Rune-Keeper Layout

Rune-Keeper quickslot layout

So as per usual I will start out with my basic bar as it appears out of combat. As you can see with the Rune-Keeper there are a lot of greyed out skills, and various ones of these will light up depending on your attunement level, enabling you to access higher skills. It is not the remit of this little article to explain this in any detail, you can find a good explanation of how the system works here, but this article will assume an advanced level of familiarity with the class. In addition, and as with all these articles, they are laid out for a mouseclicker like myself. I move using the WASD, and QE keys, and Space Bar to jump, and pan camera and execute skills with the mouse, and its built-in buttons.

With the appearance of LUA scripting I have made good use of the Tonic bars plugin, to hold tracking skills, racial skills, ports, mounts, and I also have some invisible buttons where the black dots on the diagram which appear when hovered over. The two black dots are my skirmish summon, and direct commands, which are always places in that position on all my characters, enabling quick use, but without having to clutter my bars in general world gameplay. The Other four dots down the side are for my Rune-keepers Chisel and Rifflers, and probably I will eventually put 2 rune-keepers satchels there, or perhaps put them with the rune-stones on my main bar, and move my consumables to the side.

Skill Function Layout

So firstly I’ll look at layout out my skills into some kind of thematic groups as to what they do. This to me is the most logical way, but as is often the case the usefulness of the skill and/or its place in a rotation will affect and often mess this up a little bit. So here is an exploded view of my quickslots showing skill locations.As I mentioned I now use the tonic bars plug-in for Skirmish skills, emotes, and spare things like water pots in the Forges as appropriate for a specific run.

As you can see I have broken the skills into 3 distinct blocks: Neutrally attuning skills, DPS attuning skills, and heal attuning skills. In addition you will see that the DPS attuning skills are split into 3 rows of damage type explained more below. For healing I am mostly using the green top bar and the yellow top row, and sometimes yellow second row, of the yellow box to the left, and the blue strip just under the top right as appropriate. when DPS’ing I am mostly using the bottom Red section as appropriate, and the yellow bottom row, and sometimes yellow second row as appropriate, and of course still the blue strip under the top right. The skills to the right are generally utility, and/or stance switching effect, which are used for bringing a little unique Rune-keeper flavour to the table, which is jumping from a healer to a DPS machine, or vice versa. Now I’ll look at access for use in my rotation.

Skill Rotation Grouping

OK so here I’m looking at my attacks and skills and their location in relation to my rotations and access for use. It’s very difficult to talk about standard rotations for a Rune-Keeper as your traits, or indeed role varies massively. It can be a complex and very fun class to play, but really the best way to learn is to search about the web, there are some great guides out there like this one (although a little out of date still full of great info), or indeed this one. But most important; go and roll one and try it out. Don’t forget to read your tool tips and work on your deeds and read carefully what they, and your class set bonuses, do. A list of Traits can be found here, and a list of skills here. With a class like the rune keeper many skills (and indeed traits) have effects and/or implications on other skills, so I will point out an example purely for reference.

The healing skill Words of Exaltation provides a -40% incoming damage protection for 3 seconds, with a 1.30 cooldown, which is nice but very short. However, if you use a Writ of Health skill on the target first, this will add 2 seconds to the Words of Exaltation duration and this Writ of Health can be used up to three times in a row on the target to build the Writ of Health effect tier to 3, and add 6 second to the Words of Exaltation Duration. In addition if you use the Author of Exaltation trait this adds 10% to the amount of damage protected against, and also adds another 5 seconds to the duration. With a legendary weapon towards end game, there is a pool B legacy Word of Exaltation Cooldown which fully ranked reduces the cooldown from 1.30 to 61 seconds. (A good run down of legacies can be found here). So it is clear that with  good legacies, traits, and knowledge of when and how to use the skills, a -40% incoming damage for 3 seconds skill, usable every 1 and a half minutes, can be turned into -50% incoming damage for 14 seconds every minute, which is significantly less damage being done to the tank 1/4 of the time.

This plan shows the core blocks for a damaging rotation, and the damage types, with the amount of attunement required to use the skill working across from left to right. The Healing skills are laid out in a similar manner. I do break with this format for a few occasions where one skill has a very direct and necessary effect on another; such as Writ of Health being next to Words of Exaltation.

The previously yellowe coloured ‘neutral attuning’ block to the left is now split into three distince groups within that block , based this time on their use. The top three are; reducing threat, power restore, and an interrupt. These get used when both damaging and healing, but of the 9 skills in this block, they are the only ones I regularly use when healing. The skills coloured yellow to the top right, and the cyan ‘master of writs’ button adjacent, are skills that I again use when both DPSing and healing. In addition to this you can see I have frost skills at the top for two reasons: 1) they fit nicely there :), and 2) they are useful to cast when DPSing or in a hybrid state as they add DPS whilst also debuffing the enemy to keep the amount of healing required down. So under this set up the  purpose of the top two rows of my skill bar are primarily healing, and/or complementary skills to healing or a mixed attunement.

This leaves the bottom two rows as primarily DPS based skills. The bottom yellow marked skills are largely marks to increase damage to the target, or the toggle skills (slot 1) which change based on rune stone attunement, and are a channel cast on a melee class which in turn means they reduce the damage you do to their target, so these sit at the bottom on the neutral block of 9 skills, as very much DPS based skills. In the centre of the block of 9 we have what I label ‘panic’ buttons which, though I am not a huge fan of the term believing all skills should be used proactively, sort of suffices. They in effect reduce the run speed of foes, add a chance the foe hitting you will take fire damage, be debuffed or be stunned (depending again on stone affinity) and finally a short stun. The skills you can see are things that can be situationally useful in either mode, DPS or healing, if you get aggro you don’t wish to have, and try to buy some time, either to finish the mob, or allow a tanking class to retain aggro from you.

This leaves the top right, and bottom right miscellaneous as a motley collection of OOC resurrections, and attunement switching skills and consumables, and of course differing rune-stones for DPS and Healing which you can see I have added in the Red and Green slots, to made blindingly clear I click the right one to heal or DPS.

Hope this makes some sense to those of you looking to plan your quickslots out, I have found it works for me nicely, and makes a good logical sense.

thanks for reading


  1. Thanks for the info. Very nice. What are those two consumables in the right lower area – you have 10 of one and 22 of the other? Those don’t look familiar too me.

    • Thank you for the comment mate, apologies for the delay in confirmation and reply- we went away for the wekend!

      The two cosumables you mention are white enamels and inlays, both made by scholars. The enamels only work when you have at least 1 heaing or DPS attunement, and shift you immediately 3 steps further down that attunement, and they are on a 2 minuite cooldown. The inlays prevent you next induction being interrupted, and drop your power costs by 50% for 10 seconds, on a 3 minuites cooldown. I use less of the these than the enamels (which are a great head start when healing a hard hitting boss, or something that might start with some nasty spike damage), but in an OMG I must cast this skill situation the inlays are invaluable!

      thanks again for the comment!

  2. Having the 1 key bound to armour of strom/fire/whatever makes absolutely no sense. I would shift 1,2,3 over the the right, and make 4,5,6,7,8,9,0 become 1,2,3,4,5,7,6. Epic Conclusion should be after sustaining bolt I think, and all those primary attacks should be close to your fingers. Other than that, great job on this write up.

    • It makes perfects sense, but just perhaps not for your play style. I point out in the first paragraph mate, I use my mouse to click attacks, and the keyboards for movement (I prefer the increased speed of direction change and ability to jink, combined with the camera movement.) As a result I really have no need to worry about key binds, and what is in which slot with regard to how close to how close to my fingers they are. In addition I use tonic bars more and more, and don’t yet know if you can set a key bind to a tonic bar quickslot.

      You obviously a use keyboard for attacks, in which case the 1-6 keys matter more, and these seem like good suggestions. Indeed this playstyle would require a drastic alteration for healing too, whch is my primary playstyle on RK, and probably moving 50% of the yellow section across to the right would be nessecary. However personally, for lotro, especially as I play alts, I find the keyboard system clumsy inconvenient, and I like some thematic layout for skills use, which is hard to combine with the full gamut of class skills, and convenience for use.

      thanks for commenting

  3. Jason Porrill

    Very intuitive post.

  4. VERY VERY helpful, cannot thank you enough, my old layout was very messy compared to this, and this has improved my combat effectiveness, thanks heaps :)

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