The worst IMO is the broken Rune Spells, especially the offensive spells, only one seems to work as has been pointed out, which makes progressing in Rune Magic a waste of time and advancement points.
I've had the game (1.4, from a games mag dvd) for several months now, and my take on rune spells is quite different: Despite only three rune spells I find useful, I find these three incredibly useful for magic-heavy characters:
- Shards of Stone: One of the most damaging spells in the game, does great amounts of damage to Stone Giants, demons and other monsters immune to 'conventional magic', too. If you're lousy at combat, this is the spell-truncheon to wield.
- Anti-Magic Shield: Like the Shield of Retribution, this spell lobs magic attacks back at the caster. Very little aiming practice is needed to use this spell to devastating effect against all kinds of enemy casters.
- Spitting Shield: Returns physical / weapon damage to the enemy. The one caveat for this spell is that it overrules the Anti-Magic Shield as well as the Shield of Retribution. With the Spitting Shield active, the spell-returning properties of both are cancelled, they are reduced to plain shields.