Runequest Thursday #3 - A New Sorcery, Part- The First

Clint Staples

I have always liked the idea of sorcery in Runequest, but I have never been fond of the system for Sorcery in any of the iterations of the game. So, because I can't leave well enough alone, I worked out my own, based on the Magic System from the long OOP Worlds of Wonder boxed set. It contains much that would be familiar to those who know the original, but with a few more spells and some game balance issues addressed. I have been using it for a few months in my Gloranthan Runequest game based on the Legend Rpg System and it has been working well.

So I here present to you the first installment of Sorcery as it exists in my games.

Disclaimer: This is not intended as any sort of challenge or complaint against Basic Role Playing, Runequest, or any other game system or licence. I hope you will like it, try it out, and even let me know how it went.

The image is 'Summoning' by Jonas Springborg. You can find his excellent art here.

In this installment, you will find the basics of sorcery, how the skill is used, how to learn spells, and manipulate the magic you raise.


Sorcery is the direct manipulation of the cosmos through application of the will. It relies on no god or spirit, only the knowledge and mental strength of the sorcerer.

The Sorcery Skill

The skill of Sorcery allows a sorcerer to learn sorcery spells and understand the methods of his craft. The Skill may be rolled upon to:

  • Learn New Spells through instruction or research.
  • Recognize Sorcery in effect, or in the process of being cast.
  • Detect Magic, recognize a written sorcery spell or grimoire of spells, in whatever form they take.
  • Analyze Magic Items. 1d6 Hours and 1d6 POW per hour per item.
  • Comprehend Runes and their meaning for Sorcery.

Costs of Magic

Each level of a spell normally requires the expenditure of 1 POW to cast. If a sorcerer’s POW is reduced to 0, he cannot cast magic, even if he has stored POW available. The POW will return at a rate of 1 point for every half hour of full rest or every two hours of movement and action. A failed or aborted spell costs 0 POW.