Library of Metzofitz Wiki

Spare the rod and spoil the holy man. A barb is a divine goad: a secret sliver in the hand of the righteous that drives them to action, the wasp’s sting of god that compels the just to their calling. They taunt and curse, howl and blaspheme, test and condemn; it is their work on earth to make life difficult for the virtuous so that good people see the light within themselves.

Barbs are never called, always chosen for their willingness to submit to the divine. They are empowered by a divine spirit (often angelic) that cohabitates within their body. It gives them the tools and protections they need to torment and test good characters to greater heights of glory. It often enters their body during fervorous prayer, during moments of religious ecstasy, or while speaking in tongues. It is a form of holy possession and as barbs work with it and do good works it gives them more leeway with its near unlimited power. Barbs don’t always know why they do the things they are told to do but they do them for that is their calling.


ROLE Barbs help control enemies, directing them to allies while keeping them from doing any real harm with their covert curses. A barb will need good Charisma to fully utilize the many skills they had.


STARTING WEALTH: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

CLASS SKILLS The barb’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device.

SKILL RANKS PER LEVEL: 6 + Int modifier.


A barb’s actions are always for the greater good, judged by the divine spirit that cohabitates in their body. They can lie about their class and abilities to everyone but the GM, though this is strictly an out of game aspect; it does not impact the mechanics of the game at all.

SECRET ACTIONS: Several of the barb’s abilities have the [Secret] descriptor. A secret action is one that is called by a different name. You might say, “Ok I’m using unsettling strike. I got a +4 and I rolled a 14... so that’s a total of 18 to hit. They’ve got to make a DC 14 Will save now.” when you are really using your ire class feature. Set this up ahead of time with your GM. Covert curse, which is commonly used, could be utilized with a wink, nod, or subtle hand gesture to your GM. If playing online, a private chat feature could help facilitate secret actions. Common phrases like “oh no!” or a made-up catch phrase for your character could be a good way to mask using covert curse as well. This class can be played normally without the degree out of game secrecy. Just try to preserve your incognito status in game.

BARBS AND ROGUES: A barb’s nature makes it quite like a rogue and, as such, their class reflects this (the same hit dice, proficiencies, BAB, many of the same skills, sneak attack, evasion, etc). This makes claiming to be a rogue a perfect lie to make. It might be best to claim to be a rogue hybrid, a 3rd party class or variant, or an archetype to account for some of the differences.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A GOOD ALIGNED PARTY MEMBER?!: This class works best with good aligned party members and is not recommended for evil parties.

CLASS FEATURES The following are the class features of the barb

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort






1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Covert curse, ire, secret sinner
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Evasion, sneak attack +1d6
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Edict
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Leeway (2/round)
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Selfless curse, trickster’s vigilance +2
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Sneak attack +2d6
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Edict
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Leeway (3/round)
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Improved evasion, trickster’s vigilance +3
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Sneak attack +3d6
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Edict
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Leeway (4/round)
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Trickster’s vigilance +4
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Sneak attack +4d6
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Edict
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Leeway (6/round)
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Trickster’s vigilance +5
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Sneak attack +5d6
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Edict
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 God’s goad, leeway (7/round)


Barbs are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword. They are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.


At 1st level, every time a good aligned ally has a run of bad luck, the barb gets a little more freedom from their divine spirit to give them a secret little helping hand. This comes in the form of a little curse, muttered under their breath in the true language of the universe; glossolalia (“speaking in tongues”), to help them along. It can be done at will as a free action, but only once per round and never more than once per die roll. The enemy takes a -1/4th barb level penalty to its AC, attack rolls, and saves on a single d20 roll (with minimum penalty of -1). The barb can only use this on the target of a good-aligned ally. That ally must have suffered one of the following things happen since the end of the barb’s last turn: they were hit by an attack, they failed on a d20 roll (attack roll, skill check, stabilization roll, etc), or a target succeeded on a save from them.


  • This action is a free action and thus can be used at any point during the round, even interrupting other actions.
  • The enemy creature does not get a save.
  • This is assigned as a penalty to the enemy so that the GM never has to state out loud that the player is getting a bonus from the barb.
  • This must be declared/indicated prior to a dice roll.


Once per turn, when the barb hits an enemy as a free action they can force that creature to make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 barb level + Charisma modifier) or be forced to take a hostile action against a good aligned party member, other than the barb, on their next turn. A barb can do this a number of times per day equal to their class level + their Charisma modifier.


  • Once a creature has been successfully hit with this class feature the barb cannot use it again the same creature for 24 hours.
  • Good aligned divine casters, including characters from classes that eventually get divine casting, are targeted before other good aligned creatures. Allies of higher level or who have the potential to a greater amount of harm are always treated as being a higher priority as well. If there is a tie, the GM may pick who their creature targets.
  • The barb may not choose who their enemy targets.


A barb’s alignment always appears as being the direct opposite of what it actually is (a lawful good barb would register as chaotic evil to a detect evil spell). A barb may not suppress this and nothing shy of a wish or miracle spell can detect their true alignment, though a commune spell with the barb’s deity may reveal their true nature if that deity had reason to reveal such truths.


At 2nd level or higher, a barb can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a barb makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, they instead take no damage. Evasion can be used only if a barb is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless barb does not gain the benefit of evasion.


At 2nd level, the barb gains the rogue’s sneak attack class feature. Their attacks deals extra damage anytime their target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks their target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 2nd level, and increases by 1d6 every 4 barblevels thereafter. Should the barb score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or unarmed strike), a barb can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. They cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.

The barb must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A barb cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.


Barbs may be the tools of heaven but they get a little say in what they are assigned to do. These are edicts passed down from on high and barbs may select which ones they wish to pursue. These edicts give them a little flexibility and additional instruments of divine justice to wield so that they might accomplish these tasks. At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter a barb may select a new edict from the edict list.

(Barb Edicts can be found here)


At 4th level, the barb can use their covert curse class feature twice per round. At 8th level and every 4 levels thereafter they can use it one additional time per round to a maximum of 7 times per round at 20th level.


At 5th level, when an ally is stuck by an attack a barb can forgo the normal effects of a covert curse to cause the ally to take only half the damage rolled but the barb takes the other half. This covert curse can be applied after the damage dice have been rolled.


At 5th level, a barb gains a +2 sacred bonus on Perception against creatures attempting to hide on them and Sense Motive checks against evil creatures. At 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter this bonus improves by 1 to a maximum of +5 at 17th level.


At 9th level, a barb’s evasion ability improves. They still take no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth they take only half damage on a failed save. A helpless barb does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.


At 20th level, a barb can freely use the spells modify memory and atonement as spell-like abilities on good-aligned creatures.


A barb’s mission must endeavor to do the least harm for the greatest good. They must test the faithful, but only in ways that will make them better. They may (and are expected to) cheat, steal, lie, and even commit evil acts (so long as they ultimately have good outcomes) and not risk their alignment changing.

If a barb’s mission is ever guessed or revealed, or if they lose their good alignment, they fall from grace. A fallen barb cannot continue to take levels in barb but does not lose any of their class features and enemies get a save against their covert curse class feature (DC 10 + 1/2 barb level + Charisma modifier). This may be rectified with a spell like modify memory or wish. Should their mission be guessed out of game and the breach be rectified, their abilities do not need to be done secretly out of game anymore.