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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

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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
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.
Conan wasnt a Barbarian though, he was a Fighter/Rogue.
The Rage ability is derived from fantasy image of Beserkers and should be named as such.

in one of my prehistoric homebrews wherein everyone is a barbarian I renamed the class Savage and rationalised Rage as “cannibal frenzy/bloodlust”
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I'd vote for merging the Barbarian and the Ranger in one bundle to represent the far-wanderer warriors living on the fringe, relying on themselves to oppose wild creatures, being used to rare resources and un-regular tactics in combat.

1: Survivor's Will (aka Rage), Unimpeded Resilience (aka Con to AC), Deft Explorer (UA)
2: Reckless Assault, Danger Sense
3: Archetype
4: ASI
5: Extra attack, Fast Movement
6: Archetype feature, Deft Explorer Improvement
7: Instinct
8: ASI
9: Great Critical
10: Archetype feature, Deft Explorer Improvement
11: Relentless Will
etc

it would pad a little the lack of crunchy feature of the ranger, while reinforcing the theme of both classes.

I still see the barbarian and the ranger as two separate things.The outlander aspect is a background.
The classes are a warrior of talent and a defender of the border. 2 different skill sets.

The Barbarian to me would be a warrior who bludgens obstacles with their STR/DEX/CON score or combines 2 ability scores into one check.
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
It probably should be Berserker, even if that comes from the old Norse word for "Bear Shirt", it fits what the class does better.

And while rare for the class concept, "Berserker" would be better fit a warrior filled with rage from an Urban environment with the Noble background than "Barbarian" would.
 

ModernApathy

Explorer
I was a big fan of Savage sword of Conan and Conan Saga comics in high school
so I voted for Barbarian out of the given choices, but it’s been an interesting discussion.

Some other ideas:
Nomad
Wilding

(these both sound like Barbarian combined with Ranger now that I think about it)
 

Azzy

Newtype
Since 3e, the barbarian's shctick has centered aroung "rage". Coming in from earlier editions, this always seemed an odd choice (as the 1e OG barbariian didn't "rage" in a class ability sense). I had hoped that 5e would have taken the rage bit out of the class and instead place it in a subclass (that way, non-beserker-nspired barbarians wouldn't have to trip over a non-thematic class ability. However, 5e failed this city me in this regard. So, if the class is essentially a baked-in beserker, why not call it a beserker?
 


Since 3e, the barbarian's shctick has centered aroung "rage". Coming in from earlier editions, this always seemed an odd choice (as the 1e OG barbariian didn't "rage" in a class ability sense). I had hoped that 5e would have taken the rage bit out of the class and instead place it in a subclass (that way, non-beserker-nspired barbarians wouldn't have to trip over a non-thematic class ability. However, 5e failed this city me in this regard. So, if the class is essentially a baked-in beserker, why not call it a beserker?
Tradition?

That's one reason. The other is probably that Barbarian is thematically wider - it gives more room for concepts like the Ancestral Spirits and Totems and the like. You could do a lot of that with Berserker too, but you'd expect all these things to really be tied into the berserk rage.
 

Azzy

Newtype
Tradition?

It's a shallow tradition considering that it started in the (ostensibly) 3rd edition of the game.

That's one reason. The other is probably that Barbarian is thematically wider - it gives more room for concepts like the Ancestral Spirits and Totems and the like. You could do a lot of that with Berserker too, but you'd expect all these things to really be tied into the berserk rage.
The term "barbarian" is thematically wider. A class the revolves around a rage mechanic is much less so—it tacks berserking onto "barbarian" concepts where it doesn't belong.
 


It's a shallow tradition considering that it started in the (ostensibly) 3rd edition of the game.
It was a call back to the Barbarian in the 1st edition of the game (even if the rage mechanic was new).

Personally, I think 2e made the right decision to drop the class and replace it with kits.
 
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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Tradition?

That's one reason. The other is probably that Barbarian is thematically wider - it gives more room for concepts like the Ancestral Spirits and Totems and the like. You could do a lot of that with Berserker too, but you'd expect all these things to really be tied into the berserk rage.

Interestingly enough Original D&D had a Beserker as a subclass of Fighting-Man intended for NPCs, all subsequent Beserkers appeared in the Monster Manual

The original PC Barbarian was introduced by Gary Gygax in Dragon Magazine as a subclass of Fighter. It was a Fighter who could climb and hide like a thief, had wilderness survival and animal handling like a ranger and who could detect illusions and magic (which they hated) - this was the Conan-esque Barbarian and notably it had NO RAGE.

In the 2e Fighters Handbook Barbarian and Berserker were both featured separately (as was Amazon, Beastrider, Savage and Wilderness Warrior all of which were also called out as being from Barbarian tribes.) again only Beserker could go Beserk

it was indeed 3e where RAGE became the core mechanic of a class called Barbarian instead of Berserker

so yeah I want to go back to NO RAGE Barbarians that get strength and dex and anti-magic powers

and call the Berserker what it is
 
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Slit518

Explorer
I want to say, since I am part Scandinavian and we are known to have the Berserker warrior, I favor the Berserker. I always felt the Barbarian was too broad of a brush that didn't fit what was trying to be accomplished. The Rage the Barbarian goes into that reduces their damage and makes them seem invulnerable to harm screams the Viking Berserker warriors.
 

der_kluge

Adventurer
As I much as I tend to hate this kind of "woke culture" kind of stuff, I tend to agree with the sentiment that "Barbarian" tends to have pretty negative connotations to it, and even if you look at the dictionary definition of barbarian, it's pretty awful:

Barbarian can also be a adjective to describe someone (and not in a good way). No other class name can also be an adjective (roguish is close, I suppose). I do tend to agree with the sentiment that "Barbarian" should be a background.

Really, IMO, this could be solved easily by making Barbarian a background, and just roll the existing barbarian class into fighter. At the end of the day, it's just a variant warrior.

Perhaps this is why most barbarians I've ever had in my games are basically one-dimensional killing machines.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
so yeah I want to go back to NO RAGE Barbarians that get strength and dex and anti-magic

d12 HD
Simple and Martial weapon proficiency
Light and medium armor and shields proficiency
Can replace Dex with Con in light armor for AC.
Can add Str to Charisma checks but fail worse if you fail
Bonuses to Str, Dex, and Con checks
Bonus with simple weapons
Fast movement
Chieftains, Beast Riders, Savages, and Totem warriors get druidic ritual books
Amazons and Savages get Unarmored Defense
Beast Riders get animal companions
Chieftains and Wild Warriors get bonus skills
Totem Warrior get a free magic tattoos
Beast Riders and Savages can talk to animals
 


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