Dragon Heresy sneak peek: Magic and the Runes of Power

In keeping with the Norse-ish theme of the country from which most adventurers in Dragon Heresy will originate from, I decided that the magic would be a bit more flavored. 

Here’s a look at the box for the flavors of magic. You’ll recognize some of the text as right from SRD5.1, as is appropriate. Some is new.

Magic and the Runes of Power

Magic flows through the world in many forms, and some forms
have been studied and refined such that particular flavors or applications of
power can be manipulated. These are described by the meaning of some of the
runes of power. There may be other schools or methods of magic in other lands,
but the mages of Torengar classify them this way – it is very likely as much a case
of the tools (the runes) shaping the thought patterns of the arcane
practitioners, which thus shapes the spells themselves.
As such, these runic categories are applied to all spells, in
the belief that all magic functions in essentially the same way, whether it
derives from rigorous study or is bestowed by a deity.
The runic names help describe spells; they have no rules of
their own, although some rules refer to the runes.
Algiz. The rune
magic of Algiz is protective in nature, though some spells have aggressive
uses. They create magical barriers, negate harmful effects, harm trespassers,
or banish creatures to other planes of existence. The rune Algiz means
protection, or a shield, used defensively.
Ansuz. The magic
focused through the Ansuz rune reveals information, whether in the form of
secrets long forgotten, glimpses of the future, the locations of hidden things,
the truth behind illusions, or visions of distant people or places. The meaning
of Ansuz is a revealing message or insight, and (not coincidentally) is also
the rune of Woden, who specializes in far-seeing and deep knowledge.
Dagaz. The rune
magic of Dagaz is invoked to deceive the senses or minds of others. These
spells cause people to see things that are not there, to miss things that are
there, to hear phantom noises, or to remember things that never happened. Some
illusions create phantom images that any creature can see, but the most
insidious illusions plant an image directly in the mind of a creature. The
meaning of Dagaz includes both awareness and blindness.
Ehwaz. The spells
of Ehwaz involve the transportation of objects and creatures from one location
to another. Some spells summon creatures or objects to the caster’s side,
whereas others allow the caster to teleport to another location. Some Ehwazs
create objects or effects out of nothing. The rune Ehwaz represents a horse or
horses, and connotes travel and journeys.
Gebo. Spells
invoked with the knowledge gained through study of the Gebo rune change the
properties of a creature, object, or environment. They might turn an enemy into
a harmless creature, bolster the strength of an ally, make an object move at
the caster’s command, or enhance a creature’s innate healing abilities to
rapidly recover from injury. Gebo has the connotation of a gift, sacrifice, or
fair exchange – giving up one thing to gain another of equal or higher value.
Jera. The rune Jera
signifies the life cycle and the harvest. Jeran spells manipulate the energies
of life and death. Such spells can grant an extra reserve of life force, drain
the life energy from another creature, create the undead, or even bring the
dead back to life. A complicated rune, Jera’s association with necromancy is
only part of it’s meaning, and the rune magic of Jera includes birth, life,
death, and life-from-death (which can be as broad as ‘ressurection’ but is also
‘fertilizer’). Creating undead through the use of Jeran rune magic is not a
good act, and only neutral or evil casters use such spells frequently.
Mannaz. Spells cast
with the Mannaz rune affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling
their behavior. Such spells can make enemies see the caster as a friend, force
creatures to take a course of action, or even control another creature like a
puppet. Mannaz means “mankind” or “people,” and has a
particular connotation relating to the attitudes of others to you and relationships
in general.

Thurisaz. The
primal energy of magic, the directed force of destrution and defense, is
symbolized by Thurisaz. Such spells manipulate magical energy to produce a
desired effect. Some call up blasts of fire or lightning. Others channel
positive energy to heal wounds. Thurisaz has many connotations, all of which
derive from power used with consciousness and wisdom in matters that must be
resolved using force, violence, or physical compulsion.

2 thoughts on “Dragon Heresy sneak peek: Magic and the Runes of Power

  1. Interested in learning more about your project. As an RPG writer (in a past life) and a norse sculptural artist (in this one), your game concept is at the center of my wheelhouse. You can find some of my recent work on my main site (www.jorn.com) and on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/AricJorn)

    1. If you click on the Heretical DnD5 and Dragon Heresy tags (esp the Heretical one), you'll get some background. If you email me at dhamptonc at gmail dot com I can also send you the introduction and current layout document, which might inspire something. Having more Norse influence at this stage is pretty good, though "Norse-inspired" is closer to "Norse immersed," as I need the freedom to make the world my own.

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