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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Question Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    So I'm new to pen and paper roleplaying games and am going to be joining a game of D&D 3.5. One of my friends directed me here for help getting started.

    I've read through the different class pages and I want to hit things in the face, really hard, with a big weapon. I think this means I should be playing a barbarian. Can y'all give me some pointers on how to increase the amount of head choppin' I can do?

    I have to be a non-evil alignment, I can use any book and Dragon Magazine, and we're starting at level 8. No race with LA +2 or more. I think that's if, if you want to know anything else just ask and I will try to find out.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian to make full attacks on the charge. Pick up Power Attack, Leap Attack, Shock Trooper, and a Valorous Greatsword or Greataxe. Go to town with charges.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    You can find Eladriel's barbarian handbook here.

    Long story short. The power attack feat is the bread and butter of the barbarian, it lets you swap out accuracy for damage. Most barbarians choose to take feats to enhance their charge, using the alternate class feature from complete champion to get pounce(you can get a full attack at the end of a charge) and a bunch of other fun feats. Chargers are common and very good at doing stupid amounts of damage.

    I'm a fan of tripper barbarians and shocktrooper barbarians. There's another alternate class feature in complete champion that grants you improve trip at level 2 with no prerequisite feats. The reasons barbarians aren't usually trippers is because it takes decent INT and DEX. The INT is for the prerequisite combat expertise, which sort of sucks and you probably don't have the stats for(13 INT with a barbarian is hard). Then you probably want decent DEX for combat reflexes to trip anything going by.

    Much more common is the shocktrooper and building up power attack boosters. The shocktrooper feat lets you increase the damage of power attack by reducing your armor, not your accuracy. Also, leap attack lets you double your power attack damage if you jump before hand.

    Can't do the whole subject justice, the handbook is very nice as a resource, and a fun read. Eladriel is great, you might see him around sometime.
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    OK, not only do I want to smash peoples heads in but I want to protect the rest of the party at the same time. How can I do that? Busy reading that guide you linked, but it's a lot to absorb lol
    Last edited by SirAxealot; 2012-09-23 at 04:13 PM.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    If you want to protect the party, you want a control Barbarian. Look for something that is Large or can count as Large for Reach, then take a Reach weapon - guisarme or glaive are good, from what I recall? Also spiked chain, possibly. Pick up Improved Trip, Stand Still, Combat Reflexes, and Thicket of Blades. Overall goal is to maximize your reach and the number of attacks of opportunity you can make per round, then use Improved Trip and Stand Still to keep them down and away from your allies.

    It does take a bit more thought then the charger barb, but it's my personal favourite build

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Knock-down is also a nice feat to have if you're interested in protection. "(Str 15, Improved Trip, BAB +2) [SRD, D&D]: Great! Whenever you deal 10 or more damage to a target, you get a free trip attempt against them." That plus combat reflexes lets you keep jerks off your buddies.
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    What if I want something more like Conan? He was pretty sneaky in general. Is there a rogue/assassin/thief class that mixes well with barbarians?

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    The Control build will have naturally good Dex to power Combat Reflexes. Take a level in Rogue and the feat Able Learner to keep the sneaky skills in-class for your entire career. You won't be nearly as good as, say, a Shadowdancer, but you'll be quieter then most. The fact that you won't be wearing heavy armour helps too.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    I'm also noticing that barbarians seem to need a lot of feats but they don't in so far as I can tell get any more than the normal character. Is that right and if so, is there some sneaky way around it?

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    I'm also noticing that barbarians seem to need a lot of feats but they don't in so far as I can tell get any more than the normal character. Is that right and if so, is there some sneaky way around it?
    That's true, but you can always multiclass into Fighter for a couple of levels.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    What if I want something more like Conan? He was pretty sneaky in general. Is there a rogue/assassin/thief class that mixes well with barbarians?
    Conan was totally a warblade with one factotum level and Able Learner. All skills as class skills. FOREVAR!

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    I'm also noticing that barbarians seem to need a lot of feats but they don't in so far as I can tell get any more than the normal character. Is that right and if so, is there some sneaky way around it?
    Generally, multiclassing is one path. E.g. two levels of Fighter gets you two feats. Two levels of Monk can get you 3 (if you need Improved Unarmed Strike) and Martial Rogue can get you two; both get you the stealth skills you want in class too (though either option costs you 1 point of Base Attack Bonus making you slightly less accurate/hard hitting). Ranger is the last option that gets one less feat than the other options but has full BAB and skills. Also, the Wolf Totem Barbarian gets Improved Trip without prerequisites; that's again a way to skip one feat.

    In addition, if you pick two Character Flaws (feel free to clarify with your DM and come up with your own ones; you prolly want to have some flaws anyways, though these FLAWS kinda have to be something serious) you can pick two extra feats in exchange. And of course, Human gets an extra feat, which help.


    The other half is focusing. You don't want to do everything; to achieve the goals you want (lots of damage, control) all you need is:
    Improved Trip
    Combat Reflexes
    Power Attack (maybe Shock Trooper and Leap Attack; frankly those might not even be necessary if you have Pounce)

    To achieve that you only need to pick Combat Reflexes and Power Attack as feats. Improved Trip is a free bonus from Wolf Totem Barbarian and you get a lot of damage from your basic Barbarian framework. The most damaging variant of Rage is Whirling Frenzy, which should also interest you.

    It also goes better with the more controlled type of raging (you get Dodge-bonus to AC and all that) which would be to be expected from a Conan-like character. Early on you'll want to pick up Extra Rage, by the way, since you won't have enough Rage uses to use it in multiple encounters otherwise.


    In short, I suggest a multiclassed Ranger 2/Barbarian or Martial Rogue 2/Barbarian (or Monk 2/Barbarian who's switched alignment after Monk-levels in case you want fisticuffs skills more than Rogue's extra skill points and Trapfinding), probably Human with Able Learner [Races of Destiny] (allows buying ranks in cross-class skills the same way you normally buy ranks in class skills), to get the feats and the skills you want for fighting and sneaking.

    You want high Strength, Con & Dexterity and preferably some Int (for skill points) and Wis (for Will-saves and base values of Perception skills, Sense Motive, Survival & co.). If you want, you can also pick up the Trapkiller alternative class feature for disabling traps in case you want to be able to deal with traps too (or getting Trapfinding from Ranger or Rogue works too).
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    You said a friend pointed you here.

    Ask that friend what optimization level their group plays at.

    Without a target op level, almost all the advice you get will be targetted at high-op, which may not be appropriate to your group.

    To-whit: even a mid level (6-11 ish level) ubercharger will dish out damage numbers that will anihilate anything that's at his CR.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-09-23 at 05:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    A quick text message has resulted in me being informed that:

    "Tier 1 is banned but everything else is pushed as far as it can possibly go"

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    A quick text message has resulted in me being informed that:

    "Tier 1 is banned but everything else is pushed as far as it can possibly go"
    Oh he is so begging you to play a kobold paladin.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Saying that you can push everything as much as you want is a pretty dangerous slippery slope (after all you can go Pun-Pun with almost every class) and to be honest it doesn't really answer the question as it doesn't narrow the op-level of the group.

    For a general Op-level I would suggest Power Attack/Leap Attack for offense and combat reflexes/Knock Down for control. Grab a reach weapon (Glaive woukd be my suggestion) and go to town. Pretty standard and can be diales up or down depending on your group's needs (grab a couple more charge multiplier like a Valorous weapon if you need to dial up, power attack for less if you need to rein in yourself).
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    A quick text message has resulted in me being informed that:

    "Tier 1 is banned but everything else is pushed as far as it can possibly go"
    In that case, ubercharger all the way.

    Once you've knocked out power attack, leap attack, improved bull-rush, and shocktrooper. You can do pretty much whatever you want with the rest of your build.
    That's only 4 feats, as long as you take a two level dip into either fighter or feat rogue, you've got everything but shocktrooper by 3rd level. After taking 1 or 2 levels in barbarian, making sure to get pounce, able learner to keep the skill point spending stable, then maybe ranger (the CC non-spellcasting version) to make sure you have the necessary skill-points to spread around.

    In D&D 3.5 you'll almost always want to multiclass to get the character you imagine.

    If you just want to keep it simple, do it like this.

    Factotum 1/ Barbarian 1/ fighter 1/ Barbarian +2/ fighter +1/ barbarian +X. In this case X is however many levels the campaign lasts after that point.

    Feats go:

    1) Able learner, (feat of choice)
    3)Power attack, Imp Bull-rush
    6)Leap attack, Shocktrooper

    You can swap that first fighter level and the two barb levels after around however you want as long as you get the first barbarian level in asap, being sure to get pounce, and the second fighter level at six.

    Congratulations, you have a bare-bones ubercharger with all skills as class skills.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    ok lol so a little more texting has gotten the info that there was a little hyperbole and that this pun-pun and things like it are banned as well, but that anything that's got a lot of multiclassing, weird race combos, etc. is ok. What else should I ask to narrow down the "op level"?

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    In my experience the OP-level is dictated more by the party composition and tactics than the DM, what kind of characters are your friends playing? If they are playing Warblades, DFI bards, Sorcadins, etc then you are in a mid to high op-group as opposed to single class monks, non-twf sneak attackers, non-metamagic blasting which would imply low optimization.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    There's a warblade, a favoured soul, a crusader, and an undecided. In additioon to me.
    Last edited by SirAxealot; 2012-09-23 at 06:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    There's a warblade, a favoured soul, a crusader, and an undecided. In additioon to me.
    Barbarian can perform just fine. I definitely suggest going with Whirling Frenzy and Shock Trooper at that point tho; Barbarian's big selling point is doing tons of damage.

    Alternatively, if you want some more combat options, you could look at Tome of Battle and go maybe Barbarian 2/Warblade -> so you've got Rage and then maneuvers. Might need a third class for skills, so maybe Ranger 2/Barbarian 2/Warblade ->. This is the same pool from which the other players are drawing after all.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    That party seems mid-op level and is roughly tier 3. A Barb will fit well tough I think you have enough melee power in there and it seems you are lacking some arcane magic support. Just something to consider.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Apparently the warblade and favoured soul are both multiclassed to cover various skills. As i'm sure you guys can tell I don't know a whole lot about the game yet. What should I be doing as a barbarian? I mean, i know I should hit stuff, but is a sneaky barbarian ok in combat? Should I get the high damage stuff and then go for something tougher?

    if I do this warblade thing or add a fighter level, what am I gaining and losing? ie why is it a good idea?

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Apparently the warblade and favoured soul are both multiclassed to cover various skills. As i'm sure you guys can tell I don't know a whole lot about the game yet. What should I be doing as a barbarian? I mean, i know I should hit stuff, but is a sneaky barbarian ok in combat? Should I get the high damage stuff and then go for something tougher?

    if I do this warblade thing or add a fighter level, what am I gaining and losing? ie why is it a good idea?
    Yeah, the sneaky Barbarians suggested here are perfectly capable of combat still. In fact, they don't give up much in terms of combat prowess over a normal Barbarian; it's mostly a different placement of your skill points and requiring one-two levels in a non-Barbarian class.

    In general, the game works so that your character has a bunch of levels (they become epic after level 20 and the game works differently but it's unlikely your game would go that far). Each level grants you a base Hit Die (that's added to your HP; Barbarian gets a d12 + Constitution, Fighter gets d10 + Constitution, Rogue gets a d6 + Constitution, etc.), skill points (Rogue gets 8+Int, Barbarian gets 4+Int, Fighter gets 2+Int, etc.), skill list (Rogue has a huge skill list, Fighter only has few), base attack bonus and base save in accordance to the class chart. In addition, they get class features (Barbarian gets Rage and stuff, Fighter gets bonus feats, Rogue gets sneak attack, etc.; variants change these, for example, Martial Rogue gets Fighter's bonus feats in exchange for sneak attack).

    So, taking a level of...say Fighter on level 1 instead of Barbarian gets you less HP & skills in exchange for a bonus feat. Taking a level of Rogue instead of Barbarian costs you Base Attack Bonus, but gets you lots of skills and a large list of class skills.


    Ranger 2/Barbarian 1 is basically as good at fighting as Barbarian 3 though. The key ability of Barbarian is "Rage" and that you get on level 1, so once you have 1 level of Barbarian, you can fight on the level of a Barbarian. So you gain sneakiness in exchange for less important Barbarian abilities.

    Fighter level would cost you skills & HP compared to Barbarian but gain you heavy armor proficiency and an extra feat. Basically, every level is a trade-off; Ranger/Barbarian is stealthy, Fighter/Barbarian has more combat feats and straight Barbarian gets the higher level Barbarian-abilities faster.

    If you want to become Conan-like, I suggest multiclassing a bit with Ranger or Rogue to gain skills he often showcases (those aren't part of the default Barbarian class), go into Barbarian once you have the ~2 levels in one of those classes for the skills and few bonus feats you can gain that way, and then either continue in Barbarian or go into Warblade (Warblade is basically a warrior class that gains "maneuvers" which allow you to perform different attacks; in other words, it gives you options on what kinds of attacks you want to perform).


    To make a Conan-like character I suggest, take 2 levels in Skill Class (Rogue or Ranger), take 2 levels in Barbarian (for Rage and Improved Trip) and then either continue Barbarian or go with Warblade if the kind of combat options they offer intrigue you (take a look at Tome of Battle if you can; that should allow you to decide more easily).
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2012-09-23 at 07:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    I pesonally like, if you feel the need for reach and want a real Melee Monster, the half Minotaur Template. It's in one of the dragon mags.

    As for a class combo to do a sneaky+ Control+ Tough+ Hard Hitting Barbarian, lets try this.

    2 Flaws. First Bonus feat is Extra Rage, second one is Power Attack, and then take Able learner, and let's pick up shock trooper.

    Now, let's take a level of Barbarian, and take the spirit lion totem and whirling frenzy variants. Take another level to get the wolf totem barbarian and get improved trip.

    Next, lets get a level of Factotum. All skills as class skills and trapfinding. That's good.

    From there, take 3 levels or ranger. You will then use the players handbook 2 to retain the Track and TWF/Rapid Shot feats the first two levels give you as soon as you get them. By this level, you should have your third level feat. Grab combat reflexes, and then retrain for Knockdown and Standstill. Take Leap Attack at 6t, and keep Endurance, you'll want it for a prerequisite later.

    Before we go any further, I suggest yu look into Unearthed Arcana, at the LA buyoff rules, and Buyoff te +1 LA form Half Minotaur. If the DM will let it slide, rule that you've caught up in the mean time so that you gain your 8th lvl.

    Now, if you only have one more level, take a level of Warblade at 7th. You'll want to grab mountain hammer, either Steel Wind Strike or Wall of Blades, Iron Heart Surge, Sudden Leap, Battle Leaders Charge, and White Raven Tactics. The rest you can just grab what looks cool form Tiger Claw, White Raven, and Iron Heart.

    If you have two levels, Grab a level of Crusader, and Ignore the fluff. If his is the case, don't get Mountain Hammer, battle Leaders Charge or White Raven Tactics as a Warblade. Get them on the Crusader dip. After that, just pick up anything that let's you heal or shrug off hits from Devoted Spirit and the Thicket of Blades Stance, and grab anything that looks cool from White Raven and Devoted Spirit after that, particularly if it helps a charge.


    with Crusader Healing and Thicket of blades on top of what you've already got, just using a reach weapon should make it so that you can keep things locked down if you have a decent dex score, and make yourself damnably hard to kill. White Raven and Devoted Spirit will help your charges, which helps a big part of your damage out put. Warblades Iron Heart and tiger Claw help Mobility and crowd Control further, as well as damage. And Iron Heart Surge is wonderful as a bail out of trouble. And Mountain hammer is situation-ally useful in combat, and awesome when you need to get through a door or wall.

    This whole thing should make you Reasonably good at sneaky skills, and if you poke around for a few mundane Items that -4 to them from half minotaur should be off settable. It will make you good at killing things. And good at not dieing. And good a keeping jerks off you allies. Which I think is everything you need.

    Also, once you level, Steadfast Determination is a wonderful feat for you. After that, your feats are basically free. I personally like the mage slayer line, but that's just me.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Totally go Water Orc Half-Minotaur.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Wow. You really meant it with the newb thing, huh?

    First thing's first. Don't let yourself get suckered in by the name.

    I'm not overly familiar with conan, but I don't really remember him being the berserker type, which is what the barbarian class is. Don't get me wrong, you'll probably still want at least a level or two in barb, but it might be that it's a poor fit for the core of the character concept.

    From what little I have seen, ranger is a much better fit, though neither combat style is really quite right.

    Warblade might also be a nice fit, but if you haven't even figured out how combat normally works I'm a little leary of suggesting something this much more complex even if it is a good fit.

    Forget all that stuff I said earlier.

    Until you get a good feel for the game, I'd suggest playing a straight ranger. It's not as flashy as any of the multiclass builds that've been suggested, but it can still pick up power attack, improved bull rush, and either leap attack or shocktrooper in timely fashion. You pick up leap attack or shocktrooper at 6 and hold off on the other till 9. Pick archery style, it's never a good idea to be completely without a ranged option. Once you've played for a couple of session and understand how the game's basic mechanics work, then you can start trying to figure out these 4 and 5 class multiclass monstrosities.

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    A quick outline on building a homebrew campaign

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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Problem with a sneaky barbarian is that barbarians don't have move silently or hide as class skills. You might look at factotum or ranger instead.

    If you're sure you want to be a barbarian, I'd suggest this build.

    race: human
    level 1: Factotum1[feats: able learner(human feat), combat expertise(level 1 feat), power attack(your 1st flaw), combat reflexes(your 2nd flaw)]
    level 2: Barbarian 1[lion totem alternate class feature for pounce]
    level 3: Barbarian 2[feat: improved trip]
    level 4: Barbarian 3
    level 5: Barbarian 4
    level 6: Barbarian 5[feat: shocktrooper]
    level 7: Fighter1[feat: leap attack]
    level 8: Fighter2[feat: knockdown]

    He sneaks, he defends buddies by tripping enemies who come near him, he does stupid amount of damage in a charge. If you want, he can even deal with traps by picking up the alternate class feature trapkiller. He's gonna need 14 DEX and 14 INT(you could make do with 13, but you probably shouldn't), which is gonna leave him a little bit tight, but he gets all the stuff you asked for in there. 16 CON and 16 STR fit him perfectly into 32 point buy. You'll have low WIS and CHA, which limits your choices for prestige classes and leaves your will save a bit weak, but you can't have everything. He could get into bear warrior or frostrager with this build. If you mix up the feats a little, you could go in another direction. The problem is, there are two distinct builds here. You have the protective tripper and the ubercharger. So things are a bit crowded.
    Last edited by Wise Green Bean; 2012-09-24 at 01:03 AM.
    To anyone who thought Gandalf was dead: Don't you know, a wizard is never late?

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    If you're set on Conan, then yes you should pick up a few levels of rogue and/or ranger for the skills. Also Whirling Frenzy barbarian could be an option for you (they swing more per round).
    If you want to play something more akin to the Hulk, a goliath barbarian/dungeoncrasher fighter is going to be plenty fun. You will need the feats power attack, imp bull rush, knockback, cleave (or knock-down). Look to pick up shock-trooper at level nine.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    OK, so I've been doing a lot of reading through the books and stuff.
    I'm not dead set on Conan, I was just wondering what options were available.

    Here's what I've gathered so far
    Other classes -
    Fighter - seems to be only useful for a two level dip for more feat
    Scout - extra damage and armor class while moving, only need one level. Does not fully advance BAB
    Crusader - Advances BAB. Unsure about randomness, seems to be more defensive?
    Warblade - more of an offense/defense balance than the Crusader, full BAB. Seems like it uses INT a lot, which worries me.
    Totem Barbarian - Not 100% sure how this works. Seems like I can take a level or two in one Lion, then another level or two in Wolf?
    Factotum - only useful to get skills on the first level?
    Rogue - Doesn't advance BAB first level, not sure how useful class features will be
    Martial Rogue - what exactly is the practical difference between this and a fighter? Or for that matter, the rogue fighter and a normal Rogue
    Ranger - advances BAB first level

    Alternate class abilities
    - Rage/Frenzy/Ferocity, what's the deal? Are they all equally good, which one's more useful for what? How much do the status conditions from each matter? Ferocity better for a combination barbarian/stealth dude?
    - Fangshield barbarian seems to have some pretty good ones.

    A few more general questions:
    - I'm a little confused as to how BAB advancement works. If I take, say, 6 levels of barbarian, which would be BAB +6/+1 and then a level of Fighter, would I be getting the +1 for Fighter 1 or the +7/+2 of Fighter 7?
    - Will I have range issues with polearms? I'm liking the image of an incredibly pissed dude with a polearm flying through the air and introducing his weapon to people's brains via their skull, but if i then get smacked around for being too close it kinda blows...

    i don't mind dealing with complex stuff, I expect that once I'm actually playing I'll figure it out quick, and even though I want to play a mad dude I don't want to sit there going "I hit it with my sword" for the 37th time in the night...

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