Ancient magic. Rune magic question

the text box on page 139 in ancient magic talks about enchantment runes.

"they must open the item as usual, and then spend a season designing the effect. but using rune duration and inscription target, and they must inscribe the runes onto the item as part of the investing effect. They can then make further modifications to the effect."

What does "They can then make further modifications to the effect." mean?
Can you alter the effect to work like normal hermetic magic as far as range/durration/target/trigger/number of uses?

With no examples I'm totally stumped.

This refers to triggers, number of uses, and so on. You can't change the range, duration, or target.

What do you want to do? Maybe we can work up an example based on your intention.

Not sure Agnars answer, but if I may...
So if you put a Fire Rune on a sword (enchanted), wouldn't it always be on fire?
How could you put triggers on that?

That was similar to my 1st though but after reading on pg 138 near the center of the page: "duergar artifacts resemble hermetic devices, in that they can have multiple uses, triggers, increased penetration....makes them more valuable than anything the rune wizards ever crafted"

I took this to mean that the items they make are above what is normally possible. Should I instead interpret that as being above what is possible if you only know rune magic or hermetic magic.

It was my understanding that once the rune was inscribed it was always on until the item was destroyed. Are you saying that isn't the case? otherwise I'm not sure how triggers and uses applies.

Expanding Urien's question...say I want an enchanted sword that has runes to increase it's sharpness (like edge of the razor) but I also want it to burst into flame on command.

So if I figure this correctly...You'd have runes for muto terram? to make the edge razor sharp, or possibly perdo corpus to aid in the destruction of flesh?
I'll go with muto terram...base 3, +2 for metal, +3 for rune duration(moon equivalent), +0 target inscription, What do I use for range? touch? or being inscribed is it considered +0. For a final level of 20? 25?
This effect is always on being the base rune duration so i dont need frequency of uses?

Then I want the blade to burst into flame on command...use blade of virulent flame as a base...Base 5, +3 rune Durration, +0 target inscription?
Range touch or personal since it's the runes creating the fire?
+10 unlimited uses? (how do I turn it off after it's turned on?)

So to do each effect in a season I need a lab total of MuTe 50 and CrIg 60? (using rune magic in place of magic theory?)
In addition I need to pass a Dex+craft+simple die vs 15 check?.

How would this work if instead i want a sling that throws balls of flame such as pillum of fire?
CrIg Base 10, +3rune durration, +0 target inscription, +10 unlimited uses
range? level 35?

Add a ReIg so the sling doesn't burn: base 4, +3rune durration, +0 target inscription. Being rune durration it's always on so no need to maintain concentration, or recast automatically?

back to the Duergar... Why might I want penetration on a rune item since it creates non magical species? use it to get through wards vs mundane? eg: if i add penetration to my blade of flame it may over power a ward against heat and flame, or if i add penetration to the edge of the razor I may break a ward vs metal?

This is basically saying that the devices the duergar make are like what a magus who has rediscovered Rune Magic can make. The rune wizards made spells that could last forever, not devices that could cast spells that could last forever.

Until the rune is damaged, yes.

Either would work, but I think MuTe is more appropriate. This way the effect's Duration determines how long the sword remains supernaturally sharp once it is activated.

Range: Personal. The effect targets the item. So, Level 20.

You don't need anything beyond the minimum, one use per day. Once invested, this effect is basically constant.

This effect probably isn't the most exciting example, because Hermetic magic can already do this (and more efficiently at Level 19). The Rune Magic version doesn't have to penetrate, of course. Let's look at the other effect.

Yes. Level 20 to start.

Sounds like Touch to me. The sword is creating fire that touches the blade.

Well, you can't turn it off once it's turned on. It's like if you made an item with an effect of Duration: Year. You'd have to destroy the item to turn off the flames. Now you might put a ReIg effect in its scabbard to protect against the flames, which I think would be pretty cool. So, in that case, the flames go off when you put it in its scabbard.

I'm trying to think of examples that would use the item rules, but I'm drawing a blank. It seems like most of the variations involve triggers or penetration, which as you point out is usually unnecessary. I suppose if you wanted a really nasty curse, you could have an item that harms a person who touches it. That would target a person directly with magic, so it would need to penetrate Magic Resistance. And you might want an item that works for a year and then stops working, for the same reasons that a magus would make a non-Rune device with an expiry.

MuTe40, CrIg50. I don't think you need to use Rune Magic in place of Magic Theory, it's only needed if you hide your name or the description of the effect and need to compare it to someone else examining it. If you don't write your name and describe the effect, and you don't want to take a penalty to your total for that, you can make a Dex+Craft check. That's dangerous, though, because if you fail you have to scrap the object you were carving the runes on, which means you lose the vis.

This looks right to me: Cr(Re)Ig40. Each activation will create a ball of flame, which you can throw because of the Rego requisite. Each time you activate it, the previous flame will be snuffed out, because each one is the same flame (pulled from somewhere as all Creo spells that create something do). I'd rule that if you set fire to something with one activation, it goes out when you set fire to something else, even if the original fire grew larger than the flames, like you set fire to a house or a forest. No need to maintain concentration, that's correct.

The fire is treated as natural fire, so penetration isn't necessary, and wards against natural flames would ward against. If you had an effect that created fire targeting a person, like a Coat of Flames, it would need to penetrate that person's resistance because it targets that person directly. You could make an item that does this, but I believe you'd need an Arcane Connection to the target to activate it (as specified in the Inscription Target).

Ok see if have this right...

Number of uses would only be needed if you "move" the created species from the point of origin. (such as the sling example)

If the created species is not moved the effect is always on. (blade of flame)

Penetration is only required if targeting a person directly, which needs an AC.

Now the questions...

Can you put experation dates in rune items as with normal items, 10,..., 70 years?

Vis is required for rune enchantments?

Is it possible to put effects that couter each other in an item? eg: the blade of flame. Could I put CrIg and PeIg runes both with triggers/number of uses and use it like an on off switch?

It's not whether the effect is moved, but whether you want to be able to activate it more than once a day. If the effect is constant, you don't have to worry about it.

Treating rune magic effects as constant effects is a good way to look at this. Imagine you have a wand of fire made by normal Hermetic methods, which creates a pilum of fire as per the spell, except that you design the Duration at Sun and give it two environmental triggers. When you use the item, you create a pilum of flame that burns for the duration. Now imagine that another magus casts a powerful Wind of Mundane Silence on the effect and the wand. The effect would end, and it wouldn't trigger again until the next sun. The same is true for a Hermetic device that uses Rune Magic: if it has only one trigger a day, you'd have to wait until the next day to restore it.

Rune magic cast as a spell is at a disadvantage here, since once the runes are cancelled, the magic doesn't return to the effect.

It needs an AC to affect a target that is not touching the item.

Seems like a good idea. :slight_smile: Once the date has passed, the item can't be triggered any more. However, I'd imagine the effect from the last time it triggered would continue until it was dispelled.

If you're making a device in a Hermetic lab, you have to invest the item with vis as normal. Casting a spell using Rune Magic doesn't need vis.

Sure thing. You wouldn't even need Rune Magic to enchant the second effect.

To stir the topic again...

Reading through the section again...

Do Rune Magic spells need be researched, or are they all 'Spontaneous'? I can see where it could be both, but the rules are a little vague...

IE: Formulaic or Spontaneous...or both like Hermetic magic?


I don't have my books with me, but...

Rune Magic in Ancient Magic is just the hermetic form, the original magic is lost. All Rune Magic adds is a new target and a new duration. If you want to use rune magic spells as a hermetic magus, then, you learn them the same way you learn any other spells, or you spont them following the normal spontaneous magic rules.