Rune Sage (3.5e Class)

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Rune Sage[edit]

Physically trained in much a similar way to monks, Rune Sages instead devote their time to learning how the world works and where they fit into it, rather then understanding their own body and working to perfect it.

Making a Rune Sage[edit]

Abilities: Wisdom (Determines class abilities) and Strength/Dexterity

Races: Any

Alignment: Any Lawful

Starting Gold: 3d6x10 gp

Starting Age: As Monk

Table: The Rune Sage

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Unarmed AC Bonus Movement Bonus
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Oak Shield Runes, Fists of Iron 1d6 +0 +0 ft.
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Scarred Rune of the Leaf 1d6 +0 +0 ft.
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Mark of Flowing Waters 1d6 +0 +10 ft.
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Inscribe Rune 1d8 +0 +10 ft.
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 1d8 +1 +10 ft.
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 Inscribe Rune 1d8 +1 +20 ft.
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 1d8 +1 +20 ft.
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Inscribe Rune 1d10 +1 +20 ft.
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Improved Scarred Rune of the Leaf 1d10 +1 +30 ft.
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +7 Inscribe Rune 1d10 +2 +30 ft.
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +7 1d10 +2 +30 ft.
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Inscribe Rune 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Nature's Ward 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +9 Inscribe Rune 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +9 2d6 +3 +50 ft.
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Inscribe Rune 2d8 +3 +50 ft.
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Rune of the Unbreakable Stone, Rune Seared Tongue 2d8 +3 +50 ft.
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 Inscribe Rune 2d8 +3 +60 ft.
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 2d8 +3 +60 ft.
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 Inscribe Rune, Embodiment of Nature 2d10 +4 +60 ft.

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Rune Sage

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Rune Sages are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling.

Rune Sages are not proficient with any armor or shields.

When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a heavy load, a Rune Sage loses her AC bonus granted by her Oak Shield Runes, and her speed bonus from Mark of the Flowing Waters.

Oak Shield Runes (Ex): Watching the rings on a tree grow and add layers to surround its core with, the Rune Sage follows the same pattern and idea, marking various spots on her body, increasing her AC. When unarmored and unencumbered, the Rune Sage adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a Rune Sage gets a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases every five Rune Sage levels thereafter (+2 10th, +3 at 15, and +4 at 20th level). This amount is represented on Table: The Rune Sage under the category "AC Bonus".

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the Rune Sage is flat-footed. These bonuses may also be used in addition to any maneuvers such as grappling. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a heavy load.

Fists of Iron: At 1st level, the Rune Sage inscribes their fists with the patterns of Iron, and gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A Rune Sage's attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means a Rune Sage may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a Rune Sage striking unarmed. A Rune Sage may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes as well as her Wisdom modifier.

Usually a Rune Sage's unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

A Rune Sage's unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons. Additionally, the Rune Sage's unarmed strike is treated as magic for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

A Rune Sage also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table: The Rune Sage under the category "Unarmed". The unarmed damage on Table: The Rune Sage is for Medium Rune Sages. A Small Rune Sage deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a Large Rune Sage deals more damage. Adjust accordingly as you would for a monk.

Scarred Rune of the Leaf (Ex): Like a leaf in the wind, the Rune Sage has drawn a pattern into themselves in a way that leaves a lasting scar that can always be used to gain the benefits. The benefits of doing this are as the ability Evasion. At 2nd level or higher, if a Rune Sage makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can only be used if a Rune Sage is wearing no armor. A helpless Rune Sage does not gain the benefits of Scarred Rune of the Leaf.

Mark of the Flowing Waters (Ex): At 3rd level, the Rune Sage decorates and deeply inscribes lasting sigils and patterns representing the rapid flow of water in a stream or river, granting the Rune Sage a bonus on all movement speeds as long as such movement speeds are with physical limbs. This bonus is noted on Table: The Rune Sage under the category "Movement Bonus".

Rune Inscription: At 4th level and every 2 levels thereafter, a Rune Sage can select a pattern in nature that he has seen, and through a one process hour of meditation and inscription or some combination thereof, develop a rune. These runes are inscribed on the Rune Master's body where appropriate and can allow them to perform amazing feats of varying degrees of power and mysticism. Once a rune is chosen, it cannot be changed. Some runes require the Rune Sage to be a specific level or higher before they can be chosen. Unless otherwise noted, a Rune Sage cannot select an individual rune more then once.

You may use any of your runes in any order a number of times per day equal to 3 plus your wisdom modifier plus half your Rune Sage class level. Unless otherwise noted, all runes effect only the Rune Sage.

Casted Shadows (Ex): Like the shadows casted by trees over head, or that of a predator swooping upon its prey, the Rune Sage has made a pattern that grants him a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 minute.
Coral Shelter (Su): Like the far reaching corals that shelter life underwater from threats outside and around it, the Rune Sage as an immediate action before he rolls a saving throw against a targeted effect that also targets other allies or an area of effect whose area includes other allies, a Rune Sage with this ability can designate a number of allies equal to his Wisdom modifier. The Rune Sage rolls one saving throw for each designated ally, using his bonus instead of the ally's. For each successful saving throw, the corresponding ally treats the effect as if that ally had succeeded at the saving throw, and for each saving throw failed, the corresponding ally treats the effect as if that ally had failed the saving throw. If the Rune Sage fails any of the saving throw (including his own original saving throw), the Rune Sage treats the effects as if he had failed a saving throw. A rune sage must be at least 7th level before selecting this rune.
Falling Leaves (Su): Like that pattern of a falling leaf, the Rune Sage inscribes upon himself the same pattern they take when falling, granting him the effects of Feather Fall for 1 minute.
Grassland Flames (Ex): Like a wildfire spreading through parched arid grasslands, the Rune Sage follows the same pattern and moves just as quickly, his current total speeds all increase by 30 feet for 1 minute.
Guided Starlight (Su): As the stars shine brightly in the sky, they foretell the future and paths around the Rune Sage. To comprehend them, the Rune Sage inscribes a similar pattern that translates it for them while they sleep, granting visions of spirits or voices from the stars in their dreams. On any given night during which the Rune Sage dreams, he can use this ability to gain the benefits of a Divination spell. If he does, he may not use this ability again the next day and loses 1 use of all other Runes for that day. A Rune Sage must be at least 10th level before selecting this rune.
Inlaid Rune of Earthen Form (Su): Using runes of transmutation, the Rune Sage transmutes his entire body into iron, duplicating the effects of the spell Iron Body. Must be level at least 16th level before selecting this rune, and this rune may only be used 3 times a day, regardless of your wisdom score.
Mark of the Sun (Su): You touch a single object and inscribe on it a rune of light, lasting for 10 minutes per level of Rune Sage. Acts as the spell Light, using your Rune Sage levels as your caster level.
Mark of Shadows (Su): You notice the movements of shadows being fluid and one, seeming to jump instantly from one place to another in great leaps and bounds. You mimic their patterns and make a rune that allows you to duplicate the effects of Shadow Walk, using your Rune Sage levels as the caster level.
Mark of the Elements (Su): You follow the patterns made by the passing storms, the scorching heat of climates, to the frozen and wet colds. You then make a pattern of them into a rune that protects you from the elements as the spell Endure Elements, using your Rune Sage levels as the caster level.
Rune of Crystals (Ex): You gain DR 2/- at 12th level. At 16th, it increases to 4/-. At 19th, it increases to 6/-. This DR lasts for 1 minute. Must be at least 12 level before selecting this rune.
Rune of Resistance (Su): You duplicate the effects of the spell Resist Energy. You select one element and this rune stays as that element when used from thereafter forever. This rune can be selected multiple times, each time choosing a different element each time. Using your Rune Sage levels as the caster level.
Rune of Ripples (Su): As the ripples on the surface of the water move, you too can do the same. While under the effects of Grassland Flames, you may spend a use of this rune to duplicate the effects of Water Walk. Once activated, lasts for 1 minute per Rune Sage level. Must be at least 6th level to select this rune.
Rune of Smoke (Su): You have seen how smoke climbs through the sky effortlessly, and with its movement you make a rune that allows you to do the same. By expending one use of this run you can grant yourself a fly speed (with perfect maneuverability) equal to your total base land speed. You must end your movement on solid ground (or some other surface that will support your weight) or fall as normal. Once activate, this ability lasts for 1 minute. Must be 8th level or higher and have The Geyser rune to select this rune.
Rune of the Creeping Vines (Ex): You gain a climb speed equal to your total land speed for 1 minute. This ability otherwise functions as the spell Spider Climb.
Rune of the Chrysalis (Su): You can use this rune to assume an ethereal state for 1 minute as though using the spell Etherealness, using your Rune Sage level as your caster level. This ability effects only the Rune Sage. Must be at least level 18 to select this rune.
Rune of the Weed's Root (Ex): You can use this rune to gain a burrow speed equal to half your base land speed. Lasts 1 minute.
Sigil of the Hurricane (Su): You duplicate the spell Lightning Bolt, using your Rune Sage level as your caster level.
Sigil of the Quaking Lands (Su): You duplicate the spell Earthquake, using your Rune Sage level as your caster level. Must be level 15 or higher to select this rune.
Sigil of the Thunderclap (Su): You duplicate the spell Shout, using your Rune Sage level as your caster level. Must be level 8 or higher to select this rune.
Sigil of the Typhoon (Su): You duplicate the spell Wind Wall, using your Rune Sage level as your caster level.
Sigil of the Volcano (Su): You duplicate the spell Fireball, using your Rune Sage level as your caster level. At level 20, it becomes Meteor Swarm, but uses two uses instead of one when activated.
Slumbering Trees (Ex): There are two parts to this rune. The first, so long as you have remaining uses of this rune you need to eat and drink only 1/4 as often as normal, you need only 2 hours to sleep each night (this includes time to regain per day abilities), and you can hold your breath for up to 1 hour per point of Constitution. As a move action, you can expand 1 use of this rune to enter a state of suspended animation, falling unconscious and appearing dead to all senses. At the time he enters this state, he indicates a preset period of time or a triggering condition, after which he awakens.
The Canopy of Trees (Su): As an immediate action, you may give an ally within 30 feet just the right word of advice to prevent disaster. If the ally can hear the Rune Sage, she can reroll a single attack roll or saving throw. The ally must take the second result, even if it is worse. Must be at least 8th level before selecting this rune.
The Circle of Life (Su): You understand the complexities of the circle of life, the oneness of all, and duplicate its pattern of movement to heal your wounds. By using this rune, you can heal an amount of damage equal to 1d8+ you Rune Sage levels.
The Geyser (Ex): Watching the force and pressure of geysers has shown you how they act, and by inscribing similar patterns on your legs, you can give yourself a +20 to any and all jump checks for 1 minute. You also do not need to make a running jump for any checks.
The Mountain's Resolve (Su): By activating this ability, the Rune Sage can suppress a fear effect affecting him as if using Remove Fear, using his Rune Sage level as his caster level. He can expend 2 uses of this to activate it even when frightened or panicked. Must be at least 6th level to select this rune.
Stone Cairn Balance (Ex): By using this ability as a swift action, you gain a +20 on all balance checks. This ability lasts 1 minute.
The Water's Surface (Su): As easily perturbed by creatures as the surface of the water, your runes are highly reactive, giving you a 60 foot Termorsense for 1 minute. Must be at least level 10 to select this rune.
The Weightless Wind (Ex): A Rune Sage with this rune can move effortlessly across nearly any surface. Whenever the Rune Sage activates his Stone Cairn Balance rune, he can also ignore all difficult terrain. In addition, while active, he can cross any solid surface, even if it would normally not support his weight. This does not allow him to walk on liquids. A Rune Sage must be at least 8th level and have the Stone Cairn Balance rune before selecting this rune.
The Willow Tree (Su): The bark and the leaves of the willow reveal a pattern to you, that when applied to yourself prevents sickness. This rune grants immunity to disease so long as you have 1 use remaining. You may expend 1 use to duplicate the effects of Neutralize Poison or Remove Disease. Must be level 9 or higher to select this rune.

Improved Scarred Rune of the Leaf (Ex): At 9th level, a Rune Sage’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless Rune Sage does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Nature's Ward (Ex): At 13th level, you inscribe a particular rune into your flesh, reflecting most spells. You gain a Spell Resistance equal to 10 plus your Rune Sage levels. If order to be effect with a spell, a spellcaster (except yourself) must get a result on a caster level check (1d20+caster level) that equals or exceeds the Rune Sage's spell resistance.

Rune of the Unbreakable Stone (Ex): Upon attaining 17th level, a Rune Sage no longer takes penalties to her ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that she has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the Rune Sage still dies of old age when her time is up.

Rune Seared Tongue (Ex): At 17th level the Rune Sage scars their tongue with a rune, allowing them to speak with any creature.

Embodiment of Nature: The Rune Sage has achieved perfect harmony between themselves and the world around them, their body lined and littered with the runes, wisdom, and understandings of the world. You gain a permanent +4 to your natural Armor Class in addition to your base. You gain a permanent +4 to your Wisdom score as well. Upon death, your are reincarnated as the spell Reincarnate within either 300 miles of your point of death in a random location, or on top of a major ley line (a ley line is a stream of arcane energy that runs under the earth, connecting all magic in the world). Whichever is closer.

Ex-Rune Sage[edit]

A Rune Sage who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a Rune Sage, but retains all Rune Sage abilities. You may attempt to become lawful again through the spell Atonement, followed by a quest proving that your alignment has changed, but this process can only be done once.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Rune Sage[edit]

Combat: Best and most basic way of combat with this class is melee damage or support. Other options are available through clever builds, but not as viable.

Advancement: Class levels in monk are desired by a Rune Sage to achieve the state of perfect physical form next, now that they view themselves as having achieved perfect mental form.

Rune Sage Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can research Rune Sages to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Religion)
DC Result
15 They often study alongside monks, even though following their own path.
20 Rune Sages embrace the power of the natural world and seek to find their place in it.
25 Their connection to the natural world lets them create runes of various degrees of power to perform feats and abilities on par with their monk brethren.
30 Information available by choice.

Rune Sages in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: A possible adaptation for any rune variant is to use a class (like a fighter or ranger) who gains a ability in equal intervals and replace it with Inscribe Runes, making a rune wielder version of that class.


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