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Barbarian FAQ by CaptainKO
Version: 1.04 | Updated: 12/22/07
Barbarian FAQ Barbarian FAQs created by CaptainKO Date: 4/5/07 Version 1.04 (c) Tony Mark, March 2007 -------------------------------- Table of Contents A. Attributes & Skills B. Feats C. Gameplay E. Races F. Multi-Classing G. FAQs H. Copyright -------------------------------------------- A. Attributes & Skills Strength - (17) + 5 Strength is need for carrying items, raise you're Attack Bonus (aka AB) for melee weapons and doing more damage. The amount of weight you can carry goes up with every point of strength you receive and the damage you do with a weapon does up every 2 points for +1 to damage and attack bonus. If you have a Strength score of 10, you'll gain no benefits to damage, attack bonus and the weight you can pick is standard. If you're Strength goes below 10, you'll start to suffer -1 penalties towards AB, damage and the amount of weight you can carry with every -2 you lose. (Penalties apply to weight every point taken from strength) There is an old saying about how you should start certain attributes and that saying is, "Start with an odd and end with an even" meaning, a barbarian should start with a score of 17 for a Barbarian and add all 5 points to Strength every 4 levels, ending with a score 22 even. With Mighty Rage, your Barbarian can achieve a score of 30 for a total of 10 to AB and +10 to damage. With Weapon Focus, you can achieve an AB of 31 alone. Dexterity - (14) Dexterity is need to raise your Reflex saves against damaging spells, raise your Attack Bonus (aka AB) for range weapons, Dexterity-based skills and traps as well as raising your Armor Class (aka AC) for a better defense. Your Reflex saves, Dexterity-based skills, Range AB and AC are raised by +1 points every 2 points of Dexterity you get. If you have Dexterity score of 10, you'll gain no benefits to your Reflex saves, Dexterity-based skills, Range AB or AC. If you're Dexterity goes below 10, you'll start to suffer -1 penalties towards Dexterity based-skills, AB with range weapons, reflex saves and AC. Dexterity should be a score of 14 for a bonus +2 because that is how much a Breastplate allows. Parry (Dexterity-based skill): This skill allows you to go into a defensive mode to block an attack. The calculations for this is Parry DC + Dexterity vs. Enemy AB. If the roll is 5 or higher, you'll perform counter attack. You can only block and counter attack as many attacks you can perform in one round, which means you can only perform 4 successful blocks and 4 successful counter attacks. This is quite useless since you'll be wearing a breastplate, which will reduce your Parry score. Tumble (Dexterity-based skill): You are able to roll and save against attacks while moving. The calculation for this is Tumble DC + Dexterity + Dice Roll vs. DC of 15. Adds +1 AC Every 10 points of tumble. This isn't one of the Barbarian skills, but it's better than the Parry skill and will make for the fact you won't be to pick the dodge feats. Constitution - (14) Constitution is need to raise one's Health Points (HP), Constitution-based skills, and Fortitude saves against poison, disease, negative energy affects & death spells, attacks and traps. Your Fortitude saves, Constitution-based skills, and HP are raised by +1 every 2 points of Constitution you get. If you have Constitution score of 10, you'll gain no benefits to your Fortitude saves, Constitution-based skills, or Health points. If you're Constitution goes below 10, you'll start to suffer -1 penalties towards Fortitude saves, Constitution-based skills, and HP. This is one of the most important attribute for a Barbarian as this class uses Constitution to stretch the duration of their Rage. A score of 14 is good you gain 3 + 2 of your Constitution + Rage Constitution when using Rage for a total of 7 to 9 rounds. With extended Rage, you can go a total of 12 to 14 rounds. Intelligence - (13) Intelligence is needed to gain another skill points and raise your score for Intelligent-based skills. Your Intelligence-based skills and Intelligent-based skills are raised by +1 every 2 points of Intelligence you get. If you have Intelligence score of 10, you'll gain no benefits to your Skill points or Intelligence-based skills. If you're Intelligence goes below 10, you'll start to suffer -1 penalties towards Skill points and Intelligence-based skills. Barbarians aren't the stupid morons you see in the Conan movies. Just because you can't read or write doesn't mean you aren't smart enough to be tactical. With that being said, a Barbarian should have an Intelligence score of 14, and 14 only. Craft Armor & Craft Weapon (Intelligence-based skill): These are the Barbarian's best skill. These skills keep you from making frequent trips to the local vendor to buy armor and weapon. Plus, it makes you more useful to the team. Spellcraft - Spellcraft (Intelligence-based skill): This skill allows you to identify spells that are being casted. By level 20, you'll be able to identify half the spells cast at you with a score of 10. This also adds universal saves points towards spells every 5 points. Wisdom - (10) Wisdom is need to raise one's Willpower save against mind spells, attacks & traps and Wisdom-based skills. Your Willpower saves and Wisdom-based skills are raised by +1 every 2 points of Wisdom you get. If you have Wisdom score of 10, you'll gain no benefits to your Willpower saves and Wisdom-based skills. If you're Wisdom goes below 10, you'll start to suffer -1 penalties towards Willpower saves and Wisdom-based skills. Barbarian only needs a score of 10. You're Rage provides +2 Will Power in the beginning, at level 14 you'll gain and +4 later with Mighty Rage allow your Barbarian to have +10 Will at level 20. Don't let this attribute go any lower than this. Listen (Wisdom-based skill): This gives the bard the ability to hear anyone in stealth sneaking up on them. This'll allow you to see sneaking characters, but not invisible characters. Mildly useful unless you use amplify because most dexterity-based classes who use stealth have above a score of 23 towards their Move Silently skill. Survival (Wisdom-based skill): The Survival skill allows the Barbarian to see enemies within the area who are hidden or behind closed doors on the mini-map. This skill can only be used those with a track feat. The more points put towards Survival, the bigger the detection radius becomes. As a Barbarian, you won't be using this much. Charisma- (8) Charisma is needed to raise points toward Charisma based-skills. Your Charisma based-skills are raised by +1 every 2 points of Charisma you get. If you have Charisma score of 10, you'll gain no benefits to your Charisma based-skills. If you're Charisma goes below 10, you'll start to suffer -1 penalties towards Charisma based-skills. Barbarians have no use for charisma at all so you may take 2 points out of Charisma, lowering it to an 8 and put the points into a more useful attributes like Strength or Dexterity. You'll rarely have the opportunity to actually use their Charisma based skills. Intimidation (Charisma-based skill): This skill is mainly for role-playing conversations in the campaign. When the option comes up, you use intimidate as scare tactic to lower the NPC morale and fleeing. This skill is rarely used at all compare to Bluff and diplomacy. Taunt (Charisma-based skill): This is a combat skill that lowers the enemy's AC by 2 with a Taunt. However, your enemy gains an attack of opportunity against your character when doing so. With every 5 points the range of Taunt is increased. This skill is mildly useful in beginning, but at later levels it's useless unlessyou combine this skill with knockdown. It's also important to note that this skill is best used when going one-on-one with a boss character. -------------------------------------------- B. Feats - Class Feats Barbarian Rage: When activated Barbarian Rage, boosts the Barbarian's Strength, Constitution and Willpower save, but takes -2 AC away from your base AC. Barbarian's Rage last 3 + New modified Constitution. So if you have Constitution of 14 and you go into a normal rage, which will boost your Constitution to 18, you'll have be able to rage for 3 rounds + 4 from Constitution. When the rage ends, you suffer penalties to Strength, Dexterity and movement. Rage: The Barbarian receives +4 Strength, +4 Constitution and +2 Willpower save. Level 1 through 10 - +4 Strength, +4 Constitution, +2 Willpower Saves. Greater Rage: The Barbarian receives +6 Strength, +6 Constitution and +3 Willpower save. Level 11 through 19 - +6 Strength, +6 Constitution, +3 Willpower Saves. Tireless Rage - The Barbarian no longer suffer penalties fatigue when rage ends. You gain this at level 17. Mighty Rage: The Barbarian receives +8 to Strength, +8 to Constitution and +4 to Willpower saves. Level 20 - +8 Strength, +8 Constitution, +4 Willpower saves. Fast Movement: The Barbarian's movement is increase by 10%. This is movement helps the Barbarian blitz towards his primary target and it stacks with other feats or spells that increase movement. Indomitable Will: At level 14, The Barbarian gains +4 to their will saves, which stacks with their Rage and Mighty Rage. No, doubt this is good for the Barbarian as it makes saving even easier for the Barbarian to save against mind-inflicting spells, attacks or traps. Uncanny Dodge: This feat is gained at level 2 and this fear allows the Barbarian to retain his Dexterity when being flanked or sneak attacked by an enemy. Improve Uncanny Dodge: This feat is gained at level 5 and it offers the same benefits as Uncanny Dodge except the Barbarian is now immune to sneak attacks. Trap Sense: The Barbarian gains +1 to saves (per level) vs. traps when a trap is triggered. This is useful when a Rogue isn't present in the party. Level 3 - Trap Sense +1 Level 6 - Trap Sense +2 Level 9 - Trap Sense +3 Level 12 - Trap Sense +4 Level 15 - Trap Sense +5 Level 18 - Trap Sense +6 Damage Reduction: Starting at Level 7, the Barbarian gains the ability to reduce 1 point of universal physical damage. (Not elemental or magical damage) Every three levels this goes up by additional 1 point. No enchantment is required to bypass this damage reduction. Rather it continuously reduces any physical damage require from any enchanted weapon. This feat is useful only in low enchantment servers against creatures who use natural weapons or against enemies with low strength and low critical modifiers. Level 7 - Damage Reduction 1/- Level 10 - Damage Reduction 2/- Level 13 - Damage Reduction 3/- Level 16 - Damage Reduction 4/- Level 19 - Damage Reduction 5/- - Selectable Barbarian Feats Extended Rage: This feat adds an additional 5 rounds to your Rage. This is a requirement if you plan on being a real Barbarian. Humans should get this feat at level 3 while other class should get this feat at level 6. Extra Rage: This feat adds an additional 2 rages per day. This would be useful if the Barbarian could spare another feat. - General Feats Power Attack: This is a good buff to your damage when fighting two handed and only fighting two handed. It add +3 to damage when fighting with a sword & shield and +6 when fighting with a two-handed weapon. Power attack is a prerequisite for Cleave, which is the other reason why you are getting this feat. Cleave: This feat gives you a free attack against a nearby enemy in any direction whenever you kill opponent This only works once per round. Great Cleave: Great Cleave is the greater version of Cleave allowing you an endless number of free attacks. This is great early in the game when the enemy NPCs' ACs and Health Points are low, but after level 6, the enemy NPCs become harder to kill and Great Cleave becomes somewhat useless. Knockdown/Improve Knockdown: Knockdown gives one the ability to knockdown their opponent based on the PC's strength vs. NPC's strength bonus. Knockdown only works against those the same size and smaller, leaving the opponent prone and unable to defend oneself, losing a certain amount of AC for one round. Improve Knockdown is the same Knockdown, but a better version as you are able to knockdown opponents a size larger than yourself. Overall, knockdown is a good defensive feat for a Barbarian as they are hurting in AC early in the game. Knockdown is best used after activating one's rage so you can gain the extra strength advantage. Disarm/Improve Disarm: Disarm gives the character the opportunity to disarm by knocking their weapon to the ground. However, the trade off is that you suffer an Attack of Opportunity. (AOO) Unlike Knockdown, Disarm works depending on your character's size and weapon. The big you are or the bigger the weapon, the more likely you're going to disarm someone. If you're getting disarm, it's best to follow with Improve Disarm because Improve disarm eliminates the AOO against you, improves your chance to knock a weapon out of your opponents hand and allows you to steal their weapon. (If the weapon isn't destroyed) This feat is yet another good defensive skill when fighting humanoid opponent whom wield nasty weapons and sets them up for AOOs when they try to attack the next round. Weapon Focus, Improve Critical, & Power Critical: These are all good feats to increase the Barbarian's offensive potential. Without these skills, your Barbarian is next to useless. Weapon Focus gives you +1 extra to hit and who doesn't want a better chance at hitting their opponent. Weapon Focus is also a prerequisite for Improve Critical lowers your threat range by 2. Power Critical lowers the threat range required to confirm a critical on the second roll. With this skill, you're strength goes to waste as critical hit modifiers double the damage of your weapon, physical damage from your strength and any additional enchantments. * Improve Power Attack: An improve version of power, which trades 6 of your AB for 6 of your damage. Damage doubles if you use a two handed-weapon. * Toughness: +20 to live even longer and achieve a 300 HP. **Note: The feats are only recommended if you're playing a Non-human Barbarians or if you're on a server or module that features characters that can't be critical. -------------------------------------------- C. Gameplay The Class The Barbarian is like a football player. And like a football player you can give yourself some of that "rage juice" to improve your gameplay. The Barbarian is required to blitz up the middle of a group to sack the quarterback. (Spellcaster or archer) The Barbarian has enough HP and DR to go the distance, even if it means going to sudden death. The Barbarians are good clipping, blocking and spearing their opponents. Sometimes, the Barbarian is required to co-quarterback, shotgunning his arrows, bullets and throwing weapon at the wide receiver. (Or the enemy NPC) Unlike football, they are no downs and as far as you see everyone has the football. Pre-Battle You barbarian...you Rage...you crush enemy in melee... Really, you should be buff yourself using potions then use rage right before running into battle. You want to start the battle prepare so you can gain the momentum. Melee In the beginning, you probably using your longsword, dwarven axe, battle axe, war hammer, bastard sword, great-sword or great-axe in a two-handed fashion like Conan the Barbarian. This is great for the first 5 levels, but as you start to reach levels 6 and up, the enemy NPCs' HP goes up and your damage output is overshadowed by enemies with HP +50 and up. Because the fights last longer than you can end them, you're going to find yourself resting almost after every fight. Each person will last you at least 4 or more rounds and your Rage only last 3 rounds + 2 of your Constitution bonus + Constitution Rage Bonus and 5 extra rounds from Extended Rage for a total of 10. The best thing to do at this point is to use a shield until you reach level 17. The reason, I didn't pick Great Cleave is for this reason alone. Great cleave was meant to be used on very weak crowds of enemies with low AC. At higher levels, the battles become more one on one (depending on the server or module) so the best feat to have at this point is either Improve Knockdown or Improve Disarm. Improve Knockdown is better as you'll be more useful being able to knockdown tall enemies and you'll keep opponents prone and defenseless while landing free "licks." Range Why are you in the back row? You specialize at melee so you have no reason to consider using a range weapon. The only reason, you'll even be using a range weapon is to pull the enemy to you. That's it. Strengths - Early in the game, the Barbarian's high damage output can end fights very fast. - A Barbarian's Rage gives them attribute boosts in Constitution, Strength and Will saves. - Barbarians are more likely to knock characters down using Knockdown. - Barbarians get fast movement and universal physical Damage reduction. - Barbarians get Uncanny Dodge and Traps Sense. - Barbarians can make their own armor. - Barbarians are straightforward to play as a Fighter. - Barbarians do a great in low level enchantment servers. - Barbarians have a lot of HP and have little down time. - Barbarians are great tanks against mages with high damage spells and will saves. - Barbarians acquire a lot skill points and acquire a lot skill that are good for scouting such as Survival and Listen. - Barbarians don't specialize in one weapon, allowing them to freely use any weapon. Weakness - At later levels, the Barbarian's damage output is greatly overshadowed by enemies with a lot of Health Points. - Barbarian Rage deducts 2 AC away from your overall AC, which can lead you receoving more damage and somewhat counters the Health Points given. - Non-human Barbarian's who don't have a score of 13 Intelligence cannot apply their strength to bigger creatures using Improve Knockdown. - While fast movement maybe useful, the universal damage is useless soon as you get it since most enemies will do more than 8 damage by level 7 and more than 15 damage by level 20. - With a Rogue in the party, Trap Sense is useless as they disable every trap. - Barbarians lose money having to identify items that may only cost 100gp or less. - Barbarians, as a class, have little roleplaying options. - The Barbarian's abilities are underminded in high enchantment servers. - Barbarians are very hard to heal. - Many non-human Barbarians have few tactics to rely on, thanks to their low Intelligence scores or lack of extra feats. - Barbarians cannot get more useful skills such Lore or Heal. - Barbarian can only get a limited number of feats. - In order to for Barbarians to do real damage, they have to specialize in a weapon. -------------------------------------------- D. Races Humans are by far the best well-rounded Barbarians because they can get 5 to 6 skills points per level allow them to nearly max out every skill and they get an extra feat allowing them to land improve Knockdown or Improve Disarm at later levels. The only setback to humans is that they don't get attribute bonuses to Strength like an Orc or Constitution like a dwarf score. Now, non-human Barbarians have one minor setback when compare to humans and that's the fact they don't get an extra feat except the Strongheart halfling. Human have an extra feat to spare to get Improve Knockdown or Improve Disarm. However, non-human Barbarian can only take feats up to knockdown before to select weapon focus and the other "chain feats" that come with it such as improve critical. So most non-human Barbarian have to look forward to a 10 based Intelligence and knockdown. However, the small advantage most non-humans get is a higher Constitution and Strength score than a human Barbarian, granting more damage and health. Tieflings are the second best race to qualify for Barbarians as Barbarians don't need Charisma. Tieflings get +2 towards both to Dexterity and Intelligence and a -2 penalty towards Charisma, allowing you to spare points for other attributes such as Strength and Constitution. They also gain Damage reduction of 5 toward cold, electrical, fire damage, darkvision and a free darkness spell, which helps with survivability. Aasimar are the third best race to be a candidate for a Barbarian because like the tiefling, they get extra points to spare towards Strength and Constitution because they +2 to Wisdom and Charisma. Unfortunately, the +2 Charisma isn't needed unless you really want to win your intimidate rolls against NPCs. Dwarves are the fourth best race for a Barbarian because they gain +2 universal saves against spells, a dodge AC when fighting against giants, attack roll/damage increase when fighting against orcs or goblinoids and a dwarven axe proficiency. They also get +2 to Constitution and -2 to Charisma allow them to spare points in other attributes the Barbarian needs. The dwarf also counts as a medium size character so he has no problem taken down human and orc size characters. Gold dwarves make for poor Barbarian, though. Elvens are the sixth best race to be a Barbarian for ther fact they have -2 to Constitution, which hurts duration of their Rage. The +2 to Dexterity, saves vs. enchantments, skill affinity to Listen and immunity to sleeping spells are nice, but their Elven proficiency is useless as the Barbarian comes with the martial proficiency feats that gives them access to longswords, rapiers, short and longbows. Half-Orcs are the seventh best Barbarians because they lack anything good to make them Barbarians. Being a Barbarian isn't just about Strength, which they get a +2 to, but it's also about survivability. Half-Orcs lack anything to give them advantage against spells or monsters. Half-Orcs also get penalties toward Intelligence and Charisma of -2. While you don't need Charisma, you should at least raise your Intelligence to 8 or 10 to avoid penalties towards crafting armor and weapon with your Barbarian. Half-Elves are neutral as they don't get racial attributes benefits as their Elven parents nor do they get extra feats and extra skill points from their human parents. They offer saves vs. enchantment and skill affinity to listen, but that's it. Lastly, you have the Halfling and Gnome who make poor Barbarians. Granted you can make them into Dexterity-based dual-wielding Barbarians, but Barbarians are known for their solid damage output with medium and large weapons as point guards and dreadnaughts, not fighting like Rogues. There is no reason to go into detail about what they have or lack. I'll only say that a Halfling and Gnome get a -2 to Strength and are small statured. -------------------------------------------- E. Good Classes to take in consideration when multi-classing. Fighter: Two levels will give you some extra feats, heavy armor proficiency, a tower shield, but you'll fall short of your mighty rage and 5/- Damage reduction at level 19. Frenzy Berserker: 2 levels of Frenzy Berserk will offer Supreme Cleave and an additional 3 levels (for 5 levels total) offers Enhanced Power Attack, which doubles the damage for the Power attack feat. Also, if you decide to go the full five levels, you should consider getting Improve Power Attack instead of improve knockdown or disarm as you can gain +12 when using a weapon and shield to +24 damage with a two-handed weapon. Rogue: Three levels of Rogue offer 2d6 Sneak Attack, Evasion and some extra skills points to play with. However, you will miss out on your 5/- Damage Reduction and Mighty Rage. The Traps sense you get at the Rogue's third level will make up for the one you missed at level 18. Cleric: One level of cleric offers heavy armor proficiency and Cleric domains such as Travel to increase your movement speed by an extra 5%, Water for Evasion and Plant for Woodland stride. -------------------------------------------- F. FAQ 1. Is this build for the original Campaign? A. No, as with my Bard build, it's more of a well-rounded Barbarian build for any server or module. 2. How does the Barbarian compare to other frontline classes. A. In low enchantment servers, Barbarians are extremely good as their DR and HP can handle the damage output of the monsters in such servers. Where a lot of frontline classes like the Fighter struggle to find +3 enchantment items to boost their attributes, the Barbarian comes with his own boost and feat to protect them against certain attacks. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about in high enchantment servers. The major setback in high enchantment servers is that most players tend to gravitate towards the best build rather than sticking with pure class. The other setback is that they are items that offer DR to physical damage, better chances for a higher damage output, immunity items and haste items that dwarf the Barbarian abilities. Survivability is no longer the case in these servers either because the damage in such servers is very high. Most players prefer to end their fights quickly before the damage starts to stack. 3. Is there any other way to build my Barbarian? A. As with my Bard build, the feats will not be the same because Attribute advantages and disadvantages as well as the number of feats and skills each race gets. A pure class barbarian Human is very well rounded getting 8 feats and extra skills points. Non-human races get 7 feats, but make up for it with attribute benefits and racial defense. 4. There are any other feats you didn't mention here. Why? A. Again, as with my other FAQ, if I didn't mention any feats it was because they weren't worth mentioning. For example, Dodge is a good defensive feat. However, if you build your Barbarian the right way, you should have need of this feat. 5. Who is Conan? A. Conan is a fictional character created by in 1932 by Robert E. Howard as a series of pulp stories known as Weird Tales. He's a long raven hair or dark-brown muscular man with an anti-hero personality who wields a bastard sword called the Altantean Sword. He is very superstitious, yet very materialistic. In the beginning, he was driven by the need to adventure and later to rule over his own kingdom. Despite his brutish appearance, Conan is very cunning, could read & speak in several languages, was strategic & an outstanding fighter. Most of all, he had a sense of humor. Conan has appeared in license comic books, video games, an MMORPG and two movies featuring actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Mako, and Grace Jones. (She appears in the sequel) Since his debut in the 1900s, Conan has become widely recognized in pop culture and has had many characters imaged (or parody) after him as well copied theme music. Many of the Dungeons and Dragon players who play Barbarian played an anti-hero Barbarian in the spirit of Conan. However, many players have the misconception that Conan was dumb and very serious one-dimensional character (due to the movies depicting Conan as just being a brute) so their characters are often betrayed as being big dumb rage-a-holics who get mad if you crack the slightest joke. To be fair, DnD also depicts Barbarians as being unintelligent, which only fuels the dumb angry Barbarian stereotype. Moreover, the stereotypical Barbarian in the DnD world is an Ogre, Minotaur, Orc or Half-Orc, all of whom aren't very bright. Lastly, one of Conan's biggest fans was J.R.R Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame knew a lot about the series. In fact, Lord of the Rings came out four years after Robert published his stories. -------------------------------------------- G. Copyright and Permission All the material written here is copy of myself and will not be used without permission from me.