The Destiny of Kord
Overview. (Master Runes).
Runes are powerful icons that you can use for a variety of effects. In order to use a rune, you must normally find and keep a master rune. A master rune is a rare object—a gem or carved rock, a magical token, a shard of some special material, and so on—engraved with the rune and empowered with magic that allows you to unleash the rune’s effects. Those effects are divided into two categories. Simple properties are usable by anyone who attunes to a master rune. Complex properties are usable only by a character who attunes to a master rune and who possesses the Rune Lore class feature. Unless otherwise noted, you must have a master rune on your person in order to use its properties.
A rune found as treasure is a master rune, carefully scribed into a rare object and available for use as a training tool to allow would-be rune scribes to unlock its power. Each rune discussed below is detailed as part of a master rune. Master runes and the runes they contain are treated much like magic items. They are categorized in rarity from rare to legendary, and can be placed in a campaign whenever the GM opts to place treasure. There are no common or uncommon runes.
Buying and Selling Runes.
Treat a master rune as a magic item of its equivalent rarity for the purpose of buying and selling in the campaign. Just as with other magic items, the DM will determine whether such items are available to purchase in the campaign and under what conditions.
Runes are identified in a manner similar to magic items. Simply handling a master rune causes a strong sense of its rune’s identity to echo in a character’s mind. For example, touching a master rune item containing the kalt rune (the rune of cold) might cause you to experience a sudden chill as visions of snow and ice flash through your mind. The identify spell immediately reveals a master rune’s simple properties. You can also learn its simple properties over the course of a short rest while maintaining physical contact with the rune.
Runes and Attunement.
A rune always requires attunement to use its simple properties. Attuning to a master rune requires you to spend a short rest focused on only that item while being in physical contact with it. This can’t be the same short rest used to learn the rune’s properties. This focus takes the form of carefully and repeatedly copying the rune, whether with ink and parchment or simply scribing it into the dirt. If the short rest is interrupted, the attunement attempt fails. Otherwise, at the end of the short rest, you gain an intuitive understanding of how to activate the rune’s magical properties. A master rune can be attuned to only one creature at a time, and all runes count toward your limit of magic items you can attune to. Any attempt to attune to a fourth magic item or rune fails (though a rune scribe’s Rune Mastery feature allows attunement to one additional rune). You cannot attune to more than one copy of a rune. You can end attunement to a rune in the same manner as with any other magic item.
Runes in Kordova.
Typically Kordian (and Thalasian) Runesmiths attune themselves to one Master Rune (usually from the Core) after years of study and practice. They may well have previously attuned to other Minor (The Field) or Master Rune (The Frame) however once the new Core Master Rune is selected they generally change their attunement to other runes to match their final chosen Core Rune. These 'lesser' runes may continue to change and develop as the Runesmith gains in knowledge and power but they very rarely select a different Core Master Rune.
The Master Runes are extremely powerful and may be used in a variety of ways. They are found inscribed into items, architecture and small votive stones and charms that harness the power of the Rune and transfer it to the attuned wielder whilst on their person. The Minor Runes (The Field) are generally of more limited use and are most often found already inscribed onto a utility object like a weapon, tool or portal.