Quick and dirty runes, alchemy, etc.

I’ve just proposed to my group that we convert our current Savage Worlds campaign to ACKS. I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on how to reproduce most of the characters, but there’s one that has me stumped: A dwarven runesmith.

He has arcane magical abilities, but he doesn’t cast spells. Instead, he inscribes runes which essentially turn regular items into one-shot magic items which can be activated by the user at any time, similar to ACKS’ Spell Storing spell - which is 4th level.

My current thoughts on how to implement this in ACKS:

  • Runemasters use Arcane Source modifiers, but can only gain spells which have a Range of Self, 0, or Touch. (Ideally, it might make sense to treat it as a different Source, but it’s probably not worth the effort to define and balance it.)

  • Runemasters can inscribe runes for any spell in their repertoire, taking 1 Turn to do so. These runes last indefinitely until activated, but the maximum number of runes a runemaster may have active in any given day is equal to the number of spells they could cast per day if they were a regular arcane caster.

Have I missed any details that are likely to be relevant? Should this be priced the same as regular arcane magic for class creation or slightly higher (because others can activate the runes) or lower (because you can’t choose your spells on the fly)?

Whatever this ultimately ends up looking like, the same mechanics should also be usable to cover alchemy or other forms of encapsulating a single-use spell into an item. But that same mechanical equivalence also seems like an argument that this shouldn’t be allowed at all because there are already rules for creating scrolls and potions which are much more difficult, costly, and time-consuming - but, on the other hand, the existing potion/scroll creation rules allow you to create an unlimited number of them, while this idea remains subject to your normal limits on spells per day.

nDervish, your timing is exquisite. I literally just wrote rules for rune magic this week. Email me at alex at autarch dot co and I will send you a playtest packet.

(I’m the Lead Designer of ACKS, btw)

I like this idea a lot. Very dwarf.

What I’ve seen for the Rune Magic rules are pretty boss, assuming they’re the same ones.