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Path of the Beastlord

Beastlord barbarians are individuals who form deep bonds with ferocious animals who are so close to their masters that they are willing to fight and die for them. Beastlords don’t feel they are taking advantage of these creatures, but rather, that their mutual bid for survival in a harsh world serves them both equally. As the beastlord grows more powerful, competent and powerful, so too does their companion. Beastlords typically choose big cats or wolves to be their companions. They are drawn to apex predators that seem more like forces of nature as opposed to needy pets that they must feed and house. Beneath their shared primal fury is a mutual love, respect, and companionship between animal and barbarian. The most tragic thing either of them can face is seeing the other one perish without the other.

Primal Companion

Starting at 3rd level, you gain a beast companion that accompanies you on your adventures and chooses to fight alongside you. Choose a beast from the following list: boar, panther, lion, tiger, or wolf. If the creature’s challenge is 1/2 or less, add your proficiency bonus to the beast’s AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. Its hit point maximum equals its normal maximum or four times your barbarian level, whichever is higher. Like any creature, the beast can spend Hit Dice during a short rest.

The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative. On your turn, you can verbally command the beast where to move (no action required by you). You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, or Help action. If you don’t issue a command, the beast takes the Dodge action. Once you can make additional attacks, you can make one weapon attack yourself when you command the beast to take the Attack action.

If you are incapacitated or absent, the beast acts on its own, focusing on protecting you and itself. The beast never requires your command to use its reaction, such as when making an opportunity attack.

If the beast dies, you can obtain another one by spending 8 hours searching the wilderness for another beast that isn’t hostile to you, either the same type of beast as before or a different one.

Note The Path of the Arcanagoth uses Wisdom to combat magic. For many barbarians, this dilutes their effectiveness because it adds an additional ability score they must concentrate on to run this class effectively. To balance this out, we’ve added the Experienced Defense alternate class ability, which makes your unarmored Armor Class 10 + Dexbonus + Wisdom bonus, which you can take at level 1 instead of Unarmored Defense. This allows you to make Wisdom a more important attribute for your character. You will still need to weigh this against the bump in hit points you get by having a high Constitution score.

Beast Advancement

Beginning at 6th level, you teach your beast to be more deadly in combat, and you your beast advances with you. Regardless of the beast’s original challenge, it gains a bonus to proficiency as you level. Add any proficiency gain you have acquired AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. Its hit point maximum equals its normal maximum or four times your barbarian level, whichever is higher.

Additionally, the beast now rages when you do and gains the same benefits as you. The beast’s rage ends when your rage ends, unless you are attempting to prolong your rage, in which case it must abide by the same conditions you do.

Protective Intervention

Beginning at 10th level, as a reaction, the beast protects you at all costs when you’re down, jumping in front of oncoming attacks. When you drop to zero hit points, the beast moves to a square adjacent to you and engages your enemies for you.

If an enemy targets you while you’re down, the beast absorbs the damage in your place so long as it is up.

Two-Pronged Attack

Beginning at 14th level, your attacks are more deadly when coordinating them with your beast. While raging, you gain advantage on the first attack roll of the round against your opponent if your beast is also attacking it. This works for both melee and ranged attacks. This ability ends when your rage ends.

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Battlemasters & Berserkers © 2021, Legendary Games; Author Darrin Drader.

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