Hello barbarians! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the third episode of our Barbarian subclass series. If you don’t know tasha’s cauldron of everything was recently ish released it’s been out for a couple months now but damn this is why so they added two new barbarian subclasses into the mix and they are both really well done.
I need to see how these play, i’m looking forward to seeing what kind of interesting multiclasses come out of these the path of the beast is the first one we’re gonna be talking about and it’s probably the less wild of the two which is strange because it’s named beast but the other one’s named after wild magic.
So i mean yeah i don’t know maybe they’re both pretty wild just in different ways. But with that awkward introduction out of the way let’s dive in to the level system for the path of the beast barbarian.
Table of Contents
At level three you’ll gain a form of the beast, at level six you’ll gain a bestial soul, at level 10 you’ll gain infectious fury and at level 14 you’ll gain a call of the hunt. This is one of the more customizable barbarian subclasses by the way. That being said, it’s not perfect not by any means, i feel like there’s a handful of drawbacks to it but it is certainly one of the better subclasses out of the gate. Now let’s start by taking a look at form of the beast.
Form Of The Beast
Your animal instincts take form. Enter rage and choose a transformation: Until the rage ends, you manifest a natural weapon. It counts as a simple melee weapon for you, and you add your strength modifier to the attack and damage rolls when you attack with it as normal.
Really we’ll get into the examples provided here. But something i really want to go over and just make abundantly clear. You choose the weapons form each time you rage. Each and every time you can select a different form if you’d like, this gets a little bit complicated as your rages start to become essentially endless at like maximum levels for the barbarian essentially letting you just change it every time you rage.
Which is pretty cool! and might lead for some interesting role play and thematic badassery. But i just want to make sure that’s super clear for you guys! once again this has got to be one of the most flexible barbarian classes really fun stuff. Now let’s get into the options they provide.
The first option they provide is Bite: Your mouth transforms into a bestial muzzle or great mandibles (that’s up to you). It deals 1d8 piercing damage on a hit. Once on each of your turns when you damage a creature with this bite, you regain a number of hit points equal to your proficiency bonus, provided you have less than half your hit points when you hit.
Really cool stuff! The survivability of the bite in general is great especially if you’re going combat to combat to combat without the ability to take a short rest and especially if you’re still trying to soak up as much of that damage as possible. Really nice stuff! Doesn’t go a long way in terms of fixing any of the problems with the barbarian.
At least not in terms of magic effectiveness or stickiness or overall utility but in terms of survivability it’s fantastic, especially considering it’s an ability you get at level three and especially considering it’s more or less an at-will ability so long as you go into rage, it’s fantastic. Now the next option they provide is Claws.
Claws: Each of your hands transforms into a claw, which you can use as a weapon if it’s empty. It deals 1d6 slashing damage on a hit. Once on each of your turns when you attack with a claw using the attack action, you can make one additional claw attack as part of the same action.
Really cool stuff! Meant is more of a DPs option, doesn’t really solve any of the issues with the barbarian. However especially at those early levels this lends itself much more to dealing more damage. Potentially even critting where you otherwise would not and serving as an extra attack long before you get the actual feature at level five. So this is a great way to make sure your power scaling is really nice at the early game. Its viability in the late game though your mileage may vary and the third option they provide you with is Tail.
Tail: You grow a lashing, spiny tail, which deals 1d8 piercing damage on a hit and has the reach property. If a creature you can see within 10 feet of you hits you with an attack roll. You can use your reaction to swipe your tail and roll a d8. Applying a bonus to your AC equal to the number rolled. Potentially causing the attack to miss you.
This is one of my favorites, maybe even my favorite in general although circumstantially Tail and Bite. They’re kind of the same right! Once certain they both serve to extend your life, bite does it by healing you and tail does it by just potentially removing the damage altogether. Although i feel like during the beginnings of combat tail is gonna be absolutely fantastic and then maybe claws as you kind of establish what everything can hit and then bite in the late game.
At least that’s how i would assume that it would be played out. Ultimately i suppose it comes down to how many rages you have at that particular level, but in a general sense i think that’s how it was meant to work. Now let’s move on from here to your sixth level ability bestial soul.
Your are now more beast than man. The natural weapons of your form of the beast to count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistances and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
This is super sweet what that essentially means is unless you have some bomb magic items, there’s not really a point to you having weapons anymore which is really nice because it kind of gives you a little bit of an edge in terms of utility. Not only because you don’t need weapons anymore but because the attacks you’re dealing, you’re not going to need to worry about the resistance to magical weapons and as you get to kind of the mid levels, that becomes a lot more prevalent so it’s nice and that’s not all.
When you finish a short or long rest choose one of the following benefits which lasts until you finish your next short ot long rest. Once again want to be super clear, you get to reselect these so it’s not like the totem barbarian where you’re kind of locked in for an extended duration of time, this is relatively free and because of that i want to say it’s a little bit superior maybe even slightly certainly more flexible. So let’s take a look at the options that are provided here.
The first option you can choose from is climbing: You gain a climbing speed equal to your walking speed. And you can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
In addition to this being just straight up nightmare fuel because you’re probably going to be a pretty large jacked barbarian now you’re just going to be kind of hanging off roofs and stuff ceilings, it’s yeah that’s the stuff that’s going to keep some poor NBC from falling asleep for quite some time. Maybe even years, in addition to that though climb speeds are one of the more useful speeds in the game, right up there with flight.
I would make an argument that they’re even more so because you don’t have to worry about falling if you hit zero movement so it’s kind of a little bit nicer at least more peace of mind in that regard. The next option that is provided is jumping.
Jumping: When you jump you can make an athletics check and extend your jump by a number of feet equal to the checks total. You can make this special check only once per turn.
Now i know upon initially reading that you’re like well what’s the big deal man! That’s a huge deal that so jumping is one of those things that’s not usually gone over in games all that much. Not unless you’re a particularly nasty little MIN MAX or rule lawyers type person and you want to exploit the gamt to its fullness. It’s kind of one of those rules that a lot of people don’t know about so we did go into it in detail during our jump spell article but i’ll touch on it briefly here.
There’s two major types of jumps and that’s a long jump and a high jump and each of them are further subdivided down into a running long jump or running jump or a standing jump. In the long jumps case if you’re doing a running long jump so that means you move 10 feet before you make the jump, it’s equal to your strength score which is quite nice and that’s of course a horizontal distance and it does cost movement by the way that doesn’t really matter but just so you know so you can’t go crazy with your movement.
But if you’re doing a standing long jump it’s half that. There are some extra rules when it comes to challenging jumps so like jumping over obstacles and things of that nature. It’s in chapter 8 of the player’s handbook if you’re super curious but that stuff doesn’t really matter so much for what i’m talking about here. And when you’re looking at the high jump, a running high jump will let you jump three plus your strength modifier into the air and a standing long jump will let you do half that or high jump rather we’ll let you do half that.
So let’s look back at what this particular feature lets you do when you jump you make an athletics check and extend your jump by a number of feet equal to the checks total. It doesn’t distinguish between a high jump or long jump just says jump and there’s nothing that really indicates that it’s pertaining to just a horizontal jump.
So this can let you jump vertically an insane amount you got to bear in mind that vertical jump the high jump it’s based off of your strength modifier not inherently your strength score but using the jumping feature here it’s just the roll of the dice. So you could potentially jump like 35 feet at a relatively low level into the air that’s pretty nuts you know! Just straight up uppercut a dragon while he’s flying and you’re on the ground.
You know like there’s a lot of interesting things and you can do that once per turn and it doesn’t take up your action or anything it’s just a special check so, i don’t know man i think its pretty nuts and then swimming.
Swimming: You gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed and you can breathe underwater.
That’s super cool and all of these are aimed at giving you a huge boost to your utility and just your providing you with optional styles of play make you way more adaptable. Which is something the barbarian does have a little bit of rough time with so it is nice to see this. And there’s some really interesting combat things like uppercutting the dragon like i mentioned earlier.
Yeah it’s just really nice! Let me know what your favorite is down beneath of course. Now let’s move on to your 10th level ability here.
So starting at 10th level you gain access to infectious fury. The beast within you can now curse. Which is why not! When you hit a creature with your natural weapons while you are raging. They make a wisdom save, so on a failed wisdom save and the DC is 8 plus your constitution modifier plus your proficiency bonus. So it should be relatively high at this point.
A target suffers one of the following effects and you get to choose which effect it is:
=> The target must use its reaction to make a melee attack against another creature of your choice that you can see. Which is just dirty man, what a dirty thing to do to someone.
=> Or the target takes 2d12 psychic damage. Which is one of the lesser resisted damage types, not compared to force but compared to almost every other damage type it’s pretty safe bet. You’re also once again dealing magical damage as well at this point so you’re kind of getting the best of both worlds here.
=> You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all uses after a long rest.
This is really nice for a couple reasons. Firstly it’s only applied when you hit a creature so you don’t have to worry about wasting resources here so it’s there’s a lot of peace of mind. You also get to choose between having a more utilitarian or control benefit or just straight up dealing more damage so it’s not. It’s always going to be useful so long as you’re in combat.
In terms of which one of these is better kind of comes down to priority more than anything else. This will also help the barbarian out in terms of combat control and in terms of their stickiness to a lesser extent as well. By this what i mean is if you’re constantly draining their reactions, you’re letting your party members retreat away from enemies and as a direct result of that they’re more likely inclined to focus on you as you’re likely to be closer so.
There’s some cause and effect there that will help you in the long run. Or you can just straight up deal psychic damage to them which is pretty nice and 2d12 is pretty impressive. Especially because you already have your extra attack at this point and since it uses your proficiency bonus it quite literally scales. So it’s very nice for a lot of reasons. Now let’s move on to your 14th and final class feature or subclass feature rather. This one is called call of the hunt.
Call The Hunt
Starting at 14th level. The beast within you can reach out to others. Man this is broken by the way just straight up nuts, especially if you have some creative casters in your party. Big oof just big oof. I’ll explain in a bit here so.
When you enter your Rage: You can choose a number of other willing creatures you can see within 30 feet of you equal to your constitution modifier (minimum of one creature). You gain 5 temporary hit points for each creature that accepts this feature. Until the rage ends, the choosen creatures can each use the following benefit once on each of their turns: When the creature hits a target with an attack roll and deals damage to it. The creature can roll a d6 and gain a bonus to the damage dealt equal to the number rolled.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus and you regain all expended usages when you finish a long rest.
So how do you exploit this, you may ask well that is a great question. So let’s say your constitution modifier is four but you only have like let’s say like two other party members so there’s three of you, you affect the other two although i suppose it doesn’t say you can’t affect yourself. So let’s say you affect all three! Well that still leaves potentially one or even more potential spots wasted.
How do you fill those gaps? Well the most obvious example is the find familiar spell will guarantee you kind of always achieve the upper echelon but what if you only have one other party member and one what if your dungeon master doesn’t let you choose yourself for this effect that jerk. Well it’s really simple, all you need is a caster at the very least someone with a ritual caster spell and the unseen servant spell that’s really about it.
And you’re guaranteed to always hit the maximum on this. It’s kind of strange because unseen servant has this weird exploit where it’s a ritual casted which takes an extra 10 minutes. But each of them lasts for an hour so you can kind of have five of them up and running at once and because of that this particular feature is always likely to gain its maximum impact and push comes to shove you just go to a local town and you give just an insane amount of temporary hit points to local militia.
It’s really neat and it scales in more ways than one. Not just in terms of the creatures that are surrounding you but also because it’s based off of your proficiency bonus so it scales directly. Really nice stuff and quite exploitable. Now let’s move on to my personal thoughts here.
So if you are unable to tell for whatever strange reason that maybe. I love this subclass, i think it’s pretty damn sweet, both the tasha’s cauldron of everything subclasses that were added to the barbarian are two of my favorite subclasses maybe even in general now, i haven’t done a ton of deep dives on all of the other ones but certainly these are going to be a hard to top for sure.
Now when i said earlier it was wild. It’s wild just because of the amount of sheer things you can do but in terms of safety and control, this is probably one of the most controlled subclasses i’ve ever seen. Everything here is really measured and to be honest it’s really safe which is weird considering you’re playing a barbarian which are typically reckless and operate without fear of their own demise really.
But this is really leveled and really rational in terms of its planning. Although i suppose there might be some role play that contradicts that but for the most part i think this is a very safe subclass, there’s something for just about everything. It doesn’t really address dealing with spells all that much however it does provide you with a way to heal yourself relatively early on so that’s definitely a positive.
It kind of helps with stickiness as well at least just in terms of eating up reactions. It doesn’t directly address a ton of problems outside of the utility aspect, this subclass provides a ton of utility to whatever barbarian chooses it. At least in some semblance it has nothing on the rogue, it has nothing on the average bard, it has nothing on any of the spellcasters but for a purely a damage dealing class, it’s kind of hard to refute.
That being said, let me know what you think down beneath in the comment section. Mention any thoughts, questions, comments, or concerns you have regarding the path of the beast. Just let me know what your general impressions are. I hope you all have a wonderful day and of course a happy adventuring.