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Runic Knight (Magus Archetype)

Eldritch masters of blade and spell, runic knights are often enigmatic but rarely dismissed; even the most unassuming of their number are deadly masters of their mystic arts, and power echoes in their every move. Fierce beyond reckoning, few indeed can cross the magic-shrouded blade of a runic knight and live to tell the tale.

Armor and Weapon Proficiencies

Runic knights are proficient with simple weapons, as well as light armor and bucklers. In addition, if this is this character’s first level in any class, they may select a martial tradition of their choice.

This modifies weapon and armor proficiencies.

Combat Training (Ex)

A runic knight is considered a Proficient practitioner, gaining spheres and talents as appropriate. Runic knights use Intelligence as their practitioner modifier.

This ability replaces spell combat; runic knights instead gain spell combat at 8th level instead of improved spell combat, and improved spell combat at 14th level in place of greater spell combat.

Mystic Order

Each runic knight is trained in the arts of a particular mystic order. Presented below are three such orders, the Binding Staves, the Poisoned Tomes, and the Rune-Crossed Eye. At 1st level, the runic knight selects one of these orders and gains the listed benefits.

Binding Staves:  Members of the Binding Staves gain the Lancer sphere as a bonus sphere at 1st level. If the runic knight already possesses the Lancer sphere, he may instead select any talent he qualifies for from that sphere. In addition, members of the Binding Staves train in special combat techniques for lunging and stabbing with staves, and may treat any quarterstaff or staff they carry (including magical staves) as a masterwork longspear.

At 7th level, members of the Binding Staves who use their advanced spellstrike against an impaled enemy automatically threaten a critical hit as long as their attack is successful.

At 13th level, whenever the member of the Binding Stave is wielding a reach weapon, he gains a competence bonus to his AC equal to his Intelligence bonus against all attacks made by adjacent creatures.

Poisoned Tomes: Members of the Poisoned Tomes gain the Alchemy sphere (poison) package as a bonus sphere at 1st level. If the runic knight already possesses the Alchemy sphere (poison) package, he may instead select any talent he qualifies for from the Alchemy sphere. In addition, the member of the Poisoned Tomes can apply poison to a weapon as a swift action.

At 7th level, members of the Poisoned Tomes may expend a single spell of 3rd level or higher when attacking with a poisoned weapon to double any penalties the poison would inflict, increase the duration of the poison’s effects by a number of rounds equal to the sacrificed spell’s level, and increase the save DC of their poisons by 2 for that attack. Poisoned tomes who use spherecasting instead of slot-based casting may emulate these effects by expending a spell point, treating the effective spell level as half their caster level (rounded down).

At 13th level, members of the Poisoned Tomes are immune to poison and may have an additional number of poisons prepared through the Alchemy sphere equal to their practitioner modifier.

Rune-Crossed Eye:  Members of the Rune-Crossed Eye gain the Scout sphere as a bonus sphere at 1st level. If the runic knight already possesses the Scout sphere, he may instead select any talent he qualifies for from that sphere. Whenever a member of the rune-crossed eye attempts an attack action against a creature, he may use the scout ability granted by the Scout sphere against it as a free action, adding his Intelligence bonus to the check. In addition, members of the Rune-Crossed Eye treat their caster level as being 2 higher when determining the effects of spells from the divination school, or when using talents and abilities from the Divination sphere.

At 7th level, members of the Rune-Crossed Eye gain evasion. If they already possess evasion from another source, they instead gain improved evasion.

At 13th level, members of the Rune-Crossed Eye can always act in the surprise round even if they fail to make a Perception roll to notice a foe, and they are not considered flat-footed at the start of combat until they take an action. In addition, the runic knight receives a bonus on initiative checks equal to 1/2 his magus level (minimum +1).

This replaces cantrips, medium armor, and heavy armor.

Read Magic

Runic knights gain read magic as an at-will spell-like ability.

Advanced Spellstrike (Su)

At 2nd level, whenever a runic knight casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding (including ranged weapons). Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a runic knight can make one free attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell; this attack is treated as an attack action. If successful, this attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon special ability or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier. This ability cannot be used with spells with a casting time less than a standard action, including quickened spells.

This modifies but otherwise counts as the spellstrike class feature.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Spheres of Might, © 2017, Drop Dead Studios LLC; Authors: Adam Meyers, Michael Sayre, Andrew Stoeckle, N. Jolly