Features Archive | 2/5/2013
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The Barbarian: Irrational Fears and Phobias
Appendix d12
By Jason Sholtis

With the release of the premium edition of AD&D's Unearthed Arcana, we take a look back at the classes presented in the book—the barbarian, cavalier, and split-class thief-acrobat!

To help DMs add further detail to their adventures, Jason Sholtis (of The Dungeon Dozen) has provided the following tables—in the spirit of the 1st Edition DMG’s appendices, charts, and random encounters!

The Barbarian: Irrational Fears and Phobias

Sure, your barbarian embodies ferocity, with rippling muscles, steely eyes and indomitable will, but you might also consider taking the edge off the grim/dark by adding a character quirk left over from the warrior’s questionable upbringing in the untamed hinterlands.


  1. Never trust anyone who can read; they are keeping secrets from you.

  2. One must achieve and maintain the appropriate balance between battle and the mead hall, neglect either at your peril.

  3. Making eye contact with a wizard endangers your soul.

  4. Clan mythology warns of any interaction with winged creatures.

  5. Terror of torches; they dull the senses and get you shot full of arrows.

  6. Behead every snake you see or they will hunt down your shade in the afterlife.

  7. Armor makes you look weak.

  8. Accepting freely offered gifts may cloud your mind and make you the unwitting servitor of the giver; goods must be earned through labor or stolen fair and square.

  9. Eating fruits and vegetables erodes the warrior’s prowess.

  10. Only fear your enemies after they are dead.

  11. Insects tiny enough to enter your ear canal can (and will try to) steal your knowledge.

  12. Fear of fear itself; owing to immersion in barbarous stoicism from youth, any terror exhibited by others will trigger pent up anxieties.

About the Author

Jason Sholtis serves humanity by day as a humble social services worker but keeps evenings free for self-indulgences such as writing, drawing and playing in rock bands. D&D occupies a special place in his heart. His semi-daily blog The Dungeon Dozen focuses exclusively on random tables for the twelve-sided die.

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