Advanced Search

Runecairn: Core RulesClick to magnify
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

Runecairn: Core Rules


Runecairn Bestiary is now available, adding 100 new monsters to Runecairn

In a long forgotten age, a raging war shattered and devastated the worlds of gods and men. Now green life blooms amidst the ruins of the lost worlds. Wondrous and terrible beings roam the Nine Realms. Civilisation stumbles forward, fresh and reaching.

Fate carves the skein anew but there are loose threads, lost long ago in the wars, with no place in the tapestry. These threads must seek the fire within and weave their own path.

Strap on your bearded axe and linden wood shield, delve into the forsaken barrow and cleanse the draugr within. They will overhwhelm you at first so prepare to die. But when you wake up at the bonfire, you'll know what to expect for your next attempt. Parry their attacks, disarm them, and hack them to pieces. Defeat the mad jotunn within and claim the soul remnant they protect.

Death is not the end.

Runecairn: Core Rules is a 44-page, black and white tabletop RPG zine, which includes a Norse fantasy setting, a full game system, and character creation rules for adventures set after Ragnarok destroyed most of the Nine Realms of Norse mythology. Runecairn is based on Cairn by Yochai Gal, with streamlined rules, fast character creation, and gameplay based on exploration and player choice.

Core Rules Includes:

  • Play designed for two players, one Warden and one Adventurer.
  • Full rules for play, based on the streamlined Cairn system and with mechanics inspired by the Dark Souls game series.
  • Death is not the end as Adventurers re-awaken at a bonfire when slain.
  • Four starting classes with unique weapon and item abilities: the hearty warrior with an axe and shield, the nimble scout with dual knives, the cunning seer with a staff and runestone magic, and the spirited skald whose voice channels the power of the gods.
  • Dynamic combat filled with devastating weapons, reactive magic, and reactive abilities.
  • 30 forceful runestones spells for the cunning seer and 26 versatile sagas for the resolute skald.
  • 15 unnerving and mysterious monsters drawn from tales of Norse mythology.


Illustrated throughout with evocative black and white line-art. Printed in black and white with colour covers.

What Others Have Said

"Thank you for such an awesome game - I loved reading Runecairn and it’s on my list of 2022 games to get to the table. And the layout is lovely too."

– Rich August (@RpgAugust), Steamforged Games

"If you're looking for a moderately crunchy duo TRPG, or if you're a fan of Souls games, or if you want to see a stellar adaptation of video game mechanics to tabletop, I would strongly recommend giving Beneath the Broken Sword (and Runecairn) a shot."

– Richard Kelly (@SprintingOwl), designer

"This is a quality game, adapting Cairn to an apocalyptic Norse setting with a greater emphasis on arms, armour and combat without losing the deadly and considered tone of the its forebear."

– Sebrina Calkins (@EntwifeXP), reviewer

Also available:



 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (0)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Andrew B November 08, 2023 3:03 pm UTC
How compatible is Cairn to Runecairn? Are the products interchangable? Thanks in advance for your response.
Customer avatar
Daniel Enoch T January 18, 2023 6:44 am UTC
Sorry if this is obvious, but it seems like a Shield is also the warriors key item. There are item slots for both of these (key item and shielding) with regular and bulky circle boxes on the character sheet. How does this work? Does the shield get entered twice on the sheet for the warrior? Do you only check two of the four circles for the two slots? Can any other players besides warriors get shields? Please explain and thx for such a cool game.
Customer avatar
Colin L January 18, 2023 8:11 am UTC
The linden wood shield is the warrior's key item, yes. I normally enter it twice on the character sheet but only tick the slot once. The shield isn't bulky so only takes up one slot. Other characters can use the shield but you can only have one key item at a time, so they'd have to drop their current key item. Thanks for playing!
Customer avatar
Marco T November 04, 2022 2:58 am UTC
Dumb question, but is this game exclusively for 2 players? Or can I run this with a party 4+ players?
Customer avatar
Colin L November 04, 2022 12:02 pm UTC
While Runecairn was designed with 2 players in mind (1 Warden and 1 Adventurer), you can absolutely play with more with only a few considerations (like bonfire respawns, deaths, etc.). The Advanced Rules (available on its own or within Wardensaga) also have additional rules for multiple adventurers.
Customer avatar
Christian H April 17, 2022 3:27 pm UTC
I seem to be missing how thr speed stat works and how it gets determined in the first place. Any help?
Customer avatar
Colin L April 17, 2022 4:04 pm UTC
Hi Christian, base speed for Adventurers is 40 feet and monster speed is listed in their stat blocks.
Customer avatar
Christian H April 18, 2022 11:20 am UTC
Thanks! I'm still not sure how it affects gameplay, though.
Customer avatar
Colin L April 18, 2022 11:54 am UTC
Ah, sorry! Speed is the amount of distance in feet an Adventurer or monster can move in one turn. This is useful if running a more tactical game or using a battle map.
Customer avatar
Christian H April 19, 2022 1:03 am UTC
Thank you!
Browse Categories
$ to $
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History

Product Information
Silver seller
File Size:
30.9 MB
Original electronic Click for more information
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF Click for more information
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
July 12, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on June 06, 2021.