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» (6.8b) Runes & Runemastery
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(6.8a) Mimic powers
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(6.8c) Runespell Tables
(6.8b) Runes & Runemastery                                                      
--------------------------
Runes are magical symbols used to summon and manipulate the raw elemental
forces which sustain the world of life. They are the motivating force behind
some of the traditional systems of magic in TomeNET. Istari spell scrolls, for
example, are composed entirely of a series of complex runes. These runes both
protect the caster from immediate harm and evoke the intended effect: from
fireballs to magical satiation. Runecraft, however, is a much less methodical
approach to magic. Having learned to invoke the elements without traditional
precautions (and thus potential inefficiencies) of other schools, runemasters
trace runes directly from the pure substances of magic, drafting evocations
limited only by application of wit, strength and skill.

This approach is not necessarily a safe one. Whereas traditional spells from
other schools of magic fail outright when something goes awry, the primordial
energy incumbent to a runespell instead erupts forth, damaging the caster in
the form of an elemental backlash. Nearly all rune spells still produce the
intended effect in this case, whether or not the caster survives.

As runecraft does not rely on books or spell scrolls to guide its magic,
runespells may be cast while blinded, although at increased rate of failure.
Spell failure likewise increases while stunned, or simply when attempting a
powerful spell. While an istar is always prevented from casting outside of his
or her ability, a runemaster may continue to attempt spells until a failure
would prove fatal. Runemasters are able to cast many kinds of spells, but it is
important to note that some spells are more difficult to manage than others.

Tracing runes safely requires both intellectual and physical agility, so high
intelligence and dexterity are strongly recommended. To some extent, runecraft
practitioners must check and balance spells for their own safety. The lower of
the two associated elemental skills is applied when combining elemental runes.


Runespells:
-----------
To cast a runespell, enter the m-key menu and select 'Draw a rune'.
(Note: The ability code for drawing a rune is 12.)

Runespells are made up of three components:
    1. A single elemental rune or combination of two elemental runes.
    2. A spell mode (minimized, expanded, brief, etc).
    3. A spell type (bolt, cloud, ball, etc).

Each component has different associated parameters, summarized in the menu.
When selecting runes, enter the same rune twice or select two different runes.
The menu will prompt for a direction if required for the spell you've created.


Runespell Failure & Backlash:
-----------------------------
Rather than failing a runespell outright, an incompentent caster is blasted
with elemental forces as they struggle to resolve the spell. If the caster
survives, the runespell is resolved normally. Thus, resisting one's own spells
can be an important factor for survival in critical situations. Aspiring
runemasters are advised to start with basic elemental spells for which they can
easily acquire the according resistance. Mana (as an element of choice) is also
viable for beginners. Although the backlash damage from mana may be high when
unresisted, it has no otherwise adverse effects which might cripple the caster.
The adverb 'incompetently' is applied (in RED) to failed runespells in the log.

Intelligence, dexterity, and skill level affect spell failure rates for
runespells. Runespell type determines the base level of a spell, which is
further modified by a runespell modifier. Highly experienced and talented
runemasters may achieve 0% spell failure rates for many spells, but should be
cautioned against casting while stunned or blind. Inattentive runemasters may
even fall victim to unexpected backlash from spells previously mastered.


Physical Runes:
---------------
Physical runes are items found occasionally from tunneling deep in the earth,
or in the collection of monsters fascinated by their magic. Certain secretive
markets are also known to trade these rare embodiments of elemental power...

Physical runes may be activated (after achieving skill level 40) to emblazon
non-artifact armour, shields and melee weapons with an elemental sigil. This
sigil confers a generally positive effect as long as the item remains wielded.
Sigils vanish from the equipment when sold, dropped, taken off, disarmed, etc.
Applying an additional physical rune to an item dispels any previous sigils,
consuming a new rune to power the new effect (even if the result is identical).

The process for determining success and which boni is applied depends on both a
pool of available effects, listed in (6.8c) Runespell Tables, Sigil Boni, and
on rules similar to artifact creation (see (8.4) Artifact creation). Existing
enchantments may synergize with or couteract some sigil boni (eg. PVAL) and are
limited in effect by the same restrictions that constrain artifact creation.
Duplicate effects are never applied, and boni only increase in potency (eg.
fire resistance will be replaced with immunity, never the other way around).

Runemasters are limited to one sigil per element, but can maintain 7 in total.


Other Uses for Runes:
---------------------
Runes may be placed in magic traps, for a damaging effect similar to glyphs.
Traps do not provide an anti-summoning effect, as do glyphs produced by magic.


Macros & Spell Construction:
----------------------------
Runecraft macros look like this (key translation in parenthesis):
(Note: m@12\r invokes the m-key menu command for 'Draw a rune'.)

Targetted runespells use the following format:
    \e)*tm@12\r<a-f><a-f><a-h><a-f>-  (rune, rune, mode, type, target)

Non-targetted runespells use the format:
    \e)m@18\r<a-f><a-f><a-h><a-f>  (rune, rune, mode, type)

Note that you must choose two runes, one mode, and one type.
To cast a single element runespell, simply choose the same element twice.
<a-f> and <a-h> denote the choices of a letter from a to f or a to h,
inclusive, which represents a rune or a mode or a type, respectively.
ie. There are six base runes, so <a-f> represents a choice from rune 1-6.


Examples:
---------
Here is a single rune example, invoking the element 'light' (rune 'a'):
    \e)*tm@12\raaaa-  (light--light--minimized--bolt)

This spell launches a minimized light bolt, a targetted projection
affecting up to a single opponent, dealing light damage if it connects.

A fire ball spell might look like this (runes 'a' and 'e' for 'fire'):
    \e)*tm@12\raedd-  (light--chaos--moderate--ball)

Note the following macro produces an identical effect (runes 'e' and 'a'):
    \e)*tm@12\readd-  (chaos--light--moderate--ball)

To increase the radius of the ball, adjust the mode to something that
sounds bigger, ie. choose a spell mode that increases radius.

A maximized ball of fire:
    \e)*tm@12\raegd-  (light--chaos--maximized--ball)

Or an expanded ball of fire, to produce something even larger:
    \e)*tm@12\raeed-  (light--chaos--expanded--ball)

Note that failure rate may become an obstacle to advanced spells at low
level. Low failure types, modes, and elements are recommended.

Advanced runemasters may wish to create macro sets which construct spells
on the fly, swap macro sets containing preset runespells, or set up
combinations of macros to chain together spells quickly and efficiently.
Spells with a lowered casting time might even be combined in one macro,
creating a 'dual-cast' effect (enabled by selecting the brief mode).

Note that every mode has drawbacks associated with the benefits of using it:
higher cost, level, reduced damage, increased failure rates- check the
specifics in the m-key menu or macro wizard before using a new macro. It is
recommended to experiment with new spells in Bree or even the Training Tower.


Auto-retaliation:
-----------------
Although you can set most runespells for retaliation with /arr, some make poor
choices for repeat casting. Retaliation is disabled completely for spells with
an indirect effect (nimbus and glyph). Specify both runes, then mode and type,
or '-' to disable. Prefix 't' before a runespell to retaliate in town only.

Usage:   /arr [t]<a-f><a-f><a-h><a-f> (town?, rune, rune, mode, type)
Example: /arr aeda          Auto-retaliate with a moderate fire bolt.
Example: /arr taeda         Moderate fire bolt, but 'in town only'.
Example: /arr -             Disable any auto-retaliation with runes.


Hints:
------
You can use the mkey * display to see a list of spell failure rates, or go
through the macro wizard to display the specific attributes of any spell.
Your abilities and status are included in the calculations.

Beginners may wish to play a race with intrinsic resistance to their element
or elements of choice, or choose combinations of skills to produce a 'base'
element, and purchase rings/amulets from the magic shop to resist these.
For example, light is resisted by elves, so an elf runemaster who trains in
light runemastery may evoke runes of light relatively safely. Training chaos
runemastery as well would unlock the combination element fire, a 'base'
element, and Rings of Fire Resistance are readily available in magic shops.

Note that different elemental damage types are reduced more or less when
resisted, see (5.6) Resistances & caps, Immunities, Susceptibilities for info.
The enhanced storm effect 'nimbus' will shield you from elemental damage and
effects, as though you had any applicable resistance or immunity! Just be wary
of UNMAGIC attacks, which may suddenly dispel the effect!

Physical runes can at first seem difficult to acquire, but may be extracted
from treasure veins with a success rate proportional to runecraft skills.
This method of rune extraction synergizes well with the digging skill.

Applying sigils to equipment that already has certain boni associated with an
element will increase your chances to grant the remaining boni from that
elemental pool. That is, sigils will never grant a duplicate or invalid effect.
For example, applying a sigil of fire to a dwarven helm (which already grants
fire resistance) will have an increased chance to grant fire immunity.
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(6.8a) Mimic powers
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(6.8c) Runespell Tables