The art of runecraft is a difficult one that few master. Runeblades are those that dabbled in the art, rather than mastering it. Unschooled and flighty, they tend to shirk mundane training as well as magical — still, their experience with magical writing can be very useful in a variety of situations.

Base Class Statistics:

  • Ability Requirements: Aim 12, Willpower 12
  • Alignments: Non-Lawful
  • Experience Chart: as Cleric
  • Hit Dice: d6
  • Hit Points per level beyond 9th: +1 per level
  • THAC0: as Rogue
  • Saves: as Wizard
  • Proficiencies:
    • Weapons, Initial: 2
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 2 levels
    • Non-Weapon, Initial: 2
    • Non-Weapon, Advancement: +1 per 2 levels
  • Non-weapon Group Crossovers: Craft, Martial, Sorcerous
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Runecraft
  • Allowed Weapons: Any Melee Weapons
  • Allowed Armor: Chainmail or lighter armor. Shields.

Class Features:

Intercept Secrets: A Runeblade’s early exposure to the secret language of runes gives them an inherent sense of the power of words. A Runeblade can learn secret languages normally limited to members of certain classes (such as the Druidic language, Thieves’ Cant, or Rauthlek). In many cases, simply knowing the language is sufficient to convince members of these classes that he is one of them. Learning a secret language can be done at the cost of 1 non-weapon proficiency slot.

Use Scrolls: Because of their early exposure to magical runes, the Runeblade has a chance to use any magical scroll, book, or other written magical item. His understanding of magic is imperfect, so the Runeblade must make a successful Runecraft check. On a failed check, the scroll backfires in some way. This sort of malfunction is almost always detrimental to the Runeblade and his party. It could be as simple as accidentally casting the reverse of the given spell or as complex as a foul-up on a fireball scroll, causing the ball of flame to be centered on the Runeblade instead of its intended target.

Rune Magic: Runeblades can create magical runes, as described for the Runecaster (see also Giantcraft or the Vikings Campaign Sourcebook). The Runeblade learns 1 rune at 1st level, and 1 additional rune at every odd-numbered level thereafter (3rd, 5th, 7th, etc.). The Runeblade does not gain any bonus runes for possessing a high Intuition score.

Because they are less practiced at creating runes than a true Runecaster, a Runeblade increases the time necessary to scribe a rune by 3 units. Thus the Annam’s Unblinking Eye rune, which normally requires 3d4 hours to scribe, would instead require 3d4+3 hours.

Men at Arms: Runeblades, though flighty, are soldiers at heart, and those that attain sufficient prestige eventually attract a body of like-minded men-at-arms. At 10th level, a Runeblade who has established a stronghold attracts 20 to 200 men-at-arms (1st-level fighters) as followers.

Resist Symbols: Starting at 11th level, the Runeblade’s experience with magical runes and glyphs makes him completely immune to the effects of any priest or wizard spell with the words Glyph, Rune, Sigil, or Symbol in its name. He never triggers these spells when looking on them, and suffers no ill effects from being in the area when another triggers them.

Level Limits: Members of any Race may become Runeblades with no limit to their levels. Demihuman Runeblades may multi-class according to the normal rules for their race. Runeblades count as a class of the Wizard category for the purposes of what classes it can be combined with.


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