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View Full Version : How do YOU roleplay a barbarian?



Maximus:Ranger
2011-07-22, 07:15 PM
Ok pretty much the same as how do you roleplay an elf except with barbarians. Yes its kinda ripping it off sue me.

Anyways how do you like to play barbarians?

gkathellar
2011-07-22, 07:25 PM
Angry?

I have problems with the barbarian class as an archetype. It seems to describe a wilderness-dwelling or nomadic warrior, right? Except that has nothing to do with flying into a frothing rage. Plenty of "primitive" peoples were exceptionally disciplined both as warriors and individuals, holding to ancient cultural customs and important social taboos. (Hell, CONAN never really flew into a frothing rage he was just a barbarian because of where he came from.)

The entire barbarian archetype seems to draw from stories of Germanic berserkers who used drugs to make themselves angry and impervious to pain. Except that doesn't really make a lot of sense with the whole "primitive" thing because most Germanic peoples were historically violent, not primitive. We only think of them as such because the Romans thought of them as such.

So ... I play as a berserker, I guess, or just someone angry. I toss out all the "primitive" fluff that makes absolutely no sense, and just go with a guy who gets angry (or uses drugs if I'm feeling edgy) when he fights.

Honest Tiefling
2011-07-22, 07:33 PM
I agree very much with gkatheller. Um. Again. Which is why I am sad I cannot play a lawful barbarian who challenges anyone who insults their honor to a lawful duel and beat people in the face until they obey and fear the law. Tribes can have laws, and people who are close enough to one another to watch for transgressions.

I admit I like the idea of animal totems and using animal spirits to go into a mindless rage, if going truly primitive, not just a tribal nomad.

I thought the berserker thing came from the Vikings, however?

gkathellar
2011-07-22, 07:38 PM
The Vikings are Germanic.

Or, potentially the Germans are Nordic. Either way.

Worlok
2011-07-22, 07:47 PM
Because, damn it all, at the end of the day, some unshaven, froth-spewing everyman will have to come running out of nowhere and murder stuff with an axe in his hand.

Because among all the wizards and clerics and archivists, there will always have to be guys who whip out a spear and go dragonhunting the old school way.

Because no victory is as good as one won after hours and hours of sweaty, screamy, bearded, blooded combat, and no day as bright as the one after this here quest - That you will make happen, come Nessus, Dis, or Shadowsea. With your own damn hands!!!

Because the tale of the one who stood up and fought on, fully aware that this right here may well be his last fight, that after the blade has drunken blood, one of you will taste the mead of Valhalla, will always be more epic and more glorious than just "A wizard did it!"

Because the eldest, most revered form of this game is about three dudes in a dungeon, one who lights the way, one who picks the locks and one who, if he has to, will be ready to lift both of them and all their treasure chests and tear ass out of there when stuff goes south.

Because after the sages have despaired, the heroes will be standing in the fray to keep the heat off of their fellows, and they may not yield.

Because every one labored breath and drop of spittle coming out from between shattered teeth onto the face of destiny is but another stepping stone to greatness, and every grim, determined step you take but testament to your devotion and your warrior badassery.

Because no antimagic field has ever stopped a leap attack charge with a greatclub.

That.

That is why I play barbarians.

That.

Is best in life.

gkathellar
2011-07-22, 07:51 PM
Awesome fluff.

Awesome.

However, I do have one point of contention:


Because no victory is as good as one won after hours and hours of sweaty, screamy, bearded, blooded combat, and no day as bright as the one after this here quest - That you will make happen, come Nessus, Dis, or Shadowsea. With your own damn hands.

Not hours. (3+Con modifier)6 seconds. :smallfurious:

Worlok
2011-07-22, 07:52 PM
Hush! You just called me a Viking! :smallfurious:

But seriously? Brofist for that! :smallamused:

Hiro Protagonest
2011-07-22, 07:58 PM
stuff

Yeah, crusaders are awesome, with their healing maneuvers and steely resolve. :smalltongue:

Maximus:Ranger
2011-07-22, 08:02 PM
That.

That is why I play barbarians.

That.

Is best in life.

You sir have just written the best description of a barbarian EVER! I will follow you to hell and back axe at the ready anyday.:smallamused:

Worlok
2011-07-22, 08:06 PM
Yeah, crusaders are awesome, with their healing maneuvers and steely resolve. :smalltongue:
Quiet, Swift, Son of Mongoose! Crusaders, you really just gestalt with, and preferably you multiclass with warblade, but only in barbarians lies HONOR! So speaks Worl, Son of Ok.


You sir have just written the best description of a barbarian EVER! I will follow you to hell and back axe at the ready anyday.:smallamused:
And I shall have your back, Maximus, Son of the Ranger. Let it one day be said we SAW - and SAWED - the demons! CROOOM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lKUYAnqxjU)!

(I love you guys! :smalltongue:)

Honest Tiefling
2011-07-22, 08:11 PM
The Vikings are Germanic.

Or, potentially the Germans are Nordic. Either way.

Meant the vikings in particular, but I could be wrong.

Maximus:Ranger
2011-07-22, 09:30 PM
And I shall have your back, Maximus, Son of the Ranger. Let it one day be said we SAW - and SAWED - the demons! CROOOM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lKUYAnqxjU)!

(I love you guys! :smalltongue:)[/QUOTE]

Let the blood of our enemies flow like wine at a satyrs birthday party! And let us howl like howler monkeys at the moon! And let us bake delicious cookies with various chocolates and things in them...LIKE REAL MEN AAAAHHHHHHHH BARBARIANS!:smalltongue:

Shadowknight12
2011-07-22, 09:39 PM
My last barbarian (an NPC) was a warrior from a tribe up in the snowy mountains. He was chosen by the gods to bear the Sight and share his knowledge with the world. His only problem was that not only he lost his mundane sight, he also lost the ability to apprehend names and individual identities. To him, every person/group/organisation was an archetype, like an actor in a play. He didn't see Her Majesty Queen Brunhilde the Third, he saw The Stony Lady. When someone spoke to him of John, the Baker, he heard them speak of one half of The Star-Crossed Lovers.

The warrior died long ago, but knowing that he would have to meet the PCs at one point, he left a memento of his youth hidden in a dungeon cell, where he secreted away a shard of his soul, which is now a shade, a figment, waiting to impart his wisdom so that he can move on and rejoin the rest of himself in the afterlife.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-07-22, 09:43 PM
Quiet, Swift, Son of Mongoose! Crusaders, you really just gestalt with, and preferably you multiclass with warblade, but only in barbarians lies HONOR! So speaks Worl, Son of Ok.

Ah, yes, warblades can also fight on with Iron Heart Endurance, Moment Of Perfect Clarity (refluffed to be sheer mental toughness, of course), and Wall Of Blades!

Wyntonian
2011-07-22, 09:49 PM
I've had an idea rolling around about a half-orc paladin/barbarian, who has such a religious fervor, not towards a LG heironeous/pelor type, but towards his tribal gods and ancestors, that he reaches a level of spiritual combat ecstasy while killing people with a club. For (3+con mod) X 6 seconds at a time. Oh, and he has a horse. You know. Paladin levels.


To the question: "But, Wyntonian you handsome beast, paladins must be LG, and Barbarians must be Chaotic! Hwatchootalkinbout, Willis?" To that I say,


EAT THOROG CLUB, RAW! GOD-CHOSEN WARRIOR MAKE RIDICULOUS WotC FLUFF-BASED RESTRICTIONS INTO YUMMY PANCAKE AND SERVE WITH A NICE COMPOTE! BY CROOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!

Yanagi
2011-07-22, 09:59 PM
I split the fluff in two and use the mechanical class to play two different things:

On one hand, the fly-agaric eating shield-chewing berserker-types who hype themselves up to a frenzy before battle. Worlock did a fine job of capturing the appeal of that type of character.

But on the other hand Barbarians have a skillset that makes them guerillas and commandos--knowledge of the land, stealth, speed, endurance--in addition to hitting hard in direct combat. Warriors trained not just for the field of battle but primed for total war...sneaking around, dirty tricks, night attacks, horse raids--all the stuff that the culture of chivalry cries foul about--but also willing to mix it up in a melee with wicker shield as their only defense...because they're just that damn good at not getting hit.

gkathellar
2011-07-22, 10:00 PM
I've had an idea rolling around about a half-orc paladin/barbarian, who has such a religious fervor, not towards a LG heironeous/pelor type, but towards his tribal gods and ancestors, that he reaches a level of spiritual combat ecstasy while killing people with a club. For (3+con mod) X 6 seconds at a time. Oh, and he has a horse. You know. Paladin levels.


To the question: "But, Wyntonian you handsome beast, paladins must be LG, and Barbarians must be Chaotic! Hwatchootalkinbout, Willis?" To that I say,


EAT THOROG CLUB, RAW! GOD-CHOSEN WARRIOR MAKE RIDICULOUS WotC FLUFF-BASED RESTRICTIONS INTO YUMMY PANCAKE AND SERVE WITH A NICE COMPOTE! BY CROOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!

(Rage Monk or Rage Cleric from Dragon let you do this. Also there's a prestige class from BoED that basically makes you into a a barbarian/paladin.)

CROOOOOM!

Vacant
2011-07-22, 10:07 PM
Bourgeois are ninnies! Only good of lazy city-folk is that it fat men better feed Kharrak's animal friends, their blubber leaves more grease to oil my beard to shine. Weak men think gold will buy them the world, it will buy only death, for more than they will give, Kharrak can take. Kharrak will leave the gold, watching fat city-folk try to run is payment enough. Kharrak will drown them in troughs, show them where the animals eat.

Really, though, right now he's trying to convince the party to kill the rich and feed them to animals. He was very offended when he found out people made money off of others' labor, weak, insipid worms!

Atcote
2011-07-22, 10:12 PM
I once played a Halfling barbarian for a short campaign. He was a meek, quiet little fellow, never taking it to himself to argue his point. Naturally, this was just as he usually was - his rage was when his barbarian would let itself free and RAVAGE THE LANDS. Or commonly bite people. He was less a barbarian as a society, and more one due to circumstance - it was his violent, unexpected outbursts that led his elders and betters to dump him into the wilderness, where he tracked down a small horde of barbarians, who were somewhat impressed with this odd child's (never seen a Halfling before) tenacity to survive.
He ended up dying, partly due to poor stat synergy (I was an early player back then), but he was a joy to roleplay. He would always act with the manner you'd consider of a shy wizard, but would unexpectedly act out in useful ways.

Traab
2011-07-22, 11:01 PM
I play my barbarian as more of a Druss the Legend style of fighter, for those who read David Gemmel, no matter which age he is, though I honestly prefer the middle aged warrior. He fights smart AND hard. He has decades of combat experience, and there isnt anybody better at what he does, which is make things die. He may be grey bearded and grizzled, but he is still as solid as an oak tree, and fully capable of cutting you in half, then doing the same to your buddy on his back swing.

His style is that of a berserker, always moving forward, always attacking, but he never loses his situational awareness. It was said that the reason noone could kill him was because of this. If you entered the range of his axe, you WOULD die. There was no way to avoid it. Therefore you had to approach him knowing this fact, accepting it, and seek it out willingly, in order to have a chance to take him with you in death. Not that it ever worked, he lived to be 60 years old, and died holding the gate in a siege, killing 10 enemies before he fell, even though his body was rotted by gangrene from a poisoned sword wound he had taken a week earlier.

Anderlith
2011-07-22, 11:30 PM
I start by...crushing my enemies, seeing them driven before me, as I hear the lamentations of their women...

Nah, I play them as warriors of the land, superstitious of magic & they don't feel like they need it to conquer their problems. Also, a paladin will worry over the great moral quandaries of her faith, the wizard will spend months fretting over perfecting a spell, the rogue might be contemplating his next big score, & even the lowly fighter has big dreams, my barbarian though, he just wants to carve out a little piece of heaven- by carving out a few dragons. In the end he doesn't want to die choking a tendriculous as it swallows him whole, he wants to die in the arms of a beautiful woman (or three)

Hiro Protagonest
2011-07-22, 11:42 PM
I start by...crushing my enemies, seeing them driven before me, as I hear the lamentations of their women...

Conan's a warblade, maybe a couple levels of rogue.

Lord Raziere
2011-07-22, 11:45 PM
A polite gentleman who goes around talking about killing your enemies and hearing the lamentations of their women was if it was a normal everyday thing, then ramble on about hunting stuff and describing everything in gruesome detail without batting an eyelash and without noticing that everyone is staring at him like a freak, and just keeps on going, perfectly polite, calm and normal except for the fact that he is a barbarian discussing stuff people don't bring up in polite conversation.

VeliciaL
2011-07-22, 11:48 PM
"Lo, there do I see my father. Lo, there do I see my mother. Lo, there do I see my brothers and my sisters. Lo, there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning. They bid me take my place among them in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n1Uye3TWAE&feature=related)

Personally, I see the difference in how he commits to a fight. A fighter will be more reserved, attempting to live another day while bashing heads, but a barbarian? While the fight is going the barbarian gives no though as to whether he lives or dies, caring only to kill his enemies, or die gloriously in the attempt.

That's how I see it at least, YMMV.

Leon
2011-07-23, 12:47 AM
Because among all the wizards and clerics and archivists, there will always have to be guys who whip out a spear and go dragonhunting the old school way.


Sometimes its the Librarian


My characters Barb levels are a relic of having been a werewolf for a extended period of time and i tend to play it as such with a Threat to his "Pack" and under duress being the trigger to rage and unleash the inner beast

nyarlathotep
2011-07-23, 02:52 AM
My barbarians are always Irish football hooligans.

Knaight
2011-07-23, 02:59 AM
Given that this is in Roleplaying Games and not 3.x/d20, I'm assuming it refers to the archetype. As such, there are a few major types.

1) Someone from a "primitive" culture, who respects their own culture, sees flaws in larger civilization, and is far more independant and capable than those "civilized" folk. This type usually shows up in Sword and Sorcery games.

2) Someone from a very advanced culture, likely with several technologies beyond that of "civilized" cultures, that is likely more nomadic or simply less urban than whatever local empire views itself as the center of the world.

3) Someone from a culture that can actually be called primitive that is in the process of abandoning it.

turkishproverb
2011-07-23, 03:48 AM
Depends on the Barbarian. Some are very well trained warriors with a strict code of conduct, whom can induce rage as part of a sort of battle-meditation. others are bloody insane little buggers whom like to chop things up for fun and profit.

Brauron
2011-07-23, 06:22 AM
My longest-running PC was a Human Barbarian. He was quick with a (crude, earthy) joke, quicker with booze, loyal unto death towards his friends, unspeakably savage towards his enemies (I'll never forget that first Critical Hit he made...split a dire boar in half, lengthwise!), confused and therefore irritable with the seemingly-arbitrary rules of "civilized" areas (What do you mean, he's chosen a champion to duel me on his behalf? Why can't the magistrate fight his own battles?) and prone to finding straight-forward solutions to problems -- a villainous spellcaster summons a fiendish boar in front of me? I pick it up by the tusks, swing it around and throw it back at him!

Yora
2011-07-23, 07:56 AM
I'd say like a fighter who is at home outdoors and worries less about discipline and coordination in the group.

Worlok
2011-07-23, 12:30 PM
Once you walk the path of the barbarian, Maximus, the cookies will come on their own, though - as a tribute from the enemies whose hordes we VANQUISHED! LIKE MEN! :smallwink:

And seeing how I apparently got quoted over in the fighter thread (Yay! :smallbiggrin:), I shall repay the kindness: Fighters are a goddamn glorious gestalt for a barbarian, in case you go all "Screw the splatbooks, we shall do this bread-and-broadaxe." Actually... They are so even if you don't. :smallamused:

Honestly, though - How many of you learned the ropes, gaming-wise, with a fighter-type? I mean, I know I did, way back when. Good times. :smallamused:

Ravens_cry
2011-07-23, 12:46 PM
I like to play Barbarians who are not barbarians. Maybe they are a thug who knows how to use their anger, maybe they are farmer who lost their family to some invaders, maybe they are a middle aged bastard princess sword maiden.
I actually played that last one.

Maximus:Ranger
2011-07-23, 01:11 PM
Honestly, though - How many of you learned the ropes, gaming-wise, with a fighter-type? I mean, I know I did, way back when. Good times. :smallamused:

I cut my teeth on dnd with 1st edition when I was nine of course I was a fighter!:smallbiggrin:

gkathellar
2011-07-23, 01:52 PM
A barbarian is, at his core, an idiot. The fundamental tenet of combat is "don't get killed," and the barbarian's entire approach to combat involves confronting situations in ways that make him easier to kill.


Honestly, though - How many of you learned the ropes, gaming-wise, with a fighter-type? I mean, I know I did, way back when. Good times. :smallamused:

I've been playing casters since 2E and five years old, and from the very beginning I've laughed maniacally as I Finger of Death'd screaming madmen into oblivion.

HalfDragonCube
2011-07-23, 01:56 PM
:thog: sorta like this

Hiro Protagonest
2011-07-23, 02:04 PM
A barbarian is, at his core, an idiot. The fundamental tenet of combat is "don't get killed," and the barbarian's entire approach to combat involves confronting situations in ways that make him easier to kill.

My barbarian would be punching you into the wall right about now. Of course, he's not actually a barbarian, he's a Barbarian 1/dungeoncrasher fighter 6/warblade x with the quick trait. 50 foot movement speed!

Worlok
2011-07-23, 02:55 PM
A barbarian is, at his core, an idiot. The fundamental tenet of combat is "don't get killed," and the barbarian's entire approach to combat involves confronting situations in ways that make him easier to kill.
You know, and I mean no offense, but one man's idiot is another's hero. To willingly risk your own death by being an obvious target, especially if, like a barbarian, you can be expected to have the goods needed to give about as many as you take, is no more or less stupid than taking a hit for someone who can't take it quite as well is in general. :smallconfused:


I've been playing casters since 2E and five years old, and from the very beginning I've laughed maniacally as I Finger of Death'd screaming madmen into oblivion.
Hey, that's cool. I've heard that casting in 2E was pretty complicated, so you got my respect there. Got some stories? :smallsmile:

Dr.Epic
2011-07-23, 02:59 PM
There's only one right way to play a barbarian and this is how (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPXHI2h-K-M).

Worlok
2011-07-23, 03:06 PM
Know what? That works, too. :smalltongue:

randomhero00
2011-07-23, 03:09 PM
Hmmm, basically nomadic. That's what it boils down to. You have your ways. Civilization is not considered better in your mind. So all the things that go with that...lack of bathing, etc.

Funkyodor
2011-07-23, 03:21 PM
I like playing a barbarian as a tribesman gone nomad, but less ANGRY RAGE, more focused determination rage. Relate tactics with stories of how your tribe would track/trap/slaughter animals. Maybe even take profession:butcher. Also, every evening he'd write in his journal. Anyone sneaking a peek at his secret diary would see crude cave painting like pictures depicting in as much detail as he could the events of the day. Also, he'd be very clean and meticulous about his wild appearance.

Silus
2011-07-23, 03:48 PM
:thog: sorta like this

Nah, more like this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v606/SilusCrow/Cohen.jpg

Worira
2011-07-23, 04:03 PM
I just talk really loud.

HalfDragonCube
2011-07-23, 04:59 PM
Nah, more like this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v606/SilusCrow/Cohen.jpg

Yes.

Just yes.

Cohen is the way to play a venerable any barbarian.

Irreverent Fool
2011-07-23, 06:09 PM
The last barbarian I played was cast out from his tribe, a nomadic group of superstitious mountain folk. He hunted too freely and enjoyed the kill far too much.

In this case, I went with the stereotypical barbarian personality. He was loud and lived large. My favorite interaction however was during one of the combats after a few weeks into our campaign. The barbarian had proven himself a capable hunter and had shown that he was good at stealth and tactics when the situation called for it. When surrounding a particularly large half-lion half-man beast, the party surrounded the creature and at one point my character gained flanking.

As I rolled for damage, three other players at the table said in unison:
"You have sneak attack?"

Fighter 2/Rogue 5

Knaight
2011-07-23, 09:08 PM
Hmmm, basically nomadic. That's what it boils down to. You have your ways. Civilization is not considered better in your mind. So all the things that go with that...lack of bathing, etc.

Plenty of nomadic civilizations had fairly high standards of hygiene, sometimes even relevant to sessile civilizations - which also had much higher standards of hygiene than is usually recognized. Sure, we all head about how people went months without bathing in medieval central Europe, which wasn't the norm anyways, but Greek and Roman civilizations before that, Scandinavian and Middle Eastern civilizations during the era, eastern and south eastern Asia in pretty much any period, the Americas in pretty much any period, the great empires of Africa, the smaller tribal organizations in Africa, so on and so forth, all of whom had fantastic hygiene are ignored.

I know, its a bit of a derailment, but that particular stereotype I find particularly irksome.

gkathellar
2011-07-24, 07:50 AM
Plenty of nomadic civilizations had fairly high standards of hygiene, sometimes even relevant to sessile civilizations - which also had much higher standards of hygiene than is usually recognized. Sure, we all head about how people went months without bathing in medieval central Europe, which wasn't the norm anyways, but Greek and Roman civilizations before that, Scandinavian and Middle Eastern civilizations during the era, eastern and south eastern Asia in pretty much any period, the Americas in pretty much any period, the great empires of Africa, the smaller tribal organizations in Africa, so on and so forth, all of whom had fantastic hygiene are ignored.

I know, its a bit of a derailment, but that particular stereotype I find particularly irksome.

No, it's relevant. In fact, hunter-gatherer societies in general for most of human history worked less, ate more, suffered less from illness, and were possibly cleaner than their settled kin. That's part of the reason why "barbarian" as an archetype relating to being primitive or nomadic doesn't make sense absent drought or war (often with settled peoples), hunter gatherers have the easy life.

Knaight
2011-07-24, 07:54 AM
No, it's relevant. In fact, hunter-gatherer societies in general for most of human history worked less, ate more, suffered less from illness, and were possibly cleaner than their settled kin. That's part of the reason why "barbarian" as an archetype relating to being primitive or nomadic doesn't make sense absent drought or war (often with settled peoples), hunter gatherers have the easy life.

I think this explains the Frozen North (TM) phenomenon. You can have the easy life, or you can have the two meter snow banks, scarce game, and craggy mountain tops. One of these is better for barbarian production. Other less hospitable places are occasionally used the same way, those places usually being deserts and jungles. If you assume, in the first case, that the nice mountain valleys all have sessile civilizations, and in the desert the same is true of oasis the archetype gets a bit more sensible. Not much, but a little.

brann miekka
2011-07-24, 08:06 AM
....i dont know if anyone has said this yet but if they haven't they're missing one crucial example. Wulfgar, nuff said

Honest Tiefling
2011-07-24, 10:29 AM
No, it's relevant. In fact, hunter-gatherer societies in general for most of human history worked less, ate more, suffered less from illness, and were possibly cleaner than their settled kin. That's part of the reason why "barbarian" as an archetype relating to being primitive or nomadic doesn't make sense absent drought or war (often with settled peoples), hunter gatherers have the easy life.

Actually, there may be reasons for hunter gatherer nomads to be violent. First, Hunter Gatherers need room. They need a decent track of land, and probably need to shove other groups off of it to ensure they get what they want/need. If something happens to your bit of land, go to your neighbors and shove them off what they have or starve to death.

Secondly, hunter gatherers do hunt. They probably need to train to take down bigger game. So they have to train to use some violence. At that rate, you might as well start attacking people if they are smaller, thinner and less healthy. You already have the skills to take their lunch money.

Third, booze. No, I'm serious, people really like booze. Booze may have been instrumental in the development of humans as we know it. It may have caused people to want to give up the Hunter Gatherer lifestyle and be in the first cities. So either people join up with civilization to get the tasty booze, or they bonk people over the head to get it.

turkishproverb
2011-07-25, 01:57 AM
You...have just given me my next barbarian...

Cerlis
2011-07-25, 06:53 AM
i've wanted to play one that was not a nordic barbarian, but more like an abariginey (spelling, i know) or African tribesman. With light but effective leather and bone armor wielding a shield and shotspear, hiding in the grass and then running animals or armored warriors and leaping into the air giving a weird battle yell and stabbing at them in midair like on Troy. One who doesnt know how to speak or manipulate the spirits but respects and fears them.might actually put some ranks into knowledge religion if there is ever a party without someone like that. I guess i'm reminded of the WoW trolls. even the warriors and non-casters respect and revere the spirits.

Tiefling....wasnt booze, like the only guarenteed non-diseased form of drink back then? thats what i heard, people stocked alchohal on war campaigns for two reasons. Moral, and they didnt want their soldiers getting sick. but maybe they didnt know that could cause it. but i think i heard that somewhere.

gkathellar
2011-07-25, 09:22 AM
I think this explains the Frozen North (TM) phenomenon. You can have the easy life, or you can have the two meter snow banks, scarce game, and craggy mountain tops. One of these is better for barbarian production. Other less hospitable places are occasionally used the same way, those places usually being deserts and jungles. If you assume, in the first case, that the nice mountain valleys all have sessile civilizations, and in the desert the same is true of oasis the archetype gets a bit more sensible. Not much, but a little.

I think that's the assumption writers make, but the funny part is that the scarcity problems in the Frozen North or the Desert or whatever mean they benefit a lot more from civilization. Jungles, valleys, wetlands and plainsland are abundant, and therefore great for hunter-gatherers and herders.

(Of course, civilization first pops up in the river-valleys for a reason, but once you can do it elsewhere, there's a pretty good reason to do it anywhere with scarcity issues.)


Tiefling....wasnt booze, like the only guarenteed non-diseased form of drink back then? thats what i heard, people stocked alchohal on war campaigns for two reasons. Moral, and they didnt want their soldiers getting sick. but maybe they didnt know that could cause it. but i think i heard that somewhere.

That's my understanding. For a good while, if you lived in a city in Europe, the water was guaranteed to be filthy. So you drank beer instead. The irony, of course, being that alcohol dehydrates you.

Which means you drink more alcohol. Which explains most of European history, if you think about it.

Knaight
2011-07-25, 09:29 AM
I think that's the assumption writers make, but the funny part is that the scarcity problems in the Frozen North or the Desert or whatever mean they benefit a lot more from civilization. Jungles, valleys, wetlands and plainsland are abundant, and therefore great for hunter-gatherers and herders.

Well, deserts at least do tend to have a lot of nomads, but they also tend to have major hospitality rules in place, and said nomads tend to not be particularly warlike. As for the Frozen North, icy mountains tend not to have very many nomads, but there are some smaller villages and more decentralized areas which are also used to explain barbarians. Of course, said smaller villages and decentralized areas also tend not to be warlike, as they rarely need to deal with the problems villages in accessible locations do. The local cattle raiders aren't going to climb up some miserable mountain to find a dinky city with a scant handful of oxen.

Daftendirekt
2011-07-25, 02:32 PM
Because, damn it all, at the end of the day, some unshaven, froth-spewing everyman will have to come running out of nowhere and murder stuff with an axe in his hand.

Because among all the wizards and clerics and archivists, there will always have to be guys who whip out a spear and go dragonhunting the old school way.

Because no victory is as good as one won after hours and hours of sweaty, screamy, bearded, blooded combat, and no day as bright as the one after this here quest - That you will make happen, come Nessus, Dis, or Shadowsea. With your own damn hands!!!

Because the tale of the one who stood up and fought on, fully aware that this right here may well be his last fight, that after the blade has drunken blood, one of you will taste the mead of Valhalla, will always be more epic and more glorious than just "A wizard did it!"

Because the eldest, most revered form of this game is about three dudes in a dungeon, one who lights the way, one who picks the locks and one who, if he has to, will be ready to lift both of them and all their treasure chests and tear ass out of there when stuff goes south.

Because after the sages have despaired, the heroes will be standing in the fray to keep the heat off of their fellows, and they may not yield.

Because every one labored breath and drop of spittle coming out from between shattered teeth onto the face of destiny is but another stepping stone to greatness, and every grim, determined step you take but testament to your devotion and your warrior badassery.

Because no antimagic field has ever stopped a leap attack charge with a greatclub.

That.

That is why I play barbarians.

That.

Is best in life.

**** yeah. That got me pumped.

Sadly, while I've built several barbarians, I've not yet actually played one. Soon, though, I hope to.

I suppose I got close once. I played a very angry (at all the corruption!) dragonborn Blackguard (4e).