From Spelleater Minotaur to Path of the Spelleater Barbarian for 5E D&D

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Mythic Odysseys of Theros is out for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and Greek myth is the name of the game! My housemate and I have been talking for a while about what sorts of third party supplements might fit nicely into a Theros campaign and we came up with several. In Nerdarchy the Store you can find Horris, the Horned Lord. Horris is a labyrinth keeper and minotaur with the power to turn magic back on those who wield it. As a labyrinth dwelling minotaur, what better place to stick this? Horris the Horned Lord contains a one shot encounter introducing spelleater minotaurs. This adventure takes less than ten minutes to read through and it’s easily adapted into any campaign setting. As I read through the adventure I got thinking, suppose there were individuals who might follow in the hoofsteps of Horris? What would that look like? Thus was born the Path of the Spelleater, a barbarian Primal Path for 5E D&D.

5E D&D minotaur barbarian Theros Mogis nyxborn
Mogis, a god of Theros, makes fine inspiration for a Spelleater barbarian. Nyxborn minotaur sounds perfect to me. [Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast]

Barbarian Primal Path for 5E D&D

Path of the Spelleater

Those who honor the path of Horris the Horned Lord are called spelleaters. Originally a Primal Path limited to minotaurs, Spelleaters brand themselves with magic capturing runes all over their bodies. These runes activate during the barbarian’s rage, turning magic against the very creatures that first cast it.

As part of their initiation each Spelleater is branded or tattooed with arcane symbols all over their body. These symbols draw magic into them like magnets and cause the energy to flow through the veins of the Spelleater, much as a sorcerer’s magic does. This magic channels into the barbarian’s weapon or fists, empowering their strikes with the raw force of magic.

Originally Spelleaters were servants to a dark god — the strongest, smartest, and fiercest of minotaurs. Over the course of time, other races watched with horror as swaths of mages fell in bloody combat with savage warriors immune to many of their spells. Unwilling that such bloodbaths would occur again, mages studied captured Spelleaters, unraveling their secrets. Then, said wizards, warlocks and otherwise made their own Spelleaters.

At first the goal was self preservation but over time wizards warred as they are wont to do and warlocks hungered for power. Each with their own motives, spellcasters from near and far battled alongside their own Spelleaters.

For generations, spellcasters and those seeking protection from magic have surrounded themselves with Spelleaters — bodyguards tattooed from head to toe or branded like feral beasts. Some choose the life of a Spelleater. Others are forced into it. How you came to this path is up to you. For inspiration, consult the table below.

d8

I came to the path of the spelleater when…

1

I was kidnapped by the cult of a dark god and branded against my will.

2

A spellcaster hurt someone close to me, and I chose this path, because that will never happen again.

3

I completed my initiation into an organization of mage hunters who combat spellcasters at every turn.

4

I came of age, from a long line of Spelleaters. This is my heritage and my legacy.

5

I took vows to protect my clan, who mistrust and fear magic. I am their defender.

6

I was a bodyguard for an influential spellcaster.

7

I was once a spellcaster, myself, but was tortured and turned into what I am today.

8

I have no memory of my life before. It’s all a haze.

 

Path of the Spelleater Features

Barbarian

Level

Feature

3rd

Bonus Proficiencies, Powered Attack

6th

Arcane Recall

10th

Spell Eater

14th

Magic Resistance, Magical Surge

Bonus Proficiencies

At 3rd level when you choose this path, you gain proficiency in Intelligence (Arcana) checks, Intelligence (Nature) checks, and Intelligence (Religion) checks.

Powered Attack

Also starting at 3rd level, you can harness the power of the runes branded on your skin. While you are raging, if you succeed on a saving throw, or are missed by a spell attack, you can use your reaction to make a Constitution saving throw (DC = 10 + the spell’s level). If you succeed on this Constitution saving throw, you take no damage and suffer no adverse effects of the spell, and one of your runes ignites with its power. The power lasts for one minute, or until expended.

When you make a successful melee attack, you can choose to expend this power, causing your attack to become magical and deal an extra 1d6 force damage. If the spell you absorbed was a cantrip, the stored power does not grant the extra 1d6 force damage.

Arcane Recall

Also beginning at 6th level, you can perfectly remember anything you have experienced within the past month, as remnants of arcane energy send temporal visions through your mind. Additionally, you can make an Arcana roll to attempt to harvest memories from locations or objects, as you absorb the residual magic around them.

Spell Eater

Starting at 10th level, you automatically succeed on your saving throw made as a result of your Powered Attack feature while you are raging, as long as the triggering spell is of 3rd level or lower. You can also make a saving throw against spells that hit you, or against which you failed your saving throw.

Starting at 14th level, you automatically succeed Powered Attack saving throws for spells of 4th level and lower.

Magic Resistance

Starting when you reach 14th level, you have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magical Surge

Also beginning at 14th level, you can use a bonus action on your turn to absorb the magic stored within your body to heal yourself. You heal 1d4 for each level of spells expended that you had stored within your body.

And that’s the Path of the Spelleater for 5E D&D!

Got ideas for how to use this class path in your own games? Do you have inspiration for a Spelleater character? Drop your thoughts in the comments! And make sure to return to Nerdarchy for more daily RPG content. If you sign up for Nerdarchy the Newsletter you’ll receive an exclusive coupon code worth $9.99 you can use to get Horris the Horned Lord free and still have enough left over to get a second title at no cost too. You can pick up your own copy of Horris the Horned Lord in Nerdarchy the Store here.

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Follow Steven Partridge:
Steven Partridge is an aspiring author and experienced tabletop gamer. As a child, he dreamed of growing up to be a dinosaur, but as with many children, his childhood dreams were dashed when the rules of reality set in. However, our valiant Steven never allowed this to sway his ambition. He simply... adjusted it to fit more realistic aspirations. Thus, he blossomed into a full-fledged nerd with a passion for the fantasy genre. When he's not writing or working on videos for his YouTube channel, Steven can be found lap swimming or playing D&D with his friends. He works in the mental health field and enjoys sharing conversations about diversity, especially as it relates to his own place within the Queer community.

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