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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?