Mundane & Background Spirit Magic for RuneQuest

Though not everyone agrees I have never considered the spirit magic list within any version of Runequest to be exhaustive, they are just list of Spirit Magics which are most applicable to game play.

Magic is not extraordinary  in Glorantha and is something most people practice as a day to day principle. The concept that magic is a rare thing for adventures and powerful characters only  is something which in my opinion is alien to the world of Glorantha and belongs in other (lesser) fantasy universes.

I have always thought there have been numbers of minor charms, spells and incantations used by mundane folks to make their lives easier and more prosperous. Below I give a table of those i am making available in my games. All of the spells below works off standard spirit magic rules.

They don’t create or permanently alter reality, but they do recall, communicate , enhance, restore or temporary change the state of items, in the same way most spirit magic does.

Most of these will not have significant game usage for combat and adventurers, but I think that noting there existence and defining them adds colour to the game world, and allows refs to drop some nice npc’s effects in from time to time.

Due to the temporal nature of spirit magic these may need to be used multiple times in day for some key tasks and thus day to day life can be spiritually as well as physically  exhausting.

Sometimes in long processes such as crafting the magic rituals are enacted at the key moment or most difficult and delicate work so they can have effect over the whole process though the spell is not active for that long.

Also many of these spells have very specific uses and as such non adventures can use up a lot of their free charisma with more mundane spells form this list rather than the standard battle magic listed in the main rulebook.

However some may have PC usage and PCs should be able to access these id they desire and have the right cult connections. However i’ve tried to make the more useful spells very specialised.

I have blatantly pilfered the list of feats from HQ Storm Tribe book. This has lead me to reference minor  cults not yet references in RQG but I am happy to go with them for the time being.

Name(s) Cost Effects Frequency Most Common Sources
All Mothers Song 1 Makes a nursing baby settle and sleep Common Ernalda, Chalana Arroy
Awaken, Rigsdals Voice 1 Wakes all sleeping friends within 15 meters Unusual Rigsdal, Elmal
Bare Pain, Bears Pain, Bulls Hide 2 Caster is able to act and ignore pain modifiers Unusual Gustban, Odayla, Urox
Berens Saddle Var +5% per point for ride skill Unusual Elmal, Redalda
Bless Cow, Uraldas Touch, Eriatha’s Hands 1 Bless a cow so she produces increase milk cast just before milking Common Uralda, Eiriatha, Banatar
Blessed Greeting Var +5% to initial social rolls on meeting a new person Common Issaries, Chalana Arroy,
Call Animal, Call Mount 1 Calls an animal known and friendly to the caster( Mount, alynx & dog) over a relatively short distance Common Heler, Dog Brother, Redelda
Call Mist 1 Call a mist out of a climate and weather suited to it Rare Heler
Call Wyter 1 Opens Communication with the Clan Wyter Rare Orlanth, Elmal, Daka Fal, Lhankor Myh
Calm Animal 1 Calms a disturbed but usually docile domestic animal such as a bull, oxen, horse or dog Common Uralda, Eiriatha, Dog Brother, Redalda, Elmal
Calm Stranger Var +5% on all roles to calm strangers down and avoid combat Unusual Chalana Arroy, Issaries
Clamber Var +5% per point for climb skill Common Heler, Foundchild, Lanbril
Comfort Song 1 Removes pain from the ill injured and dying Common Chalana Arroy, Ernalda
Count Money 1 Allows the fair and accurate counting of money Unusual Issaries
Cover Tracks 1 Covers all visible tracks from a normal human, does not affect scent Unusual Founchild, Odayla, Lanbril
Crones Wisdom, Elders Sight, Chieftains Wit Var +5% empathy boost for empathy or insight based rolls Rare Asrelia, Ernelda, Orlanth
Decipher text(Language) Var +5% per point boost on read rolls Unusual Lhankor Myh
Detect Fish 1 Detect the presence and location of fish in the water Common River & Sea Gods
Donodars Voice, The Players Fingers Var Boost to entertainment roles +5% per point Unusual Donadar
Find Child, Vingas Call 1 Will locate and summon children related to the caster withing with a 50m radius Common Vinga , Ernalda,
Find Shallows 1 Finds shallows and channels in unknown waters adding +15% per point so sail skill when navigating shallows Unusual River Gods, Sea Gods
Follow Trail Var +5% per point when tracking Common Foundchild, Odayla, Yinkin
Haze 1 Induces a euphoric high on the caster or willing recipient -20% on all skills rolls, but character is immensely happy Unusual Eurmal, Lanbril,
Heal Plant 1 Heals Damage to plants from parasites, disease and drought. Unusual Ernalda, Aldrya
Helers Shield 1 Waterproofs a character from the discomfort(but not risk) of rain or snow Unusual Heler, River Gods
Hide Scent Var Ads 5% per point to hiding from animals that detect by scent Unusual Foundchild, Odayla, Yinkin
Humakts Word, Sages Oath, Virgins Truth, Lights Righteousness Var Make a truthful oath more convincing +5% modifiers for each point to relevant social tests Unusual Humahkt, Lhankor Myh, Vinga, Yelmalio
Knock Down 2 Overcome power to knock a foe off their feet Unusual Maran Gor
Know Lineage 1 Allows a shaman or sage to know to ancestry of any individual from his or her people group Rare Lhankor Myh, Daka Fal
Lovers Delight Var Intensifies the pleasures of sex, +5% per point of seduction and other rolls involving sex. Common Uleria, Yinkin
Magastas Pole 1 Gives the caster an innate sense of where they are in relation to magastas pool Unusual River & Sea Gods
Makers Song (trade) Var +5% for the craft role for relevant craft per point of spell Common Issaries, Gustbran, Banatar, Asyrelia
Matron’s Sigh Var Improves first aid rolls around midwifery & birth Common Ernelda, Chalana Arroy
Ogres Stare, Bullmans Breath Var +5% on all intimidate rolls per point of spell Unusual Eurmal, Urox
Open Doorway 1 Opens None Magical Doors of Normal Size Common Issaries
Otters Tail, Mermans Tail, Var Improves swimming rolls by +5% per level Common River Gods, Sea Gods
Plowsharp, Furrow, Turn Ground, Banatars Blade, 1 Allows a plow to move smoothly and deeply through the ground, giving deeper planting on the affected land and a better harvest at the end of the year. Common Ernalda, Banatar, Grain Goddesses
Predict Weather 1 Predict the broad weather pattern the area the caster is standing in the next 24 hours Unusual Heler, Orlanth
Quantify Goods 1 Allows a correct understand of quantities if goods Unusual Issaries
Quick Knot 1 Ties a normal knot in any suitable non living material Unusual River Gods, Sea Gods
Recall Knowledge 1 Brings hard to recall information back into mind Rare Lhankor Myh
Repel Parasites, Dostars Crop, 1 Drives insects and other parasites away from crops, needs casting regularly to keep crops free. Common Ernalda, Banatar, Grain Goddesses
Repel Vermin 1 Drives rats and other small vermin away from food stores. Needs casting regularly to keep them away Common Ernalda, Banatar, Grain Goddesses
Scribes Quill Var +5% for transcribing and copying texts Unusual Lhankor Myh
Sense Thief, Garzeens Sense 1 detects someone with the intent to steal valuables or other possessions Unusual Issaries
Sober Up 1 Sobers self or target up instantly Common Banatar, Rigsdal
Speakers Glow 1 Cast a subtle light around a speaker or leader that draws eyes to him Rare Yelmalio. Elmal, Yelm
Vim 1 Renews energy and extends time for Physical action by 4 hours per day Unusual Chalana Arroy, Ernelda, Uleria

4 thoughts on “Mundane & Background Spirit Magic for RuneQuest

  1. I love it! I’m also of the opinion that the list of spirit spells is by no means exhaustive. However, when you tell a player she can make new spells up, they end up looking at the existing list. So perhaps having a list is a curse. And even more so with a looonger list!

    On the other hand, what’s the difference between a cult spirit spell and a rune spell? Aren’t both coming from a god with particular myths that initiates try hard to emulate? So why is there such a limit. Temples should only teach rune magic, in my opinion, and it should include all of the spells you list in this post. Accordingly, only shamans or spirits should teach spirit magic.

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