Source: Warhammer Armies Project: Unofficial 9th Edition

Runic Items
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Dwarf Runesmiths have mastered the art of capturing the Winds of Magic and binding them into stone or metal. Although no longer as skilled as their forefathers of old, the Dwarfs are still the greatest of all races when it comes to making magic weapons, armour and other enchanted items.

The race of Dwarfs is not magical and has never developed spellcasters the way other races have. This, the Dwarfs affirm, is not by accident or lack of ability, but rather the benefit of good common sense. They believe the first Dwarfs, the Ancestor Gods, saw magic for what it was: a fickle power at best, and at worst, wholly corrupting. It was Grungni who first learned to capture magic with his hammercraft, binding its wayward energies into good solid rock and metal, taming its powers for his own use. Since that time, those known as Runesmiths have learned the art of striking magic runes. All Dwarf language is written in runes, inscriptions specifically designed to be carved in stone or metal, but magic runes, as struck by a Runesmith, are far more potent. They hold the Winds of Magic to an item the way a nail affixes two pieces of timber together, creating items of incredible power.

Runic Magic

In other Warhammer armies, characters may carry magic items from the Warhammer rulebook. This is not the case with Dwarfs, who instead may select Ancestral Heirlooms or runic items. These are effectively magic items tailored to your own requirements by combining abilities. A Dwarf character can carry runic items, and the total points values of those runic items is limited as mentioned in the army list.

It is important to remember that an Ancestral Heirloom or runic item is no different from a magic item, and all the usual rules for magic items still apply. For example, a creature with the Ethereal special rule cannot be hurt by attacks that are not classified as magical, in which case a runic weapon will also be able to affect it. All the rules that apply to the possession and use of magic items also apply to runic items.

Creating a Runic Item

Unless otherwise noted, runes can be inscribed onto the following things: weapons, armour, talismans, standards, and war machines. Each of these has its own types of runes.

The easiest way to create a runic item is to choose a character from your army – for example a Thane armed with an axe. You will be, in effect, upgrading him to have a magic axe. You can choose which runes you want from the weapon runes detailed in the following section. Each rune has a specific points value; the more powerful the rune, the higher the points cost. When adding runes, you must follow the Rules of the Runes (see right). Once you have chosen the runes you want, write down the Thane's name and each of the runes you have chosen along with his total points cost on your army roster. This way you can refer to it during the game.

Choosing Runes

There are many types of rune, all of which bestow a special power or bonus. By combining runes together in different ways, you can create devices of great power. It is up to you to decide how to combine and use the runes.

Rules of the Runes

You may inscribe up to three runes onto an item, which will henceforth be considered magical. Runic magic items are subject to the following restrictions:

  1. No single item can have more than three runes. It is virtually impossible to forge items able to bear the strain of carrying so much power. Runesmiths call this the Rule of Three.

  2. Weapon runes can only be inscribed on weapons (always hand weapons), armour runes can only be inscribed on armour, banner runes can only be inscribed on standards, engineering runes can only be inscribed on war machines, and talismanic runes can only be inscribed on talismans (of which more later). This is called the Rule of Form by Runesmiths.

  3. No more than one item may carry the same combination of runes. You could not have two runic weapons both engraved with a Rune of Speed and a Rune of Fire, for example, or more than one standard bearing two Runes of Battle. This restriction also applies to the use of single runes, so you could not have two characters in your army wearing armour engraved with only a single Rune of Iron, for example. Creating runic items takes a great deal of effort, and Runesmiths don't like repeating themselves. Nor do they copy other Runesmiths' work, except during their apprenticeship. This is known among Runesmiths as the Rule of Pride.

  4. No master rune may be used more than once per army, and no more than one master rune can be inscribed on an item. Master runes are so powerful that they cannot be combined together on the same item or used together on the same battlefield. For this reason, Runesmiths describe these runes as Jealous Runes.

  5. Apart from the master runes (which can only be used once) other runes can be combined as you wish, to produce varied or cumulative effects. For example, you might inscribe a weapon with a Master Rune of Swiftness (Always Strikes First special rule), the Rune of Striking (+1 Weapon skill) and the Rune of Fury (+1 Attack). With the exception of master runes, most runes can be used in multiples, although whether their effects are simply added together or combine into a new power will be stated within the rune's rules. To reflect this, the points costs for multiples of the same rune do not necessarily increase in a uniform manner.

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