- Fist Weapons
- Staff (through training),
- Polearms (20)
- Dual wield (10, allows you to strike with both fists if unarmed)
The runemaster for the most part relies on his fists, but part of the theme here is to entail a monkish theme. Though no maces or daggers, they can use polearms for some strange reason. What hope is there for the Runemaster skinner without Finkle's Skinner or the Zulian Slicer ? Time alone will tell, but likely I’ll throw in swords. In the ranged slot, the Runemaster can equip glyphs, which much like Librams and Totems, are relics usable only by Runemasters.
- Health/Mana bars: Yes, I said that this is runic magic, so there should be mana. There technically is... it’s in the runes, and since the runes aren’t a pet or summoned item, there is no mana. Runemasters are energetic, much like monks, honing their bodies to deflect and parry with great success with the feel of Kung Fu grip that most players %*#***#@*e about. Beyond etching runes in the ground, on their bodies, or wherever, the Runemaster’s skills don’t rely too much on anything magical. Its punches and kicks (or tail strikes) for the most part.
- Main Stats: Agility and stamina for survival reasons mostly. Strength is to pack a punch, though agility adds crit. Spirit does help reduce the damage taken from etching a rune on yourself. Intellect raises mana, which helps, but most spells at end rank aren't very expensive at all.
You may know me to emphasize this greatly. After all, why make a ranger when a hunter does about the same but has a pet too? Why have a sorcerer when we have a mage? Why have knights or templars that sound like the bastard child of the current plate classes but still make no sense. Finally, in this case, we wonder why a monk is needed when it sounds like a rogue with some oriental fighting style under its belt? In the case of the Runemaster, you’re fighting in cloth, at melee range.
Fortunately, Runemasters generate little aggro, and through runes, can reduce damage in many different ways. It does have a few ranged fist shooting projectiles, but they have cooldowns. There is also Mending Fist. It immediately punches an ally, healing them. It is only usable in combat though, and doesn’t require retargetting.
The target chosen is the enemy mob’s current target, making it a decent way to instantly heal the tank for a small amount. Problems? You need to stand close to him, and on bosses that cleave, that will hurt! Still, it’s not quite a rogue, or so I hope very much so. It has a few viable debuffs that it can apply through the use of its etchings, mainly fist runes. For instance: Bat’s Edge Rune on the fists increases damage dealt by melee attacks slightly, and causes a small percentage of melee damage dealt by the Runemaster to heal his party.
Before we get into the skills themselves though, let me explain a bit on runes, etchings and what they do, mainly in the case of self inscribed runes.
In any case, lets assume its only three. What you get when you learn how to inscribe a body rune are three skills: Inscribe hand, Inscribe leg, Inscribe arm. It is the same rune, but it has different abilities and you can choose any rune you want for as many slots as you want, but only one rune per slot at a time. Etching a body rune deals about 1-2% of the Runemaster’s base healthbar.
Example: Etching Sun Rune provides a fire damage proc on your physical attacks if placed on hands, a boost to fire resistance and fire damage reduction on chest, and on the legs, it increases resistance to ice based slowing effects, and provides slight fire damage added to your kicks. You can have all three on, but say you want to etch a new rune, let’s say Black Lunar Symbol which would be great on your legs reduce fall damage and add a small bolt of shadow or nature damage to your legs. It will replace the old rune. You can still have Sun Rune on your other slots if you so desire, but on your legs, you now have Black Lunar Symbol.
The runes provide an assortment of abilities, and mixing and matching properly is part of the Runemaster’s game. The aim is for a lot of them.
So, besides versatile self alterations, what else is there. Well, as I touched at very briefly, there are foot strikes (kick is taken by the rogue). Obviously, they strike with the foot and often have side effects. For instance, knee bash strikes with the knee, and may daze the opponent. Kicks often receive a benefit from leg runes and markings, but kicks cost mana to use. If a race that has no true feet or humanoid limbs, then I guess Kick’s name can be changed, though function would not.
The Runic tree focuses on those runes we’ve been discussing all along. You may think this a bit one sided, but not all runes, etchings and marks go on the caster. Some actually are placed on the ground or as a small buff. All rune effects on the legs have the hand effects when kick abilities are used. Anyway, this trees is buff and debuff heavy. Runes are also inexpensive on mana bars. The reason put is that you may want to change runes during combat, even though it takes 5 seconds to etch a new rune and you have to stand still. Fortunately, attacks and being hit do not effect the etching in any way, but you cannot parry, dodge or anything good while etching. The amount of skills in the Runic tree is big, very big, though most serve a similar buffing/debuffing purpose.
- Black Lunar Symbol: Places a symbol of the moon, colored black to represent the darkness of night on a body part. When on the back of the hand, it grants a shadow damage proc, which blinds the enemy with midnight, reducing their chance to hit temporarily. On the chest, it raises arcane and shadow resistance of the Runemaster, for in this game, moon magic is arcane, and darkness is shadow. On the feet, it causes the gravitational grace of the moon, and pads your falls slightly.
- Sun Rune: Places the burning light of the sun on your hand, representing that which is pure and that which burns. On the hands, it adds massive fire damage bursts, but these bursts generate a fair amount of threat. On the chest, it reduces fire and holy damage taken by the Runemaster, and on the feet, it reduces the chance to be slowed or snared by ice based effects and magic, including frost shock, ice traps, and frost nova. All have their uses, though the hand one sounds strangest. Its best application is on those fights where aggro drops like a hat and the healers need someone to hold it till the tank gets it back.
- Bat’s Edge Rune: Etches a rune of a bat with sharp, almost sword-like wings. On the hands, this rune causes a slight physical damage boost and causes a small percent of the RM’s (which I’m going to use to abbreviate the Runemaster for now on) damage to heal his party very slightly. On the arms, it increases his chance to parry attacks, and on the legs, it increases resistance to noise inflicted effects, such as Psychic Scream, demo shout, and Howl of Terror.
- Exploding Surprise: Places a rune on the ground. This rune works much like a hunter trap, except that it is visible to all. Though able to be set instantly in combat, runes can be destroyed. Whether destroyed or stepped on, runes still have effects, but their range is usually not big, so sniping the rune may make it useless. Ground Runes cost no mana though, even if they have cooldowns. Anyway, Exploding Surprise places a red, pulsing rune on the ground. When destroyed, it explodes, dealing AoE fire damage. This rune has a 2 minute cooldown. Runes can be set up to 20 yards away through the use of throwing, and activate instantly. The further thrown though, the more likely a rune will activate/detonate too soon. This rune is based on the Warcraft 2 rune used by the Ogre magi.
- Grounding Spike: Places a rune on the ground. The grounding spike, when activated, throws spikes out of the ground, dealing physical damage, and knocking an enemy into the air, which may add additional damage on the way down from falling (which won't be too much for balance sake.) When they land, they will be stunned for 1 second. Until then, they can still do things like instant cast, or intercept if they are close enough to their target, altitude-wise. This rune has a 5 minute cooldown.
- Etchings of Bravado: Etches a rune that represents bravado, the art of intimidation. On the hands, every attack has a chance to debuff the enemy with intimidation, slightly reducing attack damage. The effect stacks 4 times. On the chest, it causes all nearby enemies to be slightly more susceptible to fear, while increasing resistance of allied targets. On the feet, it causes fear effects to last slightly less time for the RM, and makes him not want to run far away from where he was feared.
- Blood Scarring: Instant strikes the enemy, drawing a runic scar on them to deal boosted damage. The rune placed causes the target to take more damage from white damage style melee and ranged auto attacks unboosted by abilities. Scarring moves deal more damage and hit more often when wielding a polearm to reach the enemy with.
- Mind Scarring: Instant strikes the enemy, drawing a runic scar on their head, reducing intellect and spell damage they output slightly for a short duration.
Martial Combat Edit
Yes, this name is the same as the Breaker’s talent tree focused on throwing weapons and tanking. It’s not quite the same thing here. For the RM, the theme is DPS, whether by punch or weapon. DPS for the RM is fairly strong, and fortunately generates little threat. In the case of some kick moves, there are alternative names for races that don’t get feet and must rely on a tail instead if ever such a race were to get this class, which is doubtful. Most skills don’t cost gobs of mana, and are spammable, but when done in continuation, you can deal good damage and feel like you’re doing some 50 hit combo in a 2d fighter. In fact, a combo point system where martial arts combos would be unleashed based on the moves used was in consideration. Including the likes of a knee to punch to uppercut. This idea was tossed away fast. Some skills are weapon based. Here are some of the skills in the Martial Combat line.
- Ham Fist: Strikes with power... like an ox! Well, okay, maybe a super boar. Causes your next attack to deal bonus damage, much like other ‘on next hit’ moves. Every time its used, it will cooldown for 4 seconds, and then for 30 seconds, its mana cost goes up by 5 and attack power bonus goes up by 3%. If not used in 30 seconds, it will revert to regular cost. This can happen up to ten times, meaning +50 mana. After the tenth time, the next time you choose Ham Fist, it will be an instant attack that always crits. After that, the spell reverts back to original price and power. Useful for long battles.
- Axe Kick/Axing Tail: Strikes the enemy with your foot, causing damage at 30% of your weapon damage reduction. On the bright side, it is instant, has a 65% crit chance naturally, and is effected by leg runes. 4 second cooldown.
- Scissor Kick/Tail Lashing: Instantly strikes the enemy twice with a kick followed by another kick. These kicks have nothing special to them, which makes it a great move. Problem? 30 second cooldown.
- Tripstrike: Strikes with your staff or polearm, tripping the enemy, stunning them for half a second, and causing daze for 4 seconds after that ends. Deals minor damage. 5 second cooldown.
- Vacuum Fist: 1.5 second casting time. Launches a punch at the enemy from up to 25 yards away. This attack deals your unarmed damage, regardless of what you have equipped. Has a 2 second cooldown. This damage is dealt as arcane. Very useful as it is one of the RM’s only sources of ranged attack.
- Surge Fist: Instant cast fist launch. Much like Vacuum fist, this one is instant attack, but has a 7 second cooldown. It also deals slightly less damage. Fire damage is dealt. Costs more mana than most skills due to its magical nature.
- Jump Kick/Tail Lunge: Leaps at the enemy, dealing fair damage. It quickly travels up to 30 yards away to reach and strike an enemy. Like all kicks, it benefits from leg runes. 1 minute cooldown.
- Head Bang: Instant attack that deals surprisingly good damage. The RM strikes with his hardened head, dealing good instant damage, and interrupting spell damage. Be careful, you might get a red card for this one. 8 second cooldown. It’s useful, no?
This tree shares a name with the hunter’s. Fortunately, beyond name and function of ‘surviving’, they are different. Survival is that off tree that’s just there. Don’t discount it. If needbe, a Survival specced RM CAN dodge/parry tank, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re sane enough as crushing blows and crits cannot be stopped. It still has potential for DPS in here too. Remember, these lists of skills are not full yet. They are only a sample of what can be found.
- Mending Fist: Instant attack. Targets your target’s target and punches them, healing them decently. Will not work on enemies, and cannot heal yourself. 5 second cooldown.
- Rune Block: Causes you to ‘block’ the next attack you receive from an enemy, reducing damage fairly well, provided of course they are standing in front of you. Its mechanics are a bit complicated. Lasts 10 seconds or one attack. Useful, very much so because it’s so inexpensive and helps reduce damage that your piss poor armor cannot so well. 8 second cooldown.
- Imperfector: Deals strong melee damage instantly and generates fair threat as an unfortunate side effect. Even more unfortunate, this skill can only be used if the enemy has 85% of its health or more. 3.5 second cooldown. Strong, but only at the start of a battle.
- Inwards Block: Causes you to parry an enemy attack and instantly strike with a punch in return. This works while unarmed in that it is the only way to parry weaponless.
- Mark of Absorbency: Creates a rune around the RM that absorbs the enemy spell that deals direct damage. The spell is reflected, dealing no damage to the RM and 45% of its damage to the caster. Useful if timed right. A mage eating his pyroblast... but the cooldown sucks. 20 second cooldown.
- Can attack well while unarmed. Repair bills are slightly cheaper.
- Elementally versatile.
- Monk coolness factor. I don’t see the charm, but some people want monks like the way I want many celebrities to DIAF.
- Low mana costs on attacks means quick and effective attacks, some of which include support, though not too much. Don't go too crazy or you'll be out of mana before you know it.
- Naturally high defenses. Less of an advantage to offset cloth.
- Low aggro generation. Seriously, this is not as much an advantage as it sounds.
- Cloth: Nevermind the lack of melee cloth, the fact of melee in cloth is risky. AoE cleaves and pounds and sweeps kill fast if you don’t defend.
- Weak Healing. Yes, it CAN heal by attacking an ally so to speak.
- Must melee. There are no ranged weapons it has, other than a few wave fist moves that are not unlike a 2D fighter game style fireball that are actually punches focused into projectile energy.
- Lack of swords or daggers. Pray for a skinning weapon that is fist, or armor, or even staff or spear. Just pray!
- Parrying requires a weapon to be equipped main hand at least. On the subject of unarmed combat, unarmed damage is difficult to scale, and will fall behind actual weapons. Perhaps a good factor for balance, yes?
Anything else? Eh, for now, not much. I honestly expect this to bom.