I’m a big tease, I know.
After weeks and months of promising to return to posts covering the continued advancement of the class background traits, here we are finally with a look at the fearsome barbarian. You’ll no doubt notice a few details have changed compared to the Dragon Hack basic set class description, and that’s just part of the natural design process. That document will be updated in the future with the class advancements through 10th level, and when it does the differences between the web and pdf versions will be reconciled. Where there’s a discrepancy, the GM is free to chose how a power works in his or her campaign.
Still need to download the basic set? Link here.
Also check out my recent post at Dragon Age Oracle, which provides an update to the warrior stances post of a few weeks back. Enjoy!
For some, there is only rage. In the ways of their people, in the fury of their passion, in the howl of battle, conflict is all these brutal souls know. Savages, hired muscle, masters of vicious martial techniques, they are not soldiers or professional warriors—they are the battle possessed, creatures of slaughter and spirits of war. Known as barbarians, these warmongers know little of training, preparation, or the rules of warfare; for them, only the moment exists, with the foes that stand before them and the knowledge that the next moment might hold their death. They possess a sixth sense in regard to danger and the endurance to weather all that might entail. These brutal warriors might rise from all walks of life, both civilized and savage, though whole societies embracing such philosophies roam the wild places of the world. Within barbarians storms the primal spirit of battle, and woe to those who face their rage.
Playing a Barbarian
If you choose to play a barbarian, pick one of the following ability focuses: Constitution (Stamina) or Dexterity (Initiative). Take the Warrior class.
Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
2d6 Roll | Benefit
2 +1 Dexterity
3-4 Focus: Constitution (Drinking)
5 Focus: Perception (Tracking)
6 Focus: Cunning (Natural Lore)
7-8 +1 Strength
9 Focus: Strength (Might)
10-11 Focus: Willpower (Courage)
12 +1 Perception
As a barbarian, your character gains special abilities called traits at odd levels. Barbarian traits through 10th level are as follows:
Barbarians start with 35 + Constitution + 1d6 Health.
Level 1. Barbarian Rage: The barbarian can enter a rage as many times per day as her Constitution. While enraged, the barbarian gains a +2 to her Strength and Constitution. She also gains a +2 to Willpower (Courage, Morale) tests. Enraged characters suffer a -2 to their Defense and Perception tests, though. The rage lasts for as many rounds as a barbarian’s Constitution, and she must pass a TN 13 Willpower (Self Discipline) test to end her rage early.
Level 3. Battle Hardened: At third level the barbarian can add half her Constitution rounded down as a bonus to her Armor Rating as long as she doesn’t wear metal armor. She also gains a +2 bonus to her Speed.
Level 5. Combat Prowess. At fifth level the barbarian gains a natural +1 bonus to her Defense. The barbarian also becomes increasingly resilient in combat. Once per encounter, as a minor action, she can regain hit points as if she took a five-minute, out-of-combat breather. The barbarian can now become enraged as many times per day as 1+Constitution.
Level 7. Unscarred. The barbarian’s natural defenses have hardened through the trials of constant combat. At seventh level the barbarian can add her full Constitution to her Armor Rating when not wearing metal armor. Also, while enraged she automatically passes any Willpower (Courage, Morale) tests.
Level 9. Indomitable Rage. At ninth level the barbarian becomes a towering inferno of destruction. Her rage imparts a +3 bonus to her Strength and Constitution and she can enter a rage 3+Constitution times per day. Also, the barbarian can perform the Lethal Blow stunt for 4 SP.