Originally Posted by ferrodoxin
I guess you are right...
But it is even more likely that Rich doesn't care for calculating XP, so halflings can multiclass to barbarians without any worries
Or that Belkar makes up the difference with roleplaying XP
Or that Belkar has one level in a secret third class. Ranger 14/Barb 1/??? 1
Given his stats, his options are limited. If he took 2 levels of Fighter, he'd get weapon specialization: slashing, and he certainly does a lot of slashing according to the sound effects. So maybe Ranger 13/Fighter 2/Barb 1.
That way, he was suffering from the XP penalty prior to taking the barbarian level, and has been in sync with the others since then.
I also wouldn't write off the possibility of a backstory involving a humiliating level spent failing out of mage school, resulting in a massive chip on his shoulder.