Path of the Wilderskin Barbarian (v1)

Wild eyes and fearsome howls – a spirit more animal than man, and more monstrous than any mere animal. They wield powers beyond mortal knowing, with influence over the most dread aspects of this world. Though technically still mortal, their horrific nature suggests anything but.

 

Read on for the horrors of the Wilderskin Barbarian!

-Barbarian- Path of the Wilderskin v1

You can also find the PDF version here.

 

Wilderskin barbarians are fierce opponents. Besides the rage and strength that is every barbarian’s birthright, they have some supernatural power that sets them apart. From their skin, which ripples with unnatural energy, to their stare, which chills onlookers to the bone… the Wilderskin are fearsome indeed, just not forever. After all, not many live very long after their first encounter.

 

FEATURES:

  • Skin of iron and a presence of terror – these are your allies. What you cannot terrify away will struggle to pierce your thick hide.
  • The eyes are the window to the soul, so show them what horror burns within.
  • Your unnatural power doesn’t end there. Invoke eldritch power to aid your cause.
  • Finally, warp the thoughts of your enemy. Display to them their greatest fear – a warrior invulnerable to their power.

 

DESIGN NOTES:

  • For reference, I suggest checking out this Wikipedia article that I browsed while writing my analysis post of the barbarian class.
  • Essentially, this barbarian is a warrior who channels a darker power than simple spiritual rage. They’re meant to have a more eldritch cast to them, hence the Eldritch Invocation use. Besides that, they’re quite defensive – most of their abilities focus on getting enemies to either not attack them, or deal less damage when they do. This goes against a lot of what the barbarian wants (that d12 hit die is just begging to be beat up on over the wizard’s pitiful d6), but it opens up a lot of interesting control potentials.
  • I wonder, though, if the barbarian is trying to be something too far away from the base barbarian class. The focus on defense, the idea of getting enemies to not attack you… scaring people away is all well and good, but when you’re potentially shooing them into the healer, well you might not be so good.
  • Additionally, unlike most times I actually do have a specific concern with this brew. It has to do with the Monstrous Glare feature. I wanted this to match the idea of a barbarian weakening an opponent with a glance, but the result seems both too weak for its number of uses, and too strong for how many times you can use it with one expended charge. It also only takes a bonus action, which is worrying too. So is reducing the damage of an enemy by half your Constitution modifier worth a bonus action for a barbarian? I feel like no. But is this potentially too strong due to its interaction with Nightmarish Presence? I think so, yes.
  • Anyway, I am quite happy with this ‘brew. While I have my concerns, I like the narrative of it and I like the core direction the features are taking. I do feel like it could use some refinement though, and I’m open to ideas (especially changing Monstrous Glare to require an action; you might actually have to convince me not to do that, to be honest). All in all, though? Definitely enjoyed making it.

 

Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Path of the Wilderskin Barbarian (v1)

  1. Bill S

    This is pretty cool, and really flavorful. There’s a lot to work with here.

    I also like the con mod + bonus rage damage added together mechanic.

    1. Anathemys

      Thanks, glad you like it! Hopefully it stands up as a good, more supernatural/creepy option for barbarians that still keeps a lot of the same uses. That’s the goal at least!

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