Unearthered Arcana: Prestige Classes and Rune Magic

The latest Unearthered Arcana is out and this month we get Prestige Classes and Rune Magic. For Prestige Classes we are given an outline on how to create the prerequisites for these classes that become available as characters progress, using the Rune Scribe as an example. The overview of Rune Magic tells us how to find, buy, sell, identify and attune runes. It also provides four sample runes.

Many of the character concepts that were once prestige classes or paragon paths in earlier editions of D&D are now options available to 1st-level characters.

As such, prestige classes build on the game’s broad range of basic options to represent specialized options and unique training. The first of those specialized options for fifth edition D&D is the rune scribe—a character who masters ancient sigils that embody the fundamental magic of creation.

You can think of the material presented in this series as similar to the first wave of the fifth edition playtest. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not fully tempered by playtests and design iterations. They are highly volatile and might be unstable; if you use them, be ready to rule on any issues that come up. They’re written in pencil, not ink. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Organized Play events.

The material presented in Unearthed Arcana will range from mechanics that we expect one day to publish in a supplement to house rules from our home campaigns that we want to share, from core system options to setting-specific material. Once it’s out there, you can expect us to check in with you to see how it’s working out and what we can do to improve it.


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Shawn Ellsworth

Shawn is an author and co-founder of Tribality.com. He first got into tabletop RPGs through ninjas and then by playing a Kender in Dragonlance. Years later, he can be found running games in the Nentir Vale and his own Seas of Vodari campaign setting.