Rune Rules Clarifications

(pg. 20 & 26) Sprint. Sprint is a primary ability, not a secondary ability.

(pg. 22, 34-35) Two weapons. It is true that not every possible combo of of two weapons is listed, and that there is no formula that can be backwards-engineered from the existing game statistics to account for each individual two-weapon combo. Look at the weapons chart on pages 34 and 35 to see which combinations are allowed.

(pg. 33) Counting Ammunition. "The Load value of every missile weapon includes a dozen pieces of ammo." For the purposes of counting ammunition, throwing weapons other than slings and rocks count as melee weapons; for example, the purchase of a throwing axe includes one axe, not a bag of twelve axes. Slings and rocks do include a dozen pieces of ammo, however.

(pg 44) Engagement Rolls. Each pillager has only one engagement roll per round that can use the Engagement total formula of Str + weapon Ability + die roll, to be used either at his initiation or as a reactive roll; if a pillager has already used his engagement roll and is asked to make another one as a response to an engagement roll initiated by an opponent or another pillager, he's considered to be unable to do so, and so his default Engagement total is 0. The initiator must still roll in this situation, since he could botch and get a negative result that would make him lose the contest even against a non-resisting opponent.

(pg. 56) Healing Actions. This page says "The healer must administer healing during his first available action after the patient sufferes the mortal blow." This means the healer's NEXT action, not the first action that the healer can get there. If it takes two rounds for the healer to arrive, or if it takes two rounds for a healer to get out of a foe's hold, then that means one more hero is lounging in Valhalla.

(pg. 65) Banish His Blade. To better clarify to some readers exactly how to use this divine gift, apply this clarification: eliminate the Banish His Blade divine gift. Yeah, you heard me. There's no rules for disarming, except for disarming someone's arm from their shoulder, so just get rid of the whole thing. Yes, the whole thing. No, not the whole book, the whole divine gift Banish His Blade. I don't know, Loki did it or something. Take it out of the table on p. 62, too.

(pg. 77) Foes with Rune Powers. The reference to foes with Rune Powers should be disregarded. Foes may never have Rune Powers!

(pg. 98) Step Seven. Use the best weapon each hero has when calculating their stats for the Roll of Valor. If there's a disagreement about which is the best weapon, the pillager decides between them.

(pg. 120) Barriers. Barriers do not count toward the 3-feature limit.

(pg. 122) Damaging Places. This section should specify that the hero takes no damage on a successful Stamina roll.

(pg. 135) Multiple Rolls. You can score VP for each roll of a multiple roll.

(pg. 137) Countdown rolls. The number of attempts permitted is the number of attempts per hero, not the number of attempts per horde.

(pg. 138) Alternate Methods. Allowing a single task to be performed by several very similiar abilities does not qualify as an alternate method. Few heroes are likely to have both Sing and Skald, for example, so it's not like they'll have the choice of using one or the other.

(pg. 139) Lady or Tiger? While there is no additional cost associated with this type of roll, other standard costs like difficulties, damage, etc. do apply as normal.

(pg. 142) Stunning Attacks. This is where rules for beating opponents unconscious would have appeared if I hadn't cut them near the end of the development project on the grounds that they were a royal pain in the neck. But other references (vegetarian goblins, holmganging, foes you can't knock out) imply the continued existence of unconsciousness rules. For scenes requiring the conking of one's fellow Vikings (or the conking of Vikings by vegetarian goblins), try the following untested rule (until it proves later to be broken):

Before making it, a hero can declare any attack he makes to be a stunning attack. If that blow is successful, and if it would otherwise kill the victim, the hero makes a Brawling or Awareness roll (whichever his player prefers) against a Target Number equal to the damage he's just dished out. If successful, the victim is not slain, but knocked out. He recovers in half an hour or as soon as anyone throws water on him or shakes him roughly by the shoulders, whichever comes sooner.

Vegetarian goblins automatically succeed in knocking opponents out. The designer specifies one of two results of defeat by vegetarian goblins: 1) the heroes are treated as if they Ran Away (page 200), but lose an additional piece of treasure apiece, or 2) a trap is triggered. For example, a Horde stunned by veggie goblins might wake up on the edge of a firepit, where the goblins have left them to battle some land crabs who've been hassling them. (The third result of being knocked out by vegetarian goblins, utter humilation, is implicit and needs no further mention here.)

Nagging me at the back of my horned-helmeted skull is the idea that stun rules interact with the competitive aspect in some horrible manner that has yet to fully manifest itself. But we'll see what happens.

(pg. 183) Number of Encounter Events. As stated on page 95, an encounter consists of 1 to 4 events, not 1-5 as stated on page 183.

Rune FAQ

General Interest

Q: Is the use of gifts considered to take an action?

A: Only when specified.

Q: Is there a special rule for blunt weapons, as per the description on page 38 of Ragnar's choice of a war maul "for bashing?"

A: Nah, that's just flavor text.

Q: After character creation, are skills still capped at +3, or can the players buy up their skills higher than that with experience?

A: The ability caps apply only to character creation.

Q: Several people have had question about dividing loot and treasure. For instance: "Do all of the treasures go to the first person to say he's searching? The first person to make an engagement roll and search? Or is it party treasure that has to be Engaged for for those who want the same pieces? A simple question perhaps, but I have to play with thin-skinned outlanders and there has been much pouting as of late."

A: Author Robin Laws' intention was for this to remain a matter for groups to negotiate over -- taking the risk of fighting one another if necessary. Most groups will tend to agree on equal VP distribution anyway, at least after a while. It seems somehow un-Viking to outright legislate equal VP distribution, though.

Foe Creation (pp. 96 - 119)

Q: I wanted to make an undead Wendol (using the Dishonored undead powers), but couldn't figure out what the cost would be for adding things like that, either.

A: There is no system for giving creatures funky powers apart for their game statistics. Such a system would require intense playtesting. Use Weird Magic or treat it as a trap/hazard (see below).

Q: It seems to me that the MOVE stat for foes has been ignored in the adjust section (page 119). A self-willed Foe with a high MOVE (myself, I'm designing a Pixie from Helheim) could fire a missile weapon, then use a half-move to avoid melee combat for some time.

A: Being self-willed allows a foe to switch opponents, not to skitter in and out of melee combat. Pixies from Helheim suck! If you want to include a hard-to-catch, hit-and-run creature in your encounters, try creating it as a "trap" that serves the same purpose:


While the pillagers battle other foes, our Imp flits above their heads, shooting its arrows at one pillager per round.

To avoid arrows: Singular, limited targeting vs. 1 victim, repeat shots; roll Dodge (does not cost a combat action) vs. Difficulty 6, failed roller suffers Dam rating 7.
Points Spent: 0 (Difficulty 6); 7 (Dam rating 7); 25 (Repeat Shots: 1 victim per round)
Points Earned: -15 (limited targeting: 1 victim)

In order to disable the Imp, a pillager must first jump high enough to reach it. Then he must successfully hit it with his fist or a melee weapon (the creature is too agile to target with missile weapons). A single successful blow is enough to knock it out of action.

To disable the Imp: Singular: Rush; roll Jump vs. Difficulty 7; requires a combat action. Heroes get unlimited extra rolls (one per round per hero) in which to succeed at this roll.
Then succeed at a simultaneous action; roll Brawling or any melee Weapon Ability (does not cost a combat action) vs. Difficulty 7.
Points Spent: 10 (Difficulty 7); 10 (Brawl or melee Ability vs. Difficulty 7); 10 (combat action required on Jump); 15 (simultaneous action)
Points Earned: -20 (unlimited extra rolls)

Total Points Spent: 77
Total Points Earned: -35
Balance: 42

This is for a basic, "standard model" Imp. If you wish to make it more difficult to disable, try increasing the Difficulty of the Jump or Weapon rolls. If you want to make it more dangerous, increase the arrows' Damage rating or the Difficulty of the Dodge roll. You could also give your imp "poison arrows" that inflict recurring or armor-ignoring damage. (Spiteful Imp created by Scott Reeves.)

Treasure Charts Questions (pp. 156-164)

Q: If I roll a "Roll on Category X chart instead" result, does the treasure category also change for the purposesof the subsequent charts? [I find a certain amount of amusement in the thought of pillagers getting barb-nets and the like from the Category F table.]

A: Yes. ;)

Q: Does the ultimate result on the Category F table really mean 'ignore' (as in discard), or should it be 'reroll'?

A: It should be 'reroll'; three consecutive rolls of 91+ shouldn't result in no treasure.

Q: If modifiers would make a roll go off the top or bottom entry of a chart, and that entry is one that is to be ignored, is the roll still modified to be the extreme value (ie. 1 or 10, 01 or 100) or is it modified to be the mostextreme value that will not be ignored?

A: It's modified to be the extreme value (1 or 10, 01 or 100).

Q: Is my assumption that the word 'items' in the chart on p. 158 is a placeholder for "oz. of silver equivalent value" correct?

A: Nope... Load would be 1 per five pieces of furniture, per 3 sculptures, per 10 tapestries, per 15 pieces of ceramic, per 32 oz. of silver, and none for jewelry.

Q: The various minor magical items on pp. 159 - 161 have Duration charts which have an ultimate duration value of X + d10 rounds. Should that d10 be rolled when the treasure is generated (thereby fixing the duration for the remainder of time), or each time the item is used?

A: When the treasure is generated

Q: Why was the Characteristic Chart on page 162 set up 'backwards' (e.g., Category A has a positive modifier, F a negative, which is counter to all the other chart modifiers)?

A: Well, the most useful Characteristics (for a Viking out to wreak havoc, that is) are the lower-value ones, as you've probably noticed already. So, I'd say that "because that's the way Robin did it" is the right answer... it really doesn't change anything significantly to reverse it, but you're right that for consistency it should be switched.

Q: Do the ultimate and penultimate results on the Shield/Weapon Potency (Bonus) chart on page 164 really mean 'ignore' (as in discard), or should they read 'reroll'?

A: They should read reroll; it shouldn't be possible to roll a magical shield or weapon without a bonus.

Q: Are the modifiers for treasure category retained through the rerolls ordered by the ultimate and penultimate entries on the Shield/Weapon Potency (Bonus) chart?

A: Yes.

Q: Amulets start to break down when they "fail to protect the user" (p 160), and for most of the options on the Amulet Activation table (p 161) that makes perfect sense. However, on the Amulet Activation Table (page 161), it says: "53-56 One or more fellow heroes have scored a kill in the current combat, but the user has not. [Bonus applies to:] INIT." Does that apply immediately, or on my next INIT roll? And more importantly, how does that ever "fail to protect the user"? Or does it just need to "fail" in general? Of course, what does that mean? If the user doesn't get the 'highest initiative next turn?' Or if he doesn't kill a foe before the end of the combat?

A: Amulets activate as soon as the set condition is met, so in this case it would give you the INIT boost as soon as a fellow hero makes a kill... it would be applied immediately to your current INIT roll, which may mean you get your turn right away if it's suddenly equal to or more than your fellow's. The amulet then keeps working continuously, giving you the bonus, until it fails the number of times indicated by the chart... failure should be specified more clearly here: A failure is counted every time the user again meets the activation condition for the amulet. The example with Thurid should then say "It activates whenever a servant of Loki tries to hit her. However, if a servant of Loki tries to hit her again, she must make a mark next to the entry for the amulet on her character sheet." The first half of the chart should probably read "So-and-so hits user with this type of weapon" instead of "tries to hit," to make it consistent with the bottom half, most of which actually deal damage.

Q: When you use Death Insurance? When does your new pillager come into play? Immediately? After the encounter? After the adventure?

A: It's at the beginning of the next encounter, since your death would figure into the scoring for the encounter you die in.

Rune Errata

The most important rules errata are marked with this arrow:


(pg. 13, first column, "Example of Play.") In the fifth Runner dialogue, the first two sentences should read "The Difficulty was a 6, so you fail. I add 12 potential victory points to my tally for the difference times three."

(pg. 13, first column, "Example of Play.") In the second Troy dialogue, it should say "7! I made it, and chalk up 3 victory points!"

(pg. 13, first column, "Example of Play.") In the seventh Runner dialogue, it should beginning with "[tallying up another 6 victory points]."

(pg. 13, first column, "Example of Play.") In the first Joel dialogue, it should finish with "... so that's 15 victory points for me.

(pg. 13, first column, "Example of Play.") In the first Lynne dialogue, it should finish with "... so that's 3 victory points for me.

Chapter 2

(pgs. 38 & 39, Sample Hero Sheet, and Damage scores.) The DAM value for short bows in the table on page 34 is correct. The sentence under Damage Scores on page 39 should read "The missile weapon, the short bow, uses its Damage rating alone. It happens to be 6." The sample hero sheet on page 38 should list the DAM score of the Short Bow as 6 rather than 2.

(pg. 43, "E. Can you move within range?") Replace the sentence "Refer to the second column..." with the sentence "Refer to the Half Action column in the chart below."

(pg. 45, first paragraph, second column.) The sentence "You must make a Fatigue Roll after moving recklessly..." should be removed. Fatigue and Fatiguerolls were dropped from the rules, and any references to them should be disregarded.

(pg. 51, first column, "Charging.") Charging is applicable when a hero has travelled 10 paces towards an enemy to Engage him, not 20 paces as indicated. The modifiers table at the bottom of page 51 is correct.

(pg. 51, first column, "Charging.") Take out the sentence that begins "However, if he braces with a longshaft weapon..." Yep, take it out. Find some other game to put it in.

(pg. 51, "Melee Modifiers Table.") The last entry should read "More than one opponent is currently close enough to attack a combatant." The asterisk underneath should read "*applies after the combatant first hits a foe with his melee weapons." And so forth, and so on. And so.

Chapter 3: Improving Your Hero

(pg. 66, the "Buffeting Gale" power.) Duration of this power is X rounds.

(pg. 66, the "Buffeting Gale" power.) This power's level maximum should be 4, not "unlimited" as


(pg. 75, the "Penetrating Lightning" power.) The sentence should read "... full cover becomes half cover..." rather than "almost all cover."

(pg. 83, "The Tireless Joy-Shout.") To the sentence "Add 3 to your ATK score," add the following: "for each level in Tireless Joy-Shout."

Chapter 4: Encounters

(pg. 94, the final italicized example in the second column.) The last sentence should read "You can spend 425 points per encounter," not 375 as indicated.

(pg. 96, Mix Ratio chart in the second column.) The Mix Ratio for Equal is 1.5, not 1.3 as indicated.

(pg. 97, fourth paragraph, "Step Four: Self-Willed, Or Predictable?") Add this to the end of the paragraph: "A standard combat event costs zero encounter points if no modifications are made to the foes."

(pg. 98, the italicized example in the second column.) The numbers are incorrect. The paragraph should read: "All of the heroes but one have a Soak of 5; the other has a Soak of 6. You still circle the 6, even though it is also the best statistic."

(pg. 98, the Roll of Valor graphic in the second column.) The Soak numbers are incorrect. They should read, in order: 5, 6, 5, 5, 5, 5. The Tally Soak number 6 is correct.

(pg. 99, "Foe Maker's Table.") The "Equal" row should all have scores of 0.

(pg. 99, "Foe Maker's Table.") The number crossing the "Pitiful" row and "Soak" column should be -3.

(pg. 99, "Foe Maker's Table.") The number crossing the "Weak" row and "INIT" column should be -4, not 4.

(pg. 101 and 108, Beetle-werk statistics.) Beetle-werk's Move is 20, not 100 as indicated.

(pg. 119, example under the exchange rate formula.) The example is incorrect. The phrase "or its hit points by 10" should be deleted.

(pg. 120, second paragraph.) The sentence should read "As you saw on p. 93," not p. 95.

(pg. 123, first "Dam Rating" chart.) The negative signs in the Cost column should be removed; the second "Hex Size" chart on the same page is correct as it stands in the rulebook.

(pg. 129, third paragraph, italicized example under "Basic Cost" chart.) The roll in the example should cost 60 encounter points, not 35 as indicated.

(pg. 136, "# of Rolls After the First" chart.) Reduce the number of rolls in each row by one. 1 roll after the first costs 25 encounter points, 2 rolls costs 40, 3 rolls costs 60, and 4 rolls costs 85. After the chart the sentence should read, "... require more than 5 rolls total (four extra rolls beyond the first)."

(pg. 139, final paragraph, second column.) Special note should be made of Baseline, which is described here, as it is an important game term.

(pg. 153, last paragraph, first column.) Reference is made to "wandering monster encounters." These are described on page 199.

(pg. 161 Amulet Bonus chart, p. 164 Kit Potency chart, and p. 166 Helms of Power (Levels) chart.) The charts list no modifier for a Category A treasure. It should have the same modifiers as the other bonus charts. Add an A: -5 modifier to the line.

(pg. 164, Shield/Weapon Potency (Bonus) chart.) The result of a roll of 9 or 0 should read, "ignoring results above 8" rather than above 9 as it says now.

(pg. 169, The Golden Blade.) The Golden Blade's rules text should read as follows: "When the runner rolls on a treasure chart for an item the user is the first to pick up, and the user doesn't like the result, the user may request a reroll. He may request X rerolls per session, where X is his levels in Golden Blade. He suffers a 20X victory point deduction unless he then becomes the sole owner of the treasure."

(pg. 165, the "Helms of Power Divine Gifts" table, second column.) "The Gnawing Stags" occurs on a roll of 38, not 8 as indicated.

(pg. 174, second column, Shrine / Deity chart.) The second column should be a Gain, not Cost, column.

(pg. 176-177, "Budgets by Encounter Type.") The insert on page 176 is correct; the table on page 177 is incorrect and should read as follows:

Plot: Set-Up 455
Cushion 350
Plot: Development 400
Plot: Climax 525

(pg. 184, Quick and Dirty Encounter Design) "You have an encounter point ceiling of 350," not 300 as given here.

Chapter 5: Running the Game

(pg. 199, third paragraph in first column - the first italicized paragraph.) Reference is made to a "death from above" bonus on page 129. No such rule is mentioned on page 129. In fact, it's in the Melee Modifiers Table on page 51, listed as "Combatant is jumping from a height onto a foe."

(pg. 200, third paragraph, second column.) Reference is made to the "getting lost" rules on page 199. These rules are on page 152.

(pg. 202, the "Inexorable Death Trudge" italicized example paragraph.) The phase "three times the number of sessions" should read "four times the number of sessions." The point total, 20, is correct, however.

Chapter 7: Sample Adventure: The Stolen Rune

(pg. 215, third to last paragraph, "Points Spent: 0.") The Difficulty is 6, not 7.

(pg. 217, third paragraph, "Points Spent: 0.") The Difficulty is 6, not 8.

(pg. 218, under " Gain - Victory Point Award: Killing Leig.") This should read "Singular, no roll required, hero adds 20 to his victory point tally and everyone else gets half that; pillagers may use Rush rules (pg. 132) to see which hero shoulders aside the others to perform the deed, but then no victory points are awarded (see pg. 175)."

(pg. 219, first column, under "GAIN - CATEGORY A TREASURE.") In both the "INIT vs. Baseline" and the "Points Spent," the Baseline should be +4, not +3 as indicated, at a cost of 30 encounter points.

The Baseline rules are described on pg. 139 - 140.

(pg. 221, "ENCOUNTER 2 COST SHEET.") In the "Item" row, the Gremlin Treasure Baseline should be +4, not +3 as indicated.

(pg. 226, "ENCOUNTER 3 COST SHEET.") Even with cushion encounters now getting 350 encounter points, this is still over the limit. Consider it a gift of the gods.

( pg. 245, "ENCOUNTER 7 COST TABLE.") Note that the Balance total is legal, given the errata to the Budgets by Encounter Type table on page 177.

(pg. 235, end of page.) Add the following to the "Not Actually Fish" Freestanding Roll: Points Earned: -10 (Freestanding Difficulty 6).

Index and Appendix

(Character Sheet, Exploratory Abilities; and in the sample character sheet on page 38.) Bravery's Governing Characteristic is STA, not STR as indicated.

(Character Sheet, Equipment.) Total Load should be blank, without the number "5" as on the sheet. Oops.

Crouching Wizard Clarifications

The points spent for the foe listing in the final fight is 50, not 0. It is correct on the spreadsheet at the end of the encounter.

The Red Wizard's type should be Dark Viking, not Evil Wizard. He is not a new creature.

Ice Wights have a Max Threat of "Equal," and a Benchmark of 7.

Enter the Viking Clarifications

(p. 158) If you roll silver on the loot chart , use the ounces you rolled for it on the category chart (p. 157 or 158) to determine the load; 32 oz. equals one load point. If you roll some other kind of loot form on the loot chart, it counts as one item in figuring the load.

Enter the Viking Conversion Notes

Rune cushion encounters have a starting budget of 350 encounter points, despite the typo in the Rune rulebook on page 177. Enter the Viking has three encounters that use the 350 standard instead of the incorrectly published 300-point limit -- these are "Getting Your Goat," "Iron Goblin," and "The Seventh Seal." To change these encounters to a starting budget of 300 encounter points, click here to get the conversion notes.