Runepriest Runes: Effect or On Hit?

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I have a player who just tried out the Runepriest class and there is an ambiguity I wasn't aware of until he asked me a question. Regarding the Rune riders on most Runepriest powers, is the selected Rune text treated as an Effect line (e.g. it happens regardless) or a Hit line (e.g. it only happens if the power hits). I'm sure this has to be covered in the text somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it. I need a new set of eyes on this and my Google-fu is failing me.

Note that this is regarding the riders, which vary from power to power, rather than the Rune States, which are static and pretty straightforward. I chose to treat the chosen Rune rider as an Effect line at the time, but having an At-Will that pushes on a miss made me wonder.
Most Runestates effects are Indentation to Hit line, which means they only occur if the attack hit, according to Power Formats in Rule Compendium pg. 92.


RC 92 Indentation: When a power entry is indented, that entry is a subentry and is contingent on the entry above it. For instance, an indented "Secondary Attack" subentry right below the primary attack's "Hit" entry is a reminder that the secondary attack occurs only if the primary attack hits. Often, the text of an entry states when to proceed to a subentry. For example, the "Hit" entry that leads to a "Secondary Attack" subentry most likely instructs the player to make the secondary attack.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Ah, I see what you're talking about. Some of the Runes are indented underneath the Hit line, while others are indented under the Effect line. The indentation is slight on the printed cards, so I hadn't noticed it, nor had I thought to go to the Rules Compendium and look at the Power Formats.

Thank you! I appreciate your help.
Note that the character will always enter a runestate (destruction, protection, or an alternate provided by a paragon path) when using the power, regardless of what else happens. It's only the runic riders within the power that are dependent on usual hit/miss/effect mechanics.

On the other hand, Player's Handbook 3 says this:

 

"Some of your powers have the runic keyword. When you are going to use a runic power, you first choose one of the runes noted in the power-either the rune of destruction or the rune of protection-and then use the power, applying the chosen rune's effects."

 

This entry suggests that it is an effect, and not based on the hit.  The written here is that you apply the effect.

 

My ruling would be that the effect happens after the attack roll resolves for three reasons, balance (compared to similar powers like Cleric's Sacred Flame which gives you temp HP equal to your CHA and 1/2 your level, gaining temp HP only equal to you CON mod on a hit only is weak), flavor (the rune doesn't just not buff because you missed), and lastly, but most importantly for rules laywer types because if you compare your rule (a general rule applied to all power entries) to the rule I have quoted (specific to Rune Masters power) the golden rule is that specific beats general.

 

If my understanding is not correct then  further clarification is needed.

Exhaltia wrote:

On the other hand, Player's Handbook 3 says this:

 

"Some of your powers have the runic keyword. When you are going to use a runic power, you first choose one of the runes noted in the power-either the rune of destruction or the rune of protection-and then use the power, applying the chosen rune's effects."

 

This entry suggests that it is an effect, and not based on the hit.  The written here is that you apply the effect.

 

My ruling would be that the effect happens after the attack roll resolves for three reasons, balance (compared to similar powers like Cleric's Sacred Flame which gives you temp HP equal to your CHA and 1/2 your level, gaining temp HP only equal to you CON mod on a hit only is weak), flavor (the rune doesn't just not buff because you missed), and lastly, but most importantly for rules laywer types because if you compare your rule (a general rule applied to all power entries) to the rule I have quoted (specific to Rune Masters power) the golden rule is that specific beats general.

 

If my understanding is not correct then  further clarification is needed.

 

Effect is an overloaded term. In your quote it is being used in the generic sense and not referring to the "effect line" of a power. Whether it is on the hit line, or effect line, you would still be "applying the chosen rune's effects," because there are effects of hits and effects of effects. You have to look at the formatting of the power to determine whether the rune effect is part of the hit line or effect line. Some powers it is one, and some it is the other. For example, the power "words of bravery" has them indented under the effect line, while most have them indented under the attack line. Gathering Storm Intonation has one effect under one attack line, and the other under another attack line.

Jay_Ibero_911 wrote:

 

Exhaltia wrote:

On the other hand, Player's Handbook 3 says this:

 

"Some of your powers have the runic keyword. When you are going to use a runic power, you first choose one of the runes noted in the power-either the rune of destruction or the rune of protection-and then use the power, applying the chosen rune's effects."

 

This entry suggests that it is an effect, and not based on the hit.  The written here is that you apply the effect.

 

My ruling would be that the effect happens after the attack roll resolves for three reasons, balance (compared to similar powers like Cleric's Sacred Flame which gives you temp HP equal to your CHA and 1/2 your level, gaining temp HP only equal to you CON mod on a hit only is weak), flavor (the rune doesn't just not buff because you missed), and lastly, but most importantly for rules laywer types because if you compare your rule (a general rule applied to all power entries) to the rule I have quoted (specific to Rune Masters power) the golden rule is that specific beats general.

 

If my understanding is not correct then  further clarification is needed.

 

 

Effect is an overloaded term. In your quote it is being used in the generic sense and not referring to the "effect line" of a power. Whether it is on the hit line, or effect line, you would still be "applying the chosen rune's effects," because there are effects of hits and effects of effects. You have to look at the formatting of the power to determine whether the rune effect is part of the hit line or effect line. Some powers it is one, and some it is the other. For example, the power "words of bravery" has them indented under the effect line, while most have them indented under the attack line. Gathering Storm Intonation has one effect under one attack line, and the other under another attack line.

 

My point was not about the word effect but the way that it says "Use the power and APPLY the effect." It does not say "apply the effect on-hit."  Also it's not up to you or I to decide how the word effect was meant to be used in this sense.  Your point is valid, but would require a RAI vs the RAW on this one IMO.

 

Edit: Let me add that you're probably right, but then I question the balance of the class.

 

 

There is also a continuing state that exists as soon as you select the rune, which is independent of the runic power. That effect applies as soon as you decide what rune you are using. For example, if you used Celestial Lightning with the Destruction Rune and an ally used Join The Crowd to shove somebody into the burst, your ally might benefit from the +1 bonus to attacks on characters adjacent to you for his interrupt.