Homebrew Barbarian Archetype: Wild Soul [PEACH]
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  1. #1
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    Barbarian Archetype: Wild Soul [PEACH]

    I've created a new barbarian archetype for my home game, and I was curious what the community reaction might be. Any constructive comments, concerns or criticisms are more than welcome.

    Edit: looks like this might be the final revision, so I've thrown in some flavor text. Sorry about the formatting. I did the best I could with it.

    Jacob and his son Thomas were simple folk. On most days, they could be found on the farm. But, on this day, they stalked the woods looking for the beast that had been raiding their livestock. As they took a not so worn path round a large tree they spotted a cloaked man lying injured upon the ground. Approaching him, they quickly found that he was dead, savaged apparently by the same creature that plagued their farm. Jacob felt his sonís had upon his shoulder and looked up from the dead man. His eyes stopped as the woman came into view.
    She wore furs, and very little of them by the villageís standards. Her bare skin was smeared with color, forming bizarre symbols across her body. On her arms she wore bracers adorned with bloody claw-like blades protruding past her hands.

    Jacob recognized her kind, slowly rising to his feet and putting himself between Thomas and the wild woman. Keeping his eyes on her but never meeting her gaze, Jacob very slowly backed his son and himself out of her view.

    After a few minutes Thomas overflowed with curiosity. ďWho was that?Ē

    ďRemember that wounded dog you tried to help when you were younger?Ē

    Thomas rubbed the scar on his left hand, ďIt bit me. . . then it ran away.Ē

    ďSome beasts walk like men. They look like us, mostly, but their heart and soul is that of a wild animal.Ē

    Touching the hair that fell over where his left ear shouldíve been, Jacob added ďWhen they taste blood, they donít run.Ē


    Barbarian Archetype: Wild Soul
    Some barbarians worship nature spirits, adopting them as totem animals that grant them mystical power. Others, reveling in violence for its own sake. However, you walk the line between man and beast. In your rage you lose the nobler aspirations of the totem warrior, and some of the trappings of man, but you donít revel in violence. You become like a wounded animal, cornered and with no hope for survival but to summon a fury so fast and terrible that none can stand against it.

    Bestial Nature
    You find cities and civilization unnatural and uncomfortable, but youíre perfectly at-home living in the wild. You even understand socializing with animals better than you do with other people. You gain proficiency in the Animal Handling and Survival skills, and you can choose one animal language to speak and understand (canine, feline, avian, etc). However, youíre unable to take a long rest while in a city or other urban environment, and you have disadvantage on Charisma checks against those native to an urban environment.

    While raging, you have disadvantage on Intelligence and Charisma checks, except for those made to intimidate others. Additionally, your rages overwhelm you to the point you can barely speak, preferring one- or two-syllable words and animalistic grunting and yelling.

    War Paint
    You can take one hour to ritually apply pigments to your skin, forming various symbols of power that are deeply personal to you and that grant you protection in combat. The pigments must be specially made by you, requiring components with a value of 5 gp. While wearing war paint, your Armor Class is equal to 12 + your proficiency modifier + your dexterity modifier. If you wear armor or use a shield, your lack of faith in the power of the painted-on sigils negates the benefit of the war paint until itís reapplied. Otherwise, the benefits last for 8 hours.


    Momentum
    When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn to harness the relentlessness & brutality of anger and adrenaline. While raging, at the end of your turn, if you made at least one successful melee attack, you gain one momentum die, which is a d4. If you made at least one melee attack that was a critical hit, you gain two momentum dice. If you didnít attack during your turn, you lose one momentum die. You can have no more than three momentum dice at any one time. If your rage ends, any remaining momentum dice are immediately lost.
    Spending momentum dice allows you to perform the following abilities:

    Brutality: When you deal damage in melee combat you may spend one or more momentum dice and add the result to your damage roll.

    Fearsome: When you kill a foe, as a bonus action you can spend a momentum die to try to intimidate one of that foeís allies within 30 feet of you. The chosen foe must attempt a Wisdom saving throw. The DC of the Wisdom saving throw is 8 + proficiency modifier + Cha modifier. On a failed saving throw, the foe becomes frightened. At the end of each of its turns, the foe can repeat the saving throw to try to end the effect. On a successful saving throw, the target has disadvantage on its next attack.
    You can affect more than one foe by spending one die per foe you want to intimidate. You canít use this ability on a foe if it didnít see you kill its ally.

    Ferocious Defense: When a creature enters the area you threaten, you can spend two momentum dice and your reaction to make an attack of opportunity against it.

    Revenge: When a foe within 5 feet of you makes a melee attack that damages you or any of your allies within 5 feet of you, as a reaction you can spend two momentum dice to make a melee attack against that enemy.

    Swift: As a bonus action you may spend one or more momentum dice to increase your base movement speed by 10 feet per die spent. The increased rate of movement lasts until the end of your turn.

    Unfettered Aggression: When you move close enough to an enemy to make a melee attack against it, you can spend two momentum dice and your bonus action to make one melee attack against it.


    Perpetual Motion
    At 6th level, you donít lose a momentum die if you use your action to dash instead of attack.

    Pack Leader
    At 6th level, you gain advantage on Charisma checks against beasts.

    Improved Momentum Dice
    At 10th level, your momentum dice become d6s. At 18th level they become d8s.

    Comprehend Beasts
    At 10th level, you gain the ability to speak with and understand all beasts.

    Crushing Savagery
    At 14th level, your savagery and brutality allows you to damage your foesí bodies, temporarily impairing them. You gain the Debilitating Strike ability, see below. Additionally, you gain one momentum die when you enter a rage.

    Debilitating Strike: As an action, you can spend three momentum dice to make a single attack roll. If the attack is a success, you deal damage normally for the attack, and the target must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 8 + your proficiency modifier + your Strength modifier. On a failed saving throw, you inflict an injury on the enemy. The enemy can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, throwing off the effect with a successful saving throw. Choose from the following injuries:


    • Boxed Ears: The targetís speed is halved, and itís deafened.
    • Head Injury: The target has disadvantage on Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma checks, as well as on all Intelligence saving throws.
    • Injured Arm: The target drops whatever itís holding in the injured arm, and it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks that require it to use the injured arm.


    • Injured Leg: The targetís speed is halved, and it has disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws and any ability checks or attack rolls that require it to use the injured leg.


    • Injured Ribs: The target has disadvantage Strength and Constitution saving throws, and Strength ability checks.
    • Throat Punch: The target canít speak or breathe.
    Last edited by MechaPilot; Wednesday, 27th March, 2019 at 04:03 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



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    It's interesting. So you're meant to gain Momentum dice all the time then which means you'll get a lot of use out of them. Sounds strictly superior to Battlemaster for this reason. At 5th level you could theoretically use 2 per turn all combat long. 3 per turn at level 11. I guess if you use the same exact formula as Battlemaster it would be too similar.

    Maybe you gain 1 every time you crit or 3 every time you kill an enemy? That way you're not using them ALL the time?
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  3. #3
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    Acolyte (Lvl 2)



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    Agreed with CTurbo, it seems interesting but over-tuned. Most powers in D&D 5e are gated by time (Long Rest / Short Rest), here you can sustain it almost every round. On top of that it's very versatile, and throat punch would be strong enough already if it lasted only 1 round (plus it's getting overcomplicated, trim the effect a little keep it simple)

  4. #4
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    In addition to what the others have said, the Throat Punch should allow the use of a shield to perform the action.

    Breaking seems to be Not Fun and you're double-dipping on the dice to boot. It's also of limited use against critters with more than two legs or more than two arms.

    You might consider recasting this as a Barbarian archetype with the relentlessness being recast as Rage.

  5. #5
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    I'm open to changing how fast you gain them. I've also toyed with the idea that you lose one each time you get hit by an enemy (as the hit disrupts your momentum). But, I feel like doing that would require tuning up the value of the dice. I will also point out that the momentum dice start as d4s and end as d8s, while the battlemaster's dice start as d8s and end as d12s.

  6. #6
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    But the Battlemaster gets very few superiority dice and has to spend them judiciously. Your archetype gets momentum dice every fight. How about restricting it to once per Short Rest with Crushing Savagery turning it to an at-will power?

    But I still think this is better as a Barbarian archetype as a reworking of Rage.

  7. #7
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    I think you could slow down accumlating dice by saying "At the end of your turn, if you made at least one successful melee attack, you gain one momentum die, which is a d4. If you made at least one melee attack that was a critical hit, you gain two momentum dice. If you didnít attack during your turn, you lose one momentum die."

    This way, you can't get more dice by making more attacks in a single round, but having more attacks means you have a better chance of getting one.
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  8. #8
    I really love that it gets resources every fight, instead of short or long rests. Martials suffer from auto-attack syndrome in this edition, so this is a neat way to keep some mechanics rolling most of the time. That said, I could build a crit fisher that lets me get multiple momentum almost every single turn, so something like "At the end of your turn" like @Satyrn said would probably be best.

  9. #9
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    The concept is interesting the execution is extremely broken. (as is typical for first draft home brew designs) Lets see if we can keep the good idea and reign it in a bit.

    Throat Punch is super broken as it is. Many fights don't last 10 rounds and at level 18 your allowing a possible 8 round silence on each caster you hit with not concentration limit and 3 uses. That basically reduces Casters to ThunderClap, Ice knife, and/or catapult which clerics have none of these and the only one widely accessible is ThunderClap which is a low damage melee range spell that has a constitution save for half of which fighters are proficient.... The result of this is this fighter being able to solo 3 full casters fairly easily. If that Fighter takes the "Mage Slayer" feat casters should just run.

    Their are 6 full caster classes and caster variants of all the others. Broken Arm allows you to remove great weapon master barbarian berserkers and DPR great weapon master paladins weapons nerfing them hell out of them. Swift lets you catch even monks. At that point this becomes hands down the most deadly pvp subclass in the game. Then you look at being able to add 1d4-1d8 to attack and AC you will trivialize armor in others and allow for you to get an nasty 24-28AC pretty much every round. Solo tank an ancient dragon which has a 22AC and a +17 to hit (you will have a +12 to + 19)? Sure, take the tough feat and insure you have a decent constitution to close the difference in HP and it should not be an issue. Even at lower levels you can easily get AC21-24 making this the highest AC subclass from 1-20 hands down. (Go dex fighter, Human variant feat medium armor master +3 dex bonus on medium armor + scale mail 14 + 2 shield + 1 defensive fighting style + Parry momentum dice = AC21-24 at level 1... likely every round)

    - If you limit throat punch to 1 round you can still lock down 1 caster pretty easily but if they double dash (taking an attack of opportunity) then they have some chance at fighting back.

    - If you limit momentum dice to 1 per turn where you hit at least once on the previous turn, or 2 if you critical on the previous turn you can still chose some really awesome options without being stupid broken. (As Satyrn suggested)

    - "Breaking" should be changed to a "Disabling strike" and all the effects should last one round instead of permanent debuffs or you can just walk through a group and break everyone one turn at time. Break arm = disarming strike, Break leg = Knee strike, Broken Ribs = head strike. They are all very powerful as they are and could even being used once each turn shut down a single target or 2 if you crit. As long as you hit once you can make a barbarian next to useless or just striate prevent them from fighting. That is plenty powerful.

    - "Improved Momentum Dice" is to broad. I say this because your AC, damage, and to hit already scale with access to better armor, more attacks, and increasing proficiency bonus so your doubling a scaling bonus by scaling the dice too. Instead of just being an unstoppable juggernaut... perhaps something more unique. "Pressing the advantage" after using a momentum dice gain improved accuracy and hitting your opponents all strikes against the same target have advantage until you miss, take damage, or start your next turn. I recommend this because advantage doesn't stack, its only useful against one strong target, and it allows for a lasting effect that lets you hold the momentum a bit longer. It also makes offense more temping than Defense so that your not an unbeatable juggernaut and making it possible to hurt you in exchange for a better hit average for a whole round.
    Last edited by ClaytonCross; Wednesday, 20th March, 2019 at 01:03 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTurbo View Post
    It's interesting. So you're meant to gain Momentum dice all the time then which means you'll get a lot of use out of them. Sounds strictly superior to Battlemaster for this reason. At 5th level you could theoretically use 2 per turn all combat long. 3 per turn at level 11. I guess if you use the same exact formula as Battlemaster it would be too similar.

    Maybe you gain 1 every time you crit or 3 every time you kill an enemy? That way you're not using them ALL the time?
    In addition to just being different from the Battlemaster, I specifically wanted something that starts each fight with no resources and has to earn them as they go. I went with a lower die value specifically because I knew the dice would accumulate quickly. However, I feel like @Satyrn had a great idea for limiting the pace of gaining Momentum (as well as fixing a wording issue I missed on my first draft, and on my review before posting it here).


    Quote Originally Posted by Myzzrym View Post
    Agreed with CTurbo, it seems interesting but over-tuned. Most powers in D&D 5e are gated by time (Long Rest / Short Rest), here you can sustain it almost every round. On top of that it's very versatile, and throat punch would be strong enough already if it lasted only 1 round (plus it's getting overcomplicated, trim the effect a little keep it simple)
    As previously mentioned, part of the point was to specifically avoid rest-gating. This kind of fighter (or barbarian, if I take that part of @Quartz advice) doesn't do their best work when they get up from a rest; that's when they're at their worst. They're at their best when they're immersed in a cocktail of blood, sweat and adrenaline; running along the razor's edge of the fight-or-flight instinct.

    Throat punch probably does need a tweak, looking at it again. Maybe a save at the end of each of the target's turns to throw off the effect.

    As for the archetype being versatile: well, if versatility were inherently bad then wizards casting ritual spells should fall by the wayside as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
    In addition to what the others have said, the Throat Punch should allow the use of a shield to perform the action.

    Breaking seems to be Not Fun and you're double-dipping on the dice to boot. It's also of limited use against critters with more than two legs or more than two arms.

    You might consider recasting this as a Barbarian archetype with the relentlessness being recast as Rage.
    Can you please elaborate on what it is that you find not fun about the Breaking ability? Most of the people I've mentioned it to think it sounds really cool. I'd appreciate some honest feedback from someone with a different point of view on it.

    Also, the "double-dipping" on the breaking ability is in-line with several Battlemaster features who add their superiority die to damage even if the target makes its save against the maneuver. Breaking is a little bit light in that regard because if the target fails the save and gets the lasting injury, you don't do the three momentum dice worth of extra damage to it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
    But the Battlemaster gets very few superiority dice and has to spend them judiciously. Your archetype gets momentum dice every fight. How about restricting it to once per Short Rest with Crushing Savagery turning it to an at-will power?

    But I still think this is better as a Barbarian archetype as a reworking of Rage.
    Gaining dice every fight but starting with none of them is very specifically part of what I want to accomplish. No other class starts every fight (even their first one after a long rest) with no resource to power their abilities and has to earn them as they fight. That's also part of the reason I keyed gaining the dice off of melee combat; no gaining them while sniping at incoming foes.

    I could easily see it being a barbarian archetype, and I'm certainly considering making it one. I would definitely have to rework Rage for that archetype though. That said, I could easily see a change where you only get momentum dice while raging. That might even be highly appropriate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Satyrn View Post
    I think you could slow down accumlating dice by saying "At the end of your turn, if you made at least one successful melee attack, you gain one momentum die, which is a d4. If you made at least one melee attack that was a critical hit, you gain two momentum dice. If you didnít attack during your turn, you lose one momentum die."

    This way, you can't get more dice by making more attacks in a single round, but having more attacks means you have a better chance of getting one.
    I like that idea.

    It also deals with the timing issue nicely. By that, I mean there's a flaw in my original wording where you gain the die after making a successful attack. In theory, that could mean gaining it before you even roll damage for the attack, and then spending it to add a momentum die's worth of damage to the attack that granted it to you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Seramus View Post
    I really love that it gets resources every fight, instead of short or long rests. Martials suffer from auto-attack syndrome in this edition, so this is a neat way to keep some mechanics rolling most of the time. That said, I could build a crit fisher that lets me get multiple momentum almost every single turn, so something like "At the end of your turn" like @Satyrn said would probably be best.
    Thank you. I agree that (even if I weren't to make any other changes) the limiter proposed by @SAturn is a good one because it fixes both that issue and the timing issue I mentioned my reply to him.
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