Witcher 2 Weapons, Armor and Items Guide: Runes and Reinforcements

Page 5 of of the Witcher 2 weapons, armor and items guide by blue_devil_99. (Back to Main Menu)


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Runes and Reinforcements

Some swords and armor come with upgrade slots, represented on the inventory screen by small circles next to the item's name. These circles start off open and fill in as upgrades are added.

These slots accommodate runes (swords) or armor reinforcements (armor) that add to damage, critical effects, damage reduction, and/or resistances. Only swords and chestpieces have upgrade slots: other weapons, gloves, boots, and trousers are not upgradeable.

Activate a rune or armor reinforcement from your inventory to add it to a currently equipped sword or armor. Once a rune or armor enhancement is added to an item, it is permanent. You cannot replace it with a better version later, and you cannot remove and re-use it in a different weapon or piece of armor.

With one exception, the best runes and armor reinforcements are all available starting in Chapter 1. I (and based on the forums, many other players) tended to hoard upgrades during my first playthrough. Particularly with armor there is really no reason to do this.

Diamond Armor Reinforcements are pretty much the best in the game and can be crafted starting in Chapter 1 using readily available materials. Runes are more scarce. They require elemental stones to craft, which are in somewhat limited supply until Chapter 3, so it makes sense to plan ahead which weapons you want to upgrade. They are still not that rare, with one exception...

NOTE FOR ROCHE'S PATH: If you want to side with Roche, it's a good idea to buy the schematic for at least one rune (pick your favorite) before the end of Chapter 1, or at least to look ahead to the Chapter 2 weapons and carry enough runes with you to upgrade the ones you plan to use. To be safe, try to do this shortly after your nice little visit to the elven ruins with Triss.

Fire Rune
  • +5% Damage, 10% Incinerate, +20% Resist Incinerate
  • My favorite rune. Incinerated opponents take damage over time and will sometimes stop attacking.
  • You find two of these in the ruined insane asylum in Chapter 1 (one is hidden behind an Aard-able wall). Great place to take your new Jagged Blade!
  • Buyable from merchants, including the dwarf craftsman in Flotsam (Ch 1) and two dwarf merchants in Vergen (Ch 2, Iorveth's path). Cost is about 500 orens each, so crafting is cost effective provided you have elemental stones.
  • Schematic is also purchasable, usually from the same merchants.
  • Crafting requires Elemental Stone, Essence of Water, and endrega Saliva. See crafting section.
  • Essence of Water drops from Drowners and is sold by alchemist merchants.
  • Endrega Saliva is an uncommon drop from endregas in Flotsam forest. They also spawn on the Kaedwani side of Chapter 2 near where you find Arbitrator.

 Ysgith Rune
  • +7% Damage, +8% Bleed
  • Gets a little better damage in exchange for lower percentage of bleed, which is not as good as incinerate.
  • If you want these, you probably need to buy or craft them.
  • Rune and its schematic purchasable from same merchants as fire runes.
  • Requires same components, but uses Nekker Hearts in place of endrega Saliva.
  • You get a ton of hearts in Chapter 1 but they weigh 0.5 pounds each.

Moon Rune
  • +4 Sign Damage
  • Great for dedicated mages, utterly useless otherwise
  • Buy these and their schematic from same merchants as other runes
  • Require Diamond Dust (8 per rune) in place of Saliva/Hearts. This makes Moon Runes somewhat more rare/costly as Diamond Dust must be found or bought rather than farmed.

Diamond Armor Reinforcements
  • +2 Damage Reduction, +10 Vitality
  • With one exception (below), the only armor upgrade I ever used
  • Schematic available in Chapter 1 from the craftsman/merchant in Lobinden (in a house near where you meet Cedric)
  • Crafting ingredients are easily available; most notable is 5 Diamond Dust per upgrade
  • You will find or receive a few Dwarven Armor Enhancements, which have identical stats
  • Plentiful/cheap enough that you should almost always upgrade new armor

Magic Wrap
  • +2 Damage Reduction, +3 Sign Damage
  • This is the only other armor upgrade I used, for my mage character.
  • Only available in Chapter 3. Buyable from Loc Muine merchant. Schematic can also be bought or won by completing Dice Poker quest.
  • You also receive a unique +1 DR, +5 Sign Damage upgrade following Iorveth's path in Chapter 2. Save it if you want absolutely the highest damage bonus possible.