Runes are the source of magic available in Red Rogue. Runes can be thrown at enemies, used for enchanting weapons and armor, or eaten by you or your minion. The effects of the runes vary depending on how they are used.
Different types of runes are found at a somewhat random order (not completely random). Some runes, like the Rune of Light, are more often than not found on the first few floors, while some generally spawn much deeper in the dungeon.The runes that exist in Red Rogue will all initially appear as "Rune of ?" until you have properly identified it through your actions, with the exception of the Rune of Identify, which is by default revealed to the player. Testing runes out on a weak throwaway piece of equipment or the minion is advised to identify runes. If you drop and leave a copy of an already identified rune in the Overworld, it'll be automatically identified in all your subsequent games as long as it stays in the Overworld since time remains constant there. That is, time only passes with Rogue there, so in a new game, it is as if Rogue had never left.
In addition, all rune effects--except for Identify, Holy, Null, Portal, and Polymorph--are stackable, meaning you can have up to 20 levels of a single rune effect on items. This is not the case when eating, feeding, or throwing the runes at an enemy. For example, Teleport only occurs once with each consumption. The Leech effect becomes Curse, and Fear only spawns one Horror.
Also enchanting unknown runes on your main gear or gear you plan to drop off in the Overworld or the Underworld for subsequent games is a horrible idea. This can have effects such as teleporting armor or sending an item into a pocket dimension.
For a more cursory look at the runes' effect, refer to the Rune Table below.
List of RunesEdit
Rune of Light Edit
When thrown, this rune travels as a ball of bright light, but any space the rune reveals will not be marked on the minimap. Armor enchanted with this rune will glow brighter. Enchanted weapons will glow slightly, and creatures hit by the weapon will be enchanted with light, making them glow brighter. If eaten, the rune will enchant Rogue with light. The same goes with feeding the Minion with light.
Recommended: Enchant armor and especially ranged weapons.
Rune of Heal Edit
If thrown, this rune looks normal, but creates a healstone on contact with a wall. If it is used to enchant armor, the armor provides higher health regeneration. If used to enchant a weapon, the weapon heals enemies a bit while hurting them. If consumed, you gain massive health regeneration for a while. If it is fed to the minion, the same thing happens.
Recommended: Enchant armor, or eat in a desperate situation. Perhaps create a healstone to help you grind a level.
Rune of Bleed Edit
When thrown, this rune leaves a trail of blood. Any creature fed this rune or hit by it will bleed for a while, losing a good chunk of health. Blood enchanted armour will cause the wearer to bleed a while upon wearing, entering a new floor, and quickening. Weapons enchanted with bleed will cause any victims to bleed. If eaten, this causes internal bleeding. All undead creatures are immune to bleeding.
Recommended: Enchant weaponry or ranged weapons (for faint light effects).
Rune of Identify EditIf thrown identifies what it hits. If used in enchanting, it provides lore about the stats of the enchanted item. If eaten, provides lore about which race you are, and the same thing for the minion.
Recommended: Use on enemies to discover racial bonuses, or eat to gain wisdom. This includes revealing the minimap (but not traps), identifying all unknown runes, and exposing all cursed items.
Rune of Undead Edit
Probably one of the most valuable and useful runes in the game considering how integral your minion is. Throw it at a living (non-undead) enemy and kill it to automatically spawn an Underword Portal, hence a new spawn point for your minion should it die. Eat it to have a chance at cheating death and coming back as a skeleton should it take effect when you die. Your minion can also exploit this effect should he have a living race's face equipped, but while in skeletal form, either of you, can always eat the rune to replenish health much like a Rune of Heal. Enchanting it on armor gives you a slight chance to come back as a skeleton as well as if you had eaten a rune. The same occurs if you are hit with an undead-enchanted weapon. However, where the Rune of Undead really shines is when you have it enchanted on weapons, reason being is if the weapon selects the enchantment and if that swing/shot deals the killing blow to an enemy, it will restore your minion's health to full. Even if your minion does die, there is a chance to spawn an Underworld Portal on a killing blow (assuming one does not already exist on the floor). Runes of Undead really are the secret to keeping your minion around longer and getting it back quickly should it die.
Recommended: Enchant on a decent weapon, feed to your or your minion, or enchant on armor.
Rune of Teleport Edit
If thrown, teleports things away. You can teleport away your armor, weapons, self, minion, or an enemy. They will reappear in the same level somewhere. Enchanted armor will continuously teleport its wearer. Enchanted weaponry teleports enemies it hits.
Recommended: Use it to teleport out of a tough spot. Be sure not to put it on good armor, but perhaps on backup armor that you can equip to escape. Also do not use in the Overworld or Underworld, so as not to teleport you or items into unreachable places (such as the healthstone, grindstone, or water around Death's boat).
Rune of Thorns Edit
When enchanted on armour or eaten, this rune acts like the Bee armour, it provides a reflective shield. This shield is signified by a set of three angle brackets on either side of the enchanted creature. The Rune of Thorn provides a chance that attacks will be reflected back in the opposite direction, i.e. a creature attacking you will have a chance of hitting itself instead. Thorns can also reflect projectiles back in the other direction. Projectiles that are reflected include both missiles from ranged weapons and missiles from traps. Weapons enchanted with Thorns will in turn enchant victims with Thorns, which is a bad idea if you plan on not hitting yourself.
Recommended: Enchant armor.
Rune of Confusion Edit
This rune if eaten by the player will either flip the screen vertically or horizontally or even both. Any creature other than the player enchanted with Confusion will show its effects visibly be running back and forth or spinning around madly. Remember, armour enchanted with Confusion will cause the wearer to be continuously confused, and a weapon enchanted with Confusion will cast Confusion upon its targets. Confusion is signified by small stars spinning around each other above the creature's head.
Recommended: Enchant a weapon or throw to confuse enemies before attacking.
Rune of Null Edit
This rune removes all enchantments on the eater. This includes returning the creature back to its original race form. When enchanted on weapons or armour, the rune will remove ALL enchantments including the true name of the item. Blessed and curse enchantments are no exceptions.
The leech weapon enchanted with Null will be destroyed to form Blood armour, which protects the wearer from bleed effects. Note that the rune must be used with the leech itself and not an item enchanted with leech.
Recommended: Use to rid yourself or curses or bad enchantments, or to get back to normal form quickly. Also use on monsters to get rid of advantageous effects.
Rune of Portal Edit
Eating this rune will cause a portal to the Overworld to appear. The Underworld portal appears instead when fed to Rogue or minion while in an undead race form. A thrown rune that hits an enemy creature will cause a temporary portal to open from which more enemies of the same race enter. An item enchanted with Portal will teleport into a Pocket Dimension that you may enter. The item itself will always be enchanted beneficially but will be worn by a creature inside the Pocket Dimension. The design of the floor and the variety of enemies inside the Pocket Dimension are based on the level Rogue is currently in when casting this rune.
This rune cannot be eaten in the Overworld. Thus it can be identified, as "eat" will be greyed out.
Recommended: Use to relocate the Overworld portal, or reach the Underworld by feeding to the usually-skeletal minion. Pocket Dimensions can also be created to gain XP and items.
Rune of Slow Edit
Slows down speed dramatically. Weapons will cast it upon enemies, armor will cast it upon yourself. It is recommended that the player not eat this rune as it will slow down both movement and attack speed. The same is true for your minion if he eats it.
Recommended: Cast on a ranged weapon or throw.
Rune of Haste Edit
Dramatically increases walk speed when eaten or enchanted on armour. Armour with level 20 Haste will speed up Rogue to that of a Goblin. Weapons with Haste are not recommended as they will speed up enemies.
Recommended: Enchant on armor or eat as a temporary speed boost for escape.
Rune of Holy Edit
The Rune of Holy is a bit like chaos in that the player will not know what to expect when eating it. However, this rune will enhance certain attributes. Which attributes are improved seems random, such as a burst of speed. Eating this rune will not revert the eater back to its original form.
The Rune of Holy is best utilized with enchanting weapons and armor. The item, when enchanted with Holy, will be "blessed," as indicated in its enchantment panel. This "blessed" status cannot be leveled up as with other enchantments. Any curse present on the item will disappear, but other enchantments remain intact. Blessed weapons will also allow the player to use "Blessed Strikes" without the need to drop onto the target. Victims hit with a blessed strike will be knocked back until it hits an obstacle, and the damage done is incredible, with a seemingly greater chance for decapitation. The chances for a Blessed Strike with a weapon increases with the level of Rogue. Using Holy is in some cases better than Null for eliminating cursed status, since it does not remove potentially-beneficial enchantments and adds the blessed strike possibility.
Enchanting this on to a Leech (the actual weapon, not a weapon enchanted with a Rune of Leech) will cause the Leech to turn into a Plated Leech. The Plated Leech is no longer cursed and has the same damage output as the Gun Leech, which makes it the most powerful weapon in the game along with the Gun Leech. However, the Plated Leech will still appear as a wriggling parasite, and can only be used as a melee or throwing weapon. When thrown it will expose as a rune of light, but this will explode when you catch again. When thrown at an enemy monster, the rune will either cast smite or explode.
Recommended: Enchant on cursed items with otherwise good stats.
Rune of Protection Edit
Not fully characterized, though if enchanted upon your armor, it has a chance of reflecting projectiles. Eating it makes this chance nearly 100%. When thrown or used on a weapon, you have a chance of casting Protect on enemies. Protect is signified by a long arc or wave-like object on either side of the creature.
Recommended: Eat in a difficult fight or enchant heavily on armor.
Rune of Stun Edit
When eaten will stun you or your minion, and when thrown it will stun enemies. When enchantment is placed on armor, it will stun you rarely. Placed on a weapon you have a higher chance of stunning enemies.
Recommended: Enchant on a weapon, especially ranged. Gives a great, if temporary, advantage over enemies with high health.
Rune of Polymorph Edit
If eaten by you changes your race, and if eaten by your minion changes their race. If cast upon a weapon, changes it to a random weapon. Same with armor. There is a level limitation on what Polymorphing can occur. For example, if you're on Level 2, you'll only Polymorph into enemies from Levels 1 and 2. This limit doesn't exist, I believe, for weapons and armor. You can also throw at an enemy to Polymorph them.
Polymorphing Death's Scythe will still change the weapon and therefore its stats and special abilities, however the name will remain "Death's Scythe". (Reincarnation returns the scythe to Death, but removes any enchantments that you had applied in your previous life.)
Recommended: Polymorph yourself to gain a good form at high levels, polymorph low-level equipment at high levels to upgrade it, or polymorph a powerful monster into something weaker.
Rune of Fear Edit
I've never enchanted this on my armor, though I'd assume what it does is summon a Horror against you. Eating it summons a Horror immediately, throwing it at an enemy causes a Horror to come after it, and when it's enchanted on your weapons, when you strike enemies, causes Horrors to chase after them. With version 1.0.3, the thrown Rune of Fear will appear as a black ball spewing opaque particles.
Recommended: This rune is essentially useless. Horrors always spawn away from enemies, and take awhile to catch up to them if they even catch up to them at all. Also, enemies are dying so quickly when engaged that the Horror barely spawns before it disappears again as it's target dies. Horrors can only damage the target they seek, and if enemies aren't dying quickly, you or your minion is going to be long dead before the Horror arrives to be any assistance, and that's just assuming the Horror is on your side in the first place. The rune is mostly useful for attacking enemies with very rapid healing effects and strong endurance, which mostly happen to be vampires. While your own attacks might take a while to destroy these buffed up creatures, the Horrors will drain health much faster. Horrors are also useful for attacking Wraiths and a certain Banshee mini-boss when they enter walls and refuse to come out. From time to time, enemy creatures can trap themselves within the wall, and if you are quick enough, a Horror will be dispatched to destroy that creature for you.
Rune of Leech Edit
If thrown makes a red orb-like projectile. Causes weapons and armor to become cursed. When thrown at a non-undead enemy, or eaten by you or your minion while not undead, it equips a cursed leech weapon in the main weapon slot. The previously equipped weapon is moved to your inventory and is not lost. All Undead creatures are immune to curse effects including leech runes.
Recommended: Inflicting leech on enemies, or eating so that it can be enchanted into something practical.
Rune of XP Edit
If thrown and hits block, creates grindstone. If thrown and hits enemy, they quicken. You generally die in this quickening. If eaten, you quicken. If fed to minion, it quickens but you gain no levels. If a weapon or armour is enchanted, it will gain a level.
Recommended: Keep one on hand to eat as a way to deal lots of damage and heal.
Rune of Chaos Edit
Appears as "Rune of ?" and has a chance of creating Chaos Walls if it hits a wall. Has a chance to cause several other effects if you use it otherwise, including all of the effects of the other Runes. Chaos Wands are a weapon that shoot these Runes continuously. With the right random effects, they can be devastating, but they might also quicken your enemies. The Chaos Helm also casts random enchantments, but will enchant them on the wearer.
Recommended: Use at your own risk, possibly in a situation where it's your only option.
A table of various types of runes. It lists the names followed by the different effects a type has when casted upon a specific target, including:
- Eating it or feeding the rune to your minion
- Temporary enchantment
- Throwing it at your foes
- Also temporary
- Casting it on your weapon or armour
- Permanent unless enchanted with Rune of Null
|Name||Eat or Feed||Throw||Enchant Weapon||Enchant Armour||Tips|
|Light||Glow||Light up||Light up target and projectiles||Glow||Enchant on armour and weapon|
|Heal||Quickly restore health||Restore enemy's health / Create healstone||Restore target's health||Continuously restore health||Enchant on armour but avoid casting on weapons|
|Bleed||Quickly lose health||Quickly drain enemy's health||Drain target's health||Continuously lose health||Always enchant on weapons|
|Identity||Reveal races||Reveal enemy's race||Reveal weapon's true name||Reveal armour's true name||For the curious and completionists|
|Undead||Chance to survive death / Fully heal minion||Chance for enemy to survive death||Heal minion with each kill||Boost to chance to survive death||Eat it or enchant on armour for "extra lives"|
|Teleport||Appear at a different location||Enemy appears at a different location||Target appears at a different location||Randomly teleport||Items will be teleported away / Save one for a hasty retreat|
|Thorns||Reflect damage and projectiles||Enemy reflects damage and projectiles||Target reflects damage and projectiles||Reflect damage and projectiles||Always enchant on armour|
|Confusion||Flip/Reverse Screen||Stumble||Target stumbles||Randomly Flip/Reverse Screen|
|Null||Remove all magical effects||Remove all magical effects on enemy||Remove all enchantments on weapon||Remove all enchantments on armour|
|Portal||Open portal Overworld/Underworld||Open monster portal||Teleport to pocket dimension and enhance||Teleport to pocket dimension and enhance||Enhance items with it / Save one for quick escape to Overworld|
|Slow||Decrease run speed||Decrease enemy run speed||Decrease target run speed||Decrease run speed|
|Haste||Increase run speed||Increase enemy run speed||Increase target run speed||Increase run speed|
|Holy||Fully heal/quicken/nullify/hasten||Smite/explode||Bless & gain Blessed Strike & remove curse||Bless & remove curse|
|Protection||Absorb damage||Enemy absorbs damage||Target absorbs damage||Absorb damage|
|Stun||Frozen in place||Enemy frozen in place||Target frozen in place||Randomly freeze in place|
|Polymorph||Change race||Enemy change race||Change weapon type||Change armour type|
|Fear||Spawn black Horror||Spawn red Horror||Spawn red Horror||Randomly spawn black Horror|
|Leech||Replace weapon(s) with cursed leech||Replace enemy's weapon(s) with cursed leech||Nothing||Nothing|
|XP||Quicken||Quicken enemy / Create grindstone||Quicken weapon||Quicken armour|
|?||?||? / Create chaos wall||?||?|
A gallery of the above GIFs showcasing the various runes.