View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Barbarian Archytype: Master of the Cold Rage

2018-07-20, 11:57 PM
I had this idea for a barbarian whose entire concept rotates around the idea of the 'cold rage,' whereas a berserker's rage is explosive and boisterous, a Master of the Cold rage is more quiet and malicious.

3rd: The Cold Rage
Your rage becomes the fuel of your intent, and strengthens your resolve. Whenever you rage, you gain advantage on dexterity checks and saving throws, and you add your rage damage to rolls with finesse weapons and ranged attacks.

6th: Ballroom Berserker
You may choose to expend a rage and add your rage damage to a charisma or wisdom based roll, allowing you to aggressively negotiate with a nobleman, or powerfully gleam the truth from a silver-tongued bard.

10th: Scathing Remark
While raging, you can choose to insult a target within 30 feet of you and that you have direct line of sight with. The target makes a charisma save (DC 8 + Proficiency bonus + your charisma mod), if it fails, it gains disadvantage to all attacks against any enemy other than you until it takes a short rest. You gain +2 to hit the target regardless.

14th: Breaker of Wills
Whenever you bring a foe down to 0 hit points, you may chose to keep them alive rather than killing them. By doing so, any remaining enemy within 30 feet must make a save per turn (10 + profeciency bonus + charisma mod) or become frightened of you for every turn under this effect or until they see the defeated foe slain.

"You are weak, barely able to hold your blade above your waist. Your allies run not because I am strong, but because you were weak, and in themselves, they see you. I won't slay you. I don't need a martyr, but an example will do fine."

I think I might need some feedback, tho.

2018-07-21, 06:02 AM
Cool idea, it reminds me of a barbarian archetype I enjoyed playing in Pathfinder that gave bonuses to Dex and Wis while raging, instead of Str and Con. My feedback:

For The Cold Rage, do not underestimate the power of enabling a Dex-based barbarian. With this, the barbarian can gain a significantly higher AC (up to 20 without a shield) and all the versatility of going Dex-based, and all they lose is the ability to use Reckless Attack. It will be an amazingly powerful tank even without the extra benefits that Cold Rage gives. I'm not sure if it will prove overpowered, since a big part of the barbarian's power comes from Reckless Attack, but if it turns out very powerful in playtesting you could consider halving the Rage damage bonus for finesse weapons and ranged attacks. That way you still get a pretty even choice: Go Str for better melee power or Dex for better defence and more versatility. (As a side note, advantage on Dex saves is largely obsolete due to Danger Sense.)

Ballroom Berserker is fun, but a bit weak. We're talking about giving up one of your 3-4 valuable Rage uses for a +2 to a single check, at skills that you probably aren't great at anyways. I'm hesitant to threaten bounded accuracy by raising the bonus, but maybe you can put a duration on it. A minute like the normal Rage is too short, hardly enough to have one conversation, so 10 minutes maybe?

Scathing Remark doesn't specify an action cost, but it's frankly really powerful regardless of what it costs. This is the level at which Totem Warrior gets Spirit Walker and Berserker gets Intimidating Presence, both situational ribbons. If you want to keep it at this level, I suggest you make it cost an action and remove the +2 to hit. It should also generally speaking last 1 minute instead of 'until a short rest' (makes no matter in a normal fight, but prevents shenanigans), work only while the target can see you and you remain within, say, 60 feet (no using it and then running away so he has to fight your allies with disadvantage), and end when you are killed or incapacitated.

With Breaker of Wills, you'll take down some weak minion early in the fight and from there on every other opponent has to make a save every single round or be frightened. (I can't really tell from your description how long the frighten lasts by the way. Is it one round, and then they save again to see if they get frightened again?) This is both incredibly powerful and will slow the game down immensely, with the DM having to roll potentially 5-10 saves every round. The 14th level feature deserves to be powerful, but not that powerful. I suggest they make a single save when you reduce someone to 0 HP (no more than once per round), and on fail they are frightened until your next turn.