Runic Swordsman (3.5e Class)

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Runic Swordsman[edit]

Runic Swordsmen (and women) utilize the power of primordial runes to empower their weapons, armor, and allies in battle.

Making a Runic Swordsman[edit]

While they lack the strongest defenses, they possess a number of supporting abilities that act primarily as a force multiplier for larger groups, but can aid in healing and damage for smaller parties.

Abilities: INT bonus adds to the number of runes available per encounter, as well as effect radius for support runes; STR aids in damage dealing capability, DEX for those who prefer ranged combat, and CON promotes survivability.

Races: Typically, only the more educated and inquisitive races are attracted to the study of runes, but all races have those few who have the drive to rise above their established norms.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: As Paladin.

Starting Age: As fighter.

Table: The Runic Swordsman

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Elementary Runecraft, Inscription 1/day, Read Magic
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Bonus Feat
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Hasty Runecraft, Inscription 2/day
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Simple Runecraft
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Inscription 3/day |
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Inscription 4/day
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Swift Runecraft
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Inscription 5/day
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Lesser Runecraft
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Inscription 6/day
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Runic Inversion
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Inscription 7/day
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Greater Runecraft, Inscription 8/day |
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Runic Branding |
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Inscription 9/day
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Inscription 10/day
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 True Runecraft

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex),Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Runecraft) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

The Runic Swordsman uses his/her abilities to enhance the capabilities of their allies, or to fill in for a downed ally in a pinch, or to boost themselves if there's nobody else around to do the job. Later, they can also sap the strength of their foes. All of the following are class features of the Runic Swordsman.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:The Runic Swordsman is proficient in all simple and martial weapons, as well as one exotic weapon of his/her choice, to be chosen upon character creation. A Runic Swordsman is proficient with light and medium armor, and light shields.


Elementary Runecraft (Sp): A basic understanding of the runic manifestations of concepts allows the Runic Swordsman to trace a rune upon the ground at his/her feet. The range affected by these runes is 5ft +5ft per INT modifier. Runes can be affected by the Permanency spell. These runes may be used a number of times per encounter equal to 1/2 the Rune Swordsman's level (rounded down) + int modifier. Runes take a standard action to make, and last for a number of rounds equal to Runic Swordsman level + INT modifier. Affected areas of runes may overlap, but only one rune may exist in any 5ft square. Any rune effect requiring a save are DC (10 + 1/2 Runic Swordsman level (rounded up) + INT modifier).This provokes an attack of opportunity. Knowledge of elementary runecraft requires Knowledge: Runecraft lv3 or higher, and allows the following runes to be used:

Shelter: Allies within the affected area of this rune receive a magical +1 deflection bonus to AC

Awareness: Allies within the affected area of this rune receive a +3 bonus to Spot, Listen, and Search checks.

Courage: Allies within the affected area of this rune receive a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls.

Inscription (Sp): A Runic Swordsman may etch a rune into a piece of armor or weapon to enhance it with a +1 effect of his/her choice. The inscription lasts for 24 hours and cannot be changed until it wears off. The Rune Swordsman may inscribe an additional item per day every odd level, totaling 10 inscriptions/day at lv 19. However, for each subsequent inscription affecting a single person, the price of the inscription doubles. For example, a Rune Swordsman with 7 inscriptions per day may provide a single inscription for himself and 6 allies, 2 inscriptions for himself and an ally ([1+2] + [1+2]) with one inscription left over, or 3 inscriptions for himself alone (1+2+4). These inscriptions may be affected by the Permanency spell.

Read Magic (Sp): Due to the Runic Swordsman's experience with the most fundamental forms of magic, he/she may, a number of times per Runic Swordsman level, cast Read Magic as a spell-like ability.

Hasty Runecraft (Ex): With a successful Knowledge: Runecraft check (DC12), the Runic Swordsman may use a move action vice a standard action to make a rune.

Simple Runecraft (Sp): A Knowledge: Runecraft of lv8 allow access to the following runes:

Recovery: All allies within the affected area of the rune receive the effect of Fast Healing 2.

Haze: All allies within the affected area of the rune receive the effect of Blur.

Struggle: All allies within the affected area of the rune receive a +2 to saving throws.

Swift Runecraft (Ex): With a successful Knowledge: Runecraft check (DC15), the Runic Swordsman may use a Swift action vice a standard action to make a rune, and placing a rune no longer provokes an attack of opportunity.

Lesser Runecraft (Sp): A Knowledge: Runecraft of lv13 allow access to the following runes:

Energy: Allies within the affected area of the rune deal 1d6 energy damage of the energy type of the Runic Swordsman's choosing.

Shield: Allies within the affected area of the rune receive the benefit of Deflect Arrows except there is no limit to the number of projectiles deflected per round, and a free hand is not required.

Stoic: Allies within the affected area of the rune receive the benefit of Damage Reduction 2/-.

Runic Inversion (Sp): The Runic Swordsman's runes now affect enemies in the opposite manner they affect allies. I.E. Shield causes incoming projectiles to gain the SRD:Seeking trait, Recovery causes enemies to lose 2hp/turn, and Courage imparts a -1 penalty to enemy attack and damage.

Greater Runecraft (Sp): A Knowledge: Runecraft of lv18 allow access to the following runes:

Pierce: Allies within the affected area of the rune ignore up to 5 points of enemy damage reduction.

Sanctum: Allies within the affected area of the rune receive the benefit of Sanctuary.

Swift: Allies within the affected area of the rune receive the benefit of Haste.

Runic Branding (Sp): The Runic Swordsman may now place a rune on himself, an ally, or an enemy (enemy requires successful touch attack) instead of the ground. Only one rune may be placed per person in this manner.

True Runecraft (Sp): A Knowledge: Runecraft of lv23 allow access to the following runes, and there is no longer a limit on number of runes per encounter:

Life: Allies within the affected area of the rune receive the benefit of Regenerate each round they occupy the area.

Death: Allies within the affected area of the rune receive the benefit of Vorpal weapons, even if they would not normally be able to possess the trait.

Immortality: designated targets within the area of the rune receive the effect of Resurrection. This rune will also not allow living beings to reach -10 hp while under its effect.



Epic Runic Swordsman[edit]

Table: The Epic <-class name->

Hit Die: d<-Die size for Hit Die->

Level Special
21st Inscribe 11/day.
22nd Runic Merging
23rd Inscribe 12/day
24th
25th Inscribe 13/day
26th Double rune
27th Inscribe 14/day
28th
29th Inscribe 15/day
30th Omni-rune

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Runic Merging: The Runic Swordsman my now place 2 runes in the same 5ft square

Double Rune: The Runic Swordsman may now place 2 runes in the same action

Omni-rune: The runic swordsman may, once per day, place a single rune that grants the combined effects of all known runes.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Runic Swordsman[edit]

Religion: Rune Swordsmen understand the gods differently than most, due to their knowledge of the fundamental energies of the universe. A Rune Swordsman may choose a deity that appeals to his/her values, but is unlikely to fervently worship any deity as much as to simply admire one.

Other Classes: The Runic Swordsman gets along well with most classes, due to his/her flexible nature. Those who distrust magic, however, such as barbarians, might take a while to warm up to a Runic Swordsman.

Combat: A Runic Swordsman's primary role is the strategic placement of runes on the battlefield to maximize benefit to the party. If caught alone, he/she can still be somewhat effective, but the ability to place multiple runes may be severely hindered.

Advancement: Due to the Runic Swordsman's flexible nature, it may help to broaden the repertoire of other support classes, such as bard.

Runic Swordsmen in the World[edit]

The world is so very simple, when you really break it down...
—Oschon, Half Elf Runic Swordsman

Runic Swordsmen seem a little out of place in either of the two places they are most likely found: a stout warrior perusing ancient dissertations on the composition of magic, or a contemplative scholar out on the training fields. Runic Swordsmen highly value teamwork, and understand that boosting the abilities of several allies brings more to a battle than any single combatant. As such, they are highly social, and are much more willing than most to share their knowledge (whether or not the listener understands is typically irelevent).

Daily Life: Typical mornings involve martial practice, creation of runes, and gaining experience while fighting under their various effects. Evenings consist of contemplative study of runic theory, and tactical and strategic application of runes.

Notables: Oschon, Half Elf Runic Swordsman, and founder of the College of Runic Arts, the premier runic study and training facility.

Organizations: College of Runic Arts, the premier runic study and training facility.

NPC Reactions: Layfolk basically consider Runic Swordsmen as highly educated fighters, though knowledge of their actual abilities is more rumor than fact.

Runic Swordsman Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge: Runecraft can research Runic Swordsmen to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge: Runecraft
DC Result
5 Rune Swordsmen use symbols to create magic effects.
10 Rune swordsmen must study and understand runes in order to use them.
15 Powerful Rune Swordsmen and their allies are nearly immortal.
20 Information about a particular Runic Swordsman.

Runic Swordsmen in the Game[edit]

Since they aren't terribly uncommon, A party could easily run into a Runic Swordsman on the road, and his/her thirst for knowledge resulting in a permanent addition, and since their talents are only apparent during battle, almost any npc of a martial profession may turn out to be a Runic Swordsman.

Adaptation: Sword might be in the name, but there are no gear-dependent abilities, making this class very easy to adapt to any campaign.



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