... now with 35% more arrogance!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Berserk Berserkers

You probably noticed, back when I posted my version of berserk barbarians, that my berserk rules are pretty understated: berserkers are Hasted and strike first against non-Hasted opponents, plus they get +2 to attack.

A lot of people read much more into the idea of going berserk. Two frequent interpretations are:
  1. Berserkers ignore wounds. They don't notice they are damaged until the combat is over. They may even ignore death.
  2. Once they start fighting, berserkers have a hard time stopping. They sometimes attack their friends.
The ways to handle these are usually pretty complicated, so I don't like them. Plus, I just don't feel like that's what a berserker should be. But if you wanted that kind of thing, here are some ways to handle it:
  1. Ignore Wounds: Count how many times an enemy hits a berserker, but skip damage rolls. Roll all damage when the berserker take a critical hit (4 above what's needed to hit, or natural 20) or when the combat ends.
  2. Keep Fighting: Berserker must keep rolling attacks until they do 5+ damage on a single hit, or until someone stops them some other way. For friendly targets, have everyone near the berserker roll a d6; closest person whose d6 roll matches takes the hit.


  1. I really like your 'ignore wounds' rule - you could see a raging berserker shrugging off a whole range of serious wounds but being stopped in his tracks with a spear in the guts. "Bugger", he says softly, before slowly keeling over.

  2. Wayne R made a very relevant post on berserkers earlier this week. It's interesting to see synchronicities in the blogosphere. :)

    I agree with Andy - the ignore wounds rule is awesome, and it's definitely getting tested at my table soon.