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General Naming the Barbarian? [added battlerager]

What name do you prefer for the class?

  • Barbarian

    Votes: 60 42.3%
  • Berserker

    Votes: 58 40.8%
  • Ravager

    Votes: 3 2.1%
  • Rager

    Votes: 2 1.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 9 6.3%
  • Battlerager

    Votes: 10 7.0%

  • Total voters
    142

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
So it's come up a few times recently that the word 'barbarian' isn't necessarily the best choice for the class. Or maybe it is? That's what I'm here to find out!

The reasoning is that 'barbarian' means uncivilized or uncultured - it's derogatory. It's used as an insult, and people don't usually refer to themselves with insults, only other people. Barbarian either means cruel and barbaric, or primitive and brutish. And the class abilities have nothing to do with that -- they're all about raging.

The counterpoint is, of course, Conan and others. That 'barbarian' in this context refers to a particular archetype.

Anyway, some alternatives have been mentioned. Ravager, Rager, Berserker. I'm going to guess that most folks will vote for Barbarian, but I'm curious.

(I've added Battlerager to the list now, but you might have to change your vote if you like it more than your previous vote)
 

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FreeTheSlaves

Explorer
I like the term Barbarian, and all its heap of negative connotations. Maybe I want to play that kind of character, crude, brutish, uncivilized, primitive.

Oh yeah, and Conan the Barbarian was a great movie!

If you want to divorce culture from the class (background), you're left with the iconic berserker fighting style. Though if we go back to the Conan movie, his fighting style was highly weapon trained, with a penchant for stealth kills and decapitation.
 


The name barbarian is a holdover from the 1E day when the class was also an inherit aspect of the character. The barbarian WAS an uncultured brute, fully described as part of the class with abilities on the assumption of an uncivilized lifestyle. However, 5E has divorced the concept of class and background, so a barbarian class character can be from a more civilized society. This means the name of the class is a misnomer, so I prefer Berserker. The concept of the term being used as an insult is completely irrelevant.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
For me, I feel like I prefer a class to describe what the characters does -- a fighter fights, for example. Not all classes do that well, but barbarian probably does it the least. A barbarian rages/berserks, pretty much, in D&D. But you could totally have a civilized elf battlerager type.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
So it's come up a few times recently that the word 'barbarian' isn't necessarily the best choice for the class. Or maybe it is? That's what I'm here to find out!

The reasoning is that 'barbarian' means uncivilized or uncultured - it's derogatory. It's used as an insult, and people don't usually refer to themselves with insults, only other people. Barbarian either means cruel and barbaric, or primitive and brutish. Barbarian is never a compliment.

The counterpoint is, of course, Conan and others. That 'barbarian' in this context refers to a particular archetype.

Anyway, some alternatives have been mentioned. Ravager, Rager, Berserker. I'm going to guess that most folks will vote for Barbarian, but I'm curious.

Will all of your Barbarians have the typical "berserker type" rage, or will there be some major variants to that (like the rage powers of the Geminate Invoker, Mooncursed, or Urban Barbarian in PF)?

I wonder if some of those options might help fill the gap that used to be filled by a less spell-casting ranger, and might fit someone like Conan a bit better.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Will all of your Barbarians have the typical "berserker type" rage, or will there be some major variants to that (like the rage powers of the Geminate Invoker, Mooncursed, or Urban Barbarian in PF)?
My barbarians? I'm just talking about the PHB.
 





Shardstone

Adventurer
I think this is a sample size thing too, Morrus. Enworld skews towards an older demographic who is very attached to their yesteryears of 1/2E and is unlikely to come out in force to vote for a name change for the Barbarian IMO.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I prefer to just stick with Barbarian as I don't feel any change is necessary nor will the perceived benefits outweigh the loss of a legacy. Yeah, I know, traditions can be changed but there's not a good reason to change this one.
I voted Barbarian as well, but for a different reason. Barbarians aren't all Ravagers or Berserkers, either. And while they all rage, there is much more to the class(subclass). I'm just not sure what word can be used to describe all of them and Barbarian is what we already know.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
And conqueror, and king. Conan has been many things.

Shieldbash on noses
And lamentations of the women
Bright shiny treasure and slayings of griffons
Shouting at Crom and killing the king
Conan's a few of my favorite things

When the purple worm bites
When the wyvern stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember Conan's favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I think this is a sample size thing too, Morrus. Enworld skews towards an older demographic
No it doesn’t.

 

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