Barbarian, Alternative Variant (5e Class)

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Barbarian, Alternative Variant[edit]

Mindful Warriors[edit]

Barbarians from the Alternative universe are very similar to monk with barbarian features. Barbarian are trained in isolated monasteries. They manipulate their ki in order to connect with the wilds to conduct various spiritual arts. They are tranquil, but are not pacifistic and know when to take immediate action.

Creating a Barbarian, Alternative Variant[edit]

As you make your barbarian character, think about your connection to the monastery where you learned your skills and spent your formative years. Were you an orphan or a child left on the monastery’s threshold? Did your parents promise you to the monastery in gratitude for a service performed by the barbarians? Did you enter this secluded life to hide from a crime you committed? Or did you choose the monastic life for yourself?

Consider why you left. Did the head of your monastery choose you for a particularly important mission beyond the cloister? Perhaps you were cast out because of some violation of the community’s rules. Did you dread leaving, or were you happy to go? Is there something you hope to accomplish outside the monastery? Are you eager to return to your home?

Quick build

You can make a Barbarian, Alternative Variant quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution and Wisdom. Second, choose the Hermit background.

Class Features

As a Barbarian, Alternative Variant you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d12 per Barbarian, Alternative Variant level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d12 (or 7) + Constitution modifier per Barbarian, Alternative Variant level after 1st


Armor: Light armor, medium armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity or Constitution
Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Acrobatics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, Insight, Survival, and Stealth


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

Table: The Barbarian, Alternative Variant

Level Proficiency
Features Tranquility Tranquility Bonus Ki Points
1st +2 Tranquility, Unarmored Defense 2 +2
2nd +2 Mindful Strike, Primal Ki 2 +2 2
3rd +2 Monastic Path 2 +2 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2 +2 3
5th +3 Extra Attack, Fast Movement 2 +2 3
6th +3 Monastic Path feature 2 +2 4
7th +3 Immediate Instinct 2 +2 4
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 2 +2 5
9th +4 Critical Precision (1 die) 2 +3 5
10th +4 Monastic Path feature 2 +3 6
11th +4 Flowing Tranquility, Monastic Path feature 3 +3 6
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 3 +3 7
13th +5 Critical Precision (2 dice) 3 +3 7
14th +5 Monastic Path feature 3 +3 8
15th +5 Eternal Tranquility 3 +3 8
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 3 +4 9
17th +6 Critical Precision (3 dice), Monastic Path feature 3 +4 9
18th +6 Unmatched Agility 3 +4 10
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 3 +4 10
20th +6 Primal Wholeness Unlimited +4 10


In battle, you fight with calmness and fluidity. On your turn, you can enter tranquility as a bonus action.

While in tranquility, you gain the following benefits if you aren't wearing heavy armor:

  • You have advantage on Dexterity checks and Dexterity saving throws.
  • When you make an attack roll using Dexterity, you gain a bonus to the attack roll that increases as you gain levels as a Barbarian, Alternative Variant, as shown in the Tranquility Bonus column of the Barbarian, Alternative Variant table.
  • You have resistance to fire, lightning, cold, acid, and thunder damage.

You have advantage on concentration checks made to concentrate on spells or features that use concentration.

Your tranquility lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and spent Ki since your last turn or taken damage since then. You can also end your tranquility on your turn as a bonus action.

Once you have felt tranquility the number of times shown for your Barbarian, Alternative Variant level in the Tranquility column of the Barbarian, Alternative variant table, you must finish a short rest before you can feel tranquility again.

Unarmored Defense[edit]

At 1st level, while you are not wearing any armor or using a shield, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.

Mindful Strike[edit]

Starting at 2nd level, you can hone your mind and let your natural instincts guide your strikes. When you make your first attack on your turn, you can decide to attack mindfully. Doing so removes disadvantage on your attack rolls using Dexterity during this turn, but your movement speed becomes 0 until the end of your current turn.

Primal Ki[edit]

At 2nd level, your training allows you to harness the mystic energy of ki. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of ki points. Your Barbarian, Alternative Variant level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Ki Points column of the Barbarian, Alternative Variant table.

You can spend these points to fuel various ki features. You start knowing three such features: Swift Strike, Patient Attack, and Primal Step. You learn more ki features as you gain levels in this class.

When you spend a ki point, it is unavailable until you finish a long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended ki back into yourself. You must spend at least 4 hours of the rest meditating to regain your ki points. After a short rest, you may regain half your ki points.

Some of your ki features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Ki save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Swift Strikes. Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two attacks that use Dexterity as a bonus action and can do so again on subsequent turns an amount of times equal to half your Dexterity modifier (rounded up). You cannot use this again until you have spent a turn not using Swift Strikes.
Patient Attack. Immediately after you take damage from a creature within 5ft of you or more, you can spend 1 ki point and use your reaction to intercept it. You roll your damage dice and reduce incoming attack's damage an amount equal to the result you rolled. If the damage you rolled is higher than the incoming damage, you can make an attack against that creature if it is within your range. You cannot use this again until you have spent a turn not using Patient Attack.
Primal Step. You can spend 1 ki point to take the Dash action as a bonus action on your turn, your jump distance is doubled for the turn, and you are not affected by difficult terrain when you Dash. You cannot use this again until you have spent a turn not using Primal Step.
Recall Tranquility. You can spend any number of ki points to regain uses of tranquility equal to the ki points spent as an action. When you do so, you can choose to enter tranquility as part of that same action without using your bonus action. You may spend a ki point to enter tranquility even if you have not expended any uses of it.

Monastic Path[edit]

When you reach 3rd level, you commit yourself to a monastic path. Your path grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 11th, and 17th level.

Monastic Path features

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack[edit]

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Fast Movement[edit]

Starting at 5th level, your speed increases by 10 feet while you aren't wearing heavy armor.

Immediate Instinct[edit]

By 7th level, your instincts are so honed that you have advantage on initiative rolls.

Additionally, if you are surprised at the beginning of combat and aren't incapacitated, you can act normally on your first turn, but only if you enter tranquility before doing anything else on that turn.

Critical Precision[edit]

Beginning at 9th level, you can roll one additional weapon damage die when determining the extra damage for a critical hit with an attack.

This increases to two additional dice at 13th level and three additional dice at 17th level.

Flowing Tranquility[edit]

Starting at 11th level, your tranquility can allow you to foresee enemy attacks. If you are targeted with an attack that would reduce you to 0 hit points while you're within tranquility and don't die outright, you can make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw. If you succeed, you may take no damage instead.

Each time you use this feature after the first, the DC increases by 5. When you finish a short or long rest, the DC resets to 10.

Eternal Tranquility[edit]

Beginning at 15th level, your tranquility is so ingrained into your soul that it ends early only if you fall unconscious or if you choose to end it. Also, while you are in Tranquility, you have proficiency in all saving throws.

Unmatched Agility[edit]

Beginning at 18th level, if your total for a Dexterity check is less than your Dexterity score, you can use that score in place of the total.

Primal Wholeness[edit]

At 20th level, you embody the power of the wilds. Your Dexterity and Wisdom scores increase by 4. Your maximum for those scores is now 24. Also, when you roll initiative and have no ki points remaining, you regain 1 ki point at the start of each of your turns while within tranquility.

Monastic Path[edit]

Three path of monastic pursuit are common in the monasteries scattered across the multiverse. Most monasteries practice one path exclusively, but a few honor the three path and instruct each Barbarian according to his or her aptitude and interest. All three paths rely on the same basic techniques, diverging as the student grows more adept. Thus, a Barbarian need choose a path only upon reaching 3rd level.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Barbarian, Alternative Variant class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dexterity 13

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Barbarian Alternative Variant class, you gain the following proficiencies: simple weapons, and martial weapons.

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