The Barbarian is a brutal berserker of Dungeons & Dragons 5E. Barbarians are both a generic term for a clan, and a class in the Player’s Handbook. Barbarians are not common; the inherent rage and training to turn a temper tantrum into a force of nature is not easily discovered. When a barbarian does appear, they tend to be absolutely critical elements of whatever clan or force they are part of. As such, they gain a reputation, the respect of others… and sometimes, titles or new names. This Barbarian Names guide is designed to help your barbarian stand out from the generic names of your race.
Barbarian Names 5E Guide
A Barbarian is not a member of another race, no. These are not new creatures, or always thrown out of society. Their names needn’t even be different from their base race. However, your standard Barbarian has inherent differences that change what they prefer to be called; Barbarians are likely the class that changes your character’s name the most. This guide is designed to help you make some considerations about your character’s background.
Culture and Naming Conventions
Barbarians are not necessarily isolated in “barbarian” communities. Indeed, “barbarian” tribes are not even necessarily full of barbarians! In those tribes, the barbarian class should be as rare as a Fighter is in a city. Barbarians are not simply primal people; they are warriors, trained, armed to the teeth, and full of a seething hatred.
Barbarians in civilization are likely uncomfortable. Barbarians born into civilization have concerns about rules and haughty, higher-class peoples. They are typically brawlers, bodyguards, and help the lesser man with their massive strength. The reason that the cliché “barbarian drinks himself out of a bar” exists… is because a barbarian drinks to have a reason to stay in a town. They are constantly talked down to – or feared – due to their rage.
A Barbarian is in their element on the battlefield. When they are allowed to let their rage out, they are reborn. They make their legacy with their insane courage and prowess with a weapon in hand. This makes them perfect defenders of the underequipped “barbarian tribes” that they normally call home.
A barbarian’s rage can be a sign of their culture, as well. A human’s rage is typically loud, screaming, and intimidating anger. A Drow or Elf, however, may replace that rage with a seething loathing, a glare, a glimmer in an eye that causes mortals to tremble. A Gnome’s rage may be an impassive, focused state; detached from the rather vibrant and creative nature normal for gnomes.
Examples of Barbarian Names
So, what does this mean for your barbarian’s name? A Barbarian’s name can change a lot, based on their training or acceptance into society.
In the above example, an Elf who is able to control rage into an intimidating glare may not change their name at all. They might be accepted as enforcers of Elven society, and thus keep their elven name for their communities.
However, if your Barbarian originates from a human tribe, then their name will likely not be standard. A Barbarian will probably not take the name “Marcus” without a good reason. They will likely take a more harsh or brutal name, like “Ragnok.” These barbarians, in tribes, are warriors and leaders. Their names are fear-inducing because, without fear, these tribes have no leverage or respect. If they are able to win a fight with nothing but a name and a legacy, things are much easier for them.
Consider starting with your race’s standard names, and adding a harsher twist to them. A Gnome named “Gimble” might prefer the name “Garnash,” for example.
Alternatively, keep their racial name, but add a title. What has your barbarian done in the past to become a barbarian? “Gimble the Beartamer” might be a worthy title for a barbarian. These titles might replace tribal or last names.
See Also: Aasimar Names Guide
Barbarian Title Examples
- The Bulwark
- The Giantslayer
- Hand of Gruumsh
- The Meatgrinder