With the recent launch of Diablo IV, players take on the role of one of five classes in that game: barbarian, druid, rogue, sorcerer, or warlock. These classes bear a notable resemblance to their 5E counterparts (and Tales of the Valiant!).
Continuing the adaptation of the Diablo IV classes, we give you . . . another barbarian. The previous Path of the Battle Cry was so great. Why not do one more? We couldn’t think of a reason either.
The following barbarian subclass takes inspiration from the game’s barbarian class features without exactly replicating all abilities. This subclass, Path of the Weapon Bond, is drawn from some of the Diablo IV barbarian’s weapon abilities.
As a note, since Diablo IV abilities are almost entirely focused on combat, this is generally reflected in this subclass and others in the series.
Path of the Weapon Bond
Barbarians of the Path of the Weapon Bond learn how to perform a special ritual that forges a magical bond with a weapon in their possession, enabling the barbarian to use that weapon in new and powerful ways. Once a barbarian is bonded to a weapon, it becomes an extension of their body, no longer a simple object or tool, but part of them. The power that fuels a barbarian’s rage can be channeled through the bonded weapon and used to devastate the barbarian’s enemies. It should be noted that the power comes from the barbarian, not the weapon. If a bonded weapon is destroyed or lost, the barbarian can form a new bond with a different weapon.
Some Weapon Bond barbarians collect weapons of different types, magical and otherwise, always seeking to improve and optimize their abilities, giving them versatility from situation to situation. Other barbarians on this path favor specific weapons, forming strong attachments to them and relying on them for the entirety of their careers. Such barbarians treat their weapons with the utmost respect and even name their weapons. An enemy who steals or destroys a barbarian’s bonded weapon, whether that weapon is unique and beloved or not, becomes a target of their ire and unrestrained rage.
Starting at 3rd level, after you finish a long rest, you can choose one melee weapon in your possession to be your bonded weapon. The bond lasts until the end of your next long rest or until you die. The damage your bonded weapon deals determines the abilities for some of your class features. For abilities that require a saving throw, the DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier.
Also at 3rd level, you can channel your fury into your bonded weapon. The effect of this channeling depends on what type of damage your bonded weapon deals.
Bleeding Cut (Slashing). You can use a bonus action to make your next attack with savage fury. The next time you hit a creature with your bonded weapon before the end of your turn, the creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take an additional 1d6 slashing damage at the start of its next turn.
Ground Smash (Bludgeoning). As an action, you strike the ground with your bonded weapon forcing each creature within 5 feet of you to make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 1d6 thunder damage and falls prone. On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage and doesn’t fall prone.
Penetrating Strike (Piercing). You can use a bonus action to give your next attack more power and to penetrate deep into their body. The next time you hit a creature with your bonded weapon before the end of your turn, the creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the end of its next turn.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus and regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Starting at 6th level, your facility with your bonded weapon allows you to quickly interpose it between a nearby ally and an attack. While you are raging and wielding your bonded weapon, when an enemy within reach of your bonded weapon makes a melee attack against one of your allies, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack.
At 10th level, your Channel Fury ability become more powerful when using your bonded weapon.
Bleeding Cut. A creature hit by your Bleeding Cut continues to take 1d6 damage at the start of each of its turns for 1 minute. An affected creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.
Ground Smash. When you perform a Ground Smash, it now affects creatures within 10 feet of you and the damage is increased to 2d6.
Penetrating Strike. A creature hit by your Penetrating Strike is now poisoned for 1 minute. An affected creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.
At 14th level, you can bond to two weapons instead of one. You must be wielding the appropriate weapon type to take advantage of its abilities.
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