(Lords of Madness variant, p. 186)

See that? The circular patch of ground that’s all muddy and smooth, when all the stone around it is rough and solid? One of them gibbering mouthers jumped someone here, and recently. Hand me that shovel. Sometimes they leave their victims buried in the mud they make, and they don’t take the poor fool’s gear when they’re done.
Jasper Ringlerock of the Darkrunner Guild

Darkrunners devote their lives to traveling the haunted underground depths. Some hire out their services as guides to those who wish to navigate the lightless ways, while others are lone wolves who simply wish to explore the deepest reaches of this wondrous and dangerous realm. They understand the lay of the subterranean world like no other, and use its terrain and features to great advantage in combat.


Skills: Knowledge (dungeoneering) 5 ranks , Search 5 ranks , Survival 7 ranks

Feats: Alertness , Track

Special: Darkvision as a racial trait or class feature.
Special: You must seek out a chapter house of the Darkrunner Guild and successfully petition to join the guild. Once you are a member, you gain your first level of darkrunner. If at a later time you lose membership in the guild, you become a darkrunner exile. You can still gain levels in this prestige class, but you can no longer rely upon the support of the guild.

Hit die


Skill points

6 + Int

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You gain proficiency with light armor and with martial weapons.

Direction Sense (Ex): You possess an incredible sense of direction. If you study a single underground location for at least 8 hours, that location becomes your directional focus until you choose a new location and study it for 8 hours. You must be within your directional focus to successfully study it. You can use find the path (as the spell) to determine the shortest, most direct physical route to your directional focus, as long as you are within 5 miles of your focus. This ability works only as long as you remain underground.

Spelunking (Ex): You are well trained in moving in and through natural caverns. You gain a competence bonus equal to your class level on Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, Survival, and Swim checks as long as you remain underground. In addition, you are treated as one size category smaller than your actual size for the purpose of squeezing into narrow tunnels or confi ned areas.

Darkrunner Emblem: Upon becoming a darkrunner, you are granted a darkrunner emblem by the Darkrunner Guild. This minor magic item is detailed in the accompanying sidebar. If your emblem is lost or destroyed, you can purchase a replacement from any guild chapter house at a 50% discount.

Aberration Lore (Ex): You have picked up a trove of knowledge concerning aberrations. Beginning at 2nd level, you gain a +2 competence bonus on any skill check, attack roll, or saving throw made against an aberration.

Darkvision (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, the extent of your darkvision increases by 10 feet. It increases by an additional 10 feet every other level.

Cavefighting (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, you are so familiar with the terrain features of the subterranean world that you can use them to enhance your combat ability. While underground, you gain a bonus on initiative checks equal to your Intelligence bonus, and you can move over difficult terrain (see page 148 of the Player's Handbook) at normal speed. Additionally, as long as you stand in a square of diffi cult terrain, such as rubble or thick undergrowth, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your Armor Class.

Tunnelport (Sp): At 3rd level and higher, you can use an enlarged dimension door effect as a spell-like ability once per day. You cannot pass through solid barriers as you normally could with a dimension door spell. Additionally, the route you take when using tunnelport must follow an opening no more than 10 feet wide. Your caster level equals twice your darkrunner class level.

Tremorsense (Ex): Beginning at 4th level, you have tremorsense out to 30 feet. You are sensitive to vibrations in the ground and can automatically pinpoint the location of anything that is in contact with the ground.

Lore of the Stones (Sp): At 5th level, you gain an affinity with unworked stone. You treat unworked stone as very soft ground when making Survival checks to track quarry, and can use stone tell as a spell-like ability (caster level equal to your class level) once per day.

Aberration Specialist (Ex): At 6th level, your knowledge about a particular kind of underground-dwelling aberration increases. You must select a specific kind of aberration that has an environment entry of Underground, such as gibbering mouther, mind flayer, or umber hulk. Against this kind of aberration, your bonuses from your aberration lore ability increase to +4.

Deepsong (Su): All that occurs in the depths of the earth is witnessed by the stone. Over the ages, an infinite legion of events have occurred, and in their passing they have left their mark upon the stone. Beginning at 7th level, you can attune your mind to experience the deepsong. The deepsong can be seen, felt, heard, and tasted, and it even makes itself known in mystical ways. While underground, the deepsong fills you with a sense of belonging and welcome. This effect grants you a +2 morale bonus on all Will saving throws. In addition, your stone tell spell-like ability becomes much more powerful than the normal spell. When you use this ability, the stones relate complete descriptions of events when asked. You can gain knowledge of up to three facts from among the following topics with each use: the layout of caverns and tunnels; the presence of plants and fungi, minerals, bodies of water, or people; local animal population; and the presence of elemental creatures, powerful abominations, or undead.

Improved Cavefighting (Ex): At 8th level, your cavefighting techniques improve further. You can take 10 at any time with any of the following skills while underground, even if you are threatened or distracted: Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, and Swim.

In addition, you master a style of fighting that incorporates the terrain into your attacks. You might cause an opponent to slip with a successful attack and twist an ankle on loose rocks or to stagger into a sharp stalactite. You might brace yourself against a cave wall to get a little bit of extra pull on your bow. In any case, this fighting style works only if you are standing in a square of difficult terrain. As long as you do so, you add a circumstance bonus equal to your Intelligence bonus (minimum +1) to damage rolls with all melee weapons and any ranged weapon attacks at a range of 30 feet or less.

Greater Tunnelport (Sp): Beginning at 9th level, your tunnelport ability functions like greater teleport, although you are still bound by the restrictions on the width of passages you can teleport though. Your caster level equals twice your darkrunner class level.

Stonewalking (Su): At 10th level, you no longer need confine your underground exploration to caverns and passageways. For a limited number of rounds per day, you can glide through stone, dirt, or almost any other sort of earth except metal as easily as a fish swims through water. While stonewalking, you have a burrow speed equal to your base land speed; this burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other signs of a presence. A move earth spell cast on an area where you are stonewalking flings you back 30 feet and stuns you for 1 round if you fail a DC 15 Fortitude save.

You can stonewalk for a number of rounds each day equal to 10 + your Intelligence modifier. These rounds need not be continuous; you can activate this ability for 4 rounds to pass through a collapsed tunnel and still have the remainder of your rounds available for use later in the same day. Activating and deactivating stonewalking is a free action. If you are still burrowing when you run out of time, you are immediately ejected into the nearest open surface large enough to contain you. Distance is not a factor, but the ejection is quite painful and forces you to make a successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1 per 5 feet traveled to reach the open area) or be stunned for 1d4 rounds.


Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Direction Sense, Spelunking, Darkrunner Emblem
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Aberration Lore, Darkvision +10 ft
3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 Cavefighting, Tunnelport
4th +3 +4 +1 +1 Tremorsense, Darkvision +20 ft
5th +3 +4 +1 +1 Lore of the Stones
6th +4 +5 +2 +2 Aberration Specialist, Darkvision +30 ft
7th +5 +5 +2 +2 Deepsong
8th +6 +6 +2 +2 Improved Cavefighting, Darkvision +40 ft
9th +6 +6 +3 +3 Greater Tunnelport
10th +7 +7 +3 +3 Stonewalking, Darkvision +50 ft

Class skills

Skill name Key ability Trained only Armor check penalty
Balance DEX no yes
Bluff CHA no no
Climb STR no yes
Craft INT no no
Diplomacy CHA no no
Escape Artist DEX no yes
Gather Information CHA no no
Heal WIS no no
Hide DEX no yes
Intimidate CHA no no
Jump STR no yes
Knowledge (architecture and engineering) INT yes no
Knowledge (dungeoneering) INT yes no
Knowledge (geography) INT yes no
Knowledge (local) INT yes no
Knowledge (nature) INT yes no
Listen WIS no no
Move Silently DEX no yes
Search INT no no
Sense Motive WIS no no
Speak Language None yes no
Spot WIS no no
Survival WIS no no
Swim STR no yes
Tumble DEX yes yes

Spells for Darkrunner

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