• Justin Handlin

Class Analysis: Barbarian and Fighter

Listen Now:

We walk through the features of the Barbarian and Fighter in the Dungeon and Dragons Player Handbook. We give our thoughts on the best uses for these features and discuss examples of how we could describe them(reflavor) to make them feel fresh and unique. From Barbarians rage being more like a Zen like state of that of a Samurai, to the Fighter's second wind being a steroid like syringe injection.


50 Shades of Rage: flavoring the Barbarian's Signature Power

Check out our Best Selling D&D Player Option: Brawler: A Barbarian Path Class Option

Unearthed Tips and Tricks: New and reusable D&D content for you to bring with you on your next adventure.

Character Concept:

The Unwitting Noble

You’ve received some terrible news: your family, nobles of the highest pedigree living

in the capitol, have just been executed by the king. According to the public reports, they were accused of treason for attempting a coup. You know this is untrue, so you’ve been journeying across the land to drum up support against the unjust regime that would assassinate an innocent noble family and slander an honest bloodline in such a way!

However, as it turns out, your family WAS attempting a coup, and the king’s execution

of them was just. You don’t know that. You’ll probably find out some day, but only at the

end of a long campaign of political intrigue. Work with your DM to bring about this reveal.

You may even want to consult the DM before creating your character (away from the rest of

the players) so that it will be kept secret from the rest of the players until the moment when

the final reveal happens. It may require a lot of buildup to make it work, but this background

can provide a unique twist to the typical Noble character background.

Encounter Concept:

The Fog Troupe

The players are hired to stop a group of bandits that have been attacking trade caravans and

noble carriages passing through the nearby woods. The party adventures out, intent on

finding the bandits and bringing them to justice. However, as they investigate, they

find some details they weren’t expecting: the poor and downtrodden folk love the bandits

and praise them for their generosity at every opportunity. As it turns out, these bandits -

calling themselves the Fog Troupe - have been stealing from corrupt nobles, redistributing the stolen wealth to the poor, and fighting against unjust taxation. While these bandits appeared to be villainous at first, it now seems that they are a strong force for good.

The players are left with a decision to make: Do they let the bandits go? Do they join their

cause and become fugitives in the process? Do they do the job they were hired to do and fight the Fog Troupe to bring them to justice? This kind of decision could spur conflict between players of different ideologies. What seems to be a clear and understandable issue when seen in an animated movie becomes a much more difficult decision when your own livelihood and freedom are at stake!

Magic Item:

The Piercer of Heaven

Greatsword, Very Rare

When you heft this gold-plated greatsword, you feel an energy within that courses through your hands and coalesces with your own life energy. While wielding the Piercer of Heaven, you have a powerful ability to funnel your own life essence into the blade to create devastating blasts of arcane power that arc through the air at your opponents.

As an action, the wielder may spend a number of hit die equal to half of their level rounded

down. The blade releases a powerful destructive force from its swing. All creatures in a line 60 feet long and 5 feet wide from you must make a Dexterity saving throw with a DC of 14. Roll the number of hit dice sacrificed. Your attack does force damage equal to that number. A creature takes normal damage on a failed save and half as much on a successful.

DM Tip:

Pre-Game Updates

Communicate with your players outside of the

game! There’s lots of ways this can happen:

  1. Set up a date/time reminder for upcoming sessions

  2. Use Facebook or some other social media messenger to communicate between games

  3. Make food arrangements ahead of time so you don’t need to spend valuable session

  4. time

  5. Give a short recap of the previous session to keep players ready to play

  6. Have your players make magic item wishlists so you know what treasure to allocate

  7. Have your players come up with character goals and desires so you can incorporate them into upcoming adventures

The more communication, the better!

Player Tip: Don't be a Dick!

Know your Actions!

You’re sitting at the gaming table, and it’s your turn. You look over your character sheet, you

flip through your spell cards, you debate a few actions, and eventually you decide to simply

attack the closest target. You roll your attack, you roll your damage, but then you remember

something else you wanted to do with your Bonus Action. Then you open up the book,

you flip through to look at your class abilities, you remember that the ability was detailed

elsewhere, flip a few more pages, and so on…...All the while, the entire group is waiting for

you. Your turn only took about three or four minutes when all was said and done, but you’re

one of five players (plus the DM). If everyone else takes as long as you did, that’s around

twenty minutes per round (not counting the DM and all of their monsters). Your combat

encounters could easily end up taking several hours to just fight for a few rounds!

At any given moment, you should have some sort of a default action for your character. Attack the nearest target if you’re a Fighter, cast Eldritch Blast if you’re a Warlock, throw out a Cantrip if you’re a Cleric or Wizard, and so on. Then,if your turn comes around and you’re not prepared, save everyone else the time and just go to your Default. “I can’t remember how this spell works, so I’ll cast Sacred Flame this round and I’ll look up the other spell in the meantime.”

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