Dive into the ultimate guide to magic for RuneQuest!
Chaosium Unveiled: Inside The Red Book of Magic
Penned by Zzabur, the Sorcerer Supreme himself, The Red Book of Magic is the indispensable source for expanded Rune and spirit magic. It’s an essential expansion to the RuneQuest experience for players and Gamemasters alike.
A Tome of Spells
Over 500 spells for both Rune and spirit magic. These spells can be used by adventurers and NPCs alike. Also detailed are rules for Gamemasters to devise their own Rune spells.
New Beasts & Monsters
An array of new monsters to complement those found in the RuneQuest Glorantha: Bestiary. Magical creatures such as War Trees, Manlings, and Luxites are detailed to pit against your adventures, and each can spawn a new RuneQuest adventure of your own design!
A wealth of new information on Rune metals, healing plants, and illusions. Special rules for ritual casting, and new methods for increasing your chance of successful spellcasting. The Red Book of Magic also contains the esoteric secrets of Hepherones’ Statement of Magic.
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What The Critics Say
"This isn't just about the spells; it is about the adventures that they help create.... Glorantha is probably the best researched and most cohesive settings in the world. Magic is integral to the setting, not a flimsy paste up."
— Antonios S., RPGNet, Review of The Red Book of Magic.
"Much more than just a big list of spells."
— Reviews from R'lyeh, A Spellbinding Corollary.
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- 4th Edition Chaosium RuneQuest
- Year Released:
- Full Color PDF
- Page Count:
- Jeff Richard, Greg Stafford, Steve Perrin, Sandy Petersen
- Cover Artist:
- Mark Smylie
- Interior Artists:
- Hazem Ameen, Ben Bauchau, Thomas Haller Buchanan, Joshua Cairós, Dimitrina Angelska, Antonia Doncheva, Nick Grey, Chris Huth, Kalin Kadiev, Jennifer S. Lange, Jeff Laubenstein, Anh Le, Rhonda Libbey, Michelle Lockamy, Daniel Macaluso, Lionel Marty
- Interior Artists (Continued):
- John McCambridge, Evelyne Park, Eleonor Piteira, Jan Pospíšil, Riley Spalding, Gábor Szügyi, Cory Trego-Erdner, Meagan Trott, Katie Wakelin
- Simeon Cogswell
The art is wonderful, of course, but this was my first disappointing publication in the line of RQG. The content is almost entirely drawn from other books (not all yet published), it makes little effort to tie itself in with those other books (here are great spells, but we aren't going to tell you who can cast them), and the first pdf version has a lot of errors. Between these things, it felt like something thrown together in a rush from things already written to have something for sale for the holidays. Once they get all the errors fixed, it does bring a lot of information from multiple books into one place, which is not to be sneered at. I have found it handy as a GM, but certainly would not call it essential and I see little use for it for someone who is not a player.
I cannot over-emphasize the amount of new content in this book. I had expected it to merely be a collection of all the currently available spells converted and collected into one book, but instead there's a ton of new spells here (at least new to me!) I can't recommend this enough!
I really love this book. The illustrations are wonderful, and the text is so useful, both for players and gamemasters.
A good book for all the spells and an amazing book for all the art inside!
I love this book, can't wait to pick up the hardcover version next year.
An awesome product, and a gorgeous cover from Mark Smylie.
Great tool for the game master ! I enjoyed a quick view before getting further during the night, with some runes spoiled on the mat... I already saw this is a clear aid for game master and players alike. I'll use it as soon as possible to make a team of followers of the same cult to exploit the variety of spells. I am relieved with this waiting for the french release. By the way the collector core book is awesome ! Thank you for all this ! We are all us.
The Red Book of Magic is exactly as it says on the tin, a book covering magic in the world of Glorantha, although it's focused specifically on Rune Magic and to a lesser extent, Spirit Magic. There is no Mysticism or Sorcery or the other hinted at magics to be found here. The above might sound like a bad thing, but actually the book is still huge with over 500 spells added to the game. Of those spells about 3/5 of them are completely new, whilst the remainder are reprints. In addition, the book covers a variety of related topics, rather than being purely a rulebook, the book focuses on magics place in the world, and provides a lot of in-setting information on perceptions and usage of rune and spirit magic as well as details on some other things like rune metals. This is going to be an invaluable resource as a GM, providing my creations with a lot more options and also expanding my knowledge of the setting (as a relative newbie to Glorantha), I'm not sure it's as useful to players until the cults book is released though as the new spells don't have an indication of who can learn them. Personally, I do not like the new direction for the layout/fonts used, I find the darker, bolder colours quite garish and overall gives the book a lower quality feeling than the previous RuneQuest books we've had. That said I also recognise that it's personal opinion, and there are things I do like (alphabetical section headings for the spells is a nice touch when there are so many, although to make it really useful, perhaps including the letter in the top right of the page would help for quick finding a section). The art is top notch as always and is varied in style which I really appreciate, some of the pictures are absolutely spectacular and I'd love to own physical copies of them for the study wall! I think the reprinted spells are an interesting addition, it does make this book useful as a single source of truth, but raises questions about the core rulebook - putting errata behind a paywall is something of a bad practice in my opinion, so whilst I've bought this book, I'd hope Chaosium would consider providing a "Rune Fixes" document of the changed spells for people that don't want to or are unable to buy this book due to the current financial climate. I also think there should be clearer indication of the fact roughly 2/5 spells in this book are reprints with edits in their wording. Ultimately, I have some gripes, but they're relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. The book is a must have addition for any GM of RuneQuest, and is likely to be useful for players too in that once the Cults book comes out, I'm sure a lot of the spells will become available to them via associated cults if nothing else. I look forward to the dead tree edition for my bookcase.
The Red Book of Magic is a fabulous exercise in art and description, and an example of how well the world of Glorantha hangs together. It is an outcropping of the long-awaited Cults book, and the fact that this exists is testament to how much work and understanding and love goes into the things that Chaosium make. It is essentially a spell list with a few extras, and if I had my way I'd have weighted some of those extras differently. I'd have wanted to spend more space on Rune Metals, and there's an in-character sort of statement of magic that I'd have ignored in favour of more spells. However, those are very small problems. I'm not the writers; I can tell why they did it, and being able to kvetch like that is fab. Other people will find different things in it, so if I don't like a thing, I can trust the people who wrote it to be making the decisions that support Glorantha best. Yours will vary; so will mine. Their one sits in the middle, and the book is designed to support RUneQuest Glorantha's whole world, not just the bits of it that I have already found out I like. One day, I'll appreciate the bits I don't understand now, so I can get with the idea I could be wrong. It's already a massively useful book - looking up spells, even in a PDF of the main rulebook, is clunky. I prefer this one. It does have one shortcoming, which is created from the fact there are so many gods and goddesses in Glorantha. There is no proper cross-reference of possible spells with possible cults. As such, I was unsure whether to give it 4 or 5 stars; it's a fab book and a great herald for the upcoming Cults book. I'd like to have a spreadsheet of spells vs cults, but I'd like to have a lot of things, and I respect the decision of Chaosium not to make it look ugly or get unwieldy by stuffing it with information. When page count is at stake, I'd prefer more spells and less cross-referencing, so really, 'you stuffed it too full of treats' is my biggest complaint. Ultimately, it will get more useful when the Cults book come out, and will not become obsolete. So, that makes it 5 stars, because the one 'problem' it has - too many treats, not enough staples - will go away. It's genuinely beautiful, contains snippets of lore that I didn't know, smoothed down some text and some problems with previous rules, and passes the 'get it in hardback' test by a km. And, joyfully, it's going to get better once the parent volumes, the massive Cults Book I and II, get released.