A rune binder’s power comes through her understanding of scripts, an esoteric form of magic that involves the creation and destruction of mystic symbols called “runes”.
A rune binder learns one runic script of her choice at each rune binder level, as shown on Table: Rune Binder Scripts under “Scripts Known”. At first, a rune binder can only learn 1st-level scripts. As she grows in skill, she can master scripts of much greater power, as shown on Table: Rune Binder Scripts under “Max Script Level”. To learn or cast a runic script, the rune binder must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the script’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a rune binder’s script is 10 + the script’s level + the rune binder’s Wisdom modifier.
Unlike a typical spellcaster that has spell slots each day, a rune binder can cast each script she knows a number of times each day based on the level of the script, as shown in Table: Castings per Script per Day. For example, a 5th-level rune binder could cast each 1st-level script she knows twice each day, and each 2nd-level script once each day. In addition, she receives bonus scripts per day if she has a high Wisdom score (see rune magic). These extra castings can be applied to any script she knows of the appropriate level.
A rune binder does not need to prepare her scripts in advance. She can cast any of the scripts she knows at any time, assuming she has not used up her total castings of that script for the day.
This ability replaces the inquisitor’s spell class feature. A rune binder does not gain inquisitor spells and cannot activate spell trigger or spell completion items from the inquisitor spell list unless she uses Use Magic Device to do so.
All rune binders learn a number of fundamentals, scripts that are so simple that they require little effort to cast. A rune binder begins play knowing any two fundamentals of her choice. She continues to learn more fundamentals as she advances, as shown in Table: Rune Binder Scripts under “Fundamentals Known”. Unlike other runic scripts, a fundamental can be cast an unlimited number of times per day. While fundamentals can be overloaded like any other runic scripts, the magic is too weak to generate much energy: casting a fundamental does not grant the rune binder any runic charges.
This ability replaces orisons.
Glyphic Judgment (Su)
A rune binder channels the power of her rune magic to strike down her foes. As part of activating her judgment ability, the rune binder gains a single runic charge of her choice. This cannot place her above her normal maximum of runic charges allowed by her level.
The rune binder does not have access to her normal list of judgments. Instead, the rune binder has the following runic judgments. As long as the rune binder has at least one runic charge that matches the design of her current judgment, she increases her effective inquisitor level by a number of levels equal to the number of matching charges she has for the purpose of determining that judgment’s effects:
Alteration: The rune binder becomes more resistant to bodily harm, granting her a +1 sacred bonus on Fortitude saves, Reflex saves, and to AC. This bonus increases by +1 for every five rune binder levels she possesses.
Creation: The rune binder constantly generates healing energy, granting her fast healing 1. This healing lasts as long as the rune binder is alive and the judgment lasts. The amount of healing increases by 1 point for every three rune binder levels she possesses.
Destruction: The rune binder strikes with divine furor, gainng a +1 sacred bonus on all attack and damage rolls. This bonus increases by +1 for every five levels she possesses.
Invocation: The rune binder wards herself from natural forces, gaining energy resistance 2 to acid, cold, electricity and fire damage. The resistance increases by 2 for every three rune binder levels she possesses.
Manipulation: The rune binder alters the cosmic balance around her, improving her attacks and defense. Her weapons count as one alignment type (chaotic, evil, good, or lawful) for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction. The type selected must match one of the rune binder’s alignments. She also gains damage reduction from an alignment that is opposite the one used for her weapons. This starts as DR 1 at 1st level, and increases by 1 for every five levels she possesses. If she is neutral, she chooses one alignment type, treating her weapons as that alignment and her DR as that alignment’s opposite.
Revelation: The rune binder gains prescient insight into her foes, gaining a +1 sacred bonus on Will saves, concentration checks, and caster level checks made to overcome a target’s spell resistance. This bonus increases by +1 for every three inquisitor levels she possesses.
This ability modifies judgment.
Rune Bind (Su)
At 5th level, a rune binder can brand her foes with runes, restricting their abilities while enhancing her own. When the rune binder would gain a runic charge, she can cause the runic charge to manifest upon a single enemy within 60 feet of her, as opposed to on a piece of her equipment. When she does so, any scripts she casts that include that creature as one of its targets or in its area of effect is treated as overloaded with that runic charge. If she overloads the script normally, she treats it as though she used that charge in addition to the other runic charges she expended. Doing this does not expend the charge scribed upon her foe.
In addition to the above, the target suffers a penalty based on the design of runic charge binding it:
Alteration: The creature is weakened, taking a -2 penalty on attack and damage rolls.
Destruction: The creature becomes more vulnerable, taking a -2 penalty on saving throws.
Invocation: The creature becomes exposed to the elements, reducing any energy resistance it has by 10.
Manipulation: The creature has the flow of time slowed around it, reducing all of its movement by half.
Revelation: The creature’s weak points become exposed to its foes, reducing any damage reduction it has by 5.
Rune bind lasts for a number of rounds equal to the rune binder’s Wisdom modifier (minimum 1), after which the runic charge dissipates. She may only maintain one rune binding at a time; using the ability again dismisses the previous binding. The runic charge that is bound to the foe cannot be used for overloading her scripts, except by the method noted above, and counts against her normal maximum amount of runic charges she can have based on her level. The rune binder can use this ability once per day, plus an additional time per day for every three levels past 5th.
This ability replaces bane.
Glyphic Power (Ex)
At 8th level, when the rune binder uses her glyphic judgment ability, she gains two runic charges of her choice, rather than one.
This ability replaces second judgment.
Greater Rune Bind (Su)
At 12th level, the rune binder’s rune bind ability lasts a number of minutes equal to her Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). So long as the target is bound, the rune binder gains the benefits of a locate creature spell, using her rune binder level as her caster level, and gains blindsight to a range of 15 feet; this blindsight only lets her see the bound creature.
This ability replaces greater bane.
Glyphic Might (Ex)
At 16th level, when the rune binder uses her glyphic judgment ability, she gains three runic charges of her choice, rather than two. Each runic charge she has that matches the design of her current judgment increases her effective inquisitor level by a number of levels equal to twice the number of matching runic charges she has.
This ability replaces third judgment and slayer.
The following lists the runic scripts available to the rune binder (see the Script List for a full list of runic scripts):
Path of Iron, © 2015, Ascension Games, LLC; Author Christopher Moore