At 8th level Runecaster (from the Forgotten Realms) can create Permanent Runes. I don't clearly understand what a Permanent rune does though.

My guesses at how it might work:

  1. When activated it works like spell which has been made permanent by a Permanancy spell.

    Alice, a cleric 5/runecaster 8, makes a Permanent Rune of Bless with CL=1 (1×1×2000 gp cost) and gives it to her friend the fighter, Bob. Bob activates the Rune and becomes affected by a permanent Bless, so his allies always have a +1 morale bonus to attacks and so on (provided they within a 50 ft. burst). Bob throws away the used Rune, but is still affected by a permanent Bless. Villain Don casts Bane on Bob and dispells the Bless on Bob (with successfull dispell check), so Bob is no longer affected by Bless, and the Rune is used up and cannot help anymore.


  1. A Permanent Rune contains a spell which can be activated at will.

    Alice makes a Permanent Rune of Bless and gives it to Bob. When Bob activates the Rune, he becomes affected by Bless, so he and his allies get +1 morale bonus for 1 minite (’cause CL=1). Next round Bob can throw the Rune away, but he will still be affected by Bless. Don dispels Bless. Bob picks up the Rune and activates it once more.


  1. ???
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. An excellent question. Note that, in any case, bane dispeling bless is likely automatic. Thank you for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've removed the extra question at the end. This site works poorly when multiple questions are asked in one post, because it's easy for some to be ignored. (Notice that the existing answer didn't try to answer the extra question.) To give every question the attention it deserves, we require that each question be posted separately using the Ask Question button. (It's totally OK to post more than one question at a time here.) Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


A permanent rune's activated whenever its activation condition is met

A permanent rune doesn't change the duration of the spell stored within the rune to permanent; the stored spell's duration is unchanged. Instead, a runecaster (Player's Guide to Faerûn 69-71) that creates a permanent rune can activate that rune any number of times per day

The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting says that normally a rune

can be triggered once before it loses its magical power, but it lasts indefinitely until triggered. A rune written or painted on a surface fades away when expended, erased, or dispelled.… When you create a rune, you can set the caster level at anywhere from the minimum caster level necessary to cast the spell in question to your own level. When you create a rune, you make any choices that you would normally make when casting the spell.… Whoever touches the rune triggers the rune and becomes the target of the spell placed in it. (58)

So a rune can be triggered—either when it's touched or when it's read—only once or, for an increase in cost, a limited number of times, and then the rune becomes nonmagical vandalism. By contrast, a rune that can be triggered a number or times per day or is permanent can be triggered multiple times per day or any number of times per day, respectively.

The runecaster's description just has no option allowing—and no guidelines for—combining a spell effect from a rune with, for example, an effect like the spell permanency. Just to be clear, were the rune's effect supposed to be continuous, the chart for the runecaster's extraordinary ability rune craft (PG 70) would likely have included additional multipliers for the spell-stored-in-the-rune's duration as per Table 7–33: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values (Dungeon Master's Guide 285) rather than the identical flat cost the game thinks is appropriate for a use-activated wondrous item.

(Some confusion's likely created by the layout error that lists the permanent rune's entry as Permanent [tab] (until Spell level1 × caster level4 dispelled) × 2,000 gp, which errata leaves untouched but should probably instead be Permanent (until dispelled) [tab] Spell level1 × caster level4 × 2,000 gp, that (until dispelled) text a reminder that instead of being permanent until triggered like most runes, a permanent rune is permanent until dispelled like all runes. Runes, by the way, are capable of being forever dispelled by a successful targeted dispel magic, unlike most magic items which merely become mundane items for 1d4 rounds. This sort of sucks.)

Thus, even if the rune itself is permanent, the effect the rune creates only has the standard duration of the spell stored within the rune. Nonetheless, even if it's not giving everyone in the party permanent divine power or whatever, the runecaster's supernatural ability improved runecasting remains a incredibly powerful ability that allows creation of powerful magic items with little DM oversight… that the DM can obliterate with a successful dispel magic.

Note: This reading also jibes with the Saintheart's excellent "Runeblaster: The Runecaster Handbook" (2009) as well as with this 2011 Brilliant Gameologists thread.


2. A Permanent Rune contains a spell which can be activated at will

You were right with this.

I don't have the book by hand now so I can't check if it is explained somewhere in the class ability description, but you can see that it was the intended that way by checking the item creation rules.

A magic item with endless uses of a single spell and with his effect user actived (like the rune) cost Caster Level × Spell Level × 2000 gp, exactly as much as the permanent rune.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Reading the relevant text, I am not convinced that this is true (or, at least, certain), and a good answer needs more than this to be convincing. I suggest you wait until you have the book in front of you if you want to provide an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 14:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .