D&D 5e: Dragonborn Barbarian Guide

D&D 5e: Dragonborn Barbarian Guide

Are you an Atheist? Are you Angry?! Are you a closet furry? Do you need dental care? ARE YOU AN ANGRY CLOSET FURRY ATHEIST ON STEROIDS IN NEED OF DENTAL CARE!? If so, then you perfectly fit the description of Dragonborn Barbarian.

The Dragonborn race can be found in the Player’s Handbook OR an updated version can be found in Fizzban’s Treasury of Dragons. Click here to pick up your own copy of the Player’s Handbook or click here to pick up your own copy of Fizzban’s Treasury of Dragons!

The Barbarian class can be found in the Player’s Handbook. Click here to pick up your own copy of The Player’s Handbook!

How to Make a Dragonborn Barbarian 

Before we begin, let’s get one thing straight. Dragonborn are not offspring of bards that decided that banging a dragon was a good idea. Half-dragons are NOT Dragonborn. Instead, humanoid dragons originated from the dimension Abeir. A physical discernment to the two is that Dragonborns do not have tails, are born from eggs, and their faces bear no humanoid resemblance.

So if you were hoping to have a tail to swish to your advantage, then you’re out of luck but don’t fret; you have your amazing elemental breath to make up for it, plus your charming scaly features.

DragonDamage TypeDragonDamage Type

Barbarians are typically stereotyped as savages who have no pride in being civilized, but just because this class doesn’t rank much in intelligence doesn’t mean your character has to “Ooga-Booga-hulk-smash” its way through life. Barbarians are tanks, skilled fighters with animal instincts, and aren’t best suited in civilized life, but that’s how they learned. They also likely have come from a more 

Your primal paths (a.k.a. Your subclasses) are:

  • Path of the Berserker– Basically the embodiment of rage on steroids.
    • Frenzy
    • Mindless Rage
    • Intimidating Presence
    • Retaliation
  • Path of the Totem Warrior– This is an unlikely -and even scandalous- choice for a Dragonborn, as this path takes guidance from a spirit animal as protector and for inspiration. In battle, a totem spirit gives supernatural might, adding magical fuel to your barbarian rage. See ‘how to roleplay’ as to why.
    • Spirit Seeker
    • Totem Spirit- can be anything apart from these so long as it is related (ex. Hawk instead of eagle)
      • Bear
      • Eagle
      • Wolf
    • Spirit Walker
    • Totemic Attunement

As a barbarian, the recommended highest stat would be constitution for that juicy hit points. “Duuuhhh- But don’t I need strength for that?” Slow down, Einstein. It should be taken into account that constitution involves health and stamina apart from vital force. What follows should be strength- being a Dragonborn, you start with a +2 to your strength score. Next is dexterity, followed by charisma- which you have a +1 for, then wisdom, and finally intelligence. Although you don’t have an additional plus, barbarians have advantage on dexterity saves due to their animal instincts.

#dungeons and dragons from Art by A.S. Phillips

How to Play a Dragonborn Barbarian


Hit Dice: 1d12 per barbarian level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d12 (or 7) + your Constitution modifier per barbarian level after 1st

As a Dragonborn, you have the advantage of not only amazingly bad breath that can do some major damage but also damage resistance to any element similar to your draconic ancestry. Any other advantages and disadvantages also depends upon your draconic history.

As a Barbarian, you get the advantages and (not limited to) the following features (see first chart above):

  • 2 skills: Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, and Survival.
    • Considering you are or your character is a Dragonborn, you have an advantage in Intimidation and Athletics.
  • Rage- No, this isn’t just smashing and running on crack. You gain advantage to strength checks and resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. A big “SCREW YOU” to slashy sneak attacks -cough- rogues -cough-.
  • Unarmored Defense- Because nobody wants to come close to you when your junk is practically seen! Well, you don’t have to nude unless that’s what you’re into.
    • Your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. Still not sure about being so exposed? That’s okay because you can carry a shield to cover yourself!
  • Reckless Attack- Some may call this an act of desperation. But really, it’s just a barbarian’s way of saying “Screw plans!” then running into battle screaming curse words and “FREEDOM!” in Scottish. Unlocked at level two.
  • Danger Sense- You gain advantage to dexterity saving throws against effects that you can see, such as traps, spells, or trap spells, But to gain this benefit, you can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated. So simply getting sand or even an eyelash in your eyes can screw you over.

In terms of getting along with other races, Dragonborn face a lot of discrimination and receive weird looks since they are almost unheard of or mythical, as ironic as that is. Dragonborn are a pretty rare sight, having only existed in Toril for a few hundred years. You are likelier to run into a half-elf than to run into this race. They commend those with skill and excellence, neutral towards other races, but they’d instead ask a fellow Dragonborn before turning towards others or even gods when it comes to any kind of need or aid. 

Contrary to their appearance, the Dragonborn can be quite emotional. No, not like crying boo-hoo emotional. Rather, empathetic and charming kind of emotional- hence their bonus to charisma. Despite this, they are very independent, self-sufficient, and would rarely ask for any sort of help or assistance.

Yes, stubbornness is part of the package, so never challenge one to a game or bet unless you are prepared to face their intense determination!

How to Roleplay as a Dragonborn Barbarian

Dragonborn first existed in the Abeir dimension as slaves to Dragons. Although there are cases where they became more than just mere slaves to the Dragons, they were never treated as equals or even liberated. That’s why many of those that escaped to Torel -via rare portals- grew tight-knit, becoming a self-sufficient community that valued clan and honor over life itself.

Being religious is considered scandalous and would likely get one disowned. Although it isn’t illegal, to display or be caught practicing religion is seen as obscene. This is because of the original Dragonborn’s history and experience of slavery where no deity would heed their cries; hence they do not believe there is a good dragon god or even any at all. Of course, a small group of religious Dragonborn like the Platinum Cadre believes in a good dragon god called Bahamut. Still, they are outcasts and live in the city’s abandoned catacombs. Throw that into the brew, if you want, as a cause of you becoming the embodiment of rage on steroids.

Dragonborn age quickly; when they turn 15, they are considered adults and are allowed to set out into the world… pretty much like pokemon, except instead of using pokemon to battle, the trainer goes, “SCREW THE RULES!” and fights the other pokemon. Likely, as a Dragonborn Barbarian, you’d be adventurous, close-knit to your kin, clan, and culture, prideful, stubborn, excellent in being a tank and fighter. But your character doesn’t need to be a typical Jock-like jerk as there are people big in strength but also big in heart and RAAAAAGE!!! 

Your character may not be best in intelligence, but you know there is value in wisdom as a skilled warrior. Being a Barbarian and a Dragonborn, you value the upbringing that has led you to be who you are. 

Your race allows you to speak, read, and write in Common and Draconic. Which is actually the oldest and most often used language in the study of magic. For others, it sounds rather harsh or intimidating due to numerous hard consonants and sibilants, just like German and Russian in our own reality.

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