Something has gone terribly wrong in Middelburg, and perhaps the rest of the world as well. The runes and arrays have always been the gift of the gods, a symbol of their trust and love of humanity that they would give the very power of creation to such lowly mortals. The runes saved us from utter annihilation during the Great War with the Inhumans, but it seems now that it was only a stay of execution. The runes are killing us, but that is nothing new. Now, though they are bringing us back as fell creatures that feast on human flesh and feel no pain. The more we use the runes to protect us, the more we create these unholy abominations. One day soon, the only feet shuffling through the street of Middelburg will be those of the dead and the damned.
Both The Runed Age and Z-Land run on the base Sigil System rules, which means rules for one can easily be applied to the other. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and all that. This means that all the rules we have made, and are making, for Z-Land can be used to play an apocalyptic game of The Runed Age. So if you want to scavenge in the ruins of Middelburg as a horde of rune-fuelled undead chase after you, then read on.
While the rules for Z-Land can easily be ported over to The Runed Age, the lore obviously cannot. The world of The Runed Age is its own beast and the time wherein the game is set is wildly different to modern times. Not to mention that with the runes and arrays, there is nothing simpler than killing scores of undead at a time. So for The Runed Dead, a few things need to be changed.
First and foremost is that the undead in The Runed Age are not the result of genetic and biochemical experiments gone awry, but are magical in nature. The runes and arrays themselves are raising the undead. And this brings us to perhaps the greatest change: there is no infection and thus no way of becoming infected by the undead. A bite from the undead will hurt like the dickens, but it won’t transform you into one of them. Instead, dying while in the presence of a runic array (specifically within the field of effect of an array) brings you back as one of the shambling and shuffling undead; and being in direct contact with a runic array for too long will turn you into a living undead.
This might seem like an easy way of avoiding becoming an undead revenant, but remember that the defensive arrays on your clothing and armour will surely encompass you, meaning that dying in armour is a sure way of coming back after death. Also, while tattooing defensive arrays used to sound like a good idea, or having arrays on the inside of your clothing always seemed like a good second measure, these are against your skin and means that over time they will corrupt you into becoming a living undead.
As the undead are fulled by whatever mystical energy gave power to the runic arrays, they can also sense the whereabouts of any runic array near them and are drawn like moths to a flame to any runic array. Once they reach one, they will do everything they can to destroy a runic array, even going so far as to ignore living creatures around them (as long as they are not threatening).
The final change to the runes in the apocalypse of The Runed Age is that the runic arrays no longer effectively create “living things”. Any plant material, animal material and water is deformed by the runic arrays when created or transmuted. Water becomes brackish and foul, meat and blood comes out rotten and plants are already decayed. Lore wise, this adds to the apocalyptic feel by having even the runes themselves be corrupted; and mechanically it makes it so that you can’t just create all the food and water you want, you will have to go scavenging.
Can you survive in a magical world where the very magical essence of the world has turned against you?
The insane and the rambling speak of a god, a new god, an old god, perhaps the only god. They say this Farwüstan exists solely to destroy and has regretted saving us from the Inhumans. They say He is now reaping his vengeance by sending the Runic Scourge to wipe out any trace of the runes He gave us to destroy the Inhumans. I’ve never heard of this Farwüstan, but it makes about as much sense as anything now. The Scourge has swept over all of Middelburg and I must say it does look like the realm of a god of destruction…
We are almost at the 60% mark in our Kickstarter and with your help we can get to 100% in next to no time! So click on the image above and have a look at the best post-apocalyptic RPG not yet released!
Also stay tuned next Wednesday when we’ll show you how you will be able to bring the might of the runic arrays to Z-Land and add a little fantasy into gritty reality. Also stick around for Friday when we show you what you will be able to expect in the the Beta 1.0 Rules in March.