From Project: Redcap
Verditius Runes are a special technique magi of House Verditius can use when creating enchanted devices. The runes make enchantments more powerful; in game terms, this is represented as a bonus to the Lab Total when the magus enchants the item. Applying Verditius Runes is apparently a complex mystical process that involves a good deal more than simply engraving runes on the surface of the item.
Verditius runes have caused some confusion: they give a bonus to Lab Total equal to the Verditius magus's Philsophiae score, but the total bonus (including the "Verditius runes" bonus and the normal Shape and Material Bonus) is still limited by the magus's Magic Theory score.
It is relatively easy for magi to get a high Shape and Material bonus, equal in many cases to their Magic Theory scores. Since that is the case, some players have asked, "what good are Verditius Runes?"
The Advantage of Verditius Runes
The real advantage of these runes is that Verditius magi don't have to rely on Shape and Material bonuses to the same extent as do other magi. Say a young Verditius magus has a Philosophiae of 4, a Magic Theory of 4, and he wants to make an item that casts Broom of the Winds (ArM5 p. 125). One option would be to make an enchanted bellows, whose Shape and Material Bonus is "+4 create wind" (p. 110). Then he would get a total +4 bonus because the bonus can't exceed his Magic Theory score - his Philosophiae wouldn't help. However, he could get the same bonus by using his Philosophiae bonus of +4 and any shape he wants for the item. It could be a ring, a fireplace poker, or a pair of shoes. He still gets the full +4 bonus allowed by his Magic Theory by using Philosophiae instead of the Shape and Material. That flexibility is the advantage of Verditius runes.
Another way to look at it is that a Verditius magus can always use runes instead of a Shape and Material bonus up to his Magic Theory score, and gets a small bonus whenever the Shape and Material bonus is less than his Magic Theory.
- ArM5, page 93
- Verditius Elder Runes, HoHMC page 127