Strength | Endurance
5e Base Class | Martial
Class Overview. The Barbarian is a martial class that employs brute force and empowering rage to cut down their foe.
A tall Nord tribesman strides through a blizzard, draped in fur and hefting his axe. He laughs as he charges toward the giant who dared poach his people’s elk herd.
An Orc snarls at the latest challenger to her authority over their savage tribe, ready to break his neck with her bare hands as she did to the last six rivals.
Frothing at the mouth, a Redguard slams his helmet into the face of his Dunmer foe, then turns to drive his armored elbow into the gut of another.
These barbarians, different as they might be, are defined by their rage: unbridled, unquenchable, and unthinking fury. More than a mere emotion, their anger is the ferocity of a cornered predator, the unrelenting assault of a storm, the churning turmoil of the sea. For some, their rage springs from a connection with ancient traditions. Others draw from a roiling reservoir of anger from memories of past battles. For every barbarian, rage is a power that fuels not just a battle frenzy but also uncanny reflexes, resilience, and feats of strength.
People of towns and cities take pride in how their civilized ways set them apart from animals, as if denying one’s own nature was a mark of superiority. To a barbarian, though, civilization is no virtue, but a sign of weakness. The strong embrace their animal nature-keen instincts, primal physicality, and ferocious rage. Barbarians are uncomfortable when hedged in by walls and crowds. They thrive in the wilds of their homelands: the desert, tundra, jungle, or grasslands where their tribes live and hunt. Barbarians come alive in the chaos of combat. They can enter a berserk state where rage takes over, giving them superhuman strength and resilience. A barbarian can draw on this reservoir of fury only a few times without resting, but those few rages are usually sufficient to defeat whatever threats arise.
Life of Danger
Not every member of the tribes deemed “barbarians” by scions of civilized society has the barbarian class. A true barbarian among these people is as uncommon as a skilled fighter in a town, and he or she plays a similar role as a protector of the people and a leader in times of war. Life in the wild places of the world is fraught with peril: rival tribes, deadly weather, and terrifying monsters. Barbarians charge headlong into that danger so that their people don’t have to.
Their courage in the face of danger makes barbarians perfectly suited for adventuring. Wandering is often a way of life for their native tribes, and the rootless life of the adventurer is little hardship for a barbarian. Some barbarians miss the close-knit family structures of the tribe, but eventually find them replaced by the bonds formed among the members of their adventuring parties.
Creating a Barbarian
When creating a barbarian character, think about where your character comes from and their place in the world. Talk with your GM about an appropriate origin for your barbarian. Did you come from a distant land, making you a stranger in the area of the campaign? Or is the campaign set in a rough-and- tumble frontier where barbarians are common?
What led you to take up the adventuring life? Were you lured to settled lands by the promise of riches? Did you join forces with soldiers of those lands to face a shared threat? Did monsters or an invading horde drive you out of your homeland, making you a rootless refugee? Perhaps you were a prisoner of war, brought in chains to “civilized” lands and only now able to win your freedom. Or you might have been cast out from your people because of a crime you committed, a taboo you violated, or a coup that removed you from a position of authority.
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Class Features||Rages||Rage Damage|
|1||+2||Rage, Unarmored Defense||2||+2|
|2||+2||Reckless Attack, Danger Sense||2||+2|
|4||+2||Attribute Score Improvement||3||+2|
|5||+3||Extra Attack, Fast Movement||3||+2|
|8||+3||Attribute Score Improvement||4||+2|
|9||+4||Brutal Critical (1 die)||4||+3|
|12||+4||Attribute Score Improvement||5||+3|
|13||+5||Brutal Critical (2 dice)||5||+3|
|16||+5||Attribute Score Improvement||5||+4|
|17||+6||Brutal Critical (3 dice)||6||+4|
|19||+6||Attribute Score Improvement||6||+4|
Attribute Score Minimum. As a multiclass character, you must have at least an Strength score of 13 to take a level in this class, or to take a level in another class if you are already a barbarian.
Proficiencies Gained. If barbarian isn’t your initial class, here are the proficiencies you gain when you take your first level as a barbarian: shields, all weapons.
You can make a barbarian quickly be following these suggestions. First, put your highest attribute score in Strength, followed by Endurance. Second, choose the outlander background.
|Hit Dice||1d12 per Barbarian level|
|HP at 1st Level||12 + your Endurance modifier|
|HP at Higher Levels||1d12 (or 7) + your Endurance modifier per Barbarian level after 1st|
|Armor||Light armor, medium armor, shields|
|Weapons||Axe, blunt, hand-to-hand, long blade, marksman, polearm, and short blade|
|Saving Throws||Strength, Endurance|
|Skills||Choose two from Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, and Survival.|
|You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background: |
As a barbarian, you gain the following class features.
1st-level barbarian feature
In battle, you fight with primal ferocity. On your turn, you can enter a rage as a bonus action. While raging, you gain the following benefits if you aren’t wearing heavy armor:
- You have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
- When you make a melee weapon attack using Strength, you gain a bonus to the damage roll that increases as you gain levels as a barbarian, as shown in the Rage Damage column of the Barbarian table.
- You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
If you are able to cast spells, you can’t cast them or concentrate on them while raging. Your rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven’t attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then. You can also end your rage on your turn as a bonus action.
Once you have raged the number of times shown for your barbarian level in the Rages column of the Barbarian table, you must finish a long rest before you can rage again.
1st-level barbarian feature
While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Agility modifier + your Endurance modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.
2nd-level barbarian feature
You can throw aside all concern for defense to attack with fierce desperation. When you make an attack, you can decide to attack recklessly. Doing so gives you advantage on melee weapon attack rolls using Strength during this turn, but attack rolls against you have advantage until your next turn.
2nd-level barbarian feature
You gain an uncanny sense of when things nearby aren’t as they should be, giving you an edge when you dodge away from danger.
You have advantage on Agility saving throws against effects that you can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, you can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.
3rd-level barbarian feature
Choose a path that shapes the nature of your rage, all detailed at the end of the class description. Additionally, you can choose any barbarian's Primal Path outlined in the 5e Core Rules. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th levels.
|Path of the Battleworn||Basic Rules|
|Path of the Reaver||Basic Rules|
|Path of the Savage||Basic Rules|
|Path of the Vanguard||Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil|
|Path of the War Crier||Basic Rules|
|Path of the Weal||Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil|
|Path of the Wilds||Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil|
Attribute Score Improvement
4th-level barbarian feature
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one attribute score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two attribute scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an attribute score above 20 using this feature.
5th-level barbarian feature
You can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you use the Attack action on your turn.
5th-level barbarian feature
Your speed increases by 10 feet while you aren't wearing heavy armor.
7th-level barbarian feature
Your instincts are so honed that you have advantage on initiative rolls.
Additionally, if you are surprised at the beginning of combat and aren’t incapacitated, you can act normally on your first turn, but only if you enter your rage before doing anything else on that turn.
9th-level barbarian feature
You can roll one additional weapon damage die when determining the extra damage for a critical hit with a melee attack.
This increases to two additional dice at 13th level, and three additional dice at 17th level.
11th-level barbarian feature
Your rage can keep you fighting despite grievous wounds. If you drop to 0 hit points while you’re raging and don’t die outright, you can make a DC 10 Endurance saving throw. If you succeed, you drop to 1 hit point instead.
Each time you use this feature after the first, the DC increases by 5. When you finish a short or long rest, the DC resets to 10.
15th-level barbarian feature
Your rage is so fierce that it ends early only if you fall unconscious or if you choose to end it.
18th-level barbarian feature
If your total for a Strength check is less than your Strength score, you can use that score in place of the total.
20th-level barbarian feature
You embody the power of the wilds. Your Strength and Endurance scores increase by 4. Your maximum for those scores is now 24.
Rage burns in every barbarian's heart, a furnace that drives them towards greatness. Different barbarians attribute their rage to different sources, however. For some, their scars become symbols of victories won, while others look within to their unyielding spirits.
Drawn to a life of adventure, combat, and rabble
rousing, a barbarian of the Path of the Vanguard seeks
out the challenge of honing their skills, seeking new
ways to overcome any obstacles. A barbarian of this
path uses their rage to focus on their combat training.
Spending countless hours in grueling training, and just as many out in the wilds to learn the finer points of tracking, Path of the Vanguard barbarians prove their merit and worth both on and off the battlefield where others would fail.
A barbarian of this path can gain these markings in a variety of ways. Perhaps you were tattooed with magical inks, or your flesh or fur was decorated with infused paints. Consider if the marks are deep scars with mystical powers, or if the markings suddenly appeared as though a greater power approved of your methods.