Runners are athletic, disciplined fighters who manipulate kinetic energy to perform brilliant acrobatic feats.
Runners are trained to deliver sensitive messages in secret. They are also sometimes hired to steal a particular item. Runners harness kinetic energy to crush enemies and shield themselves. They normally operate outside the law, joining marginal organizations or accepting contracts from them, but a Runner might find use for their skills somewhere else. Runners are usually cut off from the rest of society, keeping above or below the main populous. The life of a Runner is dangerous, and usually only very desperate people, or people who have nowhere else to go, become one.
Creating a Runner
Think about how your character became a Runner and why; were they forced to do it because of a shortage of money, for protection, a family and a place to live or did they do it because they enjoyed it? What kind of runs do they take; are they assassins, thieves, mercenaries, deliverymen (the role Runners officially play when legally recognized), or information merchants?
You can make a Runner quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Dexterity your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the criminal or urchin background.
As a Runner, you gain the following class features.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Runner level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per Runner level after 1st
Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Clubs, daggers, darts, handaxes, hand crossbows, javelins, light hammers, quarterstaves, spears and improvised weapons.
Tools: Thieve’s tools and one gaming set or artisan’s tools or musical instrument of your choice
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Stealth and Survival
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
(a) a hand crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) one simple weapon
Leather armor, a simple weapon of your choice and a grappling hook with 50 feet of hemen rope strapped to it
Thieve’s Tools and one artisan’s tools or musical instrument of your choice.
(a) an explorer’s pack or (b) a burglar’s pack
Alternatively, you can ignore the equipment here and in your background, and start with 3d4 x 10 gp worth of equipment from chapter 5 in the Player’s Handbook.
Mixed Martial Arts
At 1st level, your practice of mixed martial arts gives you mastery of combat styles that use unarmed strikes and runner weapons, which are light weapons and any one-handed improvised weapon. You gain the following benefits while you are not encumbered, not wearing heavy armour and unarmed or wiedling only runner weapons:
You can use your choice of Strength or Dexterity for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes.
You can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strikes. This die changes as you gain Runner levels, as shown in the Mixed Martial Arts column of the Runner table.
If you take the Attack action and attack using only unarmed strikes or runner weapons you can make one single unarmed strike as a bonus action.
When you attempt to shove a creature, you can also shove them to any point within 5 feet of you, knocking them prone in the process.
Starting at 1st level, you are able to smoothly traverse your environment with exceptional fluidity and speed. If you are not encumbered, not wearing heavy or medium armour and unarmed or wielding only runner weapons, climbing no longer costs you extra movement, and you have advantage on any Acrobatics or Athletics check made to keep your balance, land safely, run, jump, vault, slide, climb, swing, wallrun, springboard or otherwise move athletically. You can also make such Strength (Athletics) checks as Dexterity (Athletics) checks.
Starting at 2nd level, your practice of parkour grants you several bonuses while you are not encumbered nor wearing heavy armour:
Your speed increases by 10 feet. This bonus increases when you reach certain Runner levels, as shown in the Parkour column of the Runner table.
When you make a running jump towards a vertical surface, and if you hit it before you move half of the jump distance, you can run along it, either horizontally (wallrun) or vertically (wallclimb), without falling during the move. Every foot of movement costs 2 feet in a wallrun and 4 feet in a wallclimb. You can make a standing jump to get out of a wallrun or wallclimb.
When you make a running jump, the maximum distance you can cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Dexterity modifier.
Cut and Run
Starting at 2nd level, on each of your turns. you can take the Dash, Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action.
At 3rd level you specialise either in close-quarters combat, becoming an Enforcer, or movement and stealth, becoming a Traceur, each detailed at the end of the class description. Your Courier Tactic grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 7th, 15th and 18th level.
At 3rd level, choose two of your skill proficiencies, or one of your skill proficiencies and your proficiency with thieves’ tools. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies. At 10th level, you can choose two more of your proficiencies (in skills or with thieves’ tools) to gain this benefit.
Beginning at 4th level, you can use your reaction when you fall to reduce the damage dealt by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Runner level. You can also roll out of a prone position if you have momentum, such as when you are sliding or if you are able to reduce at least half the damage from a fall using this feature. Doing so allows you to stand up using only 5 feet of your movement.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Starting at 5th level, you can bounce off walls, the ground and obstacles to hit enemies harder with the energy of your movement. If you move at least 10 feet before making an unarmed strike, you can take a -5 penalty to your attack roll to gain a +10 bonus to the damage roll should you hit.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
At 6th level, you learn to harness kinetic energy into new forms. Your unarmed strikes can deal your choice of bludgeoning or force damage.
Starting at 6th level, you learn how to harness kinetic energy to form a barrier around yourself. For every 5 feet you move and every time you hit an enemy with an unarmed strike or runner weapon, you gain one Flow Barrier temporary hit point. These hit points can stack up up to an amount of your Dexterity modifier + your Runner level. If you do not move 15 feet or more away from where you started at the beginning of your turn, you lose your Flow Barrier. You must concentrate on this feature to maintain the barrier. However, falling damage does not trigger a concentration check if you reduce at least half of the damage dealt using Shoulder Roll. If you lose this barrier, you cannot use this feature until the end of your next turn.
Starting at 7th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or a lightning bolt spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.
Starting at 9th level, you gain the ability to channel your downwards momentum into enemies. When you are falling 10 or more feet and there is an enemy within 5 feet of where you would land, you can use your action to cause them to make a Strength saving throw DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier. If they fail, you transfer them the energy from the fall, causing them to take the fall damage you would have taken as force damage and you can either knock the target prone or shove them up to 10 feet away. If they succeed, you transfer only half of the damage you would have taken, and you can’t apply any of the prior effects. You cannot transfer more damage than 3 x your Runner level. Any damage you do not transfer, either because they succeeded on the save or because it exceeded the cap, is still dealt to you.
By 11th level, you have refined your chosen skills until they approach perfection. Whenever you make an ability check that lets you add your proficiency bonus, you can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.
At 14th level you gain proficiency in Constitution saving throws and have advantage on Constitution checks to exercise beyond normal limits.
At 15th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice:
When a creature hits you with an attack, you gain a +4 bonus to your AC against all subsequent attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn.
Stand Against the Tide
When a hostile creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to force that creature to repeat the same attack against another creature (other than itself) of your choice.
When an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to halve the attack’s damage against you.
Starting at 17th level, when you hit an enemy with an unarmed strike you can perform a powerful acrobatic stunt that sends them flying or knocks them to the ground. You force them to make a Strength saving throw DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier. On a failed save, they take 10d10 bludgeoning or force damage and are stunned until the start of your next turn. On a successful save, they take only half that damage. You can then either knock them prone or shove them up to 15 feet in any direction. You must finish a short or long rest before you can use this feature again.
At 20th level, you achieve peak physical condition. Your Dexterity, Strength and Constitution scores each increase by 2. Your maximum for those scores increases by 2.
Runners have mainly two different strategies on how to deal with the problems that come from guards and other adversaries they may face in their runs. Some, by necessity or will, take on a direct approach, and face these dangers right on. Others prefer to avoid the trouble all together, finding new routes to the same destination.
Traceurs focus on refining their freerunning and thieving skills.
Your legs have been sore from great falls for a longer period of your life than not. When you choose this tactic at 3rd level you gain resistance to falling damage.
At 3rd level, your experience with the rooftops allows you to initiate a wallclimb or wallrun with only a standing jump, Additionally, your jump distance is doubled.
Beginning at 7th level, when you take the Dash action you become a blur of speed to your enemies, gaining a bonus to your AC equal to half your proficiency bonus (rounded down) until the start of your next turn.
Starting at 13th level, your fluidity and quickness are capable of cheating the senses. When you take the Dash action, Wisdom (Perception) checks made to see you have disadvantage until the start of your next turn. Additionally, your pace no longer limits your ability to move stealthily.
Beginning at 18th level, you are so evasive that attackers rarely gain the upper hand against you. No attack roll has advantage against you whilst you aren’t incapacitated.
Enforcers work on enhancing their martial arts and close-quarters combat skills.
You are a veteran of countless hand-to-hand fights, which allows you to take a bigger beating before going down. At 3rd level, your hit point maximum increases by 3, and increases by 1 again whenever you gain a level in this class.
Starting at 3rd level, you are proficient with medium armor and shields, and can still use your Mixed Martial Arts feature whilst wielding one, using your shield in sintony with your unarmed strikes.
Starting at 7th level, once per turn, when you make an unarmed strike attack against an enemy, you can choose to instead attempt to disarm them. You make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by a Strength (Athletics) check from the target. They have advantage on this check if they are holding the weapon with two hands and you have disadvantage on your check if they are of Tiny or Large size. If they are bigger than Large, you cannot use this feature against them. If you win, you take their weapon, and for the remainder of your turn you can use it in place of your unarmed strikes. If you are not proficient with it, it is considered an improvised weapon during that time, though it retains any properties it had. You can also shove them to any point within 5 feet of you, knocking them prone
Self Defence Maneuvers
At 13th level, you learn to use your Disarming Motion as a reaction when an enemy misses you with a melee weapon attack, attempting to relieve them of that weapon.
Beginning at 18th level, when you take the bonus action granted by your Mixed Martial Arts feature, you can make two unarmed strikes instead of one.
Prerequisites. Dexterity 13 and Constitution 13.
Proficiencies. Light armor, thieve’s tools and one skill of your choice from the class’s skill list.