D&D (2024) 2024 Player's Handbook Reveal #4: "New Barbarian"

A look at the new 2024 Barbarian class for D&D!

New Barbarian video!


We last saw the Barbarian with the World Tree subclass in the UA Playtest 8 (=PT8), with other subclasses (Zealot, Wild Heart, and Berserker) in PT7. There's a fair number of new things since we've last seen the class, noted below.

OVERVIEW
  • weapon mastery at 1
  • RAGE. It's easier to maintain rage: you can either force a save (works for Dragonborn) or use your bonus action to keep it going (as in PT8). [There was no mention of the short-rest recharge (not in PT7, present in PT8, but I imagine it's stilll there, since I'm certain it was a popular change.]
  • Danger sense at 2: sight no longer needed; only ends if incapacitated (as in PT8)
  • Primal Knowledge at 3: ability checks used with strength regardless of what normal ability would be (as in PT8). Intimidation, Stealth, Persuasion, etc. [PT8 also has Acrobatics and Survival]. "effectively a supernatural ability". Todd explains the strength-stealth with reference to the spiders in the Hobbit.
  • NEW: you also get a skill proficiency at 3.
  • Instinctive Pounce at 7 (as PT8)
  • Brutal Strike at 9 (as PT8): add-on effects, with extra options at 13.
  • NEW: with Brutal strike you also get extra damage with these effects, with that damage increasing at level 13.
  • Relentless Rage at 11. No mention or discussion of the saving throws needed.
SUBCLASSES

World Tree
  • "about the barbarian turning their gaze outward...connecting to the World Tree". Leaning into "barbarian as tank" [There's a Dungeon Dudes discussion of this subclass here.]
  • At the highest level, teleporting (and so like PT8, but not the planar travel from PT7. I had really hoped the planar travel option would be restored.
  • also interacts with weapon masteries. (as in PT8, presumably).
Berserker
  • "the classics barbarian subclass". Main goal was to redesign Frenzy.
  • NEW: Frenzy at 3: building on reckless attack, you deal more damage once per turn. There's no exhaustion (as in PHB 2014), but now it only works 1/turn.
  • Mindless Rage at 6 and Retaliation at 10 both as in PT7.
  • Intimidating Presence at 14 (higher level, but anyone within 30', activated by a bonus action).
Wild Heart (former Totem Warrior)
  • more flexibility than before: with many options modified.
  • NEW: for two of the features [Rage of the Wilds at 3, Power of the Wilds at 14], you get to choose the animal every time you activate them; with one [Aspect of the wilds at 6], you choose the passive ability each long rest. This is HUGE.
  • NEW: Option at 6 "more useful": Salmon for a swim speed, Panther for a climb speed, Owl for darkvision. This is really different than what was in PT7, where you received expertise in a skill. [I question whether this is more useful, but it does avoid the "trap" of not being proficient in the skill you want to select at level 6, and so avoiding the chance for Expertise. On the other hand, the barbarian with expertise in Investigation was something I really wanted to try out, and that's now gone (as a default class option).]
  • Nothing about Animal Speaker/Nature speaker.
Zealot
  • originally in Xanathar, changed here.
  • Warrior of the Gods -- small pool for healing (as in PT7)
  • NEW: Fanatical Focus at 6 now comes with a bonus to the re-roll (bonus not specified)
  • NEW: Rage of the Gods at 14, no longer requires you to go to zero HP. Gives you divine powers: flight, damage resistance, and thwart other people's death with a reaction.
NEW RULES
  • no new rules reveals.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Kurotowa

Legend
I do think it would have been cleaner to just say rage last 10 minutes, then add a sentence saying something like, "Your rage ends early if you choose to end it (no action required) or if you gain the Incapacitated condition." But that's just a minor quibble.
Doing this way is a little more complicated, but there's two things gained. One is thematic identity. The other is the opportunity for counter-play.

Thematically, the Rage being something the Barbarian has to maintain instead of just a passive buff is an important part of the class's identity. Counter-play wise, a Barbarian can still lose their Rage if they're stunned or hit by a Hold Person and can't act on their turn. In fact, now that being attacked or damaged doesn't extend a Rage, being stunned for a turn will guarantee that the Rage ends.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

CapnZapp

Legend
We chuckle at it, but a tiger stalking its prey is terrifying.
On the other hand, from the Tiger's perspective it is a graceful stealthy beast. That it has immense strength is just a secondary byproduct. You wouldn't say a Tiger is a "strength build" the way a Bear or Great Ape (like Hulk ;) ) is...
 

Horwath

Legend
But what if I don't want there to be out of combat rage uses and I like the idea of a barbarian doing hit point damage to themself in an effort to continue? That seems much more interesting and flavorful trade off to me.

Heck, if it wasn't that the DM already has enough to keep track of I'd probably have houseruled rage already so that the player hands over their HP total when the rage starts and then doesn't know what it is until the rage is over - like it was in 2E.

EDIT TO ADD: Just because I don't like it doesn't mean I'm not glad people who wanted this stuff are getting it. I will just continue building my Vanity 5E ruleset and hope it is done enough for the next time I start a new campaign.
IMHO, there should be 2 versions of rage for barbarian:

1. Rage: default one, resistance to damage, bonus to damage. 1min duration

2. Feral instincts: exploration usage of rage resource pool, no need to maintain, STR modifier used for Acrobatics, Stealth, Nature, Investigation, Insight, Perception, Survival. Dash and Stealth as Bonus action. 10min duration. When you take damage or make attack roll, Feral instincts turn into Rage instantly, gaining Rage bonuses and losing Feral instinct bonuses.
 




CapnZapp

Legend
When I play Sword & Sorcery, I allow male characters to use Strength in place of Charisma for social checks (partly to explain how all the wooden muscle mountains of 80s Sword & Sorcery movies got the ladies' attention;) )

So I completely understand something like Strength stealth, I mean.
 

Horwath

Legend
When I play Sword & Sorcery, I allow male characters to use Strength in place of Charisma for social checks (partly to explain how all the wooden muscle mountains of 80s Sword & Sorcery movies got the ladies' attention;) )

gold gives advantage on certain Charisma checks ;)

or they had more charisma than you give them credit for.
 



Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top