On a 5th Edition Barbarian Variant, The Rage Mage

Rage Mage

Primal Path
At 3rd level, you choose a path that shapes the nature of your rage. Choose the Path of the Berserker, Path of the Totem Warrior, or Path of Arcane Rage, detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th levels.

Path of Arcane Rage
Some barbarians experience access to immense power during their rage, power that is uncontrolled and dangerous. The Path of Arcane Rage is a path of great power and danger. When you enter rage, you gain access to raw arcane power, which lashes out across the battlefield, heedless of your health and well-being.

Arcane Fury
Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, You gain access to spellcasting. You become a conduit for pure arcane energy during your fury allowing you to cast a small selection of spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting, and the table following the class description for the Path of Arcane Rage spell list.

Casters of the Path of Arcane Rage do not prepare spells. Strength is your spellcasting ability for your spells, the power of your spells comes from your physical power and fury. In addition, you use the Strength modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a Path of Arcane Rage spell that you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier
You may not cast ritual spells, and you do not need material components for your spells.

You gain a limited number of spells known, any of which may only be cast during your rage. In exchange, you lose your resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, and your melee rage damage bonus. You may only cast spells while raging. Spells do not use slots. Spells are always considered to be cast a level equal to 1/2 the level of the Barbarian. There are no restrictions on how many times you may cast a spell during a rage, beyond the normal restriction of not being able to cast more than 1 spell a turn unless that spell is a cantrip cast with a bonus action.

You choose a new spell when you level of a spell level you can cast. Once selected, the spell may never be changed.

Any round during which you don't cast a spell will end your rage. From the beginning of your initiative count to the start of the following turn, a spell must be cast or you will exit rage. This does not negate the normal limitation of leaving rage if you haven't attacked an opponent or taken damage since your last turn. Either condition will cause you to leave rage.

Spell Fury
Beginning at 6th level, your anger and blind range enhances the power of your spells. Saving throws versus your spells now have a Spell save DC of 10 + your proficiency bonus + your strength modifier. At 17th level this increases to DC of 12 + your proficiency bonus + your strength modifier.

Raging Enhancement
Beginning at 10th level, choose one: Empower Spell, Quicken Spell, Twinned Spell. You may apply one of these metamagic effects to one of your spells during your rage, once per rage.

Focus of the Arcane
Starting at 14th level, you no longer exit rage if you fail to cast a spell during your turn.

Barbarian Path of Arcane Rage Spells Known
Level   Cantrips           Spells known   Maximum level of spells known.
1          0                      0                      -
2          0                      0                      -          
3          1                      1                      1st
4          1                      1                      1st
5          1                      2                      1st
6          2                      2                      1st
7          2                      3                      2nd
8          2                      3                      2nd
9          2                      3                      2nd
10        3                      4                      3rd
11        3                      4                      3rd
12        3                      4                      3rd
13        3                      5                      4th
14        3                      5                      4th
15        4                      5                      4th
16        4                      6                      5th
17        4                      6                      5th
18        4                      6                      5th
19        4                      7                      5th
20        4                      8                      5th

Barbarian Path of Arcane Rage Spell List

Acid Splash
Fire Bolt
Poison Spray
Ray of Frost
Shocking Grasp
Chill Touch

1st Level
Burning Hands
Chromatic Orb
Expeditious Retreat

2nd Level
Scorching Ray
Ring of Fury
Ray of Enfeeblement
Melf's Acid Arrow
Spider Climb

3rd Level
Sleet Storm
Lightning Bolt

4th Level
Fire Shield

5th Level
Cone of Cold
Bigby's Hand

Ring of Flaming Fury
2nd-level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous
A burst of flame emanates out from your location, burning and damaging those nearby. Each creature within 10 feet of you must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d8 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
At Higher Levels, When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for every two levels above 2nd.

Hack & Slash 


  1. Playtested the rage mage tonight ... satisfyingly insane and fragile thunderwave cannon :)

  2. At 10th level you can cast fireball over and over and over?.... an unlimited amount of times. Am I reading that right? That doesn't sound appropriate at all.

    1. Sure!
      10d8 fire damage in a round is nice, isn't it? As long as take damage and target an opponent in range and cast a spell every round, you can cast it ever round while you're in rage.

      I'd note, by this time, a 10th level sorcerer could cast fireball 14 times.


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