Barbarian revamp I have been thinking about

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nwelte1
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Barbarian revamp I have been thinking about

Post by nwelte1 »

Here is a copy the post I made with regard to my Sunday night game I will be starting... Looking for positive and negative critizism and suggestions..
nwelte1 wrote:
As stated tonight, I generally distaste the barbarian as presented in the PHB. I feel they need to be more savage/brutal/uncontrollable. Accordingly, what follows below is my rewrite of the entire barbarian class....

My guess is the class as redesigned is broken as all hell and needs more tweaking but it is the best I can do at 1:30 a.m. Please forgive any glaring typos, misspellings, and grammar mistakes.... its late.

The concept of a Barbarian, which I am trying to capture, is that of a savage which increases in battle strength as he/she becomes wounded. The barbarians brutal attacks are often reckless (read uncontrolled) and without heed of potential counter-attacks and injury. With each wound inflicted, the barbarian lashes out in greater fits of rage. I am hoping the negatives side effects of being a savage will balance out the character concept and force players and the party to carefully consider how far they allow their pet barbarian to slide into barbarism.
Barbarian (Strength)

On the plains of Aihrde many tribes of nomadic tribes survive and live off of the land. Their warrior caste include the fearsome barbarians whom stories about which are told to scare children. Such stories include crazed rumors of barbarians involved is such fits of rage that they literally beat their opponents to death with their opponents own bloody limbs. Yet others talk of how the barbarians thrive on bloodlust and seem to become empowered with each blow struck against them. Yet no one who as faces the barbarians rage as lived to document the varacity of these stories.
Abilties
Combat Sense: Per the PHB.

Retaliation: Barbarians pride themselves at striking the mightiest blows and do not like being bested in combat. When an opponent strikes a might blow upon the Barbarian, the barbarian instinctively returns the favor. At first level, when ever the barbarian is attacked and the attacker rolls a natural 20 or max damage, the barbarian lashes out with an immediate counter attack. At level 6, the Barbarian will retaliate on a natural roll of 19- 20. At level 12, the Barbarian will retaliate on natural roll of 18-20.
Savage Fighting: Living in the wilderness and in some the harshest climates, the barbarian has adopted an all or nothing mentally in order to survive. As a result the barbarian gains the following abilities:
Bloodied: At first level, the barbarian gains the ability to focus his rage on a single enemy. The first creature/opponent to injury the barbarian in a single encounter pulls the Barbarians wrath. All attacks the barbarian makes against that creature/opponent are at a +1. This bonus increases to +2 at level 7.
Feral Instincts: When severely wounded Barbarians seem to fight even harder, almost like a cornered animal. At level 2, after being dropped to of his health or less, the Barbarian gains one extra attack during his next round of action. At level __ the Barbarian gains a third attack.
Death Wish: Hating to lose to combatant, Barbarians often make a final attempt to slay their opponent in one last effort of strength and daring (some would say insanity). At level 6 the barbarian gains the ability to act upon a death wish. This ability can be triggered only once per day and only occurs when the barbarians health has is brought 12 HP or less. The barbarians next attack is at a +4 and on a successful hit the barbarian does max damage. However, the barbarian suffers a 4 to ac as a result of this reckless action. A barbarian recognizes the recklessness of their actions and may avoid having his death wish granted upon a successful wisdom check.
Fast Movement: Spurred on by the thrill of combat (or perhaps the insanity of bloodlust) the Barbarian often surprises other combatants by how quickly they rush in to melee and begin raining down blows. At level 2, the Barbarian adds 20 to his base speed. This increases to 30 at level 8. The Barbarian loses this ability if carrying a medium or heavier load.
First Blood: Starting at second level, in each encounter, if the Barbarian draws first blood (amongst all allies and enemies) the Barbarian is spurred on by blood lust increasing his resistance to physical pain and mental distractions. The Barbarian gains a +1 to all saving throws for a number of rounds equal to of the Barbarians level rounded down.
Primal Fury: Per the PHB, but a barbarian may use this ability 1/day at level three and one extra time per day for every three levels gained after level 3. The bonuses/penalties occurring as a result of Primal Fury stack with those granted by Savage Fighting.
Brutal Display Savagery: In the stories about barbarians wrath are told (whether fictional or otherwise), one constant remains A barbarians mad glee when involved in combat pales in comparison the utter excitement they show in savagely defeating an enemy. Beginning at level 3, whenever a Barbarian lands a killing blow, the Barbarian erupts into a savage display of brutality often ripping an opponents limbs a part, covering themselves in their opponents blood, beating their dead opponent into an unrecognizable mass of bone and tissue (often with the opponents own limbs) and other such inhuman acts. A barbarians brutal display of savagery causes all intelligent creatures/allies (as determined by the CK) other than the barbarian within a 10-foot radius of the barbarian to make an immediate save check versus fear or otherwise be shaken for 2 rounds. All attacks taken against a shaken opponent are at +2. A barbarian who enters into this fit of savagery can take no other action for two rounds and suffers a 2 AC while distracted. Every two levels after third, the number of rounds which creatures or allies affected by the brutal display of savagery increases by one, and at level 7 the radius of the effect of this ability increases to 20 feet. A barbarian recognizes the recklessness of their actions and may avoid committing a Brutal Display of Savagery upon a successful wisdom check.
Primal Might: As per the PHB.

1 Combat Sense Retaliation I Savage Fighting Bloodied +1

2 First Blood Fast Movement I Savage Fighting Feral Instincts I

3 Primal Fury Brutal Display of Savagery I 2 rnds 10 radius

4 First Blood 2/rnds

5 Brutal Display of Savagery II 3 rnds 10 radiusPrimal Might

6 First Blood 3/rnds Retaliation II Savage Fighting - Death Wish

7 Brutal Display of Savagery III 4 rnds 20 radius Savage Fighting Bloodied +2

8 Fast Movement II First Blood 4/rnds

9 Brutal Display of Savagery IV 5 rnds 20 radius

10 First Blood 5/rnds

11 Brutal Display of Savagery V 6 rnds 20 radius

12 First Blood 6/rnds Retaliation III

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Kos
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Post by Kos »

Why does everybody think the barbarian is "broken". I'll play the barbarian as per the book any time.b

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Post by serleran »

Some people want more "oomph" I guess. I quite like the barbarian, as-is, too, but I won't stop someone from changing it for their game. Just don't expect me to think it needs universal fixing.

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Post by gideon_thorne »

Kos wrote:
Why does everybody think the barbarian is "broken". I'll play the barbarian as per the book any time.b

The most common complaint has to do with the Barbarian attacking other party members whilst in a rage. Cant we all just get along?
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Post by Treebore »

He is changing it because the BtB version doesn't fit his conceptual image for a barbarian.

This version speaks to me more of Conan The Barbarian far more than the book version does, for an example. Plus what he is doing isn't exactly devastatingly powerful. I think the Knight and Paladin are still more powerful.
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Post by nwelte1 »

Treebore wrote:
He is changing it because the BtB version doesn't fit his conceptual image for a barbarian.

This version speaks to me more of Conan The Barbarian far more than the book version does, for an example.

Hit the nail on the head.

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Post by Gleemax Jr »

reads more like mister whirlwind of death than any kind of barbarian i've seen. everything is about extra attacks, or maximum damage. this variant outshines the fighter, in everything, with nothing restricting it. all it needs is a healing effect after defeating a creature to be totally broken - as it is, it teeters that edge. i would not allow this character into my games.

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Post by nwelte1 »

I was thinking the constant AC penalties would be failly restrictive and the extra attacks I was hoping would be far and few between due to level req. or other preconditions such as sustaining critical hits or being at low health - 12 hp is a nat's hair from death in some cases. But I agree---broken hence why i want suggestions.

What modifications would you suggest keeping with the concept that the more p.o.ed the barb is the more punch he packs and the more reckless he becomes. I am toying with adding in automatic HP damage every round while in certain "states" to simulate the reckless disregard for safety.

Don't get me wrong, the Barb in the PHB seems balance and would likely be fun to play, but he does not fit my concept of brute savage.

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Post by Treebore »

I totally disagree with Gleemax's assessment.

Retaliation: Only occurs on natural 20's or when max damage occurs. LAter the range increases to natural (unmodified) 18-20 at 12th+ level. Not going to happen very often and is an extra attack, so not even a definite hit when it happens.

Bloodied: Only limited to one opponent. No biggie.

Feral Instincts: Only happens once, when the Barb is taken below 50% HP. Again, just an extra attack that needs to be rolled for.

Death Wish: Only used once a day and only IF they are taken below 12 HP.

First Blood, again, not going to happen often unless the whole group holds their action to allow it. Even so, +1 to saves? No biggie.

Brutal Display of Savagery: Makes opponents (apparently within 10 feet, then 20 feet later on) SHAKEN. Still no biggie.

I still say that the Knight, Paladin, Ranger, and Fighter are deadlier in over alll combat and damage dealt. Their prowess is always on.

Take an 8th level Knight with a 18 CHA for example.

Their Battefield Dominance allows them to make up to 5,000 enemies be at -1 to hit, save versus fear effects at -4, suffer -4 to their CHA checks, give +1 to STR, CON, DEX, and INT, and +2 to WIS and CHA to all allies within 30 feet, AND give a +3 to hit rolls of up to 1,000 allies. For 8 rounds. Now that is HUGE!!

Paladins have +2 to saves and their own AC whenever they are fighting evil foes. ALL THE TIME!

They have Divine Health. Heal for 16 HP's. Turn Undead as a 6th level Cleric. Have an Aura of Courage making Paladins immune to fear and gives allies within 10 feet a +4 to saves.

Yeah, I would say the Barbarian is much weaker than these two.

I will go on to explain why I say they are still weak when compared to the fighter and Rangers abilities, all of which have no limits per day or extremely specific triggers, if you like.
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Post by Gleemax Jr »

you may disagree all you like, and still be wrong.

retaliation -- 1:20 attacks triggers automatic counter-attack, increasing to 1:10 and then 3:20 (or 5%, 10%, 15% if you don't understand ratios) and this is just the attack roll requirement; there is the other caveat of "maximum damage" which is likely to happen far more often, especially with low-impact weapons (d4 or d6, for example) problem 1) natural attack rolls mean nothing in c&c rules; problem 2) these are free, unopposed attacks, with absolutely no consequence (the barbarian had already been hit so it is irrelevant); problem 3) due to the sheer volume of attacks a party is likely to take, and assuming barbarians have armor restrictions and are very likely to wade into direct combat at every chance, this subjects this ability to use practically every round, or more likely, every 3 or 4, which is like giving them the fighter's extra attack at level 1 (not exact, but close.) i could give more reasons this is a flawed ability, too

bloodied - no mention of foe is dropped if the next foe to hurt the barbarian becomes subject to its effect; one would assume this is the case, based on the flavor aspects of class -- this is like giving the fighter's weapon specialization

feral instinct - no mention of its lingering - that is, if the barbarian is at 1/2 or less, if the extra attack continues to be granted, or if its a one-time use; seems to be continual, as per the general feel - this is like giving the barbarian fighter's extra attack, again

death wish - +4 to hit an automatic maximum; only real issue is HP requirement, which seems severe but is hardly anything considering above points - barbarian will get to use this in every session, likely

fast movement - practically ensures barbarian gets into foray before anyone, and therefore, has initiative (is only combatant vs party anyway) making other abilities much more likely to function

brutal savagery - affects all intelligent creatures in range, no save. battlefield dominance not as powerful as you think as same creatures impossible to affect by all three (all three may be used in same round, but each says does not work with the other, so kind of pointless being able to use them all at once unless you need to affect various numerous creatures in different ways...) and shaken status is powerful - +2 to hit for anyone not shaken; that's called ranged attacks

these abilities are much more potent than that of the fighter, or paladin. the knight might be closest, but only useful in large war battles, so is entirely different type of situation

as for ways to reduce potency - first, no healing. the character cannot benefit from supernatural healing, in any way. natural healing only (a druid could use goodberries as that makes a normal berry "good" but no potions, cleric spells, or paladin lay on hands.) better explain what is meant by some of these abilities as it is open to confusion right now, so possible not as bad as it seems.

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Post by nwelte1 »

I appreciate the feed back.

Did not think of low damage dice what you say regarding the lower damage dice changes the dynamic. Guess I would leave Retaliation on crits only.

Bloodied is only intended to last until first enemy falls.

Feral was intended as one time use per falling below 1/2 hp.

Savagery has a save - versus fear a save would negate.

Other thoughts...

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Post by Treebore »

Gleemax Jr wrote:
you may disagree all you like, and still be wrong.

retaliation -- 1:20 attacks triggers automatic counter-attack, increasing to 1:10 and then 3:20 (or 5%, 10%, 15% if you don't understand ratios) and this is just the attack roll requirement; there is the other caveat of "maximum damage" which is likely to happen far more often, especially with low-impact weapons (d4 or d6, for example) problem 1) natural attack rolls mean nothing in c&c rules; problem 2) these are free, unopposed attacks, with absolutely no consequence (the barbarian had already been hit so it is irrelevant); problem 3) due to the sheer volume of attacks a party is likely to take, and assuming barbarians have armor restrictions and are very likely to wade into direct combat at every chance, this subjects this ability to use practically every round, or more likely, every 3 or 4, which is like giving them the fighter's extra attack at level 1 (not exact, but close.) i could give more reasons this is a flawed ability, too

bloodied - no mention of foe is dropped if the next foe to hurt the barbarian becomes subject to its effect; one would assume this is the case, based on the flavor aspects of class -- this is like giving the fighter's weapon specialization

feral instinct - no mention of its lingering - that is, if the barbarian is at 1/2 or less, if the extra attack continues to be granted, or if its a one-time use; seems to be continual, as per the general feel - this is like giving the barbarian fighter's extra attack, again

death wish - +4 to hit an automatic maximum; only real issue is HP requirement, which seems severe but is hardly anything considering above points - barbarian will get to use this in every session, likely

fast movement - practically ensures barbarian gets into foray before anyone, and therefore, has initiative (is only combatant vs party anyway) making other abilities much more likely to function

brutal savagery - affects all intelligent creatures in range, no save. battlefield dominance not as powerful as you think as same creatures impossible to affect by all three (all three may be used in same round, but each says does not work with the other, so kind of pointless being able to use them all at once unless you need to affect various numerous creatures in different ways...) and shaken status is powerful - +2 to hit for anyone not shaken; that's called ranged attacks

these abilities are much more potent than that of the fighter, or paladin. the knight might be closest, but only useful in large war battles, so is entirely different type of situation

as for ways to reduce potency - first, no healing. the character cannot benefit from supernatural healing, in any way. natural healing only (a druid could use goodberries as that makes a normal berry "good" but no potions, cleric spells, or paladin lay on hands.) better explain what is meant by some of these abilities as it is open to confusion right now, so possible not as bad as it seems.

Well, you can think you have proven me wrong all day, I still say that the class is not overpowered. It relies so much on chance, where as all the other classes don't. I have ran games where there were no crits, and nights where there were a dozen or more. The other classes are based on fixed abilities that will happen every time they hit. Crits or not, below half HP's or not.

So you can think your right, and I will think I am right.
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Re: Barbarian revamp I have been thinking about

Post by clavis123 »

nwelte1 wrote:
Here is a copy the post I made with regard to my Sunday night game I will be starting... Looking for positive and negative critizism and suggestions..

The first thing I think when I see a "Barbarian" class is, "Could I play Conan with it?" I could play Conan with your Barbarian, so I like it. I will say that's its very powerful, so I would suggest a very high XP requirement for advancement, and a major, flavorful drawback like "Afraid of Magic". I would also suggest some sort of survival ability, allowing the Barbarian to sleep almost anywhere, and eat and drink things that "civilized" people wouldn't call food.
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Re: Barbarian revamp I have been thinking about

Post by nwelte1 »

clavis123 wrote:
I would suggest a very high XP requirement for advancement, and a major, flavorful drawback like "Afraid of Magic". I would also suggest some sort of survival ability, allowing the Barbarian to sleep almost anywhere, and eat and drink things that "civilized" people wouldn't call food.

I like the afraid of magic... I will have to add that in somehow..

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Re: Barbarian revamp I have been thinking about

Post by Treebore »

nwelte1 wrote:
I like the afraid of magic... I will have to add that in somehow..

Maybe have them become "Shaken"? Allow them a WIS save, with the CL being the caster level, or level an item was made at?
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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Post by gideon_thorne »

Gleemax Jr wrote:
you may disagree all you like, and still be wrong.

There is no 'right' or 'wrong' on these forums. Just opinion. No one has a monopoly on the right way to do things.
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Post by Gleemax Jr »

there is correct, and inaccurate. and inaccurate is wrong. when you say "this is that" and it is not, you are wrong. perhaps "misled" or "not entirely true" is more savory to the palette.
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Post by gideon_thorne »

Gleemax Jr wrote:
there is correct, and inaccurate. and inaccurate is wrong. when you say "this is that" and it is not, you are wrong. perhaps "misled" or "not entirely true" is more savory to the palette.

In the context of this discussion, on these forums, there is only opinion.
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Post by Keolander »

Just my two Coppers, but I don't like the BtB Barbarian either. To me its basically a Berserker, not a Barbarian. I prefer the Unearthed Arcana/Oriental Adventures version from 1E AD&D. I would make them Constitution Prime instead of Strength and simply rename the current Barbarian the Berserker.
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Post by Moorcrys »

I can't speak for balance, as I haven't played your version and therefore wouldn't know how it stacks up in relation to other classes. But I think it has a lot of flavor and I much prefer it over the C&C barbarian. I might look at a higher experience point progression for them, since the barbarian has a load of interesting abilities. I might start with the AD&D Oriental Adventures barbarian chart and tweak it from there if you have that book.

The recovery time for primal fury bothers me in the C&C barbarian and I see you've kept it for your version. Changing that would be my personal advice. Otherwise it will be an ability your barbarian is afraid to use, particularly if you're a DM who throws more than one or two encounters at him per day.
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Post by Rigon »

Keolander wrote:
Just my two Coppers, but I don't like the BtB Barbarian either. To me its basically a Berserker, not a Barbarian. I prefer the Unearthed Arcana/Oriental Adventures version from 1E AD&D. I would make them Constitution Prime instead of Strength and simply rename the current Barbarian the Berserker.

The btb Barbarian is a Con prime class, but that aside, that's what I do. As I feel that barbarian is a culture, not a class.

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Post by nwelte1 »

Thanks for the feed back all. I am still making adjustments. I may goof with this by giving NPCs and Critters in my campaign this class to see how it runs.

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Post by Treebore »

If you would like I can switch my Paladin to this Barbarian. I would like to try this out. See if I am right about his power level, or if Gleemax is.
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Post by nwelte1 »

If you want to test it great otherwise no worries.

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Post by Keolander »

Rigon wrote:
The btb Barbarian is a Con prime class, but that aside, that's what I do. As I feel that barbarian is a culture, not a class.

Note to self: Don't post while half-awake and without book for quick reference.
As for the Barbarian vis-a-vis class/culture, I wholeheartedly agree. Its also why I like to play Nobles, Merchants and the like. Its a change of pace from the typical hack-n-slash archetypes we've all known and loved.
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Post by Lord Stinger »

The afraid of magic part sure brings back memories of the original AD&D barbarians who loved to bust up magic to gain bonus xp. Trying to heal one that was a party member was like trying to get MR T on an airplane on the A TEAM.
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Post by clavis123 »

Lord Stinger wrote:
The afraid of magic part sure brings back memories of the original AD&D barbarians who loved to bust up magic to gain bonus xp. Trying to heal one that was a party member was like trying to get MR T on an airplane on the A TEAM.

I always liked having barbarians be afraid of magic, because in Howard's stories Conan does in fact hate and fear sorcery. But I'm a shameless genre emulationist when it comes to class design, and believe that classes ought to be firmly based on archetypes and famous characters from legends and fantasy fiction.
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Post by nwelte1 »

I will have to add it in then.

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Post by Treebore »

The problem with that is in Conan's world 90% of all magic was truly evil. In a standard fantasy world that is not the case. Plus even Conan wasn't stupid. If there was an advantage to using magic, he used it to his advantage.

So I think Conan, in a party with a "good" cleric and/or mage, would not have any problem with them. They are magic that works to his advantage.
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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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Post by Lord Stinger »

Originally as the barbarian gained levels and adventured with a group he became more accustomed to the presence of magic and may even utilize some item for himself. Occasionally he may even find it useful to have a magic item and in the same session find it just as useful to smash it.

Our barbarians were also pretty much illiterate as far as reading and writing, unless the wanted to learn those abilities.
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