How To Build A Runechild Sorcerer In DND

Sorcerers are renowned throughout the Dungeons & Dragons universe for their relationship to the Weave, the arcane web that connects all spellcasters to their magical power. Sorcerers are born with magic or express it inherently, with many discovering their power originates in the shades of the Shadowfell, the divinity of the Celestial plane, or the untamed chaos of Wild Magic.


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The Runechild, however, discovers their magic in the runes that appear upon their body. These runes manifest the magic their body generates on its own, culminating in more runes as the sorcerer grows more powerful.


Runechild Sorcerer Class Features

An image of an air genasi from Dungeons & Dragons; this one has blue hair, glowing eyes, and intricate tattoos.
Goran Iosic via Wizards of the Coast

The features of the Runechild have been coveted by scholars of Exandria for ages, often subjugating Runechildren to use the power localized in the sorcerer’s body against their enemies or for their own arcane purposes. As such, a Runechild may hide their innate power. That doesn’t mean you have to, though. The features of the Runechild work in tandem with the loss of sorcery points, making this subclass a bit of a powerhouse.

What Are Sorcery Points?

Sorcery points are an exclusive feature for sorcerers. Each sorcerer starts out with two, and the number of sorcery points you have increase as your character’s level progresses.

They function as the means by which you’ll utilize your metamagic— a feature that allows you to amplify your spells in various ways, whether adding on damage, casting it silently, or extending your spell’s distance— or can help you regain spell slots.

Essence Runes

  • At the first level, you gain an Essence Rune. Essence Runes are natural runes that manifest on your skin, and you’ll continue accumulating them as you level. The first rune may manifest on your head, but the others can manifest wherever you wish. These work in tandem with your sorcery points.
  • After a turn in which you have spent sorcery points, an equal number of essence runes become charged. This essentially means that they become active, and you can use them to use a Runechild feature. Once you use a Charged Rune to employ one of your Runechild features, it reverts to a simple Essence Rune. You can’t use the feature until the rune becomes charged again.

  • On a bonus action, you can spend however many sorcery points you like to convert an identical number of essence runes into charged runes. Three sorcery points would make three essence runes. In the event that you have neither, you have the ability to change one Essence Rune into a Charged Rune as an action.
  • Once you have five or more charged runes, you radiate bright light for five feet.
  • Charged runes revert to regular essence runes after a long rest.

At first level, you can use your runes to help avoid or negate attacks from enemies wishing to do you harm.

Glyphs of Aegis

  • Whenever you take damage, you can spend a reaction to use any number of your Charged Runes. You roll 1d6 per Charged Rune used and subtract that number from the damage you take. This could be used for something like fall damage or an attack made against you, an ability which is rare and versatile for a class.
  • This feature levels with you. At sixth level, you use an action to transfer this feature to someone else. Your ally or target can only hold one glyph at a time, as their bodies aren’t adjusted to hold the number of runes yours can. They’ll also lose the rune if they take damage. Once the target takes damage, you will roll 1d6 automatically and subtract the sum from the damage taken.

At sixth level, you gain two more features alongside the improved version of Glyphs of Aegis.

Sigilic Augmentation

Using a bonus action, you can use a Charged Rune to enhance your Strength, Dexterity, or your Constitution score. You then have advantage on ability checks with whatever ability you’ve chosen until the start of your next turn. You keep this going by using another Charged Rune each round.

Your other feature allows you to see hidden magical marks.

Manifest Inscriptions

As an action, you can expend a charged rune to have concealed magic marks, runes, wards, or glyphs reveal themselves. It only lasts for a round, and the glow of the glyphs extends to five feet around you, looking like dim light to any observers.

At fourteenth level, your spells can ignore immunity and resistance.

Runic Torrent

You gain the ability to use a number of Charged Runes equal to the spell’s level. Your spell will ignore a target’s resistance or immunity to its damage type.

The final feature you gain comes at the eighteenth level, granting you a number of benefits.

Arcane Exemplar Form

On a bonus action, you can spend six or more charged runes to briefly activate your Arcane Exemplar form. This form will last for three rounds but will add on one round for every charged rune you expend over the regular six. You also gain the following advantages:

  1. You gain a flying speed of forty feet.
  2. Your spell save DC is increased by two.
  3. You also gain resistance to all damage from spells.
  4. After casting a first-level spell or higher, you will regain hit points that are equivalent to the spell’s level.

After this feature ends, your character can’t take actions, and they cannot move until after your next turn. This feature replenishes after a long rest.

a mounted sorcerer wildly conjures the four elements
Elemental Expressionist by Zack Stella

A drow or drow half-elf would make for a good Runechild, as the Charisma-based spellcasting synergizes very well with the class. You also get access to Faerie Fire with both, which will leave a lot of your attacks at an advantage.

Shadar-kai ensures you don’t have to waste a spell slot on Misty Step, as you’ll already have it innately, freeing you up for other sorcerous options. Firbolg’s innate casting may also be an ideal choice.

Nimble Escape from the goblin is a great feature to have for a sorcerer and helps you evade enemies after possibly negating melee damage with Glyphs of Aegis. Evading enemies may be a priority for you, so a shifter may be helpful to improve your durability.

Satyr’s magical resistance will also improve your resilience nicely, as will the yuan-ti’s poison resistance and magic resistance.

D&D two characters playing a magic chess like game
Tasha’s Cauldron Of Everything via Wizards Of The Coast

You’re going to want to prioritize your Charisma for its spellcasting ability in your sorcerer, as you’ll want high DCs for your suck-or-save spells as well as the extra damage. It’ll also fill out your skills nicely, which makes up a robust amount of your character sheet.

Next, you’ll want to boost your Constitution. Sorcerers have a small pool of hit points to draw from, and your hit point maximum desperately needs the cushion a good Constitution score will provide. Dexterity should be your third priority to raise your armor class.

Intelligence and Wisdom are unfortunately not as useful to have as a Runechild, but you can easily swap out around any score if you want to play a physically weaker but wiser sorcerer. Wisdom saves you from quite a few suck-or-save spells, as well as increases two of your character’s passives.

Intelligence makes you more of a master of the arcane, though it’s also responsible for quite a few skill checks. Sigilic Augmentation will be great for either Intelligence or Wisdom, though, so you won’t need to worry too much. Strength can comfortably sit in the dead-last of your priorities.

Mages Fighting Ithillid Monster In The Woods Forest Casting A Spell in Dungeons & Dragons.
Art Via Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything by Irina Nordsol Kuzmina

Cantrips are minor spells you can cast without any expense of a spell slot.

Chill Touch

Chill Touch automatically halts any regenerative abilities in an enemy, which counts for spells used to heal. This is very good for a cantrip, and the 1d8 necrotic damage is nothing to ignore.

Mind Sliver

Intelligence saving throws are few and far between, and many creatures who don’t rely on it will have a lower score. This is a great cantrip to have in your Runechild’s back pocket for spells that require saves, too, as it will subtract 1d4 from the next saving throw the enemy has to make in addition to 1d6 damage.

Shape Water

This is a very versatile cantrip and can more or less leave you with the sky as your limit as long as you have some water on hand. You can build barricades of ice five feet wide, melt areas of lakes, push slabs of water on enemies, change the flow of water to guide a small raft, or turn the water fun colors. You never know what use a fun color might be.

Prestidigitation

This cantrip can be used for a multitude of magical effects and is famously used to soil and clean things.

Here are some of the better spells you can take at early levels to help build your Runechild:

Magic Missile

Magic Missile is a guaranteed hit, which means that if you so wish, the three missiles you make could all hit, stacking the d4 of damage. It’s also good to spread out among foes. Having a source of dependable damage for your sorcerer will mean that your spell slot is never wasted.

Chromatic Orb

  • This spell is a ranged attack that lets you choose acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder damage for the orb you hurl at an enemy. Having multiple damage types that you can control is good, especially if you know something’s resistances.
  • 3d8 is also a fairly large amount of damage for early levels, and Chromatic Orb is a great candidate for the metamagic option Twinned Spell.

Charm Person

You could take a spell that does damage at melee range, like Burning Hands, but truthfully, if someone is close enough to your Runechild, your features should protect you from the brunt of their damage, and the focus should be on getting yourself out of their range. Charm Person will let them regard you as a friendly acquaintance and will let you move far away. It also levels with your character, letting you target multiple enemies.

Mage Armor

This will be a boost to your armor class and will provide you with some much-needed protection, with your Dexterity bonus adding onto a magical base of a thirteen.

Absorb Elements is great at a low level for any spellcaster that can get ahold of it. While it works particularly nicely with subclasses like the Bladesinger subclass, Runechild may want to have it on hand in case Glyphs of Aegis gets used up. However, it uses up a reaction, and at early levels, this will negate the feature Runechild already gives you.

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