Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I haven't been able to find a way to create a classic dwarven battlerager that is official. I want to build a dwarf that wears spiked armor, spiked gauntlets, spiked everything, that charges enemies, grabs them, punches, bites, and shakes violently to use my body and armor as a weapon.

(I know there's an "Battlerager" fighter build, but it's unrelated to the classic dwarven battlerager.)

share|improve this question
What level range are you building this guy for? – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 7 '13 at 3:44
we are currently 14-16, however I'd like to start from 1 in a new campaign – TheDungeonMaster Apr 7 '13 at 16:15
up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are many options, as a function of mechanics and fluff. I will present an option that can mechanically represent what you want but that requires refluffing. A brawler fighter accepts this without fluffing, but has difficulty performing well without significant complexity on the battlefield.

Your requirements:

  • Must be a Dwarf
  • Must be playable from 1 for a campaign
  • Must emphasise grapples and doing damage with them

The core theme of this class is unarmed or "obligatory spiky bits" damage. Grapples would be lovely, as well as thematically appropriate actions.

For our at-will grabs, we have 3 possible actions, ignoring fluff:

  • Garotte Strangle (Assassin)
  • Net Snare (Feat)
  • Grappling Strike (Fighter)

For storm of obligatory spiky bits, the spiked gauntlet is +2/1d6 (uuugh) with off-hand and unarmed group. The wrist razor is... spiky and keeps your hand free, but is +3/1d4. On the other hand it's a light blade and keeps your hands slot free.

There are too many light-blade options to list.

This character keeps feeling like a striker to me, albeit one that's tough and has a lot of single-target lockdown to me.

Mechanically speaking, I see this character swarming onto someone and then popping off their head.

I also see them moving into someone's space and holding on.

In a sense a druid grabber could be highly effective in this circumstance. While it would need significant refluffing, the druid (besides the monk) is most comfortable with "natural attacks." At the same time, there are a significant number of brawler fighter feats that are a "sine qua non" of a grabber.

A druid's ruthless killer + grasping claws can immobilize targets as well as doing very credible damage to them. In terms of simulating a grab that actually works, there is nothing more effective. Obviously the beast form stuff would have to be refluffed, or you could go with "silverback gorilla" or equivalent. The primal guardian works exceptionally well with a dwarf, and the coiled serpent PP fits your mechanics well (obviously requiring refluffing to fit your desired visual).

With claw gloves and the right combat advantage feats, you can be a very very credible striker as a druid. With primal guardian, hide armor, and your high con, you'll have an acceptable defense, and your immobilization provides highly acceptable lockdown. Grab the guardian theme for a bit of defender sprinkled in, and make sure to articulate your fluff well. There is nothing preventing you from spending the majority of your time in "beast form" and thereby choosing powers that synergize well.

There's generally a power every level that fits into your concept, so having something fun and interesting to do is not out of the question, and the "vicious advantage" feat grants CA against immobilized enemies, allowing you to grant yourself CA (and thereby bonus damage with your claw gloves.)

share|improve this answer
YES!!! That is exactly right. We're just thinking Thibbledorf Pwent and the gutbuster brigade. I'd have to custom create him using a list of all the moves from all the classes. Also, enjoyed usage of the word "refluffing". Kudos – TheDungeonMaster Apr 8 '13 at 14:46
I wouldn't bother "custom creating." Make him a druid, but call the druid something else and make sure to describe your attacks the way you want to. The druid's mechanics fit your desired fluff well. – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 9 '13 at 0:45
Too true, I could never call a gutbuster a druid. But the more I read into powers the more giddy I get. Thank you. Solved my problem. – TheDungeonMaster Apr 9 '13 at 19:23

Brawler Fighter

Fighters in general get good charge support, and brawler fighters (introduced in Martial Power 2) are the system experts at grabs. Their style works well with spiked gauntlets and with armor with the barbed property (introduced in Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium; thanks F. Randall Farmer!).

See this guide to building fighters.

On a side note, "battlerager" is the name of an actual fighter build (though it doesn't do what you're describing here), so you might not want to use that term, to avoid confusion.

share|improve this answer
There is Spiked Plate it was introduced in Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium along with other Barbed items... – F. Randall Farmer Apr 6 '13 at 17:53
"A suit of barbed armor or a barbed shield is covered with spikes and hooks designed to injure creatures foolish enough to grab at it. While you wear barbed armor or wield a barbed shield, a creature takes damage equal to 2 + one-half your level when you escape that creature’s grab on your turn or when that creature escapes your grab. If you wear barbed armor and carry a barbed shield at the same time, the creature takes this damage only once." – F. Randall Farmer Apr 6 '13 at 17:54
hahaha, I do know about the battlerager build, and it is accurate because it reinvigorates my health as I deal damage. I'll probably have to develop custom items for this to work. I like the link about the spiked plate, you're getting accepted for that little tidbit. hahaha. Thanks – TheDungeonMaster Apr 6 '13 at 17:55
"Battlerager" is a term that already had a meaning in D&D before 4e redefined it, so it's not inappropriate to keep using the term to refer to what it means. – SevenSidedDie Apr 6 '13 at 18:56
@SevenSidedDie: A reasonable point, but given that it does have a specific mechanical meaning in 4e it would be best to at least specify which meaning (the classic term or the 4e mechanic) is being referred to. "How can I build a classic battlerager" is a very different question from "How should I build my Battlerage Talent fighter?" – Oblivious Sage Apr 6 '13 at 19:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.