Hello folks, the first post on this my new site will be about the Urban Barbarian. An alternative for the classic barbarian, the Urban Barbarian for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons is an Urban Brawler or Pitfighter. Bear with me as it might take a while to get it running well because its all still new to me.
This article is an overview of a character idea I saw. And so after stealing the idea I reworked to make it my own. And thus the Urban Barbarian was born.
I found the basic concept for the Urban Barbarian on a post someplace. As my D&D group had started a new game based within the City of Waterdeep the idea seemed to fit. The basic idea was to take the Barbarian Class and re-work it for a more urban type of warrior. The example I saw was a Tiefling brawler. But I wanted put my own spin on the basic premise.
And Reddic was born!
First was the character concept, I came up with was a pit fighter/bareknuckle boxer named Reddic (I took the name from Lance Reddic a very cool actor).
Stats and Skills
Then came the dice rolls and stat choices. As a Barbarian character Str, Con and Dex were all of primary concern. Luckily I rolled very well for stats so was able to get a bonus from them all. I felt Str was of the highest importance because I wanted to be able to deal some solid damage. Next was Con, a very important stat because you get a bonus to hit points and AC. Lastly was Dex, any bonus adds to the characters AC total.
Out of Int Wis and Cha I opted for Cha. Always worth being somewhat likeable and Intimidate is a Cha based skill. To represent the urban nature of the character I avoided survival etc in favor of Intimidate and Athletics. Rounding off I took the Criminal background gaining thieves tools, sneak and deception.
I picked variant human for his race. The bonus feat you get is always good for character customization. For this feat I took a custom ‘Brawler’ option I found on D&D Beyond. This allowed me to get half decent damage from bareknuckle attacks.
To sum up the character. Reddic is a hard fighting brawler, breed on the street. He steals when needed, fights when he wants and lives life to the full(see drinking and wenching). This idea can be modified so suit your need. The Urban Barbarian needs to be strong and tough but a distinctly urban warrior lacking in survival skills and much less animalistic than is the norm. You could try it with a more gladiator flavour if you like (trident and net maybe?) or even a pirate theme could work. Feel free to steal, share and rework it as you want.