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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Making the smart Barbarian, Phase 1 (PLEASE SEND HELP)



Man_Over_Game
2018-12-12, 07:17 PM
In the quest to make a tactical Barbarian subclass, something that utilizes more decision making than the existing Barbarian options, I have come to GitP for aid to help me decide on what route you all think is best to take.

I've narrowed down my options to these three choices, and I'd like to hear your opinions on them:

Option 1: The Barbarian uses their life force to channel power rather than their Rage. They take damage to their health equal to their Barbarian level at the start of each of their turns, and gain that much health in Temporary Hitpoints. This damage ignores temporary hitpoints and cannot be reduced. While Raging, you can cast spells and you can use your Strength Rage damage bonus for all melee and ranged attacks (note that this means spell attacks can now use Strength).

Option 2: The Barbarian knows how to channel forces of ferocity as they Rage. You have two spell lists, called Savagery and Sadism. You can cast one spell from each of these spell lists at the same time that you Rage, and you maintain Concentration on these spells for as long as you Rage. While Raging, you are not limited to Concentrating on a single spell, and you cannot lose Concentration on these spells until your Rage ends, which immediately ends these spells. You still cannot cast any spell or maintain concentration from any spell that does not come from this feature. Savagery spells are attack-based spells (I.E. Ensnaring Strike), and Sadism spells are mobility or utility spells (I.E. Longstrider or Jump).

Option 3: The Barbarian knows how to calm their mind in a storm of fury. You gain spellcasting similar to a Ranger. You can now use Moment of Clarity a number of times equal to half of your Barbarian Rage uses, and your MoC refreshes on a short rest. You can cast a spell while Raging by expending a use of MoC, and while doing so, your Rage is suspended until the start of your next turn. Later levels include benefiting from the Dodge action while MoC is active.

Which of these sounds like something you'd like to see?

JNAProductions
2018-12-12, 08:48 PM
In the quest to make a tactical Barbarian subclass, something that utilizes more decision making than the existing Barbarian options, I have come to GitP for aid to help me decide on what route you all think is best to take.

I've narrowed down my options to these three choices, and I'd like to hear your opinions on them:

Option 1: The Barbarian uses their life force to channel power rather than their Rage. They take damage to their health equal to their Barbarian level at the start of each of their turns, and gain that much health in Temporary Hitpoints. This damage ignores temporary hitpoints and cannot be reduced. While Raging, you can cast spells and you can use your Strength Rage damage bonus for all melee and ranged attacks (note that this means spell attacks can now use Strength).

Option 2: The Barbarian knows how to channel forces of ferocity as they Rage. You have two spell lists, called Savagery and Sadism. You can cast one spell from each of these spell lists at the same time that you Rage, and you maintain Concentration on these spells for as long as you Rage. While Raging, you are not limited to Concentrating on a single spell, and you cannot lose Concentration on these spells until your Rage ends, which immediately ends these spells. You still cannot cast any spell or maintain concentration from any spell that does not come from this feature. Savagery spells are attack-based spells (I.E. Ensnaring Strike), and Sadism spells are mobility or utility spells (I.E. Longstrider or Jump).

Option 3: The Barbarian knows how to calm their mind in a storm of fury. You gain spellcasting similar to a Ranger. You can now use Moment of Clarity a number of times equal to half of your Barbarian Rage uses, and your MoC refreshes on a short rest. You can cast a spell while Raging by expending a use of MoC, and while doing so, your Rage is suspended until the start of your next turn. Later levels include benefiting from the Dodge action while MoC is active.

Which of these sounds like something you'd like to see?

3 looks the best. 1 is not fun, and 2 is brokenly good in concept.

superninja109
2018-12-12, 09:57 PM
For your option 2, a self-buffing barbarian with a variety of options of which you choose one when you begin your rage could work instead of a 2-concentration thingy that will probably inadvertantly wreck the game.

If you want a spellcasting barbarian, Option 3 sounds pretty interesting. Maybe you even flip that on its head and instead of rage punctuated by periods of clarity, you have clarity interrupted by burst of rage that fuel your attacks. Maybe your rage gets more benefits but can only be activated for a turn at a time but more frequently.

Maybe you have a telekinetic barbarian who uses their mind to pull enemies closer to them like a baseball or pushes them oof of cliffs from afar?

Another thing you could try is that when the barbarian rages, their mind lashes out in psychic attacks in addition to/instead of normal physical attacks. This could eventually manifest in a 10 ft (?) aura where any hostile creature that starts its turn there takes damage = to you intelligence modifier or something like that.

Sorry for the random stream-of-consciousness spurt of ideas, but I like your ideas and I'm just throwing things out there that might pique your interest. I would love to see this subclass fully-realized. "You mean that my barbarian's dump stat shouldn't be intelligence?"

Rynjin
2018-12-12, 11:17 PM
For your option 2, a self-buffing barbarian with a variety of options of which you choose one when you begin your rage could work instead of a 2-concentration thingy that will probably inadvertantly wreck the game.

Basically, you can make him a Pathfinder Bloodrager (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/bloodrager) with the Arcane Bloodline (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/bloodrager/bloodrager-bloodlines/paizo-bloodrager-bloodlines/arcane/).

Easily converted, simple to stat out.

3rd: See Eldritch knight Fighter Subclass for Spellcasting details. Additionally, you may cast (but not concentrate) on spells while Raging, but only spells you receive from the Barbarian class.

6th: On entering your Rage choose one spell you have Prepared. This spell is cast without expending one of your spells per day, and if it would normally require you to maintain Concentration, it does not. If the spell targets yourself, it lasts for the duration of your Rage (regardless of its normal duration).

10th: Gain the Mage Slayer feat. if you successfully disrupt a spell or kill the target of your Reaction from this Feat, you may use another Reaction before the start of your next turn. This extra reaction may only be obtained once per round.

14th: When entering a Rage, choose one of the following benefits:

-Gain the effects of another spell you may cast on yourself, without expending a spell slot of requiring you to expend your concentration. This is in addition to the one you already receive from your 6th level ability.
-Expend a spell slot to enter your Rage without expending one of your daily uses. This spell slot must be of the highest level you can cast.
-Use your Strength Saving Throw for any Saving Throw you make while raging.

Quick idea from me there.

JNAProductions
2018-12-12, 11:20 PM
Basically, you can make him a Pathfinder Bloodrager (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/bloodrager) with the Arcane Bloodline (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/bloodrager/bloodrager-bloodlines/paizo-bloodrager-bloodlines/arcane/).

Easily converted, simple to stat out.

3rd: See Eldritch knight Fighter Subclass for Spellcasting details. Additionally, you may cast (but not concentrate) on spells while Raging, but only spells you receive from the Barbarian class.

6th: On entering your Rage choose one spell you have Prepared. This spell is cast without expending one of your spells per day, and if it would normally require you to maintain Concentration, it does not. If the spell targets yourself, it lasts for the duration of your Rage (regardless of its normal duration).

10th: Gain the Mage Slayer feat. if you successfully disrupt a spell or kill the target of your Reaction from this Feat, you may use another Reaction before the start of your next turn. This extra reaction may only be obtained once per round.

14th: When entering a Rage, choose one of the following benefits:

-Gain the effects of another spell you may cast on yourself, without expending a spell slot of requiring you to expend your concentration. This is in addition to the one you already receive from your 6th level ability.
-Expend a spell slot to enter your Rage without expending one of your daily uses. This spell slot must be of the highest level you can cast.
-Use your Strength Saving Throw for any Saving Throw you make while raging.

Quick idea from me there.

Strength saves gain advantage from rage, as well as being proficient and probably your highest stat.
That last bit basically means a Raging Barbarian never fails saves.

Rynjin
2018-12-13, 12:03 AM
Strength saves gain advantage from rage, as well as being proficient and probably your highest stat.
That last bit basically means a Raging Barbarian never fails saves.

That's the idea, yes. It's your big capstone ability, essentially. God knows 5e needs more abilities that actually matter beyond being pointless ribbons. One of 5e's biggest design flaws is classes generally gain their strongest archetype/style/path/whatever abilities at 3rd and 6th, severely disincentivizing you from sticking with any class much longer than that. Particularly martial characters.

It's also the point of making it compete with two other options which can have similar if not greater tactical implications. Looking at the the spell list though, I forgot how MUCH 5e trimmed buff options. There aren't really any great 3rd or 4th level buff spells that could compete with that option, unlike other editions.

Could potentially be changed to using the higher of your Int save or existing save for anything . You're likely to have meh Cha, Ref, and Wis saves that your Int would likely be better suited for. Then maybe 1/Rage use Str for any saving throw.

Man_Over_Game
2018-12-13, 11:04 AM
Thank you so much for your time, guys!


3 looks the best. 1 is not fun, and 2 is brokenly good in concept.


For your option 2, a self-buffing barbarian with a variety of options of which you choose one when you begin your rage could work instead of a 2-concentration thingy that will probably inadvertantly wreck the game.

I was planning on it to being extremely catered towards utility vs. raw damage, with emphasis on the "Sadism" portion. Any "Savagery" spells I'd include would be things that inherently have their own methods of being removed, like Searing Strike, Ensnaring Strike, Branding Smite, and other such abilities. But thinking about it, something like using Longstrider or Jump every time you Rage really steps on the toes of the Totem Barbarian, so I really see where you guys are coming from. I liked option 2 the most, but maybe I'll shelf it for a later concept.




If you want a spellcasting barbarian, Option 3 sounds pretty interesting. Maybe you even flip that on its head and instead of rage punctuated by periods of clarity, you have clarity interrupted by burst of rage that fuel your attacks. Maybe your rage gets more benefits but can only be activated for a turn at a time but more frequently.

Considered that, but that really interferes with the level 15 and 20 core barbarian abilities they get. No other subclass loses class features, and additionally, making it a 1 round super action feels more like a "Fighter Superman" action rather than a "Barbarian" action. But I definitely see where you were coming from, especially since that was the very first concept I thought to use, but it didn't pan out.



Maybe you have a telekinetic barbarian who uses their mind to pull enemies closer to them like a baseball or pushes them oof of cliffs from afar?

Another thing you could try is that when the barbarian rages, their mind lashes out in psychic attacks in addition to/instead of normal physical attacks. This could eventually manifest in a 10 ft (?) aura where any hostile creature that starts its turn there takes damage = to you intelligence modifier or something like that.

Sorry for the random stream-of-consciousness spurt of ideas, but I like your ideas and I'm just throwing things out there that might pique your interest. I would love to see this subclass fully-realized. "You mean that my barbarian's dump stat shouldn't be intelligence?"
I really do like the concept of telekinesis. Call it Nerd Rage, get all the Fallout fanboys using it.



Basically, you can make him a Pathfinder Bloodrager (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/bloodrager) with the Arcane Bloodline (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/bloodrager/bloodrager-bloodlines/paizo-bloodrager-bloodlines/arcane/).

Easily converted, simple to stat out.

3rd: See Eldritch knight Fighter Subclass for Spellcasting details. Additionally, you may cast (but not concentrate) on spells while Raging, but only spells you receive from the Barbarian class.

6th: On entering your Rage choose one spell you have Prepared. This spell is cast without expending one of your spells per day, and if it would normally require you to maintain Concentration, it does not. If the spell targets yourself, it lasts for the duration of your Rage (regardless of its normal duration).

10th: Gain the Mage Slayer feat. if you successfully disrupt a spell or kill the target of your Reaction from this Feat, you may use another Reaction before the start of your next turn. This extra reaction may only be obtained once per round.

14th: When entering a Rage, choose one of the following benefits:

-Gain the effects of another spell you may cast on yourself, without expending a spell slot of requiring you to expend your concentration. This is in addition to the one you already receive from your 6th level ability.
-Expend a spell slot to enter your Rage without expending one of your daily uses. This spell slot must be of the highest level you can cast.
-Use your Strength Saving Throw for any Saving Throw you make while raging.

Quick idea from me there.

I really want to avoid making it another Eldritch Knight clone. I do like the ideas, and it's really versatile, but its key feature is "Cast a cantrip/Shield while raging", which doesn't do much more than what the Eldritch Knight does. The higher levels really add some of that Rage-dependent uses, but they do come in a bit late. But this does give me a lot of room to work with. If I end up making my Option 2, I'll probably base a lot of the concepts from what you've listed here.


Strength saves gain advantage from rage, as well as being proficient and probably your highest stat.
That last bit basically means a Raging Barbarian never fails saves.


That's the idea, yes. It's your big capstone ability, essentially. God knows 5e needs more abilities that actually matter beyond being pointless ribbons. One of 5e's biggest design flaws is classes generally gain their strongest archetype/style/path/whatever abilities at 3rd and 6th, severely disincentivizing you from sticking with any class much longer than that. Particularly martial characters.

It's also the point of making it compete with two other options which can have similar if not greater tactical implications. Looking at the the spell list though, I forgot how MUCH 5e trimmed buff options. There aren't really any great 3rd or 4th level buff spells that could compete with that option, unlike other editions.

Could potentially be changed to using the higher of your Int save or existing save for anything . You're likely to have meh Cha, Ref, and Wis saves that your Int would likely be better suited for. Then maybe 1/Rage use Str for any saving throw.

I do agree with most of what you say here. I think that the coolest abilities should kick in at level 3, so players can feel how the subclass plays for the rest of the game, and that every feature after that should only improve what the 3rd level defines as your playstyle, but having really powerful level 10/14/17/whatever subclass features is really important, IMO. The solution for a better Wizard shouldn't ever be "Dip 1 level into Fighter". That should only be a solution to a problem that you're having (like being attacked too often), and 5e doesn't punish multiclassing enough, I think.




I liked option 2 more, due to how "colorful" it is right off the bat, but I agree with what you guys are saying about it potentially being overpowered. I am worried that making Option 3 too versatile will just make it a multiclass option for Wizards/Druids, so the middle-upper features will have to be really badass to incentivize sticking with the Barbarian.

Vogie
2018-12-13, 11:14 AM
In the quest to make a tactical Barbarian subclass, something that utilizes more decision making than the existing Barbarian options, I have come to GitP for aid to help me decide on what route you all think is best to take.

I've narrowed down my options to these three choices, and I'd like to hear your opinions on them:

Option 1: No Pain, No Gain, No Fun

Option 2: Concent-rage-tion spells

Option 3: Eldritch Knarbarian (Rage Prophet Part Deux)

Which of these sounds like something you'd like to see?

I would narrow it down to... different options.

When I think of "tactical" or a "smart fighter", I think of those people with a warlord-ish bent - Valor Bards, Order Clerics and some of the Battlemaster maneuvers.

While these options are interesting, and worth pursuing they don't strike me as being particularly smart or tactical.

Maybe giving a second rage replacement (called Warlord's Focus or Tactical Vision or something) that allows the barbarian to augment their allies, and blend off their attacks as well.

Things like giving the barbarian the ability to

bestow Rage benefits to allies with the help action
continue to "rage" while using help actions
strike when an ally misses a target
inspire allies to attack on your turn
provide additional reactions to other allies
have a Mastermind-style ranged Help action
disrupt a target's spells or attacks
rally fallen or exhausted allies

Grod_The_Giant
2018-12-13, 12:42 PM
I would narrow it down to... different options.
Agreed-- I'd think something like Battle Master maneuvers would fit better than casting.

Man_Over_Game
2018-12-13, 04:58 PM
Agreed-- I'd think something like Battle Master maneuvers would fit better than casting.

One thing I also wanted to fix was the issue that Barbarians don't multiclass well into...well, anything!

They are unusable for anything that uses Heavy Armor and casting, which cuts out most Strength or mental builds.

What's left after that are classes who all use Dexterity, and the Barbarian's abilities explicitly work with melee.

So you're stuck with a melee Fighter/Paladin who uses Strength but isn't allowed to wear Plate (and in the Paladin's case, not allowed to cast spells), a melee STR Rogue with a 1d8 hit dice and crappy skill checks, Moon Druids (who don't need any help), and non-casting Rangers who aren't using ranged weapons for some reason.

So the only thing that truly synergizes with Barbarian without losing something is the Moon Druid, who is already one of the strongest early-game classes at the moment.

By adding an option to cast spells, this expands the Barbarian to Gish-style casters, which is a big plus. Sure, it's has some limitations compared to what other Gishes can do, but it adds a lot more in a different way.

superninja109
2018-12-13, 07:12 PM
I would narrow it down to... different options.

When I think of "tactical" or a "smart fighter", I think of those people with a warlord-ish bent - Valor Bards, Order Clerics and some of the Battlemaster maneuvers.

While these options are interesting, and worth pursuing they don't strike me as being particularly smart or tactical.

Maybe giving a second rage replacement (called Warlord's Focus or Tactical Vision or something) that allows the barbarian to augment their allies, and blend off their attacks as well.

Things like giving the barbarian the ability to

bestow Rage benefits to allies with the help action
continue to "rage" while using help actions
strike when an ally misses a target
inspire allies to attack on your turn
provide additional reactions to other allies
have a Mastermind-style ranged Help action
disrupt a target's spells or attacks
rally fallen or exhausted allies

Or maybe try to do some sort of aura that activates during a rage like the paladin. But, perhaps you have a list of auras that you can use and you can swap auras by using a bonus action a number of times equal to your intelligence modifier per ?short rest? Maybe even just different "modes" that you can enter while raging so that you adapt to changing situations tactically by assuming a different stance with certain benefits and drawbacks.
I think the OP, when trying to decide on something, should remember that smart =/= spells.

Man_Over_Game
2018-12-13, 07:18 PM
Or maybe try to do some sort of aura that activates during a rage like the paladin. But, perhaps you have a list of auras that you can use and you can swap auras by using a bonus action a number of times equal to your intelligence modifier per ?short rest? Maybe even just different "modes" that you can enter while raging so that you adapt to changing situations tactically by assuming a different stance with certain benefits and drawbacks.
I think the OP, when trying to decide on something, should remember that smart =/= spells.

And that's very true. I don't necessarily care about spells, but whatever the solution is should expand on multiclassing for the Barbarian, since that's a major weakpoint for Barbarians right now.

And mages are the largest group that they currently can't multiclass in. Other example groups include Dexterity characters or characters in plate armor. Dexterity and plate armor felt wrong, so casting made the most sense as the option that would open up the Barbarian as more than "that one weird Fighter class that only does one thing".

Anyone can already multiclass into Fighter and benefit from it. Now it's the Barbarian's turn to have that option. if that can be done without adding spellcasting or carbon copying the Battle Master, I'm all for it, but I'm having trouble seeing any alternatives.

Vogie
2018-12-13, 08:27 PM
If you forgo the tactical aspects of the OP, then I'd probably do something like #2

I like Superninja's idea of making it an aura-style casting class. That reminds me of the Emblem of the Warmind (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=136215)... Like a mass Longstrider

I'd say a subclass that allows the barbarian to "concentrate" on a wizard spell while Raging... and only while raging (so all times are capped at 1 minute), and they learn only concentration spells with a range of touch or self. However, they make whatever they're concentrating into an aura that slowly grows as you level up.

Then their 14th level feature allows the rage to aura-fy TWO concentration spells. Enlarge and Enhance Ability... for Everyone!

Rerem115
2018-12-14, 02:47 PM
If you're using Warlord as an inspiration, you could go for more of a Charisma based kinda deal:

3--While raging, creatures of your choice within [___] feet can use their reaction to re-roll a missed attack/gain temporary hit points equal to [___] at the start of your turn/what have you.

6--You can expend a rage/while raging gain advantage on Charisma checks and saves

10--If you spend [___] amount of time talking to a creature, they become Charmed

14--If an enemy you can see attacks a creature other than you, you can use your reaction to move up to your movement/half your movement to towards the creature that was attacked. If you can get to them, you can intercept the attack, becoming the new target and then attack the enemy once.

Man_Over_Game
2018-12-14, 03:23 PM
If you're using Warlord as an inspiration, you could go for more of a Charisma based kinda deal:

3--While raging, creatures of your choice within [___] feet can use their reaction to re-roll a missed attack/gain temporary hit points equal to [___] at the start of your turn/what have you.

6--You can expend a rage/while raging gain advantage on Charisma checks and saves

10--If you spend [___] amount of time talking to a creature, they become Charmed

14--If an enemy you can see attacks a creature other than you, you can use your reaction to move up to your movement/half your movement to towards the creature that was attacked. If you can get to them, you can intercept the attack, becoming the new target and then attack the enemy once.

Using the Warlord or Charisma as an example isn't bad, but most concepts I come up with for it are already in use.

I want to avoid making a simple "dumbfire" option that the Barbarian just presses in a big fight (Like Action Surge, Second Wind, Banneret abilities, Glamour Bard special, etc), mostly because they already have one of those: Rage.

While I'm not super against the idea, I do want to make Charisma less important overall. There is a lot of negligence for Intelligence, Wisdom and Strength so far in the current options for 5e, with Charisma being dominant in spellcasting, skills, and even some melee attacking builds.

But that does give me a few ideas for a "pseudo charisma" style of Warlord. Something that rallies the troops without ever really using the Charisma stat.

3: When you Reckless Attack, you may choose an ally, an enemy, or both within 30 feet of you, and move them 5 feet closer to you. Additionally, at the start of your turn, you gain temporary hitpoints equal to the number of allies and enemies adjacent to you. Or something like that.