5E War cries for shouty barbarians

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
A while ago I started working on exploits (for warriors with fighting styles) and war cries (for barbarians) I just opened up the document to have another look, below are the ideas I had for some war cries taken from 4e barbarians as well as the barbarian class in Diablo 3. Both war cries and exploits would be an addition to the classes, they do not replace anything.

I'm still tidying them up and haven't really looked at balance between the options but thought people might want to have a look at them, maybe it will give someone some ideas for their game.

I have a barbarian in my current group, I might introduce them to her and see what she thinks of them (though we use DnD beyond so I'm probably going to have to make a feat to add them to her character sheet which should be fun).

War cries
  • You know a number of war cries equal to your rage bonus.
  • Requires the user to either enter or be in a rage.
  • If a war cry has a saving throw, the DC is equal to 8 + proficiency bonus + Constitution modifier.
  • Enables an ability when a trigger occurs. Only a single war cry can be used with each trigger.
  • If you use a war cry instead of attacking and it affects 1 or more hostile targets (whether they save or not), you do not lose your rage.

Thunderous Wrath
Strength Save (half damage and no push back). When you reduce a hostile target to 0 hit points, you may use your reaction to unleash a thunderous war cry. Deal thunder damage to creatures within a 5-foot-radius equal to your Constitution modifier + your Rage damage bonus and push them back 5 feet. On a successful save they are not pushed back.

Threatening Shout
Wisdom Save (no effect). As an Action, you draw the attention of all hostile creatures within a 5-foot-radius. If these creatures attack a creature other than you before the end of your next turn, they have disadvantage on their attack rolls.

Grim Shout
Wisdom Save (no effect). When you reduce a hostile target to 0 hit points, you may use your Reaction to unleash a terrifying shout. Hostile creatures within a 5-foot-radius of you are frightened until the start of your next turn.

Furious Charge
The fury of your rage propels you forward. When you enter your rage, you can dash as part of the bonus action.

War Cry
When you enter your rage, until the start of your next turn, all allies within 30 feet have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Rallying Cry
When you enter your rage, you and all allies within 30 feet may expend a hit die to gain temporary hit points. Players roll their hit die and add their constitution modifier and your rage damage bonus. They gain that many temporary hit points.

Ground Stomp
Strength Save (no effect). You enter your rage with a mighty stomp causing the ground to buckle, each creature in a 10-foot-radius is knocked prone.

Seismic Slam
25-foot-cone. Strength Save (half damage) As an Action, you slam the ground and send out a wave of destruction. Each creature in the area of effect takes damage equal to 1d8 + your Constitution modifier + your rage damage bonus.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
How does one gain new shouts? Are any of them level gated?

Seems an interesting mechanic. Personally I might incorpirate something like this into a new Primal Path, but that's just me.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
How does one gain new shouts? Are any of them level gated?

Seems an interesting mechanic. Personally I might incorpirate something like this into a new Primal Path, but that's just me.
Currently I don't have any that are level gated, although depending on how powerful some of them turn out to be then that might be a consideration.

The barbarian should have a number of war cries equal to their rage damage bonus, picking up more war cries when their damage bonus increases. I've thought about adding a war cry themed to specific subclasses as a kind of bonus war cry to add to their list but haven't developed anything specific along those lines yet.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
As I think about it, warcries could serve as a neat alternate ability to power critical. It comes a little late but I think that might make sense.

I really like the idea of the mechanic you presented. I'm just trying to figure out how I might yoink your idea into my own design/play style.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I'm also thinking I might need to scale up the damage of war cries like Seismic Slam at higher levels since once you gain your second attack at level 5, you'd have to catch at least 3 enemies in the cone for it to be worth while.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
As I think about it, warcries could serve as a neat alternate ability to power critical. It comes a little late but I think that might make sense.

I really like the idea of the mechanic you presented. I'm just trying to figure out how I might yoink your idea into my own design/play style.
Fair enough, that's why I posted them. Ideas for others to run with or alter to add to their games. Brutal critical would be a good place to put them, something to look forward to at level 9. You could scale them depending on the number of extra dice it would normally grant. Would you trigger them off a critical hit?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
You know what, I'd go wild a remove Rage and replace it with shouts. You would need to reword some triggers and add more damage to them, but I think this would make for an awesome class.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
Fair enough, that's why I posted them. Ideas for others to run with or alter to add to their games. Brutal critical would be a good place to put them, something to look forward to at level 9. You could scale them depending on the number of extra dice it would normally grant. Would you trigger them off a critical hit?
Naw. I'm not a fan of abilities like Power Critical or Improved Critical. They are perfectly, statistically increase DPR, and lend themselves to particular play style. However I take issue with the fact that they are entirely dependent upon the will of the Dice Gods. I tend to prefer abilities that take into account player agency and want to have options for players that also prefer such a style.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Naw. I'm not a fan of abilities like Power Critical or Improved Critical. They are perfectly, statistically increase DPR, and lend themselves to particular play style. However I take issue with the fact that they are entirely dependent upon the will of the Dice Gods. I tend to prefer abilities that take into account player agency and want to have options for players that also prefer such a style.
That is similar to what I was thinking, I'm not a huge fan of waiting for a critical to have something happen either. It means an ability can sit there waiting to happen for an entire session. Wanting my players to have something cool to do was part of the reason why I was adding in war cries to the barbarian. While they do have some choices it seems to be more attack normally or attack with advantage. When coming up with the basics for war cries I wanted to make sure that there were multiple ways to trigger or use abilities, whether that is entering rage, using an action, or dropping someone to 0 (perhaps the least reliable since another player could at times finish off your opponent). I don't think I looked at critical hits due to them being an unreliable method.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
You know what, I'd go wild a remove Rage and replace it with shouts. You would need to reword some triggers and add more damage to them, but I think this would make for an awesome class.
For the moment I think I will layer it on top of rage, but I could easily see a war cry barbarian that made use of them rather than a rage mechanic. With no rage, I would like change the "when you enter a rage" trigger to be "at the start of your turn". Maybe I'd limit the number of uses to X per short rest or provide a resource like ki (maybe call it fury or something) that recharges on a short rest and allows more uses as you level. That would also enable a way to scale up war cries by spending more fury on them.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
I would want an ability that focuses every enemy's attention on me, not just enemies in adjacent squares.
Battle Challenge: All enemies (or every enemy within a Thunderwave-sized space? or a Fear-sized space?) must make a WIS save (vs what DC?) to attack anybody but me. The save happens at the end of their turn.

Now my friend the Rogue owes me a mug of stout. ;-)
 
These definitely need better scaling than they have.

Rage Damage bonus goes from 2 to 4.

I like peaching the crit die. That crit die isn't very good, and the desert from 9 to 19 makes multiclass barbarians a no brainer.

Start with 2d4, end with 4d10 warcry dice. Warcry dice are regained when you start a rage or score a critical hit. After you finish a warcry you lose 1 warcry die. Die size increases instead of the critical dice. Die count increases with rage damage bonus.

Wrath
: push warcry dice feet.
Threatening Shout: gain warcry dice temporary HP
Grim Shout: 5'+warcry dice radius
Furious Charge:
gain 5'+warcry feet movement
War Cry:
5'+warcry dice radius
Rallying Cry: 5'+warcry dice radius. Roll warcry dice; gain max of HD expended or best warcry die
Ground Stomp: 5'+warcry dice radius
Seismic Slam:
warcry dice damage
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Not gonna lie, I thought that the rage damage bonus topped out at +5. I probably find out that it's +4 maximum and then eventually forget and go back to believing it's +5. I'll review the number they know. Maybe give a bonus at level 1 or perhaps a few levels later so that dedication to the class gets you bonus war cries.

I'd rather not have a limited resource for the war cries, rather I want them to be always available either as an action or when the trigger. Remember that these are layered on top of the current class, they aren't replacing anything.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
So I really like this idea. After thinking about it, I think I agree with @cbwjm that these abilities should be used at will whenever specific conditions are met. I like the idea of these being an alternative to Brutal Critical, and I think the key is making the triggering conditions a bit more generous than Brutal Critical. Here's my version that I think I will be using moving forward:

Primal Tactics
At level 9, you have learned to incorporate devastating tactics into the way you fight. You may choose one of the Primal Tactics listed below. Each ability describes when and how it activates. If a Primal Tactics requires a Saving Throw, the DC is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier. If you know more than one Primal Tactic, only one can be used per turn. Using a Primal Tactic counts as an attack for the purpose of preventing your rage from ending early.

You learn an additional Primal Tactic at level 13, and again at level 17.

Thunderous Blow
Your strikes are so mighty that the force can be felt across the battlefield and cause nearby opponents to stagger back. When you score a critical hit or reduce a hostile target to 0 hit points, you can use your reaction to unleash a Thunderous Shout. All hostile creatures within 10 feet of you must make a Strength saving throw. On a failure they take thunder damage equal to 1d12 + your rage damage and are knocked back 10 feet. On a success they take half damage and are not pushed back.

Terrifying Shout
You have learned to combine your attacks with a frightening howl, causing your enemies to momentarily lose the will to fight. When you score a critical hit or reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you can use your reaction to unleash a Terrifying Shout. All hostile creatures within 20 feet that can see and hear you must make a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the end of their next turn.

War Cry
Your rage is contagious, and through your voice it drives your allies to become more deadly. When you enter your rage, or if you use an action to activate this ability while raging, you can unleash a War Cry. Until the start of your next turn, all allies who can hear you within 30 feet gain a bonus to their melee damage equal to your rage damage.

Rallying Cry
You have learned to unleash a primal call that drives your allies to push beyond their normal limits. When you first enter your rage, you and all allies who can hear you within 30 feet gain temporary hit points equal to 1d12 + your rage bonus.

Ground Stomp
As an action while you are raging, you can slam the ground so violently that it can knock your enemies to the ground. Each creature within 10 feet must make a Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Nice. These work really well, I especially like the addition of multiple triggers for the war cries, makes them more dynamic.
 

Advertisement

Top