Secrets of Pavis
At character creation, a PC picks an element rune and another one or two runes (certain runes, like Infinity, as revealed only through play). If a player picks only one rune, they may discover another through play. Hero-level players gain additional “super” runes (eg Infinity) through Heroquesting.
Runes are like passions, and govern/limit/direct both behavior, as well as augmenting other skills (especially magic).
Skill age for each rune – starting ability is POW x 2. Scores are raised as per normal rules, although training is only available in very rare circumstances. Runes cannot be increased beyond POX x 5% unless via Heroquesting. [Because we have been playing for a while, you may redistribute points from other skills to your runes, but I’ll cap that at POW x 4% to avoid min/maxing]
Players may not have more than one element rune. Replacing an element rune is possible through a Heroquest.
Players may not have two opposing power runes without the Chaos, Moon or Infinity rune.
Augment appropriate magic (20% of its value)
Augment appropriate ability or roll (eg Air rune for acrobatics, Darkness for perception at night, Harmony rune for sing/dance, Death rune for killing blows, Life rune for healing)
Oppose Magic from opposed rune source
Used to substitute for skill (eg Disorder for causing a bar fight, Truth rune for an appeal to a jury, Communication for mutual understanding with a foreigner, Beast for taming a horse, Motion for getting to something first)
Runes also penalize inappropriate magic/abilities, eg someone with a fire rune will be penalized attempting to use darkness magic, someone with a death rune will be penalized when attempting to heal, someone with a disorder rune will be penalized when attempting to reach agreement, etc.
Some characters will discover new runes through understanding skills (eg Draconic Illumination is functionally equivalent to a Dragon rune).