The Rune Librarian

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The Rune Librarian
By Lady Aalia, April 2009


I run a rune library, and have done it now for about 7 years.
It was nothing I had planned or ever dreamed of doing it just kind of happened. When I started playing UO in 2001 rune books where very expensive and sold very well, so it was just natural for me to start a scribe, which was the second character I created.

It took a lot of reagents and patience but finally I was able to make my own rune books and even able to mark runes. I started out selling city books, then dungeon books and just kept adding to the inventory of my vendor, since the rune books sold so well.
One day I decided that it wasn’t really practical to run around with 20 rune books on my character and locked them down in the villa I owned back then and ran my vendors out of.
People started using them…
One of my customers then invited me on a tour of the other big rune libraries on Atlantic which I had never seen. I was so impressed with their work and commitment that I stopped there frequently to see what’s new.
One day I ran into Goodman (one of the most famous rune librarians on Atlantic) and we started talking about the runes and books and I offered my help.
He taught me a lot about the trade and was my biggest influence; we became close friends and worked on many projects together, until the day he passed away.

Today I own three rune libraries and work closely with some of the biggest rune libraries on Atlantic. We created an Alliance with rules and help each other out when it comes to the markings and displaying of runes and it has been a pleasure to work with these folks.

Having said that, here are some things you may want to consider, before starting your own rune library.

  • Creating a rune library does not mean to go copy someone else’s, but to sit down and think what runes you want to display and in what order or arrangement.
  • A rune library is a living and breathing thing, it needs constant care as publishes will add new content or make runes no longer usable, you will have to keep them up to date
  • Rune books will take a huge amount of lockdowns, so you will need a good sized home
  • Rune books should be easily accessible maybe even color coded for convenience
  • Vendors may draw customers to your library but it’s not a guarantee that a rune library will draw customers to your vendor house.

Have you considered all this and are still eager to live and die marking runes? Then go for it!!
The first thing you need is a character fit for marking runes.
Since you will be in and out of dungeons and other fun places I can recommend you the following templates:

These are a must:

  • Magery
  • Meditation
  • Evaluating Intelligence
  • Inscription


These can come in handy:

  • Hiding (always good to have)
  • Stealth (very handy to get into difficult places)
  • Music (for peace)
  • Peacemaking (area peace can work wonders)
  • Ninjitsu (smoke bombs)
  • Focus (faster mana regen)
  • Spellweaving (eternal voyage)

Now that you have your character ready and trained we are ready to tackle the rune books. Like I said before, creating your own rune library is not about coping someone else’s work, because that can lead to some very unhappy rune librarians and you being banned from their libraries. That would be bad since they have so much to offer.
My advice is take a tour of the rune libraries on your shard, make notes of that they have, what you think may be missing or how you would do it different.
Also see if you can talk to some of them, they will be able to help you with tips and tricks of the trade.
That’s how I ended up creating the rune alliance.
Once you have decided on what runes you would like to offer to your customers, it’s time to get marking.
Scribe yourself a good heap of rune books and grab some runes and off you go.
Make sure you label the runes so when people open your books they can easily find what they look for and are not stuck with an endless long title they can’t see anyways.
Also try to group the rune books together so customers can find them easily in your library.
Dungeon Runes:
With dungeon runes I recommend not to mark them right in the middle of action… yes it may be a nice convenience not having to run to the ophidians, but one of your tenants may not be so excited about recalling into the middle of thirty hungry Ophids.

Also you may want to work in a team when doing dangerous Runes. It’s good to have a friend at the save end that can send you’re a gate to gate your ghost out if needed.
When marking dangerous runes I only take one empty book, a book with marked runes I can mark over and of course an insured LRC suit. There is nothing more fun than trying to find your recall rune out in a mess of 120 empty rune books in your main pack.
Make sure to add a “dangerous tag” to your rune books if they come close to suicide missions. Your customers will thank you for it.

I would like to quote my dear friend Andra on this one

*wavey dream like state*
*Andra as she lies dead on a cold dungeon floor* “Where did you get this rune from again?”

*Aalia from the nice warm library study* “I found it in a runebook marked with skulls…Why?”
Town Runes:
It’s really up to you how you want to do your town runes. Some do them by city , some by store and others just mark it all.
Again make sure you label the runes properly though, since not everyone knows that the “Sweet Dreams”   rune in your book is the Brit. Inn.
Skill Runes:
These are always well used and received by eager and skill hungry players. I recommend sitting down and reading some of the skill guides available on the internet. Usually it’s pretty simple to create a rune book set out of them.

Just find the safest spot when it comes to monsters, or the most convenient location when it comes to other skills and you will end up with a nice set of runes.

Resource gathering Runes:
Please don’t go through the effort of copying someone else’s ore color location books… They no longer work… And then smack yourself in the back of the head for thinking about copying the work of a fellow rune librarian…
For resource gathering books I went out and marked all the save spots (especially in Felucca) where you can gather unharmed.
It’s also a nice idea to go out and find high yield spots … but that is a lot of work

Treasure Map Runes:
Always good to have, but try not to mark them on the exact spot all the other libraries have them marked, mark them a tile off so when everyone else’s rune is blocked… you get the point…

This would cover the basic rune library…
But there are so many more options of rune books. It has worked well for us to offer our sets to other libraries in return for their runes, or to share a big project.
Either way it goes make sure you give credit to the people who help you out. Because it will be a lot harder without help.

I hope this helped a bit…
Lady Aalia
April 2009

Last modified: September 10, 2011

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