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Barbarian Class Color Guide | Color Pie System


It could be argued that the Barbarian is the most iconic class in all of classic fantasy, and while we may not be greeted by the shirtless hero with bulging muscles and a bad attitude as much as we did in the heyday of the Conan books, comics and movies, its imprint on the genre is still felt today. In this article, the final in the class color series, we will dig into this iconic class in order to help you craft a more convincing character that you can role-playing with ease, by using the color pie system. If you are new to the series then fear not, it's easy to follow along and will be broken up into digestible sections, starting with the core color of the class. With that friends, grab your axe, and let out a battle-shout as we talk class colors and the barbarian.


The barbarian is a class who needs little introduction, their image burned into our minds through the classic art of frank frazetta and has persisted ever since. In dungeons and dragons we are handed a class with one defining feature, rage. It is a class who rushes headlong into battle, all eyes on them as they cleave down their enemy.



It's no surprise then that the barbarian can feel like a one note class, with every mechanic revolving around rage and being to angry to die. The truth is that this isn't something that should hinder role-playing. There is actually a lot of room here to create a complex character. For that we can look to the many potential sources and reasons for this rage, and when we do that our options on how to create and play this class open up quite a bit. You see rage does define the Barbarian, and yet rage in this context isn't as simple as getting angry in battle.


If this was the case there wouldn't be so many grand tales about this class, with all of their flaws and heroic deeds aching to be told. So let's begin working out how we will be crafting our own memorable stories, starting with the core color of the class. For those unfamiliar, the core color, is the color or set of colors you will most often associate with the class when building them, as there are some colors that are so thematically resonant that they cannot be ignored.



To start we will look to the class color chosen by Wizards of the coast in magic the gathering. Pulling up the card we can see that they have chosen red as the core color, and really its not much of a surprise, as it's the color of raw emotion, rage being one such emotion. But you know what, I don't think this is the whole picture, there is another color that I would like to add, as what I would like to call, an alternative core color. You see the Barbarian and Green also have quite a bit in common, at least in certain builds.


Think of the totemic barbarian, one whose rage comes come from an animal spirit. Even if this isn't the case the barbarian is often a wild figure who finds the cluster of city life and man made order to be a hindrance. In this way both colors together or apart perfectly describe the core of this class. The only true way to understand how this will work will be to see it in action, so let's put together three barbarian's with the color pie as our guide. To begin I do want to use that red but add in Black to understand what kind of barbarian we get with these colors.


RED BLACK



The sound of the battlefield can be the truest song of horror but to a few it can be music to their ears. In the case of this character it is the latter. You might think that would make for a character who is brutal, twisted or sadistic but the truth lies somewhere else. The fact is that this character absorbs every experience they can and rushes into it head on. When in town they can be found in the tavern, singing songs and gathering a circle of onlookers around them. When they are in a dungeon all they wish to do is push deeper and deeper, curiosity driving them to uncover everything the site holds, any dangers be damned. Then yes when it comes to battle they bare their chest, brandish their weapon and let out a battle-cry.


To them life is short and must be experienced to its fullest. Every drink a chance to have fun, every dungeon a chance for adventure and every battle a story to be told of their greatness. What makes this charterer interesting though is the reason behind their outlook. You see, they weren't always like this, once they were weak, scared and sickly. Their body ready to betray them at a young age, not destined to see the age of ten. Even their parents had given up hope on them. Then one day, at the age of seven something snapped in them, they weren't going to lay down and die, to accept whatever it was that made their life a struggle.



So one day at a time they would leave their bed, force their body into motion and exercise until it would collapse. Every day was still a struggle but the anger over their situation pulled them out of bed each day. Over time it became easier and easier. Their body became stronger and stronger. They held on to that anger that helped them rise each day, to resists death. Eventually ten came and went and they were still here. Then fifteen, then twenty. Its as if they refused to die. They felt they had a new lease on life and sitting around in some village wasn't going to cut it anymore, there was a world out there to be experienced.


By this time their body was strong and so they set out for adventure vowing to make sure they would live like every day was their last. For this character we went with Red and Black. A colour combination that thrives in experiences. In this case the Black side pushed this character to not give up, to not accept the hand it was dealt, and Red the tool of rage that pushed them to reject it. Combined it bread someone who thrives in living their life to the fullest, one who never looks back. For our next character I want to drop the Black and Red then add in White and Green to craft a character who has a bit more on their shoulders.


WHITE GREEN



Far outside any city gates, in parts of the land barely tamed lives a clan, one whom the outside world has deemed savages. It may be true that they do not live in the ways the rest of the world has progressed to, yet they can trace their lineage back hundreds of years, proud in their history, their names spoken of in many tales. Many have tried to put them to heal, but none have succeeded as they are a strong people of great warriors, each and every one of them battle hardened in their own right, steeped in a tradition of combat. It's because of this that when the king passed away and a successor was to be crowned, it was not a decision made by simply handing down the role to the eldest but rather the strongest of their children.


In this way three siblings had to fight for the position, one they all coveted dearly, our character among the three. Youngest of them they had a lot to live up to. They had trained with the elder axe-men nearly every day, engrossed themselves in the stories of kings past and their victories. When the day came though, they still were no match for their elder brothers, both battle hardened and ready for such combat. The middle child ended up taking the crown, leaving our character disappointed in themselves, feeling as if they had failed their father, and the those that had gone before them. They wanted to be a hero for their people and yet they felt weak.



Because of this they congratulated their brother on the win, bowed in respect and told him that they must leave, to find their strength and to harden themselves with experience. This is where their adventure begins. Let us now break down this characters colors to better understand their motivations. Starting with Green, as you see we used it instead of Red. In this case the green represents their proud lineage and traditions, this extends to the mechanical rage.


You see rage in this context is passed down from the many great warriors, through a fighting style that has persisted in the clan since its earliest days, never written down but passed orally and physically. It's something bread into each person and has allowed them to crush any invaders who wish to tame their people. White in this case is the characters sense of duty, and their motivation to earn a place in their clan. While they hold no ill feelings towards their brother and accept them as king, they do wish to gain more experience so that that can return and be the hero they envisioned themselves to be. For our final character I want to use both of our core colors to craft a rather wild barbarian.


GREEN RED



There are those that reject civilization outright, those who find the confines of an ever encroaching wall as the killer of ones soul. Those who would rather sleep in a bed made of branches than one of down and feather. Those who prefer to listen to the call of the eagle than that of another human, such is the case for our final character. As a child of only twelve they were left in a forest, abandoned by their parents, for what they could no longer remember. The first nights were cold but not as cold as their parents had been to them and so there was some comfort found in this place. They learned to survive rather quickly, no simple child of the city they at least had some experience in making a fire, creating rudimentary shelter and finding food.


Life was not easy but they made it work. Through mimicking the patterns of the animals and honing their body they became accustom to their environment. Soon they could not imagine living anywhere else. This time in the wilderness among the animals created a near mythical bond between them and their environment, and after a while they felt more like the beasts than the human they claimed to be before. This closeness allowed them to commune with the animals, and to take on the aspects of the spirits which represented them. Strong as a bear, cunning as a wolf and agile as an eagle they made this place their home, a tranquility found in wilderness.



The silence was eventually broken when they came across a party of adventurers, a dire mission in tow. This is where our characters story begin. Let us now discuss the colors that shape them. In this case it's a true merger of colors, a philosophy bread from their pairing. When these two colors come together it can be a true case of instinct and a connections to the more primal side of our humanity. Not denying the impulses that guide us while also listening to the instincts granted to us. What's more is that this character is able to stay focused in the moment, finding their bearings and trusting themselves. Creating a character who moves with the tides following the path laid out by nature.


Conclusion



Now that you have seen three examples I would now like to lay out each of the five colors and discuss them in the context of the barbarian that way you have the base tools to mix and match to craft your own. If you would like to know more about each of the five colors and all of their combinations then worry not I have a video for each one over on my channel. OK let's begin with the color white. White in this case represents a barbarian who feels bound by some sense of duty to either friends or family, its a smaller circle than white traditionally clings too, but still is present in these terms. It can also be a Barbarian who puts its body on the line for others, a heroic version of the class that truly stands up for the weak, as if they were granted such strength for a reason beyond themselves.


Then there is the Blue Barbarian, an odd case for sure, as we didn't even cover one in our examples. Sure this will be a rare color but it is possible. A blue Barbarian can denote one who is more of a sage outside of battle, they are contemplative and quiet, opting for mediation and self reflection, yet something flips in combat. Almost like the dichotomy between Bruce banner and the hulk. Then there is Black, this color works quite well for the barbarian, in that such a strong presence can often be an arrogant one, a class driven by an ego.



Next is one of our core colors red, truly this color needs little introduction in the case if the barbarian. It is fury plain and simple, a raw driving force that sheds any forethought in favor of action. That leads us into our other core color Green, a color who grants a deeper reason for that rage. In this case it's something provided by nature, an ancient tradition or any other long standing force you wish to draw from. As you can see you can draw from any one of the colors of the color pie, and with a bit of additional research you can craft a Barbarian all your own, one that comes to life with the color pie as your guide.


Thanks for reading the final class color guide in the series. What a journey it has been. If you enjoyed this article then consider becoming a site member that way you can be notified when the next article goes live, or check me out any of the links below. With that friend, I will catch you in the multiverse, bye!

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