February 17, 2016

Path of the Berserker (Redux)

Note from the Palm: So, the PHB berserker is pretty awful, primarily due to the crippling effects of exhaustion making the primary ability, Frenzy, more or less useless. This is an attempt to fix that problem, and make them the damage-dealing counterpart to the Totem barbarian's damage resistance.

Note from the Finger: No PDF for this one, since it's a PHB remake.

Path of the Berserker

For some barbarians, rage is a means to an end-—that end being violence. The Path of the Berserker is a path of untrammeled fury, slick with blood. As you enter the berserker’s rage, you thrill in the chaos of battle, heedless of your own health or well-being.

Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, whenever you are raging and you take the attack action on your turn, you may make a single melee weapon attack as a bonus action. Additionally, you can go into a wild frenzy when you rage. If you do so, for the duration of your rage you can make two melee weapon attacks as a bonus action instead of just one. If you do so, when your rage ends, you suffer one level of exhaustion. When you use this ability to enter a wild frenzy, you may not do so again until you take a short or long rest.

Mindless Rage
Beginning at 6th level, you can’t be charmed or frightened while raging. If you are charmed or frightened when you enter your rage, the effect is suspended for the duration of the rage.

Tireless Fury
Starting at 10th level, you may ignore the effects of one level of exhaustion. Should you continue to take levels of exhaustion, you begin to accrue penalties as normal, dying when you reach 7 levels of exhaustion. Starting at 14th level, you may ignore 2 levels of exhaustion.
     As well, you no longer tire as easily: you have resistance to spells or effects that would cause you to fall asleep, and you require half the normal amount of sleep for a full night's rest.

Fearless Retaliation
Starting at 14th level, when you take damage from a creature that is within 5 feet of you. you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature.


  1. This one seems tricky. On one hand, I can understand that it sort of works like Action Surge or the Monk's Flurry of Blows IE limited attack number increases. However, I dunno how many DMs would be okay with giving a character 4 attacks as early as 3rd level. Then again, resistance to almost all damage from Bear Totem seems like at least a 10th level ability in its effectiveness.

    1. I agree about the four attacks so early. I think that, if you used all four and your rage ends automatically, that could function a bit more fairly, and still fits thematically. At the very least, I like that this redux lets you take an addition attack the first of your rage, rather than having to wait for the second round. That annoyed me when I first played a Barbarian in 5e.

    2. *potential four attacks, if they are duel wielding.

  2. I dislike this. I think that giving the Berserker a bonus attack while raging without a disadvantage is flat out too good. With Great Weapon Master and Reckless Attacks, you are going to be the absolute best consistent damage dealer, instead of on par with other martial classes like it´s now.

    My fix to the Berserker is somewhat simpler. At 3rd level he gains the ability to recover one level of exhaustion on a short rest. I don´t think he needs anything more. Altough your version with ignoring one level of exhaustion would also work.

    1. "on par with other melee classes" he says as the fighter, at level 20, could potentially attack 12+ times in a row.

      also worth noting that the berserker´s bonus attack will already become halfway redundant if he gets great weapon master since crits and kills triggers bonus action attacks regardless.

      the berserker needs to be revamped.

  3. Well, I think I meant 4 attacks at 5th level. I know Fighter has Action surge, but that's only for one turn. I think the 10th level ability would be enough to alleviate the original form of Frenzy. Or make it like the Evocation Wizard ability which allows you to do it normally once per short/long rest but after that you suffer exhaustion.

  4. How would this work with two-weapon fighting?

    1. Since the attack from Frenzy uses a Bonus action and two-weapon fighting also requires a bonus action, you wouldn't be able to use both abilities in the same around. You would use your bonus action for either Frenzy or for two-weapon fighting.