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Amiri, iconic barbarian.

Iconic character
Source: Core Rulebook, pg(s). 31–34 (1E)
Core Rulebook, pg(s). 83 (2E)

A barbarian is a fearsome embodiment of rage, focusing the deadly power of their anger against anyone who stands in their way. A barbarian is quick to enter battle and, once their fury has been unleashed, is immensely strong, often unpredictable, and nearly unstoppable.12 Barbarians of Golarion hail from the dark places of the world where civilization has failed or has yet to tread. From dusty wastes, ominous jungles, and cold wastelands these mighty warriors brave both beast and climes to earn their place in the world.3


Barbarians use an inborn rage to gain power over their foes. Brutally strong, tough, and resourceful, a barbarian is to be feared in individual combat, even by the most highly trained of warriors. Barbarians are uncivilized, but not savage.3


Barbarian's rage wells up from a dominant instinct—one learned from a tradition or that comes naturally to them. The instinct gives them special abilities and requires to avoid certain behaviors. An instinct could be a creature or symbol beloved by the barbarian's clan, or a purely internal source or filter of their rage, such as a belief, curse, heritage, or state of mind.12

Known barbarian instincts are:

  • Animal instinct: cultures that revere vicious animals (such as apes or bears) give rise to barbarians with this instinct. They might also be at war with an uncontrollable, animalistic side of their personality, or might be a descendant of a werewolf or another werecreature.12
  • Dragon instinct: barbarians with this instinct come from cultures that revere draconic majesty, or they might have gained their connection by drinking or bathing in dragon's blood or after watching a marauding wyrm burn their village.12 Dragon instinct barbarians are among the few individuals who may become dragon disciples, along with draconic sorcerers and kobolds.4
  • Fury instinct: a fury barbarian's rage comes from a deep and purely personal well within them.12
  • Giant instinct: a barbarian with the giant instinct doesn't necessarily revere giants — they might scoff at them or even aspire to slay them! They could also instead seem like a giant to other people due to their exceptional strength or larger-than-life emotions and ego.12
  • Spirit instinct: whether they are emotionally sensitive to the spirits around them; worship ancestors or apparitions; or are haunted by the specter of an ancestor, relative, friend, or foe, this barbarian's rage takes the form of a spiritual possession.12
  • Superstition Instinct: whether a superstition barbarian is a member of a superstitious family or culture that distrusts magic, a warrior in constant battle against wizards and witches, a survivor of a magical accident that instilled an intense aversion in their mind and body, or a scion of a bloodline known for its magic resistance, their rage is inimical to magic.5

On Golarion

A smasher barbarian.

Barbarians are most often found in these regions in which the environment makes everyday survival a test. Many hail from the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, the Storval Plateau in Varisia, the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Numeria, and throughout the continent of Garund, from the Sodden Lands to the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse.3 The plains of northern Garund are home to fierce horse- or dromedary-riding barbarian nomads.6

Many barbarians, champions, fighters, monks, rogues, and other skilled combatants fill the ranks of the Vigilant Seal.[citation needed]


Barbarians may have complex social structures and codes that might seem strange to an outsider, but are no less important to them than a tax code to a follower of the Prophecies of Kalistrade. Barbarian tribes rarely have a written language, relying strongly on symbols and pictures.3


Barbarians usually wear clothing native to their home regions; the colder places, for instance, mean thick furs and many layers of leather and skins. In most cases the barbarian tribes are strongly ritualized, using common objects such as bones and sticks, and most also include tattoos as symbols.3

Notable barbarians

See also: Category:Barbarians


Human Kellids make up a large portion of Golarion's barbarians, with Ulfen, and Shoanti not far behind.6

Barbarians from other races are not as common, but are not unheard of, especially in less civilized lands.6 Dwarf, orc, lizardfolk, beastkin, fleshwarp and gnoll adventurers often become barbarians.[citation needed]


The lack of civilization among barbarian cultures does not mean that they lack faith as strong as those in more cultured regions. While they frequently venerate ancestral spirits, nature totems, or even monsters feared in other parts of the world, worship of Gorum is also quite popular, especially among the more warlike of barbarian tribes.3


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Logan Bonner, et al. “3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 69. Paizo Inc., 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Logan Bonner, et al. “3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 83–88. Paizo Inc., 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer, 10. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. Logan Bonner, et al. “3: Archetypes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 168. Paizo Inc., 2020
  5. Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 108. Paizo Inc., 2020
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 274. Paizo Inc., 2011
  7. Steven Hammond. Ardax the White-Hair” in Legends, 16. Paizo Inc., 2020
  8. Ashton Sperry. Kevoth-Kul” in Legends, 74. Paizo Inc., 2020
  9. Kristina Sisto Kindel. White Estrid” in Legends, 116. Paizo Inc., 2020