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Rune Fixes #1 - clarifications and play examples

Posted by Michael O'Brien on 21st Sep 2018

Any rules system is going to have rules that need additional clarification, and RuneQuest is no exception! This is the first of an irregular series, where we clarify and expand on an aspects of the RuneQuest rules that need further explanation or play examples.

[nb - this information was originally shared with the RuneQuest Pre-Release mailing list on July 5th, 2018]

Replenishing Rune Points and the Extension Spell

A Rune spell must expire before the Rune points expended in casting the spell can be replenished. In nearly all cases, additional clarification is not necessary to even spell out in the rules, as the worship ceremony takes longer to perform than the standard duration of a Rune spell. When a Rune spell’s duration is prolonged because of an Extension spell, the Rune points used for both the Extension and the underlying Rune spell cannot be replenished until the Extended spell expires.

Example: Vasana casts Shield 1 and combines it with Exten- sion 4 so that it lasts an entire season. This uses up all 5 of her Rune points. She cannot replenish those Rune points at the next seasonal holy day to Orlanth and must wait until the Extension expires before trying to replenish those Rune points.

The Bad Man

The final ordeal to become a shaman is the confrontation with the Bad Man. The rules included only his POW and not his Spirit Combat skill. The complete stat block for the Bad Man is:

The Bad Man

POW 35
Spirit Combat 165% 

Note: Combat with the Bad Man does not result in loss of magic points from either side. If the Bad Man wins a round of spirit combat, the would-be shaman gets a sha- manic taboo. If the would-be shaman wins a round of spirit combat, they gain a shamanic ability without needing to take a corresponding taboo.

The Fetch and Charisma

A shaman gains use of the fetch’s CHA for storing additional spirit magic spells. However, this does not affect the spirit combat damage done by either the shaman or the fetch, which is based on their personal CHA+POW.

Example: Vishi Dun is now a shaman and has a fetch with a POW of 11 and a CHA 18. His personal POW is now 18 and his CHA is 15. Vishi does 1D6+6 damage in spirit combat and his fetch does 1D6+1 damage.

Spell Extension

The shamanic ability Spell Extension allows a shaman to maintain a spirit magic spell indefinitely until the shaman chooses to drop the spell. The shaman cannot forget a spell while it is being maintained with the Spell Extension ability!


At times, adventurers will want to subdue, rather than slay, their opponents. There are two principle ways to do this.

A target can be immobilized using the grapple rules in the core rules.

An adventurer may use a weapon to stun an opponent if the player states that the adventurer is using the flat of blade or the haft/hilt of the weapon to make an aimed blow to the head at the end of the melee round. Subtract the value of any protective armor (including magical protection) from the rolled damage and use a resistance roll to attack the number of hit points in the head with the remaining damage. If the resistance roll succeeds, the target is stunned and unconscious. During the Bookkeeping Phase of each subsequent melee round, that character’s player must make a successful CON×1 roll to recover consciousness.

Successful or not, the target takes 1 point of damage to the head location.

Example: Vasana wants to subdue a Lunar nobleman. She has 45% to succeed with an aimed blow to the head and rolls a 37, a success. She does 9 points of damage and the Lunar has 6 hit points in the head (but is unarmored). She has a 65% chance on the Resistance Table and rolls a 22, a success. The nobleman is stunned, unconscious, and has lost 1 hit point to his head. Each round he will be able to make a CON×1 roll to wake up.


In a combat, an adventurer may at any time declare that they are striking at their opponent’s weapon instead of the opponent. If the opponent is parrying with the designated weapon, they will automatically parry if the attacker succeeds in the attack.

The attacker has the normal chance of success if the target weapon is a Strike Rank 0 weapon. The chance is reduced by –10% if it is a SR 1 weapon, –20 percentiles if it is a SR 2 weapon, and by –30% if it is a SR 3 weapon.

If the attacker hits the target weapon, they may attempt one of the following actions:

Strike to damage the weapon. In this case, the weapon loses hit points equal to the amount by which the damage exceeds the hit points of the weapon. Such damage cannot be done with a weapon meant only for thrusting, such as a spear or dagger. For example, Vasana tries to damage the spear of a Unicorn Maiden. She does 12 hit points of damage; the spear has only 10 hit points, and so it is reduced to 8 hit points. The next round, she tries again and gets a special success doing 16 points of damage—breaking the spear!

Hit with the flat of the weapon and match the rolled damage against the STR of the target weap- on’s user (or STR×1.5 if the weapon is held with both hands) on the Resistance Table. If the attack succeeds, the target weapon is knocked from the user’s hand and flies away a distance in meter equal to the difference between the damage done and the STR of the user. If the STR is greater than the damage done, the weapon lands at the target’s feet. If the attack is unsuccessful, there is no effect on the struck weapon. This attack cannot be attempted with a short weapon meant only for thrusting (such as a dagger), but it can be used with spears, clubs, or quarterstaves to slap away an opponent’s weapon.

Attempt to entangle the target weapon with a flexible weapon. On a special success some weapons (whips, lassos, etc.) can wind around a defending weapon to disarm an opponent. In such an event, the attacker pits their STR against the STR of the opponent on the Resistance Table; if successful, the attacker wrenches the target weapon out of the defender’s hand.

If the resistance roll is unsuccessful, the target may then attempt a STR vs. STR roll against the attacker. On a success, the defender takes the entangling weapon out of the attacker’s hand.