View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Barbarian Primal Path: the Harbinger

The Machine
2016-03-25, 10:10 PM
The Harbinger

All barbarians feel the power of rage in their hearts. Few, however, ever come close to understanding the true potential of their fury. Whether through arcane means, divine insight, or simply sheer force of will, a few barbarians are able to look beyond the edge of mere anger into a fathomless abyss of rage--of wrath and fury to uproot trees, shatter fortresses, and level mountains. Where the harbinger walks, Armageddon follows.

Saving throw DCs are determined by the harbingerís Strength modifier.

At 3rd level, upon taking the path of the harbinger, the barbarian gains the ability to unlock the true potential of his anger. Upon entering a rage or while raging, a barbarian may choose to unleash his Wrath, with the following effects:

Extra damage from raging is doubled.
The critical hit range of his weapon increases by 1 (so 20 becomes 19-20).
Wrath lasts until the end of a rage. At the end of every round spent in Wrath, a barbarian must make a DC 5 Wisdom save. Upon failing the save, the barbarian must either end his rage (and his Wrath) immediately, or allow his anger to consume him and go berserk for the duration of his rage. The harbinger may fail his save intentionally if he desires. If the barbarian goes berserk, the following effects take hold:

The barbarian must use his action to attack in a given round. He must prioritize animate creatures, but if he cannot reach any in a round, he may attack a corpse or inanimate object.
All damage the barbarian takes is reduced by an amount equal to his *normal* rage bonus damage.
The barbarian cannot willingly end his rage early.
Once Wrath is used, it cannot be used again until the barbarian has taken a long rest.

At 6th level, the harbinger is immune to fear. Additionally, he adds double his rage bonus damage to Strength checks to break objects.

Cataclysmic Force
At 10th level, a harbingerís wrath becomes like the fury of a tidal wave, sweeping aside all before it. When a harbinger in the throes of his wrath strikes a target with a melee attack, he may force the target to make a Strength save or be knocked 10 feet in the direction of the harbingerís choosing (it must move the target away from the harbinger), falling prone in the square it stops in and taking the harbingerís weapon damage dice in damage if it strikes an impedance.

Biblical Rage
At 14th level, the magnitude of a harbingerís rage surpasses that of the deities themselves, pulverizing all that stands before it. While raging, the harbinger gains the following abilities if wielding a two-handed melee weapon, or a versatile weapon in two hands:

Destructive force: while wielding a bludgeoning weapon, critical threat range increases further by 2. Blows against inanimate objects instead deal double damage.
Devastating cleave: if the harbinger deals damage to a target with a slashing weapon, he may apply his original attack roll to a creature within reach standing adjacent to the first target. If he hits, he deals damage equal to half that dealt to the first target.
Explosive impact: if the harbinger deals damage to a target with a piercing weapon, the impact is such that the wound craters, bleeding profusely. The target must make a Constitution save at the beginning of each of its turns or take 2d6 points of piercing damage and suffer disadvantage on attack rolls. The bleeding continues until the target regains any hit points, makes its save, or is treated with a DC 15 Heal check. Bleeding damage cannot stack.
Additionally, the harbinger deals an additional 1d8 points of damage per hit with a melee weapon while berserk. The harbinger may now enter his wrath twice per long rest.

The main reason I came up with this subclass was because I wasn't a huge fan of the PH berserker's flavor. Instead of a warrior who ran screaming and flailing into battle, I wanted to make a barbarian that would manifest his anger in a more focused, forceful way, striking a few powerful blows rather than many weaker ones.

A harbinger wonít be anything special outside the confines of his wrath, but will be a terrifying force on the battlefield (to allies and enemies alike) when he chooses to let loose. Damage output was scaled using the berserker as a measuring stick--final damage output should be a bit lower, but the harbinger will be a little tougher and better at battlefield control/general destruction.

Going berserk was also made to have an element of risk, but provide enough of a benefit that one would consider going berserk on purpose. Hence the damage reduction and extra damage at level 14.

With regards to Destructive Force, 17-20 crit range still wouldnít be statistically significant in most cases, but a barbarian can get advantage on any attack he wants using Reckless Attack, greatly increasing the probability of a crit. This should increase damage output by a respectable (but not crazy) percentage.

2016-04-03, 05:39 AM

A sooper-ragey barabarian? Okay.

I think that the major problem that happens is this: I are a normal barbarian. But I can sooper-rage, which means I have a 75% chance to stop raging after one turn. If I want to, I turn into a crazy maniac that kills enemies, friends, and nearby shrubs.

I suppose that it offers a straight damage increase if you are into that sort of thing. But I feel that the sooper-rage is already expressed fairly well by the Path of the Berserker.

I'd say Biblical Wrath only means something in the context of a world that has a Bible.

What I do like:
Implacable: This is cool flavor stuff that I love to see in sub-classes.
Cataclysmic Force: Overstated, but this allows some cool battlefield manipulation stuff.

2016-04-03, 11:09 AM
While I could definitely see this as a replacement to the Berserker overall your flavor doesn't match. You have this very religious almost divine agent like feel but all it is a beast stick. Additionally your final ability can add lots of numbers with the Berserk going on and it also feels too weapon specific for the flavors you are using or replacing.