Build a Barbarian – Defiler
So, we’re going to continue our “Lets Build” series, and this time we are using an idea I have had floating around for a long while, and I fully accept that it isn’t going to be for every game, hell I expect that this is going to be unwelcome at your typical table, if you’re going the grimdark route or playing the anti-hero party, it may be your sort of thing but of course, talk to your DM about if defilement is right for you.
Through out this build you will see the use of psychic damage, this is representative of the psychological trauma your barbarian puts the enemy through.
There’s a feral nature that lurks just beneath your surface, you hold no stock in social niceties beyond what getting you need, your world is drenched in blood and viscera, your first language is fear.
Maybe you take a moment to smear a fallen foes blood over your face in the midst of combat, or maybe you bite a chunk of flesh out of the dying, all that matters is that the sight of you in combat is enough to make mortals turn to prayer.
Bring the Fear
At 3rd level, whilst you are raging and you kill a creature, everyone can see the horrific image you have become.
Enemies within 10 feet of you have disadvantage on saving throws against being Frightened and cannot use opportunity attacks against you.
Additionally after killing an enemy, your next strike (against an enemy within 10 feet of you at the time of your kill) deals psychic damage equal to your Barbarian level.
One with the Fear
From 6th level you are one with fear, the horrors of war no longer phase you, but everyone has a fear and I have a feeling yours could be bunnies.
As such you are immune to the frightened condition except from a magical source (ie: the fear spell).
Starting at level 10, whenever an enemy sees you killing any other creature, that enemy must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier) or be frightened of you for 1 minute.
A frightened creature can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with disadvantage if they are within 15ft of a dead body, ending the effect on a success.
Starting at 14th level, when you are raging and miss an attack with a melee weapon, you still do 1d12 psychic damage.
A Body of Weapons
Want to really drive fear into the heart of your enemies? With your DM’s consent, why not cut up your dead enemy and use their bodyparts as weapons.
In this table, the damage is representative of the fear an enemy would feel when you attack them with part of a dead creature, with this in line your DM might consider making any creature immune to the Frightened Condition, immune to the psychic damage of these weapons.
Want to remove a bodypart from a fallen enemy?
This requires a Survival skill check, with a DC of 8 + the creatures CR.
|Body [small creature]||ad4 psychic||Versatile (2d4)|
|Arm [medium creature]||1d6 psychic||light|
|Leg [medium creature]||1d8 psychic||Versatile (1d10)|
|Arm [large creature]||2d6 psychic||Two Handed|
|Leg [large creature]||2d8 psychic||Heavy, Two Handed|
|Spinal Whip||1d4 psychic||Finesse, Reach|
Just be aware, any weapon made from the corpse of the fallen, may only last for a few hours, at your DM’s discretion.
Want a bodypart not listed? Work with your DM to find a standard analog within the standard weapons table.
For example, a dagger made of bone might split damage between psychic and piercing, or a limb taken from a Spell-Caster might contain residual magic, and count as a magical weapon for the purpose of overcoming resistance.