Black City – Runic Tradition

There are a surprising number of magic-users in my Black City campaign, given that I was expecting a boatload of Viking reavers. In the ACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook, ceremonialists practice their art within a set of traditions, each representing a school or technique of invoking magical effects. Most Norse ceremonialists follow the runic tradition, which is described thusly:

Masters of magic sigils that contain eldritch power, using runes to see the future, heal the sick, and curse their enemies.

Historical inspirations include: Norse galdr-workers, Neopagan druids, Chinese and European geomancers.

I’ve made a custom Runeseer character class for this tradition, based partly on the Runemaker class from the HC – which I’ve renamed the Runemark. Some Norse Shamans also follow the runic tradition.

Hyperborea HR

Ceremonies of the Runic Tradition

I like the ease of a single Eldritch spell list in the HC, but there are particular spells and effects that I think should be more common in some traditions than others. Bane-Rune, for example, is a prime runic effect – but I don’t see a Runemark using Summon Ooze!

The following lists are the “common” effects in the runic tradition (at least for 1st- through 3rd-level ceremonies). White magic ceremonies are on a white background, grey magic on a grey background, and black magic on a black background.

(The wolf-calling spells are really suited to runic casters, but note that wolves are not native to THULE.)

Players are expected to creatively describe their reusable trinkets – like a drinking horn for Cure Light Wounds, or an engraved sword for Sharpness. And I’m going to make an assumption that expendable trinkets will be in the form of runestones.

Hyperborea HR


About K-Slacker

Gamer and 5th-level magic-user.
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3 Responses to Black City – Runic Tradition

  1. Pingback: Black City – Shamanic Tradition | Mutants & Magic

  2. Pingback: Eldritch & Ceremonial Magic Summary | Mutants & Magic

  3. K-Slacker says:

    The runemark and runeseer classes possess the “cast runes” ability, which duplicates the augury spell, usable 1/day. Here is the relevant spell description, for reference:

    Eldritch 3 (White)
    Range: self
    Duration: see below

    An augury can tell the caster whether a particular action will bring good or bad results in the immediate future. The base chance for receiving a true reply is 70% + 1% per caster level; this roll is made secretly by the referee. The augury can see into the future only 3 turns, so anything that might happen after that does not affect the result. Thus, the result will not take into account the long-term consequences of a contemplated action.

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