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Wargamer
2013-03-03, 09:27 AM
Note before Reading: To ensure that feedback is useful and relevant to the campaign this is intended for, please make the following assumptions when giving feedback:
1) Players have access to the Players Handbook (and this class) Only. No other splatbooks.
2) No Wizards or Sorcerers are in the campaign.

I posted this up on the forums I usually haunt, but it seems we're lacking in D&D fans so I came somewhere else to get some feedback! :smallbiggrin:

The class (and the Prestige Classes when I post them) are based on Runescape, just so you know. As such, certain class features assume you are basing the campaign on Runescape's cosmology. Naturally, these would be changed if you're making your own campaign settings with Runecasters in.


RUNECASTER (v2.0)
Runecasters are wizards schooled in Runecasting; the art of manipulating arcane runes to conjure spell-like abilities. In Gielinor or other worlds where prepared casting is rare (or absent altogether), a Runecaster may be known as a Wizard or Mage. However, they are closer to Rogues than true Wizards; their spellcasting is little more than the manipulation of magically charged items.

Runecasting is by its nature limited to specific combinations of rune. Very few Runecasters have enough true arcane knowledge to discover new spells for themselves, and so the collective spellbook of Runecasters is limited. Most Runecasters focus on four schools of magic: affliction; destruction; enchantment or telekinesis, though more experienced Runecasters have knowledge in all of these disciplines.

Adventuring Runecasters typically serve to provide their party with direct damage in the form of their combat runespells, or else to hinder their enemies via Afflictions. If things turn ugly, an experienced Runecaster can quickly whisk the party away back to Lumbridge or some other safe haven. Compared to the true casters out in the Planescape, a Runecaster has a much more limited set of spells, but because they do not draw from their own inner power for most of their spells they can continue casting long after a Wizard or Sorcerer has exhausted their daily allotment of spells.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Dice: D6.

SKILLS:
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decypher Script (Int), Knowledge (all, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill points at 1st level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier.


Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Runecasting, Magic Strike
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Lesser Confusion.
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Lesser Weaken.
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Magic Bolt, Lesser Curse.
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Lesser Bind.
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Lesser Teleport.
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Magic Blast
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Telekinetic Grab, Improved Confusion.
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Improved Weaken.
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Improved Curse.
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Improved Bind.
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Magic Wave, Greater Teleport.
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Teleport Object.
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Greater Confusion.
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Greater Weaken.
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Magic Surge, Teleport Block.
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Plane Shift.
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Meteor Swarm.

CLASS FEATURES
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Runecasters are proficient with all simple weapons, light & medium armour and shields (except tower shields).

Runecasting(Su):
Runecasters are spontaneous casters, and all Runespells are treated as Arcane Spells for all intents and purposes.
To cast a Runespell, the Runecaster must have an Intelligence score of at least 10. If her Intelligence score falls below this for any reason she can no-longer channel the runes. More powerful runespells require higher Intelligence scores to cast.
Runespells fall three catogories: Combat, Affliction and Telekinetic. All Runespells have a material component (runes) and a verbal component. Silent Spell removes the verbal requirement and increases the Intelligence requirement of the spell by one.

Unless stated otherwise, all Runespells have a range of 25ft + 5ft per two Runecaster levels. The DC for Runespells is 10 + the caster's Int modifier + 1/2 their runecaster level.

Spell Failure:
A Runecaster only applies Arcane Spell Failure from armour if using metal armour (metal interferes with the runes). A Runecaster ignores Arcane Spell Failure caused by armour made from non-Metallic materials, such as leather or wood.

Runecasters and Item Creation Feats:
Item Creation feats function differently for Runecasters than they do other spellcasters. As such, the following rules apply:

Brew Potion: The Runecaster can apply Confusion, Weaken, Curse or Bind to a potion, treating the result as a poison in all respects. The caster level for materials and xp costs is equal to a 4th level spell, and only the base variants can be used (not the Improved or Greater versions), though the enhanced duration still applies.
A Runecaster can choose to use his own potions as a projectile weapon (range increment 20ft) requiring a ranged touch attack. She is proficient with throwing her own potions.

Craft Runewand: Instead of creating normal wands, a Runecaster with this Feats can construct a Runewand. This is a simple light melee weapon (D4 damage) that can be given an Enchantment bonus as per other Magic weapons. It may not be given any other bonuses, such as Keen, Flaming, etc. This Enchantment Bonus is added to any Combat Runespell cast through the Wand.
If they have the Runes available, a Runecaster may spend eight hours imbuing a wand with charges of up to fifty Combat Spells they know how to cast. Strike spells take up one slot, bolt spells take up two slots, Blast take up three, Waves take up four and Surges take up five. The runes required to cast these spells are consumed upon imbuing the wand.
A Runecaster may make use of spells imbued into a wand by another caster so long as they meet the prerequesits to casting said spell.

Craft Runestaff: A Runecaster may take this Feat providing he has a Caster Level of five or higher. This functions as per Craft Runewand save that it produces a two handed simple melee weapon (D6 damage). A Runestaff is treated as a Wand in all respects save that it must be imbued in order for the Runecaster to cast spells (unless they have the Focused Runecaster Feat).
Runespells cast with a Runestaff have a range of 25ft + 5ft per Runecaster level. This range is determined by the user of the Runestaff, not the creator.

Craft Magic Arms & Armour: A Runecaster may only bestow Enchantment Bonuses to arms and armour they create. They may not bestow special abilities such as Flaming.

Craft Scroll: A Runecaster may only create Scrolls of Teleportation. They must have access to Lesser Teleport and must consume the runes required to reach the chosen destination when making the scroll. Using the scroll requires a Use Magic Item check if the user is not a Runecaster capable of cassing Lesser Teleport. The scroll allows the user to cast the appropriate Lesser Teleport with an Effective Castor Level equal to the creator of the scroll.

No other Item Creation Feats may be used by a Runecaster.

Combat Runespell(Su):
A Combat Runespell is a ranged touch attack that may be cast as a standard action. Runecasters with a sufficiently high Base Attack Bonus may cast multiple Combat Runespells as part of a full round action.
All Combat Runespells gain +1 damage per Runecaster level, up to the maximum listed in the "Bonus" column. The Effective Spell Level (ESL) states what equivalent spell level the Runespell has. For example: a Bolt spell is considered a 3rd level Spell.


Class Int Req Damage Dice Bonus ESL Material Component
Strike 10 D8 +1 1st Elemental Runes.
Bolt 12 2D6 +5 3rd Elemental Runes.
Blast 14 2D8 +10 5th Elemental Runes.
Wave 16 2D10 +15 7th Elemental Runes.
Surge 18 3D10 +20 9th Elemental Runes.

Affliction Runespell(Su):
The spells listed below are classed as Affliction Runespells. The number of Afflictions you may cast per day is equal to 1 + your Int modifier (minimum 1). Afflictions are Ranged Touch Attacks with a duration of 1 minute per caster level. Victims may negate the effect of an Affliction with a successful Will Save.

Lesser Affliction Spells are the equivalent of 2nd Level spells.
Improved Affliction Spells are the equivalent of 5th level spells.
Greater Affliction Spells are the equivalent of 8th level spells.

Lesser Confusion: Victim has a 25% chance of taking no actions each round. Victims attacked by the caster or his allies may take an immediate Will save to negate the effects of the spell. Creatures without a mind, such as Undead or Constructs cannot be affected. Against opponents with an Int of 3 or less increase the chance of success by an additional 25%.
Improved Confusion: As Lesser Confusion, save that victims have a 50% chance of taking no action.
Greater Confusion: as Lesser Confusion, save that victims have a 75% chance of taking no action.

Lesser Weaken: Victim becomes Fatigued for the duration of the spell.
Improved Weaken: Victim becomes Exhausted for the duration of the spell.
Greater Weaken:Victim becomes Exhausted and is rendered unconscious for 1 minute plus one additional minute per Runecaster's Int modifier.

Lesser Curse: Victim is Cursed (see Bestow Curse spell). Curse is automatically removed after the spell duration ends.
Improved Curse: Victim is Cursed as per the Bestow Curse spell.

Lesser Bind: This spell produces functions as per the Hold Person spell, save it has a range of 25ft + 5 per two Runecaster levels.
Improved Bind: As Lesser Bind, save that it to any living creature with a Will save.

Telekinetic Runespell(Su):
The spells listed below are classed as Telekinetic Runespells. The number of Telekinetic Spells you may cast per day is equal to 1 + your Int modifier (minimum 1).

Lesser Teleport: This functions as per the Teleport spell, save that you may only teleport to one of the following locations: Lumbridge, Varrock, Falador, Camelot, Ardougne or Yanille.
Note that you must have been taught the specific Runic combinations to teleport to these locations. By default, you only know how to access Lumbridge, Varrock and Falador.
Lesser Teleport has no chance of failure; it will always teleport you within the city limits of your chosen destination as close as is safely possible to the default target point.

Telekinetic Grab: This functions as per the Telekinesis spell, with a range of 25ft + 5ft per two Runecaster levels.

Greater Teleport: This functions as per the Greater Teleport spell.

Teleport Object: This functions as per the Teleport Object spell.

Plane Shift: This functions as per the Plane Shift spell.

Teleport Block: Victim cannot teleport or be teleported by others for 1 hour, plus one additional hour per the Runecaster's int bonus. This counts as a Curse (see Bestow Curse).

Meteor Swarm(Su):
The Runecaster gains the Meteor Swarm spell as a Supernatural ability. She may use this ability once per day. Casting requires 2 Blood and 2 Death Rune

Wargamer
2013-03-06, 04:27 AM
Plenty of views but no comments? Nobody has anything to offer as feedback?

Wargamer
2013-03-11, 08:07 AM
Why no love for Runes? :(

Wargamer
2014-02-27, 01:58 PM
So apparently nobody cared about this when I first made it, but I'd still like to hear what people think. I also never posted the Prestige Classes, so that's my justification for necromancy! :smallbiggrin:

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everything this class is for a Runescape inspired D&D campaign, one where there are very few (if any) other means of casting "Arcane" magic. Do keep that in mind if you critique.

ANCIENT RUNECASTER

Alignment: Any.
Hit Dice: D6.

Requirements:
Able to cast Combat Runespells as a 6th level Runecaster.
Knowledge (arcana): 8 ranks.
Knowledge (religion): 8 ranks.
Must be taught the Atuning ritual by an Evil Outsider aligned to the Empty Lord.

Skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decypher Script (Int), Knowledge (all, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill points at 1st level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier.


Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Atuning, Gale Rush, Rock Rush
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Bloodfire Rush, Ice Rush.
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Gale Burst, Rock Burst
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Bloodfire Burst, Ice Burst.
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Price of Power, Ancient Teleport.
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Gale Blitz, Rock Blitz.
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Bloodfire Blitz, Ice Blitz.
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Gale Barrage, Rock Barrage.
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Bloodfire Barrage, Ice Barrage.
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Mastery of Ancient Lore.

CLASS FEATURES
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Ancient Runecasters gain no additional weapon or armour proficiency.

Runecasting(Su): Levels in Ancient Runecaster stack with Runecaster when determining her Effective Caster Level for both Runespells and Ancient Runespells.

Ancient Combat Runespells:
Ancient Combat Runespells function the same way as conventional Runespells. They are a Ranged Touch Attack with a range of 25ft + 5ft per two Runecaster levels.
The four classes of Ancient Combat Runespell are given below. The first value is for Bloodfire spells, the second for Gale, Rock and Ice spells.


Class Int Req Damage Dice Bonus ESL Catalyst
Rush 13 D6/D8 +10 3rd 3 Death Runes (30gp)
Burst 15 D8/2D6 +15 5th 2 Blood Rune (100gp)
Blitz 17 2D6/2D8 +20 7th 3 Blood Runes (150gp)
Barrage 19 2D8/2D10 +20 9th 4 Blood 5 Death Runes (250gp)

In addition, Ancient Runespells have their own unique "elements". These have additional abilities bestowed upon them. Note the saving throw only negates the additional abilities,
not the base damage from the attack itself.

Gale: Creatures hit by a Gale spell suffers a penalty to attack and damage rolls equal to the Runecaster's Int modifier (min 1). Duration 1 minute per Caster Level, Will negates.
Rock: Creatures hit by a Rock Spell suffer a penalty to AC and saving throws equal to the Runecaster's Int modifier (min 1). Duration 1 minute per Caster Level, Will negates.
Bloodfire: Creatues hit by a Bloodfire spell suffer 1pt of Constitution Damage. A successful Fortitude save negates this damage.
Ice: Creatures hit by an Ice spell are trapped in ice. The victim is allowed an immediate Fortitude saving throw to break out, and an additional saving throw each round.
Creatures that fail their Fortitude save take D6 points of Cold damage. Incorporeal, gaseous or similar creatures cannot be trapped in ice. Huge or larger creatures likewise cannot
be trapped, but will still take additional cold damage if they fail their Fortitude save. The ice lasts one round per Runecaster level.

For the purposes of Damage Reduction and similar, Gale spells are Air aligned; Rock spells are Earth aligned and Bludgeoning; Bloodfire is Death and Fire aligned; Ice is Cold aligned.

Atuning: At first level, the Ancient Runecaster learns how to attune their mind to accept the lore of the Empty Lord. By spending eight hours meditating in a suitably prepared shrine the Ancient Runecaster unlocks the ability to cast Ancient Runespells. Whilst Atuned to the Ancient Spells you cannot cast any Runespells from the standard Runecaster class. Likewise, you may not cast Ancient Runespells whilst unatuned. Unatuning requires a second eight hour ritual performed at a shrine to the Empty Lord.

Price of Power: To take the fifth level in Ancient Runecaster, you must devote yourself utterly to the Empty Lord. Doing so requires you to spend twenty four hours meditating before a suitably prepared shrine or altar. You may pause to eat, sleep or other basic functions but you must otherwise devote every waking moment to your meditation.
At the end of the ritual you become aligned to the Empty Lord. Your alignment changes to Neutral if you are Good aligned and your deity changes to Zaros.
From this point on you lose all access to the standard Runecaster Spellbook. You may continue to advance in this class to increase your caster level for Ancient Runespells, but gain no additional spells from doing so.
If you have any ranks in Wizard, or any other Arcane spellcaster that relies on prepared spells, you immediately lose all access to these spells and cannot advance further in those classes.
Instantaneous caster levels, such as those granted by Sorcerers, are unaffected.
From now on, until reaching 10th level in Ancient Runecaster, you must take a Fortitude save (DC 15 + your level in Ancient Runecaster) or permanently lose D3 points of Constitution each time you take a level in any class other than Ancient Runecaster. These lost Constitution points may not be recovered by any means, not even via a Wish or Miracle spell.

Ancient Teleport(Su): Immediately upon completing the Price of Power ritual you gain instinctive knowledge of the precise location of several ancient sites that once belonged to Zaros.
You may teleport to any one of these sites as per the Teleport spell. This spell requires only basic elemental Runes and can be cast a number of times equal to 1 + your Int modifier (min 1).
These locations include Edgeville, Canifis, The Varrock Digsite, Ice Mountain peak, Wilderness Bandit Camp, the Graveyard of Shadows, the Daemonic Ruins and the Ice Plateau.
The DM may also choose to add additional locations at their discretion.

Mastery of Ancient Lore: AT 10th level, the Ancient Runecaster achieves true mastery of Zarosian lore. She immediately changes to an Outsider and her alignment becomes Evil if it was not already.
Her Runespells become Evil aligned and her unarmed attacks and any weapon she holds become Evil and Magic for the purposes of damage reduction.
She may now freely advance in any class she chooses, including classes with prepared Arcane spells (though she does not recover lost spells from class or class levels she previously possessed).
Due to your link with Zaros, Ancient Spells no longer require Runes to cast.
If your alignment changes to non-Evil you may not make use of Ancient Runecaster class abilities until your alignment is returned to Evil. This might be achieved via atonement depending on the circumstances surrounding the alignment shift.
If you ever knowingly or willingly renounce your faith in Zaros, you immediately lose all access to Ancient Spells and suffer D3 points of Constitution damage.
This damage cannot be restored by any means, including a Wish or Miracle spell. You may never again regain your lost Ancient Spell abilities; there is no possible way to atone for your failings.



GODSPELL RUNECASTER

Alignment: As Deity.
Hit Dice: D6.

Requirements:
Able to cast Combat Runespells as a 11th level Runecaster.
Knowledge (religion): 12 ranks.
True Believer Feat (see Complete Divine).

Skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decypher Script (Int), Knowledge (all, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill points at 1st level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier


Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Divine Runecasting, Divine Storm, Godstaff.
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Weapon Focus (Godstaff).
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Godspell, Storm Mastery.

CLASS FEATURES
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Godspell Runecasters gain no additional weapon or armour proficiencies.

Runecasting(Su): Levels in Godspell Runecaster stack with Runecaster when determining her Effective Caster Level for both Runespells and Godspells (including Divine Storm).

Divine Combat Runespells:


Spell Int Req Damage Dice Bonus Catalyst
Divine Storm 16 2D6 +15 None.
Saradomin Strike 18 3D6 +20 2 Blood Runes (100gp)
Claws of Guthix 18 3D6 +20 2 Blood Runes (100gp)
Flames of Zamorak 18 3D6 +20 2 Blood Runes (100gp)
Storm of Armadyl 18 3D6 +20 2 Blood Runes (100gp)

Divine Storm is an Air aligned spell and deals Sonic Damage.
Saradomin Strike is a Good aligned spell that deals Lightning Damage.
Claws of Guthix is treated as both Good and Evil aligned for the purposes of Damage reduction. It's damage is Earth based.
Flames of Zamorak is an Evil aligned spell that deals Fire Damage and can set targets on fire.
Storm of Armadyl is a Law aligned spell that deals Air elemental damage.

Godstaff: Upon taking their first level of Godspell Runecaster, the Runecaster receives the Godstaff of their chosen God; Saradomin, Guthix, Zamorak or Armadyl.
A Godspell Runecaster must be carrying the Godstaff in order to cast Divine Storm or their Godspell. It is treated as a Runestaff in all respects, save that only Divine Runespells may be stored within it. A Godstaff may hold fifty charges of Divine Storm, the deity's Divine Runespell or a mixture of both.
Anyone wielding a Godstaff whose alignment does not match the appropriate God and who does not have the True Believer feat takes an immediate Negative Level that lasts as long as they use the Godstaff.

Weapon Focus (Godstaff): At 2nd Level, a Godspell Runecaster gains Weapon Focus (Godstaff) as a Bonus Feat. This +1 Attack bonus also applies to any spell cast through the Godspell.

Godspell: At 3rd level, the Godspell Runecaster learns the Godspell of their deity. The spell must be charged into the staff to cast unless the Runecaster has the Focused Runecaster Feat.

Storm Mastery: At 3rd level, the Godspell Runecaster no longer requires the Godstaff to cast Divine Storm. They still require the Air Runes, however.

Ex-Godspell Casters: A Godspell Caster whose alignment no longer matches their deity loses access to their Godspells and may no longer cast Runespells through their Godstaff.

Amnoriath
2014-02-27, 02:41 PM
1. The problem is that you have a predetermined class with no customization and little applicable flavor.
2. Also your blasting is quite pitiful and expensive only leaving you one option of telekinesis, teleportation, and afflictions.
3. Your afflictions are also quite limited only leaving one to be effective against your most numerous enemies(undead and constructs) as well as in use.
4. Finally, you chart is too crowded considering that there is no tangible difference between things like water or earth. In general you have a whole bunch of words with very little abilities to back them up.

Just to Browse
2014-02-27, 02:56 PM
This is unpopular for the same reason incarnum/binding are unpopular. You have a lot of confusing variant rules with minimal flavor or mechanical benefit. The homebrew boards have a much smaller portion of reviewers, and a small percent of a small percent is ridiculously small.

So there you go.

Wargamer
2014-02-27, 02:56 PM
1. The problem is that you have a predetermined class with no customization and little applicable flavor.
2. Also your blasting is quite pitiful and expensive only leaving you one option of telekinesis, teleportation, and afflictions.
3. Your afflictions are also quite limited only leaving one to be effective against your most numerous enemies(undead and constructs) as well as in use.
4. Finally, you chart is too crowded considering that there is no tangible difference between things like water or earth. In general you have a whole bunch of words with very little abilities to back them up.
1. Part of the limitation of the setting - to be true to the original game, the Runecaster must by definition be far more restricted than a D&D wizard. The intent is for a character who is a long-range artillery gun, yet not one who will render non-casters pointless as the levels rise.

2. See #1. In terms of 'balance', compare it to the non-caster PhB classes and assume no other Arcane or Divine Casters exist. In those terms, do you still think the damage is too low?

3. Who said Undead and Constructs are the most numerous enemies?

4. Yeah, I know this stuff doesn't matter in a lot of places, but I'm not sure how best to copy over the elemental nature of Runescape's spells into a D&D system. If some (not all) monsters were re-worked to match (ie: Air Elementals have "Damage Reduction x/Earth", or take extra damage vs Earth attacks but less / none from Air), then what would your thoughts be?


This is unpopular for the same reason incarnum/binding are unpopular. You have a lot of confusing variant rules with minimal flavor or mechanical benefit. The homebrew boards have a much smaller portion of reviewers, and a small percent of a small percent is ridiculously small.

So there you go.
Yeah, I know these forums seem to have a bit of a "Go minmax or go home" vibe, and I suppose it needs a lot more clarification than usual in terms of getting the feel of it right. It's certainly not meant to be a "drop into any campaign" type class.

Amnoriath
2014-02-27, 03:14 PM
1. Part of the limitation of the setting - to be true to the original game, the Runecaster must by definition be far more restricted than a D&D wizard. The intent is for a character who is a long-range artillery gun, yet not one who will render non-casters pointless as the levels rise.

2. See #1. In terms of 'balance', compare it to the non-caster PhB classes and assume no other Arcane or Divine Casters exist. In those terms, do you still think the damage is too low?

3. Who said Undead and Constructs are the most numerous enemies?

4. Yeah, I know this stuff doesn't matter in a lot of places, but I'm not sure how best to copy over the elemental nature of Runescape's spells into a D&D system. If some (not all) monsters were re-worked to match (ie: Air Elementals have "Damage Reduction x/Earth", or take extra damage vs Earth attacks but less / none from Air), then what would your thoughts be?


Yeah, I know these forums seem to have a bit of a "Go minmax or go home" vibe, and I suppose it needs a lot more clarification than usual in terms of getting the feel of it right. It's certainly not meant to be a "drop into any campaign" type class.
1. Ability to customize=/=tier 1 or 2, also Runescape does allow you to choose your abilities.
2. Yes, I am not going to spend 100 gold for each attack to deal at most 2d10+25 damage to one enemy not including the wand. I could deal more damage with a stick while Ubercharging. Heck even the truenamer is snickering at you because you are going to eat up so much wealth for single uses. All he suffers from is a really high check to maintain but at least it is possible for a while.
3. The Monster Manuals having the most kinds of enemies.
4. There is your problem you are asking us to critique a class without any outside material it clearly needs. Put it simply earth has to do something well water, fire, and air does not...etc
5. No, most of us just want to see something that not only is good at a couple of things but has the applicable flavor to boot. Optimization is the levels in which how a game is played.

Wargamer
2014-02-27, 03:32 PM
Well thank you for that, but you clearly didn't read my reply. Truenamers? They don't exist. Nor do Warlocks or Warmages or Nazgul or Pandarians or Gallifreyans.

I specified the class is meant to be balanced against PhB with no other Arcane class.

Ziegander
2014-02-27, 03:44 PM
This is unpopular for the same reason incarnum/binding are unpopular. You have a lot of confusing variant rules with minimal flavor or mechanical benefit. The homebrew boards have a much smaller portion of reviewers, and a small percent of a small percent is ridiculously small.

So there you go.

Uh... incarnum and binding are both very popular...


1. Part of the limitation of the setting - to be true to the original game, the Runecaster must by definition be far more restricted than a D&D wizard. The intent is for a character who is a long-range artillery gun, yet not one who will render non-casters pointless as the levels rise.

2. See #1. In terms of 'balance', compare it to the non-caster PhB classes and assume no other Arcane or Divine Casters exist. In those terms, do you still think the damage is too low?

Absolutely, positively.

With no optimization whatsoever, a Ranger can shoot five different targets at 16th level to deal 1d8 + 4 + Str modifier + 1d6 fire + 1d6 cold + 1d6 electricity damage to each target that he successfully hits (an average of 19 + Str modifier, so between 24 and 29 per arrow) at a range of more than 100ft. By comparison, your Runecaster can deal 2d10 + 16 damage (average 27) at a range of 65ft to a single target with a gp cost of 100gp a pop. Even if that's at will (I'm not entirely sure, your rules for Runecasting are pretty vague), it's really weak. If you're going for ranged artillery you need to at least match the capability of a totally unoptimized Ranger's arrows.

Any optimized archery build could demolish both the range and the damage of your Runecaster.


4. Yeah, I know this stuff doesn't matter in a lot of places, but I'm not sure how best to copy over the elemental nature of Runescape's spells into a D&D system. If some (not all) monsters were re-worked to match (ie: Air Elementals have "Damage Reduction x/Earth", or take extra damage vs Earth attacks but less / none from Air), then what would your thoughts be?

The damage is still too low. At the very least you can say that creatures with the Air subtype are vulnerable to damage dealt by the Earth Strike/Bolt/Blast/Wave/Surge line (meaning they suffer 150% damage from those effects), and then apply that same reasoning to the other runespells. They will become slightly more useful that way, but still woefully underpowered in the sense of ranged artillery.


Yeah, I know these forums seem to have a bit of a "Go minmax or go home" vibe, and I suppose it needs a lot more clarification than usual in terms of getting the feel of it right. It's certainly not meant to be a "drop into any campaign" type class.

I certainly don't think these forums have that "go minmax or go home" mentality that you're getting, but as I've pointed out, a pitifully built Ranger outclasses this guy in the role that you have given it.

By comparison, the Affliction and Telekinetic runespells are quite strong and decently versatile. At 8th level you can cast Telekinesis 6 or 7 times per day. That's not bad, but it, Confusion, and Curse (for another 6 or 7 spells between the two of them) are really the only relevant things you can do at the time (because, no, 2d6 + 8 damage against an enemy 45ft away is not relevant). That gives you roughly one spell to cast during every round of any combat encounter, but you have literally nothing to offer outside of combat unless you're cheesing Use Magic Device. Well, occasionally you can Teleport yourself and up to two companions to a specific city. Meanwhile that unoptimized Ranger, while he can't compete with the powerful utility of your Affliction and Telekinetic runespells, he can be a very fine sneak/scout and a tracker of foes. He's got you beat at artillery and out-of-combat utility, while you have in-combat control over him.

If we're counting Ranger as the benchmark you're balancing toward, Ranger is relatively weak and your Runecaster is actually a bit weaker due to having far, far, far fewer options even if some of your options are more powerful than anything the Ranger can come up with. The Ranger's damage output will far overmatch the Runecaster's and he has plenty of tricks up his sleeve through feat, spell, and class feature support throughout the many books published for D&D 3.5


Alignment: Any
Hit Die: 1d8

Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
Runespell Level|
Spell Points

1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Runecasting, Craft Runestone|
1st|
2

2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Discover Runeword (2 Runes)|
1st|
3

3rd|+2|+1|+1|+3||
2nd|
6

4th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Discover Runeword|
2nd|
9

5th|+3|+1|+1|+4||
3rd|
14

6th|+4|+2|+2|+5|Discover Runeword (3 Runes)|
3rd|
19

7th|+5|+2|+2|+5||
4th|
26

8th|+6/+1|+2|+2|+6|Discover Runeword|
4th|
33

9th|+6/+1|+3|+3|+6||
5th|
42

10th|+7/+2|+3|+3|+7|Discover Runeword (4 Runes)|
5th|
51

11th|+8/+3|+3|+3|+7||
6th|
62

12th|+9/+4|+4|+4|+8|Discover Runeword|
6th|
73

13th|+9/+4|+4|+4|+8||
7th|
86

14th|+10/+5|+4|+4|+9|Discover Runeword (5 Runes)|
7th|
99

15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+5|+9||
8th|
114

16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+5|+10|Discover Runeword|
8th|
129

17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+5|+10||
9th|
146

18th|+13/+8/+3|+6|+6|+11|Discover Runeword (6 Runes)|
9th|
163

19th|+14/+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Timeless Body|
9th|
182

20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Discover Runeword|
9th|
201[/table]

Weapon & Armor Proficiencies: Runecasters are proficient with all simple weapons, with light and medium armor, and with shields (but not Tower Shields).

Wargamer
2014-02-27, 04:02 PM
So the issue is that the "physical" characters are going to be matching or exceeding the Runecaster's DPS more efficiently? I'll look into reworking the damage output then. That said, the most probable "Ranger" isn't one for optimisation. :P

Just to Browse
2014-02-27, 04:22 PM
Uh... incarnum and binding are both very popular...

1% is a very small number. So no.


Yeah, I know these forums seem to have a bit of a "Go minmax or go home" vibe, and I suppose it needs a lot more clarification than usual in terms of getting the feel of it right. It's certainly not meant to be a "drop into any campaign" type class.

I understand the knee-jerk frustration when no one likes your class, but you shouldn't take it out on phantom optimization ghosts haunting your dreams. These forums, especially the homebrew forums, are hardly like that.

The point is not that this class is weak, I haven't even analyzed it to determine its effectiveness. The point is that you have a bunch of confusing class features written up that, in the end, basically just emulate a bunch of spells. It's not unique in flavor (like RoC's xenotheurgy) and it's not unique in mechanics (like Ziegander's mageknight), but it's a hassle to learn and it's a hassle to teach. There's just not enough benefit to the cost.

Let me ask you, what is interesting and unique about rune magic? Now communicate that and emphasize it in your class.

Ziegander
2014-02-27, 04:26 PM
Okay, so the core issue is that the equivalent "physical" combat characters are going to be matching or exceeding the Runecaster's DPS more efficiently?

If you're trying to build a "magic damage dealer" that's on par with the "physical damage dealers," then, yes, that's the core issue.


That said, the most probable "Ranger" isn't one for optimisation. :P

I'm not sure what you're getting at.

Anyway, for even further exploration of what exactly I'm talking about here, let's talk Barbarians and Fighters.

A 16th level raging Barbarian with a +4 flaming frost shock composite longbow (+11 Str bonus) can dish out 1d8 + 15 + 1d6 + 1d6 + 1d6 damage per arrow (average 30 damage). With a Greatsword charge? With a +4 Greatsword and nothing more than Power Attack (-5 to hit for +10 to damage) deals 2d6 + 30 (average 37) at a minimum striking distance of 80ft.

A Fighter can manage similar results with Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization. At 16th level, let's assume he's got 26 Strength (started with 16, put 4 level-up points into it, got a +6 Str item). That's a +8 modifier to damage. If he's bow specialized, he's dealing slightly more per shot than the Barbarian (average 31). If he's Greatsword specialized, he's dealing the same amount of damage, but he can only charge as far as 60ft (without magic items to boost his speed).

If any of these characters (the Ranger included) goes full attack on the same target, they can deal more than double the amount of damage that your Runecaster can, though it costs them a full-round action, while your Runecaster can move and shoot in the same round. This is at basically non-existent levels up character optimization. Better results can be achieved even in a Core-only environment with some creativity, and far, far better results can be achieved outside of Core.

Wargamer
2014-02-28, 11:23 AM
Okay, so I'm going to try and overhaul this class over the weekend. Obviously, getting feedback on vague, nebulous elements is tricky, but for those who might like to offer advice or point out pitfalls, here's the changelog:

1) Combat Runespells will lose their elemental descriptors, and instead be reduced to "Magic Strike, Bolt, Blast, Wave and Surge" respectively (eg: From 4th level onward, Runecasters can use Magic Bolt instead of Magic Strike). Material costs for the spells will be removed.

2) Runespells will be brought more inline with conventional spells; they require a verbal and material component (runes).

3) Affliction and Telekinetic Runespells may gain a paid-for material component.

4) Runespells will be standard attacks, meaning higher level Runecasters make multiple attacks as their BAB reaches and passes +6.

5) BAB may increase to Average.

6) Aim to add more functionality, possibly giving them "Rituals" (the ability to temporarily acquire Wizard spells, albeit with heavy limitations).

Wargamer
2014-02-28, 02:22 PM
Okay, Runecaster class has been reworked, but I'm still unsure of what to do to really polish it off.

My key concerns right now are:

1) Dead levels. Not a fan of dead levels...

2) Combat Runespells - do they do enough damage?

Just to Browse
2014-02-28, 03:11 PM
So what I'm getting from this class is the following:
At-will magic attacks that deal some dice plus a flat bonus. Can be used as attack actions.
A plethora of single-target, save-or-suck effects that are mostly identical.
Telekinesis at level 8 in short range. Kind of a big deal, but it comes really late.
Transportation utility, limited in the early levels.
Some flavor about runes or something.

It doesn't feel like it uses runes for anything. It just sort of shoots lasers and forces targets to make saves.

Wargamer
2014-02-28, 03:49 PM
So what I'm getting from this class is the following:
At-will magic attacks that deal some dice plus a flat bonus. Can be used as attack actions.
A plethora of single-target, save-or-suck effects that are mostly identical.
Telekinesis at level 8 in short range. Kind of a big deal, but it comes really late.
Transportation utility, limited in the early levels.
Some flavor about runes or something.

It doesn't feel like it uses runes for anything. It just sort of shoots lasers and forces targets to make saves.

It's based on Runescape's magic system - a system where magic is only possible with Runes. It's a little unclear how much of this stuff is down to the individual, how much can be learned and how much is just there to be harnessed by anyone with the right Runes, but ultimately Runes = magic.

I'm guessing you were expecting more of a Warhammer Dwarven Runesmith class? Or possible a Nordic themed class?

Actually, both of those sound kind of fun...

Just to Browse
2014-02-28, 06:25 PM
I see. I was expecting him to use runes as in "symbol placed on something that does something". But if it's just runes as in "Runescape magic" then that's not a valid complaint and I retract it.

Ziegander
2014-03-01, 12:29 AM
Have you heard of the Warlock class? It's published in the Complete Arcane supplement and seems to do a lot of what you want this class to do. Though the way it does things is slightly different, mechanically, I'll warrant you, it's also a lot more flavorful and filled with more options.

I don't think it does what you want it to enough to just tell you, "use Warlock and re-fluff things to suit you," but I do think it could provide with you with lots of useful inspiration for ways you might make the Runecaster more interesting.

Right now, I agree, even with the rationalization that, in-setting, runes are the only way to cast magic, the class is lacking a lot of flavor. Why are runes the key to magic in Runescape? And what is it about the Runecaster that allows him to tap into this source of magic while other classes cannot? I think if we answer those questions we might be able to start fleshing this guy out some more.

Wargamer
2014-03-01, 06:31 AM
Right now, I agree, even with the rationalization that, in-setting, runes are the only way to cast magic, the class is lacking a lot of flavor. Why are runes the key to magic in Runescape? And what is it about the Runecaster that allows him to tap into this source of magic while other classes cannot? I think if we answer those questions we might be able to start fleshing this guy out some more.

Well, to quote a wiki: "When the humans first came to the realm of Gielinor through the World Gate in the First Age, Guthix created Runestones, allowing the humans and other sentient races to practice the Magic arts. These runestones were created by Guthix using an ancient artefact called the Stone of Jas, which he found on Gielinor when he arrived."

So basically, Magic is beyond the reach of mortals and was gifted to them by the Gods via Runes.

The Runes themselves are made of Rune Essence; a material that naturally absorbs magic. Rune Essence on its own does not allow you to cast spells, but if you can infuse it with magic at a suitable location you can create conventional Runes (in the game this is done at a "Rune Altar", which is aligned to a specific 'element' of magic. In D&D terms, we could probably chalk this up to being any location suitably infused with the right kind of magic).

Some entities can cast without Runes, like the Gods or powerful supernatural creatures (Demons, for example).

Runes appear to have specific, pre-set combinations that determine how the spell works. For example, to teleport to one city might require four specific Runes, 2 "Law", 2 "Earth", whereas teleporting to another city requires 2 "Law" and 2 "Water" runes. The Runes are quite consistent in how they work, however.

The full list, based off the game and its previous incarnations, is something like this:

Elemental runes (Air, Earth, Water, Fire) are required to give combat spells their elemental type. All projectiles use Air runes (so a fire spell is Air + Fire). Previously, combat spells also required a "catalyst". Mind Runes produced weak projectiles; Chaos Runes, Death Runes and Blood Runes produced sequentially more powerful spells.

Body runes are usually used to debuff targets.

Nature Runes are used for transmutation - turning an object into gold coins, turning ores into refined bars, etc.

Cosmic Runes are used for enchanting objects.

Law Runes are used for teleport spells and telekinetic spells.

Soul Runes are required for the most powerful teleport and debuff spells, in conjunction with the usual runes.

There are others, but that's all the runes used in "normal" spellcasting.

Ziegander
2014-03-01, 02:20 PM
Do you have any more information on the Stone of Jas?

You also didn't answer my second question: Why is the Runecaster able to cast runespells and no one else? If there is no reason, then the class is pointless. I haven't played Runescape, so I can only go by your description. So far runes seem entirely arbitrary and flavorless. They are the source of magic because the gods willed it that way is really all we've got to go on.

What the runes are called and what they are used for don't really matter here especially if they don't do anything on their own and work just like normal spell casting. There's a feat, something along the lines of "Thematic Spellcasting," I don't remember the actual name, but right now your entire class can be summed up by that one feat.

Wargamer
2014-03-01, 03:16 PM
Honestly, it's not really explained or made clear. It's kind of like the Wizard class - by RAW, anyone can be a Wizard. However, magic is not part of daily life in Runescape, at least not for the average joe. Rune magic is common enough that people know what magic is and may have expectations as to what it does, and rich people can hire mages as and when, but the general impression I get is that Runes don't give up their secrets to just anyone. You have to work at unlocking their power.

The Stone of Jas is an overkill artefact that seems to grant its owner near limitless power. It can turn a mortal into a demigod, and allowed at least one character to ascend to full-blown Godhood.

The Stone is linked with Dragonkin - a race of immortals who grow more powerful the more the stone is used. To my knowledge, there are only two confirmed examples of a Dragonkin being slain. Their relationship with the Stone is still not well known.

Ziegander
2014-03-02, 12:46 AM
Honestly, it's not really explained or made clear. It's kind of like the Wizard class - by RAW, anyone can be a Wizard. However, magic is not part of daily life in Runescape, at least not for the average joe. Rune magic is common enough that people know what magic is and may have expectations as to what it does, and rich people can hire mages as and when, but the general impression I get is that Runes don't give up their secrets to just anyone. You have to work at unlocking their power.

Okay, now we're getting somewhere.

So Rune Magic is something that takes a lifetime of study to be able to do? That is something we can build on, but we might have to stretch it in ways that don't exactly jive with the setting materials.

Let's assume for example that there are dozens of runes, and let's also assume that most people don't know what any of them mean. Now, let's assume that Runecasters know what at least some of them mean. Maybe they know what most of them mean, maybe they even know what all of them mean, but regardless, it has taken them most of their lives to glean that sort of knowledge from the runes.

Once you know what a rune means you still might not know what it can do. So that takes even more study. Finally, once you know what a few runes mean, and what they can do, you are able to create Runespells with runes.

Is this all working out so far? Does this totally fly in the face of Runescape lore?


The Stone is linked with Dragonkin - a race of immortals who grow more powerful the more the stone is used. To my knowledge, there are only two confirmed examples of a Dragonkin being slain. Their relationship with the Stone is still not well known.

Even more interesting. Dragonkin... are they like draconic humanoids? Or something else entirely? Do these individuals have exceptional power over runes and runespells, or is their power a different manifestation of the Stone of Jas' powers?

Wargamer
2014-03-02, 05:40 AM
Okay, now we're getting somewhere.

So Rune Magic is something that takes a lifetime of study to be able to do? That is something we can build on, but we might have to stretch it in ways that don't exactly jive with the setting materials.

Let's assume for example that there are dozens of runes, and let's also assume that most people don't know what any of them mean. Now, let's assume that Runecasters know what at least some of them mean. Maybe they know what most of them mean, maybe they even know what all of them mean, but regardless, it has taken them most of their lives to glean that sort of knowledge from the runes.

Once you know what a rune means you still might not know what it can do. So that takes even more study. Finally, once you know what a few runes mean, and what they can do, you are able to create Runespells with runes.

Is this all working out so far? Does this totally fly in the face of Runescape lore?

No, that still fits. To an extent it links in with the progression system - the more powerful spells require higher levels in Magic and (historically) use more powerful Runes. Said runes are harder to craft in the first place (if they can be crafted by players at all), which in turn suggests their power is more difficult to control and comprehend.

There are various quest-related musings that suggest Runes can be used in unexpected ways; one involved a group of Wizards whose souls became bound to Runes when an ancient ritual backfired.

So yes, the class could be worked to follow that theme of "unlocking" more power and knowledge as the player levels up. That said, my main focus is for the class to be an artillery piece / debuffer, rather than straying into the "Lol, I don't like reality so I'll reshape it!" nonsense of higher level Wizards and the like; the Runescaster should not be able to replace every other member of the party through casting her spells!


Even more interesting. Dragonkin... are they like draconic humanoids? Or something else entirely? Do these individuals have exceptional power over runes and runespells, or is their power a different manifestation of the Stone of Jas' powers?
They are Draconic Humanoids created by an Elder God. They created the Dragons in the setting as well as "Dragon metal", a blood-red material that is beyond the means of mortals to recreate and for a long time was the most powerful equipment in the game. It is hinted that they are opposed to balance, so they'd likely be a Chaotic Evil race in D&D terms.

Ziegander
2014-03-02, 06:09 AM
Is there a reason that Runecasters and their like have to use rune stones? The rune itself, the symbol which carries meaning, has no power unless it is etched precisely onto a proper piece of stone?

I have an idea that could give this class a unique "casting system" all its own that would help to make it a lot more interesting, but I don't know if it would actually fit with Runescape lore. But being able to build "runewords" as you gain levels could be pretty awesome. Hell, if it doesn't work for your class I might try my own hand at a class like that in the future.

Madara
2014-03-02, 12:44 PM
That said, my main focus is for the class to be an artillery piece / debuffer, rather than straying into the "Lol, I don't like reality so I'll reshape it!" nonsense of higher level Wizards and the like; the Runescaster should not be able to replace every other member of the party through casting her spells!


These two statements conflict. Martial characters specialize in damage and combat. If you are making the runecaster to be damage and debuffing, they will overlap with other party members. If you decide that the Runecaster just won't be as strong, now the Martial characters outshine the runecaster. The problem you're facing is that the runescape system is very individual-focused. While there are guilds and such, quests can mostly be accomplished by individuals, there aren't really "roles." I would suggest keeping the fluff of casting with runes, but change the mechanics away from those presented in runescape, as those spells leave limited utility, and will lead to party over-lap.