Barbarian Kit

Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Sub-Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: Muscle 15, Health 15, Balance 13
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: by class

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: Battle Axe, Bastard Sword
  • Allowed Weapons: By class
  • Allowed Armors: By class, no shields

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Animal Lore, Endurance, Hunting, Survival
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Animal Lore, Animal Training, Appraising, Blacksmithing, Blind-Fighting, Boating, Bowyer/Fletcher, Camouflage, Carpentry, Crude Weaponsmithing, Direction Sense, Fire-Building, Fishing, Herbalism, Jumping, Land-based Riding, Leatherworking, Local History, Mountaineering, Rope Use, Running, Set Snares, Signaling, Singing, Swimming, Tracking, Weather Sense, Wild Fighting
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Overview: This is not the barbarian of history, but the barbarian of fantasy fiction. He’s a powerful warrior from a culture on the fringes of civilization. He’s left his home to sell his skills and adventure in the civilized world—perhaps to amass a fortune with which to return home, perhaps to become an important figure in this so-called civilization. He’s known for strength, cunning, contempt for the outer world’s decadence, and for adhering to his own code of honor.

While they are not complete savages, barbarians tend to be nomadic hunters and gatherers, having little interaction with other peoples and staying close to their homelands. Many barbarians can read and write, but their oral traditions are far more extensive than their written works, which rarely survive long in the wilderness. Some barbarians travel extensively in their constant search for food and shelter, and they may take on adventures during this time.

Description: The typical fantasy barbarian is a powerful, dangerous figure, as though he were an animal totem in human skin. In a campaign, he’s often a front-line fighter with some special skills and a very different outlook than the rest of the characters.

Role-Playing: A typical barbarian wants most to simply be left alone. He is in tune with his natural surroundings, engaged in a simple struggle for survival that he believes is all that the gods intended for him. Hunting, gathering, eating, sleeping—-this is what makes life worth-while for him, and he gains wisdom from living so close to the land and so much at the mercy of nature. Barbarians are emotional beings, not rational ones. Certain elements of civilization intrude on this life, but the barbarian accepts them grudgingly. He may be a nomad, but small communities of settled barbarians may have forges for blacksmithing, stockades of domestic animals, and trading posts with links to the outside world. He does not fully approve of this, but he understands it is the only way to create and maintain the iron weapons he uses.

In the campaign, the barbarian is a spooky, dangerous figure. He tends to be grim and a little alien to his allies from civilized lands. First and foremost, he’s a defender of his people, and he’ll most often be found wandering in lands other than his own because of some quest set him by the gods or some mystery he’s encountered that requires him to travel in order to solve it. When he finds his own tribesmen captured or enslaved in the outer world, which might be a common occurrence, he will do his utmost to free them and return them to his own land, which can imperil other goals he and his allies have.

Special Abilities:

  • Barbarians are imposing and dangerous-looking. This tends to make others respect them or at least wish not to make enemies of them. Therefore, the barbarian receives a +1 reaction adjustment bonus when encountering NPCs. This becomes a +3 among members of his own culture.
  • An barbarian’s skin is toughened by outdoor living. He cannot feel pain from light bludgeoning attacks that do not pierce the skin; he thus takes only half damage (minimum 1 point) from unarmed combat (punching, wrestling, or martial arts). At the DM’s discretion, this may also apply to the unarmed attacks of certain monsters, if they do not possess exceptional natural weaponry (fangs, horns, spikes, etc.)
  • Because they are fascinated with weapons, barbarians suffer only half the normal non-proficiency penalty.
  • A barbarian may use Animal Lore to understand the actions of wild birds and mammals as if he were able to talk with them. If a proficiency check is made with a -4 penalty, he learns something from the creature, if anything is there to be learned. The barbarian can communicate to some extent with the creature and can use his Charisma score to influence the creature’s reaction, if the creature’s Intelligence score is 1-4.
  • Barbarian priests have an additional special ability. Berserkers in the presence of one of their own priests, automatically succeed on their saves vs. death magic in order to go berserk.

Special Disadvantages:

  • The barbarian has a problem in civilized lands: He doesn’t respect the authorities and they have learned to be cautious of him. Therefore, the barbarian receives a -3 reaction adjustment penalty when encountering NPCs in positions of power: Rulers, government officials, etc.
  • A barbarian (regardless of class) does not know how to use a shield. If given the proper training, he can take a weapon proficiency with the shield in order to use it properly.
  • A barbarian does not speak Common very well. Any communication with him should be played out as slow, halting, and hard to understand. Apply a 50% chance that an NPC does not know what the character is talking about, and a 25% chance if this happens that the NPC thinks the barbarian said something rude, insulting, or in very bad taste. Comic results are also appropriate.

Return to Universal Kits.

Barbarian Kit

Ruins of Adventure Brand_Darklight Andre_The_Great