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ToME Version: 1.7.2


Inscriptions are activated abilities available to all characters, which provide general purpose help for the character. They include healing, removal of bad status effects, shielding from damage, increased visibility in dark areas, increased movement speed, teleportation, and elemental damage attacks.


ToME4's inscription system is one of the biggest gameplay changes from traditional roguelike games. First introduced in beta 14, the inscriptions (infusions and runes) replace potions and scrolls. The design goal behind inscriptions is to eliminate the time spent by the player "farming" potions and scrolls in weak zones, in order to make a run at a tougher zone. They are unlimited in use, but have cooldowns attached, so you must carefully time your use of them to survive. Unlike many other RPGs you cannot rely on a large stack of potions to get you through a tough battle. Mastery of the inscription system is a key step towards mastering ToME4.

Using Inscriptions

Inscriptions come in two flavors: runes and infusions. Runes are magical glyphs drawn on the body like temporary tattoos. Infusions are natural substances smeared/attached to the body, like nicotine patches.

Inscriptions work like talents: they have a cooldown period before they can be reactivated. Stunning can put your inscriptions on cooldown just as it does to talents. Some inscriptions have a duration as well as a strength to their effect, such as a rune that activates for 100 shielding over 6 turns. Some attack inscriptions have ranges of effect. Evaluating which infusion to equip can involve careful comparison of effect, cooldown, range and duration.

The character starts with 3 inscription slots. Each slot may hold a single infusion or rune. Infusions and runes are objects that may be found in dungeons or bought in stores. Using one will add the inscription to your body, using up a free slot. If you have no free slots, then you may choose to destroy one of your existing inscriptions in order to make room for the new inscription.

Additional slots may be purchased for the cost of a talent category point, up to a maximum total of 5 slots. Category points are gained at levels 10, 20 and 34, and Cornacs also start the game with an extra category point.

You may not have more than 2 of the same type of infusion or rune. E.g. you may have 1 healing infusion and 2 regeneration infusions, but you may not have 3 regeneration infusions.

Activating an infusion gives you an effect called Infusion Saturation. Using another infusion while this effect is still active causes its cooldown period to be longer. Likewise, the Runic Saturation effect increases the cooldown periods of runes. The goal of this is to reduce "healing/regen spam" as a technique for outliving all incoming damage. Before you think But I want to survive forever! keep in mind that monsters use infusions too. If fighting an enemy who frustratingly keeps using a regeneration infusion remember that its cooldown will keep getting worse and worse as it uses it more, eventually allowing you to do sufficient damage to kill it before it heals again.

Race and Class Restrictions

Each character starts with 3 infusions or runes on its body, depending on race and class. Shaloren, ogres, skeletons and ghouls start with runes (Shielding, Blink, and Shatter Afflictions), all others races start with infusions (Regeneration, Healing, Wild(Physical)) and mana-using characters also start with a Manasurge Rune replacing one of their inscriptions

Skeletons and Ghouls may not use infusions at all. Their undead bodies cannot accept nature's balms. This means they require very carefully timed use of shield runes to survive the early game. Shield runes are essential to prevent taking damage in the first place, so that healing is made unnecessary.

Characters who take the vow of Antimagic may not use runes.

Note that an alchemist's golem also has 3 rune slots (they cannot have infusions) and more can be granted through talents. You must switch control to your golem to attach a rune.

Ego Inscriptions

Like any other item, inscriptions can have an ego. Inscriptions egos give them increased power, based on the value of a specific stat (according to the ego). For example, "... of the sneak" increases the power based on your cunning. Sometimes they can scale much higher than regular inscriptions, making an ego relevant to your class especially desirable.


Infusions are natural inscriptions. They only work on living things, so the undead and constructs such as golems cannot use infusions.

Common Infusions

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
10-15 1-50 15
Activate the infusion to heal yourself for x life.

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
12-17 1-50 15
Activate the infusion to heal yourself for x life over 5 turns.

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
10-16 1-50 15
Activate the infusion to cure yourself of one/two random effects (physical, mental, magical) and reduce all damage taken by x for 2-4 turns.

Also removes cross-tier effects of the affected types for free.

Uncommon Infusions

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
8-18 1-50 20
Activate the infusion to increase movement speed by x for y game turns.

Any actions other than movement will cancel the effect.

Also prevent stuns, dazes and pinning effects for z turns.

Note: since you will be moving very fast, game turns will pass very slowly.

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
25-35 20-50 30
Activate the infusion to endure even the most grievous of wounds for X turns.

While Heroism is active, you will only die when reaching -Y life.

The duration and life will increase by 1% for every 1% life you have lost

If your life is below 0 when this effect wears off it will be set to 1.

Special Infusions

Wild Growth
Wild Growth{{{type}}}
Cooldown Level-range Rarity
15 unique unique
Causes thick vines to spring from the ground and entangle all targets within 5 squares for 10 turns, pinning them in place and dealing (MindPower*3.6 + 10)/3 physical damage and (MindPower*3.6 + 10)*(2/3) nature damage.

The vines also grow all around you, increasing your armour by 50 and armour hardiness by 30.

Wild Growth infusion is obtained from the alchemist quest.

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
18 ? ?
Activate the infusion to gain +10% all damage affinity and reduce the duration of a random debuff by 2 each turn for 4 turns.

Each point of willpower improves the damage affinity and debuff reduction effect power by 1% multiplicatively

(e.g. at 100 willpower, total effect is +20% affinity and 4 duration reduced each turn)


Runes are magical inscriptions. You may not use runes if you are Antimagic. Unlike infusions, runes can be used by the undead and constructs such as golems.

Common Runes

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
14-18 1-50 15
Activate the rune to create a protective shield absorbing at most x damage for y turns.

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
10-20 1-50 15
Activate the rune to teleport up to X spaces within line of sight. Afterwards you stay out of phase for 3 turns. In this state all new negative status effects duration is reduced by Y%, your defense is increased by Y and all your resistances by Y%.

Shatter Afflictions
Shatter Afflictions{{{type}}}
Cooldown Level-range Rarity
12-22 1-50 15
Activate the rune to instantly dissipate the energy of your ailments, cleansing all cross tier effects and 1 physical, mental, and magical effect.

You use the dissipated energy to create a shield lasting 3 turns and blocking X damage per debuff cleansed (not counting cross-tier ones).

If there were only cross-tier effects to cleanse, no shield is created and the rune goes on a 75% reduced cooldown.

Uncommon Runes

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
16-22 20-50 25
Activate the rune to become ethereal for 5 turns.

While ethereal all damage you deal is reduced by 50%, you gain X% all resistance, you move Y% faster, and you are invisible (power Z).

Biting Gale
Biting Gale{{{type}}}
Cooldown Level-range Rarity
15-23 10-50 35
Activate the rune to direct a cone of chilling stormwind doing x cold damage.

The storm will soak enemies hit reducing their resistance to stuns by 50% then attempt to freeze them for 3 turns with an apply power of y.

Acid Wave
Acid Wave{{{type}}}
Cooldown Level-range Rarity
15-23 10-50 35
Activate the rune to unleash a cone dealing X acid damage.

The corrosive acid will also disarm enemies struck for Y turns. This effect can be resisted but not saved against.

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
12-17 30-50 35
Activate the rune to summon a protective storm around you for X turns.

While active the storm will completely block all damage over Y up to Z times.

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
10-20 1-50 50
Activate the rune to teleport randomly in a range of x with a minimum range of y.

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
12-18 1-50 50
Activate the rune to unleash a manasurge upon yourself, increasing mana regeneration by x over 10 turns and instantly restoring z mana.

Also when resting your mana will regenerate at 0.5 per turn.

Special Runes

Rune of the Rift
Rune of the Rift{{{type}}}
Cooldown Level-range Rarity
14 unique
Inflicts (150 + Willpower*4) temporal damage. If your target survives, it will be sent 4 turns into the future.

It will also lower your paradox by 60 (if you have any). Note that messing with the spacetime continuum may have unforeseen consequences.

Reflection Shield
Reflection Shield{{{type}}}
Cooldown Level-range Rarity
15 unique
Activate the rune to create a protective shield absorbing and reflecting at most x damage for y turns.

The effect will scale with your magic stat.


Taints are corrupted versions of runes, magical inscriptions tainted by darkness.

There is only one taint obtainable by the player, from the Brotherhood of Alchemists quest. Note that this is powered by Arcane and so can not be used by player who use Antimagic!

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
15 Special Special
Activate the taint to purge your body of physical afflictions for X turns.

Each turn the purge will attempt to cleanse 1 physical debuff from you, and if one is removed, increase its duration by 1.

The following Taint is found only on the Withering Beast and unable to be acquired by the player.

Cooldown Level-range Rarity
? Special Special
Activate the taint on a foe, removing x effects from it and healing you for y for each effect.

Tinker's Equipment

Steam Generator
Steam Generator{{{type}}}
Cooldown Level-range Rarity
20-32 1-50 14
Provides a certain amount of steam power regeneration each turn. Activating this can instantly regenerate a certain amount of steam power.
Medical Injector
Medical Injector{{{type}}}
Cooldown Level-range Rarity
50%-100% 1-50 14
The injector is not used by itself but is rather used by Salves, utilising the injectors cooldown mod and power mod to modify the effect of the used Salves After usage the Injector goes on cooldown dependant the salve used and it's own cooldown mod used.