Runic Spell Mechanics

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Runeweaving Runic Spell Mechanics
Developing Runic Spells Runic Seeds
Runecrafting Runic Item Creation


A Runeweaver may start acquiring runic spells immediately. Using runic spells is a two-step procedure: development and spellcasting.


Before it can be cast, an runic spell must be developed. The process of development can be a time-consuming and expensive process. It is during development that a caster determines whether a given runic spell lies within his or her abilities or beyond them. The basis of that determination lies in an runic spell’s Spellcraft DC.

The easiest way to develop an runic spell is to use one already given. The description of each of these unique spells gives the amount of gold, time, and experience points required to develop the spell. If a character pays a spell’s development cost, he or she develops (and thus knows) that spell.


Once an RUNIC spell is developed, the caster knows the spell. A developed RUNIC spell becomes an indelible part of the caster and may be prepared without a spellbook (if a wizard is the caster). Characters who cast spells spontaneously, such as sorcerers, can cast a developed RUNIC spell by using any open RUNIC spell slot. Druids, clerics, and similar spellcasters can likewise prepare RUNIC spells using RUNIC spell slots.

A spellcaster can prepare or cast any RUNIC spell he or she knows as many times per day as he or she has available RUNIC spell slots. A spellcaster who can cast RUNIC spells has a number of open RUNIC spell slots per day equal to one-tenth his or her ranks in the Knowledge skill appropriate to the spell and the caster’s class. Knowledge (arcana) is appropriate for arcane casters, and Knowledge (religion) or Knowledge (nature) is appropriate for divine casters. The rules for rest between casting a day’s allotment of RUNIC spells are the same as for rest required to prepare standard spells. If the caster doesn’t use up a day’s allotment of RUNIC spell slots, the unused slots remain available whether or not the spellcaster receives appropriate rest.

Even if the RUNIC spell has been developed and an RUNIC spell slot is available, successfully casting an RUNIC spell isn’t assured. The caster’s Spellcraft skill modifier is vital for casting an RUNIC spell. To cast an RUNIC spell, a spellcaster makes a Spellcraft check against the RUNIC spell’s Spellcraft DC. If the check succeeds, the spell is cast. If the caster fails the check, the RUNIC spell fizzles and the RUNIC spell slot is used for the day.

Because RUNIC spells require Spellcraft checks, a spell is beyond the caster’s ability if the final Spellcraft DC is greater than 20 + the spellcaster’s Spellcraft modifier. RUNIC spells with DCs higher than 10 + the spellcaster’s Spellcraft modifier are risky; a caster can take 10 when casting an RUNIC spell, but he or she can’t take 20. When routinely casting RUNIC spells, most spellcasters take 10 on their Spellcraft checks.

RUNIC Spell Levels: RUNIC spells have no fixed level. However, for purposes of Concentration checks, spell resistance, and other possible situations where spell level is important, RUNIC spells are all treated as if they were 10th-level spells.

Metamagic, Items, and RUNIC Spells: Metamagic feats and other RUNIC feats that manipulate normal spells cannot be used with RUNIC spells.

A character can’t craft a magic item that casts an RUNIC spell, regardless of whether the item is activated with spell completion, a spell trigger, a command word, or simple use. Only major artifacts, which are beyond the means of even RUNIC characters to create, can possibly contain magic of this power.

The saving throw against a character’s RUNIC spell has a DC of 20 + the character’s relevant ability score modifier. It’s possible to develop RUNIC spells that have even higher DCs, however, by applying the appropriate factor.


RUNIC Spell: Spells that are different from common spells. RUNIC spells are usually custom-made. RUNIC spells do not take up normal spell slots, but instead are gained and used under a completely separate progression.

RUNIC Spell Slots: A character must have an available RUNIC spell slot to prepare or cast an RUNIC spell, just as he or she needs a normal spell slot for a nonRUNIC spell. A character doesn’t gain RUNIC spell slots by virtue of his or her level and class, however. A character gets one RUNIC spell slot for every 10 ranks he or she has in the relevant Knowledge skill.

Factor: When creating an RUNIC spell, a character can modify the basic use of a seed. Each modification is called a factor, and most factors increase the difficulty of casting the spell.

Mitigating Factor: The opposite of a normal factor, a mitigating factor modifies the spell but makes it easier to cast.

Seed: Every custom RUNIC spell created by spellcasters begins with a base effect called a seed. Seeds are the fundamental building blocks of RUNIC spells.

Spellcraft DC: For RUNIC spells, the Spellcraft DC is a measure of how difficult the spell is for a spellcaster to cast. It also measures how powerful an RUNIC spell is.


The following formulas are important to RUNIC spellcasters.

  • RUNIC Spells Per Day: Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), or Knowledge (nature) ranks ÷ 10 (round down).
  • To Cast an RUNIC Spell: Spellcraft check (DC = RUNIC spell’s Spellcraft DC).
  • Level of an RUNIC Spell: RUNIC spells are considered 10th level for the purpose of Concentration checks, spell resistance, and other determinations.
  • Saving Throw for an RUNIC Spell: DC = 20 + key ability modifier.


A lucky nonRUNIC spellcaster casting greater dispel magic might be able to dispel an RUNIC spell. The game mechanics do not change, and RUNIC spells do not occupy any privileged position allowing them to resist being dispelled other than their presumably high caster level. Likewise, RUNIC spells using the dispel seed can dispel nonRUNIC spells. Such RUNIC spells use the same game mechanic: The check to dispel is 1d20 + a specified number (usually dispeller’s level), and the DC is 11 + the spellcaster’s level.

Antimagic field does not automatically suppress RUNIC spells as it does standard spells. Instead, each time an RUNIC spell is subject to an antimagic field, make a dispel check as a 20th-level caster (1d20 + 20). The RUNIC spell has a DC of 11 + the RUNIC spell’s spellcaster level. If the suppression check is successful, the RUNIC spell is suppressed like any other spell. If the dispel check is unsuccessful, the RUNIC spell functions normally.


Each RUNIC spell description follows the same format used for 0- to 9th-level spells. There are two additional entries for RUNIC spells: Spellcraft DC and To Develop.

Spellcraft DC: This is the DC of the Spellcraft check required to cast the RUNIC spell. When casting an RUNIC spell, the character gains a +5 bonus on his or her Spellcraft check if the base seed of the RUNIC spell is from the character’s arcane school specialty or primary psionic discipline. The character takes a –15 penalty if the RUNIC spell seed is from his or her prohibited arcane school.

To Develop: The first part of this entry shows the resources in gold, time, and experience points a character must expend to develop the spell shown. If the character expends the resources, he or she develops the spell if he or she has access to all the seeds. Spells containing the life or heal seed are typically only available to those with 24 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) or Knowledge (nature). The rest of the development entry details the seeds and factors used to create the RUNIC spell. This information is provided as an example for characters when they attempt to create and develop their own unique RUNIC spells.