Rune Wielder (5e Subclass)

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Rune Wielder[edit]

Runes are all around the world and have different shapes, sizes, and even colors; furthermore, each such rune has a different power and usage for the capable individuals who can inscribe them. The runes' variations are based on how complex they are and they appear in the form of magical words that are more beautiful than any others. This is where the rune wielders excel, for where mages are only able to use such runes with heavy concentration, a rune wielder trains to inscribe runes into their weapons. This advanced inscription renders such strenuous concentration unnecessary.

Quick Build

You can make a Rune Wielder fighter quickly by making Strength or Dexterity your highest ability score, followed by Charisma, and choosing the Sage background.

Bonus Proficiency[edit]

At 3rd level, you gain proficiency with arcana and either jeweler's tools or blacksmith's tools.

Runic Manifestation[edit]

At 3rd level, you learn to inscribe runic powers to manifest great devastating abilities. You can also use your runic powers to enhance your weapons, and cause your attacks to deal massive damage to all kinds of enemies.

Inscribed Runes

You can only inscribe 1 rune at a time, which are detailed under “Runes” below. These runes vary from ones that enhance your attacks, to ones that are designed to grant you a certain ability or two. You also gain the ability to inscribe more as you reach higher levels, as shown in the Inscribed Runes column of the Runic Inscription table. You can inscribe your runes on weapons or other item surfaces, and only you can use active runes. Passive runes can be used by any creature that matches it's prerequisites. To inscribe or change an inscribed rune, you can spend 1 hour during your short or long rest using your jeweler's tools or blacksmith's tools to rewrite all your inscribe runes. Runes that recreate spells that have material components with a gold value must have the gp value met as well when inscribing it.

Runic Points

You have 3 runic points, and you gain more as you reach higher levels, as shown in the Runic Points column of the Runic Inscription table. You can never have more runic points than shown on the table for your level, and you regain all of your runic points after a short or long rest. You must spend at least 30 minutes every rest concentrating on your runes to regain your rune points.

Runic Saving Throws

Charisma is your rune wielder ability for your inscribed runes. Your Charisma determines the beauty and the complexity of your runes that you manifest. Thus, the more creative your runes, the more powerful they become. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for your inscribed runes or when making an attack roll with one.

Some of your runes might require your target to make a saving throw to resist the power's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows

Runic save DC= 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Runic attack modifier= your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Runic Inscription Table[edit]

A rune wielder forging and inscribing his weapon, Source
3rd 2 3
4th 2 4
5th 3 5
6th 3 6
7th 4 7
8th 4 8
9th 5 9
10th 5 10
11th 6 11
12th 6 12
13th 7 13
14th 7 14
15th 8 15
16th 8 16
17th 9 17
18th 9 18
19th 10 19
20th 10 20

Runic Battle Caster[edit]

At 7th level, when you activate a rune that takes one action to cast, you can immediately use your bonus action to make an attack roll with advantage, thanks to the energy flow created by the rune.

Rune Rewriting[edit]

At 10th level, you can take 1 minute to concentrate on your currently inscribed runes and rewrite all of them with new ones. You can't rewrite all your runes this way again till you finish a long rest.

Rune Mastery[edit]

At 15th level, you have learned to create a magical weapon of your own, by inscribing two runes on one weapon. You can take a mundane weapon and add one rune with an active power and another with a passive power. You can only have one weapon like this. Your arcane energies cannot maintain two runes connected like that, so if you create a new weapon like this your previous weapon loses it's runes and becomes incapable of having runes inscribed on it.

Relentless Runes[edit]

At 18th level, you can use a bonus action to regain 1d4+2 rune points. You can't use this ability again until you finish a long rest.


When choosing the rune wielder as a subclass, you learn all of these runes; however, if a rune has any prerequisites, you must meet them to be able to use it. You can use the rune at the same time that you meet its prerequisites, yet you have to have your weapon draw to be able to activate the chosen rune. As a rune wielder, you can still inscribe runes on magical weapons; however, you can't inscribe such runes on an artifact weapon.

Rune of Precise Striking

You can expend 1 runic point to gain advantage to your next attack roll.

Rune of Searing Wave

As an action, you can expend 1 rune point to create a circular wave of flames that comes out centered in the rune, the wave works like the Burning Hands spell.

Rune of Shining Light

As a bonus action, you can cast the Light cantrip on your weapon at will.

Rune of Fire Blasting

You can forgo one of your attacks to cast Fire Bolt cantrip.

Rune of Freezing Bolt

You can forgo one of your attacks to cast Ray of Frost cantrip.

Rune of Shocking Impact

You can forgo one of your attacks to cast Shocking Grasp cantrip.

Rune of Trusted Arms

Whenever your weapon is within sight yet out of your reach, you can speak a command word to order your weapon to either return to, or reappear, in your hands at will.

Rune of the Guided Strike

You can expend 1 rune point when you hit a creature to link them with one other creature within 30 feet of you. The second creature has advantage on their next attack against your target.

Rune of the Poisonous Edge

You can expend 1 rune point when you hit an attack to try and cause the poison condition on the target, who must make a Constitution save against your runic save DC.

Rune of the Vicious Strike

You can expend 1 rune point when making a melee or ranged attack with a weapon to gain a bonus to your damage roll. The bonus to damage is equal to your charisma modifier.

Rune of Blinking

As a bonus action you can expend 1 rune points to activate the rune. The effect lasts for 1 hour. While under the effect of the rune you can use half your speed to blink to any point within 40 feet of you. If you dash you can use this twice in one turn.

Rune of Warding

As a reaction, you can expend 1 rune points when you are attacked with a melee or ranged attack to cast the Shield spell on yourself.

Rune of the Caster

Prerequisite: Know or have 1 spell (like in a spell scroll, or another item that can cast a spell) that is a spell level you can use. You can infuse a rune with a spell that you have, as long as you are "able" to cast it. At 3rd level you can use 1st level spells, and every three levels after you can infuse a spell 1 level higher. You can expend rune points equal to the spell's level (1 rune point for cantrips) and use the spell as an action. The spell is expended when used, after that you can recharge the rune with the same spell or a new one after a long rest. You can also recharge the rune with the same spell once per day with a short rest, but not spells of 7th level or higher.

Rune of Thunder Song

Prerequisite: 5th level. As an action, you can expend 2 rune points to cause a thunderous sound to resonate from your rune. The sound has the same effects as the thunderwave spell cast as a second level spell.

Rune of the Hateful Slayer

Prerequisite: 5th level. You can expend 2 rune points when attacking a creature that caused damage to you on the last round, causing 2d6 extra damage.

Rune of the Stealthy Blade

Prerequisite: 5th level. If you are invisible, your first attack with this weapon doesn't end you invisibility.

Rune of the Deadly Attack

Prerequisite: 5th level. If you have advantage your weapon deals an additional die of the weapon's damage type.

Rune of the Thousand Wounds

Prerequisite: 7th level. You can expend 1 rune point when you hit a creature to inflict them with a curse that causes cuts to appear on their body for a short amount of time. For one minute, at the beginning of the target's turns they take 1d4+1 slashing damage. This damage can only be healed by magic and the curse can be lifted by a greater restoration spell. The damage also ignores resistances and immunity.

Rune of Flight

Prerequisite: 7th level. With a bonus action you can expend 3 rune points to gain a flight speed of 60 feet for 10 minutes. When the time ends you fall, unless you can stop the fall.

Rune of the Flying Arms

Prerequisite: 9th level. As a bonus action, you can spend 3 rune points to toss your weapon into the air causing it to attack your enemies. When you do so, the weapon begins to hover, flies up to 30 feet, and attacks one creature of your choice within 5 feet of it. The weapon uses your attack roll and ability score modifier to damage rolls. While the weapon hovers, you can use a bonus action to cause it to fly up to 30 feet to another spot within 30 feet of you. As part of the same bonus action, you can cause the weapon to attack one creature within 5 feet of it. After the hovering weapon attacks for the fifth time, it flies up to 30 feet and tries to return to your hand. If you have no hand free, it falls to the ground at your feet. If the weapon has no unobstructed path to you, it moves as close to you as it can and then falls to the ground. It also ceases to hover if you grasp it or move more than 30 feet away from it.

Rune of Vampire Fang

Prerequisite: 9th level. You can expend 3 rune points to suck the life energy of a target you attack. You regain 1d6+1 hit points for every attack you hit on this turn.

Rune of Dwarvish Might

Prerequisite: 9th level. You have resistance to poison damage and have advantage against poison effects.

Rune of Elvish Swiftness

Prerequisite: 9th level. You have advantage to Stealth checks and you don't suffer from difficult terrain in natural forests.

Rune of Explosive Flame

Prerequisite: 9th level. As an action, you can expend 3 rune points to make any flame that you can see explode, like the Fireball spell.

Rune of Adamantine Strength

Prerequisite: 10th level, any weapon made of metal. Your weapon gains the strength and indestructible properties of the adamantine, causing it to deal an extra dice of damage on any critical attack made by the weapon itself. It also deals double damage to objects and structures (including constructs).

Rune of Hidden Eye

Prerequisite: 12th level. As an action, you can expend 4 rune points to cast Arcane Eye spell placed on the rune itself, however, your rune must be within the same plane of existence as you.

Rune of Masterwork

Prerequisite: 15th level. When you inscribe this rune to a weapon or armor you give the item one of the following masterwork properties.

Weapon Properties

  • Balanced: gain the finesse property
  • Huge: +1 to damage rolls and weapon becomes heavy
  • Vicious: weapon's critical range goes up by one (19-20)
  • Tool: weapon works as a blacksmith or thief's tools, by the creator's choice
  • Frightening: advantage to intimidation while holding your weapon
  • Impressive: advantage to persuasion while holding your weapon

Armor Properties

  • Lightened: Half weight
  • Agile: doesn't give disadvantage to Dexterity saving throws
  • Locking Joints: Aavantage to Strenght saving throws
  • Hardened: reroll 1 damage die on weapon attacks against you
  • Spikes: you can make attack rolls with the armor or shield, which causes 1d4, and you have proficiency on the attack if you are proficient with the armor or shield
  • Quiet: ignores disadvantage to stealth checks
Rune of the Draconic Essence

Prerequisite: 17th level. An extremely powerful but complicated rune. This rune must be infused with the essence of a dragon, using dragon blood and scales. The effect depends on the type of dragon. As an action, you can expend 7 rune points to transform yourself into an adult dragon. The effect lasts for 1 hour and during this time you can revert between the two forms as a bonus action.

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