Barbarian Class Preview

Monday, June 11, 2018

Rage consumes you in battle. You delight in carving through your enemies using powerful weapons and wreaking havoc without needing complicated techniques or rigid training, and you rely on your astonishing durability to get you through a fight. You associate your rage with a traditional symbol of affinity known as a totem, which might take the form of an animal, a spirit, or even a part of yourself. To many barbarians, brute force is a hammer and every problem looks like a nail; to others, the dark emotions within them are something to hold back and release only when it matters most.

When it came to barbarians in the playtest, we wanted to take the most popular parts of the original barbarian and the unchained barbarian and brew them together with a few special ingredients to make the class even more flexible to fit even more roleplaying and mechanical concepts. Let's take a look!

Rage

Rage is a barbarian's key class feature. Barbarians aren't super-trained in fancy weapon techniques like most of the other martial classes. Instead, a barbarian can enter a rage that drastically increases her damage and grants her a significant booster shot of temporary Hit Points, in exchange for a –1 penalty to AC and the inability to use concentrate actions unless they specifically have the rage trait (note, this means that somatic-only spells are now possible in a rage!). Unlike in Pathfinder First Edition, rage in the playtest is not limited in rounds per day—let's be honest, in Pathfinder First Edition, our barbarians never ran out of rounds anyway once they had gained a few levels. A rage lasts 3 rounds, followed by a round of fatigue. While you're fatigued, you can't rage again, but once that round has passed, you can enter a new rage, with a shiny brand-new set of temporary Hit Points to go along with it. You can do this as often as you need during the day!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Totems

Without a doubt, the most popular element of barbarians in Pathfinder First Edition is the totem, introduced in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player Guide. These totems are a set of three thematically linked abilities the barbarian can choose, starting at 2nd level. In the playtest, you get a totem right away at 1st level. Your totem is a representation of how and why you rage and grants you an initial ability, access to more totem feats down the line, and, at 9th level, resistance equal to your Constitution modifier against a specific type of damage. Each totem also has its own anathema, most of which are relatively low impact and designed to create roleplaying hooks. For instance, the giant totem's anathema states that you cannot fail to accept a personal challenge of your strength, much like how Amiri accepted the challenging task her tribal fellows set her to slay a frost giant. Some though, are stricter—the superstition totem requires that you never willingly accept the benefits of spells, but grants you some truly astounding antimagic abilities in exchange.

Some of the totems, like animal totem, giant totem, and dragon totem, offer a few abilities that are flat-out magical. For instance, animal totem barbarians can adopt animal features and attacks and even transform into an animal (a great way to represent lycanthrope characters), whereas dragon totem barbarians gain a dragon breath attack can even grow wings. Even though totems are popular and roleplaying opportunities are fun, we recognize not everyone necessarily wants to commit to them, so we also offer the fury totem, which has no anathema or special requirements and focuses more on barbarian feats that aren't tied to any totem, which we'll look at in a bit. But first...

Additional Barbarian Features

Though I called out rage and totems specifically, the barbarian has some really neat abilities beyond those. For instance, at level 3, barbarians gain critical specialization effects when in a rage, even if they don't fulfill the usual proficiency rank requirement for the weapon—they use whatever weapon is most efficient to express their rage! One other thing they have that nobody else does: 12 Hit Points per level. Add that to the substantial temporary Hit Points that they can generate (possibly multiple times in a long fight) and the resistances from their totem that kick in at level 9, and barbarians have incredible staying power. Sure, they don't prevent as many hits as a paladin or a shield fighter might, but they can stand there taking hits long past the point where anyone else could stay standing. This is also a good point to mention one feature barbarians don't have in the playtest: alignment requirements. Barbarians can be whatever alignment they want; for instance, a lawful barbarian might act like one of the concepts I described earlier, controlling and holding back her emotions to channel and release her rage when it matters most.

As many of you have predicted, barbarians also have the best Fortitude proficiency, gaining the juggernaut class feature at level 7 (which grants master proficiency in Fortitude and the ability to count any successes you roll as critical successes instead) and improved juggernaut at 13th (which grants legendary proficiency and removes the chance of critically failing), but they also have a secondary Will focus, gaining indomitable will at 15th level to become masters in Will. Tireless rage comes in at level 17 to allow barbarians to ignore fatigue after ending a rage (though they still must wait the normal amount of time before entering a new rage). Barbarians are all about brutalizing opponents without worrying about carrying lots of different weapons and selecting the right one for the job with their monster knowledge, so it makes sense that they gain the ability to rip through a chunk of resistances automatically with level 19's devastating strikes ability. Possibly my favorite barbarian feature, though, is the level 11 ability mighty rage—whenever you enter a rage, it allows you to immediately use one of your rage-only actions for free. So many possibilities!

Barbarian Feats

In addition to the feats based on totems, there are a variety of other feats available, from the bread-and-butter, low-level Sudden Charge to the devastating Whirlwind Strike (attack everything in your reach), Brutal Critical (your critical hits deal an extra die of damage as well as persistent bleed damage), Vicious Evisceration (you maim the enemy, dealing extra damage, reducing its maximum HP by an amount equal to its level, and giving it a –1 penalty to Fortitude), Contagious Rage (one of your allies gets the benefits and –1 penalty to AC imposed by your rage, but can still concentrate), and Quaking Stomp (you stomp so hard that it creates an honest-to-goodness earthquake). But none caused a playtest GM to raise their eyebrows quite like the superstition totem's Spell Sunder, which really saved us when we faced walls of force, magical trap effects, and more.

To close off, some of you might have expected me to talk about the dragon totem barbarian Linda is playing in my playtest game, who has sometimes been the party's primary healer. She does that through abilities beyond the barbarian class, though certainly Moment of Clarity (which allows a barbarian to use an extra action to use a concentrate ability mid-rage). But if you're wondering why there was a time in my playtest when she was the only one with an area attack, that was because of her barbarian's dragon breath!

Mark Seifter
Designer

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The really important question not answered is whether entering rage requires an action.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Catharsis wrote:

Good stuff overall. I'm wondering whether the rage-cycling won't require an uncharacteristic amount of bookkeeping and strategic considerations for a Barbarian, though.

Also, that bit about being a primary healer was super vague... given that we've had two blogs about skills already, wouldn't it be fair game to divulge how the Medicine skill works, assuming that's what's going on here? Can it be used an unlimited number of times per day...? Is there some sort of resource depletion?

You don't have everything you need yet for Linda's barbarian. Combat Medic is part of the picture though.

Some sort of herbalism natural concoctions from nature as well maybe?


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MR. H wrote:
Popping in and out of rage every fight doesn't make sense to me.

I'm looking at it like a fighter gassing. You put forth so much effort that you just have to stop and catch your breath every now and then.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I really like the change to rage rounds.


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Awesome sauce. I really like the new rage mechanics-- having to count rage rounds was unnecessary book keeping and 5e's limited rages per day meant having to be waaaaay to conservative with rage for the class concept.

I'm down for Totems. I hope we get Quah specific totems for the Shoanti at some point, though maybe that shouldn't be in core for setting agnosticism. I'm also curious if such things can interact with cleric deities or if maybe there's an intersection for Druid orders... Shoanti tribes gotta Shaman.

Catharsis wrote:
Good stuff overall. I'm wondering whether the rage-cycling won't require an uncharacteristic amount of bookkeeping and strategic considerations for a Barbarian, though.

Well, it certainly puts a degree of strategy on the player, if not the character, but I don't know if that's a bad thing. For book keeping, I suspect at worse people will add a "fatigued sheet" to their "raging" and "not raging" sheets-- which is what I normally see PF1 Barbars using. There also might be a way to condense that all into one sheet with some clever layout.

Voss wrote:
On the other hand: several of those feats provide amazingly trivial bonuses and penalties that aren't worth tracking. After PF1, 3.0, 3.5, 4th and 5th, why in the world would you ever consider -1 to be worth tracking? Literally decades of statistical data indicates they aren't.

Which feats are those exactly? Contagious Rage is the same -1 penalty that you use for rage in the first place, and it is much more significant since an AC penalty means taking more crits instead of just more hits.

The Fortitude Penalty of Vicious Evisceration seems fairly like it may or may not be worth tracking, but I don't think you'd need to sweat it unless the party is throwing around Fortitude saves. And if they are, the same concept applies as the AC penalty. Really, that's just icing to the extra HP damage equal to level. Taken in total, Vicious Evisceration would be doing CON damage in PF1. This is significantly easier to track than CON damage.

Grand Lodge

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Voss wrote:
On the other hand: several of those feats provide amazingly trivial bonuses and penalties that aren't worth tracking. After PF1, 3.0, 3.5, 4th and 5th, why in the world would you ever consider -1 to be worth tracking? Literally decades of statistical data indicates they aren't.

I'm pretty sure you have exactly zero decades of statistical data about whether -1 is significant in PF2.

We haven't seen all the maths, but the bits we have seen indicate that smaller bonuses and penalties are a bigger deal in this edition.

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Xenocrat wrote:
The really important question not answered is whether entering rage requires an action.

It was a free action in PF1, what makes you think that would change?

Silver Crusade

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Sometimes, Amiri is exactly the friend you need.

I recently saw quite a bit of her in Kingmaker and she has a wonderful way of resolving all of life's complicated questions.

Sovereign Court

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She got them boots with the fur! WITH THE FUR!!
The whole party was lookin' at her!
She hit the door! She hit the door! Next thang you know-
GM like roll-roll-roll-roll initiative!


I'm a little concerned about the Barbarian Feats listed as most of them sound far more complex than I'd like.

Dark Archive

I'm pretty sure the reason the penalty is only -1 in PF2 is because critical hits occur when an attack is 10 higher than your AC, so AC penalties don't just make you easier to hit, but easier to crit.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
The really important question not answered is whether entering rage requires an action.
It was a free action in PF1, what makes you think that would change?

Changing from a 1-handed to 2-handed grip was a Free Action in PF1e too, and that's an Action now. The inverse may or may not be too. There's no way to know what has or has not changed use time until they tell us or we see the document.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Mark Seifter wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

I wonder if the superstitious totem barbarian will have their resonance set to zero? That's one way to limit them "never willingly accept the benefits of..." magic rather than of spells specifically. Seems like if it's limited to spells it's a bit of a cop out:

"Filthy wizard, don't enchant me with your evil spells!"
"But I need to get you flying you you can rage smash that dragon attacking us!"
"I'll gladly drink your potion of fly then"

A lot of things in the game that are the spell, now count as spells. Those spell in a can items (wands, scrolls, staves) would not work. Elixirs from alchemists aren't even magic, so they're definitely fine. As seen in a few playtests where potions were found, potions aren't exactly spells in a can any more either, though some are pretty similar to spells (we had enough spell in a can types of items).

My point wasn't really about spell in a can, it was about should superstitious barbarians be able to willingly accept the benefits of MAGIC rather than SPELLS. And would reducing their resonance to zero be one way to ensure that they don't use magic - whether that's a healing potion or a +1 sword. My example still stands as:

"I don't trust magic, I won't accept your filthy spells, wizard!"
"Here, use this +1 sword though to help you kill your foes better"
"Oh sure, +1 swords are fine in my book, they're not MAGIC, they're just +1, that's totally fine in my book!"
"Wait, now that you mention books, can PF2 barbarians still read, or are they illiterate like 3.5 barbarians?"
"Yes, you can read, as long as you're not a goblin!" :)


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OK, as somebody who loves playing Barbs, I give this my approval :-)
The 3 rounds on / 1 round off (Fatigued) dynamic sounds great, definitely something to build tactics around.
(sounds great for multiclass characters who can cast spells on off round, in addition to Somatic spells while Raging)
On that note, is Concentration invoked in Material/Verbal spells, or just for Maintain:Concentration spells (or Metamagic)?
Maybe it's just me biased to my favorite caster class, but Barbarian/Shaman seems awesome multiclass combo,
although that won't happen in Core Rules, curious to see if any special synergy happens there... (Shaman Totems?)

While CON no longer has role with Rage Rounds (although who knows if it interacts with new 3/1 system?)
it sounds like it's definitely being kept as "secondary stat" for other stuff, including bypassing Resistance.
Not sure if 'activating' Rage is itself an action, but even if it is it sounds like you eventually get a free Rage Power action to boot.

Liking the Anathema aspect, whether anti-magic superstition or some other taboo or fixation, it feels right.
Curious if Illiteracy makes it's way back into the class in any form, I always liked it personally.

The 'general' Barbarian Feats sound great, so irrespective of Totem it sounds like solid class.
(I'm guessing if you plan on only taking general Barb feats and no Totem Feats, the Ferocity anti-Totem may be best bet)
I do wish the Blog had explored more of the non-magical Totems which seem to get more into cultural/psychological angle.

Shadow Lodge

Looks good; I'm just wondering if the d12 will get to see more usage in PF2.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Shinigami02 wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
The really important question not answered is whether entering rage requires an action.
It was a free action in PF1, what makes you think that would change?
Changing from a 1-handed to 2-handed grip was a Free Action in PF1e too, and that's an Action now. The inverse may or may not be too. There's no way to know what has or has not changed use time until they tell us or we see the document.

Changing grips was an action in Starfinder, which raised the question for PF2. There are no such indications for rage. In this context, if it had changed, it would likely have come up in the write-up.

Paizo Employee

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Wolventad wrote:
I'm pretty sure the reason the penalty is only -1 in PF2 is because critical hits occur when an attack is 10 higher than your AC, so AC penalties don't just make you easier to hit, but easier to crit.

Yep, in addition to being easier to actually hit in the first place, it's similar to every enemy getting Improved Critical (whatever you're hitting the barbarian with). Despite being one simple and easy to track penalty, it has the effects of multiple different abilities in PF1, in much the same way that the Fighter's greater weapon proficiency ranks aren't just Weapon Focus equivalents, they're functionally Weapon Focus + Improved Critical + Critical Focus, and they're not locked to a single weapon. A tighter math framework means that every bonus and penalty is significantly more relevant than it would be in the current edition.

Liberty's Edge

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JoelF847 wrote:

My point wasn't really about spell in a can, it was about should superstitious barbarians be able to willingly accept the benefits of MAGIC rather than SPELLS. And would reducing their resonance to zero be one way to ensure that they don't use magic - whether that's a healing potion or a +1 sword. My example still stands as:

"I don't trust magic, I won't accept your filthy spells, wizard!"
"Here, use this +1 sword though to help you kill your foes better"
"Oh sure, +1 swords are fine in my book, they're not MAGIC, they're just +1, that's totally fine in my book!"
"Wait, now that you mention books, can PF2 barbarians still read, or are they illiterate like 3.5 barbarians?"
"Yes, you can read, as long as you're not a goblin!" :)

It sounds like the Superstitious Barbarian is willing to hang out with wizards, see their foes barbecued by fireballs, and use magic items (all of which seem to me to be in the same category in terms of using/interacting with magic).

What they object to is having spells cast on them specifically. They don't trust that the magic isn't gonna do something weird to them. They're probably fine with you casting a spell on their sword, as long as it's the sword not them.

That's actually not a super weird attitude to take, nor particularly inconsistent with some real world superstitious cultures.

The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Looks good; I'm just wondering if the d12 will get to see more usage in PF2.

It will, since all weapons are now between d4 and d12. It's now the highest weapon die you can have, and high weapon dice matter since magic weapons multiply damage dice.


Shinigami02 wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
The really important question not answered is whether entering rage requires an action.
It was a free action in PF1, what makes you think that would change?
Changing from a 1-handed to 2-handed grip was a Free Action in PF1e too, and that's an Action now. The inverse may or may not be too. There's no way to know what has or has not changed use time until they tell us or we see the document.

Using a shield now costs an action, too. Unless the bonuses aren't that high, there's precedent to fear that rage might now cost an action to initiate.

Shadow Lodge

so glad to see the barbarian evolving...i was not a fan of pf1 barbarian...unchained made the class playable...this is a vast improvement...one thing i hope is added is more class options not tied to rage...it's not as much of an issue now that rage is unlimited but pf1 barbarian often felt class-less when not raging...


^ Agreed re: class options while not raging. Archetypes did do stuff while non-raging in P1E, but it generally was "not raging? not PC class" dynamic. I think it keeps design more balanced to have a range of abilities that don't require rage to "turn on". The blog has me looking forward to full playtest reveal though.

Repeating my question: is Concentration invoked in Material/Verbal spells, or just for Maintain:Concentration spells (or Metamagic)?
Somatic casting while Raging was referenced as not triggering Rage ban on Concentration, but I'm not clear on Concentration itself...?


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Also because I got to talking with my friends about it.

Were Totems one of the more popular elements of the class? Or was Beast Totem just picked up so bloody often?

I'm actually trying to think now of how many Totems I saw and how many weren't Beast.

Mind you the new 3 action system might make Pounce not as attractive/threatening now.

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As long as the class can do stuff other than rage and stab things...


BTW, would I be far off thinking Sudden Charge is like Rhino Charge? I loved that Feat.


I really, really, really, really, REALLY hate totems. It's one of the big things that drove me crazy about 5E. I like playing Barbarians as Berserker shock troops rather than superstitious tribal warriors with anger issues. Also, I just can't imagine a Dwarf or Elf Barbarian having some kind of totem spirit. So I guess my issue is more thematic than mechanical.

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Quandary wrote:
BTW, would I be far off thinking Sudden Charge is like Rhino Charge? I loved that Feat.

Sudden Charge is probably the Feat we know most about. It lets you spend two actions and move double your speed and make an attack. So you can double move, attack, and then still have an action left.


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Cyrad wrote:
As long as the class can do stuff other than rage and stab things...

Nobody does basketweaving better than the Barbarian...


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MidsouthGuy wrote:
I really, really, really, really, REALLY hate totems. It's one of the big things that drove me crazy about 5E. I like playing Barbarians as Berserker shock troops rather than superstitious tribal warriors with anger issues. Also, I just can't imagine a Dwarf or Elf Barbarian having some kind of totem spirit. So I guess my issue is more thematic than mechanical.

I think Fury Totem (which has no Anathema and no specific Totem Feats) will scratch your itch for Totem-less Barbarian while technically being another Totem itself. In addition to it being explained that the "fluff" behind Totem powers is really up to the player, no spirit or tribal culture required. Barbarian class already conflates cultural fluff with it's name, "Totem" is just more in the same line, but by same token is no more problematic for somebody who wants to play entirely non-tribal "civilized" fighter whose technique just uses same mechanics.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Contagious Rage makes me curious, because I wonder how a bard might get that and become a Skald.

Actually, speaking of bards, are they also going to use the 3 rounds up 1 round down for inspiration?


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MidsouthGuy wrote:
I really, really, really, really, REALLY hate totems. It's one of the big things that drove me crazy about 5E. I like playing Barbarians as Berserker shock troops rather than superstitious tribal warriors with anger issues. Also, I just can't imagine a Dwarf or Elf Barbarian having some kind of totem spirit. So I guess my issue is more thematic than mechanical.

As a counter example, I had a Samurai Barbarian. His totem was Spirit Totem. I played it off as the souls of his warrior family manifest themselves to protect him as he fought to regain his honor(Lost temper, Raged, cut down wrong person, Dishonored, etc).

It's possible to use Totems without going all Tribal/Shamatic.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I have actually almost never seen a barbarian that didn't have a totem, at numerous tables of PF1, in both home games and PFS games (and I know I have over 150 tables as a GM in PFS), so I based it on my experiences and those of others I've spoken with.

I mean one of the reasons I avoided Barbarians in PF1 was largely due to the problematic nature of the "Savage, Uncouth, Uncultured" stereotype that's kind of baked into the class. I get that we can't change the name of the class because of Conan, but I never really felt like I was able to do justice to "tribal societies" myself.

I mean, sure a good part of the concept for the Barbarian class is derived from Norse berserkers, some of whom are likely distant relatives of mine but the fylgjur (and hamingja I guess) are sort of conceptually distinct, since people aren't (to the norse) savage and violent because you have a wolf fylgja, they have a wolf fylgja because they are savage and violent.

So it's kind of weird, (and potentially appropriative?), from where I sit to RP as someone who has a "totem" because of the class they took even if they're just a rich kid from Absalom with anger issues who puts no particular stock in anything.

I'm gonna second the appropriative nature of the Barbarian as a whole, but it's so iconic and integral to fantasy gaming that it's unavoidable at this point. But the word "Totem" could be changed, I'm sure there's a word that fits the idea that would dodge issues of appropriation. "Catalyst" maybe? "Trigger" might also be technically accurate, although heavens to betsy using "Trigger" would probably not go over well on the internet dot com.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The biggest thing I'm wondering now is how many rounds a combat typically lasts in PF2... That could have some really interesting tactical implications regarding the 3 rounds of Rage and Mark's comments about Barbs who hold back their Rage until the opportune moment.


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
The biggest thing I'm wondering now is how many rounds a combat typically lasts in PF2... That could have some really interesting tactical implications regarding the 3 rounds of Rage and Mark's comments about Barbs who hold back their Rage until the opportune moment.

We definitely have had hints combats will last longer, but who knows. Crits and fistfulls of dice also make it harder to predict.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
I have actually almost never seen a barbarian that didn't have a totem, at numerous tables of PF1, in both home games and PFS games (and I know I have over 150 tables as a GM in PFS), so I based it on my experiences and those of others I've spoken with.

It's the internet. There's always going to be at least ONE exception (mark me down as someone whose seen totems used on some barbarians, but not by all). It's like monk fighting styles. I expect most monks have at least one turned on at all times, except I've seen plenty of monks who had none. There's always exceptions ;)

Arachnofiend wrote:
One thing I'm kinda tilting my head at is the new rage mechanic. It's... interesting, for sure, though I'm wondering how it'll balance out. It makes the first three rounds of combat extremely important to the Barbarian because you have to deal with having worse-than-nothing in round four.

It also brings in tactical choices. I suspects lots of fights will take between 3-5 rounds. If you want to avoid having worse than nothing in round 4, delay raging for 1 or 2 rounds.

Sovereign Court

Looks good for the barb, but bodes ill for multi-classing. I thought them saving the best blogs for last, but now im not so sure...


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
I've never actually played a barbarian, but this intrigues me greatly. Hopefully the totems at least have the ability to be more spiritualistic than physical (which I'm guessing they will, since it seems like investment will largely be through feats, if the Druid is any indication), but I'm liking the idea of Breathing fire (or probably in my case, Spitting Acid) at enemies, as a Barbarian, though I'm not sure Sprouting Wings is as much my jam, at least thematically.
If you want the wings to sort of be spiritual-looking (or like the animal you turn into to sort of look like a ghostly outline of an animal around you or something), that seems like a cool visual.

Can we have some language in the (finished product) core book about what kind of degree of refluffing stuff the game assumes is fine then? It's nice to have some official guidelines on how much leeway you have with making your own interpretation (especially in a world where Archetypes have made you expect things to be kept kinda concrete).

Also, does anyone have any references to ideas or examples of what you'd consider a lawful barbarian? I'm not particularly opposed to opening up the class at all, but I'm not getting any ideas myself and would like to see the concept examplified.


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Sculcuvant wrote:
I'm gonna second the appropriative nature of the Barbarian as a whole, but it's so iconic and integral to fantasy gaming that it's unavoidable at this point. But the word "Totem" could be changed, I'm sure there's a word that fits the idea that would dodge issues of appropriation. "Catalyst" maybe? "Trigger" might also be technically accurate, although heavens to betsy using "Trigger" would probably not go over well on the internet dot com.

I was going to suggest "Fetish" myself, but it kinda has the same vibe. As well as certain other connotations.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Crayon wrote:

As for question two, it was in response to this:

"These totems are a set of three thematically linked abilities the barbarian can choose, starting at 2nd level. In the playtest, you get a totem right away at 1st level."

Which makes it sound (to me) like the playtest Barbarian will be receiving the feature earlier than was intended for the 'real' game.

Blog wrote:
Without a doubt, the most popular element of barbarians in Pathfinder First Edition is the totem, introduced in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player Guide. These totems are a set of three thematically linked abilities the barbarian can choose, starting at 2nd level. In the playtest, you get a totem right away at 1st level.

Emphasis mine. "These" totems -- the ones introduced to P1e in the APG -- can be chosen starting at level 2. The playtest totems start at level 1.

What happens in P2e (the 'real' game) is up to the playtest results to determine.


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Pan wrote:
Looks good for the barb, but bodes ill for multi-classing. I thought them saving the best blogs for last, but now im not so sure...

How you figure? We know the barbarian can cast (certain) spells while raging, which sounds pretty good if you are caster hybrid. Also, the new rage mechanics mean you could multi-class without limiting your rage rounds per day.


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Quandary wrote:
Curious if Illiteracy makes it's way back into the class in any form, I always liked it personally.

IMO, if you're going to include illiteracy, the best place for it is probably in a background, not in a class.


I can see Rage can be used to gain temporary HP in order to take environmental damage better(like from falling or from traps). Are there other uses for Rage that can be used out of combat? Like, gaining additional strength to do stuff.


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Three rounds of rage, plus one round of fatigue, seems to me an improvement over tracking rounds of rage per day (and suggests rounds of music per day might be gone as well for bards).

It still requires a little more careful tracking of rounds than I'd like, and I might have preferred something like:

Once you enter rage (as a ? action), you can rage X number of rounds before risking fatigue. At the start of your turn each subsequent round, the barbarian must succeed at a DC X Con check (or Fort save? or Will save?) or drop out of rage and become fatigued. This fatigue ends with one minute of complete rest.

My idea would be you can rage once per battle, and then you need a minute (or ten minutes?) of complete rest and then you can do it again. This way no one has to track rounds of rage at all.

What seems fun about this to me is the barbarian player sweating every round on her turn, hoping to make the check to keep the rage going . . . . Because you can't predict when it'll end, it becomes more interesting dramatically.

The hard part would be setting a Con check or save DC meaningful to barbarians both low-level and high-level.

(I would also love it if many short spell durations could be something like "one battle" as well, but that's for another post.)


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Yolande d'Bar wrote:
It still requires a little more careful tracking of rounds than I'd like

Take a 1d4 and put it on 1 when you rage and advance the number as you keep raging: when you flip it to 4 you're fatigued. Seems super simple to track.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Huh, so Whirlwind Strike is Barbarian-only now?

Paizo Employee Designer

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graystone wrote:
Yolande d'Bar wrote:
It still requires a little more careful tracking of rounds than I'd like
Take a 1d4 and put it on 1 when you rage and advance the number as you keep raging: when you flip it to 4 you're fatigued. Seems super simple to track.

Huh, that's even better that what I've been doing. Consider it yoinked!

But yeah, it's much easier to track than rolling for it each round. One interesting thing is I tried different lengths of rage and 2 rounds was just drastically too short and 4 rounds was drastically too long, but 3 was really solid. I was surprised how strong the effect was from nudging one way or the other, but maybe I shouldn't be considering the three-round cycle turned out to be key in solarian as well.


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Alchemaic wrote:
Huh, so Whirlwind Strike is Barbarian-only now?

It's a Barbarian class feat. It might be a class feat for other classes, too, and will almost certainly be available to the Fighter the same way both classes get Sudden Charge.


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NielsenE wrote:

Looks pretty cool. The two main things that jump out at me.

1) The 3/1 round rage duty cycle: This feels pretty close to optimal to me, which suggests that we won't see a lot of class feats that interact with changing it. A 2/2 might have been more interesting if class feats were going to interact by extending duration,shortening fatigue duration, exchange length of fatigue duration for lesser/worse fatigue effects. However if everyone would effectively gravitate towards 3/1 then just bake it in and be done.

I could see a feat that allowed you to resume your rage when in the fatigue round at a steeper cost once the new rage ends, such as the fatigue condition becoming persistent instead of something that goes away after a round, and possibly also worsening a step. That would not be something you'd do normally, but it could be an interesting option, calling on deeper reserves than you'd normally do.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Alchemaic wrote:
Huh, so Whirlwind Strike is Barbarian-only now?

Well we've previewed Whirlwind Strike for fighter as well, so...

(then again, things have sometimes changed since the preview. For instance, fans of the halfling ancestry would find it wise if they check out the final playtest book for the new cool stuff)

Sovereign Court

Captain Morgan wrote:
Pan wrote:
Looks good for the barb, but bodes ill for multi-classing. I thought them saving the best blogs for last, but now im not so sure...
How you figure? We know the barbarian can cast (certain) spells while raging, which sounds pretty good if you are caster hybrid. Also, the new rage mechanics mean you could multi-class without limiting your rage rounds per day.

Means youll probably be limited to a hybrid system...

Shadow Lodge

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Somatic components seems an odd choice.

Visually, it's difficult nto.imagine a barbarian pausing for a moment to make a hand gesture beyond whatever is used to express an angry rant.

Verbal components, however, seem like they'd be perfectly fitting, especially if a barbarian were required to yell the verbal component, akin to a Barbaric Yawp.

(And seriously, if you could put the phrase "barbaric yawp" somewhere in the barbarian class section, I would love you guys forever. That's a phrase that needs to be made common).

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