DM2 Rune Magic Cover

Deep Magic: Rune Magic PDF (5th Edition)

4.5 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)


SKU: DM2-RUNE-5E-PDF Categories: , , ,

Product Description

Deep Magic of Giants and the Northlands!

Beneath the auroras is a savage land of frenzied barbarians, doom-laden heroes, flinty dwarves, and giants who dare to wage war against the gods themselves. The magic of the north is deep and ancient, and its practitioners are masters of the secret powers of the runes.

Deep Magic: Rune Magic brings the secrets of rune magic into your 5th Edition campaign, with 24 pages featuring:

  • New Rune Knowledge and Rune Mastery feats
  • 25 runes that grant wisdom and power over time, fire, water, wealth, and more
  • 5 new rune rituals, including Curse of the Wild Moon, Scourge of Hateful Nettles, and Tyr’s Peace
  • 32 new or updated rune spells, including curse of Boreas, Loki’s gift, snowblind stare, and Wotan’s rede
  • New magic items, monsters, and more!

The ravens gather, and the wolves howl. Ready yourself, wizard: whatever emerges from the cold, dark forests this day will learn the power of rune magic!

2 reviews for Deep Magic: Rune Magic PDF (5th Edition)

  1. 5 out of 5


    The assumption is made that you have a reasonable grasp of what runes and rune magic are, and already know that they are associated with people from cold northern realms (think Vikings in the real world), it dives straight in by explaining that you need a Rune Knowledge feat to use them at all, and a Rune Mastery feat to develop your skills. Thereafter, though, the contents are excellent with a lot of material to get your teeth into.

    First up, the Rune Knowledge and Rune Mastery feats are given in full detail, then there’s a fascinating run-through of the runes themselves. This makes it clear that learning rune magic is a slow and painstaking process: when you learn Rune Knowledge you get to choose just TWO runes which you can use (and Rune Mastery enables to use a single rune you know at a higher level)… fortunately you can take both feats multiple times. For each rune, you get a specific bonus just because you know it, and then you learn the effects of tracing that rune (standard and mastery levels of knowledge) – and there’s an image as well so you know the shape to trace.

    Next, there are several rune rituals to perform. These are associated with specific runes and there’s the rather cryptic comment that once you know the appropriate rune, you can eventually master the appropriate ritual – no indication of how long that takes or what you have to do to master it. The rituals themselves are full of Norse flavour, fitting that mindset.

    Then there are rune magic spell lists (for all spell-using classes) followed by the detailed spell descriptions themselves. Many again have Nordic themes or deal with cold, curses, and similar concepts, although there is no real connection with runes themselves otherwise. They do fit in well with the general themes of the magic in this book, however, so could work well for spell-casters of appropriate origin or as spells used by a character who also has the rune-using feats in his build.

    These are followed by a couple of neat magic items. The nithing rod is rather fun, it’s a kind of landmine you set for an enemy whom you’d like to curse. Once you have created it (and you have to know the individual, it’s not a general purpose weapon) you set it up someplace you think your enemy is likely to pass, and when he does it not only casts bestow curse on him, it keeps on doing so until he fails his saving throw! They also curse anyone who tries to tidy them away, although then they only cast the curse once.

    There’s also a couple of conditions – snow blindness and hypothermia – and a couple of monsters which relate to the rituals earlier, which summon them. It helps if you have the full statistics of whatever is conjured up, after all!

    Overall, this is a nice selection of material to bring a northern flavour into your game – it’s good on the crunchy bits, the actual effects you can create using your rune magic, but a little short on the flavour that would put it all into context.

  2. 4 out of 5


    First of all, let me start by saying that Kobold Press always puts out some amazing books in terms of layout, art, and presentation. though I did not put on my editor hat, I didn’t notice any grammatical errors, and the book itself is beautiful. It is a shame that the book is so short, or I would want to order it as a print item. I hope to see a compilation in the future that might come in a hardback perhaps?

    Now onto the meat of the review. This is a very interesting book, and has some strong implications for magic through feat selection. Given the precedent for magic through feats (PHB feats: Magic Initiatve, and Ritual Caster), these spells seem on par, giving a very different and curiously intricate venue for either giving magic to classes that do not have it, or bolstering those that do. I would presume that a magic using class would be less likely to take them, and fighters more likely, given their abundance of feat options. This is exciting, and makes me want to make some kind of Runic Viking fighter.

    The runes themselves all seem well done, and somewhat narrow in scope. This focus makes them good for cherry picking, especially as some have a shallow but wide utility, making the rune selection less about bonuses and more about a character’s personality.

    The runic mastery abilities, learned through another feat, are far more powerful, and represent a path to power that requires great investment on the part of the player. The structure of this power acquisition is ingenious, and shows a lot of forethought and great design acumen.

    There are a bevy of new spells as well that complement the runic powers in theme. I think I have the most issues with this section, and the spells themselves are oddly balanced, usually not being powerful enough, or having effects that don’t make sense (e.g. extending the range of a spell using 5 ft increments per spell level, or having a 4th level spell to break objects that is on par with the 2nd level spell shatter). Some spells are so specialized that they seem aimed at NPCs or very specialized casters (which makes classes like Bards, Rangers, and Sorcerers unlikely to take them). Many of the 1st level effects seem almost meant for cantrip effects, and are not on par with the 5th edition design model of having 1st level spells be more effective than their 3rd edition counterparts. It is almost as if these spells were directly moved from their Pathfinder version, and as I have not had a chance to look at the Pathfinder verison of Deep Magic, I can only assume this to be the case.

    Many of the spells are good and well balanced by 5th edition standards, but enough of them are not that it seems like this product could use a revision specific to the spells.

    The magic items are rather interesting and well done by my reckoning. I would love to use them in my campaigns.

    The conditions are great, as I have felt like 5th edition’s current conditions list is lacking for certain situations. I love the concept of hypothermia as it deviates from just defaulting to exhaustion, and makes the cold really matter more than just being a throwaway occasional Constitution saving throw. The cold should matter, and this condition makes it very prominently dangerous.

    Two monsters are included, one a reprint from Tome of Beasts (the Vaettir) and one is new (the Tupilak Golem). The Vaettir is included as it is relevant to the spells and runes from this book, and the Tupilak golem is a welcome addition and a very neat monster that I can’t wait to use. Both are done very well, and make masterful use of the rules.

    Overall, I am very happy with this book, though I am hopeful to see if the issue with the spells may be addressed in the future. As it is, I can use them, but I intend to modify them perhaps for my purposes. This is a solid book, and you can’t really beat the price. If you like the concept of rune magic, this is an excellent resource. If you like things Norse and cold, this is also an excellent resource. Don’t cast off on your viking longship without it!

    I give this product 4 stars.

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