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D&D: Playtest The “Advanced” Barbarian Today

3 Minute Read
Dec 22 2020

Come check out the new Barbarian, renamed the Berserker. All the rage, none of the baggage. Check out the latest from Level Up, the “Advanced” 5E Rules.

The folks behind the “Advanced 5th Edition” rules continue to ramp up their playtest. This time, it’s axes up for the re-imagined Barbarian, renamed the Berserker in the coming book. Like its predecessor, the Berserker is all about drawing on their iconic rage to do feats that would make even Robert E. Howard think “maybe that’s a little over the top.” For this initial pass, there are some fairly significant changes to the class. For one, now you might see armored Berserkers out in the field. Let’s check it out.

Overall the Berserker is a familiar framework. You’re still tougher than everyone else in terms of hit points and raw resistance capabilities. Nobody is capable of soaking up more damage for as little effort as you. But there are a few welcome changes to the old class. The Berserker now can pick a Battle Defense which grants them a choice between the Unarmored Defense and fast movement you’re familiar with, but you can also pick the new Juggernaut option which grants you Heavy Armor proficiency and doesn’t reduce your speed when wearing heavy armor.


So even if you’re heavily armored, you’re still fast. And like all the other classes, the Berserker gains a number of Exploration knacks. These, if you haven’t been playing along, are a bit like feats in that they give you special options you can take when using a skill. So a Berserker might, for instance:

  • Have their roll apply to themselves and an ally in a group Athletics or Acrobatics check
  • Always use Strength on Intimidation or Persuasion
  • Take advantage on saves vs. either hot weather or cold weather

On top of that you get combat maneuvers a few other things that will bolster you. Of particular note, when you’re raging, you gain a group of stacking temporary hit points, on top of your rage damage reduction, You can also gain special effects on a Critical hit, as well as a few more improvements that make your damage oh so spicy.

via Level Up

Download the playtest document


Are you ready to level up your 5E game? Welcome to Level Up, the standalone ‘advanced 5E’ backwards compatible tabletop RPG coming in 2021! A crunchier, more flexible version of the 5E ruleset which you know and love. If you love 5E but would like a little more depth to the ruleset, Level Up is the game for you!

What this is
This is a playtest document. We’d love you to try out the rules presented here, and then answer the follow-up survey in a few days.

What this is not
This is NOT the final game. It’s OK if you don’t like elements of these rules; that’s the purpose of a playtest document. Be sure to participate in the follow-up survey in a few days. All data, positive or negative is useful.

What we use this for
Your survey responses help form the direction of the game as it goes through the development process.


Happy Adventuring!


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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