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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Hello all! Before I get into the bulk of my post, I need to give some backstory.

    I am the Dungeon Master of a small group of players. As I often do, I was talking about how much I love Wizards after our session, and how I think they are the best class.

    One of my players thinks they suck, and that his Barbarian could easily defeat one. I know this sounds ridiculous, of course. I took him up on his offer. And now, I come to you all!

    I need a level 5 Wizard who's only job is to kill that Barbarian! The foe in question is a level 5 Half-Orc Barbarian who has rolled max HP (Our wizard will get the same), landing him a total of 75 HP. As such, direct damage is off the table, though I do know that it's never really a good choice...

    EVERYTHING first party (including Dragon Mag) is allowed without restriction. I want to show this kid just how insignificant his little axe swinger is...

    My issue is that most of my builds come online at 6th level. As it is, I made one Human Wizard (6th level), who abused Lahm's Finger Darts (BoVD) for a guaranteed 18 DEX damage, no save, no attack roll. The issue is, again, he's level 6, and I need that 5th feat to grab Arcane Thesis: Lahm's Finger Darts.

    So... does anyone here know a level 5 Wizard build that would be able to stomp over a level 5 Barbarian? If it was anything before this, I'd just load up on DC boosters and cast Sleep... but that only works up to 4 Hit Dice. This is a very inconvenient spot as it is.

    So... any ideas?

    Edit: We are starting at a distance of 100 feet. So Range: Close spells won't be optimal.
    Last edited by StevenC21; 2019-05-15 at 08:31 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Open up with Deep Slumber or some other properly debilitating and long-duration effect (Hold Person)? You could even dagger him to death after that if you wanted to make the point that a single spell could defeat him.

    I half suspect his Will save isn't that great anyway...

    Alternatively, wait until he is a charge or less away, Mirror Image, then lay into him with defensively casting Touch Of Idiocy.

    And that's all just PHB, mind you.
    Last edited by weckar; 2019-05-15 at 08:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    Hello all! Before I get into the bulk of my post, I need to give some backstory.

    I am the Dungeon Master of a small group of players. As I often do, I was talking about how much I love Wizards after our session, and how I think they are the best class.

    One of my players thinks they suck, and that his Barbarian could easily defeat one. I know this sounds ridiculous, of course. I took him up on his offer. And now, I come to you all!

    I need a level 5 Wizard who's only job is to kill that Barbarian! The foe in question is a level 5 Half-Orc Barbarian who has rolled max HP (Our wizard will get the same), landing him a total of 75 HP. As such, direct damage is off the table, though I do know that it's never really a good choice...

    EVERYTHING first party (including Dragon Mag) is allowed without restriction. I want to show this kid just how insignificant his little axe swinger is...

    My issue is that most of my builds come online at 6th level. As it is, I made one Human Wizard (6th level), who abused Lahm's Finger Darts (BoVD) for a guaranteed 18 DEX damage, no save, no attack roll. The issue is, again, he's level 6, and I need that 5th feat to grab Arcane Thesis: Lahm's Finger Darts.

    So... does anyone here know a level 5 Wizard build that would be able to stomp over a level 5 Barbarian? If it was anything before this, I'd just load up on DC boosters and cast Sleep... but that only works up to 4 Hit Dice. This is a very inconvenient spot as it is.

    So... any ideas?

    Edit: We are starting at a distance of 100 feet. So Range: Close spells won't be optimal.
    Animate Weapon. (3rd level spell, Complete Mage, Duration:Concentration)

    1. Buy/craft a Colossal Weapon
    2. Cast Animate Weapon
    3. Have the CR10 creature with 10 hardness grapple the Barbarian to death with its +49 grapple score.
    Last edited by RoboEmperor; 2019-05-15 at 08:42 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Starting at 100 feet, the Barbarian needs to Jog 2 rounds to reach you assuming 40 feet land speed.

    Thus, if the Barbarian would not run, then Wizard have 2 rounds of free attacks; 3 attacks if Wizard win initiative.

    If the Barbarian runs towards the Wizard, then the Barbarian would travel 160 feet > 100 feet of distance and be next to the Wizard.
    Thus, the Wizard has 1 attack, 2 attacks if Wizard win initiative.
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    I looked into Deep Slumber, but it is Range: Close, so I would need to wait until the Barbarian is dangerously close to use it...

    However, he does have literally +1 to Will Saves, so I have a solid shot of killing him if I do that.
    Last edited by StevenC21; 2019-05-15 at 08:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    to build on what houserules said, any melee player worth his salt is going to charge you, getting a nice juicy charge attack on your squishy at that range, the first thing you want to do is make that impossible. At this level I doubt his barbarian can fly, but you should be able too, from 60 ft. in the air, you're untouchable.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    What does the Barbarian have for skills and gear? If all they have is a magic weapon and armor, options are wide open. If they invested in something different; like a bag of tricks, whip feather token, brooch of shielding, horn of fog, elemental gem...and that is just core for non-blasting stuff within their 9k expected wealth.

    If all they are going to do is charge you, a single Grease spell has a fair chance of ending the encounter unless you royally mess up your plan. Something more complex needs to be tailored, within reason.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by RoboEmperor View Post
    Animate Weapon. (3rd level spell, Complete Mage, Duration:Concentration)

    1. Buy/craft a Colossal Weapon
    2. Cast Animate Weapon
    3. Have the CR10 creature with 10 hardness grapple the Barbarian to death with its +49 grapple score.
    This wizard can stomp all over the Barbarian. Literally. Animated Objects can get Trample.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    He has nothing but a +1 Greataxe.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    I looked into Deep Slumber, but it is Range: Close, so I would need to wait until the Barbarian is dangerously close to use it...

    However, he does have literally +1 to Will Saves, so I have a solid shot of killing him if I do that.
    I made some edits, but the skinny is to use Hold Person or combine Mirror Image with anything that needs a touch attack. Touch of idiocy is great to bring his Will down even further.
    Last edited by weckar; 2019-05-15 at 08:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Touch of Idiocy is good, but I'm afraid to get into melee range.

    I like the Animated Object idea, but I really am hoping to get a one-shot scenario. I really want to show him just how ridiculous optimized spellcasters can be.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    This sounds like a bad idea.

    Not that a Wizard can't trounce a Barbarian, built and played right, but this is very directly competitive against another player. You're basically whipping out your metaphorical genitals and saying "Mine's bigger than yours!"

    Especially since you're the DM. This just sounds like it bodes ill for your gaming group.
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    I understand your concern completely.

    I made sure this was okay with him first.

    He is just very overconfident... I'm afraid that it will get his character killed in game, so I'm going to show him out of game how fragile a PC can be.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    Touch of Idiocy is good, but I'm afraid to get into melee range.

    I like the Animated Object idea, but I really am hoping to get a one-shot scenario. I really want to show him just how ridiculous optimized spellcasters can be.
    Trust me. Him doing literally 0 damage to 10 hardness, and literally being unable to do anything because of being grappled by the +49 grapple check colossal creature with 30ft reach is gonna leave a bigger impression of how worthless his class is compared to wizards than one shotting him with a save-or-die.

    I repeat: GRAPPLE HIM. Not attack, GRAPPLE. Rules compendium says you can make as many grapple checks as you have iterative attacks due to base attack, so the Colossal Animated Object can do 4 grapple checks each doing 2d6+9 damage for a total of 64 damage in one round. 48 if you decide to use one of those actions to pin.


    There's also going Neraphim with Alter Self and Assume Supernatural Ability:Animate Objects and polymorphing into a Ravid and using its at-will CL20 animate objects aura to bring a Gargantuan Animated Object to life. A little weaker than Animate Weapon.
    Last edited by RoboEmperor; 2019-05-15 at 08:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Nothing but a greataxe? At all?

    Yeah,
    Step 1: Fly.
    Step 2: Literally anything you want, since he can no longer reach you, at all. Lots of good suggestions already, but once you're impervious to anything he does, you could literally kill him with cantrips.

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    Beholder

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    It's a Barbarian. Just fly 20' off the ground and spam spells until he dies.

    Other than that, you could probably stop him completely with Grease and Web, then Deep Slumber or Stinking Cloud away. If one save fails you pull your crossbow and just shoot till death.

    Edit: Unseen Seer'd
    Last edited by MisterKaws; 2019-05-15 at 09:00 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Well, thinking about it, ultimately he is going to want to charge at you. If you win initiative and Fly... well, good luck to him. Otherwise, grease or literally any semi-permanent area affect is going to prevent it. Shame you're a level short of Wall of Fire.
    Of course, any effect modified with Fell Drain or something like it is going to quickly wear him down. Fell Drain Magic Missiles are always a favorite as you should have plenty of spell slots to kill him without ever making a roll.
    Last edited by weckar; 2019-05-15 at 09:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Improved Initiative + Nerveskitter = win initiative.

    Spectral Hand + Sudden Maximize Shivering Touch = paralyzed vs. Dex 18 or less.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Fighter feat ACF (UA): Get Improved Initiative instead of Scribe Scroll, and Point-Blank Shot at Wizard 5.
    Be a Focused Specialist (CM) in Enchantment, of all things. Get a hummingbird familiar, from some issue of Dragon magazine.

    Earth Devotion reserve feat: You can create a rather large area of difficult terrain as an immediate action. Barbarian declares a charge and starts moving at double speed, with a stomp of your foot you create difficult terrain under him and directly in his path. His charge automatically fails because you can't charge on difficult terrain, and he'll need to make two Balance checks at a -5 for accelerated movement at double speed. If he fails even one he can't move any further, if he fails either check by 5 or more he falls prone.

    Other feats should be Metamagic School Focus: Enchantment, and Split Ray. Your spell of choice is Ray of Stupidity (SC), fill all three of your specialist 3rd level slots with Split Ray versions of those.

    Your Int should be at least 16, your bonus 3rd level spell slot is Fly. Other spells prepared should include Nerveskitter.

    A few days ago you cast Shrink Item on a pool of lava to turn it into a small cloth patch.

    Tactics:
    Start of combat: Cast Nerveskitter and roll initiative (Nerveskitter +5, Improved Initiative +4, Hummingbird +4, Dex bonus).
    1st Round: Cast Fly, fly up 60 feet.
    2nd Round: Fly within 30 ft. of the Barbarian and cast a Split Ray Ray of Stupidity on him, rolling two attacks (+1 for Point Blank Shot) and dealing 1d4+1 Int damage per hit (possibly with another +1 hp psychic damage from Point-Blank Shot).
    3rd Round: Continue casting Split Ray Ray of Stupidity until he's at Int 0 and disabled.

    Once he's disabled, throw the patch of cloth on him and speak the word to unshrink it. He's completely submerged in lava, taking 20d6 fire damage per round indefinitely. His charred remains will be encased in stone when the lava cools.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Improved init and a hummingbird familiar with nerveskitter. Once you have init beat you can go in to spells.

    I would focus on using stat damage and negative levels. Deep slumber and a shapesand cage works well too.
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    I'm assuming you guys have a healthy relationship and see no harm in dissing each other from time to time.

    A simple matter of communication:
    1 - On first round you cast Fly and get up in the air. State how all his melee prowess, feats and abilities are useless at this point.
    2 - On the second round, you cast Invisibility. State how this is another thing he has no way to deal with.
    3 - From then on, drop your debuffs. Kelgore's Grave Mist makes him fatigued, no save. Ray of Enfeeblement drops his precious Strength with no save too. If you're feeling lucky, Glitterdust drives the point home nicely, as does Reduce Person and Cloud of Bewilderment.
    4 - End this by summoning a creature or two to fight his broken self. At this point you state how you've used no class features or feats besides spellcasting, and could have ended this long ago with negative levels(Fell Drain and Sound Snap/1st-level spells while flying). This is bound to getting the point across - you've used the "real battle" to showcase your arsenal and haven't even gone into cheese yet.

    Edit: Others have posted ways to optimize initiative. I like Biffon's way to high Init the most because it's all simple feats and abilities anyone would pick, nothing too specialized.
    Last edited by Kayblis; 2019-05-15 at 09:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    An elan wizard could alter self into a grell, which can fly and has 10 tentacle attacks with reach. That way, you can save your third-level slots for attacks, or whatever you like, really. I like bite of the were-rat, which will get you (assuming grell form) a Dexterity score of 20 and Weapon Finesse. Individual tentacle attacks don't hit much, but it's still 1d4+1 damage with fairly decent to-hit.

    Similar strategies exist for outsider wizards (lesser planetouched with the Otherworldly feat), giant wizards (LA buyoff + primordial half-giant), magical beast wizards, etcetera.
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    You have so many options available you could make multiple wizards and just whip him back to back honestly. Each with varying level of cheese. Personally I'm a fan of Kelgores Gravemist, no save SR only, instantly fatigued and damage to boot. Which prevents charge and gimps him off the bat. He's limited base movement speed a round. Which you can freaking kite out and poke him out easily enough.

    As for getting it off, Nerveskitter, Familiars etc there's a ton of ways to boost Init past the point of you going 2nd being a possibility.
    Mind, that's one option. There's others, draining stats, knocking them out and just killing them. You have to be a bad wizard to lose to a barbarian 1v1 in the conditions you've laid out.

    Mind this is the tamer side of things, you could also do an Elven generalist Domain wizard, loop into 9th lvl spells from lvl 2. <_< (The legality of that is oft debated but I'm of the opinion it works.) There's boundless options
    Last edited by Lorddenorstrus; 2019-05-15 at 10:15 PM.
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    d6 Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Round 1 invisibility 2nd

    Round 2 shield 1st

    Round 3 mage armor 1st

    All while moving in for a 35 foot range spell ray of enfeeblement. 1d6+2 for being 5th level. Take away his ability to hit.

    Assume 18 intelligence.

    Zero level

    Flare -1 to hit (fort) save
    Touch of fatigue


    3 1st
    Shield
    Mage armor
    Ray of enfeeblement

    3 2nd
    Blindness/ deafness. Fort save 100 +10 feet per level 150 foot range. Fail that your invisible by not being able to be seen. He must choose a square swing if he hits the wrong square automatic miss. 50/50 if correct. No direct damage. Take this threee times


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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Assuming the arena is such that he cannot run or charge into melee before your first turn nor force it due to mere geography:

    Round 1: Cast Expeditious Retreat, and move 60'. He's now at best, 5' away from melee.
    Round 2-4: Proceed to run away until you create a respectable gap(165'+ feet on your turn). Since you have 60' vs. his 40', this is trivial. Cast Bull's Strength if not up.
    Round 5: Ready an action to cast hold person as soon as he hits 120'. Due to readied action rules, initiative order doesn't change.
    Round 6: If he's paralyzed, charge with your scythe. If he's not, go to Round 2.
    Round 7: You're in melee, he's paralyzed, and you're holding a scythe. Coup de grace.
    Round 8: You're in melee, he's paralyzed, and you're holding a scythe. Coup de grace.
    Round 9: You're in melee, he's paralyzed, and you're holding a scythe. Coup de grace.

    3 Coup de graces is (2d4+3)x4x4 damage, or ~96 damage. He's dead. As an insult to injury, he needs to make a DC 10 + damage-dealt off each coup de grace or die instantly; that's DC 42, Fort(Good luck!).

    Assumptions or build choices:
    -Arena allows you to kite for over 300+ feet.
    -You get a turn before he's in melee
    -You know Expeditious Retreat
    -He can't match your 240' run speed
    -He can't hit targets outside melee range
    -You know Bull's Strength
    -You know Hold Person and prepared multiple copies
    -You own a Scythe
    -You have 10 Str and 13+ Int

    That's it. Doable on the Elite Array, and the most powerful thing you used was a level 3 spell from the SRD. The point here isn't to optimize and show him "just how powerful wizards can be", it's to anti-optimize, and show him just how powerful a baseline unoptimized wizard is, as a starting point.
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    If I were preparing a barbarian for this, I would be looking at something like:

    Raptoran Barbarian 5

    Ferocity, Serpent Totem

    1. Touchstone (Catalogues of Enlightenment: Patience domain)
    3. Air Heritage, Improved Grapple (B)
    5. Improved Initiative (B)

    70-foot fly speed makes it hard for the wizard to kite and allows a charge in the first round. Patience domain shakes off the wizard's first big hit; hopefully they won't have a second one prepared. Improved Initiative and Ferocity give a decent chance of going first. Grapple the wizard to prevent casting, and if they don't have Abrupt Jaunt to escape, it's hopefully over from there. If they do have a way to counter the grapple, you'll have to trade blows and hope that your attacks are enough. Weapon familiarity with footbows is also an underrated benefit of raptoran, since you can add 1.5x Strength to the damage; readying an action to disrupt spellcasting with footbow attacks could be a viable backup plan.

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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Let's see... If you happen to have Augment Summoning:

    R1: Readied Grease to him moving
    R2: Summon Skeletal Owlbear
    R3: Summon another Skeletal Owlbear
    R4: Summon another Skeletal Owlbear


    Honestly, it's not the most efficient means of going about it but getting beaten to death by 2nd level summons ought to drive the point home. Save your 3rd level spells for when you actually need them. Of course, yeah, just casting Glitterdust and doing whatever might work. Or Fly and whatever or Invisibility and whatever. Alternatively, just have pre-shrunk boulders/carriages/boats/whatever and throw them at it until it dies. Or use an Explosive Runes bomb.

    EDIT: One option is of course just Fly/whatever > Spectral Hand > Shivering Touch. Two-three applications ought to do the trick even for an 18 Dex Barbie. Of course, if you metamagic it up or whatever, it's easy enough but I think you don't really need to use feats in this particular case. That would be an overkill.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2019-05-16 at 06:51 AM.
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    level 5... that's 3rd level spells max, right? Groovy.

    Great Thunderclap (PHB2) Fort save or be deafened, also Reflex save or fall prone. (Barbarians seem to have decent fort and reflex from what I can see, but this gives 2 in one spell so I recommend it.)

    Flashburst (SpC) Will save or be blind, if you make the save be dazzled.

    Grease his weapon if he has the impudence to raise it against you.

    Now that he's hopefully blind, deaf, on the floor, and his weapons removed, proceed to cast Power Word Pain, and Phantasmal Assailant until he surrenders or dies of either HP loss or more likely wisdom and dex damage (though I'm not wholly sure if phantasmal assailant works if the target cannot see/hear the illusion. Hmm.... wait, it works on their mind! So that's fun! So, while gripped in agony from one spell, they start seeing their worst nightmare in their mind)
    Last edited by Malphegor; 2019-05-16 at 07:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    If I were preparing a barbarian for this, I would be looking at something like:

    Raptoran Barbarian 5

    Ferocity, Serpent Totem

    1. Touchstone (Catalogues of Enlightenment: Patience domain)
    3. Air Heritage, Improved Grapple (B)
    5. Improved Initiative (B)

    70-foot fly speed makes it hard for the wizard to kite and allows a charge in the first round. Patience domain shakes off the wizard's first big hit; hopefully they won't have a second one prepared. Improved Initiative and Ferocity give a decent chance of going first. Grapple the wizard to prevent casting, and if they don't have Abrupt Jaunt to escape, it's hopefully over from there. If they do have a way to counter the grapple, you'll have to trade blows and hope that your attacks are enough. Weapon familiarity with footbows is also an underrated benefit of raptoran, since you can add 1.5x Strength to the damage; readying an action to disrupt spellcasting with footbow attacks could be a viable backup plan.
    This seems quite good. There's a bug with Catalogues of Enlightenment prereqs? Disregarding that though, the ability to fly 70' is exceptional and readied actions to shoot a bow on cast are certainly effective.

    An alternative I've run into is a Tiefling Barbarian 4 who uses spellcasting services to PAO[Horned Devil]. Fly 50', Str 31, Dex 25, Con 25 makes both charge and snipe feasible.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Level 5 Wizard: How to Kill a Barbarian

    I just realized (rather late) that you can fatigue the barbarian simply by waiting, and then exhaust them with kelgore's grave mist.

    So...
    Turn 0: cast nerveskitter.
    Turn 1: cast alter self or fly, fly up.
    Turn 2: cast invisibility, fly up.
    Turns 3-10: wait for Rage to end, move into Medium range.
    Turn 11: cast kelgore's grave mist.

    At this point, the barbarian is exhausted and moving at half speed (I assume they also can't run or charge, as with fatigue). Kill them with a crossbow, or something.

    If the barbarian has multiple uses of Rage, you'll need to wait a bit longer, but that's fine.
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