From the frozen wastes of the north and the hellish jungles of the
south come brave, even reckless, warriors. Civilized people call them
barbarians or berserkers and suspect them of mayhem, impiety, and
atrocities. These “barbarians,” however, have proven their mettle and
their value to those who would be their allies. To enemies who
underestimated them, they have proved their cunning, resourcefulness,
persistence, and mercilessness.
Adventures: Adventuring is the best chance barbarians have of finding a place in a civilized society. They’re not well suited to the monotony of guard duty or other mundane tasks. Barbarians also have no trouble with the dangers, the uncertainties, and the wandering that adventuring involves. They may adventure to defeat hated enemies. They have a noted distaste for that which they consider unnatural, including undead, demons, and devils.
Characteristics: The barbarian is an excellent warrior. Where the fighter’s skill in combat comes from training and discipline, however, the barbarian has a powerful rage. While in this berserk fury, he becomes stronger and tougher, better able to defeat his foes and withstand their attacks. These rages leave him winded, and he has the energy for only a few such spectacular displays per day, but those few rages are usually sufficient. He is at home in the wild, and he runs at great speed.
Alignment: Barbarians are never lawful. They may be honorable, but at heart they are wild. This wildness is their strength, and it could not live in a lawful soul. At best, barbarians of chaotic alignment are free and expressive. At worst, they are thoughtlessly destructive.
Religion: Some barbarians distrust established religions and prefer an intuitive, natural relationship to the cosmos over formal worship. Others devote themselves to powerful deities, such as Kord (god of strength), Obad-Hai (god of nature), or Erythnul (god of slaughter). A barbarian is capable of fierce devotion to his god.
Background: Barbarians come from uncivilized lands or from barbaric tribes on the outskirts of civilization. A barbarian adventurer may have been lured to the settled lands by the promise of riches, may have escaped after being captured in his homeland and sold into “civilized” slavery, may have been recruited as a soldier, or may have been driven out of his homeland by invaders. Barbarians share no bond with each other unless they come from the same tribe or land. In fact, they think of themselves not as barbarians but as warriors.
Races: Human barbarians come from the distant wild lands on the edge of civilization. Most half-orc barbarians lived among orcs before abandoning them for human lands. Dwarf barbarians are rare, usually hailing from dwarven kingdoms that have fallen into barbarism as a result of recurrent war with goblinoids, orcs, and giants. Barbarians of other races are very rare.
Among the brutal humanoids, barbarians are more common than fighters. Orcs and ogres are especially likely to be barbarians. Other Classes: As people of the wild, barbarians are most comfortable in the company of rangers, druids, and clerics of nature deities, such as Obad-Hai or Ehlonna. Many barbarians admire the talents and spontaneity of bards, and some are enthusiastic lovers of music. Barbarians don’t trust that which they don’t understand, and that includes wizardry, which they call “book magic.” They find sorcerers more understandable than wizards, but maybe that’s just because sorcerers tend to be more charismatic. Monks, with their studied, practiced, deliberate approach to combat, sometimes have a hard time seeing eye to eye with barbarians, but members of these classes aren’t necessarily hostile to each other. Barbarians have no special attitudes toward fighters, paladins, clerics, or rogues.
Role: A barbarian’s typical primary role in a group of adventurers is as a front-line combat specialist. No other character can match his sheer toughness. He can also serve as a good scout, thanks to his speed, skill selection, and trap sense.
GAME RULE INFORMATIONEdit
Barbarians have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Strength is important for barbarians because of its role in combat, and several barbarian class skills are based on Strength. Dexterity is also useful to barbarians, especially those who wear light armor. Wisdom is also important for several of the barbarian’s class skills. A high Constitution score lets a barbarian rage longer (and live longer, because it gives him more hit points).
Alignment: Any nonlawful.
Hit Die: d12.
The barbarian’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are
Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha),
Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
See Chapter 4: Skills for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) × 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the barbarian.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A barbarian is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).
Fast Movement (Ex): A barbarian’s land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the barbarian’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn. For example, a human barbarian has a speed of 40 feet, rather than 30 feet, when wearing light or no armor. When wearing medium armor or carrying a medium load, his speed drops to 30 feet. A halfling barbarian has a speed of 30 feet, rather than 20 feet, in light or no armor. When wearing medium armor or carrying a medium load, his speed drops to 20 feet.
Illiteracy: Barbarians are the only characters who do not automatically know how to read and write. A barbarian may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak. A barbarian who gains a level in any other class automatically gains literacy. Any other character who gains a barbarian level does not lose the literacy he or she already had.
Rage (Ex): A barbarian can fly into a screaming blood frenzy a certain number of times per day. In a rage, a barbarian gains phenomenal strength and durability but becomes reckless and less able to defend himself. He temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but he takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases the barbarian’s hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when his Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are; see Temporary Hit Points, page 146.) While raging, a barbarian cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. He can use any feat he has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A barbarian may prematurely end his rage. At the end of the rage, the barbarian loses the rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter (unless he is a 17th-level barbarian, at which point this limitation no longer applies; see below).
A barbarian can fly into a rage only once per encounter. At 1st level he can use his rage ability once per day. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day (to a maximum of six times per day at 20th level). Entering a rage takes no time itself, but a barbarian can do it only during his action (see Initiative, page 136), not in response to someone else’s action. A barbarian can’t, for example, fly into a rage when
Table 3–3: The BarbarianEdit
Base Fort Ref Will Level Attack Bonus Save Save Save Special 1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Fast movement, illiteracy, rage 1/day 2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Uncanny dodge 3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Trap sense +1 4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Rage 2/day 5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Improved uncanny dodge 6th +6 /+1 +5 +2 +2 Trap sense +2, Bonus Feat 7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Damage reduction 1/— 8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Rage 3/day 9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Trap sense +3 10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Damage reduction 2/— 11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Greater rage 12th +12/ +7/ +2 +8 +4 +4 Rage 4/day, trap sense +4, Bonus Feat 13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Damage reduction 3/— 14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Indomitable will 15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Trap sense +5 16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Damage reduction 4/—, rage 5/day 17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Tireless rage 18th +18/ +13/ +8/ +3 +11 +6 +6 Trap sense +6, Bonus Feat 19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Damage reduction 5/— 20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Mighty rage, rage 6/day
struck down by an arrow in order to get the extra hit points from the increased Constitution, although the extra hit points would be of benefit if he had gone into a rage earlier in the round, before the arrow struck Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a barbarian gains the ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a barbarian already has uncanny dodge from a different class (a barbarian with at least four levels of rogue, for example), he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead. Trap Sense (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a barbarian has an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, giving him a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise by +1 every three barbarian levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level). Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack. Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a barbarian can no longer be flanked; he can react to opponents on opposite sides of him as easily as he can react to a single attacker. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the barbarian by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has barbarian levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character. Damage Reduction (Ex): At 7th level, a barbarian gains the ability to shrug off some amount of injury from each blow or attack. Subtract 1 from the damage the barbarian takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 10th level, and every three barbarian levels thereafter (13th, 16th, and 19th level), this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0. Greater Rage (Ex): At 11th level, a barbarian’s bonuses to Strength and Constitution during his rage each increase to +6, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +3. The penalty to AC remains at –2. Indomitable Will (Ex): While in a rage, a barbarian of 14th level or higher gains a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist enchantment spells. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers, including the morale bonus on Will saves he also receives during his rage. Tireless Rage (Ex): At 17th level and higher, a barbarian no longer becomes fatigued at the end of his rage. Mighty Rage (Ex): At 20th level, a barbarian’s bonuses to Strength and Constitution during his rage each increase to +8, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +4. The penalty to AC remains at –2. Ex-Barbarians A barbarian who becomes lawful loses the ability to rage and cannot gain more levels as a barbarian. He retains all the other benefits of the class (damage reduction, fast movement, trap sense, and uncanny dodge). Half-Orc Barbarian Starting Package Armor: Studded leather (+3 AC, armor check penalty –1, speed 40 ft., 20 lb.). Weapons: Greataxe (1d12, crit ×3, 12 lb., two-handed, slashing). Shortbow (1d6, crit ×3, range inc. 60 ft., 2 lb., Piercing). Dagger (1d4, crit 19–20/×2, range inc. 10 ft., 1 lb., light, piercing). Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier. Skill Ranks Ability Armor Check Penalty Climb 4 Str –1 Survival 4 Wis — Listen 4 Wis — Jump 4 Str –1 Swim 4 Str –2 Ride 4 Dex — Intimidate 4 Cha — Spot (cc) 2 Wis — Feat: Weapon Focus (greataxe). Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, and flint and steel. Quiver with 20 arrows. Gold: 2d4 gp. Category: Class (d20)