D&D 5e: Tabaxi Barbarian Guide

D&D 5e: Tabaxi Barbarian Guide

Tabaxi, with their Feline Agility trait and natural bonus to dexterity, make for excellent rogues, rangers, monks, or fighters. Barbarians find themselves more reliant on strength and constitution, but this doesn’t mean that tabaxi make for bad barbarians, it simply opens up a new style of play. 

Before we get into how that will work, consider what barbarians are; they are not savages, they are merely warriors who possess uncanny instincts and incredible courage. In the Forgotten Realms, many barbarians are part of tribal nomadic societies that roam the north. 

Given the nature of tabaxi society, barbarians would be proud, brave, and curious. Let’s make sure we live up to that when creating our tabaxi barbarian.

The Tabaxi race can be found in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Click here to pick up your own copy of Volo’s Guide to Monsters!

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 Tabaxi Barbarian

In the introduction, I mentioned a dexterity based barbarian as a possibility. Please note that if attempted, this should be done by experienced players only as it is a somewhat limiting option, as it diminishes the benefits of Rage, and it makes your Reckless Attack objectively useless.

To avoid this, our build will instead focus on a strength-based barbarian which also incorporates dexterity. We will focus on the Path of the Totem Warrior subclass for this build.

We will balance strength and dexterity as our primary stats, which will give us a good balance rather than being the best in either. We will still use strength-based weapons, so if you have to favor one, put it to strength with dexterity second. Constitution will be 3rd with wisdom fourth, and charisma and intelligence last in that order. While tabaxi heritage makes it tempting to take the Tiger as our totem spirit, the other options would serve us better. We will choose the Bear.

How to Play a Tabaxi Barbarian

Our Unarmored Defence should give us a decent armor class with this build, and we still retain the signature barbarian Rage and Frenzy skills, allowing us to get in close to enemies and hit them hard and fast (with our Feline Agility to help close the distance). The Bear totem makes us tough enough to take any hits coming our way and makes us a valuable boon to the party, punishing enemies that ignore us.

Feral Instinct and your high dexterity will mean that you’ll often be high up in the initiative order, which gives you the important job of signaling out the most dangerous threat within your reach and putting them in the ground as quickly as possible. Be careful when doing this not to completely alienate yourself from the party however, you’re strong but not invincible.

How to Roleplay as a Tabaxi Barbarian

Unless your particular tabaxi does actually hail from a tribe back home, you needn’t call them a barbarian in roleplay scenarios. Remember, not everyone in the D&D worlds actually knows how all your characters function, nor do they all know the differences between classes, as far as those who’ve seen you fight are concerned, you’re strong, fast, and angry. 

Consider if you were part of a group of like-minded warriors back then, and what you may have learned from them. Come up with a story or two you can tell your party about your time with them.

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