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A skill originally developed by the dwarves and giants, the ability to create runes of power has spread beyond the hills and mountains. Those that choose to master this ability are runecasters, creating incredibly potent symbols that last for multiple uses and can be triggered without being touched. An established runecaster's goods are usually adorned with many runes, making his equipment very impressive-looking and a true threat to thieves.

Most runecasters are clerics or adepts because a majority of the practitioners of this ability are dwarves and giants. Some rangers and paladins have chosen to become runecasters, particularly since the Thundering has resulted in many young dwarves leaving home to explore the wilderness. A few rare druids have chosen the path of the runecaster as well, although generally only in areas where druids are so scarce that they have to rely on runes to protect a large area. Runecasting clerics and paladins use their abilities to protect their temples and holy items, while ranger runecasters use them to guard trails, lairs of threatened animals, and natural refuges.

Hit Die: d8.

Requirements: To qualify to become a runecaster (Rnc), a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd-level divine spells.

Skills: Spellcraft 8 ranks, Craft 8 ranks (see the Rune Magic section of Chapter 2: Magic for appropriate Craft skills).

Feats: Inscribe Rune.

Class Skills

The runecaster's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), and Spellcraft (Int). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the runecaster prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Runecasters gain no proficiency in any weapon or armor.

Spells per Day: A runecaster's training focuses on divine spells. Thus, when a new runecaster level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in whatever divine spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that he adds the level of runecaster to the level of whatever other divine spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day accordingly.

If a character had more than one divine spellcasting class before he became a runecaster, he must decide to which class he adds each level of runecaster for purposes of determining spells per day and caster level.

Rune Craft: Add this bonus to the runecaster's Craft checks made to inscribe runes.

Improved Runecasting: As a runecaster rises in level, he can create runes that function more than once and have different means of being triggered. The extra features increase the cost of the rune, however, as shown on the table below.

Works When Read or Passed: Any attempt to study, identify, or fathom a rune's meaning counts as "reading" the rune. Passing through a portal that bears a rune counts as "passing" the rune. A rune must have an unbroken line of effect to a target to affect that target, and the target must be within 30 feet.

A rune that is triggered when passed can be set to almost any special conditions the runecaster specifies. Runes can be set according to physical characteristics (such as height or weight) or creature type, subtype, or species (such as "drow" or "aberration"). Runes can also be set with respect to good, evil, law, or chaos, or patron deity. They cannot be set according to class, Hit Dice, or level. Runes respond to invisible creatures normally but are not triggered by those who travel past them ethereally. When placing a rune with a "pass" trigger, a runecaster can specify a password or phrase that protects a creature using it from triggering the rune.

Rune Power: For runes created by the runecaster, add this value to the DC of all saves and attempts to erase, dispel, or disable the rune, and to caster level checks to overcome the spell resistance of a target.

Maximize Rune: The runecaster can create runes that are maximized, as if under the effects of a Maximize Spell feat, without altering the level of the spell being used to create the rune. Maximizing a rune adds +5 to the DC of the Craft check required to inscribe it.

Rune Chant: Whenever the runecaster casts a divine spell, he may trace a rune in the air as an extra somatic component for the spell. This allows the runecaster to gain the benefit of his rune power ability for the spell. For spells with a casting time of 1 action, this increases the casting time to 1 full round. All other spells have their casting time increased by 1 round. This ability cannot be used on stilled spells, and it does not function with the maximize rune ability.

Number of Uses/Trigger

Runecaster Base Price

Level**

One

Spell level* x caster level x 50 gp

--

Charges†

Spell level* x caster level x charges x 50 gp

3

Charges per day†

Spell level* x caster level x charges x 400 gp

8

Permanent (until dispelled)††

Spell level* x caster level x 2,000 gp

8

Works when touched

Base cost

--

Works when read or passed

Base cost x 2

3

*A 0-level spell counts as 1/2 level.

**The minimum runecaster level to inscribe a rune of this type. "--" indicates the default ability granted by the Inscribe Rune feat.

†If the spell has a component or XP cost, add that cost times the number of charges to the base price of the rune.

††If the spell has a component or XP cost, add 100 times that cost to the base price of the rune.

Table 1-18: The Runecaster

Class
Level

Base
Attack
Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save

Special

Spells Per Day

1st

+0

+2

+0

+2

Rune craft +1

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

2nd

+1

+3

+0

+3

Rune power +1

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

3rd

+2

+3

+1

+3

Improved runecasting

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

4th

+3

+4

+1

+4

Rune craft +2

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

5th

+3

+4

+1

+4

Rune power +2

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

6th

+4

+5

+2

+5

Maximize rune

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

7th

+5

+5

+2

+5

Rune craft +3

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

8th

+6/+1

+6

+2

+6

Improved runecasting

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

9th

+6/+1

+6

+3

+6

Rune power +3

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

10th

+7/+2

+7

+3

+7

Rune chant

+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

Go to the April Realmswatch main page for more of information about secret societies in the new Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting or the Forgotten Realms main news page for more articles and news about the Forgotten Realms game setting.



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