Barbarian (5A)

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For some, their rage springs from a communion with fierce animal spirits. Others draw from a roiling reservoir of anger at a world full of pain. For every barbarian, rage is a power that fuels not just a battle frenzy but also uncanny reflexes, resilience, and feats of strength.

Greyhawk: Barbarians are common on the fringes of the flanaess. There are numerous frontiers dominate by barbarian cultures, mainly among the Paynim, Flan, Olman, Tuov, and Suel peoples. There is no sense of fellowship between barbarians, each tribe and people only honor their own barbarians.

You must have a Strength score of 13 or higher in order to multiclass in or out of this class.

Class Profile

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d12 per barbarian level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d12 (or 7) + your Constitution modifier per barbarian level after 1st


Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
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:

(a) a greataxe or (b) any martial melee weapon
(a) two handaxes or (b) any simple weapon
An explorer's pack and four javelins

Alternatively you can start with 2d4 x10 gp or 50 gp.


You must have a Strength of 13 to multiclass into or out of this class.

Multiclassing into the class gives you proficiency with simple weapons and martial weapons.

Barbarian multiclassing gives no spellcasing progression.

Barbarian Table

Level Proficiency Bonus Features Rages Rage Damage
1st +2 Rage, Unarmored Defense 2 +2
2nd +2 Reckless Attack, Danger Sense 2 +2
3rd +2 Primal Path, Primal Knowledge 3 +2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 3 +2
5th +3 Extra Attack, Fast Movement 3 +3
6th +3 Path feature 4 +3
7th +3 Feral Instinct, Instinctive Pounce 4 +2
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 +3
9th +4 Brutal Critical (19-20, 1 die) 4 +4
10th +4 Path feature, Primal Knowledge 4 +4
11th +4 Relentless Rage 4 +4
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 5 +4
13th +5 Brutal Critical (2 dice) 5 +5
14th +5 Path feature 5 +5
15th +5 Persistent Rage 5 +5
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 5 +5
17th +6 Brutal Critical (18-20, 3 dice) 6 +6
18th +6 Indomitable Might 6 +6
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 6 +6
20th +6 Primal Champion 10 +6

Class Features

As a barbarian, you gain the following class features.


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.

Unarmored Defense

While you are not wearing any armor, your armor class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

Danger Sense

At 2nd level, 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 Dexterity 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.

Reckless Attack

Starting at 2nd level, you can throw aside all concern for defense to attack with fierce desperation. When you make your first attack on your turn, 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.

Primal Path

Primal Paths
  1. Ancestral Guardian
  2. Battlerager
  3. Beast
  4. Berserker
  5. Cat5A
  6. FrostbiteEN
  7. Giant Weapon5A
  8. JotunEN
  9. Moon RagerEN
  10. Steel Titan5A
  11. Storm Herald
  12. Street Fighter5A
  13. Totem Warrior
  14. Wild Magic
  15. Zealot

At 3rd level, you choose a path that shapes the nature of your rage. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th levels.

Note that 5A only lists the primal paths that are new or altered.

Primal Knowledge

When you reach 3rd level and again at 10th level, you gain proficiency in one skill of your choice from the list of skills available to barbarians at 1st level.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Fast Movement

Starting at 5th level, your speed increases by 10 feet while you aren't wearing heavy armor.

Feral Instinct

By 7th level, 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.

Instinctive Pounce

At 7th level, as part of the bonus action you take to enter your rage, you can move up to half your speed.

Brutal Critical

Beginning at 9th level, you score a critical hit on a dire roll of 19 or 20, and 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 a critical range of 18 to 20 and the damage bonus to three additional dice at 17th level.

Relentless Rage

Starting at 11th level, 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 Constitution 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.

Persistent Rage

Beginning at 15th level, your rage is so fierce that it ends early only if you fall unconscious or if you choose to end it.

Indomitable Might

Beginning at 18th level, if your total for a Strength check is less than your Strength score, you can use that score in place of the total.

Primal Champion

At 20th level, you embody the power of the wilds. Your Strength and Constitution scores increase by 4. Your maximum for those scores is now 24.

Editor's Notes

The barbarian is said to be a strong class at low levels, somewhat lackluster at high level and thus overly prone to multiclassing. I made only 3 edits to try and overcome these issues.

  • Rage damage bonus increased slightly. It is now the same as the proficiency bonus, as long as you are 100% barbarian.
  • A new ability, Primal Vigor, gives you a lot of temporary hit points when you start a rage. At 9th you get temporary equal to your barbarian level, at 13th 2x that and at 17 3x that. You get this at the same level as the lackluster brutal critical ability.
  • At level 20, a barbarian can now rage a lot, but not an unlimited number of times. This is to avoid getting new temporary hit points Primal Vigor each round.

Primal Vigor might be too much. A lvl 17 barbarian likely has a Con of 20 and thus 187 hp. Primal vigor at this level gives 51 temporary hit points, a 27% increase. I don't think that overdoes it. Pathfinder 1 had temporary hit points on their barbarians late in its life, and that worked very well. The barbarian become very aggressive and willing to take risk until they are all gone.