Path of the Heartless Hunter (5e Subclass)

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Path of the Heartless Hunter[edit]

Barbarian Subclass

For some barbarians, the uncontrolled heat of a savage rage is just a stepping stone to a greater weapon. They harness the inner fire as a fuel to their true goal – ruthless, efficient violence. Though the rage still burns inside them, their eye does not stray and their hand does not tremble, as they encase it in a machine of ice.

Seething Focus

Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, you have learned to cool and temper your rage from a berserk fury into a honed weapon. While you are raging, if you aren't wearing heavy armour, when you make a ranged weapon attack using Strength or Dexterity, you gain a bonus to the damage roll that increases as you gain levels as a Barbarian, as shown in the Rage Damage column of the Barbarian table. You are also not prevented from concentrating while raging.

Harrowing Pursuit

Beginning at 6th level, you learn to harness your anger into a cruel hunting method. When your turn begins, if no hostile creatures are within range of a ranged weapon you are wielding, you may move no more than your speed until at least one is (otherwise, you may move up to half your speed), then reduce your speed to 0. If you do, you give yourself advantage on the next ranged attack roll you make in the current turn. If this attack deals damage, the target has disadvantage on saving throws until the beginning of your next turn.

Bloodshot Senses

Beginning at 10th level, your rage enhances your senses, making you sensitive to every movement behind a treeline and the sounds of beating, panicked hearts. While you are raging, you have advantage on Wisdom (Insight), Wisdom (Perception), and Intelligence (Investigation) checks. Additionally, taking the Search action prevents your rage from ending early during that round.

Vicious Aim

Beginning at 10th level, while you are raging, the effects of your Brutal Critical feature apply to your ranged attacks as well as your melee attacks.

Snap Shot

Beginning at 14th level, you are always ready to put down a target the moment it catches your attention. If a creature's movement or action causes it to enter your field of view, or otherwise causes you to become aware of its presence, you may use your reaction to make a ranged weapon attack against it. If your hands are empty, this reaction may include drawing and loading the weapon.

A Note On An Atypical Subclass[edit]

When considering whether or not to include the Path of the Heartless Hunter in your game, it's important to remember that there is a strong design reason why no official barbarian subclass incentivizes attacking at range. In giving the barbarian a stronger ranged option, it both occupies design space that traditionally belongs to other classes (Rogues, Rangers, and Fighters who focus on ranged combat) and also disincentivizes playing to some of the barbarian's existing strengths. Consider this class more of a thought experiment rather than an attempt to produce something that could or should be published as an official subclass.

That all being said, as long everyone playing understands this, and does not expect a barbarian of this subclass to be a frontline fighter, and is comfortable with the barbarian occupying a role as a primary or secondary ranged attacker in the party, then whether or not you include this subclass in your game is down your whim and preference as a GM.

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