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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Part 2

    Race - I like the sound of an orc, minotaur doesn't really interest me. Human is kind of boring, same with dwarf. Halfling might be funny. Goliath and half-ogre are both cool too, but dunno about the LA. And apparently you can put templates on anything? I guess I'm kind of leaning towards a monster race. I've also heard of Krinth being good?

    Prestige classes - the handbook you guys linked too has several, but of them Fist of the Forest, Frenzied Berserker, Deepwarden, and Runescarred Berserker look interesting. Deepwarden would seem to be eliminated since I don't have much interest in dwarfs unfortunately. Dunno about frenzied berserker, while I love the power I don't want to take down the whole rest of my party as the new guy!

    What non-barbarian prestige classes might be good, or are there any I missed?

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Some templates require certain things, like creature type, but lots of them stack.

    I would indeed suggest Half-Ogre, the Savage Species one.

    If you're into this sort of thing, Bear Warrior is really cool. It's in Complete Warrior. Frenzied Berserker gets mad strength but if you play by the rules you might end up killing your buddies. Also in Complete Warrior.

    All things considered, if you don't want your character to get too tricky then a regular pounce Barbarian is totally fine.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    The only reason I don't want Bear Warrior is cause in our last game (diff system) I was a dude who turned into animals and I don't want to play something so similar twice in a row.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    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.
    Thing about Warblade is that they can benefit of Int but they don't need it; those stats they get of it are fairly minor so they're nice to have but you're fine without them.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    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?
    Basically, you look at what they replace. For instance, the Spirit Lion Totem on Complete Champion (don't get it confused with the one on System Reference Document) replaces your Fast Movement with Pounce. Then the Wolf Totem from Unearthed Arcana replaces Uncanny Dodge with Improved Trip.

    You aren't so much taking levels in different Totem Barbarians but just replacing different abilities of the standard Barbarian class; basically, you're simultaneously taking multiple Totems.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Martial Rogue - what exactly is the practical difference between this and a fighter? Or for that matter, the rogue fighter and a normal Rogue
    It's a "Fighter" who gets no BAB but instead gets lots of skillpoints and a big skill list.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    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?
    Frenzy does the most damage (extra attack). Rage makes you hard to affect (extra HP, Will-save improvement, extra Fort-save improvement). Ferocity improves your Initiative and allows raging out of turn order. From the sound of it, Frenzy should be up your alley since you seem to want damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    - 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?
    The second "+1" is just a reminder that you get an extra attack every 5 BAB after level 1. Multiclassing doesn't remove this; for example, Barbarian 3/Ranger 4 will have 7 BAB which amounts to +7/+2 attacks. Barbarian 3/Ranger 4/Fighter 5 will have 12 BAB which amounts to +12/+7/+2 attacks. Rogue 3/Barbarian 4/Warblade 5 would have 11 BAB which amounts to +11/+6/+1 attacks.

    Basically, add together the Base Attack Bonus of all your classes and then see how many attacks you get (1 attack with BAB 1-5, 2 attacks with BAB 6-10, 3 with BAB 11-15, 4 with BAB 16-20).

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    - 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...
    Not really. You can take a 5' step backwards as long as your back isn't against a wall. This doesn't cost you movement nor provoke attack of opportunity and you can still full attack afterwards.

    Also, you can always drop your weapon as a free action and draw another weapon as a move action (assuming you carry around a close range weapon such as a Greatsword or a Greataxe). This does not provoke an attack of opportunity and allows you to fight even if cornered (yeah, carry a sword around just in case). Also, if you took those early levels in Monk, you'll be trained in Unarmed Combat so you could just hit with your fists instead (mind, a Greatsword of course does more damage).

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    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...
    Then you definitely want to go Warblade. That's the best way to get some variety into your deal. If you want stealth, take 2 levels in either Ranger, Rogue or Monk. Then take 2 levels in Barbarian for Rage and pick the Extra Rage feat once or twice to cover your daily Rage uses. Then just go into Warblade and begin picking up maneuvers.

    There's notably "Iron Heart Surge" in the Iron Heart school which basically amounts to "BY CROM!" It's a very "Barbarian" ability for shaking off stupid crap affecting you.


    And if Orc interests you, become a Water Orc. They get +2 Constitution over normal Orcs ('cause normal Orcs have more minuses than plusses for stats). It's definitely a fine option; big strength bonus, some constitution, lose on the mental stats; pretty perfect for a Barb.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2012-09-24 at 09:25 AM.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Warblade - more of an offense/defense balance than the Crusader, full BAB. Seems like it uses INT a lot, which worries me.
    Nah, he only uses INT for a couple of bonuses in a couple of situations (REF Saves, Confirming Crits, extra damage vs flat-footed/flanked opponents, AoOs). While nice to have it is by no means necessary. If you want a couple of skills you will probably have INT around 14 anyways. That should be enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    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?
    No, you pick one totem and that is it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Martial Rogue - what exactly is the practical difference between this and a fighter? Or for that matter, the rogue fighter and a normal Rogue
    Better class skills and more skill points.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    - 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?
    You add the +1 from fighter to the BAB advances from any other class, so in the above scenario it is +7/+2
    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    - 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...
    Not really. You can always make a 5ft step before attacking so you can use your polearm. the drawback is that you don't threaten adjacent squares with your polearm. That's what armor spikes are for.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    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...
    I'm currently playing a Lion Spirit totem Barbarian2/Fighter2/Warblade4 with the old pounce, power attack, improved bull rush, shock trooper routine. It is fun. You can hit tem hard but through maneuvers you have more than the one Charge! option. I have yet to use the tow other options Shock Trooper gives.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    very helpful posts. Seems to be a little disagreement about Totems?

    Which would work better with a Barbarian, Crusader or Warblade?

    Also, how beneficial would the sneak attack feature of the rogue or the skirmish ability of the scout be? They both seem to be strong skill users, which would be better?

    Is Ranger just for the skills, or is there some other benefit to putting a couple of levels into it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    very helpful posts. Seems to be a little disagreement about Totems?
    Alternative Class Features all work the same; basically, the only restriction is what they replace. Since Spirit Lion Totem and Wolf Totem replace different things, you can take both.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Which would work better with a Barbarian, Crusader or Warblade?
    Warblade has more Barbarian-like abilities; Tiger Claw has some "take penalty to AC, get bonus To Hit and Damage"-abilities, Iron Heart has "shake off negative effects on yourself"-ability, etc. Crusader is more about healing and being a sort of a leader (tho Warblade has "White Raven" open too, which has most of the teamwork maneuvers; but Crusader also has "Devoted Spirit" which is the "Paladin"-school). Either's fine, Warblade feels more fitting tho.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Also, how beneficial would the sneak attack feature of the rogue or the skirmish ability of the scout be? They both seem to be strong skill users, which would be better?
    Skirmish requires some work to be good since you need to be walking around all the time; since you want to be protecting your team your positioning is kinda important so this might make it harder. Sneak Attack is easier to trigger since you deal Sneak Attack damage whenever you're flanking an enemy (that is, you have an ally you surround the enemy with).

    However, both generally want a lot of levels in the class to get good amounts of the bonus damage; +1d6 isn't all that much, you want those +3d6 and +8d6 numbers. That's why I wouldn't suggest picking the skill class based on the precision damage they deal.

    This is also why I suggest going with the Martial Rogue variant if you use Rogue; Martial Rogue loses Sneak Attack but gets Fighter bonus feats. This way you get skills + feats; as you noticed earlier, Barbarian can benefit quite a bit from having a lot of feats so bonus feats are really helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Is Ranger just for the skills, or is there some other benefit to putting a couple of levels into it?
    Ranger 2 gets a bonus feat. There's an alternative combat style in Dragon Magazine called "Strong-Arm Style" where you gain Power Attack as the Combat Style feat. Ranger also can get either Tracking (if you want to know how to track) or Trapfinding from Dungeonscape (in exchange for tracking) in case you want to be able to open traps.

    Basically, Ranger is Full BAB while both Rogue and Scout lose 1 BAB so Ranger is the "Full BAB + skills"-option. Also, if you have any level in Ranger you can use Wands with Ranger-spells in them (for example, Wand of Cure Light Wounds for out of combat healing) which can be helpful, a nice small bonus (yes, this even works if you don't have enough levels to cast Ranger spells).
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    very helpful posts. Seems to be a little disagreement about Totems?
    Not really a disagreement, just a different interpretation what you asked. There are two types of totems as Eldariel wrote. You cannot choose two totems of the same type, but you could by RAW use one of each type.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Which would work better with a Barbarian, Crusader or Warblade?
    Yes. I think it is mostly a matter of taste. Both will work.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    I don't see where anyone's said this yet, but I may have missed it.

    Stay far, far away from frenzied berserker.

    It's a beast of a class, but it requires a fair amount of system mastery to not be a huge liability to your allies. Just steer clear until you understand the game better.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Ah, forgot to talk about that. Frenzied Berserker is great for wiping out the opposition, but if the character is still in frenzy mode when all enemies are dead he is very likely to wipe out the allies as well. The party would really need an off-switch on him.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Skirmish requires some work to be good since you need to be walking around all the time; since you want to be protecting your team your positioning is kinda important so this might make it harder. Sneak Attack is easier to trigger since you deal Sneak Attack damage whenever you're flanking an enemy (that is, you have an ally you surround the enemy with).

    However, both generally want a lot of levels in the class to get good amounts of the bonus damage; +1d6 isn't all that much, you want those +3d6 and +8d6 numbers. That's why I wouldn't suggest picking the skill class based on the precision damage they deal.
    Ah, i thought the skill levelled up as you did once you got it in the first place. In that case, neither seem like they're worth it. Darn. I was hoping for a sneak-attacking skirmishing power attacker lol

    I like the huge damage output of Frenzied Barbarian, I don't like killing everyone in my party. Guess it's a no-go : /
    I did see the Righteous Wrath feat in the barbarian handbook. Would that be enough to cool down in time to avoid taking out all my buddies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    I did see the Righteous Wrath feat in the barbarian handbook. Would that be enough to cool down in time to avoid taking out all my buddies?
    There is the problem of even getting that feat. It is [Exalted], meaning not only must you be and remain ridiculously good (as per BoED) but it must also be bestowed on you by some higher power. The description of the feat only references Rage, so it would not apply to Frenzy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andezzar View Post
    There is the problem of even getting that feat. It is [Exalted], meaning not only must you be and remain ridiculously good (as per BoED) but it must also be bestowed on you by some higher power. The description of the feat only references Rage, so it would not apply to Frenzy.
    Check with your DM, but Iron Heart Surge could potentially be used to end the Frenzy when need be (it's not strictly by RAW but Iron Heart Surge is kinda weird anyways so it's worth asking at least). Tho frankly, Barbarian/Warblade will already be swimming in damage so it's probably not necessary. Besides, Ranger 2/Barbarian 2/Warblade 16 is more than good enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Ah, i thought the skill levelled up as you did once you got it in the first place. In that case, neither seem like they're worth it. Darn. I was hoping for a sneak-attacking skirmishing power attacker lol
    Yeah, your Rage won't improve either without taking more levels in the class. Basically, in 3.5 without a feat that says otherwise you need levels in that class to improve your class features.

    It is possible to combine Skirmish and Sneak Attack but frankly, it's not worth the effort as you need to move and flank every turn to get your bonus damage. Besides, a proper Barbarian can do even more anyways, and he doesn't have to worry about Precision Damage (things like Undead and Elementals without discernable bodyparts are immune to Precision Damage like Sneak Attack since, y'know, you can't stab them in the kidney since they have none).
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2012-09-24 at 12:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    OK, I'm starting to put some stuff together, but that's just made more questions pop up

    Can I be penalized for low INT in warblade abilities or skill multipliers for classes?

    How do my skill points get determined? Is it by level? (ie the level of rogue gets x number of skill points, the next level is barbarian and only gets y, etc)

    What's the deal with ranger combat styles? how do they interact with disciplines, maneuvers, and stances?

    Can someone explain why dungeoncrasher fighter is supposedly so great?

    Thanks for all the help guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Can I be penalized for low INT in warblade abilities or skill multipliers for classes?
    Generally, yes. If you have 8 Int and are, say, an orc, you'll get one fewer skill point per level, to a minimum of 1. (You multiply that result by four to get skill points for your first level, so it's always at least 4.)

    How do my skill points get determined? Is it by level? (ie the level of rogue gets x number of skill points, the next level is barbarian and only gets y, etc)
    Yep.

    Can someone explain why dungeoncrasher fighter is supposedly so great?
    Because it's basically free. It's a nice little way to improve Fighter builds that costs almost nothing except more Fighter levels. The damage boosts are handy without being OP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Can I be penalized for low INT in warblade abilities or skill multipliers for classes?
    The warblade abilities reference an INT bonus. If you do not have an INT bonus you do not add it. AFAIK there is no addition of an INT penalty. I'm not sure, what you mean by skill multipliers.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    How do my skill points get determined? Is it by level? (ie the level of rogue gets x number of skill points, the next level is barbarian and only gets y, etc)
    Ever class gets a certain amount of skill points each level. It is in the form of X+INT skill points (warblade gets 4+INT). Those points are quadrupled on Level 1 (That is character level, not class level). Humans get 1 more skill point (4 more at level 1). Skill points however reference the INT modifier which means a penalty is added.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    What's the deal with ranger combat styles? how do they interact with disciplines, maneuvers, and stances?
    There is not much interaction between those. Disciplines are just a certain set of maneuvers. Stances are a special kind of maneuvers. There are however a couple of stances and maneuvers that require the user to fight with two weapons to work. It is not improtant whether he does that with the ranger combat style, true two-weapon fighting with feats or just having a weapon in each hand. Because of the penalties the latter option is a really poor one and hardly anyone would pick such maneuvers unless he was able to dual-wield properly (options one and two).

    @Dungeoncrasher: It's nice if you plan to take a lot of fighter levels. If you take fighter levels mainly for the extra feats not so much. To get the most out of this alternate class feature you should have a way to get bull rushes very often.
    Last edited by Andezzar; 2012-09-24 at 02:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    OK, I'm starting to put some stuff together, but that's just made more questions pop up

    Can I be penalized for low INT in warblade abilities or skill multipliers for classes?
    Nope, no penalties come from those abilities. At worst they grant you no bonus. In general, abilities you gain do nothing at worst (so it's basically never net negative to gain an ability; at worst you don't use it).

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    How do my skill points get determined? Is it by level? (ie the level of rogue gets x number of skill points, the next level is barbarian and only gets y, etc)
    Class Base + Int Modifier (negative or positive) for each level. On first level you get 4x skill points so it's always a good idea to take the highest skill class you plan on taking first (in your case Ranger, Rogue or Scout).

    Say, you have 12 Intelligence (+1 Modifier). You take the first level in Ranger; this gives you Ranger Base (6) + Int Modifier (1) points (total 7). And since it's your first level, take 4x this number (28). Next level in Ranger is 7 points. Then take a level in Barbarian, you get Barbarian Base (4) + Int Modifier (1) = 5 points.

    Note that subsequent Intelligence increases don't retroactively give you skill points, nor do temporary Int increases (such as magic item "Headband of Intelligence" which gives you +2 bonus to Intelligence). Oh, and Humans get special +1 skill points per level. And again, if you have 8 Int, you get -1 to your skill points (level 1 Ranger with 8 Int would get (6 - 1) * 4 = 20 skill points).

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    What's the deal with ranger combat styles? how do they interact with disciplines, maneuvers, and stances?
    They determine what feats you gain as you advance Ranger-levels. If you only intend on taking 2 levels of Ranger, they don't matter much. But if you are a single-classed Ranger, your chosen combat style determines which bonus feat you gain on level 2, level 6 and level 11.

    If you only take 2 levels of Ranger, you basically just pick which bonus feat you want on level 2 from the various options (which include Power Attack in Dragon Magazine Extra Styles list).

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Can someone explain why dungeoncrasher fighter is supposedly so great?
    Compared to normal Fighter, it gets the unique option of dealing a ton of damage by tackling people to walls. As Fighter otherwise has lots of problems gaining any unique options, this is well-liked. If you're not interested on being a Kool-Aid Man tho, it's not the way to go.

    It also requires 6 levels of Fighter to fully gain the benefits. Fighter doesn't get a lot of skills or interesting class features so this is kind of a downer.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2012-09-24 at 02:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    So I'm wondering what to go into for my skills, and which order to dip in. This has already been addressed a bit, but I've been going through them and here's what I've got.

    The three main choices seem to be
    1) Factotum
    - (6+Int mod) skills per level, treat any skill as class skill
    - Inspiration, Cunning Insight, Cunning Knowledge, Trapfinding. 2 level dip adds Arcane dilettante, but a 2 level dip here seems darned unlikely.
    - Doesn't advance BAB or Fort save with a 1 level dip, does advance Reflex.
    Chief selling point is any skill as class skill.

    2) Martial Rogue
    - (8 + Int modifier) per level, a host of class skills.
    - Bonus Feat, Trapfinding. If 2 level dip, Evasion
    - Doesn't advance BAB or Fort save with a 1 level dip, does advance Reflex.
    Even more skill points, less broad array of things to use them on.
    Mimic, Spell Reflection, and Wilderness Rogue could all be useful?

    3) Ranger
    - (6+Int mod) skills per level, reasonable array of skills to invest in.
    - Class features - 1st favored enemy, Track, wild empathy. If 2 level dip, Combat style.
    - Advances BAB, Fortitude, and Reflex saves
    Arcane Hunter, voice of the city, trap expert, favored environment, and fast movement all could be good trades. If dipping for 2, might be worth trading combat style out for something else due to the armor limitation? Or try to persuade GM to allow a 2-handed combat style? EDIT: Just saw that apparently there are alternate combat styles elsewhere, one of which uses Power Attack?

    Between the three, Ranger is ahead thanks to the BAB and two strong save bonuses. On the other hand, I then have to spend a feat on Able Learner if I want everything as a class skill. Rogue gives a bonus feat (I think) which could be put right into able learner, and it gives an even larger number of skill points.

    Two other questions:
    1) If I take, for example, a level of rogue and get trapsense and swap it out for something, and then take a level of barbarian, and get trapsense again, can I swap it out for yet another thing or is it counted as part of the first trapsense?

    2) Is Fangshields Barbarian worth investigating?
    Last edited by SirAxealot; 2012-09-24 at 03:33 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    The three main choices seem to be
    1) Factotum
    - (6+Int mod) skills per level, treat any skill as class skill
    - Inspiration, Cunning Insight, Cunning Knowledge, Trapfinding. 2 level dip adds Arcane dilettante, but a 2 level dip here seems darned unlikely.
    - Doesn't advance BAB or Fort save with a 1 level dip, does advance Reflex.
    Chief selling point is any skill as class skill.
    This shouldn't be on the table unless you've got a good Intelligence modifier, which seems unlikely for an Orc. The big selling point for Factotum is getting Int to everything, especially all Str/Dex checks on level 3, and able to add them to attacks and such with Inspiration. You can get all the skills you want anyways (Rogue, Ranger, Barbarian, Warblade gives you massive coverage already; hell, Rogue alone covers almost everything); there's little value in the more esoteric skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    2) Martial Rogue
    - (8 + Int modifier) per level, a host of class skills.
    - Bonus Feat, Trapfinding. If 2 level dip, Evasion
    - Doesn't advance BAB or Fort save with a 1 level dip, does advance Reflex.
    Even more skill points, less broad array of things to use them on.
    Mimic, Spell Reflection, and Wilderness Rogue could all be useful?
    Much better than Factotum in every relevant regard unless you have ~+3 Intelligence modifier or higher. Now the question is if you want the BAB from Ranger or the extra skill points from Rogue; basically, where on the skill/combat axis you want to place yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    3) Ranger
    - (6+Int mod) skills per level, reasonable array of skills to invest in.
    - Class features - 1st favored enemy, Track, wild empathy. If 2 level dip, Combat style.
    - Advances BAB, Fortitude, and Reflex saves
    Arcane Hunter, voice of the city, trap expert, favored environment, and fast movement all could be good trades. If dipping for 2, might be worth trading combat style out for something else due to the armor limitation? Or try to persuade GM to allow a 2-handed combat style? EDIT: Just saw that apparently there are alternate combat styles elsewhere, one of which uses Power Attack?
    Yeah, Dragon Magazine 326 has the following extra Combat Styles (listing feats in order "Combat Style, Improved Combat Style, Greater Combat Style"):
    Bear-Wrestling: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple & Stunning Fist
    Mounted Combat: Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge & Trample
    Piscator: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (net), Improved Trip & Improved Critical
    Strong-Arm: Power Attack, Improved Sunder, Great Cleave
    Throwing: Quick Draw, Point Blank Shot, Far Shot

    Out of those, Strong-Arm is the obvious choice, as you'll only ever get the first feat anyways so the rest don't really matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Between the three, Ranger is ahead thanks to the BAB and two strong save bonuses. On the other hand, I then have to spend a feat on Able Learner if I want everything as a class skill. Rogue gives a bonus feat (I think) which could be put right into able learner, and it gives an even larger number of skill points.
    Martial Rogue has the same bonus feat levels as Fighter, so you get bonus feat on level 1 and level 2. The bonus feats have to be Fighter feats tho (but you can just pick up e.g. Power Attack and Combat Reflexes and use your normal 1st level feat for Able Learner).

    Note tho, Able Learner doesn't work quite like you think. Basically, normally you have some class skills and cross-class skills. Your class skills have maximum cap of 3+Your Character Level (this applies if a skill is a class skill for any of your classes so taking a level of Ranger = all Ranger-skills forever have the maximum cap rank of 3+Your Character Level for this character) and cross-class skills have maximum cap of that, rounded down.

    Further, however, cross-class skills cost twice as much to take. That is, it costs you two skill points to take 1 rank of a cross-class skill. This is not mitigated even if the skill is a class-skill for your other classes, so if your Ranger 2/Barbarian 1 wants to place a 6th rank (5 ranks as Ranger) to Hide when taking the level of Barbarian, he pays 2 skill points for it. This is where Able Learner comes in; it makes all skills cost you 1 skill point/rank no matter whether they're class skills or cross class skills.


    However, there's this little detail that Able Learner is Human-only feat. You can probably ask your DM to remove that restriction tho.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    Two other questions:
    1) If I take, for example, a level of rogue and get trapsense and swap it out for something, and then take a level of barbarian, and get trapsense again, can I swap it out for yet another thing or is it counted as part of the first trapsense?
    Yes, trades are made separately for each class.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    32) Is Fangshields Barbarian worth investigating?
    It doesn't have anything earthshattering; I wouldn't bother.


    EDIT: It occurs to me my explanation of Able Learner was convoluted. An effort to make it more clear:

    Class Skill: Cap rank 3+Character Level. Every rank costs 1 skill point.
    Normal Cross-Class Skill: Cap rank (3+Character Level)/2. Every rank costs 2 skill points.
    Cross-Class Skill that is a class skill for another class this character has: Cap rank (3+Character Level)/2. Cap rank 3+Character level. Every rank costs 2 skill points.
    Cross-Class Skill on a character who has Able Learner: Cap rank (3+Character Level)/2. Every rank costs 2 skill points. Every rank costs 1 skill point.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2012-09-24 at 04:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    I'm still not entirely sure I understand the Able Learner explanation but I'll reread it a few times : ) Would you say it's worth getting Able Learner overall?

    I was reading through the skills and skill tricks in your guide to barbarians after looking at stuff for the factotum and I noticed that you made no mention of Acrobatic backstab or autohypnosis. Could either of those help a barbarian? Other people seem to be big fans of autohypnosis but it doesn't appear to be anything especially wonderful to me.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Autohypnosis is a handy little skill that basically:
    - Means you never die to bleeding out.
    - Can act normally while at 0 HP.
    - Can resist Poison somewhat better.
    - Can get a reroll vs. Fear.

    None of those are particularly important for a Barbarian. It's a handy skill to have if you have extra skill points (basically, it just means you have a disciplined mind that's capable of shrugging off pain and such). You probably won't, here.

    Acrobatic Backstab, sure, knock yourself out. It requires 12 ranks in Tumble to pick up though; earliest you can have that is character level 9 (then you can have 3+Character Level = 12 Ranks in a class skill). It also doesn't work with a full attack (since you need to move to use it) so you'd best be a Warblade to use it (basically, you only get extra attacks from high Base Attack Bonus and any bonus attacks you have on a full attack; doesn't matter for the first 5 levels unless you take Whirling Frenzy, but after that point you want to stand still to dish out maximum pain).

    Warblade maneuvers can be used with movement tho so that's away around the scarecrow syndrome of having to stand in place to be useful.


    In general, skill tricks are handy but not so big. Just pick ones that feel cool to you up if you have the skill points.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    I'm still not entirely sure I understand the Able Learner explanation but I'll reread it a few times : ) Would you say it's worth getting Able Learner overall?
    the benefits of Able Learner are: Every rank in every skill costs only one skill point. As per the normal rules if a skill is a class skill in any of your classes the maximum number of ranks is character level +3. So for example if you take only one level of rogue and Able Learner on level 1 you could maximize any of the rogue class skills even if you only took levels in classes which don't have them as class skills afterwards, without paying extra.
    If you want to maximize skills that are only class skills for classes you only want to dip, it is well worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    I was reading through the skills and skill tricks in your guide to barbarians after looking at stuff for the factotum and I noticed that you made no mention of Acrobatic backstab or autohypnosis. Could either of those help a barbarian? Other people seem to be big fans of autohypnosis but it doesn't appear to be anything especially wonderful to me.
    Acrobatic backstab is only worth it if you have an ability that causes something special if the target is flat-footed (like sneak attack). Autohypnosis could be worthwhile.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Hmmm, autohypnosis might be good for somebody who's main defense is his chest hair. Think I'll steer clear of acrobatic backstab.

    I've just found a few nifty alternate class features in Dragon Magazine 349, p 92. Dashing Step and Devil's Luck. Either of them good? It would seems like the luck bonus to saving throws in particular is quite good. Unshakeable might be ok too.

    Also, if I'm dipping into fighter, the Exoticist might be useful.

    And, opinion on martial monk? Seems like you could get 2 bonus feats and some class features or alternate class features (decisive strike and Invisible Fist, hello! Standing Jump and Spell Reflection decent too) that would help out a Barbarian, as well as a decent number of skills and points. No BAB progression for 1 level dip, but a +2 to every save.

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    And, opinion on martial monk? Seems like you could get 2 bonus feats and some class features or alternate class features (decisive strike and Invisible Fist, hello! Standing Jump and Spell Reflection decent too) that would help out a Barbarian, as well as a decent number of skills and points. No BAB progression for 1 level dip, but a +2 to every save.
    Monk's a decent splash option especially if you plan on fighting unarmed. Gets less skills than Ranger/Rogue/etc. but still has Move Silently, Spot, Listen, Hide & co. It really comes down to whether you can make do with the lesser skill point allotment or not. If you feel you can, then knock yourself out.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    So I was reading the warblade handbook and it's been making me wonder, why go into barbarian at all? Do Tome of battle classes make the majority of other melee classes obsolete?

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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    They are better than most other base classes yes; but since most of them (including monk and CWar Samurai the "weakest" melee clasess) have a niche thae ToB can't fully replace they aren't completely obsoleted by them.

    One example is Fear Stacking, somthing that the Samurai shines at, or even at RAW damage. A properly built barbarian will outdamage a similarly tricked Warblade. Their biggest draw is their versatility which gives them something to do out of combat and contribute in combat without the "I full attack... again" problem of most martial classes.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by SirAxealot View Post
    So I was reading the warblade handbook and it's been making me wonder, why go into barbarian at all? Do Tome of battle classes make the majority of other melee classes obsolete?
    You basically go into Barbarian if you want to Rage. If you still want the versatility of ToB class, you can take couple of levels of Barbarian to pick up Rage (and Pounce and Improved Trip if you feel so inclined) and then go into Warblade.

    But yeah, Rage is the defining feature of Barbarian that ToB classes can't replicate, along with easy access to Pounce, so it still has its place. Generally, a multiclassed Barbarian/Warblade can give either a straight Warblade or a straight Barbarian a run for their money.
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    Default Re: Help Newbie Barbarian Bash Heads

    Oh, and how much multiclassing is sane? Cause right now Martial Rogue, Fighter, Monk, and Barbarian are all looking like worthy two-level dips if I end up going into warblade later, as recommended earlier. Even if I don't, that's still quite a few classes on top of possible prestige classes.

    Can you tell I've been doing a lot of reading but not much playing lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
    They are better than most other base classes yes; but since most of them (including monk and CWar Samurai the "weakest" melee clasess) have a niche thae ToB can't fully replace they aren't completely obsoleted by them.

    One example is Fear Stacking, somthing that the Samurai shines at, or even at RAW damage. A properly built barbarian will outdamage a similarly tricked Warblade. Their biggest draw is their versatility which gives them something to do out of combat and contribute in combat without the "I full attack... again" problem of most martial classes.
    CW samurai is still flat-out worse than Zhentarim Soldier.

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    I am not familiar with the specifics of Zentharim fighter, does it has something like mass Staredown?
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