Meet the homebrew DnD Barbarian that never Rages

One Dungeons and Dragons player dares to imagine a 5e Barbarian without their signature feature, creating the DnD homebrew Calm-Barian.

Wizard of the Coast art of a DnD Barbarian

If you’d like to smash things stress-free, this homebrew DnD Barbarian variant may be your fighting style. ‘The Calm Barbarian’ comes from Reddit user OmNomOU81, who shared their work via Reddit on January 2. The gist is this – you’re still a Barbarian, but you’ll never use the class’ iconic Rage feature.

Arguably, the Rage mechanic is one of the most defining features of a DnD Barbarian. The ability to channel fury into bonus damage and resistances separates it from other martial DnD classes.

Flavor-wise, OmNomOU81’ Barbarian feels a lot like a DnD Fighter who hasn’t had specialized training. Mechanically, the Calm-Barian stands out from Fighters, as well as their 5e siblings – OmNomOU81 has tweaked far more than just Rage for this DnD homebrew.

Wizards of the Coast art of DnD Barbarians fighting a wolf

This version of the Barbarian starts out with some extra tool proficiencies and different starting equipment, as well as more hit points on average. This HP boost feeds into the Calm-Barian’s main mechanic – ‘Steely Resolve’ which allows you to store a certain amount of damage and feel its effects later.

Like a Fighter, this Barbarian gets a Fighting Style and a third extra attack after a few DnD level ups. Any mention of Rage or the Barbarian’s original ‘savage’ origins has been replaced, and a range of these renamed class features come with tweaks and moves.

For example, Instinctive Reaction adds your proficiency bonus to initiative rolls and lets you perform bonus action when surprised. Improved Critical gives you a critical hit on 19 (and later 18), and the new Brutal Critical lets you deal the maximum possible damage on crits.

Wizards of the Coast of a DnD Barbarian woman swinging an axe

Many of Relentless Rage’s old features have moved to the level 15 ‘Immortal’ feature, and Calm-Barians get Relentless Smite at level 11 instead. This allows you to reduce some of your delayed damage during a fight. Indomitable Might lets you use Strength and Constitution interchangeably on a DnD skill check, and Adamant Resolve makes sure you always bounce back from zero HP.

OmNomOU81 has also drafted five DnD Barbarian subclasses as part of their homebrew. Some rework existing classes like the Berserker and Totem Barbarian, while others are entirely original. You can learn more about these new subclasses in the original Reddit post.

For more homebrew content, here are some of our recent faves – the Honkonomicon and the truly horrible Manman-man. Or, for first-party content, here are the DnD books coming up in the DnD release schedule for 2024.