Faerûnian Prestige Class : Runescarred Berserker

Deadly barbarians who bear magical runes carved into their flesh, runescarred berserkers are among the most feared of Rashemen's defenders. They are loyal bodyguards to the hathrans of the land and stand ready to unleash a storm of martial fury at a single word from any Witch. Many runescarred berserkers bind themselves to a single Witch and protect her with their very lives, but others become the chieftains of berserker lodges or take up a simple existence as a wandering defender of the Rashemi people. The word of a Witch is law in Rashemen, but runescarred berserkers carry a weight of authority almost as great in some quarters of the land.

All runescarred berserkers have at least some experience as barbarians, since the ability to rage is a requirement of the prestige class. Characters with some training as fighters, rangers, and rogues are also common among the ranks of the runescarred. Spellcasters rarely choose this path, because Rashemi society defines other roles for them. Monks and paladins have antithetical alignment requirements, and only characters who have abandoned one of these classes can become a berserker.


To qualify to become a Runescarred Berserker, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The runescarred berserker's class skills are Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Ride, Sense Motive, Survival, and Swim.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are Class Features of the runescarred berserker prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Runescarred berserkers gain no proficiency in any weapon or armor.

Scribe Runescar (Sp): At 1st level, a runescarred berserker learns how to carve a runescar into her own skin. A runescar is a means of storing a spell, much like a scroll. The berserker knows only a limited number of spells with which to imbue runescars, selected from the runescarred berserker spell list below. To learn a runescar spell, the berserker must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell level. A runescar berserker can only cast spells by crafting them as runescars; she has no other spellcasting capability and cannot use spell completion or spell trigger magic items based on spells from this list.

Scribing a runescar takes 1 hour, the expenditure of materials equal to 5 gp x spell level x caster level, and the expenditure of XP equal to 1/25th the gp spent. The character may set the caster level of the runescar at anywhere from the minimum class level necessary for her to know the rune to her own runescarred berserker class level. She may scribe a runescar only on her own body. The act of scribing a runescar is painful and deals 1d6 points of damage per spell level at the end of the scribing time. (The berserker is free to heal this damage by any normal means afterward - the runescar remains until activated.)

A runescarred berserker can bear no more than seven runescars at any one time: two on the chest, two on the upper arms, two on the backs of the hands, and one on the face. Runescars are dormant until activated and cannot be dispelled (although they can be suppressed).

Runescars are considered divine spells, although a berserker does not actively prepare or cast them. The save DC, if necessary, is 10 + spell level + the berserker's Wisdom score. To activate a runescar, the character must take a standard action and touch the rune. All runescar spells target only the runescarred berserker or an item in her possession, even if the spell scribed could normally be bestowed on another subject.

After activation, the runescar's magic is discharged, and the rune fades to nothing but a faint outline. Typically, a berserker's skin is crisscrossed with dozens of old, discharged runescars.

Extra Rage (Ex): A runescarred berserker gains additional daily uses of the barbarian rage ability. At 2nd level, she gains one additional rage per day; at 5.th level, she gains a second additional rage; and at 9th level, she gains a third additional rage. For example, a barbarian 8/runescarred berserker 5 can rage three times per day from her barbarian levels, plus two more times from her runescarred berserker levels, for a total of five rages per day.

Ritual Scarring (Ex): Through frequent disfiguration of her own skin, a runescarred berserker gains a +1 natural armor bonus to AC at 3rd level. This increases to +2 at 6th level, and +3 at 9th level.

Spawn of the Frost (Su): Inured to the bitter cold of Rashemen's winters, a runescarred berserker gains cold resistance 5.

Damage Reduction (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a runescarred berserker gains the ability to shrug off some amount of injury from each blow or attack. Subtract 1 from the damage the berserker takes each time she is dealt damage from a weapon or natural attack. At 7th level and 10th level, this damage reduction increases to 2 and then 3 points. This overlaps (does not stack with) damage reduction from any other class feature.

Greater Rage: Starting at 8th level, a runescarred berserker's rage bonuses become +6 to Strength, +6 to Constitution, and a +3 morale bonus on Will saves. Her AC penalty remains -2.

Runescarred BerserkerHit Die: d10
CLBABFortRefWillSpecialSpells per Day
1st+1+2+0+0Scribe runescar1----
2nd+2+3+0+0Extra rage 2----
3rd+3+3+1+1Ritual scarring +121---
4th+4+4+1+1Spawn of the frost, damage reduction 1/-32---
5th+5+4+1+1Extra rage321--
6th+6+5+2+2Ritual scarring +2332--
7th+7+5+2+2Damage reduction 2/-4321-
8th+8+6+2+2Greater rage4332-
9th+9+6+3+3Extra rage, ritual scarring +344321
10th+10+7+3+3Damage reduction 3/ - 44332

Runescarred Berserker Spell List

Runescarred berserkers must select their runescar spells known from the following list.

Source: Unapproachable East

Realms Prestige Classes