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Mechanix
2016-09-21, 07:43 AM
New Primal Path: Path of the Runescarred


They are lorekeepers, wise-men, runesmiths. They are exiled scholars, outcast apprentices. They are mad warriors who half-remember the secrets of their long-lost druids, bandits who pillage a caravan full of spellbooks. They have a little knowledge, and it is a dangerous thing.

The Path of the Runescarred is walked by those barbarians who harness magic, yet do not fully understand it. Rather than remembering spells, they engrave symbols of power and burn them into their skin. Their mind is free to abandon itself to the rage, for the magic is now in their flesh, free to be unleashed almost of its own will.

Runescarred barbarians are not always clever, but they are oft wise. They know they meddle with dangerous things, and learn how to mitigate and harness powers far older than them. In some regions they are highly-esteemed, an order of warriors above the common rabble; in others they are outcasts desperately looking for any edge to survive in the wilds. Some become the leaders of roving bands that are half-bandits, half-cult, with them as their god-chief. They are perhaps most common among orcs and humans, who learned the secrets of the runes from dwarves and giants and put them to their own crude use. Runescarred dwarves are more rare, but do exist, although they are often seen as putting a sacred art to a crude use.


Spellcasting

A runescarred barbarian learns the ancient glyphs of old, used by giants and dwarves and people of the north to imbue magic into their craft. But hardier than these people, they carve these runes into themselves, their bodies first wracked by pain but soon overflowing with magic. Such spells originate in themselves, and focus their energy within, largely providing benefits to the warrior rather than smiting their enemies or aiding their ally.

When you reach 3rd level, you augment your martial prowess with the ability to cast spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for general spell list. The runescarred uses a specific spell-list, provided thereafter. If a runescarred spell has a range of "Touch" or longer, you must include yourself as part of the casting. You may only affect other characters if the spell allows you to affect several targets. Your own scars can be used as an arcane focus as long as you are not wearing armor.

Cantrips. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the runescarred spell list. You learn an additional runescarred cantrip of your choice at 10th level.

Spell Slots. The Runescarred Spellcasting 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 spellís level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest. For example, if you know the 1st-level spell shield and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast shield using either slot.

Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher. You know three 1st-level runescarred spells of your choice.

The Spells Known column of the Runescarred Spellcasting table shows when you learn more runescarred spells of 1st level or higher.
Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the runescarred spell you know with another spell of your choice from the runescarred spell list. The new spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

Spellcasting Ability. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your runescarred spells, since your magic stems from mastering the ancient magical language of the world and opening yourself to the transformative power of magic. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a runescarred spell you cast, or should you ever make an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Runescarred Spell List
Cantrips - Blade Ward, Druidcraft, Friends, Guidance, Light, Resistance
1st level - Absorb Elements, Expeditious Retreat, False Life, Heroism, Jump, Longstrider, Shield, Thunderous Smite
2nd level - Augury, Blur, Branding Smite, Darkvision, Enhance Ability, Magic Weapon, Misty Step, See Invisibility
3rd level - Blinding Smite, Blink, Fear, Haste, Nondetection, Protection from Energy
4th level - Death Ward, Dimension Door, Divination, Fire Shield, Freedom of Movement

Runescarred Spellcasting table



Runes of Anger
Starting when you take this path at 3rd level, you can cast runescarred spells while raging. While raging, you may perform the somatic components of runescarred spells even if you have weapons or a shield in both hands, as long as you are not wearing armor, and have advantage on Consitution saving throws that you make to maintain your concentration on a spell when you take damage.

[B]
Armor of Scars
The runes you have carved into your skin imbue it with magic, making it tougher even as they make your limbs more stiff. Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, while you are not wearing any armor, you can choose to have your Armor Class be 10 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier, rather than the Armor Class granted by your Unarmored Defense class feature. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

Pennant of Runes
Runes carved into flesh are bound to the power of blood and life, and shine when it is shed. You touch your slain foe and draw part of their fleeting soul into your scars. Starting at 6th level, when you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with an attack, you may use a bonus action to regain one expended 1st level spell slot. You may benefit from this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier before you need a short rest. When you reach 14th level, you may instead regain one expended 2nd level spell slot, once per short rest. When you reach 20th level, you may instead regain one expended 3rd level spell slot, once per long rest.


Inured Mind
At 10th level, you have grown used to the touch of magic and the experience of eldritch sight and powers, quieting your mind to their influences. You gain proficiency on Wisdom saves.


Ancient Wrath
At 14th level, powers pervades your whole being, bolstering you against outside magic. While raging, you have resistance to spell damage and advantage on saves against the effects spells.

Mechanix
2016-09-23, 01:08 PM
Bumping for comments?

Lalliman
2016-09-23, 01:35 PM
Cool idea, but I find it hard to estimate how balanced it is. With advantage on concentration saves right off the bat, on a class that already has Con as a primary stat, I feel like it might be a bit too easy to keep spells like blur and haste active. But that's something you'll have to playtest.

I do think Ancient Wrath is too powerful. You should choose one of the two effects (resistance or advantage), not both. As is, it's about twice as powerful as the bear totem's resistance-to-everything feature.

JeenLeen
2016-09-23, 02:33 PM
I think you should let Runes of Anger work even when wearing armor. If the barbarian is wearing armor, they've forsaken the +Con and +Wis to AC.

I could also see throwing another cantrip or two in there. Having some minor damaging ones seems fair, to give a ranged option they generally won't use anyway. At least, I think it's nice to have a ranged option that doesn't require you to carry a bow. I doubt it'd ever do more damage than their melee attack, so it's not a real risk to the build, but gives some extra utility and flavor. I could also see Thaumaturgy or Druidcraft (but not both) being added; Arcane Tricksters get Prestigidation, after all.
Darkvision also seems a good spell to add to the list. Redundant with most races, and probably a subpar choice, but nice for those who lack it.

With Pennant of Runes, does that mean at level 20, you can recharge a level 1 spell slot Wis-mod/short rest, a level 2 1/short rest, and a level 3 1/long rest? I think that's how it works as worded, but I was a little confused with the different number of uses for different spell slots.

Foxhound438
2016-09-24, 01:41 AM
seems neat, but you give the class an absolute plethora of features out the gate. I'd either drop the altered AC calculation or take away the wis save proficiency, and move things up a bit. Probably delay rage casting until 6th if I were to do that, but that's just me.

From a mechanical standpoint, it is pretty MAD. Even dropping the need for dex at third, it would really make levels 1 and 2 awkward if you dumped dex, especially if you for some reason went wis>con.... But, thus is the crux of barbarian casters.

Overall I'd say it's fairly balanced, just that it has a ton of things to put on a character sheet at 3rd.

(edit: eh, 3 isn't super huge I guess... it seemed to be a lot more in my head when I first looked through it.

Mechanix
2016-09-24, 07:17 AM
I do think Ancient Wrath is too powerful. You should choose one of the two effects (resistance or advantage), not both. As is, it's about twice as powerful as the bear totem's resistance-to-everything feature.
Is it? The bear totem's resistance applies to damage not from spells - dragon's breath and a variety of monster attacks.

I think you should let Runes of Anger work even when wearing armor. If the barbarian is wearing armor, they've forsaken the +Con and +Wis to AC.

I could also see throwing another cantrip or two in there. Having some minor damaging ones seems fair, to give a ranged option they generally won't use anyway. At least, I think it's nice to have a ranged option that doesn't require you to carry a bow. I doubt it'd ever do more damage than their melee attack, so it's not a real risk to the build, but gives some extra utility and flavor. I could also see Thaumaturgy or Druidcraft (but not both) being added; Arcane Tricksters get Prestigidation, after all.
Darkvision also seems a good spell to add to the list. Redundant with most races, and probably a subpar choice, but nice for those who lack it.

With Pennant of Runes, does that mean at level 20, you can recharge a level 1 spell slot Wis-mod/short rest, a level 2 1/short rest, and a level 3 1/long rest? I think that's how it works as worded, but I was a little confused with the different number of uses for different spell slots.
Druidcraft and Darkvision are a good idea. I don't really want to put in a ranged cantrip for flavor reason - the class is largely about enhancing oneself with magic, rather than harming others directly.

You are correct about Pennant of Runes. I will try to clarify it.

seems neat, but you give the class an absolute plethora of features out the gate. I'd either drop the altered AC calculation or take away the wis save proficiency, and move things up a bit. Probably delay rage casting until 6th if I were to do that, but that's just me.

From a mechanical standpoint, it is pretty MAD. Even dropping the need for dex at third, it would really make levels 1 and 2 awkward if you dumped dex, especially if you for some reason went wis>con.... But, thus is the crux of barbarian casters.

Overall I'd say it's fairly balanced, just that it has a ton of things to put on a character sheet at 3rd.

(edit: eh, 3 isn't super huge I guess... it seemed to be a lot more in my head when I first looked through it.
I can't wait after 3rd level to give Armor of Scars; the goal is to make low Dexterity (at the cost of investing in Wis) viable, and if I make the player wait over three levels before getting it they'll spend a long time sucking.

I guess I could remove the advantage on Con saves to lighten 3rd level?

Amnoriath
2016-09-24, 04:46 PM
The flavor is great, keeping the theme and expanding upon the original. While I won't say it is imbalanced it is very optimized, like something you would see trying to make unique combinations with races, feats, or multi-classing without as many drawbacks. The mechanics feel like it was made for an easy build and not so much executing the flavor. If you are going to keep all of your things at 3rd level than your 6th level needs to be a ribbon and I would highly suggest something like magical secrets at level 10 because of how the flavor says they get their spells.

Foxhound438
2016-09-25, 08:10 PM
I guess I could remove the advantage on Con saves to lighten 3rd level?

That would probably be fair. Personally I would cut it entirely, as normally a gish has to get a feat for advantage on concentration, but having spells only up to 4th level mitigates the value you're getting slightly.

In any case I don't think, as it is now, it would be overpowered. Maybe a bit on the strong side, but then again so is resistance to almost all damage and bonus action attacks.