New Barbarian Talents: Winter Storm, Infernal Frenzy and Vengeance from the Grave

by Martin Killmann

 Many types of barbarians roam the wilderness of the Dragon Empire, drawing on the power of winter’s ice, infernal fury, or death itself. With these options and others in Part 1, you can enhance the relatively bare-bones barbarian class in 13th Age in all sorts of interesting ways.

The High DruidWinter Storm

The following talents are taught by the clans of the icy northern wastes.

Winter Storm Adventurer Talents

Frost Range Barbarian

You have the Frost Range Barbarian background at its full possible bonus of +5, without having to spend your normal background points on it. You are an expert wilderness tracker, capable of surviving in the harsh climates of the North. You gain resist cold 12+.

Once per day, you can make a terrain stunt as per the Ranger’s Tracker talent. You can recharge the power during a quick rest on a roll of 11+. On your home terrain (ice, snow fields and tundra), the recharge difficulty is reduced to 6+.

Adventurer Feat: You gain a +2 bonus to disengage checks. Increase the bonus to +5 on your home terrain.

Champion Feat: Increase your cold resistance to 16+.

Epic Feat: You take half damage from environmental hazards like blizzards, avalanches and frostbite when on your home terrain.

Note: You can take this talent as a template to create Barbarians of other regions by switching out the terrain and elemental resistance, such as Volcano Worshipper (mountains; fire) or Overworld Avenger (overworld; force).

Rage of the North Wind

While raging, you are surrounded by icy winds. At the end of your turn, each enemy engaged with you takes cold damage equal to your Constitution modifier. At 5th level, double the Constitution damage. At 8th level, triple it.

Adventurer Feat: When you start raging, you gain a +2 bonus to AC and PD until the start of your next turn.

Champion Feat: While you are raging, enemies take a –5 penalty to disengage from you.

Epic Feat: The AC and PD bonus lasts until your rage ends.

 

Winter Storm Champion Talents

Break the Ice

You gain the break the ice daily power.

You can make the following close-quarters attack as a standard action:

Target: One enemy

Attack: Constitution + Level vs. PD

Hit: 1d4 per level + Constitution damage and the target is hampered (save 11+ ends). If the target is staggered after the attack, it is frozen instead (save 11+ ends).

Frozen: A frozen target cannot take actions and is immune to all attacks and damage, except damage dealt with blunt melee weapons (such as a warhammer). If such an attack deals at least 5 times the enemy’s level in damage, the target is destroyed and its body is shattered into pieces.

Miss: Cold damage equal to your level.

Champion Feat: Increase the saving throw against this effect to hard difficulty (16+).

Epic Feat: This power is now recharge 16+ after battle instead of daily.

 

Winter Storm Epic Talents

Ice Panzer

Once per day as a quick action, you can encase yourself in a thick layer of ice. This adds 30 points of cold damage to your melee weapon attacks. At the end of your turn, you deal 30 points of cold damage to any enemies that have grabbed or swallowed you.

When hit by an attack targeting your AC or PD, make a save (11+) to reduce the damage from that attack to zero. If the attack dealt fire damage, your save succeeds automatically.

When the damage negation of Ice Panzer triggers, reduce its cold damage by 10 points. After negating three enemy attacks, the effect ends. It also ends on a short rest.

While the Ice Panzer is active, it slows you down considerably. You take a -2 penalty to attacks and a -5 penalty to disengage checks.

Epic Feat: This power is now recharge 16+ after battle instead of daily.

 

The DiabolistInfernal Frenzy

Use these talents to build a Barbarian with demonic blood, a strong connection to the Diabolist, or another source of infernal corruption.

Infernal Frenzy Adventurer Talents

Corrupted Flesh

Your demonically corrupted flesh slowly regenerates. What grows back may look horrific, but at least you live on.

While raging, roll a d12 at the start of each turn. If the result is equal to the escalation die or lower, heal 3 hit points per level.

When you drop to 0 hp or below and fall unconscious while raging, make the regeneration check before rolling a death save. If you regenerate, ignore your current negative hit points; start from 0 and add the hit points you’ve regained. You can take actions normally that turn.

When you are hit by an attack that deals fire or acid damage, you cannot regenerate the next turn. If you have a positive relationship with the Diabolist, you do not suffer this weakness.

Adventurer Feat: Roll a d10 to check whether your regeneration activates.

Champion Feat: Heal 4 hit points per level.

Epic Feat: Roll a d8 to check whether your regeneration activates.

 Corrupted Body

Through demonic heritage or corruption, you have grown natural weapons that count as one-handed martial melee weapons (d8 damage die). They can take any shape, such as claws, a spiked tail, horns or hooves. You gain a +1 bonus to attacks with them.

Two-Weapon Fighting: When using your infernal weapons, but no other weapons and no shield, you gain the principal advantage of two-weapon fighting as detailed in the Combat Rules chapter of the 13th Age core book. When you roll a natural 2 with a melee attack, reroll and take the second result.

When entering a rage, you mutate further. Roll a d8 and gain the mutation below for the duration of the rage.

  1. You can keep enemies close with a prehensile tail. They take a -5 penalty to disengage checks.
  2. Your claws rip deep wounds. On a critical hit, deal 5 points of ongoing damage. Increase to 10 points at 5th level and 15 at 8th.
  3. Goat hooves. Your jumping prowess gives you a +5 bonus to disengage checks.
  4. Your horns are engulfed in flame. Your melee attacks deal 1d4 extra fire damage. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  5. Your fangs secrete demonic poison. Your melee attacks deal 1d4 extra poison damage. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  6. The flesh of your arms is covered in heretic scripture. Your melee attacks deal 1d4 extra unholy damage. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  7. Your sweat can dissolve metal. Your melee attacks deal 1d4 extra acid damage. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  8. Barbed tentacles on your back give you extra reach. You can attack nearby enemies without engaging them.

If you have a positive relationship with the Diabolist, roll twice and take the result you like.

Adventurer Feat: Once per day when you spend a recovery to heal while not raging, you can gain one mutation from the table above until the end of the battle.

Champion Feat: Increase your attack bonus with your infernal weapons to +2.

Epic Feat: Increase your attack bonus with your infernal weapons to +3.

 

Corrupted Skin

Your skin is as thick as leather and has an unnatural complexion, anywhere between flaming red, pitch black and pestilent purple. Your unarmored base AC is 13, and you have resist fire and acid 12+.

When entering a rage, roll a d8. You gain the benefit from the table below until the rage ends.

  1. Flaming marks on your skin increase your fire resistance to 16+.
  2.  Thicker leather increases your acid resistance to 16+.
  3. Diabolic markings give you resist holy and unholy 16+.
  4. Sweating, bleeding glands give you resist poison 16+.
  5. Wobbling pockets of fat give you resist damage from blunt weapons 16+ (example: maces, clubs, fists).
  6. Flames on your skin give you resist cold 16+.
  7. When an enemy hits you with a melee attack, it takes 1d4 poison damage from your infected pustules. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  8. When an enemy grapples, grabs or swallows you, it takes 2d4 damage from sharp, bony spikes on your skin. Increase to 2d8 at 3rd level, 2d12 at 5th level and 2d20 at 8th level.

If you have a positive relationship with the Diabolist, roll twice and choose the result you like.

Adventurer Feat: Once per day when you spend a recovery to heal while not raging, you can gain one mutation from the table above until the end of the battle.

Champion Feat: Increase your unarmored base AC to 14.

Epic Feat: Increase your unarmored base AC to 15.

 

Soul Collector

When you deal damage to mook enemies only with an attack, reroll all damage dice that come up as 1. Once per battle, make a melee attack against a mook as a quick action.

Adventurer Feat: When you miss with a melee attack against a mook, deal half damage with that attack instead.

Champion Feat: When you deal damage to mook enemies only with an attack, reroll all damage dice that come up as 1 or 2.

Epic Feat: You can make a melee attack against a mook as a quick action once per round instead of once per battle.

 

Infernal Frenzy Champion Talents

Bursting Rage

You set your inner demon free with an uncontrolled scream.

When you start raging, make the following close-quarters attack as a free action.

Target: All nearby enemies

Attack: Charisma + Level vs. PD

Hit: 4d6 + twice your Constitution or Charisma modifier damage. Roll a d4 to determine the damage type: (1) psychic (2) acid (3) fire (4) unholy. On a miss, deal 1 point of damage per level.

The outburst is hard to control. You also deal 1 point of damage per level to nearby allies when using this power.

Champion Feat: Increase the damage of the attack to 5d8 + twice your Charisma modifier.

Epic Feat: Increase the damage of the attack to 6d10 + triple your Charisma modifier. You deal half damage to enemies if you miss.

 

Infernal Frenzy Epic Talents

Gift of the Marilith

You grow an extra pair of arms. The arms are fully functional, but do not grant you extra actions. You gain a +4 bonus to Strength checks to grab or hold down enemies.

While raging, instead of gaining the standard benefit, you can choose to make two separate melee attacks as one standard action. You take a -2 penalty to the second attack. The second attack must use a different weapon.

Epic Feat: When choosing the separate attacks above, expand the critical range by 3.

 

The Lich KingVengeance from the Grave

Choose talents from this tree if you wish to play a Barbarian with a strong connection to death and the underworld. Talents from this tree are clearly supernatural. This can be explained with corresponding backgrounds or a One Unique Thing.

 

Vengeance from the Grave Adventurer Talents

Frenzied Spirit

You have died and returned from the grave. You are undead, a ghost-like creature. You do not need to eat, sleep or breathe.

Once per combat, you can spend a recovery as a quick action. Instead of making a recovery roll, you become partially insubstantial until the end of combat. In that form, you gain resist all damage 12+. This resistance does not protect against holy, unholy and force damage.

If you die again, you are able to come back from the dead. The first time, you return to life within 1d6 hours and permanently lose a recovery. The second time, you return within 1d20 hours. You lose a second recovery, and you cannot benefit from the escalation die until you gain a level. The third time, you take 1d6 days to return. You lose a third recovery, and you cannot benefit from the escalation die and one talent of your choice until you gain a level.

There is no fourth time. If you die again, you are permanently dead.

Most Ghosts have returned for either protection or revenge.

If you choose protection, choose one person. If that person is in mortal danger, you can sense it and teleport to him or her, regardless of the distance.

Note: This power should be used as a story device. Ideally, the target should be another PC or a close travel companion. Remember that this power teleports you to the person, but not back. Be careful about splitting the party.

If you choose revenge, choose one person. You receive occasional visions about his or her location, allowing you to track him or her down.

Adventurer Feat: If you chose protection, the target gains a +1 bonus to saves when you are nearby. If you chose revenge, the target takes a -1 penalty to saves when you are nearby.

Champion Feat: Increase the resistance gained from this talent to 16+.

Epic Feat: You can turn fully insubstantial as a standard action at will. In this form, you cannot affect physical objects. Your attacks only affect other insubstantial beings. However, you are not hindered by physical barriers, which allows you to walk through walls, fly, and ignore most mundane sources of damage. You can fly without tiring, which allows for roughly double the overland speed of a traveler on horseback.

 

Strike from the Grave

When using this power, you appear to sink into the ground and claw your way out right under the target.

Once per battle as a standard action, pop free from each enemy you are engaged with, teleport next to a nearby or far away enemy and make an unarmed melee attack vs. PD.

If the attack hits, deal 1d4 per level plus Charisma or Constitution modifier unholy damage. On a miss, deal 1 point of unholy damage per level.

If you also have the Frenzied Spirit talent, you heal half the amount of damage you dealt.

Adventurer Feat: If the attack hits, your target is also stuck (save ends).

Champion Feat: Add twice your Constitution or Charisma modifier to the damage roll. Increase the damage dice to d6.

Epic Feat: Add three times your Constitution or Charisma modifier to the damage roll. The target is now stunned instead of stuck (save ends).

 

Vengeful Wisps

When you begin to rage, 1d4 – 1 darkly glowing wisps start swirling around you until the end of the battle or until they strike an enemy. If the die result is a zero, no wisps appear.

When an enemy’s attack damages you, one wisp strikes the enemy in revenge. The target takes unholy damage equal to your level + Constitution or Charisma modifier. The wisp then fades and disappears.

Adventurer Feat: Increase the number of wisps to 1d6 – 1.

Champion Feat: Increase wisp damage to twice your level + twice Constitution or Charisma modifier.

Epic Feat: Increase wisp damage to triple your level + triple Constitution or Charisma modifier. If an enemy’s attack dropped you below 0 hp, the enemy is confused by the wisp until the end of its next turn.

 

Vengeance from the Grave Champion Talents

Visions of the Underworld

You gain the visions of the underworld power, which you can use once per battle as a quick action to incite the fear of death in an enemy. This is a close quarters attack.

Target: One nearby enemy

Attack: Constitution or Charisma + Level vs. MD

Hit: Your level in psychic damage. The target is struck with fear and vulnerable to your attacks (save ends both).

Miss: Your level in psychic damage on a miss.

Champion Feat: If you kill the enemy before it saves against the effect, you can use this talent again in this battle.

Epic Feat: Increase the difficulty of the save to 16+.

 

Vengeance from the Grave Epic Talents

Sever the Silver Cord

When you score a critical hit with a melee attack against a target, roll a d10 before rolling damage. If the result is lower than the escalation die, you kill the target.

Epic Feat: When you kill a target with this power, you can heal using a free recovery.


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