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The Lion's Den




There are four types of magic in Runequest. The kind of magic you use depends on what kind of character you’re playing. If you want a quick reference for spells, click this Grimoire link. Here’s a brief summary of the types, and some info on how you get and improve magic spells:

SPIRIT MAGIC: Spirit magic is the most common kind of magic in Glorantha. Spirit Magic is gained by defeating a spell spirit in spirit combat. Spirit spells tend to have a fixed cost (Bladesharp 2 is always a 2 MP spell;) to get a more powerful version of a spell you must re-buy it. (Bladesharp 3 is a whole different spell than Bladesharp 2, you’re not just “adding a level.”) Your chance to cast a spirit spell is based on your POW; your chance to cast will not change unless your POW changes. Your casting chance is your POW x 5, minus any encumbrance you are carrying. Spirit spells are often associated with the cults of particular gods, like Divine spells below. For instance, a Humakt temple might offer Bladesharp to its initiates, whereas the troll god Zorak Zoran would offer Bludgeon instead.

DIVINE MAGIC: Divine magic is a direct gift from your god to you, in exchange for your sacrifice to him/her of perment POW. For Initiates in a cult, this powerful magic is one-use only, and must be sacrificed for again to regain a spell. Priests and Rune Lords have access to reusable divine magic; once they have sacrificed for a divine spell they may reuse it. Again, cults have divine magic specific to their cult. While spirit spells may be purchased at temples from associated cults to your own, only true worshippers of a god or goddess will receive the gift of divine spells. Your chance to cast them is 95%.

RITUAL MAGIC: Ritual Magic is the magic used to enchant magic items and enhance one’s own spellcasting abilities. The skills associated with ritual magic are Enchant, Intensity, and Ceremony. These skills are most often used by sorcerors and shamans. Ritual Magic is used in combination with another type of magic; for instance, the Spirit Spell Summon/Bind Wight could be used in combination with enchant and ceremony to bind the wight into a ritual object. Permenant sacrifice of POW is necessary to enchant items.

SORCERY: Sorcery is practiced by few Gloranthans, but has the potential to be as powerful as divine magic if not more so. Most Sorcery spells can be boosted or enhanced to increase their power. Sorcery spells are skills, just like any other type of skill, and your ability to cast them increases through practice and experience checks.

Divine Spells may be acquired by a sacrifice to your god on one of his/her holy days. This should be done at a temple, during a holy day worship ceremony.

Sorcery Spells must be taught. To get new spells, you must find someone to teach them to you. This is usually a difficult task, as wizards are subtle and quick to anger.

Cult Spirit Magic:
1) Go to a temple of which you are an initiate, or to one friendly to your cult.

2) Pick one of the cult’s spirit spells that you wish to acquire. At a large temple there may also be shrines of associated gods which offer other spirit spells as well.

3) If you are an initiate, you receive one FREE point of spirit magic for every 5 years you’ve belonged to the cult. Keep track.

4) If you want to buy more spirit magic, the cost is around 30 pennies (lunars) plus 15 p per point of the spell. So Bladesharp 3 would cost you 75 p. This can vary depending on the remoteness of the particular temple. Also, if you aren’t an initiate of this particular god, the cost may be much higher.

Initiates! Remember, to stay in good standing with the gods you have to tithe at least 1/10th of your income to your cult, you must offer to serve the temple in your free time, and you can never become a shaman or a sorceror.