Folk Magic



Chance of success = Automatic, unless rolled against a resisting target or cast at a range, in which case the Folk Magic skill must be rolled as normal. When resisting, the spell is compared on the Differential roll table.

At all times, the following chart is used to gauge success:

Roll Result
Critical Magic Point cost = 0
Success Caster loses 1 MP, and spell works successfully
Failure Caster loses 1 MP, but spell does not work
Fumble Caster loses 1D3 MP and the spell fails to work

Due to their minor or petty nature, all Folk Magic spells have a default Intensity and Magnitude of 1.

Progressive Spells

Progressive spells (those spells with varying Intensity) can be cast at any Intensity up to or equal to half the caster’s critical score in Folk Magic.

Folk Magic Skill Intensity
1-20 1
21-40 2
41-60 3
61-80 4
81-100 5
101-120 6
121-140 7
+20 +1

In other words, a character with Folk Magic 63% has a critical score of 7%, allowing them to cast spells of up to Intensity 4. The Magnitude, casting time and other parameters of the spell do not change. The precise effect of the extra intensity varies by spell and is given in the list of progressive spells below.

The Magic Point cost of the spell is 1 Magic Point per point of Intensity. A character cannot deplete his Magic Points below 0 through casting a progressive spell. So, a character capable of casting Bladesharp 4 but having only 3 Magic Points remaining would only be able to cast Bladesharp 3.

Characters can choose the Intensity of the spell they want to cast: they need not cast it at its full available Intensity if they do not wish to.

Some spells that were progressive in some previous editions of RuneQuest (such as Disruption) have not been made progressive here as they are seen to be out of line with the normal capabilities of Folk Magic. Other spells such as Multimissile which were omitted in RuneQuest 6 remain absent here but may well be found as cult secrets. Finally, you should note that as a side-effect some progressive spells actually end up being weaker at Intensity 1 than the standard RQ6 version.

List of Common Progressive Spells:

  • Avert (see Dispel Magic)
  • Bladesharp: Each point of Intensity adds +1 damage (instead of a dice step). E.g. Bladesharp 2 adds +2 damage. At Intensity 6, any damage done by this weapon automatically gains the Bleed Special Effect in addition to any others normally chosen.
  • Bludgeon: Each point of Intensity adds +1 damage (instead of a dice step). E.g. Bludgeon 2 adds +2 damage. At Intensity 6, any damage done by this weapon automatically gains the Stun Location Special Effect in addition to any others normally chosen.
  • Dispel Magic (Avert): Used to dismiss another Folk Magic spell of equal or less Intensity within range.
  • Dullblade: Each point of Intensity reduces the damage done by 1 point per Intensity to a minimum of zero damage. At Intensity 6, any damage done by this weapon cannot cause the Bleed Special Effect.
  • Mindspeech: Each point of Intensity allows the caster to communicate with one person. The targets cannot communicate with each other this way though.
  • Mobility: Each point of Intensity increases the movement rate by 1m. So at Intensity 1, the spell adds +1m (not 1D3), at Intensity 2 it adds +2m and so on.
  • Protection: Protection will work a number of times equal to its Intensity before it dissipates. Thus Protection 4 can protect against damage up to 4 times.
  • Slow: Each point of Intensity reduces the target’s Movement rate by 1m, to a minimum of 1m. A target cannot be immobilized using Slow. Thus an Intensity 6 Slow spell would reduce a human to 1m but would not bring him or her to a complete standstill.

Folk Magic Traits


The spell’s effects remain in place as long as the caster continues to concentrate on maintaining it. Concentration requires the caster to be free of all physical and mental distractions: any such disturbance interrupts the concentration, resulting in the spell’s immediate dismissal.


Unless a spell has either the Concentration or Instant traits it has a natural duration which lasts the entire scene or action for which the spell was used. A few spells have custom durations noted in the spell’s definition. For example, using Pathway to traverse a section of thorny and overgrown woodland would last until the terrain clears and the spell is no longer necessary.


The spell’s effects happen immediately. It has no duration.


Spells with the Ranged trait can be cast at a distance of up to the character’s Folk Magic score in meters. The caster must know the location of the target, such as ‘hiding behind the door’: if they are unable to directly see or sense the target of the spell, then the Folk Magic roll becomes one grade harder.

Resist (Endurance, Evade, Willpower)

Any spell that is not readily accepted by a target can be actively resisted using either Endurance, Evade or Willpower, as determined by this trait. To successfully resist a spell, the target must win an opposed roll of the relevant skill against the caster’s Folk Magic casting result. If the target fails in the opposed roll then the spell takes effect as normal. Note that resisting is usually a passive action if Endurance or Willpower are the skills being used. If a spell requires the target to Evade then it costs an Action Point to make the Evade attempt. Targets without Action Points to spend in evading will therefore be powerless against the spell’s effect.


The caster must be in physical contact with the target whilst the spell is cast. If a target is intent on resisting physical contact then the caster will most likely fail to complete his spell unless some specific circumstance prevents the target’s withdrawal, such as surprise or the Grip special effect. A touch spell merely needs to contact the target or its carried accoutrements in order to work.


Trigger spells can be cast successfully but have their effects delayed by the caster. If the spell is not triggered during the scene it dissipates naturally.

Folk Magic

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