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Man; Berserker

by Jamie Baty

RC 161
1st Level Human Barbarian
Medium-size Humanoid (Human)
Hit Dice: 1d12+2 (8 hp)
Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armour Class: 14 (+1 Dex, +3 studded leather armour), touch 11, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+3
Attack: Greataxe +3 melee (1d12 +3)
Full Attack: As Attack
Space/Reach: 5 ft. /5 ft.
Special Attacks: Rage
Special Qualities: Fast Movement
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +1
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: Climb +5, Intimidate +3, Jump +9, Listen +4, Spot +3, Survival +4
Feats: Cleave, Power Attack
Environment: Any
Organisation: Solitary, Band (2-5+ 1 2nd -4th level brute), or Company (3-30 + 1 2nd-4th level brutes and 1 6th or higher level captain)
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Any Chaotic
Advancement: by character class
Level Adjustment: -

Berserkers are warriors who go mad in battle. Most belong to barbaric cultures- typically northern, seafaring cultures.
The image of the berserker is often based on the experienced and powerful berserkers. Younger and less experienced berserkers, while able to rage, do not yet possess the same terrifying abilities their leaders do, but their rages are still terrifying to many.
Berserkers do not look different from any other members of their culture. When in appropriate cultural areas, up to 10% of warriors may be berserkers.
The berserker presented above is a human with the base stats of Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8. Berserkers are usually of the same race as the dominant race in an area (i.e. in the dwarven realms, berserkers encountered will likely be dwarves). In addition to humans, dwarves and orcs are common berserkers.

Berserkers are fuelled in battle by their rage ability, which they will use against any human or humanoid foe. They do not retreat, surrender or take prisoners.
Berserkers prefer to use melee weaponry, preferably large weapons that inflict terrible wounds. They plough right into combat without much regard for tactics or their own safety. They are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armours, and shields.

Rage: Berserkers, as a barbarian, can fly into a screaming frenzy once per encounter, up to 1 time per day. This gives +4 to Strength and Constitution, +2 hit points, and a +2 morale bonus to Will saves, but gives a -2 penalty to AC. They cannot use any skills that require patience or concentration while enraged. The rage lasts for 3 + Con bonus rounds.

Fast Movement (Ex): A berserker has a +10 ft to speed when in medium armour or lighter and not carrying a heavy load.

Berserkers are always low level barbarians. They are very loosely organised. Fear and brute force often keep berserker leaders in power.
Berserker brutes range in level from 2nd to 4th level barbarians. They will have taken feats to enhance their rage ability if possible. They will be armed in a similar manner to the regular berserkers, except the quality of their equipment will be better.

Berserker captains are at least 6th level barbarians and are often higher. As with the berserker brutes, captains will have acquired feats to enhance their rage abilities. Some may have taken levels in the Frenzied Berserker prestige class. They are often well armed with magic or masterwork weapons, armour and equipment.