Rune Master (3.5e Class)

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Rune Master[edit]

Beauty in this Iron Age must turn

From fluid living rainbow shapes to torn

And sootened fragments, ashes in an urn

On whose gray surface runes are traced by a Norn

Who hopes to wake the Future to arise

In Phoenix -fashion, and to shine with rays

To blast the sight of modern men whose dyes

Of selfishness and lust have stained our days...

- Philip Jose Farmer.

Rune Master Prerequisites[edit]

Race: Dwarf, Hill

Unlike the other dwarven kin, Hill Dwarves do not naturally enter the Dreamscape in sleep, as they do not dream, cutting them off from the Weave and Gods who spread influence through the Dreamscape. During the catastrophe of the Spellplague, the Hill Dwarves were overcome by the radiation-like effects of the shattered Weave due to Mystra's death, and became inert to all magical capabilities; however, they became increasingly sensitive to magical ores such as Amaratha, Jasmal, Tomb Jade, Emerald, and Opal to where they learned with unmatched mastery a different type of magic altogether: Rune Magic. Taking the essence of these gems, they could smelt them into stone, and with carefully guided stonecrafting, create Runes which carried the magical properties of the gem's essence and thus produce spellcasting in a unique way that would allow the Hill Dwarves to have some magical influence in Faerun. This craft has been guarded vehemently amongst the Hill Dwarves for generations, as such a gift was a savior to their race in protecting against Demonkind, Orcs, and Goblins.

Skills: Concentration 10 ranks , Craft (Runecraft) 10 ranks Feats Granted 1st Level: Craft Wondrous Items (with a caster level equal to character level), Appraise Magic Value


Making a Rune Master[edit]

To become a Rune Master requires utmost sacrifice in the leisures of life towards mastering the comprehensive skills passed down in the art of Runecrafting. Runecrafting is crafting runes from pure essence, thus a dwarf must work doubly to overcome being stunted in magic while having a deep understanding of its principles that would allow some familiarity and connection to the now repaired Weave.

Most Rune Masters follow the gods Mystra and Moradin in unison, seeking their guidance in the hopes that through dedication in Runecrafting, the Hill Dwarves will earn their ability to cast magic just like the other places and have a noble place at their Father Creator's table by using Runecrafting solely for the good of Dwarves and Faerun's welfare.

Key Abilities: Strength, Constitution, Wisdom; Rune Masters are front-liners using their melee combat to create openings for allies while providing magical support with runes. Rune Masters channel their runes' magical powers through clerical dedication with Moradin and Mystra, while being a particularly hardy folk for enduring the Spellplague's effects.

Races: DM Discretion: While the Hill Dwarves are known to vehemently guard their secret, they soon discovered that they were not the only race to have been blessed with the art of runecrafting, as races such as Giants and Devas are known to have learned its mysterious ways throughout history while also being protective of such knowledge. Giants use Runecrafting to subjugate races such as Minotaurs and Goliaths while Devas have used it in their friendship with the surface elves to help preserve their cultures.

Alignment: Any Non-Chaotic.

Starting Gold: 3d6x10.

Starting Age: Complex.

Table: The Rune Master

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Rune Magic, Rune Casting, Minor Runecasting
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Runecraft Expertise, Bonus Feat
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Herald of the Stone
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Rune of Turning/Rebuking
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Runecraft Mastering, Bonus Feat, Lesser Runecasting
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Bonus Feat
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Rune of Binding, Major Runecasting
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Bonus Feat
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Bonus Feat
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Greater Runecasting, Rune of Pacts
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Bonus Feat
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Bonus Feat

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Appraisal (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana), (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Climb (Str), Jump (Str), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

Religion: Rune Masters tend to steer away from atheist beliefs as this would diminish all ability to use Runecrafting and their hope of regaining the ability to cast magic truly from the Weave, as while Runes are impressive, they are limited in the fact the Weave is endless in supplying varying magical abilities beyond comprehension whereas magical ores are primarily elemental or basic in nature. The Hill Dwarves endless seek to curry favor from Moradin and Mystra through good works and deeds when using their craft. They teach their children that by doing this, there is hope to redeem their race from the scars of the Spellplague and possibly earn great rewards from their deities such as artifices of knowledge and power, or being able to enter the Dreamscape to truly understand the meaning behind slumber and dreams.

Adventuring: Rune Masters are always looking to prove their worth for the sake of a noble cause, but are choosy in whom partnering up with as Rune Masters have a scrutinized view on party's motives and personal moral compass.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Martial Weapon Proficiency and Heavy Armor Proficiency; proficient with all light armor and simple weapon proficiency, including shields.

Rune Magic: Rune magic is using the pure essences of magical ores and inscribing them into blessed stone through a ritual known as "Stone Cleansing" which is dedicated to Mystra and Moradin in order to obtain the blessing. The ritual allows for Hill Dwarves to be able to cast magic derived from the very nature of the magical ores, through the runes crafted as if actually spellcasting. Like any members of a clergy, Rune Masters must perform actions within the alignment of their deity in order for the runes to continue being blessed so that they may hold the magical essence of the smelted ore to cast magic.

If at any point should the Rune Master fall out of favor with their deities in alignment, the runes crafted will crumble and the magical ores smelted within will shatter completely. For 1d6 days afterwards the Hill Dwarf will lose their "Stone Sense", which is their unnatural ability to feel and hear magical ores while mining/tunneling, an effect gained in the aftermath of the Spellplague.

Lastly, Rune Magic is not effected by Metamagic Feats, though they may be effected by normal feats.

Rune Magic (Ex): A Rune Master learns to prepare magic as runes inscribed on solid objects (usually small tablets of stone, but other objects are possible). He prepares magical ore into the tablets with the preparation beforehand in rest same as any Cleric would to prepare spells in advance. A Rune Master leaves slots unprepared in the tablets to inscribe runes into later, just as a wizard can leave spell slots unprepared and fill them later. A Rune Master who casts a spell prepared in rune form can cast it with out any somatic component. However, all spells cast from rune form automatically have a material component (the rune itself, made from magical ores). In casting the spell, the rune is erased from the tablet, just as a spell cast normally by a wizard is erased from his mind. A Rune Master cannot get around the runic material component by means of an ability or feat such as Eschew Materials, but instead must find new magical ore to be prepared through the ritual known as "Stone Cleansing".


Stone Cleansing (Ex): Stone Cleansing is a ritual dedicated to Moradin and Mystra that must be performed on a full moon closest to the autumnal equinox (Harvest Moon), or a full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year: either the third of four full moons in a season, or a second full moon in a month of the common calendar (Blue Moon). Magical ores gathered must be taken to the base of a mountain where a source of a river can be found, there the ores must be placed in the source of the water's flow, and bathed in it for 24 hours while the Rune Master enters a deep meditation, being denied food and drink. The Rune Master will know the time to rise by a singular melodic chime the ores will make, signifying that Mystra had blessed the ores with essence from the Weave, allowing them to carry on their elemental powers through crafting.

The following stones are desired for Runecrafting, due to their magical properties:

Amaratha: increases CL for energy resist spells

Beljuril: electricity descriptors

Black Opal: force descriptors

Black Sapphire: darkness descriptors

Diamond: increases CL for healing spells

Emerald: enchantments

Fire Opal: fire descriptors

Jacinth: fire descriptors

Jasmal: increases CL for spells that provide enhancements to armaments

King's Tear: divinations

Moonbar: conjuration (calling) spells

Opal: enchantment (charm) spells

Orblen: conjuration (creation) spells

Orl: chaotic descriptors and spells that provide luck bonuses

Ravenar: sonic descriptor

Red Tear: transmutation

Rogue Stone: teleportation and chaotic

Ruby: evocation

Sapphire: conjuraton (summoning)

Star Ruby: illusion

Star Sapphire: abjuration

Tomb Jade: enchantment (compulsion)

Water Opal: divination

Zendalure: necromancy

Rune Casting: The way in which a Rune Master channels magic through his or her runes. These pocket sized runes are considered ranged touch attack weapons, as the rune only needs to touch the target to activate their effect, unless the rune has a different trigger. A Rune Master can also use a rune in enchantment, imbuing the item with the rune itself, therefore transferring its magical nature over. Until 5th level, a Rune Master may only have one effect on a rune at any given time.

The saving throw of any runes is equal to 10 + your wisdom modifier + 1/2 your effective character level. The Table here: Runes explains how a character gains runic magic progression, though without the prerequisite requiring languages, as all runes will be crafted based on the character's language comprehension.

Runology: The study of Runes. If a Rune Master is using Stonecunning or Decipher Script, and the letters he is trying to replicate or understand have a history that date back to more prehistoric lettering (Hieroglyphics for example), then the Rune Master adds his class level in addition to his Stonecunning or Decipher Script skill.

Runes: All runes require knowledge, and as a result you must have at least one modifier point of Wisdom per rune. When you select to use Wisdom, the choice cannot be undone. Your total number of modifier points is how many runes you may learn from each category, and the number of runes you learn in this manner only applies to your base modifier.

Runes can be taken in place of spells, but you must still meet the prerequisite. When taken in place of spells, they can be taken in exchange for the highest available spell slot. You may not lower the level you exchange at later levels when you would normally be allowed to relearn or replace a spell of lesser power.

In order to create a rune, you must expend 1 magical ore, 1 stone tablet, and 1 artisan kit. The rune can be placed anywhere that these objects can normally be inscribed on, and if a rune is subject to being erased, the individual erasing it must make a sunder check (if done physically) or a caster level check (if done magically) with a DC equal to 10 + your wisdom or modifier; plus 1 if its a Minor Rune, plus 3 if its a Lesser Rune, plus 5 if its a Major Rune, and +8 if its a Greater Rune.

If taken in place of a spell, you may use a rune as many times per day as you would for that spell level as appropriate for your level.

Bonus Feats: At 2nd level, a Rune Master gets a bonus combat-oriented feat in addition to the feat that any 1st-level character gets and the bonus feat granted to a human character. The Rune Master gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd level and every three Rune Master levels thereafter (5th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 20th). These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats. A Rune Master must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. A Rune Master is limited to the list of fighter bonus feats when choosing these feats.

Runecraft Expertise (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a Rune Master gains a bonus equal to his class level on Appraise and Craft checks related to Runecrafting.

Herald of the Stone: At 3rd level, a Rune Master is blessed by Moradin and Mystra with a familiar from the following list:

|Giant Banded Lizard; Grants +5 Circumstance Bonus to saves vs magical effects and spellcasting.

|Giant Frilled Lizard; Grants +5 Circumstance Bonus to saves vs Poison and Diseases.

|Monitor Lizard; Grants an additional 60 ft of Darkvision.

|Riding Lizard; Grants ability to see through Magical Darkness.

Rune of Turning/Rebuking: At 4th level, through steady faith with their deities, Moradin and Mystra blessed the Hill Dwarves by granting them the ability to channel their divinity into runes to turn/rebuke undead. Any Rune Master is considered clerical, regardless of alignment, and therefore has the power to affect undead creatures by channeling the power of their faith through his holy (or unholy) symbol which in this case, are runes. A Rune Master who makes a Holy Rune may attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Wisdom modifier. A Rune Master with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.

Runecraft Mastering: When a Rune Master reaches 5th level, they gain Craft Magical Arms and Armor with Caster Level equal to the character's level. The Rune Master has the knowledge needed to bind a rune to weapons and armor using materials other than stone. When a Rune Master imbues runes into weapons and armor, they need to make a Craft (Rune) DC of 10 + Wisdom Modifier + The number of effects, which is now raised to two. This form of crafting is known as Enchantment, and imbuing runes into weapons and armor made this way automatically makes such armaments masterwork. If the Rune Master is making runes from materials outside of blessed stone tablets, they are still required to go through the Stone Cleansing ritual, and the magical properties of the material has an increased DC vs Dispel Magic by five.

Rune of Binding: At 10th Level, a Rune Master becomes a fearsome opponent as he's mastered the ability of mixing three magical ores together to create a Rune of Binding, which has the ability to force a creature’s life force (and its material body) into the rune itself.The rune holds the trapped entity indefinitely or until the rune is broken and the life force is released, which allows the material body to reform. The Rune of Binding is crafted with the trigger of touching or picking it up, which prompts an immediate Will Saving throw DC 10 + 1/2 character Level + Wisdom Modifer (without the benefit of spell resistance) that will automatically transfer the target's life force within the rune upon failure. The Rune of Binding acts as a pocket dimension that can fit up to five creatures, who once inside, must offer their services to the Rune Master in the form of a pledge to be freed of the Rune of Binding by the Rune Master. A Rune Master is immune to a Rune of Binding's effects made by them, but not by others.

Rune of Pacts: At 15th level and above, a Rune Master can enhance a Rune of Binding using Alchemical Silver and an Adamantine core to create a Rune of Pacts which binds a creature to entire area, instead of a deed. The Rune of Pacts can bind a creature to a 15 x 15 area where the DC to resist the Rune of Pact is the same the Rune of Binding with a +5 increase to base. The Rune of Pacts must be placed in the area in which the Rune Master wishes to bind a creature, and the creature must walk into the zone in order for the Rune of Pacts to trigger. Upon failure, the creature must enter a pact with the Rune Master to be free from its prison, or remain indefinitely; in this state of being, the creature does not age, nor do the require food, drink, bodily relief such as excreting waste or sleep.


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