Barbarian: Revisited

In the Class: Revisited series, I’ll be posting some simple revisions to the various classes based on experiences with my group, and those I’ve talked with. We won’t hit all 13 classes, as some are fine, and some I don’t have a good answer for, but in general these are some suggested changes that should fix some common complaints about the clases. I’ll also use this as a chance to fill out high level class features, which are basically absent past level 12 or so. None of these should be major rewrites, or take much adaptation to add in, but some are straight power ups or downs.

The chief complaint I hear about barbarians is that they don’t get anything to do outside of fights. They have some great roleplay hooks, but don’t actually get the mechanics to back it up. It’s all-freeform RP, which is fine, but sometimes it’s nice to have a mechanic to inspire you.

Natural Affinity

Barbarians have a natural affinity for their native terrain. They use the skills learned there to great effect, regardless of where they happen to be. At second level, pick one of the following abilities. 

  • Arctic: Thanks to your tireless travel in deep snow, your movement is not slowed by difficult terrain, and you have advantage on saves made against cold weather. Proficiency: Survival, and Leatherworker’s Tools.
  • Coastal: A long life spent in and around boats has made you at home on the sea or on land. You can hold your breath twice the normal duration. Proficiency: Perception, and Water Vehicles.
  • Desert: Growing up in the hot and arid desert, you have become accustomed to covering long distances in minimal time. Your overland speed, and that of those traveling with you, is doubled. In addition, you (and you alone) require half the normal rations and water. Proficiency: Medicine, and Glassblowing Tools.
  • Forest: Life in dense forests has made you accustomed to piercing dense foliage. You can ignore half-cover when making perception checks or attack rolls. Proficiency: Animal Handling, and Woodcarver’s Tools.
  • Grassland: Living in the plains means living life on high alert. There is little to provide cover, and your reaction to danger is critical. You gain a +1 bonus to initiative. Proficiency: Nature, and Land Vehicles.
  • Hill: The rolling hills of your home block line of sight for any major distance, and you’ve become adept at listening and behind heard. You can project your voice out to a 1 mile distance, and have advantage made on perception checks based on sound. Proficiency: Insight, and Brewer’s Supplies.
  • Mountain: You have carried a heavy pack for as long as you can remember and gain the powerful build trait. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift. Proficiency: Athletics, and Mason’s Tools.
  • Swamp: Swamps are teeming with life, much of which is undiscovered and toxic. You have advantages on saving throws against disease. Proficiency: Sleight of Hand, and Poisoner’s Kit
  • Underdark: Your eyes are accustomed to the darkness, and you have Darkvision 30ft. If you already have it from another source, increase it by 15 ft. Proficiency: Stealth, and Disguise Kit.
  • Underwater: Weather because of your aquatic nature, or proclivity for deep diving, you have grown up in the water more than out of it. You have a swim speed of 30ft, or can increase your swim speed by 15 ft if you already have one. Proficiency: Acrobatics, and Jeweler’s Tools.
  • Urban: Growing up in the city as a barbarian, you have a penchant for getting yourself into trouble. You gain a contact who always has a job worth Xd6*10gp, where X is your character’s level. If you move to another city, of at least Town (6,000 residents) you can establish a new contact (or reacquaint with an old one) after a long rest. Proficiency: Intimidation, and Cook’s Utensils.
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Natural Insight

At 8th level, you gain flashes of insight beyond what others expect of you. Some barbarians call upon ancestor spirits, others pull from their gut, and others have natural insights that the more “Civilized” companions do not. Once per long rest, you can use the Divination spell. You do not need to ask your question to a god, or other entity, although you can, but the DM will answer regardless.

All Out Assault

At 12th level, when you drop an opponent to 0 hit points, or render them unconscious, you can immediately take a dash as a bonus action.

As Things Are

At 14th level, you can see things as they truly are. Your natural ability to see through illusions, deceptions, and magic is infallible. An action, you can gain truesight with a range of 30ft. This ability lasts for one minute, and recharges on a short rest.

All Out Assault

At level 18. When you use this ability, it no longer requires a bonus action.

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