Posted by : David Guyll July 04, 2012

This is based on the 4th Edition barbarian in that it channels spirits, but because I do not like per-day resource management figured I would try something that I think makes a bit more sense; when you hit a barbarian, they get angrier and can hit you back a lot harder (which hopefully balances out with the fighter, who gets static damage bonuses). I also wanted to incorporate Heartlands from Heroes of the Feywild, but figured that would frontload the class a bit too much. The main issue I am having is how to make the wolf companion work better, though if its an issue you could just swap it out for Endurance.


  • Hit Die d12
  • Weapon Proficiencies Simple Melee, Military Melee
  • Armor Proficiencies Light, Medium, and Shields
  • Class Features Rage, Mighty Strike, Spirit Totem

Rage: Every time an enemy hits you with an attack, you gain a rage point. Rage points can be spent to increase your damage and activate spirit boons. They last until the end of the encounter or you fall unconscious.

Mighty Strike: When you make a melee attack on your turn, before making the attack roll you can spend any number of rage points. If the attack hits, you deal bonus damage equal to the number of rage points spent.

Wolf Totem: I like the idea that barbarians are able to draw power from spirit totems. At 1st-level your speed increases by 10 feet when wearing light or no armor, and 5 feet when wearing medium armor. You are also considered trained in Stealth, and gain a +3 bonus to it.

Natural Lore +3
Perception +3
Survival +3

Animal Companion: You gain a wolf companion. Not sure how to make this work with the action economy. Maybe something like per-encounter/day reactions, have it do "instinctive actions", or just grant bonus damage when flanking a target with the barbarian.

This is on the fighter sheet, and I think it works out well enough.

Level 2 (2,000 XP)
Increase your total Hit Dice to 2d12. Increase your maximum hit points by 6. You gain Takedown spirit boon.
Takedown (wolf totem): When you are flanking a creature or have attack advantage against it, you can spend 3 rage before making a melee attack. If the attack hits, the target is also knocked prone if it is your size or smaller.

Level 3 (6,000 XP)
Increase your total Hit Dice to 3d12. Increase your maximum hit points by 6. When you roll initiative you gain one rage point.

Other Class Features
Spending rage points to gain advantage when making ability checks, skill checks, and saves, as well as impose disadvantage when things try to oppose some of your checks, damage resistance, other special attacks. Spirit totems could also grant abilities usable independant of rage points, such as a wolf totem making it so that certain skill checks gain the rogue’s Skill Mastery, or a hawk totem allowing you to fly x times per day.

{ 3 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Hmmm... One rage point = one point of damage to the enemies. On the other hand One rage point = one successful attack against the barbarian = 1dx+y damage.

    I would either increase the effect of rage points or make them easier to get.

    On increasing the effect - I could see making them extra dice. You could make them the die size you got hit with, or a standard size like d4 or d6.

    On making them easier to get - you could get a point for dropping a foe. Or get a point for each five points of damage you take. You could also let them carry over beyond the enounter - perhaps it only works if you're still wounded. You can't have more rage points than your current damage total.

  2. I would probably go with a set die that scales up with level. So at level 1 it would be extra d4s. The idea is that I don't want the barbarian to routinely out-damage the fighter, and at the same time make spirit boons something that they will still use (instead of just always going the route of extra damage).

    Originally I had them set up for when an enemy is killed, but figured that they would get them too slowly; I wanted them to get hit by an orc, smile, and then slice it in half. Kind of like a "Hulk-rage".

    Do you think d4's would be good at the start? Would 1:1 ratio be good for getting hit AND killing enemies?

  3. Really like what you have done here (also for the Warlock too.)

    I wouldn't want to see anything that was based on the dice the monster used to damage you, that would break immersion for me. Also I'm not sure I like it for every x amount of damage, it simples maths, but it seems just that to me, maths...

    Since each point is only granting an extra point of damage, I say let him have a rage point everytime he is attacked. Regardless of whether he is hit or not. The way I see it arrows flying past his unarmoured head are going to pi$$ hime off too! Throw in greater rage powers or counter abilities and the like at later levels.

    This way I can see the Barbarian saving a stack of points and using the knock down effects etc then when the target is looking worn down cashing them all in for a final blow when he has advantage.

    I've been writing some stuff of my own and even at this stage, writing for next is a hell of a lot of fun, and quite intuitive with some of the new mechanics. The math is a lot lessy fussy, and it easier to come up with things that represent the fluff and not have to worry about balance.



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