So with our D&D adventures coming to a close for season 1, I think back to the very beginning of our wayward and hilarious adventures. When I started this journey, I did not think we would ever reach this point in either the story or in the amount of love and affection my friends had for this game. I am very humbled by their developing love for this game. But we’re not here to talk about how my happiness or even their adventures, we’re here to talk about some ideas and creativity that has been floating in the etherspace between my mind and reality.
When we creating Brightiron, our beloved Goliath Barbarian that has won so many hearts (as you may find in our adventures) was at one point a confused dream of a character. Our friend Ian had a great backstory and wanted to channel the image of a Bloodrager from Paizo Publishing’s Pathfinder. With 5th edition’s young existence, the idea of a Bloodrager had not been conceived yet, we even recalled the days of the Rage Mage from Dungeon and Dragons’ 3.5 Edition. Both classes fundamentally focused on the same image and dream, to rage and cast spells. Ultimately we settled for the Path of the Totem for his Barbarian character, but the idea never really left and I spent some of my time working on emulating that iconic concept.
Not long ago, Wizards of the Coast released an article detailing tips and tricks on how to modify classes and customize them here. Looking about the subclass of the Barbarian class, the Primal Paths are chosen normally at 3rd level, and a class feature relating to the selected path are broken into four breakpoints from 3rd, 6th, 10th, and 14th level.
At 3rd level, the combat capabilities of the Barbarian are greatly increased from their selection of a Primal Path. Looking at another class that mirrors our desired goal of a caster and melee combatant combination, the Eldritch Knight martial archetype from the Fighter class, we see the access of spellcasting to be a powerful increase in combat potency. The overall spell slot and spells known table works well for our implementation, so we shall use it as written with some changes. The next important aspect to consider is the source of the spells and the key spellcasting ability for the purposes of proficiency and spell saves. Since the Barbarian is a more primal entity, a being stemmed with a minor connection to nature, it would be reasonable to assume that the Druid spellcasting list would satisfy both the thematic and mechanical context. To emulate this sort of shaman warrior, channel their fury to cast their spells reflects closer to Charisma than Wisdom as the key spellcasting modifier. But perhaps it takes greater wisdom to know when to cast and channel one’s spells than simply unleashing the latent energies recklessly. It’s a tough call, ultimately in the spirit to the predecessors before, we’ll stick to Charisma for the purposes of the exercise.
At 6th level, we see a divide between the two paths of the Barbarian. One deals with not being charmed or frightened, which is a useful feature in combat while raging; the other deals more with exploration and overall utility outside of combat. Granting the barbarian the ability to cast and concentrate on spells during a rage seems reasonable at this stage since it would satisfy our goal in mind.
The 10th level class feature typically is a non-combat related ability, according to Wizards of the Coast. Since our model is additionally stemmed from the Eldritch Knight from Fighter class, the 10th level feature involve making enemies vulnerable to the knight’s spells when hit by a weapon. Comparing the two classes, we will keep the design suggestion from Wizards and approach this feature from an interaction-based point of view. Looking at the Spirit Walker class feature and the ability to cast a ritual without material components or spell slots, we shall most likely approach it along that vein. Allowing the barbarian the ability to cast Detect Magic as a ritual and gains proficiency in the Arcana skill. 5th Edition has some interesting rules about acquiring more skills, which technically any character can acquire more skills if they have the time and resources to find an expert to train them in the skill. Giving a proficiency to a skill will expand what the Barbarian can do in and out of combat, while Detect Magic is in the Druid spell list, the limited spells known may persuade a player to overlook such an iconic utility spell for something more combat centric.
Looking at our path’s capstone ability at 14th level, we are looking at an ability that truly changes the versatility of the combat for the Barbarian, whether it be an extra attack when attacked or giving options in combat depending on their spirit totem choices. The Battle Magic class feature from the College of Valor for the Bard facilitates that final evolution of a warrior wielding spell and sword together while in combat. With that in mind, we can safely implement this same feature to our final design.
Path of the Spell Fury
When you reach 3rd level, you augment your martial prowess with the ability to cast spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules o f spellcasting and chapter 11 for the druid spell list.
Cantrips: You learn two cantrips of your choice from the druid spell list. You learn an additional druid cantrip at 10th level.
Spell slots: Use the Eldritch Knight spellcasting table.
Spellcasting Ability: Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your druid spells since the power of your spells come from your rage and ferocity.
Beginning at 6th level, you learn to channel their spells while in the midst of their rage. You can now cast spells and concentrate on spells even while raging. You also add your rage damage bonus to spells that deal damage while raging.
Eyes of the Storm
Beginning at 10th level, you can cast Detect Magic as solely as a ritual, if you previously had this spell as one of your spells known, you may learn an additional spell at a level you can cast. In addition, you gain proficiency with the Arcana skill.
At 14th level, you have mastered your prowess over spell and sword in a single storm of death and fury. When you use your action to cast a spell, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.
Alrighty, that’s all I got for now, I’m hoping to do something along these lines in the future so look forward to that. Please comment at the bottom your criticisms or suggestions or thoughts, it’s always nice to see input. Also if you like what you see, please share and like the article and join our Facebook fan page and follow us on twitter. Until our roads meet again.