Rune Knight (version 2.0)

Wizards of the Coast recently released new D&D playtest material (“Unearthed Arcana”) that included a “Rune Knight”. I really liked this concept, but I wasn’t terribly excited about the options and design flavor that they came up with. Their version is all about Giants and as a friend pointed out, it feels very Barbarian-ish. So I re-skinned the concept to make it more fighter-y. What do you think?

Rune Knight

You discovered how to enhance your martial prowess using the supernatural power of runes. The ancient practice of rune magic originated with dwarves. Skiltgravr (“rune cutters”) can be found among any type of dwarves, and you likely learned your methods first or second hand from such a mystical artisan. Whether you found the dwarven work carved into a hill or cave, learned of the runes from a traveling sage, or met the dwarf in person, you studied the dwarf’s craft. In time, you learned how to carve and apply runes to your equipment and how to invoke their magic, ultimately becoming a Rune Knight. 

Bonus Proficiencies 

3rd-level Rune Knight feature 

You gain proficiency with smith’s tools, and you learn to speak, read, and write Dwarven. 

Rune Magic 

3rd-level Rune Knight feature 

You learn how to use runes to enhance your gear. When you gain this feature, you learn how to inscribe two runes of your choice on weapons, armor, or shields (see “Rune Options”). Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch a number of objects equal to the number of runes you know, and you inscribe a different rune onto each of the objects. To be eligible, an object must be a weapon, a suit of armor, or a shield. Your rune remains on an object until you finish a long rest, and an object can bear only one of your runes.Each time you gain a level in this class, you can replace one rune you know with a different one. 

Rune Options 

Here are rune options for the Rune Magic feature. They are all magical effects.If a rune requires a saving throw, your Rune Magic save DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier. 

Shield (Rune of the Squire)

  • While bearing an object inscribed with this rune, you have an AC bonus of +1.
  • In addition, you can invoke the rune as a bonus action, gaining resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage for 1 minute. Once you invoke the rune, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest. 

Hammer (Rune of the Smith)

  • While bearing an object inscribed with this rune, you have resistance to fire damage.
  • In addition, you can invoke the rune as a bonus action, gaining +2d6 fire damage to all weapon attacks for 1 minute. Once you invoke the rune, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest. 

Wing (Rune of the Wayfarer)

  • While bearing an object inscribed with this rune, your movement increases by +10 feet.
  • In addition, you can invoke the rune as a bonus action, gaining the ability to teleport up to 30 feet instead standard movement for 1 minute. Once you invoke the rune, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest. 

Crown (Rune of the Saint)

  • While bearing an object inscribed with this rune, you are immune to poison and can cure a poisoned creature by touching it.
  • In addition, you can invoke the rune as a bonus action, gaining temporary hit points equal to three times your fighter level. Once you invoke the rune, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest. 

Book (Rune of the Scholar)

  • While bearing an object inscribed with this rune, you have advantage on all Intelligence-based checks (Arcana, History, etc.).
  • In addition, you can invoke the rune as a bonus action, gaining knowledge of the resistances, vulnerabilities, and immunities of all creatures within 10 feet. Once you invoke the rune, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest. 

Sun (Rune of the Faithful)

  • While bearing an object inscribed with this rune, you have Darkvision up to 90 feet.
  • In addition, you can invoke the rune as a bonus action, causing one weapon to shine with Daylight (60 feet) for 1 minute. Each time you make a weapon attack, the target must make a Constitution saving throw or be blinded for 1 round. Once you invoke the rune, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest. 

Scythe (Rune of the Reaper)

  • While bearing an object inscribed with this rune, you have no need to eat food and you can sense the presence of any undead within 30 feet at all times.
  • In addition, you can invoke the rune as a bonus action, so that once per round when you deal weapon damage you heal for half as many hit points, for 1 minute. Once you invoke the rune, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest. 

Graven Might 

3rd-level Rune Knight feature 

You can imbue yourself with the might of dwarves. As a bonus action, you magically gain the following benefits, which last for 1 minute: 

  • Your skin becomes gray and stone-like, and you are immune to piercing damage. 
  • You have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws. 
  • Your weapon attacks deal an extra 1d6 damage.

You can use this feature twice, and you regain all uses of it when you finish a long rest. 

Defensive Runes 

7th-level Rune Knight feature 

You learn to invoke your rune magic to protect your allies. When another creature you can see within 60 feet of you is hit by an attack roll, you can use your reaction to grant a bonus to the creature’s AC against that attack. The bonus equals 1 + your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +2). In addition, you learn one new rune of your choice from the Rune Magic feature (for a total of three). 

Dwarven Power

10th-level Rune Knight feature 

The magic of your runes permanently alters you. When you gain this feature, increase either your Strength or Constitution by +2. Moreover, the extra damage you deal with your Graven Might feature increases to 1d8. In addition, you learn one new rune of your choice from your Rune Magic feature (for a total of four).

Rune Magic Mastery 

15th-level Rune Knight feature 

You can invoke each rune you know from your Rune Magic feature twice, rather than once, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a short or long rest. In addition, you learn one new rune of your choice from the Rune Magic feature (for a total of five). 

Blessing of the All Father 

18th-level Rune Knight feature 

You learn how to share your rune magic with your allies. When you use your Graven Might feature, you can choose one willing creature you can see within 60 feet of you. The chosen creature also gains the benefits of your Graven Might feature. 

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  1. Pingback: Rune Knight 5E - Unearthed Arcana Review: Rune Knight Fighter – Mythcreants

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