The Runemage is a quick study, memorizing the runes which the gods themselves used to create the world. These runes provide direct access to a powerful energy which can be harnessed and used to cast spells such as fiery missiles or bolster the strength of allies.
A Runemage’s weapon is their wand, which they use to draw runes. The runes must be memorized and practiced so that they can be cast quickly and accurately during battle; the most powerful Runemages know an entire litany of spells to use at a moment’s notice.
[T]he Runemage has the most "skills" because they have a lot of spells to memorize... the Runemage does have a lot of spells to choose from depending on the situation, be in a fireball or some entertaining fireworks that shoot from their wand. But they have to have each rune memorized exactly correctly and even practice them physically until they can cast them consistently. So their 'playstyle' is 'precision and lots of choices', but they mostly just focus on a single target at a time.
Becoming a Runemage
Unlike the other classes in the game, you do not start off with the ability to play a Runemage right off the bat. Instead, you must seek out the Witch of Mulbirth and complete a series of tasks for her to convince her to teach you the basics of the class, and give you your first Runemage wand. Pay attention to the early dialogue of the game and you'll hear hints about where to find her.
Unlike most fantasy RPG casters, the Runemage does not have a mana pool or other "MP" resource that is consumed when casting spells. Instead, "[t]he natural limiting factor on the Runemage is the ability to quickly cast the spell. The more powerful the spell the more complicated the rune is (some of them have 4 strokes) and being able to quickly draw that accurately is in itself the limiting factor." Rituals are the exception: they require rare, consumable reagents.
To draw a rune, just hold your Wand controller in front of you, and press down on the Trigger button. Some runes require multiple strokes to draw. So you would draw one stroke, then release, then hold again to draw another stroke.
Once you've drawn the rune, press the Trackpad button (or A/X button on Touch) on your Wand controller to "submit" the cast. If you were successful, you will see the spell appear on your Wand tip. Press the Trackpad button again to cast the spell. If you were not successful, you will see a 'spell failed' effect, and you can try drawing again. If you mess up while drawing, just press the Trackpad button to clear the rune and start over.
If you draw a spell particularly well, you will see a 'spell success' effect alongside the usual spell effect. This also increases the effectiveness of the spell, causing it to do increased damage.
After you cast the spell, you must guide it. While the spell is flying through the air, it will move in whatever direction your wand is pointing. The spell will collide with the first thing it hits, be it friend or foe (although currently there is no friendly fire). Also note that the spell will only go so far before fizzling out.
A list of the known Runemage spells is given below, along with the base rune for each spell. If a spell is listed as having higher levels, these are not yet available in-game.
Fireball: The standard high-damage single-target spell, with a new look.
Frostbolt: The best spell to use if you want to slow down your target and give yourself time to attack.
Ice Lance: A lance of ice shoots from your wand, damaging all enemies in a line immediately. If those enemies are Slowed (by a Frostbolt spell), they will take greatly increased damage.
Arcane Ray: A ray-based attack which works best when you're hitting 3+ enemies in a line.
Mana Shield: A protective spell which increases the damage resistance of a target for a period of time.
Decurse: A spell which cleanses the target by removing one harmful effect.
Affliction: A shadow-based damage over time effect which you can use to cause ongoing pain to your target. Features a Level 2 spell which does more damage for a longer period of time.
Polymorph: A special spell which allows you to transform enemies into chickens, taking them out of the fight temporarily. When you Polymorph a target, it will regain all health. In addition, there are diminishing returns on Polymorphing the same target repeatedly in a short period of time, and you can only Polymorph one target; attempting a second will cause you to lose your concentration on the first. You cannot Polymorph Players.
Pushback: A spell which does a little damage to a target, but also causes it to shoot backwards away from you. The Level 2 of this spell allows you to do the same thing as an explosion from yourself, pushing back all targets in range. Shares the same diminishing returns effect as Polymorph -- so you can't just repeatedly use it on the same target. You cannot Pushback Players.
Light: A cantrip spell which allows you to create a globe of light which will travel a short distance and then remain in place for a long period of time. Useful in dark places such as caves to illuminate the area for your party.
Fireworks: A cantrip spell that you can use to entertain nearby adventurers by creating a small firework explosion up in the sky. Level 2 and Level 3 versions of this spell will create more elaborate displays.
Rituals are more complicated spells which require drawing multiple runes and consume rare reagents.
Teleportation Portal Opens a portal to a runestone located somewhere in the world. Multiple portal spell variations exist, each leading to a different runestone. Portals remain open for a short time, during which anyone can travel through them. (Travel is one-way.)
Resurrection Resurrect a player who has died and not yet chosen to be respawned back at the nearest graveyard. When the ritual is completed, all dead allies within a radius of approximately 10 meters will be resurrected. Cannot be cast if you are in combat.
As a Runemage casts spells, they begin to build up an arcane charge throughout their body. Once this charge has reached a breaking point, the Runemage is able to unleash the charge through the blasting beam of a Sunfire spell.
The Runemage fills up their super energy by casting spells correctly. More complicated spells receive a bonus to the super energy, as does correctly casting multiple spells in a row without failing a spell. When the Runemage's super energy bar is full, pressing the Triggers on both controllers at the same time will cause the Sunfire spell to activate. You then press the Trackpad (or the A/X buttons) to cast the spell like any other spell. The Sunfire spell is an incredibly powerful single-shot ray which will deal massive damage to all enemies in its path. It also has an extremely long range (100 meters). It is the most damaging spell that a Runemage can cast.
The Runemage's two paths are Elementalist, which focuses on single-target damage, and Tormentor, which focuses on multi-target damage.
Lend a Hand: Your spells now follow the direction of your off-hand rather than your wand tip.
Selfish Streak: You gain an 8% damage boost to your spells for 3 seconds after casting 3 successful spells in a row.
Runic Diversity: Casting 3 spells in a row from different Runic types increases the damage of the third spell by 20%.
Elemental Affinity: Your Fire, Frost, and Shadow spells grant additional buffs and debuffs to yourself and your targets.
Static Charge: Your successful spell casts cause a static charge to build up on your off-hand, which you can use the Trigger button to unleash in a short blast.
Shared Streak: Yourself and other nearby allies gain a 4% damage boost for 3 seconds after casting 3 successful spells in a row.
Runic Speed: Your higher-level spells gain a 20% speed boost.
True Affliction: Your Fire and Frost spells gain an additional damage over time effect. Your Arcane Missile spell now spreads your DoT effects to all targets it hits.
When Elemental Affinity is active, the following effects can be triggered:
- Fire spells empower your next spell's damage by 10%.
- Frost spells embolden your next spell's effect by 10%. (e.g. Slow, Affliction, etc.)
- Shadow spells decrease the Magical Defense of your target by 10% for 5 seconds.
With True Affliction, your Fireball and Frost spells gain an additional DoT effect (with varying durations and damage levels). Your Arcane Missile spell, when it explodes, will spread out DoT effects among all the targets that it hits. For example, if there is a group of 3 enemies, one of which has an Affliction DoT on it, hitting all 3 with the Arcane Missile will cause the Affliction to spread to the other 2 targets, with the same remaining duration as the first target. Note that this only works for your Fireball, Frostbolt, and Affliction DoTs, not other DoTs such as Poison.
If you're running into trouble with your casting, consider reading the Runemage FAQ for help!
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