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pantoffelheld
2007-04-10, 12:52 PM
Hi y'all! I've been lurking around these boards since about Order of the Stick blew up the inn, but never bothered to make an account. That is, untill this day. Today I need your help building me a kick-ass barbarian. I've been thinking about creating a barbarian some time ago, and now that our party's fighter is quitting, the rest of us (a sorcerer, druid and cleric) need a meat shield melee warrior. This is where I jump in.

So I'm going to let my Cleric walk on to the horizon (He IS a cleric of Fharlanhg, after all) and create a wild, blood-thirsty, raging barbarian! Grrr! Since my melee combat experience comes mainly from a longsword-wielding paladin (=not Grrr!) I need your help guiding me through all these new abilities.

A few rules: all the characters are level 4 by now. My barbarian will start at the same level. Furthermore, I have only acces to the core books (3.5), but with a high diplomacy roll I can convince my DM into letting me use material from other books. For example, another player succeeded in letting his character take Monkey Grip, even though it's not in the core books. So you can suggest non-core, but please limit yourself a bit. And stop asking why the guy picked Monkey Grip already!

What I've came up with untill now is a Half-orc Barbarian, wielding a glaive. It's feats are Power Attack and Weapon Focus, and it's skill points are put into Jump and Perform(percussion).

I know the Half-orc is so-called underpowered, but the DM is strict on races. I'm afraid she won't allow anything higher than CR+1, and it has to be in the MM. I chose a glaive because I want my character to have reach. And I hate spiked chains! I don't want to trip or disarm, I just wanna splatter my enemies all over the place. so the glaive seemed best among the few choices given in the PHB. The feats seem pretty straightforward to me, but as I am new to the pure melee classes I eagerly await your commentary and probably suggestions.
Earlier this week I was inspired by this thread:

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40053
Doubled power attack damage after a jump? Can I get a hell yes? Dm already agreed on this feat, so no problems there. Only thing is, I can't get it until level 6, right? This is also the main reason I put skill points into jump.

This is about half of the length this post was at first, but my laptop decided my previous was too long and froze. so I had to retype it all, leaving many geeky comments out this time. Don't worry, I will kill him when the time is right.

Err, so please suggest away! magic weapons, cheap feats, combat styles and battlefield domination? I am a rooky with reach (and with the barbarian!) and can use any piece of advise you give. Thanks in advance.

Ikkitosen
2007-04-10, 01:05 PM
Half Orc Bbn 2 / Fighter 2

1: Extra Rage
3: Power Attack
F: Cleave
F: Headlong Rush (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Headlong_Rush,all) (double damage, woot!)

Max Str (duh), run up to people - preferably get 2 in your reach, maybe with enlarge person and double damage cleave attack their asses. Get Leap Attack next feat for yet more win. Keep your will save low for domination hilarity!

Jasdoif
2007-04-10, 01:10 PM
Get armor with armor spikes. That way you can still impale adjacent people and grapplers, something your reach weapon can't give you.

Piccamo
2007-04-10, 01:12 PM
Have you considered being a full-blood orc rather than a half-orc?

Ikkitosen
2007-04-10, 01:15 PM
Get armor with armor spikes. That way you can still impale adjacent people and grapplers, something your reach weapon can't give you.

Good advice.


Have you considered being a full-blood orc rather than a half-orc?

Depending on campaign world this may make surviving the tavern difficult!

Person_Man
2007-04-10, 01:35 PM
Instead of a Glaive, might I suggest a Guisarme. It has reach and the Trip ability. With it, you can carry off the simple but potent combo:

Orc (or their wimpier Half Orc cousins) Wolf Totem Barbarian (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm) 2/Fighter 2
Whirling Frenzy Rage Variant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/classFeatureVariants.htm)

Barbarian 1: Extra Rage
Barbarian 2: Improved Trip
Fighter 1: Knock-Down (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/divine/divineAbilitiesFeats.htm#knockDown), Headlong Rush
Fighter 2: Combat Reflexes

Wolf Totem Barbarian is great at low levels, because it grants Improved Trip as a bonus feat, which normally requires the pre-req of Combat Expertise. You give up Uncanny Dodge, which is quite easy to get from any number of prestige classes.

Knock-Down gives you a free Trip attempt whenever you deal 10+ points of damage.

Improved Trip gives you a free follow up attack whenever you make a successful Trip attempt.

Note that Whirling Frenzy lack the sentence restricting it to a full attack, which is in Flurry of Blows: "A monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows." So you can use Whirling Frenzy to get an extra attack at your full BAB as part of a charge or standard action attack, just like the Snap-Kick feat or the Frostrager's One-Two Punch ability.

So, every attack action you make has the potential to be 2-4 attacks. And if its a charge and you get to use Headlong Rush, its does the same damage as 4-8 attacks.

Remember that Headlong Rush provokes an AoO from everyone who can reach you during your charge, which is why you need a reach weapon.

If your DM doesn't allow Headlong Rush, I'd pick up Cleave or Power Attack.

pantoffelheld
2007-04-10, 01:41 PM
Half Orc Bbn 2 / Fighter 2

1: Extra Rage
3: Power Attack
F: Cleave
F: Headlong Rush (double damage, woot!)

Max Str (duh), run up to people - preferably get 2 in your reach, maybe with enlarge person and double damage cleave attack their asses. Get Leap Attack next feat for yet more win. Keep your will save low for domination hilarity!

hmm, interesting. Haven't thought of dipping into fighter, since it didn't really filled in with the character concept (training? discipline? get outta here!) But this Extra Rage feat sure looks interesting. It's not in my PHB I believe, so where does it come from? Headlong rush is also total pwnage. only usable by orcs and half-orcs truly is the evil frosting on a very wicked cake. My only concern is that I'll lose my D12 hit die with this multiclassing =( but it's definitly worth it!!
One thing though, I've never really liked Cleave. But I understand that with my longer reach I'll threaten more targets, right? so maybe cleave is worth it after all. Definitly a good piece of advice, Ikkitosen.


Get armor with armor spikes. That way you can still impale adjacent people and grapplers, something your reach weapon can't give you.
This has me puzzled a bit. I've seen before that a spiked gauntlet comes in handy when fighting with reach, but I'm not sure how it's used. When I wear a spiked gauntlet, do I also threaten the squares surrounding me? Or do I have to explicity state that I switch weapons between glaive and spiked gauntlet? can i even wear spiked gauntlets while wielding a glaive? spikes on armor is a good idea, 'cause it looks total badass! But somehow I don't expect the opponents to grapple me instead of the 8 STR sorcerer behind me.


Have you considered being a full-blood orc rather than a half-orc?
I've considered bugbear, does that count?:smalltongue: fullblood orc looks interesting, -2 wis for +2 str is just what I need (more strength!) also it lowers my Will save and as Ikkitosen mentioned, hilarity ensued. Wouldn't worry too much about surviving the tavern, since our druid has a ribbon of disguise. I can always use disguises to get me ale

Ikkitosen
2007-04-10, 01:42 PM
Note that Whirling Frenzy lack the sentence restricting it to a full attack, which is in Flurry of Blows: "A monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows." So you can use Whirling Frenzy to get an extra attack at your full BAB as part of a charge or standard action attack, just like the Snap-Kick feat or the Frostrager's One-Two Punch ability.

Seems like a Sage question in the making since I don't think it's intended this way.


Armour spikes are better than gauntlets if you have martial weapon profs since there's no question whether or not you can use them with a 2h weapon. They can be used for normal attacks as well as during a grapple, so they let you threaten the gap your reach weapon leaves.

Extra rage gives 2 more rages/day and is from complete warrior.

You can take levels in fighter without compromising your character idea - there's no story idea to a fighter, unlike, say, a samurai or something flavoursome.

Person_Man's build is more battlefield control than mine, which is often a GREAT idea and would work really well if that's what you need - and I approve of it, despite the story repercussions (wolf totem bbn, for example). However in your OP you mentioned only wanting to splat things, so that's what I gave you ;)

pantoffelheld
2007-04-10, 02:11 PM
Well, Person-Man certainly came up with a lot of stuff. But I have a feeling the DM's not gonna let all of it through. The whirling frenzy rage variant is probably banned the minute I introduce it. The tripping build is well thought through but it's still....tripping. I'd rather charge around the battlefield with a headlong rush, being stabbed all over and dying in two rounds. It'd be great! I chose Power Attack because a glaive let's you trade of 1 bab for 2 damage if i'm not mistaken. So a power attacking headlong rush is surely gonna kick some outta the party's sorcerer enemy!

new question, do Leap Attack and Headlong Rush actually stack? I don't think so, regarding what I have read. But maybe you could prove me (and the DM) otherwise? In that case, I'm gonna drop Leap Attack (needed 8 ranks in jump anyway) and go with Headlong Rush. It's too pwnage to resist!

another thing, can a barbarian wear medium armor and still be able to benefit from fast movement? www.d20srd.org says
A barbarianís land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the barbarianís speed because of any load carried or armor worn.
BUT the PHB 3.5 continues with an example, stating that
For example, a human barbarian has a speed of 40 feet, rather than 30 feet, when wearing light or no armor. When wearing medium armor or carrying a medium load, his speed drops to 30 feet
this implies fast movement is lost with medium armor. Anyone who can explain this to me?

Steve_the_ERB
2007-04-10, 02:15 PM
I'll throw this in. Never used it, not sure how it would work, and I know feats are dear, but what about the feat in PHB II that allows you to use a reach weapon in adjacent squares also (short haft I think it is). If you're going to invest other feats in a weapon (focus, specialization, etc) don't you want to increase the situations where you can use it?

Ikkitosen
2007-04-10, 02:18 PM
Anyone who can explain this to me?

No no no no no, Jon (massive cookie for the obscure reference).

The example still has his fast movement - a normal human moves 20' in medium armour, so the bbn get 20' + 10' fast movement for 30'.


I'll throw this in. Never used it, not sure how it would work, and I know feats are dear, but what about the feat in PHB II that allows you to use a reach weapon in adjacent squares also (short haft I think it is). If you're going to invest other feats in a weapon (focus, specialization, etc) don't you want to increase the situations where you can use it?

Just get armour spikes, and don't get weapon specialisation - it's not very good!

Jayabalard
2007-04-10, 02:24 PM
On a totally different note, and totally My Opinion: Polearms don't really seem very thematically appropriate for a barbarian... they're almost a symbol of civilization; you're more likely to see palace guards carrying them than Lothar of the hill people.

A longspear on the other hand, quite appropriate for a barbarian, especially for an orc/half-orc. Not as good on the splattery part, but still fine for the stabbity and reach parts.

Not as optimized... but how important that is varies from person to person.

Telonius
2007-04-10, 02:24 PM
That's one of the mysteries of D&D. The Barbarian ability is "+10 to your movement when wearing no light or medium armor," not "Movement 40 feet when wearing no light or medium armor." If you're wearing medium armor (as a human), your normal speed would normally be 20 feet. But, since the Fast Movement bonus of +10 applies, you instead get a movement of 30 feet. If your barbarian wears Heavy armor, the Fast Movement doesn't apply, and your speed is knocked down to 20.

Ninja'd for taking too long to explain, darn it.

Ikkitosen
2007-04-10, 02:25 PM
On a totally different note, and totally My Opinion: Polearms don't really seem very thematically appropriate for a barbarian... they're almost a symbol of civilization; you're more likely to see palace guards carrying them than Lothar of the hill people.

A longspear on the other hand, quite appropriate for a barbarian, especially for an orc/half-orc. Not as good on the splattery part, but still fine for the stabbity and reach parts.

Not as optimized... but how important that is varies from person to person.

But for the discerning orc-blooded who's trying to not get killed by all the other good guys, NOT wielding Gruumsh's favoured weapon seems like a good idea!

Jasdoif
2007-04-10, 02:26 PM
If you really want that 40 foot speed, invest in a mithral (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialMaterials.htm#mithral) breastplate. Being made of mithral means the otherwise-medium breastplate is treated as though it was light armor, so you keep your 30 foot base speed and still have fast movement on top of that.

Person_Man
2007-04-10, 02:33 PM
Seems like a Sage question in the making since I don't think it's intended this way.


Armour spikes are better than gauntlets if you have martial weapon profs since there's no question whether or not you can use them with a 2h weapon. They can be used for normal attacks as well as during a grapple, so they let you threaten the gap your reach weapon leaves.

Extra rage gives 2 more rages/day and is from complete warrior.

You can take levels in fighter without compromising your character idea - there's no story idea to a fighter, unlike, say, a samurai or something flavoursome.

Person_Man's build is more battlefield control than mine, which is often a GREAT idea and would work really well if that's what you need - and I approve of it, despite the story repercussions (wolf totem bbn, for example). However in your OP you mentioned only wanting to splat things, so that's what I gave you ;)

1) Whirling Frenzy has been around since Unearthed Arcana. So I doubt there's going to be a Sage article. But its a variant rule, so its perfectly within bounds to ban it. But as I mentioned, the ability is duplicated by Snap-Kick or One-Two Punch, and the Barbarian is generally considered a weak class, so I see no reason to ban it.

2) Armor Spikes are light weapons. Light weapons can't be used with Power Attack. Thus Spiked Gauntlets are superior for most attacks. But hey, Armor Spikes are cheap, so why not wear them too, just in case you need them for a Grapple.

3) As lots of people will tell you, Battlefield Control is a lot more effective then just hitting things. Don't think of it as you walking around Tripping people. Think of it as you Headlong Rushing around beating the crud out of people, then they fall down from the power of your blow, and then you hit them again. Remember, you never waste an action to attempt to Trip people with this build, you just get free attempts from Knock-Down.

4) Whatever you do, don't use Headlong Rush without a reach weapon. To do so would be to give your enemies twice as many attacks as you get. Remember, bonus hit points from Rage are not lost first like temporary hit points. You gain 2 hit points per hit die, and then when your rage is over you lose 2 hit points per hit die as if you had taken Con damage. Taken together, and you will die by the end of virtually every combat unless you take the proper precautions. If you don't like the uber Whirling Frenzy, take a look at Ferocity (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20070228a).

5) Remind your DM that melee builds are weaker then full casters, and that you can easily be defeated by flight, invisibility, grease, ranged attackers, no save magic, entangle, etc.

Jayabalard
2007-04-10, 02:34 PM
But for the discerning orc-blooded who's trying to not get killed by all the other good guys, NOT wielding Gruumsh's favoured weapon seems like a good idea!Not to ride the standard stereotypes, but isn't that a little deep for an orc barbarian?

Roderick_BR
2007-04-10, 02:36 PM
In case you try the leap attack thing, be sure to read the errata. It's just x2 applied on your damage bonus from Power Attack, after you got the math down, so 2H weapons gets you +4 for every -1 you take to the attack roll.
If your DM allow diferent races, try goliath, for just LA +1, you get Str +4, Cons +2, climb bonus, and Powerful Build (that by itself is already overpowered), for a mere -2 to dex (and the LA +1, of course). If you get the substitution level for barbarian 1, your rage makes you grow to large size (-1 attacks/AC, Powerful Build stops working, since you already is large at this point) but you get Str +2 AND natural reach 10 feet.
If you want a pure blood-thirst barbarian, look into Frenzied Berserker or that Bear Warrior class. Always consider carrying extra healing potions too.

You could also get spiked gloves, so if someone manages to get too close, you can drop the glaive and quickly full-attack with the claws (I'm thinking about using it for another character with reach weapons)

Tellah
2007-04-10, 02:39 PM
I'll throw this in. Never used it, not sure how it would work, and I know feats are dear, but what about the feat in PHB II that allows you to use a reach weapon in adjacent squares also (short haft I think it is). If you're going to invest other feats in a weapon (focus, specialization, etc) don't you want to increase the situations where you can use it?

A better plan for a reach weapon user is to get spiked gauntlets. It's a free action to take a hand off a weapon, so with the gauntlets and the reach weapon you threaten a great deal of space, and you don't have to use a stinky spiked chain to do it. Investing feats in a weapon through weapon focus, specialization and related feats is a poorer choice than taking Power Attack, Improved Trip or other tactical feats. A +1 to hit is only mediocre at first level; by 10th level it's utterly negligible.

If you have access to Tome of Battle, I highly recommend that the OP uses a feat to take Sudden Leap to jump as a swift action. You can use maneuver to leap straight into the thick of battle and pull off a full attack, once you start getting iterative attacks.

Ikkitosen
2007-04-10, 03:20 PM
1) Whirling Frenzy has been around since Unearthed Arcana. So I doubt there's going to be a Sage article. But its a variant rule, so its perfectly within bounds to ban it. But as I mentioned, the ability is duplicated by Snap-Kick or One-Two Punch, and the Barbarian is generally considered a weak class, so I see no reason to ban it.

2) Armor Spikes are light weapons. Light weapons can't be used with Power Attack. Thus Spiked Gauntlets are superior for most attacks. But hey, Armor Spikes are cheap, so why not wear them too, just in case you need them for a Grapple.

3) As lots of people will tell you, Battlefield Control is a lot more effective then just hitting things. Don't think of it as you walking around Tripping people. Think of it as you Headlong Rushing around beating the crud out of people, then they fall down from the power of your blow, and then you hit them again. Remember, you never waste an action to attempt to Trip people with this build, you just get free attempts from Knock-Down.

4) Whatever you do, don't use Headlong Rush without a reach weapon. To do so would be to give your enemies twice as many attacks as you get. Remember, bonus hit points from Rage are not lost first like temporary hit points. You gain 2 hit points per hit die, and then when your rage is over you lose 2 hit points per hit die as if you had taken Con damage. Taken together, and you will die by the end of virtually every combat unless you take the proper precautions. If you don't like the uber Whirling Frenzy, take a look at Ferocity (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20070228a).

5) Remind your DM that melee builds are weaker then full casters, and that you can easily be defeated by flight, invisibility, grease, ranged attackers, no save magic, entangle, etc.

Keep quoting damnit, I don't care what you have to burn! :smallwink:

1. I think you need to compare melee characters with other melee characters, not casters. Getting an extra normal (non-nerfed) attack is pretty high up there and like I said, not intended by the rules IMO.

2. True, but there's the argument that you can't threaten with both spiked gauntlets and a 2h weapon at the same time. Is there an official ruling on this? (just a rules quote rather than a discussion please)

3. Agreed completely - but the OP just asked for a hitting things build so that's what they got. I'd be more likely to play your build if my DM were happy to divorce the background from wolf totem bbn.

4. Ferocity: Me likee. I was unaware of that variant, thanks.

5. See 1.

You have some good ideas now though Mr. OP, so have fun!

Ivius
2007-04-10, 03:41 PM
Not to ride the standard stereotypes, but isn't that a little deep for an orc barbarian?

Eh. "Tog not want be persecuted, so Tog use long weapon." Besides use of "persecuted", that doesn't seem implausible.

Person_Man
2007-04-10, 04:10 PM
1. I think you need to compare melee characters with other melee characters, not casters. Getting an extra normal (non-nerfed) attack is pretty high up there and like I said, not intended by the rules IMO.

I disagree, but ok, let's run with that. Compare a Barbarian to a Duskblade, who can channel spells into his attacks. Or anything from the Tome of Battle, that get maneuvers. Or even a Fighter, who can quickly use his bonus feats to gain extra attacks all sorts of ways using the various supplements out there. A vanilla non-whirling Barbarian might be balanced against Fighters, Rangers, and Paladins if you only use core. But otherwise, it sucks. And even then, its still much weaker then core only spellcasters.



2. True, but there's the argument that you can't threaten with both spiked gauntlets and a 2h weapon at the same time. Is there an official ruling on this? (just a rules quote rather than a discussion please)

It's addressed indirectly on page 79 of the official FAQ (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20030221a).


Can a creature make a slam or claw attack when both his hands are used for something else, such as holding a two-handed weapon?

As long as the creature can easily let go with one hand, yes. A two-handed weapon requires two hands to wield in combat, but not to hold. A frost giant could choose to make a slam attack instead of a greataxe attack without having to drop the greataxe.

On the other hand, a frost giant carrying a heavy weight in both arms doesnít have a free hand to use for a slam attack. Heíd have to drop the object (a free action) before making a slam attack.

So it seems pretty straightforward that you could make a gauntlet attack or an attack with a two handed weapon, but not both the same round. But really you should just take a 5' step. Or wear both spiked gauntlets and armor spikes, and use whichever is best for the situation.



3. Agreed completely - but the OP just asked for a hitting things build so that's what they got. I'd be more likely to play your build if my DM were happy to divorce the background from wolf totem bbn.

Well, hitting stuff is hitting stuff. I don't see how making it part of a free Trip attack is in any way a bad thing, and Wolf Totem really isn't a hard stretch for any Barbarian PC, in my opinion. But I concede that like any variant, lots of DMs will be uncomfortable with it, even if its official WotC.



4. Ferocity: Me likee. I was unaware of that variant, thanks.

You're welcome. Most Barbarians end up being boned by their own Rage thanks to the loss of Con at the end of combat. So the bonus to Dex that raises your Initiative and AC and # of AoO with Combat Reflexes is much better.

Seffbasilisk
2007-04-10, 05:08 PM
Instead of a guisarme or a glaive, may I suggest the Longaxe? It's a melee weapon, but with PA of 3 or more it's a reach weapon. Shares focus with Greataxe, and you don't NEED to go reach with poweratttack. How's that for utility?

Edit: Also more barbarian-smashy

Matthew
2007-04-10, 06:47 PM
2) Armor Spikes are light weapons. Light weapons can't be used with Power Attack. Thus Spiked Gauntlets are superior for most attacks. But hey, Armor Spikes are cheap, so why not wear them too, just in case you need them for a Grapple.
Whoah there, Spiked Gauntlets are Light Weapons in the Weapons Table. Unarmed Attacks and Gauntlets are the ones that aren't. Spiked Gauntlets cannot be used with Power Attack, as far as can see.

Person_Man
2007-04-10, 08:55 PM
Whoah there, Spiked Gauntlets are Light Weapons in the Weapons Table. Unarmed Attacks and Gauntlets are the ones that aren't. Spiked Gauntlets cannot be used with Power Attack, as far as can see.

Power Attack description:


Special: If you attack with a two-handed weapon, or with a one-handed weapon wielded in two hands, instead add twice the number subtracted from your attack rolls. You can’t add the bonus from Power Attack to the damage dealt with a light weapon (except with unarmed strikes or natural weapon attacks), even though the penalty on attack rolls still applies.Gauntlet description:



Gauntlet
This metal glove lets you deal lethal damage rather than nonlethal damage with unarmed strikes. A strike with a gauntlet is otherwise considered an unarmed attack. The cost and weight given are for a single gauntlet. Medium and heavy armors (except breastplate) come with gauntlets.According to the description, the only difference between an unarmed strike and a gauntlet is that a gauntlet is lethal damage. A gauntlet is considered an unarmed attack. Unarmed attacks and other natural weapons can have Power Attack applied to them.

But gauntlets, like unarmed strikes, still count as light weapons for the purposes of Weapon Finesse and Two Weapon Fighting. Which is why its listed as a light weapon in the weapons table.

Matthew
2007-04-10, 08:56 PM
Yeah, but Spiked Gauntlets are not the same thing as Gauntlets. They 'Threaten' and are listed with the other Light Weapons, distinctly separate frm Gauntlets and Unarmed Strike.

Tellah
2007-04-10, 09:49 PM
Okay, normal, everyday gauntlets, then. Advice still stands.

Matthew
2007-04-10, 10:00 PM
Nope, because Gauntlets don't Threaten; you need Gauntlets + Improved Unarmed Strike for this to work (and I'm not sure it would even then).
All I could find in the FAQ was:



Is a character wielding a two-handed reach weapon
(such as a longspear) and wearing spiked armor
threatening all squares within 10 feet? Assuming he has
Combat Reflexes, can he make an attack of opportunity
with his longspear and then with his armor spikes in the
same round?
A character wearing spiked armor threatens all squares
within his normal reach (5 feet away). If he also wields a
longspear, he would also threaten all squares 10 feet away.
Any time a character wielding more than one weapon is
allowed an attack of opportunity, he may use any weapon that
threatens the opponent who has provoked the attack. In this
case, imagine an enemy who charged the character and then
tried to disarm him. The charge attack would provoke an attack
of opportunity from the longspear as the enemy moved out of a
threatened square (in order to move adjacent to the character
and deliver the charge attack). Then, the disarm attempt would
provoke another attack of opportunity (assuming the enemy
didn’t have Improved Disarm). This attack of opportunity could
be made only with the armor spikes, since the longspear
doesn’t threaten an adjacent enemy.




If an enemy makes an attack against me that would
provoke an attack of opportunity (such as a disarm or
grapple attempt), do I get the attack of opportunity if I
can’t reach him? Would the Close-Quarters Fighting feat
help at all?
Strictly speaking, if you don’t threaten an enemy, you can’t
make attacks of opportunity against that enemy. Thus, if an
ogre tried to sunder your elf’s longsword from 10 feet away,
you wouldn’t get an attack of opportunity against the ogre
(since an elf wielding a longsword doesn’t threaten an enemy
10 feet away). This is true even if the ogre is reaching out with
his hand, such as when trying to grapple you.
D&D FAQ v.3.5 48 Update Version: 12/20/06
Even the Close-Quarters Fighting feat doesn’t help, since
that feat applies only when the attack of opportunity against a
grappling foe normally would be denied by “a feat or special
ability that would normally bypass the attack” and lists
Improved Grapple and improved grab as examples.
If, as DM, this bothers your sensibilities and you and your
players are willing to bend the letter of the rules a bit, consider
the following house rule that the Sage has used in his games in
the past: If a foe would provoke an attack of opportunity with
any action that brings him (or something he holds) into contact
with you or your space, you may make an attack of opportunity
against the foe (or the object he holds, if that’s what’s
contacting you). This means that an ogre trying to initiate a
grapple would provoke an attack of opportunity that you could
make against the ogre (since his hand and arm are clearly
coming within your reach to grab you), while the same ogre
trying to sunder your weapon with his greatclub would provoke
an attack of opportunity that you could make only against the
greatclub (that is, with a disarm or sunder attempt).

pantoffelheld
2007-04-11, 10:09 AM
Whoa, you guys are heavily overrating my gaming group. They are in no way at all optimized, and I already got enough info to make my barbarian pwn the two of them together. Because I don't want to overshadow the rest of the group, I've decided to stick with Half-orc. The Orc's +4 on STR is a tad bit too much, and the dazzling in bright light seems like a real pain. Also, for this same reason and thanks to the advice of Jayabalard I've chosen to arm the guy with a longspear. It's just that with Headlong Rush, my damage on one turn will be higher than those of the sorcerer and druid combined. True, damage is all I can do and they can walk on ceilings and turn invisible and what not but it still feels like I'm too strong in comparison with them. So the topic title is wrong now, I'll be wielding a longspear now. My damage output is still enough for me anyway plus stabbing beats slashing. Spikes on my armor will be put there, because I'll probably be the one surrounded by enemies all the time.

That brings me to a new matter, namely my tanking skills. The sorcerer has 14 hp and will be down if I even sneeze, and the druid constant summoning leaves him wide open for enemies. I really need some tactics on how to improve my hit points or AC (preferrably HP) so I can soak up all the dangerous blows. Right now, my character would have two levels of barbarian and two of fighter. Power Attack and Headlong Rush are on my list, but what else is smart to pick? Thougness just doesn't seem worth it, Extra Rage is almost certain to be chosen, combat reflexes seems interesting but something helping my tanking skill would be better.

also, should I get some magic on my longspear? or some other magic armor item thingie? We're getting less than standard gold supply in this setting, but my character doesn't care for gold anyway, so I've got no prob with spending it all

I thank you all for the advice already given. Keep 'em coming!

Seffbasilisk
2007-04-11, 10:15 AM
Valourous on your longspear will have it do x2 damage on a charge.

Maybe improved toughness? Instead of a set +3 HP, it's +1/level and increases as you level. Also there's armor specialization feats that give you DR 2/- with specific armors.

Annarrkkii
2007-04-11, 10:19 AM
Just in point of fact, the rule is a longstanding one that multiples do not just multiply each other.


In case you try the leap attack thing, be sure to read the errata. It's just x2 applied on your damage bonus from Power Attack, after you got the math down, so 2H weapons gets you +4 for every -1 you take to the attack roll.

No true. Every time you multiply, you just add an additional set of base damage. Triple Damage from a charge with a lance, then an additional x2 for a crit? That's x4. Similarly. x2 from Leap Attack and x2 from Two Handed Weapons and x2 from Headlong Rush, just equals x4. Not x8.

pantoffelheld
2007-04-11, 10:21 AM
Valourous on your longspear will have it do x2 damage on a charge.

Maybe improved toughness? Instead of a set +3 HP, it's +1/level and increases as you level. Also there's armor specialization feats that give you DR 2/- with specific armors.

Well, those Damage Reduction feat is surely interesting. Too bad I've not yet decided what armor I'm gonna wear. I'll look it up right away. Thanks!

On the other hand, I don't actually need two levels of fighter, right? Maybe the D12 instead of D10 hit die can gimme a significant better result, although I doubt it... and I don't really see any use in third level barbarian (but more than third level fighter). nah, guess I'll stick with Brb 2/Fgt 2

EDIT: what the! A Medium Mithral armor costs +4000 gp?! Even if the whole party puts all of their wealth together we're not gonna make it! dang. New question; where can I find Improved Toughness and the armor specialization feats?

Tellah
2007-04-11, 10:29 AM
To address pantoffelheld's questions: if you have casters in your party at all, you'll probably start feeling underpowered in a few levels. Don't feel bad about squeezing all the goodness you can out of a fighter build; it's the only way to keep up with a caster of moderate intelligence.

As far as improving your weapon magically, I don't personally place a high priority on magic weapons. Maneuverability>saves>weapon>AC. First off, get a few mundane weapons (standard, don't waste the gold on masterwork except on your spear), enough that you can power attack with all three damage types. Then, try to get slippers of spider climbing as soon as it's reasonable to do so, unless your friendly casters will promise to cast it on you regularly. The cloak of resistance is absolutely requisite. Once you've got maneuverability and higher saves, enchant your main weapon.

Digression from the main point of this thread follows:

Nope, because Gauntlets don't Threaten; you need Gauntlets + Improved Unarmed Strike for this to work (and I'm not sure it would even then).

So I was right the first time, and it's spiked gauntlets you want.


An attack with a spiked gauntlet is considered an armed attack.

pantoffelheld
2007-04-11, 10:54 AM
nevermind, I've already found Armor Specialization myself. Thing is, I need BAB of 12 so this one's not possible yet. I'm still one (or two, if you convince me extra rage is not worth it) feat short. I've been looking at Cleave again, and since I'd be threatening so many squares it wouldn't be a bad choice after all. Although the description says the additional attack has to be made with the same weapon, so I'll guess I need to play a bit tactical.

Ikkitosen
2007-04-11, 10:59 AM
So I was right the first time, and it's spiked gauntlets you want.

Apart from your implication that they were better than armour spikes because you can't power attack with armour spikes, that is. They're better than armour spikes insofar as they're simple weapons.

Barbarians gain survivability by killing their opponents quiclky, and that's pretty much that. Your build will be ok, but the fact is that your primary job should be protecting your caster buddies since you're the only fighter type - as you say, they're vulnerable. Combat Reflexes and Stand Still, combined with your reach weapon, would go some way to protect you and them. Charging off and killing things, while fun and ok once they have some protection, is not ideal behaviour ;)

Spear + Armour Spikes, then Power Attack, Hideous Charge, Stand Still and Combat Reflexes - with decent dex - would be good.

Matthew
2007-04-11, 12:25 PM
Digression from the main point of this thread follows: So I was right the first time, and it's spiked gauntlets you want.
As Ikkitosen says:
Spiked Gauntlets: Simple Light Weapon, considered Armed, but cannot Power Attack
Spiked Armour: Martial Light Weapon, considered Armed (apparently), but cannot Power Attack
Gauntlets: Simple Light Weapon, considered Unarmed, can Power Attack (with the Improved Unarmed Strike Feat a Character is considered Armed and can use Power Attack.
The only advantage Spiked Gauntlets have over Armour Spikes are Proficiency related and that is supposedly balanced by the Damage Die difference [1D4 for Spiked Gauntlets, 1D6 for Armour Spikes]

Just in point of fact, the rule is a longstanding one that multiples do not just multiply each other.
No[t] true. Every time you multiply, you just add an additional set of base damage. Triple Damage from a charge with a lance, then an additional x2 for a crit? That's x4. Similarly. x2 from Leap Attack and x2 from Two Handed Weapons and x2 from Headlong Rush, just equals x4. Not x8.
Not in this case. The primary damage from Two Handed Fighting Power Attack is not a multiple of 1, it gets multiplied by 3 [i.e. 2 x 3]. As the rules currently stand the ratio for Two Handed Power Attack (2) + Leap Attack (x2) + Headlong Rush (x3) is 6:1. The same goes for Two Handed Power Attack with a Lance and Critical, which would also be 6:1.

Annarrkkii
2007-04-11, 01:56 PM
I do not believe that is correct. Every time you increase a multiple, you're only adding additional base damage, not multiplying the extra damage each time.

Were you to, say, subtract -4, the full you're allowed at lvl 4, while using Leap Attack, Headlong Rush, and wielding two-handed, you would gain a +20 to damage. +4 x 2 is the base for going Power Attack with a two-handed weapon. You then gain an additional 4 for Leap Attack, and then an additional 8 for Headlong Rush. You never increase the base damage you are multiplying by, no matter how many times its multiplied. If you were to crit, you would then deal +24, I believe.

Toliudar
2007-04-11, 02:32 PM
I've just had a player introduce a very similarly themed character, but a dwarf barbarian. As with your half-orc, he wanted a reach weapon, but liked the axe as part of the "dwarf" thing. So we just ruled that his glaive IS a "really long axe", and left it at that.

With a non-tripping reach build, you may also want to consider Combat Reflexes in the future. If you're likely to be the one in front getting swarmed, you're going to want to get all the AoO's you can.

Matthew
2007-04-11, 02:33 PM
Well, let's have a look:

First, you cannot conventionally get Leap Attack before Level 5, as it requires 8 Ranks in Jump / Leap. Unfortunately, Level 5 is a Dead Level for Fighters, so Level 6 is the earliest it can be taken using a straight Fighter build.

Fighter 1: Power Attack
Fighter 2:
Fighter 3:
Fighter 4: Headlong Rush
Fighter 5:
Fighter 6: Leap Attack

Half Orc Fighter 6, AB 6(10)
Strength 18,
Bastard Sword (1D10)
Feats: Power Attack, Leap Attack, Headlong Rush,

Starting Damage: 1D10+6
Power Attack for 6 Points: 1D10+6+12
Leap Attack trebles Power Attack Damage only: 1D10+6+18
Headlong Rush Doubles Damage:

It coud well be that this should result in 2D10+12+24, as you are arguing, but that is not likely, as Power Attack is not worded to imply that it is part of the doubling process.

If we take Leap Attack out of the equation, then I assume you think that the result would be 2D10+12+18?

Annarrkkii
2007-04-11, 02:51 PM
Whenever you double or multiply in D+D, you only get the effect of one multiplier once.

As such.

Starting Damage: 1d10+6
Power Attack for 6 Points: 1d10+6+12
Leap Attack (x 3): 1d10+6+24
Headlong Rush (x 2): 1d10+6+30.
In the event of a critical (x 2): 2d10+12+36

The above multipliers would NOT be conducted as follows:

Starting Damage: 1d10+6
Power Attack for 6 Points: 1d10+6+12
Leap Attack (x3): 1d10+6+36
Headlong Rush (x 2): 1d10+6+72
In the event of a critical (x 2): 2d10+12+144

Because that is blatantly wrong.

And yes, if we take leap attack out of the equation, we lose 12 points.

Matthew
2007-04-11, 03:16 PM
Why are you multiplying the Base Power Attack Damage by 4 through use of Leap Attack? That doesn't make sense in the context of what you are saying and still less to have Headlong Rush only multiply one fourth of it.

Headlong Rush multiplies all Damage, as far as I am aware.

Ikkitosen
2007-04-11, 03:30 PM
Matthew is correct (I like saying this, as it's my real name!).

Because Leap Attack affects PA damage only and Headlong Rush affects all damage they don't interact like normal D&D multipliers (i.e. x2 x2 = x3) but like real world multipliers. Calculate your damage using leap attack - base damage plus increased PA damage - then double the lot.

In the case of a critical hit - which also multiplies all damage - it interacts with Headlong Rush like normal D&D multipliers.

Annarrkkii
2007-04-11, 04:43 PM
Oops, should have read the Headlong Rush descriptor. I assumed it doubled only PA damage, from context, and went from there. But yes, given that, I rescind me argument.