These rules are currently a test framework, created by Bruce Mason, for Gloranthan Folk Magic. They are presented here for those looking to use RQ6 for Glorantha, convert older RQ material, or introduce progressive spells as an option into their campaigns.
We do stress that this is a framework. As work on Glorantha takes shape the rules here may be subject to some tweaks, changes and additions, albeit we do not anticipate any major overhauls to what is presented.
Casting Folk Magic
Folk Magic follows the usual RuneQuest rules except that the casting is considered to be an Automatic Success (RuneQuest page 57) unless the spell is cast against a resisting target or is cast at range in which case the Folk Magic skill must be rolled as normal. This may seem like a huge advantage compared to the RuneQuest default but Glorantha is a world suffused with magic and the ability to be use minor folk magic is as normal to Gloranthans as the ability to ride a horse or plough a field. Of course circumstances may impose difficulty grades as normal and remember that casting at range or casting any spell with the Resist trait will require a standard Folk Magic skill roll.
Progressive Folk Magic (optional)
Veterans of RuneQuest and Glorantha will remember previous versions of Folk Magic with progressive spells that could exceed the limits presented in RuneQuest 6. There are good reasons for keeping Folk Magic as it is presented in RuneQuest 6 in order to differentiate it from higher magic. However should you wish to reintroduce progressive Folk Magic into your game, we suggest the following.
A progressive spell can be cast at any Intensity up to or equal to half the caster’s critical score in Folk Magic. So a character with Folk Magic 63% has a critical score of 7% allowing them to cast spells of up to Intensity 4. The Magnitude, casting time and other parameters of the spell do not change. The precise effect of the extra intensity varies by spell and is given in the list of progressive spells below.
The Magic Point cost of the spell is 1 Magic Point per point of Intensity. A character cannot deplete his Magic Points below 0 through casting a progressive spell. So, a character capable of casting Bladesharp 4 but having only 3 Magic Points remaining, would only be able to cast Bladesharp 3.
Characters can choose the Intensity of the spell they want to cast: they need not cast it at its full available Intensity if they do not wish to.
Some spells that were progressive in some previous editions of RuneQuest (such as Disruption) have not been made progressive here as they are seen to be out of line with the normal capabilities of Folk Magic. Other spells such as Multimissile which were omitted in RuneQuest 6 remain absent here but may well be found as cult secrets. Finally, you should note that as a side-effect some progressive spells actually end up being weaker at Intensity 1 than the standard RQ6 version.
Avert is used to dismiss another Folk Magic spell of equal or less Intensity within range.
Each point of Intensity adds +1 damage (instead of a dice step). E.g. Bladesharp 2 adds +2 damage. At Intensity 6, any damage done by this weapon automatically gains the Bleed Special Effect in addition to any others normally chosen.
Each point of Intensity adds +1 damage (instead of a dice step). E.g. Bludgeon 2 adds +2 damage. At Intensity 6, any damage done by this weapon automatically gains the Stun Location Special Effect in addition to any others normally chosen.
Each point of Intensity reduces the damage done by 1 point per Intensity to a minimum of zero damage. At Intensity 6, any damage done by this weapon cannot cause the Bleed Special Effect.
Each point of Intensity allows the caster to communicate with one person. The targets cannot communicate with each other this way though.
Each point of Intensity increases the movement rate by 1m. So at Intensity 1, the spell adds +1m (not 1d3), at Intensity 2 it adds +2m and so on.
Pierce ignores 1 Armour Point per Intensity.
Protection will work a number of times equal to its Intensity before it dissipates. Thus Protection 4 can protect against damage up to 4 times.
Each point of Intensity reduces the target's Movement rate by 1m, to a minimum of 1m. A target cannot be immobilised using Slow. Thus an Intensity 6 Slow spell would reduce a human to 1m but would not bring him or her to a complete standstill.
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