Author Topic: Why no love for the Runecaster?  (Read 15466 times)

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tuesdayscoming

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Why no love for the Runecaster?
« on: May 24, 2011, 09:07:21 AM »
Howdy, everybody! First things first, this is my first thread at BG, and I want to take a moment to thank all of the incredible optimizers working on the game that I love so very well. You guys are amazing, each and every one of you, and I can't express how much your efforts have helped me enjoy DnD.

Anyways, I've been thinking about the Runecaster prestige class from Player's Guide to Faerun (not to be confused with the more frequently used Runesmith from Races of Stone), and it seems like a class with extraordinary potential. And yet my Google-fu turns up nothing on how best to take advantage of its abilities.

Class features of note are the ability to create permanent runes, objects that, when touched, cast a single spell on the object or creature that touched it. Its a bit more complicated and flexible than that, but that's the basic function. Note again, that (at least after level 8, these runes can cast the spell ad infinitum. As an item creation type ability, it is expensive, but totally worth it as far as I can tell. An additional feature is the ability to maximize the effects of spells in the runes you make, without increasing the cost of creating the rune. You can place a rune on any object you like, but can only put a single rune on a given object if it has less than 50 feet of surface area.

Of further note is that you can only do this with divine spells. As such, archivist seems the obvious choice for entry, as it opens up a world of possibilities and (in some cases) lowers the cost of rune creation significantly.

I'll point out just a couple of exploits I've thought of.

As an archivist, make a rune of Arrowsplit (Champions of Ruin), and place the rune on the arrow rest of a bow, so that every arrow the bow fires touches the rune. Because the rune is maximized, every arrow you shoot will split into five, count them five, arrows. This is 2.5x as effective as the Splitting bow enhancement, and (if my hasty calculation is correct) only costs you 15k in gold and ~1k in exp. All of this without driving up the total enhancement bonus of the bow.

Another great one would be Shadow Arrow (also Champions of Ruin). Put it in the same place, and suddenly every arrow you fire is a touch attack that deals six points of strength damage!

Assuming that these spells would stack, you could instead put the Shadow Arrow rune on the glove that draws your arrows, and suddenly you are an incredible ranged power house. Oh, and you're still a full caster :D

So my question is this: how on earth has no one taken extreme advantage of this class before? It seems the type of thing that would take quite a bit of thought to take full advantage of, but that has absolutely extraordinary potential.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 09:27:35 AM by tuesdayscoming »

Sinfire Titan

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 09:33:10 AM »
The correct answer is that Google hates you.

The funny answer is because it's from the Forgotten Realms, thus no one remembers it when posting.

My answer? Probably because crafting magical traps is Core, and much easier to abuse than a PrC from FR that may not be flavor-appropriate for other campaign settings. The Artificer can craft traps very easily, and as such may be a superior option (if more of a headache). In other words, getting access to that PrC is crapshoot, just like every other campaign-specific class or PrC.

Basically, look for how to optimize traps instead of how to optimize the Runecaster itself. The end results will be largely the same.


[spoiler][/spoiler]

Solo

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 09:42:11 AM »
I applaud your enthusiasm and ingenuity, Tuesday.

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tuesdayscoming

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 09:45:26 AM »
Hmm, you may have a fair point, Sinfire Titan. I will briefly point out, though, that the Runecaster can create a permanent rune in 10 minutes flat, whereas the more traditional crafter could still be taking months or more for the same effect. This strikes me as a significant advantage, though I suppose it is somewhat campaign dependent.

Do you know of a decent guide to making magical traps of this sort? The interpretation that allows for Arrowsplit or some such to be cast on an arrow on the trigger "an arrow leaves the bow" always struck me as a bit of a dubious one, though I will admit that my knowledge here is less than perfect.

Also, do you know of a way to maximize the spells on such traps? This is one of the main abilities of the Runecaster, and that it can be done without increasing the price or crafting time of the item is, again, pretty big.

edit: why thankee, Solo  :D

Sinfire Titan

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 10:21:23 AM »
Hmm, you may have a fair point, Sinfire Titan. I will briefly point out, though, that the Runecaster can create a permanent rune in 10 minutes flat, whereas the more traditional crafter could still be taking months or more for the same effect. This strikes me as a significant advantage, though I suppose it is somewhat campaign dependent.

Do you know of a decent guide to making magical traps of this sort? The interpretation that allows for Arrowsplit or some such to be cast on an arrow on the trigger "an arrow leaves the bow" always struck me as a bit of a dubious one, though I will admit that my knowledge here is less than perfect.

Also, do you know of a way to maximize the spells on such traps? This is one of the main abilities of the Runecaster, and that it can be done without increasing the price or crafting time of the item is, again, pretty big.

edit: why thankee, Solo  :D

Traps are outside my expertise, so I really can't help you. I can tell you that Dungeonscape will/may prove useful for optimizing traps/the Runecaster (respectively). Also, the Glyphstone (IIRC) in the MiC is great for a character like this (more traps/runes).

As for the Runecaster itself, I really have no idea how to go about optimizing one. I don't pay attention to Faerunian material, as I dislike the setting.


[spoiler][/spoiler]

X-Codes

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 12:30:46 PM »
I made a post that was about a page long detailing how to abuse the creation rules that under-value the XP costs for creating charge per day runes.  Basically, you can make a 5 wishes per day rune for about the same amount of gold as buying a +5 tome and significantly less XP than crafting one.  In 10 minutes.

geniussavant

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 05:17:39 PM »
here is a build, albeit unfinished that was to (ab)use the runecaster.
[spoiler]
I see that you want to solve problems. Not problems like, "What is beauty?," because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of 'philosophy'. You want to solve practical problems. F'r instance, how are you gonna stop some big, mean Mother Hubbard from tearing you a structurally superfluous new behind? The answer: Use a gun. And if that don't work? Use more gun.
And if that fails try this


 
[/spoiler]

SorO_Lost

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 06:38:47 PM »
Basically, look for how to optimize traps instead of how to optimize the Runecaster itself. The end results will be largely the same.
Speaking of traps. One of the better ideas I've heard is based off Reverse Gravity. You walk into the area *trigger* you fall to the roof and take fall damage *trigger: dispel/another gravity?* fall to the floor and take fall damage *trigger* oh well you get the point.
Tiers explained in 8 sentences. With examples!
[spoiler]Tiers break down into who has spellcasting more than anything else due to spells being better than anything else in the game.
6: Skill based. Commoner, Expert, Samurai.
5: Mundane warrior. Barbarian, Fighter, Monk.
4: Partial casters. Adapt, Hexblade, Paladin, Ranger, Spelltheif.
3: Focused casters. Bard, Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Martial Adapts, Warmage.
2: Full casters. Favored Soul, Psion, Sorcerer, Wu Jen.
1: Elitists. Artificer, Cleric, Druid, Wizard.
0: Gods. StP Erudite, Illthid Savant, Pun-Pun, Rocks fall & you die.
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Nytemare3701

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 07:01:22 PM »
I'm afb right now, but runecaster sounds like something I would want in the shadowcraft cookie build...

EDIT: afb, not arbitrary. Damn you autocorrect!
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 11:12:09 PM by Nytemare3701 »
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[spoiler]
Combat Expertise
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Spell Schools
Combat Maneuvers
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BaB and Combat Feats
Skills (Hazard zone)
Epic Spellcasting
Poisons
Misc. Tweaks
[/spoiler]

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Rejakor

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2011, 07:05:13 PM »
Being able to make runes in ten minutes is slightly better than making traps in longer, although item creation feats make it a crapshoot.

At will spells is just too easy to break.  There's no work involved, really.  I mean, you could take it out to it's logical extreme, but the Tippyverse already kind of did that. (and stylishly, I might add)

Empirate

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2011, 07:15:49 PM »

The funny answer is because it's from the Forgotten Realms, thus no one remembers it when posting.

My answer? Probably because crafting magical traps is Core, and much easier to abuse than a PrC from FR that may not be flavor-appropriate for other campaign settings. The Artificer can craft traps very easily, and as such may be a superior option (if more of a headache). In other words, getting access to that PrC is crapshoot, just like every other campaign-specific class or PrC.

Because nobody ever uses Incantatrix except in FR campaigns...  ;)

SorO_Lost

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 08:38:07 PM »

The funny answer is because it's from the Forgotten Realms, thus no one remembers it when posting.

My answer? Probably because crafting magical traps is Core, and much easier to abuse than a PrC from FR that may not be flavor-appropriate for other campaign settings. The Artificer can craft traps very easily, and as such may be a superior option (if more of a headache). In other words, getting access to that PrC is crapshoot, just like every other campaign-specific class or PrC.

Because nobody ever uses Incantatrix except in FR campaigns...  ;)
If FR stuff is off limits Sin, so is Eberron. Steampunk is very much not flavor-appropriate for traditional fantasy. It's even farther than FR's ideas.
Tiers explained in 8 sentences. With examples!
[spoiler]Tiers break down into who has spellcasting more than anything else due to spells being better than anything else in the game.
6: Skill based. Commoner, Expert, Samurai.
5: Mundane warrior. Barbarian, Fighter, Monk.
4: Partial casters. Adapt, Hexblade, Paladin, Ranger, Spelltheif.
3: Focused casters. Bard, Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Martial Adapts, Warmage.
2: Full casters. Favored Soul, Psion, Sorcerer, Wu Jen.
1: Elitists. Artificer, Cleric, Druid, Wizard.
0: Gods. StP Erudite, Illthid Savant, Pun-Pun, Rocks fall & you die.
[/spoiler]

Sinfire Titan

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 08:42:25 PM »
If FR stuff is off limits Sin, so is Eberron. Steampunk is very much not flavor-appropriate for traditional fantasy. It's even farther than FR's ideas.

But Eberron's my favorite campaign setting...
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 08:43:57 PM by Sinfire Titan »


[spoiler][/spoiler]

nijineko

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2011, 12:17:34 AM »
stronghold builders guidebook as well as book of challenges has various ideas applicable for a runecaster.
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tuesdayscoming

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2011, 01:17:20 AM »
stronghold builders guidebook as well as book of challenges has various ideas applicable for a runecaster.

Hmm, don't know either book terribly well. Could you give me a better idea of what you think I might find useful in there?

I made a post that was about a page long detailing how to abuse the creation rules that under-value the XP costs for creating charge per day runes.  Basically, you can make a 5 wishes per day rune for about the same amount of gold as buying a +5 tome and significantly less XP than crafting one.  In 10 minutes.

I would love to see this. Happen to have a link handy?

Speaking of traps. One of the better ideas I've heard is based off Reverse Gravity. You walk into the area *trigger* you fall to the roof and take fall damage *trigger: dispel/another gravity?* fall to the floor and take fall damage *trigger* oh well you get the point.

Yeah, that's real nasty and real tasty  :)

I'm arbitrary right now, but runecaster sounds like something I would want in the shadowcraft cookie build...

Just looked this up and fell in love with the idea. I don't see the Runecaster being particularly useful for it, though, considering that Shadowcraft Mage requires arcane, where this requires divine. Hefty investment on both sides, too; I think you'd be hardpressed to fit all the goodies into a single build. Unless of course you simply mean to create cookies via a permanent rune?

nijineko

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2011, 01:54:04 AM »
the book of challenges is basically a listing of traps, likely to be some ideas or variants in there for application.

the stronghold builders guidebook is rules for creating and enchanting buildings and structures space by space (a stronghold space is a unit of measure 20'x20'x20' in size. among the various offerings are listings of spells and items and traps useful in the defense and destruction of strongholds. seems that there would also be useful overlap.

oh, and just a thought, but as far as putting runes on armor goes, don't forget the light armor combined with a dastana and char-aina trick.
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Nytemare3701

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2011, 07:19:49 PM »
I'm arbitrary right now, but runecaster sounds like something I would want in the shadowcraft cookie build...

Just looked this up and fell in love with the idea. I don't see the Runecaster being particularly useful for it, though, considering that Shadowcraft Mage requires arcane, where this requires divine. Hefty investment on both sides, too; I think you'd be hardpressed to fit all the goodies into a single build. Unless of course you simply mean to create cookies via a permanent rune?

I meant a Cookie of cookies.  Also, You can make a cleric SCM.
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My rewrites:
Mechanics
[spoiler]
Combat Expertise
Spell Resistance
Spell Schools
Combat Maneuvers
Armor and Shield Proficiency
BaB and Combat Feats
Skills (Hazard zone)
Epic Spellcasting
Poisons
Misc. Tweaks
[/spoiler]

There's RAI, and then there's RAW, and then there's "Hey, if I deliberately misread this look how powerful it is!" – Caelic

BrainCandy

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2011, 10:18:33 PM »
Runecaster is very powerful, totally broken when combined with Thought Bottle cheese. I don't remember my exact build for the one I played, but it was a pretty standard cleric entry. The party fighter had a permanent glyph of of shapechange. I made a crossbow that shot gelatinous cubes, using a similar trick to the Arrowsplit from the OP. I put a ring on the front of the xbow that had a "when passed" polymorph any object rune keyed to the crossbow bolts that were shot through it.

I made exactly 3 permanant glyphs, those 2 and a heal before the DM asked me to retire the toon before I totally smashed his campaign. In retrospect, the Thought Bottle was a big offender but the class is pretty nasty. You can, on the fly, give very powerful self only spells to your party members. If you want to spend the XP, you can still make any of those campaign smashing items I did...or dream up something worse. A properly optimized Archivist build would be nasty.

I wound up converting the toon into a wizard/runesmith/incantrix and it was seen as milder.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 10:31:15 PM by BrainCandy »

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2011, 11:17:30 PM »
I wound up converting the toon into a wizard/runesmith/incantrix and it was seen as milder.
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Nytemare3701

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Re: Why no love for the Runecaster?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2011, 12:06:15 AM »
I wound up converting the toon into a wizard/runesmith/incantrix and it was seen as milder.
Were you playing a game of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
I take it you don't follow MMO lingo...Toon=character
ALT+7 to make a •
Clean up your posts and people tend to react better to them.

My rewrites:
Mechanics
[spoiler]
Combat Expertise
Spell Resistance
Spell Schools
Combat Maneuvers
Armor and Shield Proficiency
BaB and Combat Feats
Skills (Hazard zone)
Epic Spellcasting
Poisons
Misc. Tweaks
[/spoiler]

There's RAI, and then there's RAW, and then there's "Hey, if I deliberately misread this look how powerful it is!" – Caelic