Barbarians, contrary to popular belief, are not wild, bloodthirsty savages. Well, usually. They are instead clans of wild folk that are more in tune with the spirit world than most. Many have a simple way of viewing the world, and their histories are usually passed on through tale and song. However, not all barbarian members or clans are illiterate. If you wish to play as an illiterate barbarian, take the Illiterate trait.

Guardian Spirit

A Barbarian's Guardian Spirit or Totem is the spiritual entity that watches over and guides their actions and temperament. The form that this spirit takes strongly influences the Barbarian's attitude, personality, and actions, though indirectly. Perhaps the most commonly encountered Barbarians are those with the Bear spirit guiding them, giving rise to the myth that all barbarians are prone to violent fits of rage.

More advanced Barbarians that gain a deeper connection with their Totem can even take on a form similar to that Totem for a short time. This similar to a Druid's Wild Shape ability, but vastly different; The form that the Barbarian takes on more closely resembles the hybrid form of a were-creature. They retain a bipedal, upright shape and overall size, but they gain many of the physical features of their Totem. For example, a barbarian with the Serpent totem in totem form would be covered in scales and have a snake-like head with venomous fangs, but still retain two legs and two arms. These forms generally provide heightened senses and abilities, and even methods of flight in some cases.

When a character begins their Barbarian path, they must select a totem. This totem cannot be changed once selected without intervention of a higher power, usually involving a spirit quest.

The examples given below are the most common. It is feasible, however, to be devoted to a completely different guardian spirit. Consult with your DM for guidance creating a progression.

Totemic Ability
The hallmark of a Barbarian's totem is the ability to alter their state of mind in interesting ways. Activating a Totemic Ability is a full round action that takes 2 energy and lasts for one minute (ten rounds). This state can be maintained as a free action for an additional 2 energy at the end of each minute, but its bonuses do not stack and simply overlap.

When the Totemic Ability ends, the Barbarian is fatigued.

Rage: Gain +4 to Strength and Ferocity for the duration. Rather than give bonus hitpoints that have to be taken off first and annoying crap, just let them stay awake if they fall to/below 0 hitpoints. If Rage ends and they can't maintain it, they will fall unconscious and begin dying

Cunning: Gain +4 to Wisdom and Uncanny Dodge for the duration.

Guile: Gain +4 to Charisma for the duration. Additionally, Disarm and Trip attempts and Bluff checks (including Feint) +2 for the duration.

Speed: Gain +4 to Dexterity, +10' base move speed, and Evasion for the duration.

Totemic Attenuation
At level 6, Barbarians receive further influence from their totemic spirit.

Passive adjustments: +2 Str, -2 Int
Level 1: Totemic Ability (2 EP): Rage
Level 2: Toughness
Level 3: Roar (3 EP): Strike Fear into opponents within 30' for 2d4 rounds. Will saves, DC = 10 + BBN level + Charisma mod.
Level 4: Great Fortitude
Level 5: Claws
Level 6: Totemic Attenuation: +2 Con, +2 Str, Totemic Appearance
Level 8: Totemic Form (6 EP)
Level 10: Greater Rage
Level 12:
Level 15:
Level 16:
Level 18:
Level 20:

Passive adjustments: +2 Wis, -2 Int
Level 1: Cunning
Level 2: Track
Level 3: Rally
Level 4: Iron Will
Level 5: Scent
Level 6: Totemic Attenuation: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, Totemic Appearance
Level 8: Totemic Form
Level 10: Greater Cunning
Level 12:
Level 15:
Level 18:
Level 20:

Passives: +2 Dex, -2 Cha
Level 1: Stealth
Level 2: Stealthy
Level 3: Envenom
Level 4: Lightning Reflexes
Level 5: Darkvision (30ft.)
Level 6: Totemic Form
Level 8: Totemic Attenuation: +2 Wis, +2 Dex, Totemic Appearance
Level 10: Greater Stealth
Level 12:
Level 15:
Level 18:
Level 20:

Raven: +2 Int, -2 Con - Guile - (Something Tricksy)

Eagle: +2 Wis, -2 Con - Cunning - Brutality (EP3); as a part of any attack, you may Stagger your target for 1d6 rounds. Fort saves, DC is 10 + damage dealt.

Horse: +2 Con, -2 Int - Speed - Rally

Panther: +2 Dex, -2 Int - Stealth - Brutality

Boar: +2 Con, -2 Cha - Rage - Ferocity

Dragon: +2 Cha, -2 Dex - Guile - Breath Weapon

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