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D&D 5E Good Path for a Shadar-Kai Barbarian?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, as with many of my characters, this is inspired simply by a rad image in my head, in this case of a wiry, scarred and tattooed, grey skinned person with loose dark clothes that aren't really protecting them from a heavy twilight rain, with a massive black metal sword.

Obviously I could build this a number of ways, but I like the idea of a Barbarian. Thing is, I don't normally play barbarians, so I'm not sure which way to go.

Also, I use a custom Shadar-Kai race that is closer to the 4e race in lore and mechanics, and have a custom feat that lets them do the insubstantial teleport trick as a reaction, and another feat that lets them cast a bigger version of fog cloud, and cast conjure animals, once a day each. Thematically the animals have to be wolf or corvid themed, but anything is allowed as long as they can be flavored as canine or corvid. My Shadar-Kai monk recently used it to summon a queztlcoatlus sized crow, for instance.

Anyway, I don't love any of the subclasses for this, though Zealot, Ancestral Guardian, and Totem, all have their appeals. I checked out storm herald, hoping to be all about cold and reflavor it as relating to the cold and despair of the Shadowfel, but it's a bit too protective to feel right for that. Ancestral Guardians is also very protective, but at least it summons spirits of the dead. Zealot just kinda works, but doesn't like...sing to me.

Has anyone seen any 3pp Barbarian Paths that speak more to the creepy death-related nature of the Shadar-kai? Another thing from 4e that I really like is crowing, which is taken from Norse history flyting, and is essentially a poetic insult duel or a sort of bragging contest. I'd love an ability that can be compatible with a barbarian where you hurt enemies with words. Sadly, vicious mockery doesn't work while raging, but hey maybe i could make it work.

Anyway, anyone got any ideas to flesh this out?
 

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mcmillan

Explorer
Since you specifically asked about 3pp options

Kobold press's heroes' handbook has their own take on path of the ancestors that's a bit more focused on boosting yourself than the wotc version
3rd level wisdom save advantage, 6th level can cast calm emotions, 10th level deal extra psychic damage when raging, 14th level when rage get effects of freedom of movement spell

Green ronin's book of the righteous has path of the harrier, which is designed to make a ranged barbarian work, but seems like it could represent a more dexterous build and effects at higher level seem to fit the creepy shadar-kai feel. 3rd level extra speed plus some ranged weapon boosts, 6th level can dash or disengage as a bonus action, 10th level can choose to give up extra damage die from a crit to stun enemy, 14th level can use bonus action after kill enemy to cause enemies to be frightened
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
From 3pp:

  • Extreme Explorer from Morgrave Misc. from Keith Baker fits the thillseeker theme of 4e Shadar Kai perfectly.
  • Grim Hollow's PHB has the Fractured.

And another good option from WotC is the path of the Beast (Tasha's) but you Beast for arent animals, they are the twisted monsters from the Shadowfell: The Lost, the Hungry, the Angry and The Lonely (MToF).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Ancestral Guardian seems most on point flavor-wise (being ghost-related, and 4E Shadar-Kai are Shadowfell related, right?), not sure if the mechanics represemt what you are aiming for.
Yeah I’d like a but more aggressive spirits rather than protective, but otherwise it’s pretty cool.
Zealot (necrotic option) might work.
I came here to recommend the Necro Zealot, only to discover that @Paul Farquhar beat me to it.
Yeah I built a test run that way and it’s pretty good.
Since you specifically asked about 3pp options

Kobold press's heroes' handbook has their own take on path of the ancestors that's a bit more focused on boosting yourself than the wotc version
3rd level wisdom save advantage, 6th level can cast calm emotions, 10th level deal extra psychic damage when raging, 14th level when rage get effects of freedom of movement spell

Green ronin's book of the righteous has path of the harrier, which is designed to make a ranged barbarian work, but seems like it could represent a more dexterous build and effects at higher level seem to fit the creepy shadar-kai feel. 3rd level extra speed plus some ranged weapon boosts, 6th level can dash or disengage as a bonus action, 10th level can choose to give up extra damage die from a crit to stun enemy, 14th level can use bonus action after kill enemy to cause enemies to be frightened
I may check those out, they sound really cool.
From 3pp:

  • Extreme Explorer from Morgrave Misc. from Keith Baker fits the thillseeker theme of 4e Shadar Kai perfectly.
Hmmmm….I really need to pick up that book.
  • Grim Hollow's PHB has the Fractured.

And another good option from WotC is the path of the Beast (Tasha's) but you Beast for arent animals, they are the twisted monsters from the Shadowfell: The Lost, the Hungry, the Angry and The Lonely (MToF).
😮 That is very cool….very cool indeed…

Ooooh and maybe the stinger tail option could be a spectral/umbral spiked chain!
 



Refluffed Path of the Beast is a great idea and is something I totally recommend as well. As mentioned before the Tail can be stylized as a Spike Chain instead of an actual tail, the claws would be Shadow claws, and Infectious Fury does Despair/Sorrow (refluffed Psychic damage).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Refluffed Path of the Beast is a great idea and is something I totally recommend as well. As mentioned before the Tail can be stylized as a Spike Chain instead of an actual tail, the claws would be Shadow claws, and Infectious Fury does Despair/Sorrow (refluffed Psychic damage).
Yeah it’s a really good setup. I’ll probably MC fighter if I actually get to play her/them.

I’ve got an (hyper specific) image of a slightly snaggle-toothed, very long side-shave-Mohawk cut, probably dyed some Fey-sourced colorshift ombré from indigo to scarlet red, scrawny-buff, prolly pretty short, femme NB, in like, black and dark green assymetrical double-breasted vest-coat with crisp black western style button-up, crisp black slacks, and shiny polished black boots, with super dark green laces. Silver and dark forest green lapel pins, toe tips, shirt buttons, and shocker style pendant at the collar of the shirt. Covered in tattoos. Ogham style staves from fingernail to wrist, labyrinth crawling from left wrist up to the shoulder and down across the back to the right hip and down the right leg all the way to the ankle, several ravens different styles flying around her limbs, and a trio of female divinities on her chest, identical faces, black, red, and silver, hair respectively, one in a cloak of feathers, one in red plate, one in a greenish silvery maille.

Probably seek out magic tattoos over time. Between the shadow themed tattoos, and the Shadar-Kai feats I’ve made, they’ll be doing a lot of teleporting, turning insubstantial, cloaking themselves and allies in shadow, etc. Hard to pin down, hard to kill, hard-hitting, with eventual fighter levels (probably BM) for more options and juicy stuff like action surge and fighting style.
 



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