View Full Version : Runecrafting [3.5, Many things, WIP, PEACH]

Sgt. Cookie
2012-11-07, 12:50 PM
So, I had an idea for stuff. Nothing solid or concrete, just, things. I'll list 'em here for a while, and at some point compile and straighten it all out.

Runecrafting rules

Crafting a Rune

Crafting an actual Rune takes some effort on behalf of the Runecrafter. A Rune is an intricate symbol or pattern, not unlike Binding, that the Rune uses to symbolise a particular aspect, be it good, evil, fire, cold, whatever.

Many runes are easy to craft, requiring little to no time at all on the Runecrafter's part, and about as much effort these "simple" runes are weak, but are the building blocks of more complex runes.

Unless otherwise stated, a Rune in and of itself is a diminutive sized object. A Rune written on a piece of parchment (or any other foldable object) can be folded down to fine size for traveling purposes. The parchment must be unfolded to use the Rune.

Crafting times are shown below:

{table=head] Rune complexity|Action to craft

Simple|Standard Action
Intermediate|Full round action
Complex|1 round
Very Complex|2 rounds
Extremely Complex|3 rounds[/table]

There are two types of Runes, Prepared Runes and Reserve Runes.

Prepared Runes are a type of Rune purpose built for a Letter, as such they only function for that particular Letter. Because of their nature, a Runecrafter may have any number of Prepared Runes.

Reserve Runes are standalone Runes that are used to created letters on the fly, as and when the Runecrafter needs them. Unlike Prepared Runes, there is a limit to the amount of Reserve Runes a Runecrafter can have. This limit is stated in any Runecrafter class or Feats. Only Runes of upto Complex difficulty can be a Reserve Rune.

Reserve Runes are usualy written on things like small stones.


A Letter is what a Runecrafter uses to channel the power of runes. As mentioned above, there are two types of Letters, one using Prepared Runes and one using Reserve Runes.

Prepared Letters are long, arduous, time consuming tasks that the Runecrafter creates to achive monumental tasks, such as summoning a volcanoe, or traveling to another plane. Each Prepared Letter takes a different amount of time, as stated in each Letter's description. You can preprepare only a small amount of Prepared Letters, as noted in the Class or Feat. Otherwise, a Prepared Letter is "cast" when completed.

Sudden Letters, however, are a different story. A Sudden Letter is not as powerful as a Prepared Letter, but are much more useful on the fly. Sudden letters do things such as blowing a hole in a wall, or blasting an opponent with raw chaos. Unless otherwise stated, a Sudden Letter takes a standard action to form, as you have already created the Runes. Once used, the Reserve Runes cannot be used again for a certain number of rounds, as noted in the Letter's description.

Peripheral Runes

Some sudden letters you can add Peripheral Runes to. If you think of them as being like optional material components, you're not far off.

Peripheral Runes are always named so in the Letter, along side the Peripheral Rune cooldown time AND the effect achieved by using the Peripheral Rune.

Peripheral Cooldown is in addition to the standard cooldown. If, for example, a Sudden Letter had a 2 round cooldown time, and a peripheral cooldown time of 3, the total cooldown is 5 rounds.

During the total cooldown time, none of the runes used in the letter can be used.

Abilities or feats that reduce cooldown, such as the Runemaster's Enhanced Cooldown ability, affects standard cooldown first, and peripheral cooldown second.

Basic Runes and Compound Runes

There are two sorts of Runes, Basic Runes and Compound Runes.

Basic Runes are the building blocks of everything else. A Basic Rune is a simple pictogram, symbolising some basic aspect of existence, be it Flame, Water, Sound or even Mountains.

A Compound Rune, as the name suggests, is a Rune created by combining two or more Runes to create something related, such as a Rune of Life and a Rune of Death compounding into a Rune of Cycles. A Compound Rune is more likely to be used in Prepared Letters than in Sudden Letters.

Runecraft level:

Your Runecrafter level is equal to your levels in any Runecrafter class or PrC + half your levels in any other class + (2 X the number of any Runecraft feats you possess), unless the feat says otherwise. Your Runecrafter level cannot exceede your ECL.

Rune List

Lesser Runes

Basic Lesser Runes:

Lesser Rune of the Sun: A simple rune, symbolises day

Lesser Rune of the Moon: A simple rune, symbolises night

Lesser Fire (Element) Rune: A simple rune, symbolises the fire element

Lesser Water Rune: A simple rune, symbolises the water element

Lesser Air Rune: A simple rune, symbolises the air element

Lesser Earth Rune: A simple rune, symbolises the earth element

Lesser Fire (Energy) Rune: A simple rune, symbolises raw fire energy

Lesser Cold Rune: A simple rune, symbolises raw cold energy

Lesser Acid Rune: A simple rune, symbolises raw acid energy

Lesser Electricity Rune: A simple rune, symbolises raw electricity energy

Lesser Sonic Rune: A simple rune, symbolises raw sonic energy

Lesser Force Rune: A simple rune, symbolises raw force

Lesser Good Rune: An intermediate rune, symbolises raw goodness (Energy rune)

Lesser Evil Rune: An intermediate rune, symbolises raw evil (Energy rune)

Lesser Law Rune: An intermediate rune, symbolises raw order (Energy rune)

Lesser Chaos Rune: An intermediate rune, symbolises raw chaos (Energy rune)

Lesser Life Rune: An intermediate rune, symbolises life

Lesser Death Rune: An intermediate rune, symbolises death.

Compound Lesser Runes:

Any simple (Non-alignment) energy lesser rune + Lesser Law Rune = Lesser Rune of Controlled X: A complex rune, symbolises controlled destruction.

Any simple (Non-alignment) energy lesser rune + Lesser Chaos Rune = Lesser Rune of Uncontrolled X: A complex rune, symbolises uncontrolled destruction.

Lesser Rune of Life + Lesser Rune of Death OR Lesser Rune of the Sun + Lesser Rune of the Moon = Rune of Cycles: A very complex rune, symbolises repetition.

Lesser Good rune + Lesser Evil rune + Lesser Law rune + Lesser Chaos rune = Lesser Rune of spiritual balance: A very complex rune, symbolises spiritual balance.

Lesser Rune of Fire (Element) + Lesser Rune of Water + Lesser Rune of Air + Lesser Rune of Earth = Lesser Rune of Physical Balance: A very complex rune, symbolises physical balance.

Lesser Rune of Spiritual Balance + Lesser Rune of Physical Balance = Lesser Rune of Perfection: An extremely complex rune, symbolises total physical and mental perfection.

Any simple energy lesser rune + Lesser Rune of Spiritual Balance = Rune of Spiritual X: A very complex rune, symbolises destruction of spirits.

Any simple energy lesser rune + Lesser Rune of Physical Balance = Rune of Physical X: A very complex rune, symbolises destruction of the physical world.

Any simple energy lesser rune + Lesser Rune of Perfection = Lesser rune of perfect X: An extremely complex rune, symbolises total, unrivaled perfection of something.


Basic Runes

Rune of the Flame: A simple rune, symbolises fire, both controlled and uncontrolled

Rune of the Ocean: A simple rune, symbolises the open seas

Rune of the Sky: A simple rune, symbolises the skies

Rune of the Mountains: A simple rune, symbolises stone, rock, metal, etc. (Basically, the earth itself)

Rune of the Hearth: A simple rune, symbolises home

Rune of Roads: A simple rune, symbolises travel

Rune of Battle: A simple rune, symbolises war

Rune of Calm: A simple rune, symbolises peace

Rune of Love: A simple rune, symbolises love

Rune of Hate: A simple rune, symbolises hate

Rune of the Craftsman: An intermediate rune, symbolises creation at the hand of man

Rune of the Woodsman: An intermediate rune, symbolises destruction at the hand of man

Rune of the Warrior: An intermediate rune, symbolises fighting

Rune of the Magician: An intermediate rune, symbolises magic

Rune of the Performer: An intermediate rune, symbolises a performance of some kind

Rune of the Huntsman: An intermediate rune, symbolises hunting for food

Rune of the Trapper: An intermediate rune, symbolises hunting for fur, ivory, hide, etc

Rune of the Farmer: An intermediate rune, symbolises cultivating land solely for food

Rune of the Silkmaster: An intermediate rune, symbolises cultivating land solely for clothing, curtains, etc.

Rune of the Serf: An intermediate rune, symbolises a poor labourer

Rune of the Nobleman: An intermediate rune, symbolises a rich lay-about.

Compound runes:

Rune of the Warrior + Rune of Calm = Rune of the Tactician: A complex rune, symbolises thought in battle

Rune of Roads + Rune of the Performer = Rune of the Traveling Performer: A complex rune, symbolises a moving performance

Sgt. Cookie
2012-11-07, 02:03 PM
Runecrafting character options

Runecrafting classes

The Runemaster

Created by The___O, of themebeta.com

You think Runes are simple pictures? That any fool can create them? You are wrong. Runes are complex, exacting and ardous. It takes great skill and concentration to begin with them; and even more to master them.

Game rule information:
Runemasters have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Inteligence is important for a Runemaster, as it powers his Letters and their save DCs. Dexterity is useful as well, as several letters use ranged touch attacks,

Hit Die: d8
Starting age: As Monk
Starting gold: As Fighter

Class skills: The Runemaster's skills (And the ability for each skill) are: Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Runes)*, Listen (Wis) and Spot (Wis)

Skill Points and first level: (2 + Int bonus) x 4
Skill points at each additional level: 2 + Int bonus

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Runes Known|Reserve Runes|Pre-prepared Letters


2nd|+1|+0|+3|+3|Enhanced Cooldown -1|7|4|1


4th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Swift Rune (1) 1/hour|8|4|2

5th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Energy Addition|8|5|2

6th|+4|+2|+5|+5|Enhanced Cooldown -2|9|5|2


8th|+6/+1|+2|+6|+6|Swift Rune (2) 1/hour, Standard Runes|10|6|3


10th|+7/+2|+3|+7|+7|Enhanced Cooldown -3|11|6|3

11th|+8/+3|+3|+7|+7|Verbal Letter 1/day|11|7|4

12th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+8|Swift Rune (3) 1/hour|12|7|4


14th|+10/+5|+4|+9|+9|Enhanced Cooldown -4|13|8|4

15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+9|+9|Quick Letter|13|8|5

16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+10|Swift Rune (4) 1/hour, Greater Runes|14|8|5


18th|+13/+8/+3|+6|+11|+11|Enhanced Cooldown -5|15|9|5


20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+12|Swift Rune (5) 1/hour, Last Will and Testament|16|10|6


Class features The following are considered class features for the Runemaster.

Runes Known:
The Runemaster begins play with 6 Lesser Runes, at level 8 he gains access to standard Runes and at level 16 Greater Runes.

He Gains extra Runes as shown on the table.

At level 3 and every 3 levels after, the Runemaster may swap out any Rune he knows for any other Rune he has access to.

Reserve Runes:
The Runemaster begins with the ability to have 3 of his Runes in reserve. He can craft more Reserve Runes as shown on the table.

Pre-prepared Letters:
The Runemaster may have a small number of Prepared Letters pre written, as shown on the Table.

Weapon and armour proficiencies:
The Runemaster is proficient with all simple weapons and three martial weapons. The Runemaster is proficient with light armour and light shields. The Runemaster requires a free hand to craft Runes, however.

Runemark (Su):
Like other Runecrafter classes, a Runemaster has the ability to create Runes on any surface without needing a proper tool. At first level, the Runemaster gains an ability identical to Arcane Mark (And Runemark counts as Arcane Mark for any prerequisites), except that the Runemaster must still physicaly draw the mark, like any non-Runecrafter. This ability simply removes the need to have ink or a blade to craft Runes.

Enhanced Cooldown (Ex):
Starting at second level, a Runemaster may decrease the cooldown of Sudden Letters by one round, to a minimum of a One Round cooldown time. This ability improves at levels 6, 10 and every four levels after.

Swift Rune (Ex):
When you first gain this ability, select one Rune you know. Once per hour you may craft that Rune as a Swift Action.

At level 8, 12 and every four levels after, you may select another Rune. You may only craft one Rune per hour, regardless of how many Runes you have selected.

If you swap a Rune that is also a Swift Rune, the Rune you select in place of the first one becomes a Swift Rune.

Energy Addition (Su):
At fifth level, you may, in leiu of Enhanced Cooldown, add a peripheral energy Rune to any Sudden Letter that deals Energy Damage. Half the Damage is considered to be of the standard energy type, while the other half is considered the other.

For example, a Letter of Blasting could be half Fire and half Cold.

Using this ability increases the Cooldown of the letter by 2 rounds.

Verbal Letter (Su):
At eleventh level, the Runemaster may write any Letter, that uses 1-2 simple Runes, verbaly once per day, meaning that he can use the Letter while grappled, or if his hands are bound.

Quick Letter (Ex):
At fifteenth level, the Runemaster may write a Prepared Letter in half the time it normaly takes.

Last Will and Testament (Su):
When a level twenty Runemaster dies, the most powerful Sudden Letter he can write activates (regardless of whether or not he has the Runes prepared) Int mod times, simultaniously, in a 60ft radius, regardless of the Letter's actual range. This effect leaves the Runemaster's body intact.

Sgt. Cookie
2012-11-07, 02:05 PM
Letters List

This is only a small selection, feel free to suggest your own.

Unless otherwise stated, the Saving throw for any letter is 10 + Half Runecrafter level + Int mod

Sudden Letters:

Letter of Blasting
Minimum Runes needed: Any Lesser Energy Rune.
Peripheral Runes: None
Peripheral cooldown: N/A
Rune Cooldown: 1 round
Target: 1 person
Range: 60ft + 5ft per Runecrafter level
Duration: Instant
Saving Throw: None


With the Rune in hand, you send forth a pillar of raw energy at your foe

Make a ranged touch attack against 1 person. If you succeed, you blast your opponent with the raw, unshaped energy of Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, Force, Sonic, Good, Evil, Law or Chaos, dealing 1d6 (1d4 for Force and Sonic) damage per two Runecrafter Levels, capped at 5d6 (5d4) damage.

Explosive Letter
Minimum Runes needed: Lesser Rune of Controlled Force + Lesser Fire (Energy) Rune.
Peripheral Runes: None
Peripheral cooldown: N/A
Rune Cooldown: See effect
Target: 1 flat object.
Range: 10 feet in the oposite direction from the flat object.
Duration: Instant
Saving Throw: Reflex half


You throw your Runes at the wall, and suddenly they explode. There is a hole in the wall, about 30 feet in diamater which you calmly pass through

When your thrown Runes (You can throw them up to 30ft) hit a wall (or floor, celing, etc), they explode dealing 1d10 damage per two Runecrafter levels to the wall in a 30 foot diamater, ignoring hardness (Except for walls made of admantium), capped at 6d10. Anyone caught in the blast radius takes half the damage delt to the wall.

The Runes used for this Letter are destroyed.

Bright Letter
Minimum Runes needed: Lesser Rune of the sun
Peripheral Runes: Lesser Fire (Energy) rune
Peripheral cooldown: 3 rounds
Rune Cooldown: 2 rounds per
Target: None, 1 enemy (Peripheral)
Range: See text, 30 ft (Peripheral)
Duration: 1 min/Runecrafter level, Instant (Peripheral)
Saving Throw: Reflex half

As you finish the Letter, the Sun Rune floats under it's own power, brightening the area around you.

This letter creates a bright light, illuminating 30ft and provides shadowy illumination out to 60 ft.

Peripheral effect:
Upon encountering the Vampire spawn, you draw in the light and create a small ball. You then throw this ball at the Vampire spawn, which reels from it.

Instead of illumination, you may instead "ball" the light and blast it an opponent. The target of this "ball" reacts as though it spent 1 round in bright sunlight.

The peripheral cooldown only applies if this effect is used. The Lesser Fire (Energy) Rune is, however, unusable for the duration of the Letter.

Sudden Letter Template
[Name] Letter
Minimum Runes needed:
Peripheral Runes:
Peripheral cooldown:
Rune Cooldown:
Saving Throw:


Peripheral effect:

2012-11-07, 03:43 PM
This is kinda reminding me of Runescape (at least some of the names.)

This is a sign that I may have played that game too much in the past.

I can't wait to see some mechanical effects!

Sgt. Cookie
2012-11-07, 04:20 PM
It reminded me of it, too.

The mechanics of this, the short version at least, focus on two types of effects: Short, simple ones, like blasting opponents with pure chaos, and big flashy affairs that take days, weeks, months or even years to come into effect, like creating volcanoes or opening a permanent portal to another plane.

So yeah, Plot Hooks, the Subsystem, is a good way to describe this.

Grimsage Matt
2012-11-07, 04:23 PM
Might use this and some other rune systems In some d20 modern games.

Sgt. Cookie
2012-11-08, 06:36 PM

Some more basic rules have been added.

The first couple of Letters have been added.

Sgt. Cookie
2012-11-10, 11:41 AM

The first Runecrafting class, the Runemaster, has been added.

2012-11-11, 07:03 PM
Great start to some promising looking work, added to my Rune-based Compendium! If youw ant to dig through it for a little inspirationf rom fellow playgrounders, it's sitting in my Sig :)

GL! And I'm looking forward to seeing the finished or near finished work.

Sgt. Cookie
2012-11-14, 11:42 AM

Added in the rules for peripheral runes

Added in some basic standard runes

Sgt. Cookie
2012-11-14, 03:24 PM
Two updates in one day?! Aren't you guys lucky?


Completed the Basic Runes

Started on the Compound Runes