Home Forums Gaming in Glorantha HeroQuest Rune as an ability

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    Profile photo of Olivier


    this question may have been asked before but I couldn’t find it : is a rune ability used only for magic, that is as augment for lay members or as ability for initiates of the proper cult, or is it possible to use it like any other standard ability. For example, can I use the mobility rune as ability for a race ?

    Profile photo of Paul

    Keep in mind that in Glorantha, EVERYTHING is magic. The ability to run really fast is magical – learned so far back in history that it’s origins may have been forgotten.
    With that in mind, Rune abilities are abilities like everything else. They are used to solve problems in game terms.
    As you said, lay members can only use them to augment other abilities whereas initiates or better can use the rune directly.
    However, anyone can make a breakout ability from a rune as a unique ability they were born with and use that at any time.
    Pg 134 “You can spend points to create a breakout ability from a Rune. This breakout ability can be used
    directly, even if the full Rune cannot.”
    Air 18
    — “Run like the wind” +1

    Profile photo of Harald Smith
    Harald Smith

    A cult initiate can use any Rune associated with their god as a Keyword to create magical effects.
    Others can use a Rune as a magical augment (think of it like a minor spell cast to augment some ability – e.g. augmenting Mighty Sword 17 with their Fire rune to create a Fireblade).


    I used only my runes and keywords for my character in Jeff’s playtest, with a few breakout skills from the runes. Worked like a charm.

    Profile photo of Charles

    Rune keywords also give personality traits. If a hero acts too far or too often out of the characteristics of the Rune, then they may lose that magic

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