Dark Pact + The Master's Skull (Pg. 42) = NO SPELLS?



Hey Hey!

I have what might be a hilariously dumb question. If a “Mage” Class character in the Alfheim setting picks the Dark Pact AND the Master’s Skull at Character Creation… does that character NOT get spells?

Also … Are Spells Basic Loot?


How I handle it is that if a player chooses a Mage, I try to make sure they start with 1 free spell. They can then get more if they choose things like Astral Grimoire or Memory Ring, but if they go with the Dark Pact/Master Skull combo as you mentioned, then they’ll just start with one.

As for Spells being loot, it depends. INT spells are considered LOOT and take up equipment slots. WIS spells don’t take up any Inventory though.


Interesting! So it seems as RAW that the MAGE does not get spells if they go the Dark Pact and Master’s Skull Combo.

Also, I hadn’t noticed that Wisdom Spells don’t take up slots! Then I suppose they don’t drop as loot huh?

No wait, just checked they are LOOT. Huh that’s weird. Why don’t these take up INVENTORY like the INT Spells?


Perhaps. ICRPG is wonderful for providing spaces for GMs and players to establish their own answers for these kind of questions. I feel like this is one of those cases where you get to decide if Mages do or don’t get any spells if they go with the Dark Pact/Master Skull Combo. I choose one, but maybe you feel like everyone should start with three :smiley:

As for the WIS vs INT spells, I’m going to quote @Alex from a recent conversation on the Runehammer Discord:

There has been at least a discussion in one of the early videos about mages as keepers of secrets and how they go out into the world and collect spells and magical artifacts. Conversely, priests typically are about faith and connection with their deity or nature or the universe. Maybe I’m stretching here, but I think it was a natural extension to make int based casters focus on collection (and subject to the item cap), while priests and faith have no such limitations. - Alex [Council] 01/12/2022

If you have the CORE books as well, you can see how there was a mentioned difference between the two types of spells. Pages 45-46 if you’re curious.


One explanation that some tables use is that INT spells are stored on scrolls or in books - things that take up space. WIS spells are performed using the character’s innate connection to their deity or the world at large, and may be focused/channeled through a bracelet or necklace or similar small thing that doesn’t really take up inventory space.

Finding WIS spells as loot in the middle of a dungeon can seem a little weird, mechanically, this way. You could skin it as a realization of new power, or a deity making a direct connection to the character to bestow the new spell. The actual details aren’t usually very interesting or meaningful once the spell is acquired.


Unfortunately I don’t have the CORE books.

This seems like it could cause issues though at the table with perceived fairness and game balance. Is the way to manage this via frequency of WIS spell drops?


Personally, I feel like perceived fairness and game balance would be an edge case and something that would be addressed in the moment or as a table because you can hand out WIS spells just as often as INT spells. Players can also choose spells as Milestones whenever they earn those and that’s dependent on how often the GM wants to award them.


I feel like this is a fantastic conversation about this issue, but it’s different than the original question. I think I will repost the question in a different post so others can search it out.

I’ve got players coming hot off the heels of DND 5e and Pathfinder. I’m pretty certain that this could be a major point of contention. If my wizard feels like he’s got half the inventory space as compared to the cleric ever though they are both casters, that could be a problem.


That’s fair. I don’t your know your table or your players, which is why I think it comes down to talking it out and finding something that works for you. If it is a point of contention that INT and WIS spells are treated differently than maybe make them all use Inventory Slots? Or not. Maybe WIS spells are much harder to find/earn?

I hope you can find an answer that works for you :smiley:


Thanks Kane :slight_smile: You’re a good bean


I love this idea of WIS spell drops being a sort of moment of divine interdiction

“Greetings SERVANT OF MINE! I see you’re doing MOST SPLENDID. HERE have a cookie!” - Zeus causally tossing “Control Air Element” to Perseus after killing his third medusa of the morning.


I’d encourage you to encourage your players to give vanilla ICRPG a try, with an open mind. It’ll be impossible not to make comparisons, but trying to map D&D 1:1 to ICRPG won’t work. Give the looseness and flexibly a shot. See what you feel works well, and what leaves you feeling dissatisfied.

There’s a strong preference on the Runehammer Discord to attack real problems at the table when they occur, rather than theorize about what might be a problem in some hypothetical game. If, after a game or two, INT and WIS casters are dissatisfied, work it out. But until then, don’t worry about it and focus on having fun together!


OMG @skippy your were reading my mind!

@DimtheQuiet21 … Play the rules as written.
No hacks.
No options.
Just play.
Once you are your table have a grasp on the game (shouldn’t take more than 1 or 2 sessions)… HACK AWAY! You will never go back!

Also agree with @skippy on theory vs actual play… play a game. if you have not played, ask someone on discord or the forums to demo a game for you so you can learn and ask questions openly… and only address problems as they arise at the table… This is the way.

Game On!


From 2E, p. 45:

WIS POWERS, when acquired via LOOT, enter your mind through objects of nature, humble carvings, or wisps of vapor. Cannot be traded once learned. Occupy no GEAR slots. Work with your GM to modify anything and everything about WIS POWERS.

Of course, each setting will have different rules. In my own setting, all spells (INT, WIS and CHA) occupy slots. Notice that I have CHA spells, which are not RAW. (Long story) But @Ezzerharden said it best: play RAW once or twice, then you’ll be ready to hack ICRPG into oblivion (and Ezzer has written probably thousands of pages of some of the best hacks I’ve ever seen, so the dude knows what he’s talking about).


Spell books and prayer books even it all out right there. Book takes up a space holds x amount of spells int/wis.