Home / Delve into the Depths in the Kobold Blog / All the Rage: Barbarian Totems (Part 2 of 2) (and A Margreve Preview)

All the Rage: Barbarian Totems (Part 2 of 2) (and A Margreve Preview)

All the Rage: Barbarian Totems (Part 2 of 2) (and A Margreve Preview)

barbarians!“The bear, falcon, and wolf are merely three of the totems a barbarian may revere. Every totem offers a small background as well as rage powers that fit the totem’s theme. And even their physical fetishes, the objects that focus their veneration, can bestow upon those worthy the primal magic of these creatures.” [from Part 1]

And because it fit so perfectly, Ben McFarland’s augmented animal fury rage ability has been included with the wolf totem. You can find this ability in his upcoming adventure “Grandmother’s Fire, ” part of the Tales of the Old Margreve patron-project. (I can tell you that Ben’s adventure has werewolf barbarians in it!) The Tales of the Old Margreve anthology is currently in edits and looks great.



Action first, planning later. This is the creed of the falcon totem. These barbarians revere speed, quickness, and grace, and they seek the sudden swiftness of the falcon by letting the flow of combat wash over them. This is not to say that they are not sharp or capable of forethought, only that falcon totems have no patience for debate when excitement lay before them…

When selecting rage powers, falcon barbarians choose powers that make them a constant threat in battle. No escape, quick reflexes, swift foot, and unexpected strike all mesh well with their behavior.

Swift Approach (Ex)—When you enter a rage, you may reroll your initiative as an immediate action. This reroll adds your Strength modifier in addition to any other normal modifiers. Your new initiative count takes effect the round after this power is activated, potentially changing your order in combat.

Eagle-Eyed (Ex)—As a free action 1/rage, you may ignore any attack penalties associated with concealment, invisibility, blindness, and any other visual effects. You must be at least 8th level.

Streaking Talons (Ex)—While raging, you may cause a successful attack to deal bleed damage equal to your Strength modifier in addition to your normal damage roll 1/day. This power is used as a swift action before the roll to hit is made. You must be at least 12th level before selecting this power.


Wolf totem barbarians place an emphasis on teamwork and cunning. Often aloof during initial encounters, once their trust is gained, they are stalwart allies. Wolf followers are ultimately of two faces: to their pack mates, they are paternal and protecting while to their enemies they are cruel and relentless—some would argue even bloodthirsty.

The wolf totem is the most animalistic totem. Wolf followers truly seek to imitate their totem animal in combat. Animal fury, guarded stance, scent, and terrifying howl are powers that most followers of this totem possess, in addition to those unique to them.

Augmented Animal Fury (Ex)While raging, you may use an existing bite attack as part of a full attack at your full base attack bonus –2. Also, you can make a bite attack as part of the action to maintain or escape from a grapple before the grapple check; if it hits, your subsequent grapple check receives a +2 bonus.

Raised Hackles (Ex)—You gain the evasion ability 1/rage (as per the monk or rogue). This power activates during the first Reflex save you make during your rage.

Pack Attack (Ex)—When you flank opponents, you grant allies a +4 flanking bonus to attacks instead of the normal +2. You must be at least 8th level before selecting this power.

Cull the Weak (Ex)—Whenever you successfully hit an enemy damaged by an ally in the previous round, you gain a +2 morale bonus to damage rolls. You must be at least 12th level to select this power.

Magic Items

The concept of following a totem animal is not specific to barbarians. Druids, clerics, and even some sorcerers are often raised in cultures that worship these spirits, and they, in turn, seek ways to harness their primal powers. These fetishes capture the essence of each totem and bestow their graces upon a wearer.

Bear Claw Amulet

Aura faint conjuration; CL 3rd
Slot neck; Price 1,200 gp; Weight 1 lb.

This large bear paw hangs from a strip of leather. The paw looks as if it were freshly severed and is warm to the touch with claws still gleaming. It occasionally twitches.

You are granted the endurance of a bear. As a free action 1/day, you may banish the effects of fatigue and exhaustion from your body.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, lesser restoration; Cost 600 gp

Fang of the Wolf

Aura faint enchantment; CL 3rd
Slot neck; Price 4,000 gp; Weight

This metal necklace is adorned with a single white wolf fang. Etched upon the razor-sharp tooth are dozens of tiny inscriptions, too small for the naked eye to discern.

When worn, any successful aid another check you make grants an additional +2 morale bonus to an ally’s check. Thus, the total bonus of aid another checks you make is +4.

Teamwork and camaraderie are fundamental to the wolf totem. If bad blood or bitterness between the one attempting to aid another and the recipient exists, this bonus will not manifest.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, aid; Cost 2,000 gp

Feathered Fetish

Aura faint transmutation; CL 2nd
Slot neck; Price 2,400 gp; Weight

Sleek feathers belonging to some bird of prey hang loosely from this beaded necklace. Each feather is dark black with blood red tips. The beads seem to be small polished stones of a similar hue.

The feathered fetish allows you to make charge attacks without suffering the -2 penalty to AC that action entails. This power may be activated 3/day as a swift action before the charge takes place.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, expeditious retreat; Cost 1,200 gp

(This post is Product Identity.)

10 thoughts on “All the Rage: Barbarian Totems (Part 2 of 2) (and A Margreve Preview)”

  1. Wonderful write up Matthew! The totems themselves are a fine addition. I’m adding this barbarian feature to my game stuff!

    Ben – Totally can’t wait to read Grandmother’s Fire now!

  2. I really think that the barbarian totems are a fine addition to a campaign. I wonder if anyone will pick up similar totems for somewhat off-axis creatures like Otter, Owl, or Raven.

  3. Charles Carrier

    I’m wondering why there aren’t any dragon totems yet – after all, barbarians call their longboats “dragon ships”, so they must revere those scaley critters just a little bit…

  4. Simon the Overthinker

    Excellent write up. Had added two clans with spirit totems before finding the article. Love the Magic items. Need to come up with some for my campaign now. Thanks for the further inspiration!

  5. Simon the Overthinker

    Wolfgang, will be working up for horse and owl in the next few days to work with clans in campaign. I’ll try to post if you are interested and Last Rogue doesn’t mind the contribution…

  6. Simon the Overthinker

    All the totems mentioned are for predators. What about the other beasts? Bison/Buffalo: Steady stalwarts of family and clan. Unstoppable tide when moving.
    Horse: Speed and agility mark the hunt and defend the clan. Run and gun with accuracy on the hunt.
    Stag: Majesty and heart to protect and provide for kin and clan. Challengers beware, the proud stance belies an unmatched skill in individual close combat.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Kobold Courier and Earn Loot!

Stay informed with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox weekly. Join now and receive a PDF copy of Caverns of the Spore Lord

Join The Kobold Courier


Be like Swolbold. Stay up to date with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox twice a month.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top