Runes (Suikoden Supplement)
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Runes in Suikoden
Runes are orbs of magic that bestow various effects and spells to those that they are equipped with. These runes come in a variety of forms. There are regular and greater versions of many of the runes (Fire Rune and Rage Rune); each granting greater and greater power. Others don't even grant spells and instead bestow powers or enhancements to those that utilize them. Rune-Casting is an ability that everyone has access to, though some have greater power than others and some are more efficient with one type of Runes than others. The first obstacle to converting the system from Suikoden to D&D (3.5 or 5e) is that everyone now has to have a pool of spell slots. The second is that, the game system uses a Magic stat to determine the potency of spells as well as the amount of Rune Slots each character has accessible per rest. The third is the fact that rune slots cap at level four, whereas D&D utilizes nine levels of slots.
Rune Orb Slots
PCs will start with a single Rune Orb Slot on their Weapon, Left or Right Hand. You may choose to allow them to choose which one or determine it off their dominant hand. As they gain levels, and dependent on their class types as they level, they slowly unlock new Orb Slots to equip new Runes to. (Note: Runes can be equipped, removed and replaced by an Runemaster during downtime. Often for free, though some may require a monetary fee of some sort.) Refer to the table below to determine when your character would obtain new Orb Slots, though some classes gain them at a slower rate, and might never unlock the final slot. Non-Magic Casting classes count as half their levels. Half-Caster Classes (Eldritch Knight, Arcane Trickster, Paladin, Ranger, etc.) count as three-quarters their levels. Full-Caster Classes (Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard, etc.) count as 1-for-1 on their levels.
|Level||Orb Slots||Non-Magic LVs||Half-Caster LVs||Full-Caster LVs|
Each column shows the progression someone would obtain, if the PC levels only in that class type all the way through level 20. Use the first column if they multi-class between caster types, using the calculations from the above paragraph. This way, eventually, everyone will have all three Orb Slots available, but those that would not originally be able to cast magic must reach 20th level to do so.
Each character gains a number of Rune Slots dependent on a combination of their original ability to cast magic, their "Magic" Stat, and their level. First off, a characters "Magic" Stat depends on their Mental Scores and their original ability to cast magic. For non-magic casters, take all three mental scores and average them ((INT+WIS+CHA)/3). This will be your "Magic" Stat, gaining a Modifier as per normal from the total (10-11 = +0, 12-13 = +1, 14-15 = +2, etc.) For casters of any kind, their "Magic" Stat is the stat they use for their casting ability. Next, your actual Rune Slots are determined by your class type and level, then you gain bonus slots dependent on your "Magic" Stat. Again, Non-Magic Classes count as half levels, Half-Casters count for three-fourth their levels, and Full-Casters count one-for-one with their levels. Bonus slots do not increase your slot maximum until you gain a slot in that level from leveling up.
|PC Level||1st LV Slots||2nd LV Slots||3rd LV Slots||4th LV Slots|
|"Magic" Stat||1st LV Slots||2nd LV Slots||3rd LV Slots||4th LV Slots|
[Note: Max Rune Slots in any spell level is 9.]
Rune Slots may be used to cast a spell from a Rune, but must match the level of the slot with the Rune Spell Level.
Each rune has up to four spells it can bestow upon its wielder: a 1st-Level, 2nd-Level, 3rd-Level and 4th-Level spell. In addition, each rune has it's own spells that it can grant (though some of these overlap, such as the Fire Rune and Rage Rune) and more powerful Runes may grant more powerful spells at a lower level than others. (I.E.: The Fire Rune has Explosion as its 4th-Level spell, while the Rage Rune has it as its 3rd-Level spell.) [Note: Monsters may also utilize Runes, and may even end up having more Rune Orb Slots and Rune Slots than the PCs.]
Rune Spells are cast at the level of the slot they come from in the Rune or their base level, whichever is higher, plus any bonuses to cast level ('Regular' Runes have no cast level bonus, Greater Runes have a cast bonus of +2, and True Runes have a cast bonus of +4). As such a Explosion cast from a Fire Rune is cast at 4th-Level using a 4th-Level Rune Slot, while a Explosion cast from a Rage Rune is cast at 5th-Level from a 3rd-Level Rune Slot.
Spell-Casters can use their class spell slots to cast Rune Spells (up to forth level), but must match the level of the slot with the level of the spell. In addition, they may also cast spells they have accessible from their class utilizing Rune Slots, the spell being cast at the level of the Rune Slot. (I.E.: Magic Missile cast with a 3rd-Level Rune Slot would be cast as a 3rd-Level spell.) Like usual, you may not cast a higher level spell with a lower level slot.
Spell-Casters gain their spell-casting abilities as per normal. The idea being that the magical energy of the runes originally formed the world during the "Story of Creation" and because of this magical energies exist all through-out the world and may be manipulated or utilized for different effects. Some creatures or people having more Runic Energy flowing through their blood than others and allowing them to more easily warp the flow of the energy around them.
[Note: Part of me feels that allowing spell-casters to keep their spell-casting and gain their new Runic Casting isn't necessarily a good idea. And while I am adding Runic Casting to every character, Full-Casters get more value out of this addition than others. Maybe halving their normal spell slots (rounded up) or limiting their spells known or prepared would help balance this... this is the part I am having trouble with the most. Because I would rather not remove any abilities from any classes, but also would not want to give non-casters full access to the Runic Casting ability......]
Warlocks & Runes
Warlocks are a special case in the subject of Rune Casting. Firstly, I would suggest not using the class altogether, or maybe having them be True Rune Wielders of a sort (not for PC use). If you still wish to use Warlocks for this setting, count them as Half-Casters for gaining Rune Slots and Full-Casters for gaining Orb Slots. Their Pact Slots may be used to cast Rune Spells, but the spell is cast at the level the spell would normally be cast while utilizing a Rune Slot. [Note: This will sometimes cause a spell to be cast at a lower than their Max Slot Level and other times will be cast at a much higher level then their Max Slot Level.]