The Divine Spirit of Language: A Runepriest Handbook

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Although my last attempt at a handbook did not result in anything remotely productive being accomplished, I have resolved to try my hand at crafting a guide covering the class that I currently find the most mechanically intriguing: the runepriest. (Flavor-wise, I cannot comprehend why this is not an Intelligence/Wisdom- and Intelligence/Charisma-based class.) I do not actually have the Player's Handbook 3 yet, and so only the groundwork for the handbook shall be laid down.

The image below (do click on it for the source image) is still a placeholder for now, though I may preserve it if you approve of it. Without further ado, I present to you...

The Divine Spirit of Language: A Runepriest Handbook



 


v44ia1.jpg



Why Play a Runepriest?




As the seventh and newest leader class in the system, the runepriest must establish its niche in the role through unique mechanics, specialties, and playstyles. Fortunately, it does not disappoint. As a runepriest, you can boast that...

You are a frontline leader. While this is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage from a mechanical perspective, there is a distinct appeal in rushing into the thick of melee alongside the defender and your other melee comrades, fighting alongside and providing succor to those who need it most.

You are a durable leader/defender. No other leader can make use of both scale armor and light shields by default. Apart from the near-defender-level AC that these proficiencies grant you, your Runic Artistry class feature should make most enemies think twice about attacking you, as an attack against you could quite possibly hasten the demise of the aggressor, making the defender appear to be a safer target. Alternatively, you can back up the defender by using various powers and multiclass feats to mark foes, helping you trigger Runic Artistry to boot.

You are an aggressive leader/striker. You can have redundancy in marking and defending; you can have a surplus of penalties, conditions, forced movement, and control; you can have too much healing, buffing, and leading; but in the end, rare shall be the occasion wherein you can earnestly claim that there is a surplus of damage output and striking. You are blessed with an above-average offensive capacity, and not through your allies, but through your own attacks. This causes enemies to fall more swiftly, reducing the length of the battle and thereby preventing further injury from befalling your allies.

You are an adaptable leader. Whenever you use a rune power, that is, the majority of your attack powers, you can choose between Destruction and Protection. This allows you to adapt to the current circumstances of the battle in the blink of an eye. Are you and your allies prepared to unleash a nova against that solo? Smash it with an attack and invoke Destruction. Is that solo ready to unleash a devastating close attack? Take caution and switch to Protection.

You benefit from your own buffs. Unlike most other leaders, the offensive and defensive boosts granted by your powers apply not only to your allies, but to yourself as well. Along with the Runic Artistry class feature, you can ensure that you revel in just as much glory as your compatriots.

In short, should you desire to play a durable, adaptable, melee leader who hits hard and allows herself to grow as powerful as her allies in the thick of battle, then the runepriest might be the class for you. A reduced healing capacity, deficient mobility, and rigid positioning shall be your weaknesses, but that is to be covered later.

Table of Contents (this should function properly once all interfering courtesy posts are deleted):
Post #1: The Introduction That You are Currently Reading
Post #2: Fundamentals, Ability Scores, and Mundane Equipment
Post #3: Races
Post #4: Build Archetypes
Post #5: Level 1 At-Will Attack Powers and Heroic-Tier Encounter and Daily Powers
Post #6: Paragon-Tier Encounter and Daily Powers
Post #7: Epic-Tier Encounter and Daily Powers
Post #8: Feats
Post #9: Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies
Post #10: Magic Items
Post #11: Multiclassing
Post #12: Tactics
Post #13: Sample Builds
Post #14: Afterthoughts

Color Rating Guide:
Sunflower:
Sky Blue:
Blue:
Black:
Purple:
Red: 

[u]Source Abbrevation Guide:[/u]
AP: Arcane Power
AV1: Adventurer's Vault 1
AV2: Adventurer's Vault 2
DMG2: Dungeon Master's Guide 2
DrXYZ: Dragon Magazine XYZ
DuXYZ: Dungeon Magazine XYZ
DMA09: Dragon Magazine Annual 2009
DP: Divine Power
EPG: Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG: Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MotP: Manual of the Planes
MM1: Monster Manual 1
MM2: Monster Manual 2
MP1: Martial Power
MP2: Martial Power 2
PHB1: Player's Handbook 1
PHB2: Player's Handbook 2
PHB3: Player's Handbook 3
PHH1: Player's Handbook Heroes Power Cards, Series 1
PHH2: Player's Handbook Heroes Power Cards, Series 2
PP: Primal Power

[u]Abbreviations:[/u]
• Defiant: A Strength/Wisdom-based runepriest who has selected Defiant Word for her Runic Artistry class feature.
• Wrathful: A Strength/Constitution-focused runepriest who has chosen Wrathful Hammer for her Runic Artistry class feature.

[u]Special Thanks To:[/u]
• ##4e on Freenode, for being a sagacious optimization consultory.
• NachtSieger, Lumi, and Nameykins, for sharing their views on the class through IRC.
• Lumi once more, for photoshopping together the opening image.
• /tg/, for being a receptive alternative audience.
• Everyone who shares their take on the class by posting.

Lexicon of the Artisan's Soul: Fundamentals



Role Analysis



Baseline Mechanics



Hit Points:

Healing Surges:

Armor Proficiencies:

Weapon Proficiencies:

Bonus to Defense:

Class Features



Rune Master:

Runic Artistry:

[sblock=Runic Artistry Choices:]
Defiant Word:

Wrathful Hammer:
[/sblock]

Rune of Mending:

Skills



Lexicon of the Forgemaster's Mettle: Ability Scores



Strength: This is your primary ability score. It drives your attack rolls, damage rolls, possibly Fortitude, and the rider effects of much of your powers. You cannot be competent without a high score in this, either 16 or 18.

Constitution: Wrathfuls use this as their secondary score for the Wrathful Hammer class feature and the rider effects of their powers, so they should set it at 14 or 16. Defiants value this substantially less, but could use perhaps a 12 in this for the sake of hit points and healing surges.

Dexterity: All a runepriest needs this for is her Reflex defense and initiative, the latter of which is not very important for a leader class such as you. Choose between a 12 in Dexterity or a 12 in Intelligence. If your race is graced with +2 Dexterity, go for Dexterity 12+2.

Intelligence: In combat, the only thing that a runepriest uses this for is her Reflex defense, though outside of battle, the mandatory Religion skill is fueled by this score. Take your pick between a 12 in Dexterity or a 12 in Intelligence. If your race has +2 Intelligence, it would be best to opt for Intelligence 12+2.

Wisdom: Defiants have this as their secondary score, as it is keyed to the Defiant Word class feature and various runepriest powers, making a 14 or a 16 in this a must for them. Wrathfuls need this only for their Will defense and often place a 12 in it.

Charisma: Defiants should dump this into ground 8, as they have no use for this whatsoever. Wrathfuls can use a 12 in this as an alternative to Wisdom for their Will defense, particularly those of a +2 Charisma race.

Starting Ability Score Spreads



16, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10, 8:

16, 16, 13, 11, 10, 10, 8:

18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 10, 8:

16, 14, 14, 13, 10, 10, 8:

17, 15, 13, 10, 10, 10, 8:

Lexicon of the Craftsman's Instruments: Mundane Equipment



Armor:

A One-Handed Weapon and a Shield, or a Two-Handed Weapon?:

One-Handed Weapons:

Two-Handed Weapons:

 

That yellow color isn't very legible on my monitor. I notice that you only use it for strength, and that ability scores have no "blue" category.

So how about making Con and Wis "regular blue" and making Str "sky blue"? It would increase legibility of your guide, imho.

Lexicon of the Heritors of Creation: Races



Recommendations: I would strongly endorse the longtooth shifter and the minotaur for a Defiant, given that they are the two only Strength/Wisdom races in the system. There exists many a Strength/Constitution race, on the other hand, and out of them, the goliath and the warforged would be best for a Wrathful. Dragonborn make surprisingly effective Wrathfuls as well thanks to their synergy with Constitution.

[sblock=Player's Handbook 1 Races:]
Dragonborn:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16+2, Constitution 16, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, History, Religion

Dwarf:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Religion

Eladrin:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10+2, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Defiant): Arcana, Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 10+2, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, History, Religion

Elf:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion

Half-Elf:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills: Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, Religion
Recommended Dilettante Power:

Halfling:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8+2
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Human:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16+2, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Defiant): Arcana, Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16+2, Constitution 16, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Religion

Tiefling:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8+2
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, Religion
[/sblock]

[sblock=Player's Handbook 2 Races:]
Deva:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion

Gnome:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8+2
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, Religion

Goliath:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16+2, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Religion

Half-Orc:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16+2, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16+2, Constitution 16, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Shifter, Longtooth:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word
Ability Scores: Strength 16+2, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion

Shifter, Razorclaw:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
[/sblock]

[sblock=Player's Handbook 3 Races:]
Githzerai:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion

Minotaur:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16+2, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16+2, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Religion

Shardmind:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion

Wilden:
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Religion
[/sblock]

[sblock=Other Races:]
Changeling (EPG):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills: Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, Religion

Drow (FRPG):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8+2
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Genasi (FRPG):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16+2, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16+2, Constitution 16, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, Religion

Gnoll (Dr367):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Kalashtar (EPG):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8+2
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion

Revenant (Dr376):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Shadar-Kai (Dr372):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10+2, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10+2, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Warforged (EPG):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16+2, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12
Trained Skills: Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, Religion

Wogen (Du159):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16+2, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12
Trained Skills: Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, Religion
[/sblock]

[sblock=Monster Races:]
Bladeling (MotP):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion

Bugbear (MM1):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16+2, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16+2, Constitution 16, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Bullywug (MM2):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Duergar (MM2):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12+2, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Religion

Githyanki (MM1):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12+2, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, History, Religion

Goblin (MM1):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8+2
Trained Skills (Defiant): Athletics, Heal, Insight, Religion
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Hobgoblin (MM1):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 12+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, History, Religion

Kenku (MM2):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Defiant Word or Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores (Defiant): Strength 16, Constitution 12, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16, Charisma 8+2
Ability Scores (Wrathful): Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 8, Charisma 12+2
Trained Skills (Wrathful): Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Kobold (MM1):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 12+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Religion, Thievery

Orc (MM1):
Recommended Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Ability Scores: Strength 16+2, Constitution 16+2, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Religion
[/sblock]

 

Lexicon of the Runic Exemplars: Build Archetypes



Defiant Word Runepriest



Wrathful Hammer Runepriest



 

Introduction.

Lexicon of the Runes Rudimentary: Level 1 At-Will Attack Powers




Recommendations: Unsurprisingly enough, the selection of at-will powers for a runepriest is fairly simple and intuitive. Defiants should select Word of Binding and Word of Exchange, the two Strength/Wisdom-based powers, whereas Word of Diminishment and Word of Shielding are the Strength/Constitution powers of choice for a Wrathful.

[sblock=Level 1 Strength/Wisdom At-Will Attack Powers:]
Word of Binding:

Word of Exchange:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 1 Strength/Constitution At-Will Attack Powers:]
Word of Diminishment:


Word of Shielding:
[/sblock]

Lexicon of the Runes Auspicious: Heroic-Tier Encounter and Daily Powers




Level 1 Encounter Attack Powers




Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 1 Strength/Wisdom Encounter Attack Powers:]
Divine Rune of Thunder:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 1 Strength/Constitution Encounter Attack Powers:]
Anvil of Battle:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 1 Pure Strength Encounter Attack Powers:]
Executioner's Call:

Flames of Purity:
[/sblock]

Level 1 Daily Attack Powers




Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 1 Pure Strength Daily Attack Powers:]
Rune of Endless Fire:

Rune of Iron's Rebuke:

Rune of the Undeniable Dawn:

Rune of Twilight's Beacon:
[/sblock]

Level 2 Utility Powers




Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 2 Skill At-Will Utility Powers:]
History: Perfect Recall:

Thievery: Fast Hands:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 2 Runepriest Encounter Utility Powers:]
Mark of Skilled Effort:

Rune of the Final Effort:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 2 Skill Encounter Utility Powers:]
Arcana: Arcane Senses:

Arcana: Arcane Mutterings:

Athletics: Bounding Leap:

Athletics: Scrambling Climb:

Heal: Healer's Gift:

Insight: Anticipate Maneuver:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 2 Runepriest Daily Utility Powers:]
Icon of Victory:

Shield of Sacrifice:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 2 Skill Daily Utility Powers:]
Endurance: Endure Pain

Endurance: Invigorating Presence:

Religion: Faith Healing:
[/sblock]

Level 3 Encounter Attack Powers




Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 3 Strength/Wisdom Encounter Attack Powers:]
Beacon of Vengeance:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 3 Strength/Constitution Encounter Attack Powers:]
Symbol of Wrath Reversed:

Word of the Blinding Shield:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 3 Pure Strength Encounter Attack Powers:]
Word of Alliance:
[/sblock]

Level 5 Daily Attack Powers




Recommendation: 

[sblock=Level 5 Pure Strength Daily Attack Powers:]
Rune of the Final Act: This is an accurate weapon attack that targets Fortitude, and it encourages you and your allies to concentrate your fire on one enemy, rewarding the tactic with a significant and ever-increasing bonus to damage rolls against it. However, even should you and your allies succeed in doing so, the resulting damage shall not be that much better than what you would have dealt had this instead been a plain 3[W] + Strength modifier damage attack, which leaves much to be desired.

:

:

:
[/sblock]

Level 6 Utility Powers




Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 6 Runepriest Encounter Utility Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 6 Skill Encounter Utility Powers:]
Arcana: Insightful Warning:

History: Historical Revelation:

Insight: Prescient Maneuver

Stolen Defense:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 6 Runepriest Daily Utility Powers:]
Rune of Meritorious Alacrity:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 6 Skill Daily Utility Powers:]
Arcana: Experienced Arcana:

Athletics: Mighty Sprint:

Heal: Swift Recovery:

Theologian's Shield:
[/sblock]

Level 7 Encounter Attack Powers




Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 7 Strength/Wisdom Encounter Attack Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 7 Strength/Constitution Encounter Attack Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 7 Pure Strength Encounter Attack Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

Level 9 Daily Attack Powers




Recommendation: Rune of Boundless Fury is the level 9 power of choice for any runepriest. It mimics the specialty of the warlord class quite well.

[sblock=Level 9 Pure Strength Daily Attack Powers:]
Rune of Boundless Fury: The actual attack of this power may be lackluster, but its effect allows your allies to unleash a cascading beatdown on the target of your aggression.

:

:

:
[/sblock]

Level 10 Utility Powers




Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 10 Runepriest Encounter Utility Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 10 Skill Encounter Utility Powers:]
Heal: Time Out:

History: Tactician's Measure:

Insight: Insightful Comment:

Religion: Conviction:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 10 Runepriest Daily Utility Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 10 Skill Daily Utility Powers:]
:
[/sblock]

Lexicon of the Runes Resplendent: Paragon-Tier Encounter and Daily Powers



Level 13 Encounter Attack Powers



Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 13 Strength/Wisdom Encounter Attack Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 13 Strength/Constitution Encounter Attack Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 13 Pure Strength Encounter Attack Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

Level 15 Daily Attack Powers



Recommendation: Rune of the First Fortress. A runepriest may not be a controller, but control to this degree is too difficult to pass up.

[sblock=Level 15 Pure Strength Daily Attack Powers:]
Rune of the First Fortress: Aside from unleashing an enemies-only close burst 3 attack to clear the ground, this power cruelly shuts down melee monsters by preventing them from reaching you and your nearby allies. Were that not enough, you and your allies in the burst gain resistance to all damage to boot.

:

:

:
[/sblock]

Level 16 Utility Powers



Recommendations.

[sblock=Level 16 Runepriest Encounter Utility Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 16 Skill Encounter Utility Powers:]
Arcana: Elemental Countermeasures:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 16 Runepriest Daily Utility Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 16 Skill Daily Utility Powers:]
Endurance: Diehard:
[/sblock]

Level 17 Encounter Attack Powers



Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 17 Strength/Wisdom Encounter Attack Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 17 Strength/Constitution Encounter Attack Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 17 Pure Strength Encounter Attack Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

Level 19 Daily Attack Powers



Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 19 Pure Strength Daily Attack Powers:]
:

:

:

:
[/sblock]

 

Lexicon of the Runes of the First Dawn: Epic-Tier Encounter and Daily Powers



Level 22 Utility Powers



Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 22 Runepriest Encounter Utility Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Level 22 Runepriest Daily Utility Powers:]
:

:
[/sblock]

Level 23 Encounter Attack Powers



Recommendation:

[sblock=Level 23 Strength/Wisdom Encounter Attack Powers:]
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Level 25 Daily Attack Powers



Recommendation: Rune of the Penultimate Step stuns (save ends) the target, hit or miss.

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Rune of the Penultimate Step: This may not deal any damage, but it is a precise weapon attack that targets Fortitude, and it stuns (save ends) the target. Making matters worse for your foe is that its first failed saving throw opens it up to coup de graces from you and your allies. If you miss, the target is stunned (save ends) anyway.

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Level 27 Encounter Attack Powers



Recommendation:

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Level 29 Daily Attack Powers



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Lexicon of the Talented Mind: Feats




Heroic-Tier Feats




Recommendations: Defiants should definitely select Weapon Proficiency as their level 1 feat, as the difference between upgrading from a mace to a bastard sword or a triple flail gains you an effective +1 bonus to attack rolls and a +1 bonus to average damage per [W]. Wrathfuls are less pressured to take that feat due to starting off with access to military hammers; Weapon Expertise is the prime choice for them, as hitting is more important than dealing damage, though a level 1 Wrathful may wish to pick Weapon Proficiency first to circumvent the hassle of having to switch weapons mid-campaign.

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Weapon Expertise (PHB2): Ah yes, the tax feat that ensures that weapon-using characters can maintain a non-deteriorating ratio of character attack bonus to monster defense values. Taking this feat at level 1 or 2 should be on the priority list for any runepriest.

Weapon Proficiency (PHB1): A Defiant should be able to see the difference between a 1d8/+2 mace and a 1d10/+3 bastard sword or triple flail. A Wrathful would find the boost in damage per [W] to be useful.

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Paragon-Tier Feats




Recommendations: Wrathfuls should have a look at Hammer Rhythm to increase their offensive capacity. Defiants multiclassed into monk can gain the hit points and healing surges of their Wrathful counterparts with Zuoken's Centering.

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Hammer Rhythm (PHB1): A hefty chunk of damage on a miss with your at-will and encounter attack powers is a great means by which to increase your average damage output.

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Monk: Zuoken's Centering (Dr378): The amount of hit points and healing surges a Defiant can gain from this feat is mind-boggling. This alone can justify investing in Dexterity 12 at level 1 and multiclassing into monk.

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Epic-Tier Feats




Recommendations: Bludgeon Mastery is quite the feat for a Wrathful, as a 19-20 critical range, while not essential, does wonders for your damage output. In the event that you have an 19-20 critical range, whether through a Jagged Weapon or the previously mentioned Bludgeon Mastery, Rune of Battle should be a no-brainer choice for you, as it can grant allies free melee basic attacks relatively frequently. Defiants multiclassed into fighter or ranger can look forward to the magnificent, damage-splashing, minion-clearing Slashing Storm.

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Rune of Battle (PHB3): While this is a solid yet unremarkable feat with an unexpanded critical range, being able to score critical hits on a natural 19 or 20 can turn this into a valuable source of free melee basic attacks for your party.

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Bludgeon Mastery (PHB1): A 19-20 critical range is a lovely offensive boost for a Wrathful.

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Fighter: Slashing Storm (MP2): A Defiant with this feat becomes a battlefield terror who can spread around 6, 7, 8, or 9 damage across each enemy adjacent to her every other round or so. This can automatically fell minions, mind you.

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Lexicon of the Auspicious Forge: Paragon Paths




Recommendations: The Hammer of Vengeance is a crazily potent paragon path for a Wrathful, and even some Defiants may consider as well, if only for the free melee basic attacks that it grants every other round or so. Defiants multiclassing into fighter can make excellent use of the Pit Fighter, as its level 16 feature substantially boosts the weapon damage of such a runepriest.

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Lexicon of the Eternal Crucible: Epic Destinies




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Lexicon of the Rune-Scribed Regalia: Magic Items



Magic Weapon Recommendations:

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Dragonshard Augment Recommendations:

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Wondrous Tattoo Recommendations:

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Lexicon of the Many Paths: Multiclassing



Recommendations:

Lexicon of the Words of Power: Option Packages



Lexicon of the Perfected Battlefield: Tactics


Lexicon of the Runes Reified: Sample Builds


 

Lexicon of the Many-Facted Rune: Hybrid Runepriests


 

Lexicon of Parting Wisdom: Afterthoughts



• I absolutely adore the combat mechanics of this class, though from a flavor perspective, I take offense at the fact that this is yet another Strength/Constitution- and Strength/Wisdom-based beatstick. Tying its secondary ability scores to the two dwarven ability scores of Constitution and Wisdom was a highly unnecessary move, and the fluff of this class spells out Intelligence, not Strength, as its primary ability score. It is rather illogical that a class revolving around the theological study of the divine language of creation has Intelligence and Charisma as two of its designated dump scores. This class would have been absolutely perfect if it was an Intelligence/Wisdom- and Intelligence/Charisma-based melee leader instead, one reminiscent of the truenamer.

Such is my loathing of Strength as the runepriest's primary ability score.

• Strength-based clerics must feel severely emasculated by this new class, especially with the downgrading of Righteous Brand as of March 2, 2010.

• Why do the level 1 at-will attack powers of the runepriest not scale in damage at level 21?

Well, my posts are out. Good luck!
That yellow color isn't very legible on my monitor. I notice that you only use it for strength, and that ability scores have no "blue" category.

So how about making Con and Wis "regular blue" and making Str "sky blue"? It would increase legibility of your guide, imho.



Agree. I like the Gold category in general (but make the colour a bit more orange for legibility), but for stats, Sky Blue will suffice. We don't have to match the power-creep with a colour-inflation. Gold should properly mean "only insane people or those who want to make bad characters should skip this". Some classes could have an entire guide made for them without a single gold choice popping up. The Expertise feats are properly golden though, no ifs and buts about it.

Looking forward a lot to this guide, though!

That should be all. In any case, other class handbooks use this exact color for the class's primary ability score; I see no reason to deviate from it.



And if all the other posters jumped over a cliff, would you do it too? Wink

(Seriously though, the Gold concept is fine, but the very lightest yellow colour isn't. It's the same way some people have picked ghastly colours for their sky blue at times. Just compare these colours to see how legible they are)
I'm looking forward to it (and to play the Runepriest myself)! Good luck!

Those of you who posted before "Lexicon of Parting Wisdom: Afterthoughts" may wish to delete your posts and then repost them to avoid interrupting the handbook.

Finally, I'm worried about the use of Gold. Not that I'm one to talk; I just think that Sky Blue would suffice in many of the situations where I see it. (Similarly, maybe blue would suffice for some Sky Blue options.) Again, I wouldn't know for sure. It just seems off to me. Also, the color you chose for Gold is very hard to read on the gray spoiler blocks. Rune of the Final Fortress is a good example of that illegibility (see the level 15 daily powers).
A few ratings have been taken down, and more legible colors are now in place.
I don't think Wogen count as a real race. They were just a houserule that made it into the Dungeon Magazine. Bladelings do count, though. Not enough handbooks acknowledge that they are a player race of equal officiality to genasi, kalashtar and the like. Their one racial feat is proof.

I don't have the Player's Handbook 3 -- heck, I don't even have Martial Power 2 yet --, but I look forward to this handbook, so I can glean some understanding of this class that, without any knowledge beyond its name, source and role, seems like a Cleric with fancier armour.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
I include wogen because they have appeared in a Dungeons & Dragons Insider publication, and it would be better to include an assessment of them with a reminder that they are not a true race rather than completely omitting them.
Looking forward to this as I also really like the flavor of a runepriest.
For the sake of having you all know why the Hammer of Vengeance is a sky blue paragon path for a Wrathful, these are its features:

Avenging Action (11th level): When you spend an action point to take an extra action, enemies take radiant damage equal to your Constitution modifier when they make attacks while they're within 5 squares of you and damage your allies with those attacks. This effect lasts until the end of your next turn.
Bloody Vengeance (11th level): Whenever you enter a new rune state, you can enter the rune state of vengeance instead. When any ally hits an enemy adjacent to you while you are in this rune state, you can make a melee basic attack against that enemy as an immediate reaction. This rune state then ends.
Inescapable Vengeance (16th level): When you make a melee basic attack granted by your Bloody Vengeance path feature, you gain +1 bonus to the attack roll and a bonus to the damage roll equal to your Constitution modifier.
Glad to see you working on a class handbook, Ads. I'll give some more direct feedback once I get my hands on the book myself.
There was a sig here. It's gone now.
One thing I noticed is that you have perfect recall (history utillity power) listed as level 6, but it is a level 2 power.
Don't count on Zuoken's Centering as an available feat.  Its likely to be errata'd to githzerai only as virtually all the racial released feats have been.
Don't count on Zuoken's Centering as an available feat.  Its likely to be errata'd to githzerai only as virtually all the racial released feats have been.


Check out the compiled D378; Githzerai is already listed as a pre-requisite.  I'm surprised that the CB and Compendium haven't been updated to reflect this yet (I posted it on the board months ago).

I'm glad you've decided to make this guide right away!  Of all the PHB3 classes, I'm most excited about the Runepriest (which is impressive, since I usually avoid Divine classes like the plague).  The combination of its aggressive frontliner playstyle and the versatility that its rune states provide make it really appealing.
Glad to see you working on a class handbook, Ads. I'll give some more direct feedback once I get my hands on the book myself.



My productivity shall increase once I come into possession of the Player's Handbook 3.

One thing I noticed is that you have perfect recall (history utillity power) listed as level 6, but it is a level 2 power.



That has been corrected.

Don't count on Zuoken's Centering as an available feat. Its likely to be errata'd to githzerai only as virtually all the racial released feats have been.



It does not list down a prerequisite in the initial compilation of Dragon Magazine #378, the Compendium, and the Character Builder. For now, I shall assume that it is a general monk feat, but the moment it is given errata, I shall update the handbook appropriately.
Aww, I was gonna try my hands at this class for my first handbook. Oh well, looks great so far. Can't wait to see it once everythings up and running :-)
Wow, Hammer of Vengeance is good stuff.

It's about time you wrote a handbook, lol. You've already rated enough material for several. Good luck!
Do Runepriests truly not have Ritual Caster as a class feature?  That would seem like as big an injustice and flavor oddity as their required stats... if not more-so!
Runepriests have neither Ritual Caster nor Channel Divinity as part of their class features. Out of combat capabilities are one of their major weak points.
Runepriests have neither Ritual Caster nor Channel Divinity as part of their class features. Out of combat capabilities are one of their major weak points.



That's a shame.  I can understand not having Channel Divinity... but the class flavor lends very naturally to casting rituals.  It almost seems like an oversight...
The shaman's randomly lacking ritual casting too.
Yeah i was a bit surprised that they lacked ritual casting myself, i would have thought they would get that easily, but then, i did not like the direction they took with the shaman, i would have preferred a more mystical spirit talker than a pet class.

The Runepriest on the other hand looks awesome, and i look forward to it. The STR stat i can handle, i imagine them as very large fellows that just happen to possess great knowledge, which leads me to preferring INT over WIS. Mechanically though having INT high would negate heavy armour.
Yeah i was a bit surprised that they lacked ritual casting myself, i would have thought they would get that easily, but then, i did not like the direction they took with the shaman, i would have preferred a more mystical spirit talker than a pet class.

The Runepriest on the other hand looks awesome, and i look forward to it. The STR stat i can handle, i imagine them as very large fellows that just happen to possess great knowledge, which leads me to preferring INT over WIS. Mechanically though having INT high would negate heavy armour.



Since they're divine, the tendency is to prefer Wis over Int.  Also, it's hard to think Runes and not think dwarf, so I think they made some effort to match up their stats.
...it's hard to think Runes and not think dwarf, so I think they made some effort to match up their stats.



Funny, when I think Runes, I think Warforged. Of course, I rarely think "dwarf" under any circumstances.

I'm in agreement with some of the other posters. It seems strange that the Runepriest doesn't have channel divinity. I thought that was a "minimum requirement" for a divine class, and it does feel like an oversight here. I could have foreseen some interesting channel divinity powers for these guys, too. It seems like they should get a carefully prerequisite'd feat pick that up, if nothing else. Also, I'm amazed at the Hybridability of the class. They really don't lose very much, and what they do lose is easily compensated for. It's crazy.  
How do you guys feel on a Barbarian/Runepriest hybrid? I've been looking it over a bit, and it sounds perfect for guys like me who like to kick down a door and rile their party up.


Flavor-wise, I think it makes sense that runepriest's don't receive Channel Divinity.  They don't receive their prayers from a deity the way clerics, avengers, and paladins all do; nor do they have a bit of deity-hood imbedded in them the way invokers do.  Rather, the runepriest's power source is divine because his "deeper" power source - the runes he wields - are also the things that give divine entities their powers.  Its a common-cause sort of thing rather than a caused-by sort of thing.  The lore of the class specifies that runes can manifest in other, non-divine ways as well - I would not be surprised to see "Runemages" pop up at some point in the future, sharing the runepriest's core mechanic but doing so in the Arcane power source.

I do, however, agree its a sham and an oversight that they don't get ritual casting.  I would have liked to see them get some sort of variant ritual casting similar to the guys in 3.5 who record spells using geometric designs rather than pages in a spell book.  The distinction between Wisdom / Intelligence is not sufficient to deny the Wisdom-based character ritual casting by virtue of being "less academic," especially as Wisdom is usually tied to divine magic instead of Intelligence.  Plus the cleric got it anyway.

I don't see it as an issue - there's no design requirement that a divine-class character MUST gain Ritual Caster for free, nor that Leader-role characters must have it.
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