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Runic Berserker (Barbarian/Magus)

Many barbarian tribes focus solely on ferocity and might to overcome their enemies. However, some practice a rare form of rune magic in the form of runes of power that are inscribed upon the very flesh of their berserker warriors. These runic berserkers call upon the primal energies stored within these runes to either enhance their rage or unleash arcane magic into the midst of their foes. Although various tribes shun the use of arcane magic, runic berserkers embrace this new source of might to obtain victory after victory in the face of overwhelming odds.
This content was created by the MultiClass Productions fan group.

Primary Class: Barbarian.

Secondary Class: Magus.

Alignment: Any. 

Hit Dice: d10.

Bonus Skills and Ranks: The runic berserker may select three magus skills to add to his class skills in addition to the normal barbarian class skills. The runic berserker gains a number of ranks at each level equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Runic Berserker

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Fast movement, primal rage, runeforged weapon
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Rage rune (1st)
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Runestrike
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Rage rune
5th +5 +4 +1 +4
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Rage rune (2nd)
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Rage rune
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Efficient raging
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Rage rune (3rd)
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Greater rage
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Rage rune
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Rage rune (4th)
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Rage rune
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Tireless rage
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Rage rune
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Mighty rune (5th), rage rune

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

The runic berserker is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armor, but not with shields.

Primal Rage (Ex)

A runic berserker is infused with raw primal energy that allows him to increase his strength and ferocity, or enhance his runeforged weapon and blast runes. Starting at 1st level, a runic berserker gains the ability to rage as a barbarian of his level. His research and insight into primal arcane powers unlocked by his rage allow him to extend that rage longer than other barbarians. He may rage for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 plus either his Constitution modifier or his Intelligence modifiers (choose one). At each level after 1st, he can rage for 2 additional rounds. In addition, a runic berserker can channel his primal rage energy to use or enhance his runeforged weapon, arcane rage runes, or his blast runes. This ability otherwise functions as and replaces rage.

Runeforged Weapon (Su)

At 1st level, a runic berserker begins play with a runeforged weapon of his choice. This weapon is always masterwork quality, but is not made of any special material. A runic berserker shares an empathic link with his runeforged weapon that allows him to sense the direction of his weapon as the locate object spell up to a 1 mile distance.

If a runic berserker attempts to cast a rage rune without his runeforged weapon in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell. The DC for this check is equal to 20 + the spell's level. The runeforged weapon also contains three cantrips of the runic berserker choice from the magus spell list. These cantrips can be used a number of times per day equal to 3 + the runic berserker’s Intelligence modifier, with a caster level equal to his runic berserker level.

Like a bonded item, a runeforged weapon can be used once per day to cast any one arcane rune that the runic berserker has inscribed on his body, even if the rune has been activated its maximum daily allotment. This rune is treated like any other arcane rune cast by the runic berserker, including casting time, duration, and other effects dependent on the runic berserker's level. This rune cannot be modified by metamagic feats or other abilities.

A runic berserker can add additional magic abilities to his runeforged weapon as if he has the required Item Creation Feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat. For example, a runic berserker with a runeforged greatsword must be at least 5th level to add magic abilities to the greatsword (see Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat). The magic properties of a runeforged weapon, including any magic abilities added to the weapon, only function for the runic berserker who owns it. If a runeforged weapon's owner dies, or the weapon is replaced, the weapon reverts to being an ordinary masterwork item of the appropriate type.

If a runeforged weapon is damaged, it is restored to full hit points the next time the runic rests to regain his daily uses of his rage runes. If the runeforged weapon is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 200 gp per runic berserker level plus the cost of the masterwork item. This ritual takes 8 hours to complete. Runeforged weapons replaced in this way do not possess any of the additional enchantments of the previous runeforged weapon. A runic berserker can designate an existing magic weapon as his runeforged weapon. This functions in the same way as replacing a lost or destroyed a runeforged weapon except that the new magic weapon retains its abilities while gaining the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a runeforged weapon.

At 2nd level, a runic berserker can expend 2 rounds of rage as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 2nd, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 18th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.

At 5th level, these bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, furious*, furyborn*, impact*, invigorating*, keen, nullifying*, ominous*, speed, wounding, or vorpal. (*Ultimate Equipment)

Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the runic berserker uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the runic berserker. A runic berserker can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends. This ability replaces trap sense, improved uncanny dodge, and indomitable will.

Rage Runes (Ex or Sp)

Starting at 2nd level, a runic berserker can inscribe mystic runes into his flesh. These rare runes appear as colorful and intricate patterns rather than magical writing, and are placed on the arms, legs, hands, or chest of the runic berserker. A rage rune can take one of the following forms.

First, a runic berserker can inscribe runes of primal power that enhance his rage. The runic berserker can choose a rage power for which he qualifies at 2nd level, and every two runic berserker levels thereafter and is inscribed as a primal rune. A primal rune requires 1 minute to inscribe.

Alternatively, a runic barbarian can inscribe runes of arcane power that create specific spell effects, in place of a primal rune. This process is much like a wizard scribing his spells into a spellbook, A runic berserker inscribes arcane spells drawn from the magus spell list as arcane runes, and adds the following spells to that list at the indicated spell levels:

1st levelerase
2nd levelsecret page
3rd levelglyph of warding
4th levelexplosive runes

Each rune holds one arcane spell from the magus spell list and requires one hour per spell level to inscribe. At 2nd level, a runic berserker can choose one 1st–level spell from the magus spell list as an arcane rune. Every two levels beyond 2nd, a runic berserker can choose an additional spell from the magus spell list that he can cast as an arcane rune.

At 6th level, a runic berserker can choose a 2nd level magus spell or lower as an arcane rune. At 10th level, a runic berserker can choose a 3rd level magus spell or lower as an arcane rune. At 14th level, a runic berserker can choose a 4th level magus spell or lower as an arcane rune. A runic berserker can only activate an arcane rune of each spell level once per day. At 12th level, arcane runes of 3rd level or lower can be activated twice per day. A runic berserker’s arcane runes have a caster level equal to his runic berserker’s level.

To activate an arcane rune, the runic berserker must expend a number of rounds of rage equal to the level of the spell and has the same requirements and effects as the inscribed spell (casting time, duration, damage, etc). No additional rounds are required to maintain rage during the round in which an arcane rune is activated. Only spells requiring a standard action or less can be activated during rage.

Once inscribed into the flesh, an arcane rune is difficult to destroy. The spell erase can permanently remove an arcane rune, but the bearer of the rune can resist the spell with a Will save, in addition to the caster needing to make a successful caster level check to erase the rune. Physically removing an arcane rune with a sharp instrument or defacing it with fire or acid can destroy it as well. Doing so is a full-round action that not only requires the target to be willing or helpless, but also provokes attacks of opportunity. At least 2 points of damage per caster level of the rune must be dealt to destroy an arcane rune in this manner. Removing an arcane rune in one of these ways allows the runic berserker to place a new arcane rune with a different effect in its place. This ability otherwise functions as and replaces rage power.

Runestrike (Su)

At 3rd level, whenever a runic berserker casts a rage rune with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list  he can deliver the spell through his runeforged weapon as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a runic berserker can make one free melee attack with his runeforged weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this rune. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the rune. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the rune effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier. This ability replaces uncanny dodge.

Blast Rune (Sp)

At 5th level, as a standard action, a runic berserker can create a blast rune in any adjacent square by expending 2 rounds of rage. Any creature entering this square takes 2d6 points of force damage + 1 point for every two runic berserker levels he possesses. The rune is invisible and lasts a number of rounds equal to the runic berserker’s level or until discharged. A runic berserker cannot create a blast rune in a square occupied by another creature. This rune counts as a 1st-level spell for the purposes of dispelling. It can be discovered with a DC 26 Perception skill check and disarmed with a DC 26 Disable Device skill check. A runic berserker can use this ability once per day, and an additional time per day at 11th and 15th level.

At 9th level, a runic berserker can expend 1 round of rage as a swift action to imbue his blast rune with the fatigued or shaken condition. The target of the blast rune receives a Fortitude save to avoid the chosen condition. If the save is successful, the target takes the damage as normal, but not the effects of the condition. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the runic berserker’s level + the runic berserker’s Intelligence modifier. At 13th level, the runic berserker adds the dazed and staggered conditions to the list of those that can be added to his blast rune. At 17th level, the runic berserker adds the exhausted and frightened conditions to the list of those that can be added to his blast rune. Each condition lasts for 1 round for every 3 levels the runic berserker possesses. This ability and efficient rager replaces damage reduction.

Efficient Raging (Ex)

At 9th level, a runic berserker ability to channel primal rage energy improves. The rounds of rage required to enhance his runeforged weapon or create a blast rune is reduced by 1 (minimum 1).

Mighty Rune (Sp)

At 20th level, a runic berserker’s skill allows him to inscribe a truly powerful rune. The runic berserker can choose a 5th level magus spell or lower as a rage rune. In addition, whenever a runic berserker uses his blast rune ability, he deals 4d6 points of force damage +2 points for every two runic berserker levels he possesses. This ability replaces mighty rage.