Saturday Potpourri – The Shifting Rager (Barbarian Archetype)

The Shifting Rager

It is ancient wisdom that an angry man loses the power of reason.  His instincts take over and the animal in him emerges. For the shifting rager, the animal in him actually does come out.  

Animal Rage

For the shifting rager, the number of rounds he can rage, his limitations due to conditions and the renewal of rage rounds through rest are as a normal barbarian.  However, the effect of his rage is governed by which animal aspect he assumes. A shifting rager can end his rage as a free action and is fatigued for 1 minute after the rage ends

Animal Rage Aspects

When the shifting rager enters a rage, he assumes an animal aspect.  The animal aspect dictates which Ability Scores are modified, and what special abilities he gains.  Unless specifically noted, an animal rage aspect does not grant a bonus to the shifting rager’s Constitution or add temporary hit points. The shifting rager must select one animal aspect at 1st level. He may not change this selection at any time.  At 6th level, and every 6 levels after, each aspect gains additional abilities and powers. As normal, the shifting rager cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration while raging.  The following is the list of animal aspects:

Wolf – The wolf aspect gives the shifting rager +4 to Strength.  While under the aspect of the wolf, the shiting rager gains the benefit of the Improved Trip feat.  In addition, he takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class.

At 6th level, the wolf aspect gives the shifting rager the benefit of the Greater Trip feat.

At 12th level, the wolf aspect gives the shifting rager +6 to Strength, and no he longer suffers the -2 to AC.

At 18th level, the wolf aspect gives the shifting rager +8 to Strength and he gains the benefit of the Tripping Strike feat.

Tiger – The tiger aspect gives the shifting rager +4 to Dexterity. He still takes the -2 penalty to his AC, which, combined with the added +2 Dexterity bonus to his AC, means there is no net change to his AC.  The tiger aspect allows the shifting rager to add his dexterity modifier to his attacks when making unarmed strikes or attacks with weapons that qualify for the Weapon Finesse feat.

At 6th level, the tiger aspect allows the shifting rager to add his dexterity modifier to the damage of his unarmed strikes or attacks with weapons that qualify for the Weapon Finesse feat.  Additionally, he adds 10’ to his move.

At 12th level, the tiger aspect gives the shifting rager +6 to Dexterity, and he no longer suffers the -2 penalty to AC.

At 18th level, the tiger aspect gives the shifting rager +8 to Dexterity and may automatically confirm a critical hit once per day.

Bear – The bear aspect enlarges the shifting rager for the duration of his rage.  The effects of his growth are otherwise identical to the enlarge spell. While under the aspect of the bear, the shifting rager gains the benefit of the Improved Grapple feat.

At 6th level,  the bear aspect gives the shifting rager +2 to his Constitution and he gains the benefit of the Greater Grapple feat.  The increase to Constitution grants the barbarian 1 hit points per Hit Dice, but these disappear when the rage ends and are not lost first like temporary hit points.

At 12th level, the bear aspect gives the shifting rager +4 to his Constitution and he gains the benefit of the Hamatula Strike feat. The increase to Constitution grants the barbarian 2 hit points per Hit Dice, but these disappear when the rage ends and are not lost first like temporary hit points.

At 18th level, the bear aspect gives the shifting rager +6 to his Constitution and he gains the benefit of the Pinning Knockout feat. The increase to Constitution grants the barbarian 3 hit points per Hit Dice, but these disappear when the rage ends and are not lost first like temporary hit points.

This ability alters rage and replaces the rage powers granted at 2nd, 6th, 12th, 14th, and 18th levels.



About mmiller

Mike Miller first discovered RPG’s in the days of TSR. The mention of a beholder or mind flayer still twists his guts with nervous dread, though now with a tinge of nostalgia. He had no publishing experience prior to writing for the OGN, (unless you consider one year as editor of a University Historical Review), but has long enjoyed creating histories and legends for his homebrewed worlds.

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