View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Brutal Destroyer, a Holy Avenger for the Barbarian

Bahamut Omega
2017-09-22, 09:54 PM
In a game I'm involved in, we've been offered the opportunity to request certain magic items that we'd like to encounter, including custom items. Taking the offer, I'm interested in something along the lines of a Holy Avenger, but intended for a Barbarian.

Comparing it to the source, is this proposed item balanced for a Legendary item?

Brutal Destroyer, legendary (requires attunement by a Barbarian)

You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. When you hit a fiend or a celestial with it, that creature takes an extra 2d10 necrotic damage.

While you hold the drawn weapon, it creates an aura in a 10-foot radius around you. All creatures hostile to you in the aura or who enter the aura for the first time on their turn must make a Charisma saving throw (DC=8+Prof Mod+Con Mod) or have disadvantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. On a success, the aura does not affect the creature until the start of it's next turn when it must save again. If you have 17 or more levels in the Barbarian class, the radius of the aura increases to 30 feet.

Referenced materials when considering the design of this included:

The Holy Avenger;
Stinking Cloud and other spell effects which require ongoing saves regardless of previous successes or failures;
Bestow Curse and Bane.

Compared to the effects of the Holy Avenger on it's ability to sway a fight, is this proposed weapon balanced?

2017-09-24, 07:37 AM
It is balanced, but it somehow feels odd. The holy avenger, as well as auras have always been a sign of a paladin. In my mind it does not feel right to give this weapon to a barbarian, but rather an Oathbreaker.

2017-09-24, 11:00 AM
My problem with the disadvantage on spell saving throws is that it doesn't really benefit the Barbarian holding it.

2017-09-24, 11:59 AM
Aside from the name, it doesn't seem very barbarian-ish. Looking at the features one by one:

- Why does it target fiends and celestials? To be parallel to the Holy Avenger, sure, but barbarians don't specialise in fighting fiends and celestials the way a paladin specialises in fighting fiends and undead.

- Why necrotic damage? Necrotic damage is associated with necromancers and death clerics, not barbarians. If anything it should be physical, or maybe one of the classical elements to represent the barbarian's primal nature.

- Why disadvantage on saving throws against magic?? Barbarians can't use magic! Even if they multiclass, they can't use it while raging.

Really, you just reversed the features of the Holy Avenger, which is cool, but doesn't make a lot of sense for a barbarian. As Feuer said, this is a weapon for an Oathbreaker paladin.

Some more fitting features for a barbarian weapon might be:
- Increased damage against objects and constructs.
- Extra fire, cold or lightning damage while raging.
- An aura that grants your allies the benefits of your Rage (minus the damage resistance, probably)