Causing trouble quietly since, um, 2003.
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Rune Tool Dox

sample rune Once you're heavy into D2, you realize that a lot of the booty-kicking stuff involves using runes - combining them into runewords, or using them to upgrade or craft items. I don't know about you, but I tend to pile them up with only vague notions of what I can do with them.

To this end, I wrote the D2 Rune Tool, so named because I couldn't figure out what the heck else to call it. I'm all ears if anybody has any suggestions.

This page documents the origin and use of the Rune Tool, and gives sample queries you can set up and/or run directly from here. If you send me questions that are answered on this page, I will ignore you. Read the damn documentation, I'm not writing it for my health.

(Why did I work so hard on this? Haven't a clue. It was just one of those things, it kind of grew of its own accord once it got going.)

Note: The item text was taken from the Arreat Summit, and runeword links go to All items and item text refer to version 1.10 of the Lord of Destruction expansion.


I wanted a utility that would tell me what I could do with the runes I had, and I was tired of all these little Windows-only utilities that did various things - I play on a Mac, and so do most of my friends - so I wrote this little script and made it web-based so everyone can use it.

The original purpose was to simply allow you to click the runes you had in your inventory, and the page would show you what runewords you could make out of them. After using it a bit I realized it would be better if it could also show you what runewords you were CLOSE to being able to make, or had partially made, and then I added further grouping and sorting functionality, and then text-matching (so, for example, you can search for "mace" to find all runewords specifically using maces, and much more complex queries are also possible), and then information about crafted items (which use runes) and horadric cube upgrade recipes (the ones that use runes) and finally the raw rune information itself. If you have ideas for further additions or improvements, send them on, and if they're not totally lame I might see what I can do. :P

Wicked Basics

If you're just looking to see what runewords you can make out of your runes, check off the runes you have and click "Do it". This will return a list of runewords you can completely make (if any) with the runes you checked. For more advanced queries, including various flavors of "partial" runewords and other rune-related items, read through the samples below.


It's easier to illustrate what this thing can do with samples, perhaps, than with a man-page like document. Below are a variety of queries I can imagine people wanting to run.

For any of these, click "Do it" to actually run the query, or "Just set it up" to set the page up to run the query, but not actually run it (probably so you can tweak it first).

Q: What runewords can I make with Eth, El and Tir?

A: Click Eth, El and Tir in the runes grid, and click "Do it."

Do it | Just set it up

Result: just one runeword, "Steel."

Q: Well, that sucks - am I close to anything better?

A: Sheesh, I don't know! That's why I wrote this thing. Change "Items to list" from "only complete" to "complete and partial", and click "Do it."

Do it | Just set it up

Result: whoa. Lots of runewords. Runewords you can make are colored in green, runewords you have part of are colored yellow, and runewords you have no runes from at all (which are not listed in THIS set of results, since you asked for complete and partial runewords only) are shown in red. Runes you are missing are shown in bold red.

This is probably more information than you wanted. Right?

Q: Yikes! Some of these are impossible!

A: Yeah. Lots of runewords, including some very advanced ones, use those common runes. "Breath of the Dying" uses El and Eth, but it also uses Zod, which you're not very close to in all probability (unless you cheat), so seeing it here might not be terribly useful. Change "Items to list" from "complete and partial" to "complete and partial if highest missing rune is within 6 of 'best'", which will limit the output to runewords whose highest rune is within 6 of the highest rune you check - in this case, Thul or lower (probably more reasonable if "Eth" is your best so far).

Do it | Just set it up

There, that's better. There are 8 runewords now; one you can make (Steel, in green); six you have at least one rune from (in yellow), and one you have no runes from (Ancient's Pledge, in red), but aren't terribly far from given the rune level you're at.

Q: What else can I do with these runes?

A: Check the Crafted Item and Horadric Cube Upgrade checkboxes, set "Items to list" back to "complete" (otherwise you'll get an awful lot of partial upgrade recipes, which aren't that useful since they only use 1 or 2 runes), and click "Do it".

Do it | Just set it up

Result: There are 6 crafted items you can use your runes in (with other items), and you can upgrade a low quality armor to normal quality with your El (and a chipped gem). Bet you didn't know that one off the top of your head!

Q: I found a 4-socket sword, what can I do with it?

A: Check "weapons" under "Base item type filters," and "4 sockets" under "Runeword socket count filters". This will restrict output to runewords for 4-socket weapons. Don't forget to set "Items to list" to "ALL" unless you only want to check for runes you've checked off.

Do it | Just set it up

Result: there are twenty-one 4-socket weapon runewords. However, not all of them can be used for swords - "Holy Thunder," for example, can only be used in scepters. Whoops! You can either eyeball situation yourself, or add a text search to match "swords" (below).

Q: OK, I only want to see recipes for 4-socket swords, how do I do that?

A: In addition to the settings above, use a Text Search of "sword|weapon" - that's a vertical bar character "|" with no spaces between the words "sword" and "weapon". This is a Perl regular expression (which I don't have time to teach you, go read some documentation if you want to learn more) which basically means "sword OR weapon" in the description, name or details. You need both because if you just say "sword", you will only match recipes that explicitly say "sword", and not generic ones that can be used for any "weapon" (including swords). This will filter out all runeword weapons that do not contain the words "sword" or "weapon" (but might contain, for example, "axe" or "scepter").

Do it | Just set it up

Result: There we go. Thirteen 4-socket runewords that can all be used in swords.

Q: I need better magic find, what rune-related items give that?

A: Check all of the item types (runewords, crafted items, upgrades, and runes themselves), enter "magic items" under "Text search", and set "Items to list" to "ALL".

Do it | Just set it up

Result: in addition to the fifteen runewords that improve magic find, you might have forgotten that the IST rune all by itself boosts magic find too (if you're lucky enough to have one).

Q: What are the crafted item recipes involving rings?

A: Check "crafted items", set "Items to list" to "ALL", and check "rings" under "Base item type filters".

Do it | Just set it up

Result: Well, there they are, along with the runes needed to make them.

That should give you a good idea for how this thing works. Fiddle with it and have fun.