My character is a Level 4 Barbarian. And simply put, he doesn't like hidden doors.

I wonder if there is some Alchemist Fire, or Magical Pickaxe or Disintegrating Hand Grenade to make a good big hole in any wooden or stone house wall. Right now, not after an hour-long chipping. Like, BOOM and we can move forward. At least, I can.

Once per day power would be okay, but the more the merrier.

UPD: the game is over now, so this question remains out of simple curiosity: what are the applicable rules/items for wall breaking?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for a way for you to get through a wall, or to bring your whole party through a literal hole? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 1, 2013 at 9:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ A literal hole would be better, but a way for non-magical Barbarian to go through would be also good. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 1, 2013 at 9:41
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You definitely want to talk to your DM about this. Walls are often a vital DM tool for crafting interesting adventures and encounters. You might actually find the game becomes less interesting with the power to go through walls, unless you DM is prepared to make it an interesting power. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 1, 2013 at 17:14

2 Answers 2


Welcome to the world of lateral thinking in 4th ed. It's pretty essential for you to discuss this with your DM.

As someone who prefers to go through a wall even if there's a door available, I empathise with your plight. You'll be happy to know that after you pass mid-heroic, there are plenty of ways of getting from point a to point c without going through point B. By the time you hit epic, Primal Grove makes moving armies around remarkably cheap and easy.

This also tends to ruin 4e games. (As I have learned)

The glory of 4th edition is the set piece battle. Fighting and exploring the narrative of combat in 4e is really quite fun. Amplifying that narrative with your character's particular style is, arguably, absolutely essential to making that fun for you.

In order to do this, you must negotiate with the DM. If she knows what to expect, she can design in "breakable walls" into the scenario. (Otherwise, expect most walls to be 5 foot thick unobtanium that has 0 resale value.) If you use wall-breaking as a chance to give you a tactical advantage while getting to the set-piece battle, fantastic; if you use it as a way of avoiding the battle, you may want to play a diferent game.

It is trivial for the prepared DM to provide opportunities to shine simply by using the "breaking wall" rules. (note that they are not designed to scale, so to continue this theme in paragon you'll want to negotiate appropriate DCs with your DM.

Unfortunately, the unprepared 4e DM is likely to say no, or invent an unexpected 10d6 of gnolls on the other side of the wall you just broke. The narrative logic of 4th ed provides for islands of huge mechanical detail separated by seas of essentially pure narrative controlled entirely by the DM.

With that said, here are some options for your barbarian

  • Stone shape is a level 8 exploration ritual. If you take vistani heritage and vistani pathfinding, you can cast it once per day for free, even though you aren't a ritual caster. This segues neatly into Passwall at 12. For your purposes, it's fairly important to refluff all of this as a barbarian hitting the wall, but it represents ever larger "walls" you can break through.

  • In mid to late heroic, you can simply break through thin walls. A 6" wooden wall is a DC 25. A masonry wall (1 foot) is 35. And there are plenty of utility powers that boost those checks:

    • like the Vampire's Strength of Blood.
    • Crucial is the utility power Kord's Force which substitutes an athletics check for a strength check. These, of course, synergize well with Kord's Mighty Strength, which provides bonuses on just these sorts of activites.
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for Kord's Force; probably the most appropriate solution for a barbarian. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tynam
    Jun 1, 2013 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ um... some links for non-D&DI subscriber? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 2, 2013 at 15:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlexanderYakovlev you'll have to search the compendium wizards.com/dndinsider/compendium/database.aspx and for the source books. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Jun 2, 2013 at 17:56

The most obvious answer is a Portable Hole (p254 Players Handbook) but should a 4th Lvl character have a LVl19 105,000gp magic item, probably not.

If it was vital for a plot line you may get one but don't hold your breath.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would a portable hole actually put a hole through the wall? I thought it just created a pocket. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 1, 2013 at 11:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BraddSzonye A "true portable hole" creates a pocket, but from looking at the description, provided the walls are not too thick a regular common portable hole does seem to work. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Jun 1, 2013 at 12:04

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