• Justin Handlin

50 Shades of Rage: Reflavoring the D&D Barbarian Rage

50 Shades of Rage

The barbarian's rage is one of the most versatile skills when it comes to flavor. Traditionally it's reflected as raw anger and the thrill of combat overcoming the barbarian during combat. However, this power is so versatile you can just about describe it as anything other than Rage, and give your character a feel of unique awesomeness! Whether it's bonding with your ancient ancestors, a parasite from an alien world or just describing it as your character being surrounded by crackling lightning and golden hair! Join us as we talk all things Rage!

In this episode, Crit Academy picks some of our favorites and even add some of our reflavoring to the rage mechanic!

12. Force of Chaos: Most barbarians are a whirlwind of fury; you are a storm. Chaos beats in your soul, and it manifests when you fight. You are unpredictable, and the Chaos Totem Rage Powers can bring across how your Rage can warp probability all around you.

25. Child of The Heavens: Angels are beautiful, and terrible, creatures. If one let even a few drops of its celestial blood into your family, then you might find it makes itself known in strange ways. If you take a trait like Sacred Touch, that could be ascribed to your divine ancestors. Rage Powers like Renewed Vigor, Renewed Vitality, and Renewed Life could all be ascribed to the holy power in your blood healing your body.

13. Hatred: There is something awful lurking inside you. A force of anger so pure that it has become condensed hatred. You suckle it, nurse it, and draw strength from it... but how long will it be until the toxic power twists you into a dark reflection of who you once were?

10. Meditative Fury: Some barbarians howl and snarl, becoming little more than savage animals. Others, though, attack in complete silence. They show no sign of pleasure or pain, scything down their foes with the unsettling quiet of a well-oiled machine.

34: Totemic Tattoo: You have been marked by forces beyond yourself. Whether you were tattooed in a ceremony that made you an adult, or you were born with a strange birthmark, you have been marked for power. The Scarred Rager archetype, and the Auspicious Mark Rage Power, might prove useful for you.

18. Born on a Bad Moon: There are those who believe the alignment of the stars and planets at the time of our birth lay out a path for us. Those born under ill tidings, like blood moons and lunar eclipses, may have dark fates awaiting them, and dark powers to match.

42. Spiritual Incantation: You keep your true power locked away inside, but you were taught how to let it out when you needed to. By speaking a spiritual incantation, you let the power flow through you. While your transformation might not be as complete as He-Man, or Etrigan, the idea is the same.

49. Righteous Fury: There is no greater rush of power than the feeling of righteous fury. Whether it's in the service of a cause or exacting well-deserved vengeance, a barbarian who feels he's in the right is nearly impossible to stop.

Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure

Character Concept:

A Touch of Madness (50 shades of rage)

There’s something not quite right about this character. Some say you hear voices, or often talking to yourself. Sometimes you forget your name, or you become another person entirely. As long as your madness keeps you safe, and doesn’t harm your companions, you’re likely to be accepted. For a time at least.

Monster Variant:

Cyclops Storm Shaman

Origin: Ettin

Lost Features:

Two heads, Wakeful

New Features:

Storm Burst (1/Day). A 10-foot radius of crackling lightning and storm clouds extends out from the storm shaman. The lightning and clouds spread around corners, and its area is heavily obscured. It lasts for 1 minute. Any creature that starts its turn in that area must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 2d6 lightning damage. The target can take either an action or a bonus action on its turn, not both, and can't take reactions on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful.

Evil Eye. The storm shaman targets one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. If the target can see the storm shaman, the target must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or take 7(2d6) psychic damage and gains a weakness to lightning damage for 1 minute, unless it is immune to lightning damage, if they have resistance, they lose it. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If the target's saving throw is successful, or if the effect ends on it, the target is immune to the Evil Eye of all storm shaman for 1 hour.


Chromatic Tiles (Trap)

The area is riddles with floor tiles that transform before your eyes. At times, each tile resembles stone that ripples like water; then it transforms into jagged spikes of ice. The tiles then dance with a flame-colored mist that crackles before it grows into bolts of lightning. Whatever these tiles are, they appear unstable.

Setup: Each of these traps has eight strategically placed tiles, and whenever a creature enters a tile space, a random element of energy lashes out and attacks. Also, when creatures are within 5 feet of the tiles. every so often a random tile erupts, spewing an area with hazardous elemental energy.

This trap has two triggers and two attacks.

Trigger 1: When a creature enters a 5-foot area containing a tile it makes a melee spell attack with +4 to hit. doing 2d6 of a random damage type: lightning, thunder, cold, fire.

Trigger 2: Once a creature enters the area, roll initiative. Treating this trap as a lair action acting on initiative 20, losing ties. On the trap’s initiative count, a random elemental tile explodes with chromatic energy. It casts thunderwave at its lowest level but the damage type is random, lightning, thunder, cold, fire.

What are some countermeasures? Dispel magic? Trigger an effect by dropping a stone on it? Try to leap across the area?

Magic Item:

This weapon is attuned to the power of elemental air and awaken the air around it when it strikes an enemy, giving rise to gusts of wind that drive back the enemy forcing them to give ground, allow allies to gain ground.

Polearm of the Windrider

Any 2-handed reach weapon, very rare (requires attunement)

When you hit a creature with this weapon, you may cast the gust spell as a bonus action.

This weapon has 5 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it. The spell save DC for these spells is 14: gust(1 charge), gust of wind (2 charges), warding wind(2 charges), fly(5 charges).

The weapon regains 1d4+1 charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the weapon becomes a nonmagical weapon.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Deceitful Potions! Ragnarokgar - Game Masters Stash

Now at a shop, you might have potions labeled or put into specific containers. But in the home of a paranoid criminal or in a villain's lair the labels might not be right.

Everyone knows to check unknown potions before drinking them but who is going to test something that says “health potion” in a heart-shaped vial, if every health potion they have drank before looked the same?

This way you get your players thinking about loot not just as what it can do for them, but about who it belonged to first. Also, if your players don’t drink the potions right away and they get mixed in with their other ones, who knows what kind of mischief they could cause.

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Rage Transformation!

As we’ve discussed all the different flavors you can give your rage from a story point of view, something else that you could do that would really amp it up physical changes that your character undergoes while they rage.

The hulk is a great example of this.

We made the symbiote reflavor of rage in our Symbiote flavor of the month.

Back in the episode go for the eyes we discussed Half races, this is a great opportunity to include those. Maybe your half orc is mostly human until he rages and becomes a big green...hulking orc.

As a tiefling, maybe your horns grow longer and a crown of flames appears (think hellboy).

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