Home Forums Gaming in Glorantha HeroQuest The Three Runes


This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Charles Charles 4 years, 1 month ago.

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    Profile photo of David Scott
    David Scott

    Charles veers wildly off the original topic so I’ve start a new thread:

    Veering wildly off the original topic, while hoping that it has already been adequately dealt with…

    I think that changing runes is a huge deal but gaining additional runes is normal. ‘Everyone is made of everything’ means to me that all runes are present in all people. At initiation only 3 of these runes are ready to support magic. By going on quests, a hero can power up additional runes. For Orlanthi to become chieftain, questing for the mastery rune must be a fairly well known path.

    And from what I have learned over the past few years about the western approach to magic, I suspect that sorcerers aggressively quest for additional runes as ‘combination’ seems the most flexible of their principles of magic.

    I think it’s the opposite. As @charles says all runes are present in all people, however spreading beyond 3 runes means spreading your power (and spending 2 Hero Points upping a 4th rune). It’s much easier to focus on 1 and become really good at it. I think it’s easier to suppress a rune and bring a new one forward like questing for a Mastery Rune or in some cases swap one for another. I can see swapping the Magic or Mastery Rune for the Infinity Rune being an obvious one.

    We already know that some initiations (Lunar for example) swap runes. I can see a case where a Hero with a Truth Rune initiates to Humakt and get the Death Rune to replace another Power Rune.

    As for sorcerers questing for additional Runes, my take would be that they enslave a god/spirit/entity and use its runes for additional power (summon then tap for example). Any good sorcerer will have the Law Rune anyway, what more do they need.

    You might also notice that in the Moon Design books, there are no 4 rune NPCs (unless there’s a mistake).


    Nope, David, but there are 2 runes NPCs in Sartar Companion, at least…

    Profile photo of Robin Mitra
    Robin Mitra

    but there are 2 runes NPCs in Sartar Companion, at least…

    I think having only two runes on your character sheet is perfectly fine. As David said having fewer runes allows you to focus your heropoints. But keep in mind that your character has more than that single rune. It could become important, e.g. as a flaw. You might be happy playing an Issaries initiate with only the communication rune. But there could be the point when you narrator tells you that this strange wizard in front of you casts a spell against everybody with the air rune. You may have to decide then and there which you elemental rune is, regardless whether you will use it afterwards or not.

    Profile photo of Charles

    I think it’s the opposite.

    We’ll agree that YGWV 😉

    I understand totally and even agree with what you mean about splitting hero points across too many runes. However, my responses are

    1. that’s a game construct that we use outside of Glorantha to model progress of heroes in stories, and
    2. if someone needs power in a specific rune to achieve something, then they will sacrifice and or quest for that rune. Once they have the rune, it is sufficient to achieve the magic and/or position and they can focus their story on their core runic powers. Or, in game terms, they have the rune but don’t spend any further hero points on it.
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