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Mastering the Kenku Barbarian: Tips for Playing This Unique D&D Character

If you’re new to Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and looking to add some flair to your gameplay, consider rolling a Kenku Barbarian. This unique combination offers a mix of mystery, cunning, and raw power that can bring an exciting dynamic to any campaign.

What is a Kenku?

Kenkus are bird-like humanoids known for their mimicry skills. They can imitate sounds perfectly but lack their own voice. This characteristic offers both role-playing challenges and creative opportunities. Imagine your Kenku Barbarian communicating through sound effects and snippets of conversations they have overheard!

Why Choose Barbarian?

Barbarians are known for their brute strength and durability. When you combine the Kenku’s dexterity with the Barbarian’s rage, you get a character that can both evade and deal significant damage. The juxtaposition of a Kenku’s stealth and a Barbarian’s raw power makes for a fascinating character.

Creating Your Kenku Barbarian

Here are some key steps to follow:

  • Background: Consider a backstory that justifies your Kenku’s decision to become a Barbarian. Maybe they were part of a warrior tribe or learned to fight to protect themselves.
  • Attributes: Focus on Strength and Dexterity. These will complement your combat style, whether you’re using heavy weapons or relying on agility.
  • Skills: Choose skills that enhance both your mimicry and combat abilities. Stealth, Acrobatics, and Intimidation are great choices.

Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Here are some tips to get the most out of your Kenku Barbarian:

  • Leverage Mimicry: Use your mimicry skill to gather information, confuse enemies, or even create diversions. The possibilities are endless.
  • Combat Strategy: Utilize your rage feature to its fullest. Rage not only increases your damage but also provides resistance to certain types of damage.
  • Role-playing: Embrace the challenge of role-playing a character who communicates through mimicry. It can lead to some memorable and hilarious moments.
  • Equipment: Invest in weapons and armor that enhance your strengths. A versatile weapon like a battleaxe can be beneficial.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Even seasoned players make mistakes. Here are some common pitfalls to watch out for:

  • Over-reliance on Rage: While rage is powerful, it has its limitations. Make sure to have a balanced approach to combat.
  • Ignoring Role-playing: Don’t forget the role-playing aspect of your Kenku Barbarian. Engaging in conversations and interactions can add depth to your character.
  • Poor Team Coordination: Ensure that your actions align with your team’s strategy. A lone wolf approach can sometimes backfire.


Playing a Kenku Barbarian can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The blend of mimicry, stealth, and raw power offers a unique gameplay experience that can make your D&D sessions unforgettable. So, gather your dice, embrace the challenge, and let your Kenku Barbarian soar!

Happy adventuring!

Author: Justin Allen