Runes are items with magical properties that can be used to enchant weapons in Dragon Age: Origins. Runes to enchant armor and the ability for the Warden to craft their own runes were introduced in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening.

Rune paragon

A Paragon Rune


There are two different types of runes: Weapon Runes and Armor Runes. Weapon Runes are available in Origins and Awakening, while Armor Runes are only available in Awakening.

Runes can be applied to or removed from equipment by Bodahn Feddic's son, Sandal at the Party Camp in Origins or by Ambassador Cera at Vigil's Keep in Awakening.

Runes are applied to weapons or armor to add a bonus to that item. There is no cost associated with adding or removing runes, and runes can be reused after removal. This makes it easy to tailor equipment to meet particular challenges. Runes come in five tiers of power in Origins, from Novice to Grandmaster, or seven tiers of power in Awakening, from Novice to Paragon.

Tier Name Tier Number
Novice 1
Journeyman 2
Expert 3
Master 4
Grandmaster 5
Masterpiece (Awakening) 6
Paragon (Awakening) 7


Runecrafting is a new skill introduced in Awakening that gives the Warden the knowledge to make their own weapon and armor runes.

Weapon Runes

Main article: Weapon Runes

Weapon Runes can be applied to certain weapons to provide permanent bonuses to that weapon's effects. There are nine types of Weapon Runes, each of which provides a different effect. Generally these are offensive effects, such as fire damage, slow, or paralysis, though weapons can also offer bonuses to physical or spell resistances.

Runes fire independently. Thus, multiple Runes of Paralysis will increase the paralysis chance. While an effect like Paralysis or Slow is active, the same kind of effect cannot be triggered again and the duration of the effect is not extended.

Items increasing elemental damage will increase elemental damage from runes as well.

Each weapon has a certain number of rune slots, depending on the material from which it is made. For example, iron weapons have no slots while most dragonbone items offer three.

Note: Origins Weapon Runes of any grade except Grandmaster can also be used to enhance the Circle of Magi or templar factions before The Final Battle by placing them in the Allied Supply Crates in Party Camp.

Armor Runes

Main article: Armor Runes

Armor Runes were introduced in Awakening and can be applied to certain chest armor to provide bonuses to that armor. There are five types of Armor Runes, each of which provides a different effect. Generally these are defensive effects, such as extra armor, elemental resistances, and chance to avoid missile attacks, although there are some that increase base attributes (constitution and willpower).

These runes are :

  • Stout – increases Constitution
  • Barrier – increases Armor
  • Reservoir – increases Willpower
  • Tempest – increases Missile Evasion
  • Immunity – increases elemental resistances (Fire, Ice, Lightning)

Some chest armor come with slots for runes. Not all armors seem to provide rune slots. Tier 6 armor offers two rune slots while those of tier 7 or higher offer three.

Pseudo-Armor Runes Bug

Weapon Runes with effects vs. creature type (Cold Iron, Silverite) and passive resistance (Dweomer, Hale) from Masterpiece and Paragon tiers are erroneously flagged as armor runes in Awakening. Cold Iron and Silverite do not trigger either with melee or ranged weapons when inserted into armor slots. However, both Dweomer and Hale grant the resistance bonuses normally.

Runecrafting Weapon Runes

Novice Runes, Blank Runestones and Etching Agents can be purchased from Ambassador Cera at Vigil's Keep or may be rarely found in chests.


Crafted Rune Lower Rune Etching Agents Blank Runestone
Journeyman 1 (1) 1
Expert 2 1
Master 2 3 1
Grandmaster 2 4 1
Masterpiece 2 5 1
Paragon 2 6 1

Note: Journeyman Dweomer Runes require one etching agent. The rest of the recipes follow the standard formula.

If you want to make a Master Rune from scratch:

  • 4 Novice Runes
  • 7 Blank Runestones (3DAO silverpiece trans 85DAO bronzepiece trans)
  • 3 Etching Agents (2DAO silverpiece trans 64DAO bronzepiece trans)

If you want to make a Grandmaster Rune from scratch:

  • 8 Novice Runes
  • 15 Blank Runestones (8DAO silverpiece trans 25DAO bronzepiece trans)
  • 10 Etching Agents (88DAO silverpiece trans 0DAO bronzepiece trans)

If you needed to make a Masterpiece Rune from scratch:

  • 16 Novice Runes
  • 31 Blank Runestones (17DAO silverpiece trans 5DAO bronzepiece trans)
  • 25 Etching Agents (2DAO goldpiece trans 20DAO silverpiece trans 0DAO bronzepiece trans)

If you needed to make a Paragon Rune from scratch:

  • 32 Novice Runes
  • 63 Blank Runestones (34DAO silverpiece trans 65DAO bronzepiece trans)
  • 56 Etching Agents (4DAO goldpiece trans 92DAO silverpiece trans 80DAO bronzepiece trans)

Other Runes

Some runes can be made by combining different types of runes. See the "Other" heading for Weapon Runes and Armor Runes.

- Tip: If you can perform the money trick, buy several Manuals of Focus, and re-distribute your main characters skills to rune-crafting as soon as you can.Store all of your items in your personal storage chest, and buy up all the blank runes and etching agents. Then, choose which rune's you would like to have, buy all of the novice runes you can, and craft your paragon or masterpiece runes until you have as many as you need to cover all of your equipped weapons and armor, and a few extra as you acquire more party members. Then, use a manual of focus to redistribute your skills since you won't be needed rune-crafting anymore. It is a time consuming process, but makes the game much easier even at higher levels.


Diligence Runes

Diligence Runes provide an excellent way for farming gold. Dilgence Armor runes sell for 4DAO goldpiece trans 25DAO silverpiece trans 0DAO bronzepiece trans while the materials only cost 2DAO goldpiece trans 49DAO silverpiece trans 70DAO bronzepiece trans at Vigil's Keep, and it is easy to craft batches of 60 at a time (assuming 125 inventory space) for a profit of approximately 105 DAO goldpiece trans per batch. This is easily done by first buying 60 Novice Immunity Runes and 60 Novice Silverite Runes along with Etching Agent and Blank Runestones, and crafting them into 60 Menacing Runes. Buy 60 Novice Tempest Runes (along with more Etching Agent and Blank Runestones) and craft the runes into Diligence Armor runes. However, if your main character does not have the Runecrafting skill, then it may be less time consuming to craft the runes in batches of 40 by first buying all the ingredients (40 Novice Immunity Runes, 40 Novice Silverite Runes, 40 Novice Tempest Runes, 80 Blank Runestones and 80 Etching Agents), exiting the keep with a party member who does have the skill, crafting the runes in one go, and entering the keep and selling the runes for a profit of 70DAO goldpiece trans 12DAO silverpiece trans 0DAO bronzepiece trans.

Menacing Runes

It is in fact a better deal to just make the intermediate rune, Menacing Rune, than it is to make the Diligence Rune. If materials are purchased from Cera in the Keep, the Menacing Rune costs 1DAO goldpiece trans 74DAO silverpiece trans 35DAO bronzepiece trans and sell for 3DAO goldpiece trans 2DAO silverpiece trans 50DAO bronzepiece trans. This is a profit of 74%, while the profit on the Diligence Rune is 70%. It also takes less time to make a single batch.


-Selling too many of the same item to one storekeep may corrupt a savegame. This bug occurred with the Potent Lyrium Potion.

-Before creating a rune type to masterpiece or Paragon, be sure to make a save of before and after the event. Possible Save file corruption. (After experimenting found out this happended when I created more than 25 Paragon runes, on multiple occassions.)

External Links

Unofficial Awakening Runes Fix

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