Happy Tuesday everyone! It’s the perfect day to go grab some dollar margharitas at your favorite chain neighborhood restaurant and then settle down to read about multiclassing! Today we’ll be talking about a simple yet effective multiclass, so let’s dive right in!
While the last two multiclasses we looked at dabbled into some spellcasting, today we’ll be looking at a completely martial multiclass. As usual, we’ll start at looking at some similarities and differences between the two classes!
To start off, both classes are martial classes, with no base spellcasting. They both are very beefy, with fighters having a d10 hit die and barbarians having a d12 hit die. Both of them will more often than not be building Strength, and both get proficiency in all weapons. They also both have proficiency in Strength AND Constitution saving throws, so you won’t have to worry about deciding between saving throws. Lastly, neither get any tool proficiencies, so pick your background wisely!
Unlike the other classes we’ve gone over, there’s a lot more in common between these two than there are different. Perhaps the biggest difference is that Fighters get proficiency in Heavy Armor, while Barbarians only get up to medium. The only other real difference in the base class is starting equipment, where the Fighter wins out with generally more favorable equipment.
Through Passion, I Gain Strength
When combined, you get a powerhouse of a tank that’s able to dish out tons of damage and slurp up even more.
The Fighter’s first few features will be helpful for just about any class, with Second Wind giving you a bonus action heal and Action Surge effectively doubling your damage output, movement, or whatever else you’ll be using your action for. Fighters only really get Indomitable as another class feature, so the class is very front loaded, making it great for multiclassing.
The Barbarian is a crazy strong class with only a few levels as well, granting you Rage which will make you infinitely tankier, better at grappling, and deal a bit more damage. Danger Sense and Reckless Attack are incredibly strong abilities, alleviating your non-proficient Dexterity saves and making you hit more consistently. Combine Reckless Attack with Action Surge, and you’ll be putting the hurt down while making yourself a bigger target… which is exactly what you want to do! Barbarains always want to be getting hit, so along with Second Wind you’ll be able to stay in the fight longer and keep on fighting.
It’s kind of incredible how well all of the abilities synergize with each other. Reckless works hand in hand with Action Surge, Rage works with Second Wind, and once you get into subclasses, things start to get extra spicy.
Through Strength, I Gain Power
Speaking of subclasses, let’s start to get into how you’d go about building one of these guys. More often than not you’ll want to be taking your first level into Barbarian, since you won’t be wearing Heavy Armor and you’ll start with an extra 2 HP. Though you’ll get a little less starting equipment, all you really need is a Greataxe and some real cojones.
When it comes to levels in each class, I don’t think you should go past level 3 in either class. Your subclass will give you such a big powerspike, and after that a few of the abilities are pretty redundant. If you find that you want more feats than class abilities, go into Fighter. If you want all the Barbarian class features, go into Barbarian. Simple as that! Personally I’d go 3 levels in Fighter and the rest in Barbarian, but if you end up rolling real bad for stats there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a few ASIs and maybe going up to Fighter 7 or 9/Barbarian 13 or 11.
When it comes to subclasses, if you’re investing into Barbarian, Champion Fighter is an obvious choice. Doubling your crit chance with abilities like Brutal Critical will cause your damage to spike super hard in physical combat. Battle Master grants you options to crowd control enemies or, if you’re going Totem of the Wolf, grant your allies attacks and really drive home the pack tactic theme. As for Barbarian subclasses, just about anything can work. Totem Warrior is a solid choice all around, Zealot will let you add some religious flair to your character and backstory, and Berserker combined with Champion Fighter will turn you into an actual terror on the battlefield.
With that, we finish one of the most solid martial multiclasses! Though I haven’t tried this one myself, I’ve seen it at the table and it does its job so incredibly well. Have you played this multiclass? Tell us about it on our Twitter or Instagram! Thank you all so much for reading, and we’ll see you guys next week!