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Simply Barbaric: The DCC Barbarian

July 29, 2013


We’ve been adapting some old modules here at the Skyland camp, including the Slave Lords modules, as well as the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, and it reminded me of a few favorite classes from good old days, one being the Barbarian from Unearthed Arcana.

The original UA class was really a mess.  It had a lot of special rules for the class itself, horrible XP progression, and frustrating role-playing requirements.  So while there is some homage to the old way, we’re trying to make this somewhat more functional.  Let’s take a look.


Hit Points: A barbarian gains 1d12 hit points at each level.

Weapon Training: A barbarian is trained in the use of these weapons: battleaxe, club, dagger, handaxe, javelin, longbow, longsword, mace, polearm, shortbow, short sword, sling, spear, staff, two-handed sword, and warhammer. Barbarians may wear any form of armor, but armor heavier than Hide affects their movement abilities.

Alignment: Barbarians are typically Neutral or Chaotic, for the only law on the open steppe is that of the blade.

Attack modifier: Barbarians attack modifier mimics the Warrior’s Mighty Deed of Arms (p.42 DCC Rulebook). See chart below for the level progression. Note that the Barbarian does not receive the Warrior Luck Bonus to his selected weapon.

Critical Hits: While a warrior’s training enables him to critically hit more often, the barbarian’s powerful wild swings are devastating when they connect.  Hence, the barbarian’s reduced crit range and larger crit die set forth below.


Level Attack (Deed   Die) Crit Die / Table Threat Range Action Dice Ref Fort Will
1 +d3 1d16/III 20 1d20 +0 +2 +0
2 +d4 1d20/III 20 1d20 +1 +3 +0
3 +d5 1d24/IV 20 1d20 +1 +3 +0
4 +d6 1d24/IV 20 1d20 +2 +4 +0
5 +d7 1d30/V 19-20 1d20+1d14 +2 +4 +1
6 +d8 1d30/V 19-20 1d20+1d16 +3 +5 +1
7 +d10+1 2d20/V 19-20 1d20+1d20 +3 +5 +1
8 +d10+2 2d20/V 19-20 1d20+1d20 +4 +6 +1
9 +d10+3 2d24/V 18-20 1d20+1d20 +4 +6 +2
10 +d10+4 2d24/V 18-20 1d20+1d20+1d14 +5 +7 +2


Level Title Move Silently Climb Sheer   Surfaces Special
1 Wildman +2 +2 Superstitious
2 Savage +4 +4 Fast Movement
3 Vandal +5 +6 Wilderness Lore
4 Raider +7 +8 Brawler
5 Marauder +9 +10 Mighty Leap
6 Reaver +10 +11 Danger Sense
7 Warlord +12 +12 Ferocious Presence
8 Conqueror +13 +13 Hulking Hurler
9 Chieftain +14 +14 Strength Surge
10 Barbarian Lord +15 +15 Berserker Rage

SPECIAL ABILITIES – In addition to variations in stats, Barbarians have access to a variety of special abilities based on level.

Move Silently: The barbarian may move silently as a Thief in natural and outdoor environs. This could be a forest, cavern, or open plain, but is not available in urban settings. Game master’s discretion applies.

Climb Sheer Surfaces:  The barbarian may climb sheer surfaces as a Thief.  This may be natural rock formations, trees or worked stone, with appropriate modifiers set out for extremely sheer or slick surfaces.

Superstitious:  The Barbarian has been trained (wisely) to distrust and fear magic.  Whenever the Barbarian is the target of a magic spell, harmful or benign, the Barbarian must attempt a save with a +4 modifier.

Fast Movement: As long as the Barbarian is wearing non-metallic armor, his movement rate is increased to 40′, and gets a +4 to fortitude saves to endure long periods of running.

Wilderness Lore: The Barbarian is in tune with his surroundings, and can move quickly and easily through his native lands to detect intruders.  Warriors gain the ability to follow tracks, identify edible plants, and create basic shelters in his native land, and gains a +2 to all checks to avoid surprise.

Brawler: The Barbarian’s love for a good brawl have developed his skills to expert levels.  The Barbarian gets +2 to all grapple checks, and uses a 1d5 + (Strength modifier) for all unarmed damage.

Mighty Leap: The Barbarian’s tremendous physical strength and dexterity allow him to leap 1d10+(Agility Score) in feet.

Danger Sense: The Barbarian’s animal instincts have come to work at highest efficiency, allowing him to detect attacks before they occur.  The Barbarian can now choose at the beginning of his turn to apply his deed die to Attack or Defense, boosting his attack or Armor Class by the amount rolled.  Furthermore, when a thief attempts a backstab on the Barbarian, may make a single counterattack at -5 to hit against the backstabber before damage is resolved.

Ferocious Presence: The Barbarian’s feral rage causes normally fearless foes to cower sheepishly.  Enemies facing the Barbarian forced to make a morale check must roll two dice for morale and take the less favorable result. Once per day the Barbarian may attempt to intimidate an opponent, who must make a DC 10+(Barbarian’s Strength Modifier) WILL save or flee for 2d6 rounds.

Hulking Hurler: The Barbarian can throw anything he can lift a distance equal to twice his Strength score.  Ergo an 18 Strength Barbarian could throw a tavern table 36 feet, applying damage as set by the Game Master. The Barbarian doubles his Strength modifier to the damage granted from thrown weapons.

Strength Surge: Barbarians double their strength modifier when making a strength check.    Further, they may roll twice for any strength check and take the higher of the two results.

Berserker Rage: Foaming at the mouth, bloodshot eyes, and howling at the moon mark the Barbarian’s final transformation into an unstoppable living weapon. The Barbarian may elect three times a day to enter a Berserker Rage upon entering combat. When raging, the Barbarian may reduce his Armor Class up to 10 points, adding an equivalent amount to his damage.  This stacks with all other bonuses and penalties.  The berserker obtains temporary hit points equal to his Stamina score + 5.  At the end of combat, the Barbarian loses these temporary hit points.  A Berserker Rage ends when there are no foes living and conscious on the battlefield, leaving the barbarian exhausted for a number of rounds equal to the number of rounds raging, with a -2 to hit, damage, and strength based checks.

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