Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop RPG thread! Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other nerdy table-top RPGs that you might be into. Tell us about the games you’re playing, speculate about future expansions, recruit your fellow Avocados into new groups, whatever you want.
Since I’ve now gone through all the playable races in the official Player’s Handbook, I figured the next logical step was to talk about the various classes. However, since there are far too many features and options available for each class, I don’t think I really have the time or knowledge to give a good snapshot like I did for each race. Instead, I decided what I’d try to do is try to boil down the main features of each class into a paragraph, list the different subclasses, and then show off a character build. So with that in mind, let’s talk about the Barbarian.
When you think of a Barbarian, the first image that probably comes to mind is Conan–a big, muscle-bound man, wearing little more than a loin-cloth, and holding a big sword or axe. But of course, Barbarians can come in all shapes and sizes, races, or genders. Barbarians are generally known more for feats of strength and athleticism than for intelligence or wisdom. A Barbarian excels when they’re up close and personal with the enemy, dishing out massive amounts of damage. Their attacks are fueled by their unbridled fury, which they can tap into at will. When a Barbarian enters a rage, they both deal more damage with their own attacks, and take less damage from their enemies. However, it also prevents them from using any magic. Still, their ability to ignore physical pain combined with their large amount of hit points lets them stay in the fray longer as they recklessly hack and slash their way through hordes of orcs.
Eventually,1 a Barbarian will choose a Primal Path that defines the source and nature of their rage. They can choose from the following (officially published) options:
- Berserker–if Rage is good, than more Rage is better
- Totem Warrior–channel your Rage through animal spirits, with effects depending choice of one or more animal guides
- Ancestral Guardian–call on the spirits of your ancestors to protect you and your allies
- Storm Herald–tap into the fury of nature itself, with effects depending on a chosen environment
- Zealot–Rage empowered by devotion to a divine being
- Battlerager–specialize in wearing spiked armor and using those spikes as a weapon; restricted to Dwarf characters
D’Vorak, Blue Dragonborn Barbarian (Zealot), Level 3
Stats: STR 14(+2), DEX 12, CON 15, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 13(+1)
Skill proficiencies: Athletics, Perception, Intimidation, Survival
Weapons: Dual handaxes
Armor: None; AC = 13
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
D’Vorak began combat training at a young age, but despite his skills, his temper and disdain for authority often put him at odds with his instructors. Eventually, he had enough of the discipline of the clan and struck out on his own, making his way to a port city and signing on to a pirate crew. He loved the freedom of the seas, and reveled in the ocean storms. A Dwarven crewmate told him about her people’s god of storms, and D’Vorak adopted the deity as his own, enabling him to combine his inner storm with the fury of the thunder god.
At 3rd level, the Zealot Barbarian’s Divine Fury feature lets D’Vorak deal additional damage on his first hit each turn, so having an extra attack via dual-wielding can come help ensure he can use that feature every round. He’d spend his first couple of ability score increases bumping up his CON and STR scores, and he’d eventually want to take the Dual Wielder feat, which would allow him to upgrade his weapons from light handaxes to larger battleaxes. His blue dragon ancestry gives him a lightning-based breath weapon, for when he can’t quite get within melee range, as well as resistance to lightning damage, which fits in well with his background.
You have have noticed that it’s Wednesday, not Thursday. I decided to move this thread to a different day, since it felt like Thursday was a bit crowded. Also, there’s no game recap this week, because we didn’t play over the weekend.
Our AvocaD&D group is currently running the Curse of Strahd adventure module. Our version takes place in a pseudo-historical 19th century Earth, and the group is playing as representatives of a railroad company sent to the tiny Eastern European nation of Barovia (ruled by Count Strahd von Zarovich) to negotiate the expansion of the railway through the country.
Our Dungeon Master is The Hayes Code, and the party consists of:
- Txan Einreique, a Half-Elf Stone Sorcerer; the Company Representative and nominal party leader (Josephus Brown)
- Kissi Farwood, a Human Fighter; a former solider hired as a bodyguard by Txan (forget_it_jake)
- Edwin Potts, a Human Cleric of Torm; a government agent sent to oversee the deal and make sure the company isn’t doing anything shady; deceased (torn to pieces by vampires) (Nope)
- ENGR-23, a Warforged Artificer; a living machine employed as a railway engineer (our only non-Avocado party member)
- Peter Peregrine, a Human Barbarian; a Professor of Antiquities with a rage-filled alter ego called Kragen Tempest (Doctor Nick)
- Wickerwelt Tanglewood, a Halfling Ranger; a Barovian native brought along as a guide (TheCleverGuy)
- Carabelle Longstride, a Halfling Cleric of Lathander; a Southern-accented American on a personal mission of her own (Wafflicious)