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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default 3.5 Barbarian Build

    I'm in need of some outside points of view. Inspired by Lands of the Barbarian Kings, the magnificent "Being Bane" guide, and a nightlong movie marathon that included three Conan films and, yes, even Fire and Ice, I've decided to play a barbarian in an up-comming 3.5 game.

    ("Yay, yay, hoorah, huzzah!")

    The trouble with being Bane, apparently, is TOO MANY CHOICES! I've tried several build ideas, and each feels like it is lacking somehow. We are starting at level 1; I'm trying to plan a build that will take him to level 10. What I want is a character with a "pantherish" style to him. Among my ideas has been a Robilar's Gambit build and a four-level dip into Fighter and Rogue (2 each, perhapse even cheating with a Feat Rogue from UA). And of course I intend him to have Power Attack and Leap Attack. I'm also torn between the good ol' Barbarian we all know and love and the Wolf Totem Barbarian of Kick `em While they're Down!

    Alright, let the posting commence!

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    Rausdower's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    The route I'm taking with my barbarian is Shifter Barbarian/Black Blood Cultist focusing on grappling and beating down opponents. He has pounce and two weapon fighting from the city brawler variant to help with a non-grapple happy enemy. Sounds pretty feral as a character you'd like to play.
    Last edited by Rausdower; 2012-03-01 at 10:40 PM.

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    Mystify's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Robilar's gambit requires BaB 12, so you aren't going to be using it on a 1-10 build.
    I will also point out that barbarian 1/fighter 1, spend a feat on extra rage, and you are now raging like a level 10 barbarian. You lose out on DR 1/- by not taking 7 levels, and the uncanny dodge(which you would get from rogue anyways) , but that is about it. Well, trap sense, but thats not a big deal. The basic barbarian is not really worth more than a dip, supplemented by a feat.
    If you want more rage, you can do things like reckless rage, and trade -2 AC for 2 more str and con. Now with barb1/fighter2 you have the rage of a level 11 barbarian, sans 1 will and 2 less AC. Of course, the fighter can't get those feats directly, but you can take 2 feats that you would have taken otherwise as fighter feats, then use your generic feats for the rage supplements. As a barbarian, it should not be a problem have to get 2 fighter feats.
    From there, you can take some rogue, as you mentioned, which would regain the lost uncanny dodge(which, unless you are notably dexterous, isn't that big a deal), and get you some evasion. Find a prestige class that suites your fancy.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Extra Rage is a beautiful thing. It frees up the equivalent of about seven class levels (a Barb 1 with Extra Rage has as many Rages per day as a Barb 8), and really, after first level (where you get Rage and Pounce), Barb class levels don't offer you terribly much. Uncanny Dodge is nice (and probably worth a level), but other than that? Anything full BAB will do, for most characters. If you really just want to be a straight Barb, go ahead, but taking Extra Rage with one or two levels in Barb and then just going for, say, Warblade would probably end well. So yeah, pretty much what Mystify said.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2012-03-02 at 03:11 AM.
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    eggs's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Not sure what you mean about a Pantherish style, so I'm just going to look at the Robilar's Gambit bit, as that's the part that I can use.

    There's a similar feat to Robilar's Gambit called Karmic Strike. It's in Complete Warrior, it comes online much earlier, and it has a slightly modified set of limitations. Namely, it does not grant enemies a damage increase, but instead only triggers when enemies hit you at your reduced AC.

    At low levels, Monk is usually the strongest engine for Karmic Strike-type builds (bonus feats for prereqs, Invisible Fist to minimize defensive penalties, Decisive Strike to power AoO damage). The alignment problem bars the Barbarian from those tools. If that's negotiable, it could be a useful dip.

    But this could work. Human Barbarian 1/Crusader 1/Fighter 1 would have all the abilities needed to get Karmic Strike up and running at low levels (Stone Power, Dodge, Combat Expertise, Karmic Strike feats; healing and defensive maneuvers and stances). The problem with that setup is that some of its elements scale poorly with level (namely Stone Power and specific options).

    Progressing into Barbarian 1/Crusader 1/Fighter 2/Barbarian 1/Crusader 1 would grant Uncanny Dodge or Improved Trip. Power Attack (by retraining the Stone Power feat at level 6), two feats free to deal with Karmic Strike's damage-invitation. Evasive Target negates two of the easiest sources of melee bonus damage - power attack and flank-base sneak attack (can negate dex-based sneak attack, but the trip exchange is a tough one). If you can get your hands on some +1 armor of mobility (within your WBL, but highly group dependent), you can also have a feat slot free for Combat Reflexes, which is the final tool you need for the Karmic Strike machine.

    From there, progress as a Crusader will keep you level appropriate on the Barbarian base. Leap Attack can fit in at level 9, and Robilar's Gambit at level 12. If you ever feel like you're missing out on Barb class features, pick up Extra Rage, and you'll have basically everything the class has left to offer.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    I'd like to stick to the Barbarian class as much as possible, but your input so far has helped to flesh-out this character better.

    Question about Extra Rage: does it improve the quality of your Rage or just how often you can Rage? If it doesn't, is there a feat that does allow you to increase the quality of your Rage to compensate for level-dipping?

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Suteinu View Post
    I'd like to stick to the Barbarian class as much as possible, but your input so far has helped to flesh-out this character better.

    Question about Extra Rage: does it improve the quality of your Rage or just how often you can Rage? If it doesn't, is there a feat that does allow you to increase the quality of your Rage to compensate for level-dipping?
    Of course not, you need to take levels in Barbarian for that (though Reckless Rage sorta-kinda improves your Rage). Eh; dip two in Fighter. Barbarian 2/Fighter 2, go from there. Wolf-totem, definitely. Tripping is a wonderful way to make pansies cry before you split their skills.
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    Mystify's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Suteinu View Post
    I'd like to stick to the Barbarian class as much as possible, but your input so far has helped to flesh-out this character better.

    Question about Extra Rage: does it improve the quality of your Rage or just how often you can Rage? If it doesn't, is there a feat that does allow you to increase the quality of your Rage to compensate for level-dipping?
    Rage doesn't increase until level 11, so it would never increase in a 1-10 game no matter what you do.
    The closest you can get is reckless rage ,which gives you the +2 str/con, but costs you an additional -2 AC.

    If Dragon Magazines are allowed, there is chaos rage. You have to be trained in initmidate 4 ranks, be chaotic, and can rage. It gives you a +4 to your barbarian level for purposes of rage, up to your HD. Unless you have at least 11 HD and 7-10 barbarian levels, all it does is give you a chaotic aura and 1 more rage/day. Or you could take extra rage an additional time and get 2 more rages.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystify View Post
    Rage doesn't increase until level 11, so it would never increase in a 1-10 game no matter what you do.
    The closest you can get is reckless rage ,which gives you the +2 str/con, but costs you an additional -2 AC.

    If Dragon Magazines are allowed, there is chaos rage. You have to be trained in initmidate 4 ranks, be chaotic, and can rage. It gives you a +4 to your barbarian level for purposes of rage, up to your HD. Unless you have at least 11 HD and 7-10 barbarian levels, all it does is give you a chaotic aura and 1 more rage/day. Or you could take extra rage an additional time and get 2 more rages.
    Thanks for that insight. Extra and Reckless rage may be a good combo.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    Not sure what you mean about a Pantherish style...
    Glad you asked, `cause it made me examin exactly what I meant.

    The idea is a swift, powerful melee fighter with sharp senses and lightning reflexes (not necessarily Lightning Reflexes), so Power Attack, Leap Attack, and Combat Reflexes spring to mind, that sort of thing.

    Our GM has said that, because of the cultural developements that have been reached in this setting, no Monks and none of the Martial classes from the ToB, though the feats Martial Stance and Martial Study are allowed should a player want to develope the "First Grand Master". One fellow in our troup is playing a Ranger who is working toward the Animal Shen PrC the hard way, playing-up his connection to animals as the basis for his martial insights (cool idea; wish I'd thought of it first!).

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    Andion Isurand's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    How about...

    Troll Blooded as your first level only feat (Dragon 319 61) for Regeneration 1 (fire/acid) combined with the Heavy Legs construct graft (FoE 158) to ignore the fatigue that Troll Blooded causes you when you are in sunlight.

    And to ignore rage fatigue.

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    Mystify's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Andion Isurand View Post
    How about...

    Troll Blooded as your first level only feat (Dragon 319 61) for Regeneration 1 (fire/acid) combined with the Heavy Legs construct graft (FoE 158) to ignore the fatigue that Troll Blooded causes you when you are in sunlight.

    And to ignore rage fatigue.
    Wow. That feat it incredibly powerful. They don't even let full trolls get regen until 4th, and they have to put up with all sorts of LA and RHD.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Well, gentlefolk, the first weekend-long session has come and gone. Kesh, for that is our Barbarian's name, made quite an impression. I won't go into long details, but will reflect upon some Truths that seem obvious but bear repeating:

    1- At level one, Power Attack and Combat Reflexes, even without Rage, are a formidable combination.
    2- At level one, Power Attack and Combat Reflexes WITH Rage are even more formidable!
    3- Imp. Tripping lizardfolk and sub-humans who charge a barbarian only serve to prove how Chuck Norris said warrior really is.
    4- Audacity has nothing to do with skills or feats.

    More to come...

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 Barbarian Build

    Don't worry ; I'm not going to turn this into the Chronicles of Kesh! I just want to give a brief annecdote to go with the afforementioned point 4:

    The climactic confrontation for the weekend happened in the sub-level of the doorless tower. The wicked sorcerer swiftly took down our batm- ahem, spellcaster, evaded ranged attacks, and then proceded to neatly wound and disarm everybody with Heat Metal. Our poor knightly warrior was baking in his bronze breastplate, the thief was on death's door, and our shaman was desperately trying to keep everyone from having to be replaced by new PC's!

    Kesh, out of melee range, kept a firm grip of his shortsword, absorbing first 1d6 and then 2d6 with the chest muscles in his hands. When it was good and hot, he Raged and flung the weapon at his party's malefactor.

    Crom looked down and said, "Crit."

    A brief throttling followed, and the day was saved.

    I have a good idea how to further develpoe Kesh from here on, and I thank you all for your input and advice; y'all have really helped me flesh him out both stat and character-wise. Kesh will surely go on to be a king in his own right, Leadership Cheese or not (probably not)!

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