|Role: Striker. You use powerful two-handed weapons to deal serious damage to your enemies. Your physical power and daunting presence can cause foes to cower before you, and you can temporarily increase your abilities by harnessing great bursts of terrifying rage. Depending on your choice of class features and powers, you lean toward either defender or leader as a secondary role.|
Power Source: Primal. You are a primal champion, a warrior devoted to the natural world and an embodiment of your tribe’s fierce traditions.
Key Abilities: Strength, Constitution, Charisma
|Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, leather, hide|
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple melee, military melee
Bonus to Defense: +2 Fortitude
|Hit Points at 1st Level: 15 + Constitution score|
Hit Points per Level Gained: 6
Healing Surges per Day: 8 + Constitution modifier
Trained Skills: From the class skills list below, choose three trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Athletics (Str), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Nature (Wis), Perception (Wis)
Build Options: Rageblood barbarian, thaneborn barbarian, thunderborn barbarian, whirling barbarian, ruthless reach barbarian
Class Features: Barbarian Agility, Feral Might, rage strike, Rampage
Barbarians are savage warriors who deal out powerful blows from their mighty weapons. They charge from foe to foe and seldom feel the pain of an enemy’s strike. For barbarians’ foes, the moments of greatest terror come when barbarians call upon primal forces to lend power to their raging spirits. These rages, although temporary, give a barbarian incredible powers, a combination of skill, willpower, and a legacy of ancient tribal rituals.
As a barbarian, you have a link to powerful nature spirits and other primal forces bound to the warriors of your tribe by the songs and totems of your legacy. These spirits lend energy to your rages, transforming you into a devastating force on the battlefield. As you become more experienced, these rages transcend mortal limitations, manifesting directly as waves of elemental power or gifting you with supernatural recuperative powers.
When the heat of battle is upon you, will you respond with a sudden charge that fells with one mighty swing of your weapon, or with a prolonged rage that leaves destroyed foes in your wake?
Characteristics: You combine powerful melee attacks with an excellent ability to absorb damage. You gain tremendous bursts of power through mighty rages. You have unusually high hit points for your role, making you more durable than other strikers.
Religion: Most barbarians revere the primal spirits of the natural world rather than calling on the gods of the Astral Sea. Some barbarians don’t see conflict between the gods and the primal spirits and therefore honor deities of nature or warfare in addition to the primal spirits. These barbarians often revere Kord, Melora, Avandra, or the Raven Queen. Evil or chaotic evil barbarians turn to Gruumsh or, more rarely, Bane or Zehir.
Races: Goliaths are ideal rageblood barbarians. Dragonborn make excellent thaneborn barbarians. Half-orcs are often barbarians but don’t favor either of the two types. Dwarf and shifter barbarians tend to be rageblood barbarians, while halfling and half-elf barbarians choose the thaneborn path.
Humans, half-orcs and goliaths are the most common barbarians, but it can be great fun roleplaying a barbarian from a race that ordinarily chooses other paths. The following list of suggested builds indicates the type of barbarian likely to thrive when playing popular D&D races.
Some of the reasoning behind the assignments is subtle. Ability score adjustments count for a great deal, but in a case like the minotaur, who is equally competent as a rageblood barbarian or as a thunderborn barbarian, we’ve leaned toward thunderborn barbarian so that war cry can clear space for the minotaur’s signature charge.
Creating a Barbarian
You can choose any barbarian powers you like for your character, though many barbarians favor one of two builds: the rageblood barbarian or the thaneborn barbarian. All barbarians rely on Strength. Barbarians also benefit from a high Constitution or Charisma, depending on which expression of the class they favor.
You can withstand a great deal of physical punishment, especially when you are in the throes of rage. At higher levels, your powers, particularly your rages, visibly manifest the spirits sacred to your tribe. Strength should be your highest ability score, since you use it for your attacks, but make Constitution a close second. Charisma might be your third-best score, especially if you want to use some powers designed for the thaneborn barbarian build. Rageblood barbarians lean toward defender as a secondary role.
- Suggested Class Feature: Rageblood Vigor
- Suggested Feat: Weapon Expertise
- Suggested Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Perception
- Suggested At-Will Powers: devastating strike, recuperating strike
- Suggested Encounter Power: avalanche strike
- Suggested Daily Power: bloodhunt rage
You use primal power to fuel your mighty rages and lend power to your already imposing personal presence. Your combination of physical prowess and charismatic appeal draws allies to you as surely as it fills your foes with fear. Again, make Strength your highest ability score, followed by Charisma and then Constitution. Thaneborn barbarians lean toward leader as a secondary role.
- Suggested Class Feature: Thaneborn Triumph
- Suggested Feat: Rising Fury
- Suggested Skills: Athletics, Intimidate, Perception
- Suggested At-Will Powers: howling strike, pressing strike
- Suggested Encounter Power: vault the fallen
- Suggested Daily Power: macetail’s rage
Some barbarians can be mistaken for savage warriors bereft of magic, at least until they rage. Whether you are raging or not, no one makes that mistake about you. Your ferocity and power have endeared you to the primal spirits of thunder. They circle around you, waiting for a time when you unleash them on your enemies.
When you stride into battle, low thunder rumbles around you. Even underground or on a clear day, the deep-throated murmur of distant storms accompanies you. When you charge, the growl grows into thunderclaps, sounding nearby. When you shriek your battle cry, a booming roar breaks over your enemies.
The faint-hearted cower before you. Those who are brave or foolish enough to stand before the rumble of your approach are laid low by your weapons and your rage.
Thunderborn barbarians lean toward controller as a secondary role. Powers improved by Thunderborn Wrath include blasts, which allow you to affect small groups of enemies, so it pays to move as close to as many enemies as possible. Consider favoring feats and powers that allow you to move more easily around the battlefield.
Like other barbarians, you should make Strength your highest ability score. Constitution should be your second highest score, since Thunderborn Wrath powers often rely on it.
- Suggested Class Feature:Thunderborn Wrath
- Suggested Feat: Thunderborn Rage
- Suggested Skills: Athletics, Intimidate, Nature
- 'Suggested At-Will Powers: howling strike, howl of fury
- Suggested Encounter Power: shout of terror
- Suggested Daily Power: tyrant's rage
Some barbarians, particularly elves and half-orcs, rely on speed and startling force to slay their enemies. Stories abound of the ability of such barbarians to cut down an entire group of bandits in the blink of an eye. These whirling barbarians combine supreme speed and agility with great strength.
Whirling barbarians fight with two weapons, often a pair of axes or swords. Dwarf whirling barbarians favor battleaxes and war picks, whereas half-orcs lean toward clubs and maces.
Compared to other barbarians, whirling barbarians are more mobile and better able to deal damage to several enemies with a single attack. Such barbarians rove the battlefield, swinging their weapons in a blur and hewing down any foes that are rash enough to draw near.
You can choose from several methods for improvement as a whirling barbarian. Feats that increase your prowess at wielding two melee weapons are a good investment, since Whirling Slayer powers all require you to wield two weapons. Consider wielding a thrown weapon in one hand to give yourself the option of fighting at range. Multiclassing into ranger will give you even more two-weapon powers to choose from.
Strength should be your highest ability score, since it bolsters all your barbarian attacks. You should make Dexterity your second-highest score, because that ability is often used by Whirling Slayer powers.
- Suggested Class Feature: Whirling Slayer
- Suggested Feat: Two-Weapon Fighting
- Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Perception
- Suggested At-Will Powers: pressing strike, whirling rend
- Suggested Encounter Power: whirling frenzy
- Suggested Daily Power: thunder hooves rage
Ruthless Reach Barbarian
Barbarians favor two-handed weapons because these weapons allow their wielders to use more leverage, a concept that translates into heavier, more damaging blows. One type of barbarian, the ruthless reach barbarian, has mastered the use of two-handed reach weapons, which apply leverage with each strike like no other type of weapons. The long haft of a glaive, halberd, or longspear allows a ruthless reach barbarian to generate immense power when targeting foes at his or her weapon’s maximum reach—in other words, 2 squares away. The barbarian evocations presented here take this into account, and a ruthless reach barbarian is doubly dangerous when he or she has a little room to work.
Although still a striker through and through, a ruthless reach barbarian can act as controller in a secondary role by attacking small groups of foes or moving enemies around the battlefield. He or she can even serve as a defender in a pinch, using reach to keep enemies at bay or cutting weaker foes down before they can enter melee range.
- Suggested Class Feature: Thaneborn Triumph
- Suggested Feat: Raging Reach
- Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Endurance
- Suggested At-Will Powers: savage reach, devastating strike
- Suggested Encounter Power: room for carnage
- Suggested Daily Power: swift panther rage
Barbarian Class Features
While you are not wearing heavy armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC and Reflex. The bonus increases to +2 at 11th level and +3 at 21st level.
Barbarians connect with the natural world in a variety of ways. Some barbarians grow so hardened to physical punishment that they find it easier to simply absorb, rather than avoid, attacks. Others are living examples of the power of one’s will to shape one’s fate. Choose one of the following options. The choice you make gives you the benefit described below and also provides bonuses to certain barbarian powers, as detailed in those powers.
- Rageblood Vigor: You gain the swift charge power. In addition, whenever your attack reduces an enemy to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifier. The number of temporary hit points equals 5 + your Constitution modifier at 11th level and 10 + your Constitution modifier at 21st level.
- Thaneborn Triumph: You gain the roar of triumph power. In addition, whenever you bloody an enemy, the next attack by you or an ally against that enemy gains a bonus to the attack roll equal to your Charisma modifier.
- Thunderborn Wrath: You gain the war cry power. In addition, once per round when your attack bloodies an enemy, each enemy adjacent to you takes thunder damage equal to your Constitution modifier.
- Whirling Slayer: You gain the whirling lunge power, and you can wield a one-handed weapon in your off hand and treat it as an off-hand weapon. In addition, once per round when your attack bloodies an enemy, you can shift 2 squares as a free action, and each enemy adjacent to you at the end of the shift grants combat advantage to you until the end of your next turn.
Barbarian daily attack powers have the rage keyword. They allow you to unleash powerful bursts of emotion, willpower, and primal energy. Each rage power starts with a mighty attack, and then you enter a rage, which grants an ongoing benefit.
At 5th level, you gain the rage strike power, which lets you channel an unused rage power into a devastating attack while you’re raging. Using rage strike is an alternative to using a second rage power in a climactic battle; it gives you the damage output of a daily power without forcing you to enter a different rage.
Once per round, when you score a critical hit with a barbarian attack power, you can immediately make a melee basic attack as a free action. You do not have to attack the same target that you scored a critical hit against.
Your powers are evocations of primal strength. At lower levels, your powers rely partly on martial skill and personal presence, but even at the start of your career, the primal spirits of the world infuse your body with vigor. At higher levels, the primal spirits flow more freely through you and your weapons, creating effects that are more obviously supernatural.
Your barbarian daily attack powers have the rage keyword. While you are raging, your barbarian at-will attack powers gain certain benefits, as detailed in those powers.
Each barbarian gains the power rage strike, usable only during a rage, at 5th level.
The Feral Might class feature grants each barbarian one of the following powers.
Level 1 At-Will
Level 1 Encounter
|Template:Great Cleave||Template:Vault the Fallen|
|Template:Desperate Fury||Template:Resurgent Strike|
|Template:Room for Carnage||Template:Rending Strike|
Level 1 Daily
|Template:Bloodhunt Rage||Template:Macetail's Rage|
|Template:Rage Drake's Frenzy||Template:Swift Panther Rage|
|Template:Blood Bear Rage||Template:Life Thane Rage|
|Template:Savage Juggernaut Rage||
|Template:Tyrant's Rage||Template:Always Falling Rage|
|Template:Bloodseeker’s Rage||Template:Skull-Taker’s Rage|
Level 2 Utility
|Template:Combat Sprint||Template:Primal Vitality|
|Template:Bounding Stride||Template:Feral Rejuvenation|
|Template:Savage Comeback||Template:Savage Growl|
|Template:Shrug It Off||Template:Bloodthirsty Resurgence|
Level 3 Encounter
Level 5 Daily
Level 6 Utility
|Template:Combat Surge||Template:Indomitable Shift|
|Template:Instinctive Charge||Template:Loss of Will|
|Template:Climber's Claws||Template:Primal Charge|
|Template:Relentless Surge||Template:Run Rampant|
Level 7 Encounter