Barbarian Archetype: Path of the Dragon Shaman

Told you there’d be more homebrew content!

Back in high school I was introduced to DnD through a few friends. My first character was a Legolas ripoff. My second character was significantly more interesting.  He was a fullblade-wielding goliath Dragon Shaman, with a gold dragon as his dragon totem.  He was also the chef of our PC pirate crew.

“What’s a Dragon Shaman?” you’re probably asking.  The Dragon Shaman was a class released in the Player’s Handbook II for 3.5e.  It was a martial fighter that, as you gained levels, slowly became more dragon-like.  You’d grow scales, gain a breath weapon, and even grow wings.  My goliath worshiped a gold dragon as his totem dragon, meaning he also had the ability to breath underwater.  But as a Dragon Shaman he could also release an aura which gave party members close enough to him a wide variety of buffs (including social ones!)

I’ve wanted to port the class over to 5e for a while now, and finally began work on the project.  Thing is, I realized quickly that making it a full-fledged class wouldn’t work; the dragon shaman didn’t have many differences going for it which could justify multiple archetypes.  So being stuck here, I decided to look toward creating a possible subclass for an existing 5e class.  Barbarian seemed to fit the bill best, with the auras being tied up into the rage mechanic and the idea of growing scales working well with the Barbarian’s unarmored defense.

This iteration of the Dragon Shaman loses some of what made it interesting in 3.5; no Lay on Hands-like ability, which I think should remain firmly away from Barbarians, and no real functional ability to increase social encounters.  But though it loses these aspects, the concept becomes stronger as a damage-dealing striker.
Anything I release through Geeks New England for DnD will be completely free, though you can donate to future projects if you’d like.  You can download this title for free at the DMsGuild.  DMsGuild is my preferred website, as it not only allows you to easily rate and reviews the class, but makes it easier for me to see how many people have seen and downloaded it.

If you’re vehemently against DMsGuild, you can still download the PDF here from Homebrewery and also here from Google Drive.  Please feel free to critique, test, and comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Changelog

Version 2.4  09-12-2017

Overall

  • It exists!

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