The Game as a Barbarian
Barbarians are one of the most popular and iconic classes in role-playing games, especially fantasy ones. They are fierce warriors who rely on their strength, rage, and primal instincts to overcome challenges. However, playing as a barbarian is not always easy, as they often face disadvantages regarding skills, magic, and social interactions. In this article, we will explore some tips and tricks to survive the game as a barbarian and make the most of your barbaric abilities.
Choose Your Race Wisely
Your race is one of the first decisions you must make when creating a barbarian character. Different races have different bonuses and penalties that can affect your performance as a barbarian. For example, some races may have higher strength or constitution scores, essential for a barbarian’s combat prowess. Other races may have special abilities or resistances to help them survive in harsh environments or against certain enemies. Some examples of races that are well-suited for barbarians are:
- Half-Orcs: Half-orcs are the quintessential barbarians, as they have a +2 bonus to strength and a +1 bonus to constitution. They also have dark vision, which allows them to see in the dark, and relentless endurance, which lets them survive one fatal blow daily. Additionally, they have savage attacks, which let them deal extra damage when they score a critical hit.
- Goliaths: Goliaths are towering humanoids who live in mountainous regions. They have a +2 bonus to strength, a +1 bonus to constitution, and a robust build, which lets them count as one size larger for carrying capacity and lifting. They also have natural athletes, which gives them proficiency in athletics, and stone’s endurance, which lets them reduce damage once per short rest.
- Dragonborn: Dragonborns are humanoid descendants of dragons with a +2 bonus to strength and a +1 bonus to charisma. They also have draconic ancestry, determining their breath weapon type and damage resistance. Their breath weapon is a powerful attack that can damage multiple enemies in a cone or line, depending on the dragon type. Their damage resistance can help them withstand elemental attacks that match their dragon type.
Of course, these are not the only races that can work well for barbarians. You can choose any race that appeals to you if you consider how it will affect your stats and abilities.
Pick Your Subclass Carefully
Another important choice you must make when playing as a barbarian is your subclass. Your subclass determines your primal path, the source of your rage, and your unique features. Depending on your playstyle and preferences, different subclasses offer different benefits and drawbacks for barbarians. Some examples of subclasses that are available for barbarians are:
- Berserker: Berserkers are the most straightforward and aggressive subclass of barbarians. They gain frenzy, which lets them make an extra attack as a bonus action when they rage, but at the cost of exhaustion after the rage ends. They also gain mindless rage, which makes them immune to charm and fear effects while raging; intimidating presence, which lets them frighten enemies with their charisma; and retaliation, which lets them make an attack of opportunity against anyone who damages them while raging.
- Totem Warrior: Totem warriors are barbarians who draw their power from animal spirits. They gain totem spirit, which lets them choose an animal totem that grants them a unique ability while raging, such as bear (resistance to all damage except psychic), eagle (advantage on perception checks and increased movement), or wolf (advantage on melee attack rolls against enemies within 5 feet of an ally). They also gain the aspect of the beast, which gives them another animal trait that is always active, such as bear (increased carrying capacity), eagle (no fall damage from heights less than 100 feet), or wolf (ability to track creatures by scent). Finally, they gain a spirit walker, which lets them commune with nature as a ritual once per long rest, and totemic attunement, which enhances their totem spirit ability with another effect.
- Ancestral Guardian: Ancestral guardians are barbarians who invoke the spirits of their ancestors to protect their allies. They gain ancestral protectors, which lets them mark an enemy they hit with an attack while raging, causing the enemy to have a disadvantage on attack rolls against anyone other than the barbarian and causing the ally hit by the enemy to resist the damage. They also gain a spirit shield, which lets them reduce damage dealt to an ally within 30 feet by 2d6 (increasing at higher levels) once per round while raging, consult the spirits.
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