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» (0) Quickstart
» (1) Introduction
» (2) Installation & setup
» (3) Creating a character & starting to play
» (4) The world
» (5) Item and monster details
» (6) Character details
» (6.8b) Runes & Runemastery
» (7) Tactics & strategy
» (8) Miscellanous

(6.8a) Mimic powers
(6.8c) Runespell Tables
(6.8b) Runes & Runemastery                                                      
Runes are magical symbols used to summon and manipulate the raw elemental
forces which sustain the world of life. They are the motivating force behind
some of the traditional systems of magic in TomeNET. Istari spell scrolls, for
example, are composed entirely of a series of complex runes. These runes both
protect the caster from immediate harm and evoke the intended effect: from
fireballs to magical satiation. Runecraft, however, is a much less methodical
approach to magic. Having learned to invoke the elements without traditional
precautions (and thus potential inefficiencies) of other schools, runemasters
trace runes directly from the pure substances of magic, drafting evocations
limited only by application of wit, strength and skill.

This approach is not necessarily a safe one. Whereas traditional spells from
other schools of magic fail outright when something goes awry, the primordial
energy incumbent to a runespell instead erupts forth, damaging the caster in
the form of an elemental backlash. Nearly all rune spells still produce the
intended effect in this case, whether or not the caster survives.

As runecraft does not rely on books or spell scrolls to guide its magic,
runespells may be cast while blinded, although at increased rate of failure.
Spell failure likewise increases while stunned, or simply when attempting a
powerful spell. While an istar is always prevented from casting outside of his
or her ability, a runemaster may continue to attempt spells until the backlash
proves fatal. Runemasters are able to cast many kinds of spells, but it is
important to note that some spells are more difficult to manage than others.

Tracing runes safely requires both intellectual and physical agility, so high
intelligence and dexterity are strongly recommended. To some extent, runecraft
practitioners must check and balance spells for their own safety.

To cast a runespell, enter the m-key menu and select 'Draw a rune'.
(Note: The ability code for drawing a rune is 12.)

Runespells are made up of three components:
    1. A single elemental rune or combination of two elemental runes.
    2. A spell modifier (minimized, expanded, brief, etc).
    3. A spell type (glyph, bolt, ball, etc).

Each component has different associated parameters, summarized in the menu.
When selecting runes, press return once you are finished, or enter the
maximum of two runes and continue to the modifier selection. The menu will
prompt for a direction if it is required for the spell you've created. If the
spell targets an item, you must supply the letter corresponding to your
choice of inventory or equipment.

Runespell Failure & Backlash:
Runemasters can only truly fail sign and glyph spell types. Spell failure
causes elemental backlash to damage the caster, while the effects of the
spell, if it is not a sign or glyph type spell, will resolve normally.
Resisting one's own spells can be an important factor for survival in
critical situations. For this reason, aspiring runemasters are advised to
start with basic elemental spells for which they can easily acquire the
according resistance. Mana (as an element of choice) is also viable for
beginners. Although backlash damage from mana may be high when unresisted,
it has no otherwise adverse effects which might cripple the caster.

Intelligence, dexterity, and skill level affect spell failure rates for
runespells. Runespell type determines the base level of a spell, which is
further modified by a runespell modifier. Highly experienced and talented
runemasters may achieve 0% spell failure rates for many spells, but should be
cautioned against casting while stunned or blind. Inattentive runemasters may
even fall victim to unexpected backlash from spells previously mastered.

Physical Runes:
Physical runes empower the required, elemental links for sign and glyph spells,
but do not otherwise shield the runemaster from backlash or assist runecraft in
any way. Physical runes of the associated element are required to even attampt
a sign or glyph spell, and failing a spell of these types results in especially
damaging backlash as the rune is destroyed. Enhanced versions of these spells
always consume a rune, without damaging the caster if successful.

Physical runes may be activated to combine or decombine in stacks with other
runes, sharing level requirement, inscription and discount (use 'A').

Seals & Sigils:
Enhanced sign and glyph spells may enhance wielded, non-artifact equipment.
Seals always grant resistances or boni that reduce associated elemental damage.
Sigils may grant immunities, or a variety of specific, miscellaneous boni. The
process for determining success and which boni is applied depends entirely on
rules similar to artifact creation (see (8.4) Artifact Creation). The strength
and type of existing enchantments (eg. PVAL) may synergize or couteract some
boni. At most, one seal or sigil maybe be applied to one armor and one weapon.

An additional seal or sign spell targetting the same equipment dispels the
previous one, consuming a new rune to power the new effect (even if identical).
Enhancements vanish from the equipment when dropped, taken off, disarmed, etc.

Other Uses for Runes:
Runes may be placed in magic traps, for a damaging effect similar to glyphs.
Traps do not provide an anti-summoning effect, as do glyphs produced by magic.

Macros & Spell Construction:
Runecraft macros look like this (key translation in parenthesis):
(Note: m@12\r invokes the m-key menu command for 'Draw a rune'.)

Targetted runespells use the following format:
    \e)*tm@12\r[a-f]\r[a-g][a-g]-  (rune, return, modifier, type, target)
    \e)*tm@12\r[a-f][a-f][a-g][a-g]-  (rune, rune, modifier, type, target)

Non-targetted runespells use the format:
    \e)m@18\r[a-f]\r[a-g][a-g]  (rune, return, modifier, type)
    \e)m@18\r[a-f][a-f][a-g][a-g]  (rune, rune, modifier, type)

Note that you must choose at least one and up to two runes, one modifier,
and one type. If you choose two runes for a spell, the \r is not required.
[a-f] and [a-g] denote the choices of a letter from a to f or h,
inclusive, which represents a rune or a modifier or type, respectively.
ie. There are six base runes, so [a-f] represents a choice from rune 1-6.

Here is a single rune example, invoking the element 'light' (rune 'a'):
    \e)*tm@12\ra\raa-  (light--return--minimized--bolt)

This spell launches a minimized bolt of light, a targetted projection
affecting up to a single opponent, dealing light damage if it connects.

A fire ball spell might look like this (runes 'a' and 'e' for 'fire'):
    \e)*tm@12\raedd-  (light--chaos--moderate--ball)

Note the following macro produces an identical effect (runes 'e' and 'a'):
    \e)*tm@12\readd-  (chaos--light--moderate--ball)

To increase the radius of the ball, adjust the modifier to something that
sounds bigger, ie. choose a spell modifier that increases radius.

A maximized ball of fire:
    \e)*tm@12\raegd-  (light--chaos--maximized--ball)

Or an expanded ball of fire, to produce something even larger:
    \e)*tm@12\raeed-  (light--chaos--expanded--ball)

Note that failure rate may become an obstacle to advanced spells at low
level. Low failure types, modifiers, and elements are recommended.

Advanced runemasters may wish to create macro sets which construct spells
on the fly, swap macro sets containing preset runespells, or set up
combinations of macros to chain together spells quickly and efficiently.
Spells with a lowered casting time might even be combined in one macro,
creating a 'dual-cast' effect (enabled by selecting the brief modifier).

Note that every modifier has drawbacks associated with the benefits of using
it: higher cost, level, reduced damage, increased failure rates- check the
specifics in the m-key menu before you create a new macro. It is recommended
to experiment with new spells in Bree or even the Training Tower for safety.

If you inscribe @O[a-g][a-g] on a rune in your inventory, you will retaliate
with a spell of the selected modifier and type. For example, if you set the
inscription to @Oad on a rune of light, the 'ball’ spell type will be selected,
with a 'minimized' spell modifier. Prepend 't' like @Otad to restrict
auto-retaliation of the specified runespell to towns only.

Although you can set most runespells for retaliation, some may make poor
choices if repeat casting is not desirable. Retaliation is also disabled
completely if you select a non-damaging runespell (most signs and glyphs).

The casting adjective will further elaborate on the difficulty of a spell
compared to your skill. Ideally, choose spells where the average outcome
is 'efficiently' or better, and cast dangerous spells with full HP or the
associated resistances. You can use the mkey * display to see a list of spell
failure rates, or go through the macro wizard to display the specific
attributes of any spell. Your abilities are included in the calculations.

Beginners may wish to play a race with intrinsic resistance to their element
or elements of choice, or choose combinations of skills to produce a 'base'
element, and purchase rings/amulets from the magic shop to resist these.
For example, light is resisted by elves, so an elf runemaster who trains in
light runemastery may evoke runes of light relatively safely. Training chaos
runemastery as well would unlock the combination element fire, a 'base'
element, and Rings of Fire Resistance are readily available in magic shops.

Note that different elemental damage types are reduced more or less when
resisted, see (5.6) Resistances & caps, Immunities, Susceptibilities for info.
(6.8a) Mimic powers
(6.8c) Runespell Tables