From the frozen wastes to the north and the hellish jungles of the south come brave, even reckless, warriors. Civilized people call them barbarians or berserkers and suspect them of mayhem, impiety, and atrocities. These "barbarians," however, have proven their mettle and their value to those who would be their allies. To enemies who underestimated them, they have proved their cunning, resourcefulness, persistence, and mercilessness.

Adventures: Adventuring is the best chance barbarians have of finding a place in a civilized society. They're not well suited to the monotony of guard duty or other mundane tasks. Barbarians also have no trouble with the dangers, the uncertainties, and the wandering that adventuring involves. Barbarians may adventure to defeat hated enemies. They have a noted distaste for that which they consider unnatural, including undead, demons, and devils.

Characteristics: The barbarian is an excellent warrior. Where the fighter has training and discipline, however, the barbarian has a powerful rage. While in this berserk fury, he becomes stronger and tougher, better able to defeat his foes and withstand their attacks. These rages leave him winded, and he only has the energy for a few such spectacular displays per day, but those few rages are usually sufficient. He is at home in the wilds, and he runs at great speed.

Alignment: Barbarians are never lawful. They may be honorable, but at heart they are wild. This wildness is their strength, and it could not live in a lawful soul. At best, chaotic barbarians are free and expressive. At worst, they are thoughtlessly destructive.

Religion: Some barbarians distrust established religions and prefer an intuitive, natural relationship to the cosmos over formal worship. Others devote themselves to powerful deities, such as Kord, god of strength; Obad-Hai, god of nature; or Erythnul, god of slaughter. A barbarian is capable of fierce devotion to his god.

Background: Barbarians come from uncivilized lands or from barbaric tribes on the outskirts of civilization. A barbarian adventurer may have been lured to the settled lands by the promise of riches, may have escaped after having been captured in his homeland and sold into "civilized" slavery, may have been recruited as a soldier, or may have been driven out of his home by invaders. Barbarians share no bond with each other unless they come from the same tribe or land. In fact, they think of themselves not as barbarians but as warriors.

Races: Human barbarians come from the distant wild lands on the edge of civilization. Half-orc barbarians lived among orcs before abandoning them for human lands. Dwarf barbarians are rare, usually hailing from dwarven kingdoms that have fallen into barbarism as a result of recurrent war with goblinoids, orcs, and giants. Barbarians of other races are very rare.

Among the brutal humanoids, barbarians are more common than fighters. Orcs and ogres are especially likely to be barbarians.

Other Classes: As people of the wild, barbarians are most comfortable in the company of rangers, druids, and clerics of nature deities, such as Obad-Hai or Ehlonna. Many barbarians admire the talents and spontaneity of bards, and some are enthusiastic lovers of music. Barbarians don't trust that which they don't understand, and that includes wizardry, which they call "book magic." Barbarians find sorcerers more understandable than wizards, but maybe that's just because sorcerers tend to be more charismatic. Monks, with their studied, practiced, deliberate approach to combat, sometimes have a hard time seeing eye to eye with barbarians, but members of these classes aren't necessarily hostile to each other. Barbarians have no special attitudes toward fighters, paladins, clerics, or rogues.

Role: A barbarian's typical primary role in a group of adventurers is as a front-line combat specialist. No other character can match his sheer toughness. He can also serve as a good scout, thanks to his speed, skill selection and trap sense.

Game Rule Information

Barbarians have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Strength is important for barbarians because of its role in combat, and several barbarian skills are based on Strength. Dexterity is also useful to barbarians, especially those who wear light armor. Wisdom is important for several barbarian skills. A high Constitution score lets a barbarian rage longer (and live longer, because it gives him more hit points).

Alignment: Any nonlawful.

Class Skills

The barbarian's class skills are Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Ride, Survival, and Swim.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at each additional level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the barbarian.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A barbarian is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Fast Movement: A barbarian's land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he US wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the barbarian's speed because of any load carried or armor worn. For example, a human barbarian has a speed of 40 feet, rather than 30 feet, when wearing light or no armor. When wearing medium armor or carrying a medium load, his speed drops to 30 feet. A halfling barbarian has a speed of 30 feet, rather than 20 feet, in light or no armor. When wearing medium armor or carrying a medium load, his speed drops to 20 feet.

Illiteracy: Barbarians are the only characters who do not automatically know how to read and write. A barbarian may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak.

A barbarian who gains a level in any other class automatically gains literacy. Any other character who gains a barbarian level does not lose the literacy he or she already had.

Rage: When he needs to, a barbarian can fly into a screaming blood frenzy. In a rage, a barbarian gains phenomenal strength and durability but becomes reckless and less able to defend himself. He temporarily gains +4 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but suffers a -2 penalty to AC.

The increase in Constitution increases the barbarian's hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when the Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are; see Temporary Hit Points.) While raging, a barbarian cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. He can use any feat he has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character's (newly improved) Constitution modifier. The barbarian may prematurely end the rage voluntarily. At the end of the rage, the barbarian is fatigued (-2 to Strength, -2 to Dexterity, cannot charge or run) for the duration of that encounter (unless the barbarian is 17th level, when this limitation no longer applies; see below).

A barbarian can fly into a rage only once per encounter. At 1st level he can use his rage ability once per day. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day (to a maximum of six times per day at 20th level). Entering a rage takes no time itself, but a barbarian can do it only during his action (see Initiative, page 136), not in response to someone else's action. A barbarian can't, for example, fly into a rage when struck down by an arrow in order to get the extra hit points from the increased Constitution, although the extra hit points would be of benefit if he had gone into a rage earlier in the round, before the arrow struck.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a barbarian gains the ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

If a barbarian already has uncanny dodge from a different class, (a barbarian with at least four levels of rogue, for example), he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Trap Sense (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a barbarian has an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, giving him a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise by +1 every three barbarian levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level). Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a barbarian can no longer be flanked; he can react to opponents on opposite sides of him as easily as he can react to a single attacker. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the barbarian by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has barbarian levels.

If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 7th level, a barbarian gains the ability to shrug off some amount of injury from each blow or attack. Subtract 1 from the damage the barbarian takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 10th level, and every three barbarian levels thereafter (13th, 16th, and 19th level), this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

Greater Rage (Ex): At 11th level, a barbarian's bonuses to Strength and Constitution during his rage each increase to +6, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +3. The penalty to AC remains at -2.

Indomitable Will (Ex): While in a rage, a barbarian of 14th level or higher gains a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist enchantment spells. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers, including the morale bonus on Will saves he also receives during his rage.

Tireless Rage (Ex): At 17th level and higher, a barbarian no longer becomes fatigued at the end of his rage.

Mighty Rage (Ex): At 20th level, a barbarian's bonuses to Strength and Constitution during his rage each increase to +8, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +4. The penalty to AC remains at -2.

BarbarianHit Die: d12
1st+1+2+0+0Rage 1/day; fast movement, illiteracy
2nd+2+3+0+0Uncanny dodge
3rd+3+3+1+1Trap sense +1
4th+4+4+1+1Rage 2/day
5th+5+4+1+1Improved uncanny dodge
6th+6/+1+5+2+2Trap sense +2
7th+7/+2+5+2+2Damage reduction 1/-
8th+8/+3+6+2+2Rage 3/day
9th+9/+4+6+3+3Trap sense +3
10th+10/+5+7+3+3Damage reduction 2/-
11th+11/+6/+1+7+3+3Greater rage
12th+12/+7/+2+8+4+4Rage 4/day, trap sense +4
13th+13/+8/+3+8+4+4Damage reduction 3/-
14th+14/+9/+4+9+4+4Indomitable will
15th+15/+10/+5+9+5+5Trap sense +5
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+10+5+5Damage reduction 4/-, Rage 5/day
17th+17/+12/+7/+2+10+5+5Tireless rage
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+11+6+6Trap sense +6
19th+19/+14/+9/+4+11+6+6Damage reduction 5/-
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+6+6Mighty rage, rage 6/day


A barbarian who becomes lawful loses the ability to rage and cannot gain more levels as a barbarian. He retains all the other benefits of the class (fast movement, uncanny dodge, and damage reduction).

In the Realms

Free of the comforts and constraints of civilization, barbarians survive in lands that civilized folk only dwell in when they can hide behind high walls. The cosmopolitan nature of some parts of Faerûn is confusing to barbarians, but city folk are used to odd sights and usually accept barbarians without batting an eye.

Most Faerûnian barbarians are humans or half-orcs. They come from places such as the Cold Lands, the North, the High Moors, Rashemen, and tribes ranging across the Western Heartlands. Dwarven barbarians come from icy wastes of the north, the jungles of Chult, and hidden pockets in remote mountains and hills. Elven barbarians are usually wild elves from the warm southern forests such as the Wealdath or the Chondalwood. The only known barbarian halfling tribes live deep in the Chondalwood, rarely venturing out of the forest's green embrace.

Barbarians of other races are unusual, but not unheard of. Half-elven barbarians are sometimes found among human tribes native to the North or in Western Heartlands, or in the Yuirwood where humans and elves lived together in the wild for generations. Drow, moon elven, sun elven, gnome, or planetouched barbarians are generally individuals who for some reason were raised among barbaric peoples.

Preferred Character Regions: Regions in which barbarians are commonly found include the Chondalwood (ghostwise halflings, and wild elves), Chult, the Hordelands, the Moonshaes, Narfell, the Nelanther Isles, the North, Rashemen, Vaasa, and the Western Heartlands. In addition, some shield dwarven, wild elven, wood elven, and half-orc cultures give rise to barbarians.

Aquatic Variation

Barbarians often inhabit the wild coasts or travel the open seas. They dwell in regions inhospitable to most humanoids, whether these are fetid jungle isles or the gloomy shores of arctic seas. Barbaric human tribes can be found almost anywhere and some of them take to a life at sea. Aquatic elves and coastal clans of land-dwelling elves might also be barbarians, while darfellans favor the barbarian class above all others.

Barbarians of the waters and shores are expert in fishing and in following the seasonal movements of marine animals. They might follow migrating whales, taking to skin boats to harpoon the leviathans, or move up and down rivers with the salmon. On outriggers they pursue aquatic monsters, while others line a tidal flat with nets to trap fish when the waters flood in. Such barbarians are always adept swimmers and able to tolerate extended periods in cold water or heavy rain.

Maelstrom barbarians often take to raiding, descending in war canoes or longboats to ravage the shorelines of civilized lands. These reavers are widely feared and form the basis of many terrifying tales.

Fast Movement (Ex): Barbarians who possess a racial swim speed can choose to apply their fast movement bonus to their swim speed instead of their land speed. The choice must be made when the character gains the class feature and cannot be changed later. This benefit still applies only when the barbarian is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load.

Epic Barbarian

An epic barbarian is a terror to behold. The very incarnation of rage, this furious warrior can cut his opponents to ribbons with awe-inspiring ease.

Hit Die: d12.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Barbarian Rage: The epic barbarian gains one use of rage per day every four levels higher than 20th (7/day at 24th, 8/day at 28th, and so on).

Trap Sense (Ex): The epic barbarian's bonus increases by +1 every three levels higher than 18th (+7 at 21st, +8 at 24th, and so on).

Damage Reduction (Ex): The epic barbarian's damage reduction increases by 1 point every three levels higher than 19th (6/- at 22nd, 7/- at 25th, and so on).

Bonus Feats: The epic barbarian gains a bonus feat every four levels higher than 20th (24th, 28th, and so on).

Planar Substitution Levels

Barbarians who strike beyond their homeland sometimes find that they go far indeed. Barbarians have no trouble with the dangers, the miles, and the wonders that traveling entails, and planar travel, while more grand, offers a barbarian a chance to refine his abilities with extraplanar enemies in mind.


To take a barbarian planar substitution level, a character must be about to take his 3rd, 7th, or 11th level of barbarian.

Class Skills

Barbarian planar substitution levels have the class skills of the standard barbarian class plus Knowledge (the planes).

Skill Points at Each level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are features of the barbarian's planar substitution levels.

Portal Sense (Su): The barbarian's raw instincts provide him with a supernatural sense concerning portals, planar breaches, and other passages between planes. A barbarian who takes the 3rd-level planar substitution level instantly becomes aware of any portal within 30 feet of his location even if such a portal is normally invisible. In a sense, the barbarian seems to "sniff" out the portal. If the barbarian spends a few rounds "sniffing" around (taking a standard action each round to do so), he learns additional information about the portal (the rounds spent analyzing the portal need not be consecutive):

Round 1: Whether the portal is one-way or two-way.

Round 2: Any special circumstances governing the portal use, such as knowing that it can be activated only at specific times of the day (but not what those times are) or if a specific key or command word is needed to activate the portal (but not what that key or command word is).

Round 3: A brief sense of the area the portal leads to; essentially, the barbarian gains as much information as if he were allowed to see the portal's destination for 10 seconds, without the benefit of any other sense or analysis.

This benefit replaces the trap sense class feature gained by a standard barbarian at 3rd level. From now on, whenever the barbarian gains a standard barbarian level that grants an improvement to his trap sense, he gains the indicated bonus minus 1 (trap sense +1 at 6th level, trap sense +2 at 9th level and so on).

Planar Damage Reduction (Ex): The barbarian toughens his body against injuries perpetrated by unnatural creatures. A barbarian who takes the 7th-level planar substitution level gains the ability to shrug off some additional amount of injury from each blow or attack made by an outsider or extraplanar creature. Subtract 2 points from the damage the barbarian takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack made by an outsider or extraplanar creature. In effect, this benefit grants damage reduction 2/- against the attacks of outsiders or extraplanar creatures.

This benefit replaces the damage reduction 1/- gained by a standard barbarian at 7th level. From now on, whenever the barbarian gains a standard barbarian level that grants an improvement to his damage reduction, he gains the indicated amount minus 1 (1/- at 10th level, 2/- at 13th level, and so on). However, the planar damage reduction value stacks with the barbarian's damage reduction against attacks from outsiders or extraplanar creatures. For example, a 10th level barbarian would have damage reduction 3/- against outsiders and extraplanar creatures, but damage reduction 1/- against all other creatures.

Menacing Rage (Su): The barbarian gains an especially potent fury against unnatural creatures not native to the Material Plane. A barbarian who takes the 11th level planar substitution level generates an intangible aura of danger whenever he rages. This aura weakens hostile outsiders and creatures with the extraplanar subtype within 20 feet. Any outsider or extraplanar creature within that area must attempt a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 barbarian's class level + barbarian's Con modifier). Those who fail the saving throw take a -2 penalty on attack rolls, checks, and saves against the barbarian for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting ability. A creature that makes its initial save is not affected by that same barbarian's menacing rage for 24 hours. This benefit replaces the greater rage class feature gained by a standard barbarian at 11th level. If the barbarian later qualifies for the mighty rage class feature, he gains greater rage instead.

Barbarian Planar Substitution LevelsHit Die: d12
3rd+3+3+1+1Portal sense
7th+7/+2+5+2+2Planar damage reduction
11th+11/+6/+1+7+3+3Menacing rage

Source: Player's Handbook

Alternative Class Feature: Trapkiller (Dungeonscape)

You have a knack for avoiding and disabling traps. Your keen instincts help you avoid danger, while your great strength enables you to disrupt dangerous devices.

Level: 3rd.

Replaces: If you select this alternative class feature, you do not gain the trap sense ability.

Benefit: Beginning at 3rd level, you gain trapfinding, except that you can use Survival instead of Search to locate traps. However, you take a -5 penalty on such checks because of your comparative unfamiliarity with the mechanisms and triggers involved.

Once you find a mechanical trap, you can attempt to disarm it by making an attack roll. You succeed if the result exceeds the Disable Device DC of that trap. Only traps with moving mechanisms or gears (such as shifting floor panels, dropping portcullis gates, or arrow traps) can be disarmed in this manner; simple pitfalls and most magic traps have no mechanism to be so disrupted. You must be able to reach the trap with a melee attack to make a disarm attempt. If you fail to disarm the trap, you automatically spring it.