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Primal Path: The Tormented

by Max Brooks 2 years ago in table top

A Warframe-inspired archetype for Dungeons And Dragons

I play a lot of D&D (arguably too much.)

I also play a lot of Warframe (definitely too much.)

Now Warframe already has some pretty obvious D&D influences (and that's just Chroma!) so I felt that a good way to get back into homebrewing would be to combine two of my favourite things together.

The Tormented is a homebrew barbarian primal path inspired by Warframe's Valkyr.

The Tormented

Sometimes your rage comes from within. And sometimes it comes from without. Some barbarians have had horrific tortures, terrible losses and brutal defeats that leave a lasting impact. Tormented Barbarians channel their anger and pain at these injustices and forge it into an armour so that they and others will never feel that helpless again.

A Tormented barbarian can be many things, some can be lashing out at a single foe on a quest for revenge. Others can be protectors of the innocent, ensuring that no one befalls their horrible fate. And still others can be demonic berserkers who live only for combat.

The Tormented Features:

3rd level - Nimble, Rip Line, 6th level - Warcry, 10th level - Paralysis, 14th level - Hysteria

Nimble - Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain an almost cat-like grace. You can use your reaction when you fall to reduce any falling damage you take by a number equal to five times your Barbarian level. In addition, standing up after being knocked prone costs an amount of movement equal to a quarter of your speed (rounded down) rather than half.

Rip Line - Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, you can channel your fury into a jagged grappling hook of energy. As an attack action you can throw your arm out and send the rip line up to 20 feet away. If it strikes another creature the creature must make a contested strength or dexterity check against a strength check from you. The creature takes 2d6 damage on a failure, and is pulled to 10 feet towards you. If the creature succeeds, it takes half damage and stays where it is.

If the rip line comes into contact with a solid object, (such as a wall, boulder, ceiling etc.) then you head towards the object and stop five feet in front of the point your rip line came into contact with.

Warcry - Beginning at 6th level, you can let out a warcry that rallies your allies and terrifies your enemies. Once per day, as a bonus action you let out a warcry, any creature within a 30 foot radius that can hear the warcry is affected in the following ways for a number of turns equal to your half your Barbarian level (rounded down):

Allied creatures that hear your warcry are bolstered and gain an additional +2 to their AC, and can make one extra attack at disadvantage for the duration of the warcry.

Enemy creatures that hear the warcry become slowed and move as if they are travelling through difficult terrain.

After you use this ability you must take a long or short rest before you can use it again.

Paralysis - Starting at 10th level, your rage, anger and disregard for your own safety in combat can shock and paralyse your enemies. As a bonus action you can reduce your AC by half (rounded down). Any enemy creature in a 35 foot radius of you must make a Wisdom Saving throw (against a DC equal to your barbarian level) or be Paralysed for 1d4 turns, or if they succeed at a Wisdom Saving Throw on their next turn.

You may cast this ability multiple times, each time casting off half your current AC. After casting this ability you must take a short or long rest in order to regain the spent AC.

Hysteria - Starting at 14th level your rage and despair let you physically energise your body and weaponise yourself. When you enter a rage, talons of energy emerge from your hands and feet, any unarmed attacks you make deal 1d8 damage while you are raging. If you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with an unarmed attack while raging, half the difference between the total damage you inflicted and the health lost by the creature is added as temporary hit points (max 10). Any damage you take while you rage is only subtracted from your HP after your rage ends.

Final Thoughts

I'll be honest, I'm not super pleased with how this turned out. Especially not with hysteria. Warframe's abilities are a lot more in-depth and detailed than those in Dungeons And Dragons. It's hard to figure out how to convert certain things. Critical chance in Warframe, for example, is roughly analogous to D&D's Advantage mechanic (role two dice and take the highest). But when you crunch the numbers Advantage raises a 5% chance of a critical to a 10% chance, whereas in Warframe you have critical chances that can reach 200%!!! And then you have to process critical damage stats which don't really have an equivalent in D&D.

The first issue I had was with shields and armour. Valkyr may have been a bad frame to start with because of this. In Warframe you can dodge attacks, some frames can cast abilities that render them completely invulnerable, failing that most frames have an energy shield that reduce the damage by 25% while they're drained, and all warframes have an armour stat that reduces any damage to health (but not to shields).

In D&D however; armour, forcefields, agility and shields all contribute to your Armour Class (AC). Furthermore AC doesn't mitigate damage, rather it determines if an attack hits you or not. Then damage is calculated. As a result Valkyr's warcry and paralysis abilities both incorporate AC, whereas in game they use two different mechanics.

I'm especially disappointed, like I said, with hysteria. It's gone through quite a few re-writes and improvements and I think that I've based it off an older version of the power by mistake. I also worried that it comes off as overpowered and a little boring. I was tempted to incorporate the augments into the abilities in some way. I feel that hysterical assault and endless war (which I use on my build) would be a little more interesting as they allow you to keep your rage going indefinitely and leap on people from afar.

All in all, I'm pleased with how it came out, but there's always room for improvement.

table top

About the author

Max Brooks

My name is Max, part-time EFL teacher, full time nerd. I like writing about books, games, and the educational aspects of both.

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