Barbarian – Path of Serpent’s Blood (v2)

Victory is won with blood, sweat, and tears. For you, blood is a significant majority, since it physically burns and sickens your enemies. Guess that’s what they get for trying to kill you, huh?

Gods forgive some unfortunate critter actually tries to take a bite.

 

Read on below for the Path of Serpent’s Blood barbarian!

 

Barbarian-SerpentsBlood-v1

You can also find the PDF version here!

 

Everyone has their gifts. Some are blessed with a natural affinity for magic, like sorcerers. Others have a deep and abiding closeness with nature, like druids or rangers. You… your blood stinks. It reeks, burns, and sickens. You’re a walking biohazard, but there are still perks. There’s always an upside after all…

 

FEATURES:

  • Visceral Poison. Hit me once, shame on you. Also poison. Or, eventually, acid. Have fun with that.
  • Resident Toxin. Your blood is an acidic poison, so neither acid nor poison bother you much. Eventually your body will be so obscenely hostile to normal life that even germs can’t survive.
  • Acid Whirlwind. If your enemies want a bloodbath, then why not give them one? And don’t worry, it’ll hurt them way more than it’ll hurt you.
  • Gore Splatter. The blood is going to spurt out whether you like it or not, so might as well aim it a little. Make the little monsters really regret walking into your neck of the woods.
  • Pestilent Flesh. And if they want a taste of something more? Go ahead, it’s their funeral. Best not to eat any of you, after all – they don’t know where you’ve been.
  • Envenomed Rage. Eventually, every strike is poisonous, and every attack toxic to the touch.

 

DESIGN NOTES:

  • I don’t make barbarian subclasses very often, which is a bit of a shame. I quite like the barbarian’s class structure (look out for that long-winded and dubiously informative post soon!) and there’s tons of unused ideas out there. This one involves poison.
  • Basically, the idea here is that your blood is so toxic that just hitting you is dangerous. As a barbarian, this is particularly good when paired with Reckless Attack; sure, you’re more likely to take damage… but you’re also able to deal more damage in return.
  • Defensively, the subclass’s strength comes from its resistances and immunities. Nothing too strong, but still worthwhile. It also ensures you remain effective when battling poison or acid using creatures. Your attacks aren’t too strong against anything with resistance to your damage, but at least you’ll take less damage from them too.
  • I’ve made two big changes to this iteration. Firstly, I’ve reworked the capstone into the new Envenomed Rage feature. The old one, as several people pointed out, was a little too… “magic” for this subclass. Every other feature involves you using your magical blood in mundane ways (throwing it around, etc.) while that last one is a direct magical effect. I like the new capstone better, because it’s also much simpler.
  • The other change was to the 10th level slot. I felt that Pestilent Flesh was a bit bare-bones for 10th level. Sure it’s fun when fighting wolves, or some kind of man-eating monster. Other times? Not so much. Adding the Gore Splatter feature is an attempt at a nice, simple little feature to allow a little more directed damage when needed.
  • All told, I’m pretty happy with this one. Unless there’s any severe problems I’ve missed (always a possibility), it should be ready for the big leagues! And by that I mean getting actual art assets. Maybe. If I can find the three hours needed to search out the damn things. We’ll just have to see.

Let me know what you think!

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