D&D 5E Need suggestions for Uthgardt Shaman 5e

Luchador

First Post
Hi everybody,

We are starting a new campaign in a couple of weeks and I get to play instead of DM (hoorah!). I want to play an Uthgardt Barbarian Shaman from the Thunder Beast tribe, but there doesn't seem to be an easy fit. Here are some options I'm thinking:


  • Sorcerer with the alternative Storm origin from Adventurer's Guide to Sword Coast. I would do the alternate Human option from the PH and take the Magic Initiate feat- starting with a couple of Druid or Cleric cantrips and a Druid or Cleric 1st level spell. Sorc. seems counter intuitive for a shaman, but I would role play his spells come from the elements and spirits and his feat would give him a couple of divine spells to play with.


  • Druid using the "Circle of Shepards" option from UA. Pick the Bear totem, but substitute a Thunder Beast spirit for the Bear. I like this, but don't see the shape changing/wild form as really going with the Thunder Beast shaman idea.


  • Cleric- Tempest divine domain. This would be okay, except heavy armor doesn't really fit the Uthgardt Barbarian theme.

I know, Lore-wise the Thunder Beast tribe is one of the "lost" Uthgardts, but they haven't been wiped out, just gone into seclusion after finding their holy site desecrated. We are going to do Princes of the Apocalypse, so I'm going to say my character has been a hermit and has emerged from seclusion because the spirits tell him something horrible is coming. I'm leaning toward the Sorcerer option. The Storm origin gives him the Primordial Language as a bonus, so that would also fit nicely with the campaign.

What do you guys think? How would you make an Uthgardt Thunder Beast Tribe Shaman in 5e?
 
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Redthistle

Explorer
Supporter
Have you looked at the Unearthed Arcana Barbarian Primal Paths for the Path of the Storm Herald?

i don't see anything counter-intuitive about a Shaman/Sorcerer mix. To me, a sorcerer is all about an innate linkage to magical powers, and makes more sense as a shaman than any cleric, warlock, or wizard. So a Storm Herald/Storm Sorcerer seems almost a natural combination.

Of course, for a shaman, a barbarian/druid combo makes a lot of sense. For the wild shape option I'd look at designing a smaller version of a thunder-bird or a phoenix (neither of which I could find in either the MM or Volo's). Look at the flying snake, the blood hawk, and the magma mephit creatures to get your creative juices flowing, with maybe a bit of either/or the shocking grasp and thunderclap cantrips added to the stew.

If you were to go with a barbarian/cleric combo, talk with your DM about making some kind of reasonable substitute for the Bonus Proficiency in heavy armor.
 

I'm no Realms expert, but I don't get the "storm" or "sorcerer" angles. Isn't the "thunderbeast" just an apatosaurus? As a totem barbarian, you'd have beast sense, speak with animals and commune with nature. Take the Ritual Caster feat for clerical divination rituals and you'd have a pretty good "shaman." Mix in some druid levels if you want more spellcasting and less barbarism.
 

cooperjer

Explorer
I've thought of several different ways to approach this Thunderbeast shaman. It all depends on where you want your character to go.

My first thought is to take at least one level of Barbarian to get the Unarmored Defense feature. After that you decided if you want your character to be more of a caster from the back lines or a caster on the front lines. A caster on the back lines could be an Evocation Wizard or Circle of the Land Druid, with which you choose spells with Thunder damage primarily. A caster on the front lines has a few additional options: 1) take three levels of Fighter- Eldritch Knight and start taking thunder evocation spells, 2) take a two levels of Cleric - Tempest Domain, 3) take three levels of Sorcerer - Storm Sorcerer, and 4) take a few levels of Paladin - Oath of the Ancients and use Thunderous Smite.

The storm sorcerer option is really a hit and run design. The tempest domain has a way

The heavy armor may be something that you stylize as chitin or hardened leather laminate re-enforced with a hinged bone matrix set at 90-degrees from each other.

Good luck.
 

Redthistle

Explorer
Supporter
I'm no Realms expert, but I don't get the "storm" or "sorcerer" angles. Isn't the "thunderbeast" just an apatosaurus? As a totem barbarian, you'd have beast sense, speak with animals and commune with nature. Take the Ritual Caster feat for clerical divination rituals and you'd have a pretty good "shaman." Mix in some druid levels if you want more spellcasting and less barbarism.


I totally missed the boat on the "thunderbeast" being an apatosaurus (technically, it was the now defunct label of brontosaurus that translates to "thunder lizard"). I just went my bird-brained way and thought of thunder-birds because of the connection to storms.

Thanks for redirecting me on that.
 

Bitbrain

Lost in Dark Sun
I would go Tempest Domain Cleric and just not use heavy armor.

Or, if you want to overdose on the ham, have him/her wear heavy armor, use "RAIJU" (I believe it's Japanese for thunderbeast) as your battle cry, and describe your character's intimidation skill checks as being along the lines of "I bang my fists and weapon against my armor and shout 'BEWARE MY THUNDER!'"
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Yeah Thunderbeasts don't mean thunder spells. I find that Nature cleric makes an excellent shaman substitute. Describe your Spiritual Weapon and Spiritual Guardians spells as Thunderbeast shaped spirits and you're good to go.
 

Herobizkit

Adventurer
Barbarian/Druid, imo. Sure, it's a little MAD (Str Dex Con and Wis) but depending on how often you spend combat in animal form, Wis isn't as necessary and can be the 13 min (though 14 is better).
 

I totally missed the boat on the "thunderbeast" being an apatosaurus (technically, it was the now defunct label of brontosaurus that translates to "thunder lizard"). I just went my bird-brained way and thought of thunder-birds because of the connection to storms.

Thanks for redirecting me on that.

Brontosaurus isn't defunct anymore. 2015 he was rehabilitated.
 

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