This is my first attempt at writing my own class for Dungeon Crawl Classics. I know it’s not perfect but I think it’ll be fun to try in the game. It’s specifically written for my own campaign, so a few things might be ambiguous or reference stuff outside the core rules. If you like it and want to use it, just change whatever (but you already knew that).
Out of the frozen north or up from the ruins of ancient kingdoms laid low by foul sorcery or from across the windswept steppes, your sinews kissed by the sun of the wastelands, hither comes you, a reaver, a slayer, a fucking badass, to tread the sawdust-strewn floors of cheap taprooms and piss and vomit and spill blood into every gutter between Ungol’s lurid lantern-lit towers and the corpse-lined streets of Gallowsport.
A barbarian gains 2d5 hit points at each level.
Whereas the men-at-arms of civilized lands are known for refining the craft of warfare, barbarians rely on their deeply ingrained instinct and cultural superstitions to give them strength against their enemies. When enraged, barbarians deal more damage, seem oblivious to pain, and move like a panther, or some other synonymously powerful big, untamed feline. Once per day, a barbarian may rage. To rage, a player rolls the barbarian’s rage die (adding his Personality modifier) and consults the appropriate table. On a roll below 3, the barbarian isn’t motivated, for whatever reasons, to rage at this time. If the player rolls a natural 1, the barbarian is too stubborn to rage for the entirety of the rest of the day. Additionally, he’s in a bad mood and easily provoked. Initiating a rage requires the use of 1 action and lasts until the end of battle or until the end of whatever circumstance the barbarian is approaching practically as if it were battle.
Invoke the Uncaring God of your People
The barbarian may call upon his primitive god to grant him one request (commonly revenge). There is a 1% chance of his god hearing his plea and granting his request for every level the barbarian has. The chance of success increases by 1% for each level the barbarian gains. Also, certain circumstances can raise the chance of success or even make it a certainty – for example, Hringorl the Overfed finds himself surrounded by his ancient tribal enemies, the man-pigs of Rathak-Thuul as they descend upon the burial mounds of his ancestors, and he calls upon his god Ar’nuuld the Mightily Thewed, bellowing a lungful prayer of impressive verbosity and deeply moving the Judge of Hringorl’s player, so Ar’nuuld blesses Hringorl with the strength of the god’s holy awesome biceps and pectorals for the length of his battle against the dread man-pigs. In the end, how the god’s will manifests and any circumstance bonuses are up to the Judge, but it should have great impact upon the character and/or the world.
Consequentially, a roll of 100 on a percentile die means the barbarian has gained his god’s displeasure, and instead of granting him a request he has cursed him. If he is cursed, he must regain his god’s favor before he can again invoke his god (or he could probably just find a new god, since there’s plenty to go around in civilized lands, and invoke him or her, but that is likely to incur the old god’s wrath). This invocation can only succeed once in the barbarian’s lifetime, but the character regains the invocation if his body is successfully “rolled over” at any point. The nature of this curse is, likewise, up to the Judge. Additionally, if the barbarian calls upon his god too often, he may incur the god’s wrath, which is worse than a curse. The wrath of primeval gods who dwell in mountain barrows and under primordial bogs is not to be taken lightly. The nature of said wrath and when the god brings it down is, of course, determined by the Judge.
A barbarian must eke out a life in the harsh wildernesses and wastelands of the world and in doing so acquires a set of skills that aid in survival. For example, a skill check may consist of tracking another barbarian who passed through a forest three days ago and it snowed yesterday, leaping fifteen feet across a crevasse and gripping the branch of a tree on the other side to swing himself over, or wooing the harem girls of the evil merchant’s palace with a quick flex of his pectorals.
A barbarian’s land of origin determines the methods of his survival and those methods determine the rate of advancement in his skills. The barbarian receives a bonus to his skill based on level and origin.
To use a barbarian skill, a player rolls a d20 and adds his skill and associated ability modifier. He must beat a DC assigned to the task at hand. A routine task is DC 5, while an extremely difficult task is DC 30. In some cases, the judge may make the roll for the character, and the result will not be known until some trigger event occurs (e.g., a person walking by may have noticed the hiding barbarian but chose not to let on to this fact).
Using a barbarian’s skill means the following:
Carouse: The barbarian applies this skill to any rolls he attempts on a carousal table.
Climb Sheer Surfaces: As the thief skill.
Flex Muscle: The barbarian can affect other creatures by flexing his muscles, with intent to either intimidate or entice.
Horsemanship: What it says. The barbarian’s skill at manning his steed—however that may be interpreted.
Hide in Shadows: Again, like a thief. Barbarians have to make a living, or keep on living, as the case may be.
Leap and Spring: Jump. Jump really good.
Run Really Far: For running, really far.
Build Snare: Having been raised in the wasted tracts of [wherever, who really knows?], the barbarian has learned how to build snares and traps in natural environments, particularly those associated with the landscape of his homeland. The quality and complexity of these traps depends on how well he rolls this check.
Sneak Silently: Barbarians are practically thieves. All of them no good thieves. They’re so thief-like they’re taking all the good thieving jobs when they arrive. Something has to be done. Maybe build a wall…
Sniff Out Magic: The barbarian can smell when “something not right.” Like a dwarf smells gold, a barbarian smells magic, except where gold may have a sweet, savory scent to a dwarf, magic has an acrid, funky smell to a barbarian’s well-honed schnoz.
Mimic Sound: Some sounds are harder to mimic than others. The mating call of a rutting buck or the birdsongs of new spring are nothing to a barbarian, but the dandyish whimpers of a civilized man whose head is about to be hewn and/or stove in is a cry only the most highly trained of outlander can accomplish. Some barbarians make excellent falsettos.
Track: Something passed this way, the barbarian can tell. How? A flock of birds disturbed on the horizon? Fresh droppings? Some scent on the wind? The pull of gravity on his scrotum? Really depends on the barbarian and the situation he finds himself in.
A barbarian uses his action dice for any normal activity, including attacks and skill checks.