Xanathar's Guide to Cleavin' a Goblin Clean in Twain (feat. D&D)


We already have a druid dammit, plus I don’t wanna put in all the druid levels it would take to get the really cool stuff

otoh I’m pretty sure you can wild shape and rage simultaneously???


I thought combining Barbarian and Bard would make a lot of sense considering my conception of those classes. The result would be something akin to a skald who relishes battle. But then I read the 5e description of the Barbarian, and it turns out what unites barbarians is rage much more than culture.

Anyone know where this archetype started? The obvious inspiration would be Conan but ironically, considering how influential Robert E Howard was for Gygax, the AD&D Barbarian was not a berserker.


can we get an adorable montage of you being taught druid things by an experienced druid


BJ is already proficient in animal handling and Honeydew has a v. strong bond with his dear hog Bartholomew whose adoption BJ was present for so obviously their mutual respect for animals brings BJ closer to the mystic ways of the nature he has spent his whole life sleeping and shitting (mostly shitting) in and soon he is using his spore friends to ]-U8]y(T_(&T_&(GWPPIJJDGOHJ*@**^)(@_($@_(


Nephews decided to go with a dorf cleric and a dragonborn (so he could vomit acid) wizard.

Played when I had barely prepped so I made stuff up on the fly and recycled other pieces. They ignored most of my generic stuff for whatever detail I’d thrown in for background flavor that seemed interesting in the moment. Knocked an orc out but didn’t kill him (11 year old convinced 8 year old not to do a straight up murder). Left him his gold and a healing potion. Had to do repeated constitution saves to avoid throwing up from motion sickness as gravity shifted in a Weird Wizard Tower, which is super hilarious when you are 11 and/or 8.


Oh no why are you convincing me to do this

Wouldn’t Honeydew have to get over at least like 30% of his neuroses in order to try to teach someone druiding, especially someone as boneheaded as BJ


Honeydew’s really in a period of transition right now


I don’t have my copy handy, but I think the 1st Edition barbarian of Unearthed Arcana just got a shit ton of extra attacks per round as they leveled up. Their big defining trait was that they were fiercely opposed to magic and magic items.

We gotta bring back the acrobat class!

And that forgotten 7th core stat, comeliness!


The Comeliness statistic first appeared in the game Chivalry and Sorcery , from Fantasy Games Unlimited, in 1977. It was first introduced into D&D in an article by Gary Gygax in The Dragon #67, November 1982. He then put most of the content of that article into Unearthed Arcana in 1985.

of course it was Gygax

put your boner back under the table gg


And wilderness skills like survival, climbing, weather sense, etc. 1e barbarians are also alert and hard to surprise.

The more I think about this, the more 5e barbarians annoy me. They seem like an archetype built around a mechanic instead of a set of mechanics built around an archetype.


5e does this too: advantage on initiative rolls and Dex saves, and a mechanic to avoid surprise (by using rage). And their choice of skills is outdoorsy.

I mean in a way every 5e class is built around a core mechanic. But I think the core mechanics are inspired by the old archetypes, rather than the other way around. That’s why they’re so seemingly random and non-schematic.


And the ‘RAAAWR, IT’S TIME TO BREAK SHIT’ dude is a pretty common archetype in a lot of fantasy media. And berserkers are from folklore. That makes sense to be somewhere in D&D

I did try to trace the history of Barbarians, and what seems to have happened somewhere along the way was that barbarians got their stuff (wilderness survival, intimidation bonuses) mixed in with the Berserker kit from 2e.

It makes sense to me because Barbarians in 2e were rally weird. Their main ability was that everyone either loved them or hated them, which is bizarre as fuck as the defining mechanical feature. It also was weird because, IMO, people loving or hating the PCs just naturally tends to be how NPCs end up working in every D&D game I have ever played in.


The first time the barbarian rage mechanic showed up was, I believe, the 2nd Edition Vikings book from their Historical Reference series in the berserker kit.

Edit: I should refresh the thread before I submit the post I started in line at the store an hour ago.


I never thought about it in these terms but this might be my main issue with modern D&D.


The Conan-like berserker barbarian is certainly a valid archetype for D&D, but I do kind of wish that 5e’s designers had taken a deeper look at the class and made the rage-filled berserker a character option instead. I think it would have been more interesting that way, but I think they were just looking back to the 3e version of the class.

I think this is indicative of one of the problems with D&D’s evolution: with each edition it moves further from its origins as a synthesis of fantasy fiction, history, and mythology. Previous editions and other RPGs become a greater part of that mix with each generation, diluting the original sources. 5e was supposed to be the edition which went back to the game’s roots, but instead of going back to Howard, Vance, Lovecraft, CA Smith, Leiber, Tolkien, etc., they went back to 1e, 2e, 3e, and 4e.

They really missed an opportunity to not only go back to the original sources but to add some unique influences from recent writers of fantasy fiction.


What exactly is the cleric supposed to be, in this scenario where dnd was well constructed from fantasy and historical archetypes?

I find it sort of specious to say that earlier editions of dnd were true to their source material since the classes were originally constructed as war game analogues first with some light references to fantasy fiction added afterwards. Its not like the so-called Vancian spellcasting actually resembles spellcasting in Vance novels


Turpin in the Song of Roland?

The cleric’s role as the second best combat class seems to have gotten downplayed each edition, and they just kind of became religious wizards rather than holy warriors.


Gygax would claim Turpin was an influence but that was ridiculous. From my reading, the cleric was invented to be an undead hunter opposed to a vampire player named “Sir Fang”. Its more “what if hammer horror van helsing used a mace”

Turn Undead for instance originates in Dungeons and Dragons and the only possible analog in other fantasy are the aforementioned hammer horror movies where holding up a cross made a vampire recoil.

The point I am trying to make is that right from the very start, one of the three base classes of the game was a collection of mechanics to create an archetype and not the other way around.


At least some of the inspiration came from Hammer horror films for one.

I definitely did not say that D&D was true to any specific source material. It is a synthesis that was inspired by a wide variety of source material. And of course it started with war game analogues because it started as a war game. But as the game evolved it took inspiration from a variety of non-game sources because there weren’t many games other than war games to take any inspiration from. Which is quite unlike the situation we have today.


So how is it different when chainmail has a class thats just a collection of unrelated mechanics vs a modern dnd edition doing the same thing?