and makes births more painful. Second, it floats above the reader's head, flapping away with little wings if they try to attack it or cast a spell to make it go away. Third, it emits a loud crow's caw every few minutes, drawing attention to the unfortunate cursed individual. As such, those affected by this rune are cursed and driven out of communities, shunned through no fault of their own due to the misfortune they bring to others. Beyond wishes and curse-ending spells; this spell can be cured by hitting and 'killing' the rune with a surprise or ranged attack by an exceptional individual, or by having the mark branded into your skin. This causes 1d6 permanent damage to your Charisma score, but ends the aura.

[7] Rune of Restoration - 4th level
This powerful Rune spell was devised by ancient spell-scribes as their own method of immortality. While it is very difficult to rune, and requires many years to both hunt down the rare inks and quills necessary as well as the process of drawing this intricate rune in exact perfect detail; it has a great power. The moment the user reads this rune, they are restored to their same physical and mental state when they first read it. They forget everything they learned after they read the rune for the first time, but regain their youth, health, and all other features. By using this rune, it is possible to turn back the clock, but you also lose all experience points, levels, mutations, etc. Unfortunate use of this rune could cause the user to get trapped in an infinite time loop, such as being trapped in another dimension where you are horribly maimed, read the rune, and then repeat the process forever without remembering what happened or how to escape. If the rune is altered with even the slightest ink smudge or paper crinkle it can cause disastrous paradoxes in time and space. The Wizard must make a hard save or be trapped in paradox crystals, endlessly reading the rune over and over and beholding its infinite true form.

[8] Cold Rune - 4th level
The Cold Rune is slightly different. When it is first carved or drawn, it is locked in place with magic ice. Over the next 10 years, the surrounding lands become colder and colder, the winters longer and the snow thicker. The sun gets darker and struggles to rise over the horizon. The people will start to suffer and be forced to leave the land or die in such extreme conditions, though some cultures like dwarves or elves will adapt much better then others. The Cold Rune effect eventually turns the land into a land of never melting ice, endless frost and winter, where the ice fairies dance and call home.

The only way to end the Cold Rune's spell is to find the rune, chip away the ice protecting it, and read the incantation aloud. The person who reads the incantation will freeze and turn to snow, blowing away in the mind, as the land returns to its natural state. Due to the sacrifice required to use this spell, few are willing to venture to the lands of permafrost and give up their lives to bring back the spring.

1 comment:

  1. Y'know, there's practically a whole adventure buried in this list - a trapped storybook guarding secrets kept by metaphor, its text its guardians, its fonts holding hidden meaning, its pages protected by runes.