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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Mordenkainen's Barbarians

    Hello one and hello all, this is my first attempt at making a class guide. When going through the otherwise good guide "I'll NEVER Die!", I noticed it was a bit outdated, being several years old and only really talking about PHB options. Well, this guide seeks to change that, with a mix of newer content and my own subjective ratings for abilities! With that, I hope you enjoy and find this guide helpful.

    The Barbarian in 5e is THE tank class, even more than a Fighter. Fighters, Rangers, and Paladins have a good hit die of 1d10, but the Barbarian has a HD of 1d12. That doesn't SEEM like a big difference but when playing, you'll notice your HP stays ahead of the curve versus other martials. Of course, Barbarians aren't perfect. Unlike Fighters, they don't get a ton of ASIs and unlike Rangers and Paladins they don't get spellcasting. They also, in my opinion, have relatively weak subclasses, or at least a few that are "better" in some way. Skills are also a sore spot for you. Add to all this, you're quite MAD (Multiple Attribute Dependent) if you want good Strength and Unarmored Defense. However, with that said, their tankiness manages to make the whole class worthwhile, and plus, it's just fun to be a big angry wall of muscle.

    Overall, pros and cons of Barbarism.

    If you want to facetank all day and shrug off the times they DO hit you
    If you want to be amazing at grappling
    If you want to play something fairly simple but decide a Fighter isn't for you

    If you want to be good at social situations (you CAN RP and build them to be good at them but the base Barbarian isn't built for it at all)
    If you want to focus on utility or skill use
    If you want to play someone with spellcasting

    Overall, Barbarians are a lot of fun and can be really good at what they do, but they're generally only good at breaking people in half.

    And now, color coding for the rest of the guide.
    Blue: This is very important to you, and is probably a central function of how a Barbarian operates.
    Green: A good option overall.
    Black: A pretty "baseline" option, might be situational or there might be something better but its not bad in all honesty.
    Red: A "bad" choice, although ultimately, it's your character.
    Last edited by Protato; 2018-06-04 at 08:51 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    A Barbarian. He is rather displeased with you.

    Barbarian Stats, Proficiencies, Equipment, Party Role, and Class Features

    You ability scores are what you're good at, and what you want to be good at, is hitting things. I'm putting numbers after the analysis of each stat, taken from the Standard Array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8), meant to represent roughly what you want to have. Of course, the numbers listed are 1.Fairly low (to me) and 2.A guideline. You may roll numbers (which I tend to do at my tables), use a higher array (I tend to give my players 18 16 14 12 10 8 but that's pretty high for most tables) or use point buy but either way these scores are roughly where you'd want your numbers to go.

    Strength: This is your best stat hands-down. Important for your attack and damage rolls, and for grappling. I'd start with 15.
    Dexterity: Barbarians aren't really "made for" Dex, mostly because Rage keys off your Strength, but its important to have decent Dex for your AC since you're a frontliner. I'd have 13.
    Constitution: More important on you than even other martial classes due to your high hit die. You also get to use it for your AC. I would get 14.
    Intelligence: Your dump stat. You learned a lot about hitting people, not about history or math. I'd put the 8 here.
    Wisdom: Good because perception, but your class features don't use it. Nice to have, but don't be afraid to dump if needed. 12 would go here.
    Charisma: You're a smelly mound of man-meat, leave it to the Bard. Leave it at 10.

    Dexterity-based Barbarians switch Strength and Dexterity.

    1d12 Hit Die: Barbarians, as stated above, have the best hit die in all of 5e.
    Con and Strength Saves: Both are good, especially Con, because it helps with things like resist disease, forgo sleep, or hold your breath. Strength is rare but is important when it comes up.
    Armor: You get Light, Medium, and Shields. Not bad but kind of redundant with the Unarmored Defense.
    Weapons: All of them.
    Tools: None, but why would you need them? You're a Barbarian!
    Class Skills: Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, Survival.

    I would take Athletics (probably your most useful skill) and something else. Perception is good on most anyone but you're not as likely to be outstanding as the Druid or Cleric, or the Rogue with their Expertise. Intimidation is nice to have, and even if you're not mainly social, it's flavorful and you just might get mileage out of it. As is mentioned on this page, a variant rule in the Player's Handbook allows you to use Strength modifiers instead of Charisma for Intimidation checks. The skill is much better on you if that's allowed. Survival and Nature are fairly similar, but I've seen DMs rule that Nature can sometimes be used to learn more about creatures and Survival is mostly used for tracking and finding food. Animal Handling can be used to get pets (if the DM allows it, that is, yours may not but mine usually do, and I tend to in my games) and calm wild beasts. Overall, I recommend Athletics and then something flavorful. Don't forget, backgrounds get you more skills, as do certain races and most DMs allow for custom backgrounds.

    Basic Equipment
    Maul, Greatsword, and Greataxe are all good items for you. Greataxes are better than Mauls and Greatswords for critical hits but have lower minimum damage. I'd use a Maul/Greatsword until you get Brutal Critical, but you're not gimping yourself too much in any case so go with what's cooler to you. I'm partial to mauls myself. Throwing Weapons, especially Javelins, are the best ranged options for you, but make no mistake, you're a frontliner. Darts aren't to be underestimated as a low-cost means of doing ranged damage. Their range is awful and the damage is low, but they're extremely cheap and can be bought in bulk. The other option that might be good for a Barbarian's main weapon is a Longsword, Battleaxe, or Warhammer and a Shield. If you have good Con and Dex, plus a Shield, you'll have pretty high AC and a decent attack. If you have good Dex and Con, you won't be needing armor. Of course, if you do want armor, get Half-Plate as soon as you can, or a Breastplate if you care about stealth. If using a reach/polearm build I'd take a Glaive/Halberd. If you're a Dexterity Barbarian, I'd take a Rapier (two with Dual Wielder) and shield (if you don't have Dual Wielder, or two Shortswords or Scimitars (if you don't take Dual Wielder but want to use two weapons). I'd also take a Longbow for ranged damage. Just know that, unless your DM houserules it, you won't have Rage bonus damage. It's still good on you because resistance. Medium Armor is a good choice if your stats are lower, and either a Chain Shirt or Scale Armor are good early-game options. Breastplates and Half-Plate armor are better options later on.

    Class Features
    Unarmored Defense: From first level until the very end of you Barbaric career, you can forgo armor and isntead get an AC equal to 10 + Dex mod + Con mod. Not half bad, as long as your stats are decent. If not, then don't be afraid to put on Medium Armor.

    Rage: This is the reason you became a Barbarian instead of a prancing Paladin or a foppish Fighter. You get advantage on Strength checks and saves, resist physical damage, and get a damage boost! You can't use spells, maintain concentration, or wear heavy armor, but why would you need any of that? Your whole point is to break people in half with a hammer, and you're unparalleled at that!

    Reckless Attack: Gain advantage, but enemies get advantage on you. Not that big a deal though, because you can just sit there and take the hit with your Rage resistance. Since it requires Strength attacks to work though, this means unless your DM allows it to work with Dexterity attacks, this is pretty worthless on a Dexterity Barbarian.

    Dangersense: Advantage on Dexterity saves, so that means you more-or-less have three saves. At level 2. With no feat. If you're a Dexterity Barbarian it works with you even better.

    ASI: Standard amount as most other classes. Its only Green because you have the standard amount.

    Extra Attack: You get just one sadly, but hey, another chance to do more damage. Only reason its not better is cause you don't get more.

    Fast Movement: Always-on ribbon power, although it can be a pretty useful one. Might help you catch up if you were outside a room while your party investigated or something.

    Feral Instinct: Advantage on initiative! Also can't be surprised on initiative but you HAVE to pop Rage first. Still, advantage on initiative!

    Brutal Critical: More damage! Not too likely to land though, lowering the rating.

    Relentless Rage: A chance to not die when you otherwise might. You don't wanna be in this situation but its good to have. Would be better if the DC didn't go up as it was used.

    Persistent Rage: I'd have made this a standard Rage feature, but every class needs its ribbons.

    Indomitable Might: Take your Strength score on a Strength roll if you roll less than your Strength. In other words, never fail a grapple check ever again. If you're a Dexterity Barbarian with low Strength this is a lot worse, but still nice to have.

    Primal Champion: An excellent capstone! You can have up to 24 on Strength with no magic items! If you think you might get to Level 20, I wouldn't multiclass JUST for this. Constitution going up and making your saves and health higher is just gravy. Even Dexterity Barbarians benefit from this.

    Magic Items

    A note on Magic Items from people coming from other editions: 5e doesn't have the "magic mart" as an assumed mechanic anymore. Not to say no one's used it but its not the way the game is "meant to be played" as it were. Even so, I felt making a list of magic items that could help Barbarians out might be prudent. Also worth noting, every character only has three attunement slots.

    + Weapons: Probably the most common and easiest to stat magic items/weapons. They can go from Uncommon (+1) to Very Rare (+3).
    + Armor and Shields: They work similarly to the Weapons but go from +1 (Rare) to +3 (Legendary).
    Bracers of Defense: Needs attunement and is rare. Then again, +2 AC.
    Weapon of Warning and Sentinel Shield: Nice to have, and they can keep you from using Feral Instinct and using Rage when you don't want. They WoW needs attunement though, so it's rated a bit lower.
    Sun Blade: A powerful option for most characters, really. I'd give it to someone else first but on you they aren't half bad, extending vision and being really quite good versus Undead, a common enemy type. Plus, Fantasy Lightsaber.
    Hammer of Thunderbolts: I'm rating it as if you have the Belt of Giant Strength and Gauntlets of Ogre Power to use or if the requirement is waived. If so, then this is fantastic. Just be Thor!
    Javelin of Lightning: They can be used up and you may not be able to make/buy/find them in bulk but otherwise they're good ranged options, DC is a mite low though.
    Adamantine Armor: Doesn't give a + but is otherwise solid.
    Stat raising items: If you have naturally good stats or plan to bump them to the number the item gives, you won't need it. If the stat is low, you do. The biggest caveat is, of course, don't be greedy. Your Wizard needs that Headband of Intellect way more than you ever would, buster. These items all need attunement.
    Cloak of Protection: A good pick for any build. It's good on you because you lack heavy armor, and on some builds, may be unarmored.

    Epic Boons

    These tend to be rare because of how late they show up in games but if you do get there, start at a high level, or were allowed to receive one early, then here's a few options to give yourself, or if you're reading this as a DM then what you could give your team Barbarian.

    Boon of Combat Prowess: You missed? No you didn't.

    Boon of Fortitude: 40+ to HP on a tank is good.

    Boon of Invincibility: "W-what? That attack didn't even phase him!!". And then you go Super Saiyan.

    Boon of Recovery: You aren't dying anymore.

    Boon of Speed: Move up to enemies faster, and while Disengaging isn't something most raging Barbarians will do, is not a bad bonus. Dashing, though, especially with the bonus 10ft. of speed, is very good, especially on such an aggressive character.

    Party Role

    Barbarians serve a few roles in most DnD parties, and as you an guess, you probably aren't going to be the idea guy. I'll divide the roles into Heavy Hitter (single-target damage), Meat Shield (taking hits), Utility (doing things out of combat to help explore or solve puzzles), Face (being good at social encounters), Healing (recovering from damage), Nuking (multi-target damage), Control and Debuffs (being able to disable enemies before they die/go down), and Buffing (giving a temporary increase to a character)

    Heavy Hitter: Barbarians are very good at hurting a single target. They get two attacks, like most other 5e martial classes, and with the Rage bonus damage and Brutal Critical, plus Reckless Attack for greater accuracy, you're likely to be very good at hurting individual enemies.

    Meat Shield: You're also likely to have high HP due to having a good hit die, and Rage resistances makes you unlikely to die from most melee attacks. Bear Totem increases your ability to tank hits even more. Medium Armor isn't quite as nice as Heavy, and Unarmored Defense depends on having good scores, but overall, your AC should be around a Monk's, which isn't bad.

    Utility: Outside of what I've heard been called "meleemancy", you're not likely to have much out of combat utility. Meleemancy is still good though, but DM dependent.''

    Minionmancy: You have none.

    Face: You can Intimidate people (ideally with Strength), making you a good backup face. The Bard botched his Persuade roll? Well, you can try to persuade with your bulging pecs. You're not likely to be ideal at this though, hence being a backup face and not generally a main face, and if your DM disallows Strength as with Intimidate then you're still lackluster.

    Healing: Barbarians lack healing for themselves or others, focusing on not taking a ton of damage or being able to get up from death rather than mitigation.

    Nuking: You're bad at this, probably one of the worst, in all honesty. Leave it to the Wizard to shoot Fireballs.

    Control/Debuff: Grappling lets you be pretty good at this, actually.

    Buffing: Rage is a great self-buff that gets better with subclasses. Outside of that, you're not very good at it.

    Barbarian Tactics

    Barbarians excel at hitting things with weapons but otherwise, there's things you can do. Grappling is a pretty powerful tool in your arsenal, and is easy to overlook. Otherwise, try "meleemancy"! Breaking down doors (or walls!) with hammers, throwing things at people, including other people, and shoving people into or out of harm's reach is a lot of fun and is quite effective too...if the DM allows it. Some might not like it much, you circumventing their locked door puzzle but smashing it into chips, so I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't always work. Ask the DM about her stance on that sort if you're not sure if it's allowed.
    Last edited by Protato; 2019-05-22 at 03:13 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    A human Barbarian, staring their opponent down.

    Races, with PHB and supplements.

    Your choice of race is very important to both your numbers and potentially RP experience. Please note that races that begin with flight are not allowed in Adventurer's League, and may not be allowed by your DM.

    Dragonborn: +2 Strength, element resistance, and nothing else that's good on you really.

    Dwarf: You get extra Constitution, a tool, darkvision, and advantage on checks to examine stone. You can go Mountain for +2 Strength, Hill +1 Wis and extra HP, or Duergar from Mordenkainen's Tome for +1 Strength, magic, improved darkvision, but at disadvantage on doing things when the sun is out. They also get a reprint in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes but I didn't see any real changes in them.

    Elves: Bonus to Dex for your AC, and the rest isn't that good for you. High Elves get a cantrip (that you can't use while raging), Wood Elves get nothing that helps you much. Drow get magic that's not all that useful to you, and nothing else they have is very good for you either. However, if you're a Dexterity Barbarian (which the rest of the Elf section will be assuming), or have good Strength/Con and you want more AC, elves become much better. Wood Elves are probably the best option, as it gives a +1 to Wisdom in addition to the base Elf Dexterity. Gives you a good chance to get another +1 if the number was odd, or a chance to get Resilient Wisdom. Mark of Shadows from Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron gets you Charisma, an instrument and Performance, a buff to both Performance and Stealth, and Minor Illusion. I'd pass.

    MToF Elf Subraces: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes adds even MORE elves. Eladrin get a bonus action teleport and +1 Charisma, and they also get sub-subraces. Autumn get a charm, not too good on you. Winter gets fear, a bit better but nothing to write home about. Spring is actually pretty good, letting you teleport an ally out of harm's way, could be useful on an Ancestral Guardian especially. Lastly, Summer gets you the ability to damage everyone for a little fire damage when you teleport up to them. Spring and Summer are the best bets for you here. Sea Elves gain Constitution, which is nice, you get a swim speed and underwater breathing, plus some neat utility/ribbons. Not half bad on a Dexterity Barbarian! Shadar-Kai are arguably even for you with their Constitution, always-on necrotic resistance, AND a teleport that grants even MORE resistance, even if for one round only. Geez.

    Gnome: +2 Int. Forest Gnomes get get +1 Dex, and Rock Gnomes get some Con. Nothing else that's very good on you. Deep Gnomes are like Drow and they can good, but not for you. They get a reprint in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.

    Half-Elf: Charisma +2 isn't very good on you, but other numbers of your choice get increased too, and proficiencies or another elf feature like a cantrip. This plus ribbons. Not too shabby. Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron gets you the option of either going Mark of the Storm or the Mark of Detection. Storm replaces the abilities with Dexterity (okay) and Charisma (meh), has a swim speed, a buff to vehicle repair/use, some magic, and lightning resistance. Damage resist is good but the rest is kind of a waste on you. Detection instead gets you Intelligence and Charisma (BOTH meh), better knowledge skills, and some knowledge spells. Neither are good on you.

    Half-Orc: Strength, Con, Intimidation, and some watered-down Barbarian powers? Yes please! it seems like they're kind of "built" to be the Barbarian race in the PHB. Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron has the Mark of Finding. Replace your scores with Strength and Wisdom, plus an extra +1 to put where you please. You're better at finding/tracking things (duh). it's not bad but I'd stick with the standard.

    Human: +1 to all stats isn't too bad. Better if you have a lot of odd scores. Variant Human get a feat at Level 1, which is very good. Wayfinder's Guide has more options that replace standard or Variant human features. Mark of Finding has Dexterity and Wisdom, both of which are nice on most characters. You get better at tracking things and get Wisdom and Dexterity, along with Darkvision. Not an awful pick but Strength is usually best for Barbarians and your mental scores are likely low anyhow. Mark of Handling is similar but better at getting along with animals rather than tracking. Talking to monsters is neat though. Mark of Making can grant you a +1 to someone's weapon or AC, and you get a cantrip that you can swap between long rests. It may or may not work with Rage, so I'd ask the DM. Really, it'd be green if it didn't grant Dexterity and your dump stat, Intelligence. Mark of Passage grants +2 Dexterity and +1 to anything else you like. You move faster, you can teleport, and you can ignore difficult terrain while dashing. In other words, really good on you, and pretty much anyone else to boot. Lastly, Mark of Sentinel grants Strength, and you can better protect allies. Flavorful and effective, especially if you're an Ancestral Guardian.

    Halfling: Dex, Luck, and subraces, with Stout giving you a bit more Con. Plus, you're a little tiny Hobbit screaming at someone and shoving them to the ground. Lightfoots aren't all that stellar on a Barbarian sadly, as Charisma is wasted and Barbarians aren't known for being sneaky. Wayfinder's has the Marks of Healing and of Hospitality. Healing lets you be better at Medicine and gives you some Wisdom, and some magical healing. Not awful but I'd still not have it be my first pick. Hospitality gets social magic, and cooking, along with a bit of Charisma. I don't think that suits you well.

    Tiefling: Abyssal, Feral and Winged might be okay on you, because they give either Con or Dex, and Winged gives flight speed. If your DM allows flight speed as a racial feat, then they're probably allowing Aaracokra, which are better for you. In Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, you get a few new options. Baalzebul Tieflings increase two dump stats, as does Mammon. Fierna's not all that good on you either, because while Wisdom is okay on you, it's not a required score for very much in most Barbarians. Glasya's and Dispater's Dexterity, Zariel's Strength, and Levistus' Constitution could be okay enough.

    Elemental Evil Player's Companion Races/Tortle Package/Mordenkainen's Tome of Toes

    These three supplemental books are unrelated, but since EEPC, Tortle Package, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes offer so few options (MToF offers a lot of subraces but only one new race), why not combine them here? Aarakocra and Genasi are from EEPC, Gith is from Mordenkainen's, and Tortle is from Tortle Package.

    Aarakocra: Flight speed is good, as is Dexterity, and you get an unarmed strike bonus. Pretty solid even if it doesn't grant Strength, and is really good if you use Dexterity.

    Genasi: Constitution? Nice! The main draw is the subraces. Earth is probably your best bet, with movement through difficult terrain and +1 Strength, nice on a bullrushing melee attacker. Air gives Dex and limited levitation, and is a solid pick on Dexterity Barbarians.Fire gives you fire resistence but the spells and Intelligence boost aren't that good. Water is a bit better, giving Wisdom, but isn't better by much.

    Gith: From Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. All Gith get Intelligence (bad on you) but there's subraces. Githyanki get +2 Strength, a tool, and the Jump and Misty Step spells. I actually rated the race green because Jump takes no Concentration and is actually good to cast pre-fight, and even if you can't Rage and use it, Misty Step can help you get away if you run out of rages. Githzerai meanwhile get Wisdom (not awful but a little yucky versus Strength), advantage on charm and fright saves, and the Shield and detect Thoughts spell. Shield is really good, but the rest of the subclass pales in comparison for Barbarians versus the benefits of Githyanki.

    Tortle: Strength is good, wisdom is okay. Unarmed damage is good but the defense could probably be equaled or outmatched by Unarmored Defense from the class. If you got bad rolls or are using a weak array/point buy, the Tortle is a bit better.

    Plane Shift Races

    Aether-Born: Charisma? Not so good. Two extra scores by one? Good! Damage resistance and Intimidation are good, and Darkvision can come in handy.

    Aven: Dexterity is good for such builds, and flight is always good. Iblis get Intelligence bonuses, and Hawks get Wisdom buffs. Dominaria has a variant with Dexterity, Wisdom, and the Hawk racial trait.

    Dwarf: Constitution and Wisdom are nice, and so's poison resist, darkvision, HP, tools, and examination.

    Elf (Kaladesh): Dexterity is pretty good and Wisdom is okay. Bistahar and Tirahar have more speed and stealth, and Vadahar have a Druid cantrip. Not the best picks, but not the worst either..

    Elf (Zendikar): Wisdom is meh for you and the rest is pretty standard Elf. Tajuru have Charisma and skills. Juraga have better speed and Dexterity. Mul Daya have better darkvision and Strength, but they also have spells and sunlight sensitivity.

    Goblin: Darkvision, basically. But they have subraces. Grotag has good defense and Constitution along with Animal Handling, Ixalan has Dexterty and climbing, not a bad pick for Dexterity builds. Lavastep is similar to Grotag but has better stealth instead of the skill, and Tuktuk is yet another defensive Goblin subrace but has Thieves' Tools.

    Human: Gavony is same as regular, every stat goes up by 1. Kessig has Dexterity and Wisdom along with some potent movement buffs, and is a great pick for Rogue/Barbarian multiclass builds. Nephalia gets mental scores and tools or skills, so I'd pass. Stensia have Strength and Constitution, more HP, and Intimidation, all of which suit you well. Keldon are similar.

    Khenra: Dexterity and Strength are both good, and so is walking speed. While I know nothing of MtG lore, the Twins ability looks flavorful and useful. I'd consider this at any rate.

    Kor: Get two martial skills, climbing speed, luck manipulation, advantage on being frightened, and Dexterity and Wisdom. Pretty nice on a Dexterity build.

    Minotaur: This is good for pretty similar reasons the UA versions. Strength and Constitution are both good, Intimidation is good. More damage, more tankiness, and an unarmed weapon? Good, good, and good.

    Merfolk: Charisma? Not so good. Swimming/amphibious? Can be good. Subraces? Let's see. Blue gets magic, Intelligence, and knowledge. Pass. Cosi Creed? Similar. So are Emeria, Ula, and Green. None of these are very good on you.

    Naga: Intelligence ain't so hot, but Constitution sure is. Minor speed boost is alright, and your natural weapon is good, as is your poison resistances. Not a bad pick, but the Intelligence goes to waste, most likely.

    Orc: Literally the PHB Half-orc. In other words, very good.

    Siren: Flight is nice. Friends (the spell) isn't so nice. Charisma doesn't look that hot either.

    Vampire: Necrotic resist is a good way to start off and blood thirst is alright. Zendikar Vampires have mental scores. Ixalan has somewhat better mental scores, you get better speed and saves when you drink blood, and you can fly through the air by turning your legs into a black cloud for a while. Ixalan wins for Barbarians, hands-down.

    Vedalken: Mental scores and lore are wasted on you, but saving throw resistance is not.

    Volo's Guide to Monster's Races

    Aasamir: Charisma and spells? Not a good look on you. At least the subraces give nice bonuses, and Scourge and Fallen give good stats as well. If a Zealot, Healing Hands makes it a better pick, because you can use it with Rage Beyond Death.

    Bugbear: Pretty good! Reach, stats, and a pseudo-sneak attack that can key off Strength, plus the stealth to use it. I imagine a bugbear just going around grabbing people and bear hugging them to death with his freakishly long arms.

    Firbolg: Originally rated kind of low. However, a comment has made me reconsider. The +2 Wisdom is useful because of saves but its not crucial for you, but the Strength is welcome. Hidden Step's invisibility feature doesn't let you attack sadly, but you could sit in a room and ambush someone with it. Firbolg does get magic, usually not very good on you, but its mostly out of combat rather than in combat, meaning it doesn't compete with rage. The Strength boost is a bit low but still quite welcome, and the ribbons are flavorful and can be useful.

    Goblin: The stat bonuses are surprisingly okay for boosting your AC. Also, you get a mini Cunning Action and a bit of extra damage to most creatures.

    Goliath: Strength and Con gives offence and defense. You also get Athletics, damage reduction, and some ribbons.

    Hobgoblin: Meh. Saving Face looks flavorful and the Con is good, but the rest looks like a bit of a waste.

    Kenku: Mental scores and skills you probably don't have good stats for? I'd pass.

    Kobold: -2 Strength is really bad on you and offsets the Dexterity bonus. Also, you don't cower and beg! You're a Barbarian! You break spines! Even on Dexterity Barbarians, Strength can be useful, and plenty of other races give Dexterity. Outside of RP builds focused on how unlikely it is for there to be a Kobold Barbarian, I wouldn't pick this.

    Lizardfolk: The Natural Armor is wasted sadly but the Con is welcome and Wisdom is nice to have. The unarmed attack is welcome, and the other features are flavorful. A solid pick if you're tired of all the Half-Orcs and Dwarves.

    Orc: Regular Orcs lose Intelligence and gain Constitution and Strength. Just what you need! Aggressive is also good. However, I still feel there's a bit of lost opportunity cost here, especially versus Half-Orcs.

    Tabaxi: Dexterity is nice, Charisma isn't all that needed. Feline Agility is useful at least, and you've got a climb speed and unarmed damage. Good for Dexterity builds.

    Triton: Strength and Constitution are good but the rest of the features aren't that good on you.

    Yuan-Ti Pureblood: Advantage on saves is good! REALLY good. But I don't feel I should rate it higher than black because it seems like all the other things would be wasted on you.

    Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron Races

    Changeling: Charisma? Not all that good. Intelligence is very meh so I'd put it into Dexterity. Skills and the tool are okay, and imposing disadvantage is good. It lacks Strength, but the bonuses are good so weigh your options. It's betterif you're a Dexterity build though.

    Kalashtar: Wisdom and Charisma? Yucky start. Advantage on Wisdom saves once a turn is fun though, Psychic resist is rare but can shore up a Bear Totem's most glaring weakness, and the telepathy and skills are better for social characters, and you're not likely to be one. The advantage on saves and the resistance is nice, but the rest might well go to waste.

    Shifter: Darkvision is nice, Dexterity is nice, and Perception is nice. Plus, subraces and a once a long rest Shifting power as a bonus action, basically giving you two super modes. Beasthide gets Constitution, athletics, and tanking. Longtooth has Strength and bonus action damage, along with Intimidation, probably your best social skill. Swiftstride has better speed, Charisma and Dexterity, a useful skill for Dexterity builds, and goes even faster when Shifting. Wildhunt has Wisdom, Survival for tracking, Wisdom check and save advantage, and you get another buff to tracking. All of these are good, but I'd pass on Wildhunt if you don't have a 16 in your main stat by the time you start.

    Warforged: Your AC is absurd, and picking it might be better than your Unarmored Defense. Plus, you get Constitution, advantage and resistance to Poison, which is common, and you don't need to worry about being snuck up on as much as your allies. Oh, and did I mention subraces? Envoy gets +1 to two scores, an extra language, skill, and a tool, PLUS Expertise in a tool that's built into you. That's a LOT of versatility. Juggernaut is another obvious pick, with Strength, more carrying/lifting/dragging, and an unarmed fist attack. Finally, Skirmisher gets Dexterity, better stealth (may or may not matter in your game with how it works specifically) and better walking speed, a no-brainer Dexterity build pick. All of these are FANTASTIC. You ARE a warrior, and guess what most Warforged are built to do?

    Guildmaster's Guide to Ravinica Races

    Centaur: Your racial skill can be different and your charge needs more feet to use. Still, a good pick.

    Loxodon: Your don't get Strength but the Constitution is still good. The AC can probably be matched or beaten easily enough however, and the Frightened/Charm resist is nice enough.

    Minotaur: Charge, bonus action attack with a knockdown chance, natural weapon, good stats? Good pick.

    Simic Hybrid: Good ability score, good race powers!

    Vedalken: Advantage on mental saves is good but the ability scores are atrocious on most Barbarians.

    Unearthed Arcana/Other Races
    - Ask your DM if you can use these races. None of these are available in Adventure's League organized play unless stated otherwise, and your DM may not allow them to be used.

    Centaur: Honestly this is REALLY good on you. Get your team's archer or caster, or even horseback rider, and just charge straight towards the enemy while they act as a turret. You also get a decent unarmed attack with hooves, and your stat boosts are well-placed, bumping Strength by 2 and Wisdom by 1. The only real issue is grappling, I'd ask your DM about how that works.

    Dungeon Master's Guide Aasimar: Wisdom and Charisma aren't so good. Resisting damage is good though. Darkvision is common but good, and spells are okay enough, even if you can't use them while Raging. I'd take Volo's Aasimar if at all possible.

    UA Elf Subraces and Dungeon Master's Guide Eladrin: Avariel get flight and not much else, but flight is really good. Grugach get Strength (good!) and a Druid Cantrip (can be okay). Eladrin from the Dungeon Master's Guide are different than the one's from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. They get +1 to Intelligence and the ability to cast Misty Step. I'd use MToF Eladrin if possible.

    Grung: Actually not too bad on you. Dexterity and Constitution are welcome, you get a leap, complete immunity to poison, and ribbons. Interestingly, I believe this race is considered an "Adventure League Surrogate", but as I've got limited experienced in organized play, what that means precisely is unknown to me.

    Minotaur: Strength is good, and you can pump it to +2. You get a good unarmed attack with your horns and you can use them to attack after dashing. Solid pick for most Strength builds. The Centaur UA from May 2018 changes it a bit from the 2015 UA, to have 2 Strength 1 Constitution, makes its horns a bit weaker, and adds Intimidation. Still blue is you ask me.

    Revenant: This varies a bit too much to rate consistently, but Constitution is welcome enough.

    UA Tiefling Subraces: Constituiton is best gained elsewhere and neither the Charisma nor spells are that good on you, so I'd skip Abyssal.

    Warforged: From the original Eberron UA where they first appeared. Strength and Constitution? Good. +1 AC? Good. The rest are ribbons but the main benefits are solid.
    Last edited by Protato; 2019-01-23 at 08:45 PM.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    A Barbarian, about to stab a grappled monster.


    Actor: Not very good on you.

    Athlete: Not too bad on you! Pump Strength and make it work for you, with things like gaining a climb speed and getting up from prones with less movement.

    Alert: Good on anyone.

    Charger: Seems situational and your actions are better used on just thwacking someone.

    Crossbow Expert: Pretty good feat for Dexterity builds that use crossbows.

    Defensive Duelist: Depends on if you're Dexterity Barbarian. If so, I'd strongly consider this. If not, then I'd pass.

    Dual Wielder: You don't dual wield, you hit things with a Maul or Greataxe, right? No, you're a Dex Barbarian or Rogue Barbarian multiclass build? Then this becomes pretty good on you.

    Durable: Regain more HP on a hit die, and pump Con. Really good!

    Elemental Adept: You need spells (which you don't have)

    Grappler: I'd use other feats for Grappling, but if you have those, I'd take this if you're a grapple build.

    Great Weapon Fighting: Oh no, you're less likely to hit! Oh yay you have Reckless Attack! Oh yay you do more damage! Oh yay you get another attack when you kill something! On a bonus action!

    Healer: Healing but not very good as you progress. Not really a good use for a feat.

    Heavily Armored: Gain heavy armor! And lose Rage. If your DM lets you rage in heavy armor this is a lot better.

    Heavy Armor Master: Grants some damage resistance, but you're not in heavy armor. Like with Heavily Armored, if your DM waives the heavy armor restriction on rage this is better.

    Inspiring Leader: You're not a Charisma class, but if you've pumped it/have an item to boost it or something and have a free feat, why not?

    Keen Mind: Intelligence stuff? On the Barbarian? Hahahahahaha!

    Light Armored: You have this.

    Linguist: See Keen Mind.

    Lucky: Good on anyone, if you've got good stats and other feats you want, take Lucky. You won't regret it.

    Mage Slayer: Can be flavorful, and its able to give you another attack. Of course, you need to be in five feet of the enemy caster, but you tend to rush in anyway.

    Magic Intitate: Very good feat!...but you can't cast with Rage, and I think there's other feats that are better for you, and you can spend your ASIs on increasing your stats. I'd skip it on Barbarians.

    Martial Adept: Unless you MC'd into Battlemaster, I'd skip this.

    Medium Armored: You have this already.

    Medium Armor Master: A bit better AC for armored Barbarians.

    Mobile: Always on mobility, but you're not a Monk and you have Fast Movement.

    Mounted Combat: This is pretty good if you can get a mount, but I'd not take it unless you're allowed to start with one, not because its bad, but because there's better options for most builds.

    Observant: The +5 Perception is useful, but the rest of the feat's not that good on a muscly Barbarian.

    Polearm Master: More damage, and some control. Real good with Sentinel.

    Resilient: Extremely good! Go Dex for both proficiency and advantage on Dex saves, or Wisdom to shore up mental defenses and avoid getting thrown out of the fight with a bad roll.

    Ritual Caster: Better than Magic Intitate on Barbarians, but still not a good fit for most Barbarian builds. It can get Find Familiar though, but the opportunity cost lost on gaining this feat at the cost of an ASI or different feat probably isn't worth it even then.

    Savage Attacker: Actually pretty okay on you, especially with the 1d12 Battleaxe.

    Shieldmaster: Reduce damage! Gain a shove! Succeed saves!

    Sentinel: Useful for most martial builds, especially with Reach.

    Sharpshooter: Similar to Great Weapon Master but for bows. This is almost required on archery builds though, if you're a Dexterity or Rouge multiclass build or you want to be an archer and your DM lets you use Strength for bow attacks.

    Skilled: You're no skillmonkey.

    Skulker: Not all that good on a Barbarian, unless they're a Rogue Barbarian multiclass. If you are, this becomes good, just like Dual Wielder and Defensive Duelist.

    Spell Sniper: You're not the party caster.

    Tavern Brawler: Actually okay on you. Boost a stat, do more unarmed damage (useful if divested of weapons), and giving opportunities for grappling.

    Tough: Pretty good! I'd take it if you're a Vuman with good Constitution for a big mound of HP.

    Warcaster: I'll say it again, you're not a caster.

    Weaponmaster: You have this.

    Racial Feats

    Barbed Hide (Tiefling): You have a mini-Spiked Armor, Intimidation, and an increase to Charisma or Constitution. However, you need to be a Tiefling.

    Bountiful Luck (Halfling): Negate an ally's critical failure! I wouldn't take it before taking other feats or pumping ASIs but this is still really good.

    Dragonfear (Dragonborn): Stat boost! And a save that keys off Charisma. Could be worse but I'd pass.

    Dragonhide (Dragonborn): Stat increase and while the armor might go to waste, the claws might not.

    Dragonwings (Dragonborn): Now we're talking! Gain a flight speed.

    Drow High Magic (Drow): Charisma casting. You're a Barbarian.

    Dwarven Fortitude (Dwarf): More Constitution and healing on a dodge. Nifty.

    Elven Accuracy (Elf/Half-Elf): Mental score stuff.

    Everybody's Friend (Half-Elf): Social skills and Charisma. Pass.

    Fade Away (Gnome): You don't get much from invisibility but at least the Dexterity is okay? But not good enough to take it.

    Fey Teleportation (High Elf): Misty Step is good but you're STILL a Barbarian.

    Flames of Phlegethos (Tiefling): Spellcasting stuff.

    Grudge Bearer (Dwarf): Like a mini Favored Enemy plus a stat bump. Not too bad and can be flavorful.

    Infernal Constitution (Tiefling): Resistance to damage and poison is good, but I wouldn't take it over another feat or ASI.

    Orcish Aggression (Half-Orc): The Aggressive feature from the Orc on a Half-Orc. In other words, good!

    Orcish Fury (Half-Orc): MORE barbarian stuff on top of the default Half-Orc stuff! Why, its like the Half-Orc is literally made to be a Barbarian!

    Prodigy (Half-races and humans): Expertise (on Athletics) is nice and even if you're not a skillmonkey, the extra skills are nice to have.

    Revnant Blade: From Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron. +1 Strength or Dexterity, adds +1AC, and gives finesse to the Eberron Dual Blade Scimitar. Also increases weapons damage. Niche but on a dexterity build/Rougearian, this is good.

    Second Chance (Halfling): Your hobbit is even luckier than before!

    Squat Nimbleness (Dwarf or Small races): Break out of grapples, move faster, gain skills. Not shabby.

    Svirneblin Magic (Deep Gnome): It's magic. You're a Barbarian.

    Wondermaker (Rock Gnome): Pretty flavorful but probably not that good, especially on you.

    Unearthed Arcana Weapon Feats - UA is playtest material, so ask your DM if UA content is allowed at your table.

    Blade Mastery: AC bonus as a reaction, attack roll bonus, and advantage on opportunity attacks. Any of these would be solid, and together they're splendid! You have to be using a sword though.

    Fellhanded: Attack roll boost, prone, hitting on a miss, and a support ability to knock an enemy's shield away. Pretty good in my book. Axes, warhammers, and mauls benefit from this feat.

    Flail Mastery: Negating shields, knocking prone, attack roll bonus, similar to Blade Mastery and Fellhanded. If you're a flail user this is a unique, nifty little feat.

    Spear Mastery: Increase attack AND damage, and gain reach on a spear! The charge might be useful, too. This makes the Spear just as viable as a Longsword or Warhammer for you.

    The UA Skill Feats are pretty similar, and not that many are good for you, but Brawny really is. More Strength, expertise in Athletics, and extra carry weight if you use that rule are all solid, and if you're a Variant Human with an odd Strength score this is a good way to bump it, and to be better at both a common skill check as well as grappling. Acrobat is similar, but for Dexterity Barbarians. Menacing depends on if your DM will let you use Strength as your +1 and to intimidate but if so, it's really good. If an enemy fails a Wisdom save then they're frightened of you and your bulging muscles. If you're a Berserker, it has a bit of overlap with Intimidating Presence though. Even ignoring that, the proficiency in Intimidate might be useful for you should you somehow find yourself in a social situation.
    Last edited by Protato; 2019-08-26 at 11:00 AM.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    An Orcish barbarian woman in medium armor, having honed her skills.

    Subclasses and Multiclassing

    Something I noticed as a general trend is that you get your first two "main" abilities at 3 and 6, then a ribbon at level 10, then finally a pretty good capstone at 14.

    Berserker: The "default" Barbarian. Not all that good, if you ask me, though there are homebrew fixes. Ask if you can make or use one if you, too, think this subclass is a bit weak.
    Frenzy: Make an extra weapon attack as a bonus action? Nice! Oh wait, it comes with exhaustion after? Meh. Its still usable but if you use it more than once a long rest you incur quite severe penalties. If your DM makes it so it doesn't take exhaustion, Frenzy (and the subclass as a whole) is a LOT better. If they make exhaustion easier to recover for you, like rolling Constitution saves to avoid it, getting rid of all levels or exhaustion, or letting you get rid of exhaustion levels on a short rest, this is also a good pick. Still, this subclasses exhaustion is bad on a grappler, who needs to pass checks to do their thing.
    Mindless Rage: I would have had this by default with Rage but still nice to have. A bit situational though.
    Intimidating Presence: Frighten someone with...Charisma? Not very good. I'd allow Strength for it, making it pretty good, but if your DM says you can't, its not that useful to you.
    Retaliation: Make a counterattack. Pretty nice, just comes online late.

    Totem Warrior: Probably the best PHB choice, though Elk and Tiger are from SCAG. Also, you can mix and match totems for different effects, like Bear/Eagle/Wolf, for example.
    Totem Spirit: Bear gets you resistance to almost everything while raging, Eagle is Cunning Action Lite, and Wolf is a little buff for allies along the lines of Pack Tactics, good if you're not using flanking rules but if so then this probably isn't very good. . Elk gets you faster speed, Tiger gets you a higher jump. PHB choices are pretty good all around but I'm not too keen on Elk and Tiger.
    Aspect of the Beast: Bear depends on if your table uses carry weight and you already have good Strength, Eagle would probably be best on an archer or someone with good perception, and for Wolf I usually don't bother with movement speed outside of fights, although that might be different at your table. Elk is something that's helpful for overland travel if you use it, and Tiger's skill proficiencies actually aren't too bad.
    Spirit Walker: Not so good unless, again, you're RPing your travel.
    Totemic Attunment: Bear keeps enemies locked down, Eagle makes you FLY, and Wolf gives you a bonus action knockdown. Elk is a bit worse than Wolf, and Tiger's a bit situational. Overall though none of these are bad options.

    Storm Herald: Not a strong choice in all honesty and its such a shame, the subclass has SUCH a cool flavor. You have to only pick either Desert/Sea/Tundra sadly, and you can't mix it up like Totem Barb. Now I've seen some good ones, I played with a Sea Storm Herald once and it was fun and worked decent enough. It just, feels a bit weak.
    Storm Aura: Desert gets you a tiny shred of damage, Sea gets okay damage at the cost of a Dex save, and Tundra gets allies a few temp HP. Sea is probably your best bet.
    Storm Soul: Desert gets fire resistance and set fires to things, Sea gets lightning resistance and waterbreathing/swimming, Tundra gets cold resistance and creating a bit of ice (which doesn't last long). Desert and Sea are okay picks.
    Shielding Storm: Give resistance to allies. More of a ribbon than anything though.
    Raging Storm: Desert gets damage, Sea can knock enemies prone, Tundra can debuff enemy movement. Actually none of these are too bad, although I like Sea best.

    Ancestral Guardian: A support Barbarian? And its pretty good? And has nice flavor? Everything a sublcass needs.
    Ancestral Protector: Attacks on allies have disadvantage AND resistance against an enemy, and all you need to do is attack while raging (which you do anyway)? Nice!
    Spirit Shield: Lower damage to allies as a reaction. Not shabby at all, and stacks well with your Protector.
    Consult the Spirits: Kind of DM dependent but at least its flavorful.
    Vengeful Ancestors: A proper damaging feature to round out the subclass! You use it wit your Spirit Shield, making your reaction do two things for the cost of one.

    Zealot: Your god is an awesome god, and you're gonna make sure everyone else knows. Probably the best for a "default" Barbarian, in spite of its clear flavor giving you an "intended" character type.
    Divine Fury: Deal more damage, in one of two flavors! Radiant is usually best though because undead tend to dislike it.
    Warrior of the Gods: Better than the average ribbon. It depends on if your DM uses material costs I suppose but I imagine most do.
    Fanatical Focus: Reroll a save while raging. In other worse, keep yourself from being hypnotized by the evil wizard so your team doesn't have a six foot tall Half-Orc lady screaming at them as she charges with an axe.
    Zealous Presence: Give allies advantage on attacks and saving throws. Pop this on a boss fight. Your friends will thank you.
    Rage Beyond Death: Oh my God! Geddit? Huh? Okay, pun aside, this is REALLY strong. You can be a perpetual motion machine of pure anger until you're healed, pass out, or die. But oh wait, if you die, then there's Warrior of the Gods to make reviving you trivial! Relentless Rage + Warrior of the Gods + Rage Beyond Death = Never fear death again.

    Battlerager: SCAG gives us an archetype that's so important and popular, I forgot to write it when I put the subclass info in initially. Restricted to Dwarves only for some reason, which is probably part of it. It makes a pretty good grappler though, especially in a lower leveled campaign. At higher levels, you're still useful, but your subclass damage is a bit low.
    Battlerager Armor: You wear armor that can get you up to 16 AC (17 with Medium Armor Master) and do a bit of damage as a bonus action. Also do some damage on a grapple. Not as good as some other options and boosting Dexterity and Constitution for different powers and the same or better AC. Could be a way to avoid pumping stats and instead focusing on feats. Also, deal 1d4 damage as a bonus action if an enemy is standing within 5ft., or 3 damage if you grapple. The lack of scaling makes it less appealing over time.
    Reckless Abandon: Gaining up to 5 temporary HP after using reckless attack is actually alright and gives you a sort of double-resistance, almost. Pretty good.
    Battlerager Charge: You have to be raging, but even so, as with other "mini Cunning Actions" its pretty good.
    Spiked Retribution: Not as good as the Ancestral Guardian or Berserker's counters but a counterattack is nice, even if the damage is low. This one's automatic too.

    Unearthed Arcana archetypes - Ask your DM before using! Note that they're forbidden at Adventure League play as well.

    Wild Soul: Wild Soul has some cool fairy flavor, AND a neat set of mechanics! Be a sort of magic knight Barbarian with this archetype.

    Lingering Magic: Detect Magic but even better than the Wizard having it. Also, be cool and glowy.

    Wild Surge: Oh boy, a Wild Magic table! Except literally ALL the effects are beneficial to you.

    Magic Reserve: A SUPPORT power on a Barbarian? Well, at least it's really, really good for the guy being supported. For you though, it's dangerous, doing anywhere from 5 to 20 damage to you whenever its used.

    Arcane Rebuke: Oh look, a reaction that deals a respectable amount of damage in a good type.

    Chaotic Fury: You rolled a slightly less awesome Wild Surge than you wanted? No you didn't!

    Multiclassing Tips

    Fighter: Champion is a good choice for you because of Brutal Critical, and Cavalier is good for Ancestral Guardians. For Fighting Style, I'd take Defense if using armor or one of the weapon styles.

    Rogue: Cunning Action is really good, and Expertise can get you good Athletics. Unless your DM lets you use Strength options for Sneak Attack though, they probably won't help with damage very much. CORECTION: It was pointed out to me by strangebloke that a weapon only needs Finesse property and not to use your Dexterity scores. As such, the class rating is blue now while it was green before.

    Ranger: Like Fighter but not quite as good on you since you're not able to cast while raging, and you lack Great Weapon Fighting if you use one. Horizon Walker gets you Planar Warrior for more damage though, and Beastmaster is fluffy.

    Paladin: Smites are good, and make you fantastic at nova damage but the class is MAD and you don't have many slots, and much of the flavor can be easily replicated with Zealot.

    Sorcerer: No. The class needs charisma you don't have. Dragon Sorcerer gets an AC bonus, but you can replicate it easily. Wild Magic needs consistent spellcasting, and you don't cast while raging. For a Favored Soul, you could pick up healing from the Druid, and Shadow Sorcerer doesn't really fit you mechanically and likely not flavor-wise either. Give this a hard pass.

    Monk: Dex and Wisdom based. You might have Dex but not likely to have that good Wisdom. Their unarmored defense isn't likely to be better than yours, and if you want unarmed attacks, pick up Tavern Brawler or a race with an unarmed strike. If you're not MAD this class becomes better.

    Bard: You can't use Inspiration much and again, it's MAD and you can't cast while raging. I'd skip it.

    Wizard: Very MAD. Don't do this. Why would you want to anyway? Wizards go to college, and you're a shirtless guy with a big sword. Would they really even admit you?

    Druid: If you go Moon you can actually get some decent (and flavorful) abilities. I mean, be a LITERAL Barbearian! But I wouldn't take more than 2 levels.

    Warlock: I had rated Warlock low originally because I was looking at them from the "Eldritch Blaster with a few big spells" mindset. However, I was told of some good build synergy with Armor of Agathys cast before a fight started, because it doesn't cost concentration. I'd go Fiendlock or Hexblade, as Hexblade gets some smites to use for extra damage without raging and Fiendlock gets some blasting that you could drop before rage. I'd still take Eldritch Blast, but since you're probably a bit MAD I'd avoid Agonizing Blast and instead take Lance of Lethargy or Repelling Blast. Devil Sight is good too, even if you have darkvision. However, the class is still MAD and you still can't cast while raging. I'd take no more than three levels, and if you go that far, take Blade Pact.

    Cleric: You aren't a caster. There's buffs, sure, but they're not worth losing your core progression.

    Sample Builds - These are around Level 10, give or take, and use 27 point buy or standard array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8). Don't feel restricted by this list of course, do what you want with your build! It's just food for thought and might give you ideas for making your own Barbarian.

    Megatank: Ancestral Guardian Barbarian 8/Cavalier Fighter 3. Bugbear 19/14/14/8/12/10. Feats: Sentinel. Equipment: Half-Plate, Halberd/Glaive
    This build is based around protecting allies from harm more than anything else. Your Unwavering Mark punishes enemies for attacking allies, as does Ancestral Protector and Spirit Shield. Sentinel is good with your Reach, and Bugbear gives you an absurd 15ft. reach with your weapons! If you keep going with this build, take Polearm Master and level your Strength with Athlete or Tavern Brawler in whichever order you see fit.

    Rougarian: Totem Warrior Barbarian 8/Rogue 2. Stout Halfling 10/18/14/8/13/10. Equipment: Rapier x 2, Longbow. Feats: Dual Wielder
    While I focus more on Strength Barbarians, this build could be fun and very practical. I recommend using Expertise in Stealth for your Sneak Attack. After this, I think you should pump Dexterity to 20, and then use your remaining ASI to get Con to 16. Dual Wielder gets you better AC and increases your damage by letting you use Rapiers instead of Shortswords/Scimitars for weapons. One ASI went into Dexterity and Constitution for your AC. Longbow is just there as backup because you have the Dexterity for it. Your Totems don't particularly matter, but Eagle gives you yet another Mini Cunning Action and Bear just gives you resistance to almost all damage, making both of them competitve. At level 6, your Totem feature is mostly a ribbon, so choose whichever seems like fun.

    Critfisher: Berserker Barbarian 9/Champion Fighter 3. Half-Orc 18/16/16/8/8/8. Equipment: Greataxe Feats: Savage Attacker
    Berserker makes extra hits are good on this build, even with risking exhaustion. Champion increases your crit rate from 5% to 10%, and Barbarian 9 gets you a more powerful crit. A pretty classic Barbarian, screaming and tearing people up with a big axe. At Level 4 Barbarian, +1 was put in Strength and +1 was put in Constitution. Savage Attacker helps with the swinginess of 1d12, and turns it into a strength. The other two ASIs should be used on Strength 20 and Constitution of 18 to improve both damage and AC.
    Last edited by Protato; 2019-09-09 at 08:38 PM.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    (Reserved if needed)
    Last edited by Protato; 2018-04-27 at 04:21 PM.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians (PEACH)

    I think I have the guide just about done. With that out of the way, if there's any additions you'd like to see with this guide, or if it needs changes, let me know! It's the first guide I've ever done so its something of an undertaking for. I hope it proves helpful for any players of the Barbarian in future!

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians (PEACH)

    you may want to fix the spacing so that each subclass is grouped with its abilities.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians (PEACH)

    And the Duck Totem, anyone?

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians (PEACH)

    I've changed the spacing and I don't know if the Duck Totem is in any official books. If so I'll do it. If not, and if there's a demand, I could take popular homebrew and make guides for that, too.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Warlock dip is actually at least green, armor of agathys synergizes really well with rage resistance and is not concentration so can have it active while raging.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    I've played two multi-class barbarian/warlocks (mainly warlock), and they're great! You just have to design around the idea that you cannot cast spells (or maintain them) while raging. Since warlocks only cast (usually) 2 spells per short rest, then choose pre-battle buffs with long, non-concentration durations (armour of agathys is perfect in combination with damage resistance from Rage!), and a pre-asskicking fireball!

    I've also played a very flavourful vengeance paladin/fiendish chainlock, which I totally loved!

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    The multiclassing section:

    It's rogue, not rouge.

    Secondly, you can make strength based attacks with finesse weapons and so long as the weapon is finesse, you can use sneak attack) Barbarians don't have a lot of bonus action uses by default, and they get bonus damage on every attack while raging, so a barbarian rogue duel wielding short swords is actually pretty great.

    Example at 7th level:
    Straight Barb:(2d6+4+3)+(2d6+4+3)=28

    Obviously I'm not looking at all of gwm's effects. but my point stands, that rogue is a great multiclass for barbarian that doesn't even make you fall that far behind on damage.

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    Stranger in the Playground Retired Moderator Ventruenox's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    I applaud your efforts to provide an updated guide. It's much needed.

    Would you split out the Xanathar's racial feats from the UA version? I could see that as helpful for those that don't use UA.

    I am also curious to see how the Elf & Tiefling subraces are scored, and where the Gith fall into your Barbarian view. If you are holding out for Mordenkainen's to be released, I understand.

    If you had a few sample builds or a section detailing synergy tricks, that would really help your guide stand out. (Maybe something like the Dwarven Fortitude feat + Periphat of Wound Closure for tank builds?)

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    I wonder, is there anyway to put this in the masterlist of guides and tables for 5e? I'm hoping it proves helpful to others but it won't be if no one can find it after all.

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    Stranger in the Playground Retired Moderator Ventruenox's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    As listed on the "5e Notable Threads" contact a moderator. You may also want to PM Daishain, since his thread is the collection of links; he last updated it in January.

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    Ogre in the Playground

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    While Aasimar is not a great option for a typical Barbarian, it's great for a Zealot.

    A 14+ Zealot can rage beyond death. Keeping alive even after 3 failed death saves, as long as their still raging, and only dying when the rage ends. A single point of healing would keep them alive.

    Aasimar gets a non-spell healing ability the Zealot could use while raging to keep keep themselves alive.

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    Ogre in the Playground

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    I would love to see more descriptions and opinions on the archtype options. The tomes especially. go into more detail on each option, why they are rated as they are, how you feel about the choice. Its hard to read the tomes as they are written. I understand that its difficult as there are many options within one archtype. I would suggest using bullet points or indenting it so that each tome gets its own line, then adding more description to each choice.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Frenzy is under rated; it's a very powerful ability which can be used once per long rest without any lasting ill-effects.

    This should be enough to get out of the red category.

    Multiple levels of exhaustion don't begin to stack up unless you use it twice (or more) per day.
    Last edited by JakOfAllTirades; 2018-04-30 at 02:11 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Great guide.

    I really have to try a Zealot Barb one day :D

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Quote Originally Posted by JakOfAllTirades View Post
    Frenzy is under rated; it's a very powerful ability which can be used once per long rest without any lasting ill-effects.

    This should be enough to get out of the red category.

    Multiple levels of exhaustion don't begin to stack up unless you use it twice (or more) per day.
    I'll second this.

    A "default" barb with 16 Str and a greataxe is dealing out an average of 12 damage with each attack at 2nd level. Getting an extra attack each round for a minute is really fantastic at low levels, and continues to be relevant later because rage damage continues to scale. You aren't supposed to be a skill monkey anyway, so a single level of exhaustion isn't going to mean much to you.

    Personally, I rule it so that you get to make a Con save to avoid exhaustion at the end of a Frenzy. This makes Berserker easily one of the best Barbarian subclasses out there, since it's unlikely you'll fail too many times.

    Also, wood elf is seriously underrated. It's one of the best options for a Dex barb, with an increased movement speed, a Dex boost, and some nice fluffy ribbons attached. Very flavorful, and not a particularly bad option mechanically.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Kind of surprised Firbolg rate as black rather than green. Short rest invisibility is short rest disadvantage to attacks, whether they know you're there or not. For a tanking/splatting class, that's great. The rest of the racial package just gives you a little more flexibility (and lets you skip animal handling as a skill, or makes it better). Disguised barbarians, or ones that know where the good loot is, are great barbarians. Spend half your time looking like an angry mage, then SPLAT!

    Sure, it's only +1Str, but Wis is handy for stuff and saves. The rest of the package makes you very versatile while making you tankier (well, it's invis, so it can be used for actual invisibility. But mostly it's just for popping one round of disadvantage to anyone without true/blindsight, with any class). Not getting hit is better than resistance or HP sponging, every time.
    Last edited by sambojin; 2018-05-01 at 08:26 AM.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Quote Originally Posted by sambojin View Post
    Kind of surprised Firbolg rate as black rather than green. Short rest invisibility is short rest disadvantage to attacks, whether they know you're there or not. For a tanking/splatting class, that's great. The rest of the racial package just gives you a little more flexibility (and lets you skip animal handling as a skill, or makes it better). Disguised barbarians, or ones that know where the good loot is, are great barbarians. Spend half your time looking like an angry mage, then SPLAT!

    Sure, it's only +1Str, but Wis is handy for stuff and saves. The rest of the package makes you very versatile while making you tankier (well, it's invis, so it can be used for actual invisibility. But mostly it's just for popping one round of disadvantage to anyone without true/blindsight, with any class). Not getting hit is better than resistance or HP sponging, every time.
    I agree. With Strength and Wisdom bonuses a Firbolg has Main stat covered and a very useful tertiary stat covered too. With point buy you could still have 16, 14, 14, 8, 14, 8 which are very fine Barbarian stats.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    It also fits into plenty of barb tropes. Being one with nature, or feral as hell, works well with the Speech (remember, beasts understand you *all the time*. This can actually be a downside as well). Being a tricky raider or primal Scout works well with disguise and see magic (if you've got to go ahead, *always* look like the sort of creature that is in the dungeon/town/wilderness. You might not even get attacked immediately on sight). Being a bloke that just likes big magic swords or that hates magic works well with see magic and popping invisible (especially just before there's probably magic damage/control incoming. They can't target you if they can't see you). Or just the stupidly strong barbarian, where carrying a small horse up a large cliff is actually quite feasible (powerful build is the ultimate "big dumb guy" racial).

    And it's the sort of magic that you don't really care if you rage drop. It's the sort of magic you use to get into a position to rage, or that you use after raging, or that keeps your HP/magic defenses up while raging. There's so much short rest magic there, that you'll be popping it several times a day, just for giggles, but it's actually kind of useful for what you do as well. Completely one dimensional, you're not (well, you don't have to be if you don't want. It's very versatile magic/abilities, that even plays well with party encounter setup shenanigans).

    Anyway, it's certainly green IMO, and possibly edging into blue territory. Barbs with free useful magic are great. At the very least, it's +1 Str/double carry capacity and disadvantage against attacks per short rest, and even just that is pretty good. I'm inclined to say that they're actually one of the best Barb races though. So many shenanigans available, all that fit into a lot of different character types.
    Last edited by sambojin; 2018-05-01 at 09:08 PM.

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    In response to feedback,I've rerated Firbolg! Speaking of feedback, thanks to everyone that's commented so far, it's helped me stay motivated to improve this guide and make it a better resource. I hope this guide proves helpful to anyone looking to make a Barbarian character, as while its inevitably full of one lady's opinions, I still intend it to be the most comprehensive Barbarian guide available for 5e DnD. One day, I intend it to be as good as one of EvilAnagram's even, if possible.
    Last edited by Protato; 2018-05-01 at 09:21 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Magic Initiate actually isn't too bad just due to its versatility. Yes, the opportunity cost is huge, but more on-call abilities is always nice.

    It's good on a v.human anyway, where those extra tricks come in early enough to be really flavourful for your character. Just choose anything you like, although the standard ones (mage hand/minor illusion/*something*, EB/*something*/hex (or armour of Agathys) or guidance/*something*/bless) all kind of amount to some handy gimmicks and maybe an extra pseudo-rage per day. Which isn't horrible.

    Guidance also does initiative, and +d4 pre-rage init is quite handy. And guidance is good for EVERYTHING that anyone wants to do. And quite barbarian'y.

    There's also the edge case of goodberry and totem barbs (which are a pretty common barb type). Speak with animals, bribe animals to do stuff/tell you stuff, jobs a good'un. Can be used in way more situations than you'd think, and since it comes with guidance for skill/init buffing and another cantrip, it's not a bad package. An extra 10HP of healing or free food is handy to have even when you're not Dr Doolittle'ing every poor little creature around (goodberries are pretty good bribes for anything that can understand you really).

    I'm not sure if this moves it up a rating due to the very high opportunity cost, but because of all the weird options and character building choices, I'd probably put it as black for v. Humans. To tell you the truth, I'd probably put it as black for every character of any race ever, but I probably overrate it. It's just so nice to be able to choose your gimmicks, from a very big list of them.
    Last edited by sambojin; 2018-05-01 at 09:49 PM.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    If you're looking to make the most comprehensive guide, you're going to have to at least make a nod to Dexterity-based Barbarians

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Regarding Berserker, I think it's worth noting that if you happen to have a Celestial Warlock in your group, at 9th level they can cure you of two levels of exhaustion every hour if you can sit around and rest.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    If you're looking to make the most comprehensive guide, you're going to have to at least make a nod to Dexterity-based Barbarians
    True, I'll try and work on it over time.

    Also, on Magic Initiate, you have good points but I don't think I'm changing the rating because of the opportunity cost. If your DM, say, let you learn feats with gold, downtime, or as a quest reward, it'd be much better because of the reduced opportunity cost, but I can't assume that to be a rule at most tables.
    Last edited by Protato; 2018-05-01 at 10:23 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground

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    Default Re: The Age of Barbarians: A Guide for post-Xanathar barbarians

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    If you're looking to make the most comprehensive guide, you're going to have to at least make a nod to Dexterity-based Barbarians
    Yea somebody needs to tell them to not do it.
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