Rune Carver

Rune Carvers descend from a long line of individuals who, through diligent study, have discovered how to harness the power of a rare form of magic. Instead of casting spells, Rune Carvers utilize their arcane understanding to inscribe runes. They use runes as a conduit to deliver devastating and debilitating magical effects on the battlefield, combining the might of a warrior and the utility of a spellcaster.

Runic Apprentice

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn to create runes that are fueled by runic charges.

Runes. You can prepare 3 runes, which are detailed under “Runes” below. You can change your list of prepared runes when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of runes requires time spent studying the rare form of magic and memorizing the gestures you must make to inscribe them: at least 10 minutes per rune.

You can prepare two additional runes of your choice at 7th, 10th, and 15th level.

Runic Charges. You have a number of runic charges equal to your Intelligence modifier + half of your proficiency bonus rounded down, minimum 1. You gain a new charge any time this number increases. You regain any expended uses after a long rest.

Creating Runes. You may expend 1 runic charge to place a rune which you have prepared. You may place a rune at a location within 5 feet of you, and you must use your hand to do so. Each rune's description indicates where that specific rune can be placed, as well as how long the rune is active for.

If you want to place a rune on an unwilling creature, they can attempt to avoid it by making a Dexterity saving throw equal to your runic save DC. If they succeed on the save, the rune is lost and a charge is expended.

If a rune is placed on a ranged weapon, anything fired from the ranged weapon carries the effect of the rune and shall be considered a ‘weapon’ in this context.

Multiple runes can be placed at the same time, but they must be different runes. If you fall unconscious, any placed runes will dissipate.

Runes take the form of runic symbols and glow lightly when they are placed. A creature can see a placed rune with a passive Perception or an Investigation check equal to your runic save DC.

Empowered Runes. Each rune has an empowered variation, which enhances the runic ability in some way. When placing a rune, you may instead expend 3 runic charges to use the empowered version.

Saving Throws. Some of the runes require your target to make a saving throw to resist the rune’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Runic save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Runic Study

At 3rd level, you gain proficiency in the Arcana skill.

Runes

The runes are presented in alphabetical order.

Absorb (Requirement: creature)

As a bonus action, place a protective rune. The next time the bearer of the rune is attacked by a weapon, spell, or damaging effect, the rune automatically attempts to absorb the damage. The damage is reduced by 1d10 + your Intelligence modifier + your Fighter level. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or after its effect is activated.

Empowered. When the rune dissipates, the absorbed damage briefly flows through the body of the rune’s bearer. Until the end of the bearer’s next turn, that creature’s first melee attack gains a bonus to damage equal to the damage that was absorbed. The extra damage is force damage.

Elemental (Requirement: weapon)

As a bonus action, place an elemental rune. Choose between fire, cold, or lightning when you place this rune, and the targeted weapon is imbued with this element. The next time a creature takes the attack action with this weapon, it deals an additional 1d6 of that damage type on each attack. This damage increases to 1d8 at 5th level, 1d10 at 11th level, and 1d12 at 17th level. In addition, choose one creature that you hit with this attack. They must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or suffer an effect based on the damage type chosen. Fire: the creature is set on fire. It takes 1d6 damage at the end of each of its turns until it uses an action to put the fire out (no check required). Cold: the creature is frozen to the ground. Its speed becomes zero for 1 minute or until it uses an action to break free (no check required). Lightning: the creature is stunned until the end of your next turn. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or after the attack action is taken with this weapon.

Empowered. You may instead choose any number of creatures that you hit during that attack action to make a Constitution saving throw or suffer the respective effect.

Ethereal Anchor (Requirement: weapon)

As a bonus action, place a tethering rune. The next attack to hit a medium or smaller creature with this weapon causes an ethereal chain to bind the target within 10 feet of the ground directly beneath it. If this ability targets a creature that is more than 10 feet off of the ground, that creature must make a Strength saving throw or be dragged 20 feet downwards by the chain, taking appropriate fall damage. A creature can use an action to attempt to break the chain with a Strength check equal to your runic save DC. The chain dissipates after 1 minute or when it is broken.

Empowered. The target is instead bound within 5 feet of the anchor point, and it can now affect a large or smaller creature. If this ability targets a creature that is more than 10 feet off of the ground, that creature must make a Strength saving throw or now be dragged 40 feet downwards by the chain, taking appropriate fall damage.

Gravitational Pull (Requirement: creature, weapon, object, or nonmagical surface)

As a bonus action, place a gravitational rune. Excluding you, all creatures within 5 feet of the rune have disadvantage on melee attack rolls as the rune’s gravitational pull disrupts their attacks. The rune dissipates after 1 minute.

Empowered. The gravitational pull becomes more powerful. Excluding you, all creatures within 10 feet of the rune now have disadvantage on melee attack rolls and count as being in rough terrain, as the gravity weighs them down.

Hard Light Wall (Requirement: nonmagical surface)

As a bonus action, place a defensive rune. As part of the same bonus action, a transparent, 10 foot by 10 foot wall appears. You decide the orientation of the wall when it is created, but it must be attached to the surface that the rune was placed on. This rune has no effect if there is not enough space for the wall to appear. No attacks, magical effects, or creatures can pass through the wall. A creature behind the wall receives total cover. The wall has an AC of 0 and hit points equal to 5 times your Fighter level. The wall dissipates after 1 minute or when the wall’s hit points are reduced to 0.

Empowered. As a bonus action, you can move the wall up to 10 feet. At the end of the wall’s movement, it must be attached to a nonmagical surface. In addition, when moving the wall you can decide to change its orientation.

Recall (Requirement: weapon or an object that weighs 10 pounds or less)

As a bonus action, place a homing rune. As a bonus action, you can recall the target to you if it is within 30 feet if you. When you do so, it becomes ethereal and travels in a straight line towards you. As it does so, it passes through any non-magical structure. Each creature in its path must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take force damage equal to its weapon damage (if it is a weapon) or 1d4 force damage (if it is an object). Your damage modifier is not applied. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or after its effect is activated.

Empowered. The recalling target deals an additional 1d4 force damage to each creature it hits. This damage increases to 1d6 at 5th level, 1d8 at 11th level, and 1d10 at 17th level. Additionally, you can now recall the target if it is within 60 feet of you.

Redirect (Requirement: creature)

As a bonus action, place an energy-disrupting rune. When a 3rd level or lower spell targets only the bearer of the rune, the spellcaster must make a Wisdom saving throw or be forced to choose a new target within range. If no other creature is in range, the spell cannot be cast. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or until its effect is activated.

Empowered. This ability now works on spells that are 4th level or higher.


Retaliation (Requirement: creature)

As a bonus action, place an unstable rune. The first melee attack from a medium or smaller creature to hit the bearer of the rune causes the attacking creature to be pushed back 10 feet. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If this ability causes the creature to be knocked into a surface or another creature, both take 1d6 bludgeoning damage. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or after its effect is activated.

Empowered. This ability now affects a large or smaller creature, and knocks the creature back 20 feet. In addition, if this ability causes the creature to be knocked into a surface or another creature, both now take 2d6 bludgeoning damage.

Seismic Blast (Requirement: weapon)

As a bonus action, place a forceful rune. The next attack made with this weapon that hits a creature causes a blast of energy to be pushed through the target. That creature takes an additional 1d4 force damage. The extra force damage increases to 1d6 at 5th level, 1d8 at 11th level, and 1d10 at 17th level. Additionally, a medium or smaller creature must make a Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or when its effect is activated.

Empowered. This ability can now affect a large or smaller creature. Also, in addition to the creature that is hit by the attack, all creatures in a 15-foot cone behind them take the extra force damage and must make a Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Shift (Requirement: creature, weapon, object, or nonmagical surface)

As a bonus action, place a space-altering rune. As a bonus action, you can teleport to the location of the rune if it is within 30 feet of you. When you do so, choose a space within 5 feet of the rune to appear. You cannot teleport if no space is available within 5 feet of the rune. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or once its effect is activated.

Empowered. If the rune is placed on a medium or smaller creature or an object that weighs 10 pounds or less, you can instead choose to swap places with the creature or object if it is within 30 feet of you. If the creature is unwilling it can attempt to make a Wisdom saving throw to avoid the effect.

Spectral Extension (Requirement: melee weapon)

As a bonus action, place a spectral rune. The next time the attack action is taken with this weapon, its range is increased by 5 feet for the duration of the action. This bonus is only applied to melee attacks. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or after the attack action is taken with this weapon.

Empowered. The weapon's range is instead increased by 5 feet, then doubled.

Strength of the Swift (Requirement: weapon)

As a bonus action, place a necrotic rune. For every creature that the weapon damages that has their maximum number of hit points, it gains an additional 1d4 necrotic damage on future attacks. This bonus can only be applied once per creature. This damage increases to 1d6 at 11th level and 1d8 at 17th level. The extra damage and rune dissipate 1 minute after this rune is placed.

Empowered. While this rune is active, the wielder of the weapon no longer provokes attacks of opportunity.

Tracker (Requirement: creature, weapon, object, or nonmagical surface)

As a bonus action, place a tracking rune. As an action, you can concentrate on the rune. You know the general direction of the rune for 1 minute. This rune dissipates after 8 hours, after its ability is activated, or if you decide to dissipate the rune (no action required).

Empowered. You instead know the exact location of the rune for 1 minute.

Trip Mine (Requirement: unoccupied nonmagical surface)

As a bonus action, place an explosive rune. Excluding you, the first creature to enter a space within 5 feet of the rune sets off an explosion. All creatures within 5 feet of the rune take 2d6 force damage. This damage increases to 2d8 at 5th level, 2d10 at 11th level, and 2d12 at 17th level. This rune dissipates after 1 minute or when its ability is activated.

Empowered. Once this rune is activated, it now affects all creatures within 10 feet of the rune. In addition, it emits a bright flash of light upon activation. All affected creatures must make a Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the end of your next turn.

Vacuum (Requirement: creature, weapon, object, or nonmagical surface)

As a bonus action, place a wind rune. You can choose to activate this rune immediately or as a bonus action on a subsequent turn. When activated, all creatures within 20 feet of the rune must make a Strength saving throw or be pulled 10 feet towards it. On a save, they are instead pulled 5 feet. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or when its effect is activated.

Empowered. All creatures within 30 feet of the rune must make a Strength saving throw or be pulled 20 feet towards it. On a save, they are instead pulled 10 feet.

Vampiric (Requirement: weapon)

As a bonus action, place a life-leeching rune. The next time the attack action is taken with this weapon, the wielder of the weapon gains half of the damage dealt back as health for the duration of the action. The healing cannot exceed the wielder’s hit point maximum. The rune dissipates after 1 minute or after the attack action has been taken with this weapon.

Empowered. The wielder of the weapon instead receives all of the damage dealt during that attack action back as health.

Runic Divergence

Starting at 7th level, your mastery of runes has allowed you to learn a new ability. Choose one of the following options.

Runic Projection. When placing a rune, you may expend an additional runic charge to place the rune at a distance. Choose a location within 30 feet of you that you can see. The rune travels from your hand to that location. If the target is an unwilling creature, they can make a Dexterity saving throw in an attempt to avoid it.

Runic Fusion. When placing a rune, you may choose to combine the effects of two runes into one. When you do so, choose two runes that can be placed on the desired creature, weapon, object, or surface. When you place the rune, it has the effects of both of the runes you chose. If the effects of the rune occur at the same time, you may choose the order in which they activate. You can combine runes and empowered runes in any combination you wish. The cost of placing a combined rune is equal to the number of runic charges of both chosen runes + 1.

Runic Proficiency

At 10th level, your increased practice in creating difficult runes allows you to craft them with ease.

Placing an empowered rune now expends only two runic charges.

Runic Efficiency

Starting at 15th level, you have become an expert at using your new ability. Using Runic Projection or Runic Fusion no longer expends an extra runic charge.

Runic Mastery

At 18th level, you have acquired mastery over runic magic.

You can choose to regain half of your total runic charges, rounded down, when taking a short rest.

You can use this feature once. You regain an expended use when you finish a long rest.

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