A dwarf scribes glowing runes in the air, calling to the divine power in him and the very air, before sacred fire flares into life. An approaching skeleton is incinerated by holy fire as the rune triggers, and the runecaster just smiles before his companions rush past, bolstered by his divine runes inscribed on their armor and weapons.
A smith brings her hammer down again on a piece of steel slowly taking shape into a sword. With each beat of her hammer, the steel bends to her will, and runic magic is pounded into the metal, imbuing it with a lasting enchantment. When her companion later uses the weapon, striking back at an orc, the enchantment triggers and the blade electrocutes the enemy, dropping it to the floor of the dungeon.
Runepriests are divine casters that have learned the signs to craft their divine magic into ancient runes, the sigils stemming from ancient Giant and Dwarven alphabets. While very similar to the other seekers of divine power, clerics and paladins, runepriests are more the crafting branch of the churches. They shape the power gifted through prayers into items and enchantments for either them or their companions to use. They can still be deadly in combat though,when they eventually venture beyond their sacred forges and libraries to have the chance to discover long-forgotten runes, the runic magic they use calculated and explosive.
Creating a Runepriest
As you create a runepriest, the most important question to consider is where your knowledge and divine power derives from. It can come from a deity or from a principle of the universe itself, such as Knowledge or Justice. Check with your DM to learn which deities are in your campaign, or which principles of the universe you could choose as the patron of your knowledge.
Once you’ve chosen that, consider your runepriest’s relationship to that principle or deity. Did you reach out to the deity for knowledge, or perhaps did you find an ancient rune in some book hidden deep in a library, or perhaps carved into a buried stone that has just been unearthed. Perhaps an idea came in the depth of night, a forgotten rune worming its way into your mind while you slept. Also consider your ultimate goals, whether you want to be a master craftsman, a renowned warrior, or a knowledgeable scribe.
You can make a runepriest quickly by following these suggestions. First, Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by Strength or Constitution. Second, choose either acolyte, hermit, or sage backgrounds.
As a Runepriest you gain the following class features.
- Hit Dice: 1d8 per Runepriest level
- Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
- Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Runepriest level after 1st
- Armor: All Armor
- Weapons: Simple Weapons
- Tools: Smith's Tools, Woodcarver’s Tools
- Saving Throws: Strength, Wisdom
- Skills: Choose three from Athletics, History, Intimidation, Perception, Religion, Survival
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) mace or (b) warhammer(If Proficient)
- (a) chain shirt or (b) chain mail
- (a) an explorer's pack or (b) a dungeoneer's pack
- (a) smith's tools or (a) woodcarver's tools
As a conduit for runic power, you can cast Cleric spells drawn from the Cleric list.
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Features||Rune Magic Level||Rune Slots||Cantrips Known||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th|
|1st||+2||Runic Path, Spellcasting||-||-||2||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement, Runic Path feature||1||1||3||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement, Runic Path feature||2||2||3||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement, Runic Path Feature||4||4||4||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|14th||+5||Rune Carving Improvement||5||4||4||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||—||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement, Runic Path Feature||5||5||4||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|18th||+6||Rune Blessed Forge||6||6||4||4||3||3||3||3||1||1||1||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||6||6||4||4||3||3||3||3||2||1||1||1|
At 1st level, you know two cantrips of your choice from the cleric spell list. You learn additional Cleric cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown on the Cantrips Known column of the Runepriest table. Please note, that you must pick which ones you do know, as you do not have access to the entire list like normal spells
Preparing and Casting Spells
The Runepriest table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest. You prepare the list of Cleric spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from among the Cleric spell list. When you do so, choose a number of Cleric spells equal to your Wisdom modifier + your Runepriest level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest.
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for Runepriest spells. The power of your spells come from divine runes. You can use your Wisdom whenever a Runepriest spell refers to your Spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your a Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a Runepriest spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell Save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
You can use a holy symbol (see Adventuring Gear), a mace or warhammer as a spellcasting focus for your Runepriest spells
Rune magic is the magic that you will get as you become more powerful. At third level, you gain the ability to use runes. You can scribe spells into runes starting at level 3, and the level of spell corresponds to your level of Rune Magic. Each rune expends a rune slot slot. You regain all rune slots when you finish a long rest.
Beginning at 6th level, you can carve a rune you know into an object. This expends a rune slot and lasts for a number of days equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). At 14th level, the rune carved will last a number of weeks equal to your wisdom modifier.
Rune Blessed Forge
Beginning at 18th level, you may add a rune to any item weapon or armor you are crafting. The rune only affects the wielder or wearer. The item is counted as magical if it is not already.
- Rune of Radiance: When a Rune of Radiance is on a weapon, it deals one more damage die of radiant damage. When it is on armor, the wearer gains resistance to radiant damage.
- Rune of Poison: When a Rune of Poison is on a weapon, it deals one more damage die of poison damage. When it is on armor, the wearer gains resistance to poison damage.
- Rune of Acid: When a Rune of Acid is on a weapons, it deals one more damage die of acid damage. When it is on armor, the wearer gains resistance to acid damage.
- Rune of Fire: When a Rune of Fire is on a weapon, it deals one more damage die of fire damage. When it is on armor, the wearer gains resistance to fire damage.
- Rune of Force: When a Rune of Force is on a weapon, it deals one more damage die of force damage. When it is on armor, the wearer gains resistance to force damage.
- Rune of Lightning: When a Rune of Lightning is on a weapon, it deals one more damage die of lightning damage. When it is on armor, the wearer gains resistance to lightning damage.
- Rune of Necrosis: When a Rune of Necrosis is on a weapon, it deals one more damage die of necrotic damage. When it is on armor, the wearer gains resistance to necrotic damage.
- Rune of Psychic Power: When a Rune of Psychic Power is on a weapon, it deals one more damage die of psychic damage. When it is on armor, the wearer gains resistance to psychic damage.
- Rune of Thunder: When a Rune of Thunder is on a weapon, it deals one more damage die of thunder damage. When it is on armor, the wearer gains resistance to thunder damage.
When you reach 20th level, the time, material, and costs of inscribing runes is halved. Any rune you carve is now reusable and is no longer destroyed upon triggering. Such permanent runes can be triggered once per short rest.
These are the runic paths. You may select one at level 1.
Path of the Defiant Word
Through your study of runic magic, you've learned some of the ancient words of power, and can infuse that knowledge into your own magic and equipment, as well as other's equipment.
At 1st level, you learn the Mending cantrip. It does not count towards cantrips known.
Beginning at 1st level, whenever a creature misses you with an attack, you gain advantage on attacks against him.
Beginning at 4th level, you can spend an hour inscribing your armor with protective runes. For each hour you spend inscribing runes into your armor or clothing, you may increase your AC by 1, up to your Wisdom modifier. The temporary runes last a number of days equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1).
Enhanced Runic Armor
Beginning at 8th level, your runic protection can be extended to others. You can spend an hour inscribing runes into another’s armor or clothing, and may increase their AC by 1, up to your Wisdom modifier. The temporary runes last a number of days equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1).
Runic Word of Protection
Beginning at 12th level, you can invoke the runic word of protection. This lasts for one minute. While this lasts, allies within 15' of you gain resistance from non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. Once you use this, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
Runic Word of Healing
Beginning at 16th level, you can invoke the runic word of healing. This lasts for one minute. While this lasts, allies within 15' of you regain 2d6 health points every round. Once used, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
Path of the Wrathful Hammer
Through your knowledge of ancient runes, you've learned to twist the power into your strikes, empowering your blows with runic strikes.
You gain proficiency with the warhammer
The Mark of the Wrathful
Beginning at 1st level, using a bonus action, you may mark an enemy that has successfully caused damage to you in battle. When you attack said enemy you may add your wisdom modifier to your damage roll. You can only mark one enemy at a time, but you may move the mark around from enemy to enemy
Beginning at 4th level, when attacking with a weapon you’re proficient with, you may add your Wisdom modifier to your attack rolls along with your normal bonuses.
Runic Word of Destruction
Beginning at 8th level, you can invoke the runic word of destruction. This lasts for one minute. While this lasts, allies within 15ft of you gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. Once you use this, you can't use it again until you finish a long.
Beginning at 12th level, when you hit with a weapon you’re proficient with, you may add your Wisdom modifier to your damage rolls.
Runic Word of Wrath
Beginning at 16th level, you can invoke the runic word of wrath. This lasts for one minute. While this lasts, You deal an extra 2d6 damage with whatever weapon you're wielding. Once you use this, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
You may reference the Cleric Spell List for carving spells into runes. You may carve runes into rocks or pieces of metal. Once the Rune is used, depending on the spell used, the material maybe lost. You must spend at least 1 minutes per level of the spell, carving the rune into the material during a long rest. You must not be interrupted, if you are interrupted you lose the material and must start over with new material. Please note that not every spell will work as a rune, please consult your DM about Spells you want to use before using them. DM FIAT applies here.
Work with your DM about creating new Runes and what they can do.