Homebrew: Path of the Titan Barbarian

I feel there is design space in 5e for player characters that use "great" weapons in more interesting ways, and one such way would be to allow exceptionally strong characters to dual-wield such weapons. To facilitate this goal, I’ve designed a homebrew "Path of the Titan" Barbarian subclass to support this playstyle:

Path of the Titan

Some Barbarians hone their body so they might one day embody the spirit of the titans themselves. This manifests as a brutal fighting style that employs especially large weapons, wielded frenetically and dangerously.

Restriction: Ability Score Minimums

Barbarians come in many shapes and sizes, races and genders, each as valid as the next; but Barbarians seeking to follow the Path of the Titan must necessarily be a model of physical strength and endurance. Any Barbarian that chooses this path must have a combined Strength and Constitution score of at least 31. If your combined scores are below this threshold, you cannot benefit from any of the Path Features provided by this path.

If either or both of your racial Ability Score Increases have been applied to stats other than Strength or Constitution, you may instead apply one or both of them to Strength or Constitution.

Titanic Grip

Starting at level 3, you gain the ability to ignore the Two-Handed property on any weapon, and while you’re raging, you may use Two-Weapon Fighting without either weapon needing to be Light.

Additionally, if your character’s size is smaller than Medium, the Heavy Property on your weapons no longer confers Disadvantage to your Attack Rolls.

Titanic Physique

Starting at level 3, you gain proficiency in the Athletics skill. If you already have proficiency in Athletics, you may instead gain proficiency in any other skill of your choice.

While you are raging, you double your proficiency bonus for any Ability Check that uses your Athletics Proficiency.

Cleaving Blow

Starting at level 6, whenever you are raging, you may use your Action to make a cleaving blow, dealing damage to creatures in a cone in front of you. The size of this cone is equal to 5′ plus the average reach of the melee weapons you are wielding. Each creature in this cone must make a Dexterity Saving Throw. The DC for this saving throw is 8 + your Proficiency Modifier + your Strength Modifier. Each creature in this cone takes damage equal to the combined weapon dice of the melee weapons you are wielding; or half this damage instead if they succeed on their saving throw.

Whenever you gain an additional die from the Brutal Critical feature, you may also add an additional weapon die to the damage of this feature.

Titanic Stature

Starting at level 10, you have advantage on Constitution Saving Throws, and whenever a creature, spell, or other effect moves you without using your movement, you may use your reaction to cut the distance in half.

Additionally, when you determine your Carrying Capacity or your Lifting/Pushing/Pulling capacity, you may treat your character’s size as though it were Huge.

Titanic Rage

Starting at level 14, you can unleash the fury of your Titanic Power in a single cataclysmic act. You may use your action to strike the ground with your fists, duplicating the effects of the spell Earthquake, which last for the full duration of 1 minute. The DC for any saving throws produced by these effects is equal to 8 + your Proficiency Modifier + your Strength Modifier.

Once you use your Titanic Rage, you may not do so again until the end of a Long Rest.

There are, however, several concerns I’d like to receive feedback on for this subclass:

  1. The intention is to support a character that is able to dual-wield melee weapons that normally have the two-handed property; for example, greatswords, greataxes, halberds, or glaives. Does this homebrew support this playstyle fully, or are there rules conflicts I’m not aware of that this subclass would need to directly address?
  2. Are all the features provided by this subclass of an appropriate power level, especially as compared to other Barbarian Paths? I’m particularly interested in the Cleaving Blow feature, which I feel as-written is potentially a very powerful feature.
  3. As a DM, would you allow this subclass at your table? Or, as a Player, would you be comfortable if another player used this subclass for their character?

Input on Variation on KRyan’s TWF Elf Barbarian

I really like KRyan’s solution to this character concept: How to optimize a TWF Barbarian Elf

I’m looking to build something similar, but I don’t have all the restrictions that the OP had. For instance, I am planning on using the Arctic Template from Dragon #306 applied to a Wood Elf, giving me +2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Int, -2 Cha.

With those bonuses, does TWF even make sense anymore? If so, are there changes that would make sense to utilize the STR/DEX synergy?

Getting back into 3.5e after a long time, and I’d forgotten that the limitless options are such a double-edged sword…

Does a Zealot Barbarian need a God?

From a standpoint strictly based on the lore of the "default" setting of D&D 5e (or even previous editions, if necessary):

If, for example, an Eldritch Horror from the Far planes were to slaughter all the Gods and destroy the Weave, what would happen to a Zealot’s Barbarian Powers?

  • Would they lose the "Divine Fury" ability, as there’s no god to grant them Divine Energy?
  • Would they lose all of their subclass abilities?
  • Or would they be able to still use all of their abilities just fine, because "they simply learned to transform their rage into soul-shattering power (a.k.a. radiant damage)".

Again, i’m asking purely from the standpoint of the Lore and Setting. Since 5e is too vague, i’m fine with an anwser based on previous editions as well, like 3.5e

Can a Barbarian stay in rage while polymorphed? [duplicate]

If a raging Barbarian gets polymorphed into a Tyrannosaurus Rex or a Mammoth or something, to give it more hp, does the rage drop? Polymorph says:

The creature is limited in the Actions it can perform by the Nature of its new form, and it can’t speak, cast Spells, or take any other action that requires hands or Speech.

The Barbarian has already taken the rage bonus action. Rage says the following:

Your rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven’t attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then. You can also end your rage on your turn as a bonus action.

This says nothing about the rage ending if you change shape. So would this work?

How to optimize a TWF Barbarian Elf

A little backstory:

One of my earliest DnD characters was a Two-Weapon-Fighting Purple-haired Barbarian Elf. He was immensely popular due to his unorthadox nature as a war-loving elf that embraced the more brutal side of Barbarianism, and he weilded two weapons at once.

However, as time went on it became increasingly obvious that he was not as optimized as he could be – against all but the least-optimally built foes, he was at best a distraction in battle.

Now, years later, I’m trying to think of how I could optimize this character.

The conditions are thus:

  • DnD 3.5e
  • High Elf (No Wood Elf, or any other race)
  • TWF (He must have two-weapon fighting)
  • Mostly Barbarian (He can multi-class if required, but Barbarian is preferred as his main class)

His original build used a Battleaxe and Shortsword, but any two similar weapons that work in TWF would be okay too. What seemed to really hold him back was a lack of mobility, and being outpaced in terms of pure damage output by those with non-TWF builds.

Edit: To clarify some of the questions that have been asked –

32 Point Buy system

Assume all books are open, but not magazines like Dungeon.

And allow for 2 Flaws and 1 Trait.

Would it break things to allow a Barbarian to cast spells in rage?

If I was to make a homebrew barbarian subclass that allows barbarians to cast spells in rage, or allowed a barbarian that multiclassed into a spellcasting class, would it break anything? It doesn’t seem that it would, because the no spells while raging mechanic has always struck me as mainly mechanic, but I could be wrong.

Does the UA Barbarian Path of the Beast Claw Add the Strength Modifier to Damage?

I was looking through the options for the 3rd level Path of Beast feature, Form of the Beast, and I noticed no mention for any damage modifiers on hit.

Claws. Your hands transform into claws, which deal 1d6 slashing damage on a hit. (UA 2020, Pg. 1)

In comparison to this, the Aarakocra race gives you the Talons, specifically mentioning the damage value + the Strength modifier.

Your talons are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike. (DND Beyond)

I am curious about this, because in another question, people have asked about the claws in an attack action, referencing damage values to include the Strength modifier.

—- Take Attack Action —-
attack with Greataxe (1d12+2+STR)
attack with Claw (1d6+2+STR)
attack with Claw (1d6+2+STR)
(From Can you wield a Greataxe and Claws…?)

Can you wield a Greataxe and Claws with the UA Barbarian Path of the Beast?

The UA Barbarian Path of the Beast has the following option when you rage:

Claws. Your hands transform into claws, which deal 1d6 slashing damage on a hit. When you take the Attack action on your turn and make an attack with your claws, you can make one additional attack using your claws as part of the same action.

Can a level 5 Barbarian attack with a Greataxe or other two-handed weapon then attack twice with their claws?

This would look like this:

—- Take Attack Action —-
attack with Greataxe (1d12+2+STR)
attack with Claw (1d6+2+STR)
attack with Claw (1d6+2+STR)

On one hand it seems that it is allowed by the rules considering nothing is mentioned about only attacking with the claws or that the claws cannot hold a weapon.

On the other hand it seems odd to make two attacks with claws while holding something.

On the third hand (which may or may not be required) the feature makes no mention of the claw attacks needing to be from different hands.

Can a raging barbarian carry live rabbits to kill them, in order to keep his rage going?

One of my players, a human barbarian, came up with the idea of carrying captured rabbits, feeding them and treating them nicely, so that he can rip them apart mid-battle if he knows he will be unable to attack during the round. Does this sound balanced or does this sound like breaking the rules?

Can a barbarian maintain rage by attacking a creature that is not present?

Suppose a raging barbarian does not see any opponents on the battlefield but is attempting to maintain rage by attacking a hostile creature, according to the following:

Your rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven’t attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then.

If there was a successfully Hidden opponent on the field, the barbarian would be permitted to attack it by guessing its location. Even if they were incorrect, that would be sufficient to maintain their rage.

But how far ‘off’ is the barbarian allowed to be in their guess and still have the attack count?

Suppose the successfully Hidden opponent has actually left the field without the barbarian knowing. Does the fact that the opponent is not actually there prevent the barbarian from making an attack on an unseen opponent?

If yes, and the rage ends, the player then gains information about the fact that the opponent is not present (which seems to go against the spirit of "If the target isn’t in the location you targeted, you automatically miss, but the DM typically just says that the attack missed, not whether you guessed the target’s location correctly.")

If no, and the barbarian is allowed to attack an opponent that is not actually there based on the plausible belief that an opponent is present, then what prevents the barbarian from postulating an opponent who could be there? For example, the barbarian invokes an NPC that has successfully Hidden against the party before – is it enough to maintain rage for the barbarian to say that they believe said NPC is present and Hidden and then attempt to attack them as an Unseen opponent?

Somewhat related: A barbarian’s belief that they are attacking an opponent is not sufficient to maintain rage if what they are attacking is an illusion. So attacking a not-creature that is there is not enough to maintain rage, but is it enough to attack an actual creature that is not there?