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Barbarian Wizard MC
Stat requirements, 13 Str, 13 Int
Barbarians cannot concentrate or cast spells while raging.
Will isn’t quite happy with feeling behind each class.
This is one of those MCs that people use as an example of a bad idea. But breaking things down, it may actually work out. It is not the best gish character you will find. But it can make a fun class.
Wizard have a martial class, bladesinging. But it seems like there’s some bad overlap. You can officially rage and go into your blade song. But the big thing is getting advantage on concentration checks. Which is useless if you are raging. You also have to give up a shield and a 2 handed weapon. Which goes against normal barbarian builds.
War Magic is a bit more useful. It’s level 2 ability uses your reaction to raise your AC or gives +4 to Saving Throws. You also get your Int mod added to your initiative. If you do this, it’s pretty worthless to go past 5th level as wizard. It’s 6th level ability can’t be used while raging and just generally is not that good.
But a 2 level dip for spells, and that use of a reaction is actually pretty good.
Spells as a whole are going to be tricky but still useful. With rage being a bonus action, you can definitely start combat by casting a spell. Some of those spells have a duration without concentration. We can talk about that later.
Ancestral Guardian and Abjuration would seem to fit well together. But the Abjuration wizard only really works well if they get to a high level. And the lack of Abjuration spells that wizards have access to is just killer to the subclass. And raging just makes it even harder to repair your ward.
Resistances are NOT passed on to the ward. According to god emperor Jeremy Crawford. So abjuration just feels a little silly. Sticking with Ancestral Guardian is going to be much more useful.
Having int at the bare minimum of 13 and taking 1 or 2 wizard levels is a great way to get some out of combat use. You play as a barbarian in combat, but out of combat you now have options!
Chronurgy Wizard: Everything they can do for their class can be done while raging. This means forcing rerolls and incapacitating for a turn. You also get the INT added to initiative bonus.
Check out our Wildemount episode if you want to hear us yell about Graviturgy
Growing up in a tribe that values strength, when they leave they find that there’s a whole aspect of the world they are curious in, magic.
Along the vein, maybe they were always interested in books and learning and magic, but had to keep it secret from their tribe. They were always strong and athletic, but they still loved something that wasn’t appreciated by their tribe. Once they leave they are able to explore those things feely.
Nerd Rage from Fallout is a good example of this. Where at a low health you break out into a nerd rage and ya know... hulk out.
Another option is in your tribe you are the one chosen one who is expected to be an intelligent leader in the future. So you are sent out to learn of the world and learn magic.
God of War’s Kratos is definitely a barbarian. But he uses weapons with elemental damage. He will also go into a Spartan Rage. Kratos is definitely not a wizard but a smarter Kratos definitely works!
A wizard who does research and discovers something that breaks their mind a bit and puts them into a rage.
Good Non concentration spells that can be cast at the beginning of combat and then raged: Charm person, find familiar, grease, mage armor, longstrider, sleep (at lower levels), snare, Blindness/Deafness, mirror image, see invisibility, animate dead*, blink, magic circle, charm monster, fire shield, contingency**, create undead, true seeing, crown of stars,
*Animate Dead is actually great as it only takes a bonus action to control them and no concentration. The flavor of it as well is really neat. A raging lunatic with an army of zombies bringing up the rear would be a sight to see. Necromancer/Zealot is actually probably a great combo. It would suck if you started at level 1. But it comes online later when you have 6 wizard, 4/5 barbarian.
**Contingency is interesting because when the trigger happens it doesn’t use the phrasing you “cast” the spell so I think that can happen while raging. That can get around a lot of stuff, at least once a day