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Goliath Barbarian 5e D&D Guide

Goliath Barbarian 5e D&D Guide

Goliath Barbarians tower above mere mortals, with muscles rivaling a mountain range and a beard that could house an entire forest ecosystem. This hulking figure embodies the raw power and primal fury that dwell deep within the heart of every adventurer.

A Goliath Barbarian is not your average warrior. No, they draw their strength from a wellspring of untamed primal energy. It’s like they have a personal power plant nestled within their biceps, generating enough force to make the gods themselves quake in their divine sandals.

In battle, a Goliath Barbarian wields weapons that seem more like toothpicks in their mighty hands. They can swing a greataxe with the force of a falling meteor and pulverize their enemies into mincemeat.

The Goliath Barbarian is a force of nature, a tempest incarnate, and a sight to behold. They march through life with a primal swagger, embracing their own strength and defying anyone who dares to underestimate them.

Creating a Goliath Barbarian


Goliaths dwell in the highest mountain peaks, wandering around their realm of rock, wind, and cold. They possess great physical strength and look as if they were carved from the mountains they inhabit.

Each Goliath has the responsibility to earn a place in their tribe; if they fail, they will live a life of utter despair and cold, most often leading to death.

SkinGray or brown, with distinctive patches of darker skin (usually vertically symmetrical)
Hair (Including their Beard)Often has bony protrusions or unevenness
EyesBright blue or green, sometimes with a little glow
NoseSomewhat larger human-like nose
MouthLarger human-like teeth

Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.

Goliath Subraces

Much like Half-Orcs, Goliaths have no subraces – likely due to their rarity and already reclusive nature.

Luckily, Goliaths have some great stats that synergize with the Barbarian class.

Barbarian Class Features

Hit Points

Hit Dice1d12 per Barbarian level
HP at level 112 + Constitution modifier
HP at Higher levels1d12 (or 7) + Constitution modifier per Barbarian level after level 1


ArmorLight armor, Medium Armor, Shields
WeaponsSimple weapons, Martial weapons
Saving ThrowsStrength. Constitution
SkillsChoose two – Animal handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, and Survival

Barbarian Primal Paths

Arriving at level 3 allows you to choose from 8 different Barbarian Primal Paths. Each path has a different playstyle, so choose the one that you find specifically interesting, or that fits your character most.

Ancestral Guardian – Ancestral Guardians revere their ancestors, using ancestral guardian spirits for aid. These spirits bolster their fighting spirits and strengthen them physically, allowing them to fight off even the toughest foes.

Battlerager (Dwarfs only) – Called Kuldjargh (translating to “axe idiot”) by the dwarfs, Battleragers worship the gods of war. 

They wear bulky armor adorned with spikes, needlessly throwing themselves into battle, using even their body as a weapon, and surrendering their sanity to the fury of battle.

Beast – Path of the Beast Barbarians draw their fury from the beast dwelling deep within their soul. If they let it take over, they physically transform, gaining many benefits.

Note: You may describe the origin of your bestial powers or roll for it.

Berserker – Berserkers use their rage to become unfathomably violent, entering a frenzy and getting a thrill like no other from battle. 

In many cases, their fury overwhelms their rational thoughts, causing them to ignore their health and well-being.

Storm Herald – Storm Heralds are taught to transform their rage into a mantle of primal magic that whirls around them, and when enraged, they create powerful magical effects.

These Barbarians are known as nature’s protectors and are often found in the far reaches of the world, where they train with druids and rangers, keeping nature safe from those who would harm it.

Totem Warrior – Totem Warriors go on a spiritual journey, accepting a spirit animal as their guide, inspiration, and protector. In battle, the spirit fills them with magical power, giving them magical fuel for their rage.

Wild Magic – Wild Magic Barbarians feel the rampant magic of the Feywild and the Upper Planes, transforming them and manifesting the otherworldly magic of their ancestors.

Note: Elves, tieflings, aasimar, and genasi Barbarians often walk this path.

Zealot – Zealots are Barbarians who fight ferocious battles in the name of their deity, channeling their rage into powerful exhibits of divine power. Deities who inspire Zealots are usually gods of violence, destruction, and combat.

Combining Barbarian With Goliath

Determining Your Barbarian Subclass

Choosing your ideal subclass is subjective, but if your objective is optimization, try understanding what your character wants to do and what stats fit best with their subclass.

Ancestral GuardianDefender/Striker/Utility Caster
Storm HeraldController/Striker/Support
Totem WarriorDefender/Striker/Support
Wild MagicController/Striker

Optimal Goliath Subrace

Goliaths have no subraces, meaning you’ll have to build more around the stats you’ll receive than the stats the Goliath already has.

Similar to Leonin, Goliaths have bonuses for Strength (2) and Constitution (1), both attributes a Barbarian primarily uses. Goliaths also have features like Stone’s Endurance and Natural Athlete, which is great for a Barbarian.

Goliaths are also very large creatures, and they can be intimidating to people who haven’t seen them before, which is something you can add to your background if you want to.

Your Goliath Barbarian Background

Your Goliath Barbarian needs a unique background that will affect its choices, as well as the way it sees the world and what it wants to achieve.

Start by asking yourself some basic questions: Where were they born, and where did they come from? Do they have any goals, bonds, or ideals, and what are their flaws? Where do they belong in social circles and society as a whole? What inspires them?

Place of Birth

Think of the environment a Goliath Barbarian grew up in and how it affected them physically and emotionally and eventually shaped their view of the world.

Try to make their place of birth and upbringing correspond with their personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws – this will truly bring their character alive.

Note: The birthplaces of races are usually mentioned in the Player’s Handbook or some of its expansion books.

Characteristics and Personality Traits 

Goliath Barbarians aren’t very aggressive by nature, but because of their primal upbringing and insane strength, they can easily tear you in half if you get on their bad side.

Goliath Barbarian Examples:

  • I judge people based solely on their actions, not their words.
  • Thinking is for other people. I prefer action.

Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws

Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Goliath Barbarian’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing (probably something about nature).

I see no good in pretending to be something I’m not.

Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Goliath Barbarian has to an event, person, or place. Bonds will tie them to their background and can inspire bravery or stimulate memories driving them against their ideals.

I worked the land, I love the land, and I will protect the land.

Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Goliath Barbarian – their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.

I judge others harshly and myself even more severely.


Inspiration can be used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.

As a Goliath Barbarian, I understand my size and power give me an advantage, so I use that advantage whenever possible.

Note: If you’re struggling to create your background or just don’t want to think, the Player’s Handbook has well-thought-through backgrounds that you can use for your character or use as a mold.

Supplies and Gear For Goliath Barbarians

Barbarians start with the following equipment, together with the equipment from their background. Choosing equipment based on your situation and your character’s proficiencies is the easiest way to go about things.

  • (a) Greataxe or (b) Any martial melee weapon
  • (a) Two handaxes or (b) Any simple weapon
  • Four javelins and an explorer’s pack

You can decide how your character came about these goods – whether they stole, inherited, or purchased them some time back – adding to your character’s background.

Note: By using your starting wealth, you can buy your own equipment (2d4 x 10 GP for Barbarians).

Final Thoughts

Goliaths Barbarians are similar to Leonin as they make excellent Defenders and Strikers. However, Goliaths tend to become a bit bigger, usually growing to 8 feet or taller.

These creatures are also more reclusive and less charismatic than many other races, as they have grown up in the mountains. Therefore, if you’re interested in communicating with them, be respectful and try not to come off as intimidating in any way.

When traveling around, you’ll notice a Goliath Barbarian from a mile away, as they’ll be the larger in the room and give off the most primal aura. So, if you’re trying to recruit one, sending your most charismatic and friendly party member should make it easy to get this brute into your party.

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