Rune Blade, Variant (5e Class)

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Rune Blade[edit]

The Rune Blade is a master of both Magic and Melee. Born with magical properties imbued to them, much like Sorcerers, Rune Blades choose to focus their training in combat, but not forgoing the magic that flow through their veins. Using magic runes fueled by the wisdom taught from master to apprentice the Rune Blade takes priority on the use of runes, trained to the maximum. Having fewer high level spells does not stop them from inflicting devastating damage to the foes facing them. Engraving runes in the weapons and armor used by the Rune Blade, they exploit their magic to the fullest.

Some questions to ask when building a rune blade are: Who was your teacher? When did you unlock the power of The Rune Blade? What do you plan to do with your power? Rune Blades always have a master who taught them the secrets of the Rune Blade, whether it was for self defense, evil deeds as his or her servant, or to serve the public. These questions will help to further enhance your rune blade.

Quick build[edit]

Your highest ability score needs to be in Strength or Dexterity, then Wisdom (Are you slashing swords, or are you shooting arrows?).

Class Features

As a Rune Blade you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Rune Blade level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Rune Blade level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: All armor, Shields
Weapons: none
Tools: Inscribing Tools
Saving Throws: Strength and Wisdom
Skills: Choose 3 from the following; Arcana, Acrobatics, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine and Survival

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) Two Longsword or (b) Two simple weapons or any two-handed weapon
  • (a) Leather Armor, Longbow and 20 arrows or (b) Chain Mail
  • (a) Explorers Pack or (b) Dungeoneers Pack
  • Runic Inscribing Tools

Table: The Rune Blade

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features Runic Cantrips Runic Spells Known Memorized Runes Runic Damage Die —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +2 Runic Weapon, Runic Lore, Runic Casting 2 0 3 1d6, 1
2nd +2 Dual Wielding 2 0 3 1d6, 1
3rd +2 Advanced Casting, Path of The Rune Blade 3 1 4 1d6, 1 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Healing Rune 3 1 4 1d8, 2 3
5th +3 Runic Burst, Extra Attack 4 2 4 1d8, 2 3
6th +3 Arcane Flash (10ft) 4 2 5 1d8, 2 3
7th +3 Path of The Rune Blade Feature 4 2 5 1d8, 3 4 2
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 2 6 1d8, 3 4 2
9th +4 Healing Rune Improvement 4 3 6 1d8, 3 4 2
10th +4 Runic Burst Improvement 4 3 7 1d8, 4 4 3
11th +4 5 3 8 1d10, 4 4 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement, Ranged Runic Casting 5 4 8 1d10, 5 4 3
13th +5 Arcane Flash (20ft) 5 4 8 1d10, 5 4 3 2
14th +5 Armor of The Runic Master, Path of The Rune Blade Feature 5 5 9 1d10, 6 4 3 2
15th +5 Runic Burst Improvement 5 5 9 1d10, 6 4 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement, Ranged Runic Casting Improvement 5 6 9 1d10, 7 4 3 3
17th +6 True Rune Blade 5 7 10 1d10, 7 4 3 3
18th +6 Healing Rune Improvement, Path of The Rune Blade Feature 5 7 10 1d20, 8 4 3 3
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement, Arcane Flash (30ft) 5 7 10 1d20, 9 4 3 3 1
20th +6 Magius 6 8 10* 1d20, 10* 4 3 3 1

Class Features[edit]

Runic Weapon At 1st level, you unlock an ancient power in your weapon. One of your weapons now becomes a Runic Weapon. As a Rune Blade, you are proficient in whichever weapon you use. Unarmed weapons are counted as weapons. If your body is your weapon, your unarmed attack becomes 1d6. You only have a small amount of runes available at first, but over time your amount of runes increases. When the weapon is first transformed, No runes are Inscribed. Over time, you can inscribe runes with your Inscribing Tools. It takes an action to inscribe the rune, provided it is memorized, but allows the rune to be cast on the next turn or later subsequent turns of combat. The Runic Weapon also has extra power stored inside it that is activated with your runes. You now have a Runic Damage Die, which is used when a rune needs a damage die.

Runic Casting As a Master of Magic and Melee, you have gained access to augmentations to increase the power of your weapons. At 1st level, you now have access to Rune Casting. As an action, you may activate one of these runes and make an attack against an enemy. On a successful hit, the rune activates, providing a bonus to the attack. The list of Runes is described later in the class. Casting a Rune To cast a rune, you must first inscribe the rune into the sword. The amount of Runic Cantrips you can inscribe is listed as Runic Cantrips. At later levels you gain the ability to cast more advanced runes. The spellcasting DC is 8 + your Wisdom Modifier + your proficiency bonus, and you spellcasting Modifier is Your Wisdom bonus plus your Proficiency bonus.

Runic Lore Rune Blades possess the ancient knowledge of the Runes, and can use this knowledge in day to day tasks. Starting at 1st level, Rune blades can cast Detect Magic without expending a rune or using material components. Because of their ability to decipher runes and scripts, they can make an Intelligence (History) check to try and read any language they don’t know. Finally they have advantage on Intelligence (History or Arcana) checks to identify magical runes throughout the world.

Dual Wielding At 2nd level, you can Dual Wield weapons ans still add the attack bonus. When Dual Wielding, you gain +1 bonus to AC, and can unsheathe or sheathe two weapons instead of one at once. Furthermore, You can wield a two handed weapon with one hand provided that you are not wielding two weapons(A shield does NOT count).

Path of The Rune Blade At 3rd level, you choose an archetype in the form of a path the Rune Blade is trained in: the Path of the Elements, the Path of the Mind, or the Path of the Body, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your archetype choice grants you features at 3rd level, and then again at 7th, 14th and 18th level.

Advance Casting At 3rd level, you learn that some runes are much more powerful than others, and you learn how to harness them. You can now cast Advanced Runes from your Path.

Healing Rune Beginning at 4th level, you have an extra rune. The Rune of healing, Vitus. This rune heals 1d8+Your Wisdom Modifier, and increases with your Runic Damage Die.

Runic Burst At 5th level, you learn that some runes can be cast so fast that others can be cast at the same time. You can now cast Two Runic Cantrips at once.

Extra Attack Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the attack action on your turn.

Arcane Flash At 6th level, as part of your movement you are able to teleport up to 10 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. The distance you can teleport increases at 13th (20ft) and 19th (30ft) levels. This form of movement doesn't cause attacks of opportunity, and does not count as speed.

Ranged Rune Casting At 12th level, you can extend energy from your weapon. When you cast a Rune of 1st level or higher, you can extend the range of the rune to 30 ft, (i.e. Casting Acid Blob from 25 ft away.) When you used ranged casting, unless your weapon is ranged, does not also deal weapon damage.

Armor of the Runic Master At 14th level, you gain a deeper understanding of Runic defense. You can inscribe 2 runes on your armor, provided you remove two from your weapon. The first one gives you +4 AC to whatever you inscribe it into. The second Rune give you resistance to whatever element of cantrip or elemental wrath you inscribe into it. If you Inscribe a rune like the rune of fury, you can gain an extra attack once before you must take a short or long rest.

The True Rune Blade At 17th level, you learn that you, not your blade, is your greatest weapon. If you die, you will transform into a sword looking exactly like your weapon. After 7 days, you will reform into a human with your health restored and your weapon in your hand. If you take any damage in sword for (as a sword you have ac 13, 1 health and immunity to poison damage), you will die and nothing short of a wish spell can bring you back.

Magius At level 20, the Rune Blade may choose between magic or might. If he chooses magic, his Wisdom score increases by 10 to a maximum of 30. If he/she chooses might, his/her Strength or Dexterity score increases by 10 to a maximum of 30. If Magic is chosen, then you have all runes that you can use memorized. If you choose Might, your runic weapon deals double damage on the weapon's damage and you have as many Runic Damage Die as you need.

Path of The Elements The Runes the Rune Blade has studied begin to show signs of more powerful control of the elements, radiating strange power when exposed to raging fire, flowing water, freezing cold or other elemental occurrences. The Rune Blade has learned to harness this magical energy to empower his strikes with elemental wrath to outwit his enemies.

Elemental Wrath At 3rd level, you learn that the elements can be deadly if used properly. You gain 2 Elemental Wrath Runes of the highest level you can cast and two for each level below that, detailed at the end of the class description. When you wish to use your elemental wrath, You must expend a Rune Slot of the highest level you can cast. When you unlock

Spellbounce At 7th level, you can use your reaction to deflect the brunt of an attack that hits the Runeblade that deals either Fire, Cold, Acid, Lightning or Poison damage. You have resistance to the triggering damage type during this attack. Starting at 10th level, you can also fling back elemental energy towards the attacker. Make a ranged spell attack against the attacker. When it hits, you deal one rune burst die of damage where the type is equal to the damage type of the deflected attack. If the attacker is immune to this damage type, it changes to a different type.

Elemental Prowess At 14th level, after a short rest, you can chose one damage type described under Elemental Wrath Moves below, and gain resistance to that damage type. Additionally you deal one Rune Damage Die more when using either Rune Burst or an Elemental Wrath that deals the chosen type of damage.

Elemental Summoning At 18th level, as an action you may spend 5 runes to cast Conjure Elemental. This elemental will not require concentration to maintain, as it is bound to the Rune Blade’s weapon, but you can’t have more than one summoned at a time. This elemental will obey your every command and will do anything to protect you.


Path of the Mind The Rune Blades dreams are filled with flashes of unknown symbols, and over time, the knowledge that seeps into his unconsciousness will start granting psychic powers. While keeping a clear mind, he seems like any other person around him, but when focusing his mind, his thoughts shift towards a hidden knowledge of wielding weapons in both his hand, and his mind.

Mystic Weapon Starting at 3rd level, Rune Blades trained in the Path of the Mind gain a telekinetic bond with a weapon, able to control it flawlessly while it’s floating in mid-air. The Rune Blade can Inscribe an additional weapon making it a Mystic Weapon retaining the same rules as for a inscribed weapon. This Mystic Weapon can be any type of melee weapon, even if the Rune blade is not proficient with it. The Rune Blade can then levitate the Mystic Weapon as long as it stays within 15ft of him. If the Rune Blade moves out of range of the weapon, it automatically follows the Rune Blade. If the Rune Blade cannot be followed, the weapon teleports to the Rune Blade’s current space. The Rune Blade can use a bonus action to move the Mystic Weapon to a space within 15ft of him. It can freely move into the space of an allied creature without posing any kind of disadvantage, but cannot enter a space containing a hostile creature, but a hostile creature can willingly enter its space. When the Mystic Weapon is in the space of an allied creature, it protects him from incoming attacks. That creature increases its AC by 2 as long as the weapon stays there.

Mind of the Protector Starting at 7th level, the Rune Blade can sense distress from is companions, knowing where more help is needed. It gains the following Benefits: The Rune Blade can now parry melee and ranged attacks. When the Mystic weapon makes a melee weapon attack against a creature, that creature has disadvantage on any attack roll against an allied creature in the same space as the Mystic Weapon. The Rune Blade can choose to change the damage type of his Rune Burst to deal psychic damage. When an ally within 15ft of the Rune Blade reaches 0 hit points, the Mystic Weapon may move to the location of that ally.

Mystic Attack Beginning at 14th level, the Rune Blade can use a bonus action to move the Mystic Weapon to a space within 15ft of him and make one weapon attack against a target. For the attack roll, use your Intelligence modifier + your Proficiency modifier, and for the damage roll, use the weapon’s regular damage dice and add your Intelligence Modifier. It is also possible to Rune Burst while making this attack.

Psionic Expert At 18th level, you become a master of the mind. You can now inscribe a ranged weapon as your mystic weapon, and can attack twice as a bonus action instead of once with the runic weapon. Furthermore, Your Psychic damage does double damage and any damage rolls are maxed out.


Path of the Body Corporeal Runes Some Runeblades are trained to use runes in order to alter their and others' physical state. Starting at 3rd level, the you can learn 5 corporeal runes moves of your choice, which are detailed under the Corporeal Runes section on the next page. As an action, the Runeblade can place one or more runes on himself or a creature within 5ft. range. These runes stay until the Runeblade’s next long rest. The Runeblade can use a bonus action to activate runes applied to one creature within 120ft that he can see, to apply one of the known Corporeal Rune Move effects (listed on the end of this archetype), by spending runes applied to that creature equal to the rune cost of that move. Corporeal Runes cannot be applied multiple times for each individual effect on a creature. If a creature dies that has your runes still on them, you regain those runes, and the runes on the body disappear. If you engrave a rune on something, you cannot cast that rune, even if you have it inscribed on your weapon more than once. Alternatively, you can spend an action to remove all your runes from a creature, and regain that amount of runes to reuse. You can choose one additional Corporeal Rune Move of your choice at 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th level.

Runecarver You learn that runes can be inscribed and carved, and each one can show a different effect. At 7th level, you can now carve runes. carving runes doubles the length of the effect, (i.e a person gets a extra for two turns instead of one with the Rune of fury

Improvised Rune You can now improvise runes in a fight to gain the advantage. At 14th level you can now inscribe (NOT carve) runes into enemies, provided that it is memorized, as a bonus action.

Turn the Battlefield Starting at 18th level, you can use your bonus action to activate any amount of Corporeal Runes applied to creatures you can see within 120ft of the Runeblade.

Rune Blade Spell list[edit]

Cantrips: Blade Ward, Dancing Lights, Fire Bolt, Friends, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Minor Illusion, Poison Spray, Produce Flames, Ray of Frost, Shocking Grasp, True Strike.

Path of the Elements - Elemental Wrath

Level 1 Runes

Acid Blob The runes in your weapon release a dark green blob that sticks onto it. Make a melee weapon attack against a target. On a hit, you deal regular weapon damage, and one Rune Burst Die of acid damage and the creature must make a Constitution saving throw versus your spell save DC. If the creature failed the save, it is now held in place by a sticky blob that holds it in place, making its speed 0. After the end of the Rune Blade’s next turn, each creature within 10ft of the affected creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. The creature itself automatically fails this save but regains its speed after the effects take place. If the creatures failed the save, they take one Rune Burst Die of acid damage.

Corrode Your weapon releases a slimey corrosive substance. Make a melee weapon attack against a target. On a hit, you deal regular weapon damage, and one Rune Burst Die of acid damage and the target must make a Constitution saving throw versus your spell save DC. If the target fails its saving throw, choose one of the two following options: (a) decrease the target’s AC by 2 (With a minimum of 10 + the target creature's Dexterity modifier) or (b) decrease the targets weapon attack rolls and damage rolls by 2. These effects last one minute. One creature cannot be affected twice by the same effect as long as it is still affected by it.

Fiery Strike Your weapon bursts into flame. Make a melee weapon attack against a target. On a hit, you deal regular weapon damage, and one Rune Burst Die of fire damage and the target must make a Constitution saving throw versus your spell save DC. If the creature failed the save, it will set the target aflame. For the next minute, at the start of each turn of the afflicted target, it takes an additional Rune Burst Die of fire damage. That creature, or a creature within 5 feet of it, can use an action to douse the flames. Alternatively that creature may reroll the save at the end of each of its turn to end the effect.

Level 2 Runes

Conducting Blast The runes in your weapon glow a strong purple, and it releases jolts of lightning. Make a melee weapon attack against a target. On a hit, you deal regular weapon damage, and two Rune Burst Die of lightning damage. Then the jolt of lightning jumps to 3 other creatures + 1 for every additional rune level spent. Each of those creatures must make a Dexterity Saving throw versus your spell save DC. If a creature fails the save, it takes the same amount of lightning damage the initial target received, or half as much on a successful one.

Fire Spin You swirl your weapon around and release a fiery blast emanating from your weapon. All creatures within 10ft must make a dexterity saving throw versus your spell save DC. You deal two Rune Burst Die of fire damage to all creatures that failed the save, or half as much on a success. Creatures within melee range that failed the save also receive the weapon damage from a regular weapon attack.

Freezing Blade Your weapon begins to freeze, releasing a slight fog of freezing air. Make a melee weapon attack against a target. On a hit, you deal regular weapon damage, and two Rune Burst Die of cold damage and the target must make a Constitution saving throw versus your spell save DC. If the creature failed the save, it’s movement is halved. That creature can reroll the save at the end of each of its turn to end the effect.

Level 3 Runes

Ice Spike The runes on your weapon begin to glow a chilling blue. You then strike the ground with your weapon. All creatures within 15ft must make a dexterity saving throw versus your spell save DC. If the creature failed the save, you deal three Rune Burst Die of cold damage to the creature. Shards of ice spread through the affected area, making it difficult terrain for an hour, or until it's thawed.

Infected Strike Your weapon starts secreting a blackish fluid from its runes. Make a melee weapon attack against a target. On a hit, you deal regular weapon damage, and three Rune Burst Die of poison damage and target must make a Constitution saving throw versus your spell save DC. If the creature failed the save, it is poisoned for the next minute. The creature can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turn to end the effect. the poison does 1d10 damage each turn

Level 4 Runes

Lightning Lunge You thrust your weapon forward causing a lightning bolt to appear from its tip. All creatures in a 5ft wide 30ft long line must make a dexterity saving throw versus your spell save DC. You deal five Rune Burst Dice of lightning damage to all creatures that failed the save, or half as much on a success. If a creature that is hit by this move is within melee range of you, and it failed the save, it also receives the weapon damage from a regular weapon attack. you can then travel anywhere that the lightning touched as a bonus action as you teleport through the lightning

Pleaguespread You release a plague which swiftly destroys both you enemies and friends. All creatures within 50ft must make a Constitution saving throw versus your spell save DC. If the creature failed the save, they take five Rune Burst Die of poison damage and are plagued. A creature that is plagued has disadvantage on strength and dexterity skill checks and saving throws. When a plagued creature hits 0hp, all creatures within 5ft of it must make a Constitution saving throw or be plagued. This plague can only be removed by remove curse or something stronger.

Path of the Body - Corporeal Runes

Level 1 Runes

Rune of Ailment The affected creature must make a Wisdom saving throw versus the Rune blades Spell Save DC. If the creature fails the save, it gets one of the following conditions of the Rune blade’s choice. Blinded, Poisoned, Deafened, Frightened or Charmed. The affected creature can repeat this saving throw at the end of its turns.

Rune of Expulsion All creatures within 5ft. of the affected creature are pushed back 5ft.

Rune of Repositioning The affected creature must make a Wisdom saving throw versus the Rune blades Spell Save DC. A willing target does not have to make a saving throw. If the creature fails the save, it must immediately move unwillingly half its movement towards a space designated by the Rune blade, without provoking opportunity attacks. The creature will not however walk into areas that are immediately harmful to it, like jumping off a high place, or walking into a damaging spell effect.

Level 2 Runes

Rune of Fury The affected creature can make one extra weapon attack as part of its attack action on its next turn.

Rune of Misdirection The affected creature must make a Wisdom saving throw versus the Rune blades Spell Save DC. If the creature fails the save, it must spend its next turn moving towards, and attacking a creature within its range of the Rune blades choice.

Rune of Precision The affected creature has advantage on all melee and ranged attack rolls until the Rune blade’s next turn.

Rune of Empowerment The affected creature increases one of it’s ability scores of the Rune blade’s choice by 2 for one minute.

Level 3 Runes

Rune of Protection The affected creature has resistance to all damage until the Rune blade’s next turn.

Rune of Reflection Half of the damage inflicted to the creature, gets reflected back to the source (rounded down) until the Rune blade’s next turn.

Level 4 runes

Rune of Vitality The affected creature gains temporary hit points equal to five Rune Burst Die + your Intelligence modifier for 8 hours.

Rune of Death The affected creature must make a Wisdom saving throw versus the Rune blades Spell Save DC. If the creature fails the save, the creature takes five Rune Burst Die of damage.

Rune of Destruction The affected creature must make a wisdom saving throw against the Rune blade's Spell Save DC or take three Rune Damage Die of damage and be knocked back up to 50 ft back as designated by the Rune Blade

Multiclassing[edit]

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Rune Blade class, you must meet these prerequisites:

13 Wis, 13 Str or 13 Dex

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Rune Blade class, you gain the following proficiencies:

None


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