Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Starfinder


Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Barbarian Guide


Advice


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I was disappointed that I couldn't find one, so I wrote one. Please give me feedback so it can be improved.

Barbarian Guide

Scarab Sages

I disagree with you on a number of strength designations...

I will also say the the lack of a guide may be due to the ease of playing a barbarian. (some might even disagree with this statement)


Mcarvin wrote:

I disagree with you on a number of strength designations...

I will also say the the lack of a guide may be due to the ease of playing a barbarian. (some might even disagree with this statement)

Great, which ones? What should they be?


I actually liked the guide: invulnerable rager, beast totem, elemental rage ftw.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

couples notes on rage powers/focus:

Reckless Abandon is stupid good. You get an untyped bonus to attacks (stacks with everything) which means your charging iterative pounce attacks with a 2h weapon are going to hit that much more often. This is a very good thing. AC isn't your focus anyway. Penalties here aren't a big deal.

Rolling Dodge and Guarded Stance are ridiculous. AC bonuses for a character whose entire purpose (by your indication of good powers alone) is to rage and charge stuff to full attack (constantly taking a -4 to AC). Why is this even a mediocre choice? AC is for people who don't fly into a screaming blood frenzy and murder everything around them.

Natural weapon fighter suffers from the same problem as the multi-weapon fighter. It's a good option when something sunders your weapon, because you're taking the beast totem tree anyway. When you can hit multiple times for 1.5x str while power attacking 2 hits for 1x strength is a poor choice. Of limited use early on and quickly falls behind the 2h weapon pouncer of doom.

Maneuver feats and rage powers are pretty valuable for the barbarian, considering without much effort he can have an absurdly good CMB. The Barbarian can always have more strength + base attack than any other character. This is a good thing to make use of. Consider greater trip (replaces a melee attack, so can be part of an iterative) as part of the afore-mentioned pounce attack.

A pretty awesome barb build is to ditch dex in favor of strength, con, and 13 int, and build for combat expertise/improved trip/greater trip to stack with pounce. Mix in an oracle of flame level for 50 ft movement.

15 pt buy could look like this with a human (dump more stats as you like, take toughness early on and eat the 14 con if you don't want to go this far):

18 str (10 +2 racial)
16 con (10)
9 dex
10 wis
13 int
8 cha

combat expertise and power attack for your first feats.

You now have a skirmisher that can charge 100ft, trip an opponent, and hit him three times (AoO, iterative, bite attack rage power). Considering you're likely doing something obscene like weapon +20ish on a melee attack, that opponent will last about 2 rounds. Then you get to charge someone else.

Dex and AC are largely irrelevant for many barb builds, as you're making a dude who moves around a lot with DR and a ton of hit points. With support from the party and tactics you will likely never eat a full attack, and even if you might you have enough HP and DR to soak it before the bad guy dies.

You miss a couple interesting racial options with the half-orc, which give you access to scent (with enough wisdom), or the maneuvery glory of the spiked chain (with alternate weapon familiarity). A 2d4 weapon that lets you perform a huge number of maneuver attacks (add its bonus to the CMB for these) and is easy to carry around (for those DMs who question how you get the 9-foot guisarme into the dungeon or up the cliff face) isn't bad. Still not human good, but hey.


Archery may not be something to specialize in, or spend much (if any) feats on given Feats are scarce, but it`s certaily a fine idea to have as back up when melee isn´t possible or optimal. Full attacking with arrows vs. moving to take a single attack is a pretty easy choice.
I`m OK with classing it as Red (as a discipline to specialize in to any extent), but you should point out the extent to which it IS useful to have in your armory... Just advise VERY limited Feat investment... Probably the only Feat worth taking if you`re really into this (given Barb`s limited Feats) is Quickdraw, so you can instantly switch between each `mode`... and QD has tons of other uses as well. Possibly if dipping in Ranger, taking Multi-Shot without PBS would be worthwhile. Having two bows is really not that much of a problem, certainly not with a STR-focused Barb`s carrying capacity.

2WF only takes tons of Feats if you take all the Feats... Taking just the first one isn`t really that big of a deal, and is a damage boost. I would say this really works the best in combo with a Ranger multi-class so as to bypass the DEX requirement, but even without that you only need 15 DEX for the basic 2WF Feat, which is more than do-able... So much of Barb`s awesomeness eventually comes from AoOs, so having a decent DEX will more than synergize (with Combat Reflexes). Clarify that you can fight with many natural weapons as 2ndary attacks IN ADDITION TO manufactured weapons (read big 2hander), and that that basically fulfills the `extra attacks` that 2WF is mostly about... in other words, that Barbarians have other options to achieve that (Animal Fury and Beast and Demon Totems, not to mention Half-Orc Bite) that doesn`t require the trade-offs of 2WF.
Orange is probably accurate here, just flesh out the ways it COULD work a bit better.

Shields specifically work with one of the Barb Variants who don´t wear armor (or lose their benefits when doing so), and are probaly the cheapest way to easily get a good AC score... even with their AC penalty, Barbs should be able to get a usefully high AC if they put their mind to it (fullplate via fighter dip for proficiency helps). I see too many Barbs where it seems like the player basically gave up on ever avoiding a hit via AC, when that really doesn`t have to be the case.
Again, Orange is probably OK here, but flesh out ways it COULD be made to work better. Mainly, I see using a Buckler as a not-bad option, especially if the Barb uses a 1-handable weapon, whether Scimitar, Bastard Sword or anything else (like if they m-classed with Phalanx Fighter to be able to 1-hand Polearms). Also, I don´t think there´s any reason you can´t fight 2-handed with one big Spiked Shield, which I think would be a viable combo at the least. 2Handed Hvy Spiked Shield might even be Green.

2Handed. You got it. If you want to expand on it, I would mention how it differs from the other styles a bit more... 2WF also does more damage than simple 1-handing, right? But 2Handed does more damage on ALL single attacks, which are alot when you need to maneuver, as well as all AoOs... Again, AoO`s, the Barbarian`s Forte :-) And vs. Sword and Board a lower AC, but there`s a Feat that helps with that at the cost of your offence for the round. You might want to mention here that multi-classing with 2Handed Fighter for 3 levels to get Overhand Chop synergizes well... Or all these style/variant/rage power specific synergies with multi-classing could be saved for your multi-classing section.

Hurler. You´re too cruel here... This is at most Orange, and possibly Green. Yes, it`s normally a Full-Round which sucks (though again like Archery it can be useful for when you can`t melee), but the BEST Power here is Hurling CHARGE, because it gives you a free attack when Charging, instead of a single attack... And you can even combine that with Beast Totem`s Pounce Charge. Really, this isn´t a style you do 90% of the time, it`s a Rage Power. I would say Hurling Charge is definetely a Green though, even if Lesser Hurling itself is Orange. And about the ammo comment, you can throw ANY object, and with a high STR you should be able to carry around several (I would say that object size is more closely tied to weight than actual size, given damage is tied to size category). Since this is a Full-Round or during a Charge, you don´t really need all that much, it´s just extra damage for when you can´t melee normally (or in addition to your Charge). But again, this isn´t a style that belongs here, it belongs in discussion of the Hurling Rage Powers. Even Incredible Hulk punches things and smashes them with whatever.

Natural Weapon Fighter. Uh.. Isn´t that a Fighter Archetype?
Like Hurler, this doesn´t need to be a ´style´ up front, just discuss it with the relevant Rage Powers.
I suppose some people would want to go ALL Natural Weapons rather than combining them with attacks, but likewise some people will want to use Unarmed Strike alot. Don´t put it here.

Mounted Fury. You`re not even treating it as a style but are specifically only dealing with the Rage Power (you can 2WF, Ranged, 2Handed, Natural, whatever while Mounted, and any Barbarian can do this regardless of Rage Powers with a normal non-Companion Mount).
Put it in Rage Powers / Archetypes. If you want to treat this as a style, make it neutral of Rage Powers... Any old Horse can be something good to have, especially for those Barbarians who make sure to have a Bow handy, since you can full attack while moving away at full speed... Preferred tactic vs. Hydras in my book.

I will get back to this when I have more time.

Grand Lodge

I disagree with your ranking of half-orcs. The orc ferocity saved my barbarian's ass on several occasions. And who doesn't want dark vision?

Also, like Phneri said, reckless abandon is stupid good. It effectively negates the to hit penalty of power attack and let's you take the penalty to AC instead..

You also need to give guarded life a color code. I would go with blue, especially when mixed with the feat raging vitality (which is pretty much essential at higher levels when going unconscious and not raging anymore will kill you).

Over all it's a decent guide but needs some work. It seems like you're very biased towards just a few of the rage powers/archtypes and everything else is situational. Yeah, some of them are situational, but you can build the barbarian around those situations and have it make those situations happen as often as they like.


I haven't really looked at the guide yet (and since i don't know that many about barbarians i might just wait to see what other people are saying), but i must say those:
1)The APG gives the half-elf the option of giving up the skill focus in order to gain a weapon proficiency, sure the barbarian already gains martial weapons but we all know that there are a few good exotic weapons.
2)The APG gives the dwarf barbarian the option of taking one more round in rage instead of the hit point per level. I am not sure how helpfull that is, i am just pointing it out.
3)The APG gives the half-orc barbarian what it gives to the dwarf barbarian.
4)The APG gives human barbarians this option "Add a +1/2 bonus to trap sense or +1/3 to the bonus from the superstitious rage power.", i don't knwo how helpful the second part of the sentence can be in a right build.

Dark Archive

TWF barbarians are actually quite good.
Double slice grants them their full strength bonus on all attacks, two weapon rend is also very strong for a barbarian.
Witch hunter gives extra damage, so it's quite good for characters with many attacks.
The best weapons for a TWF barbarian are probably kukris and falcatas.

And mounted fury becomes rather powerful when combined with spirited charge and greater beast totem.


I think the most important thing left out of the Half-Orc rating is their alternate favored class feature of +1 rounds of rage. The drastically shorter amount of time a barbarian can rage for in PF vs a 3.5 barbarian was the biggest nerf to the class. More rage is more better.


Good work. I agree with a majority of the rankings of rage powers. I think come and get me should be blue. I am curious to see your different builds. I have been tinkering with a barbarian that does more than froths at the mouth and kills stuff with his big weapon.


Pretty much agree, but:

Reckless Abandon should be Green at least (probably blue at least with Invulnerable). Especially with Invulnerable Rager the defense bases on DR, not on AC.

Strength Surge knocks on the gates of blue also... but since the guide is quite conservative on the grades I agree with Green.

Renewed Vigor is red to me. Spend a standard action to cast cure light wounds during rage? Stop whining and fight. Comparing it to Paladins ability is kind of off target, since Pally does his trick on swift action.

Increased Damage Reduction is Green to me (more than for example Swift Foot). DR works in a way in witch each +1 is more valuable than the previous. Forget the AC...

-----

Oh right... and on Archetypes, I like Brutal Pugilist more than Vanilla Barbarian (think Trap Sense is red). Brutal Pugilist makes an excellent manouver barb. Also you have kind of selled Savage Grapple cheaply. There is no mention for free AoO against anyone who tries to grapple/grab you.


Looking quite good so far, you did miss somethings, like dwarfs and half-orcs being abel to pick an extra turn of rage as there favored class bonus. One more think about half-orcs, they can get a bite attack as a alternative racial traits or feat.

But I have one question

Elewan's Pathfinder Barbarian Guide wrote:
Lesser Fiend Totem You grow horns and get a gore attack. This would be awesome if you could have this and the Beast Totem, but you can't.

Why can't you pick this and beast totem? Are you saying that there are better picks or that there is a legal reasion for this?

Last but not least, I know that you havn't goten to det gear yet but I think that you should mention the Fauchard: 1d10 dmg 18-20/x2 ctir and is has reach and trip. It's an exotic weapon from Classic Horrors Revisited so it's made by Paizo but I guess that some DM won't aloe it.


Moofire wrote:
But I have one question
Elewan's Pathfinder Barbarian Guide wrote:
Lesser Fiend Totem You grow horns and get a gore attack. This would be awesome if you could have this and the Beast Totem, but you can't.
Why can't you pick this and beast totem? Are you saying that there are better picks or that there is a legal reasion for this?
PRD wrote:
Rage Powers (Ex): The following new rage powers can be taken by any barbarian that meets the prerequisites. Totem rage powers grant powers in a theme. A barbarian cannot select from more than one group of totem rage powers. For example, a barbarian that selects a beast totem rage power cannot later chose to gain any of the spirit totem rage powers.


Hippygriff wrote:
PRD wrote:
Rage Powers (Ex): The following new rage powers can be taken by any barbarian that meets the prerequisites. Totem rage powers grant powers in a theme. A barbarian cannot select from more than one group of totem rage powers. For example, a barbarian that selects a beast totem rage power cannot later chose to gain any of the spirit totem rage powers.

Hmm, never noticed that, well thanks for pointing it out to me. :)


You also missed out that surprise accuracy and unexpected strike and a lot of other 1/rage abilities are awesome at 17 and up by dropping and restarting rage as a free action. Cheesy but legal.

What's more dazing assault is an awesome feat for a str barb with reckless abandon, come and get me. The big bonus to hit means you can force a lot of saves without crippling your dpr.


What do you think about a Barbarian with Improved Disarm and with Come and Get Me.

Your attack hits first, you can replace an attack with a disarm attempt and suddenly they are hitting you without a weapon. This could also be a trip attempt as well.


Thanks for the input everyone. I meant to have everything updated quickly, but I've hurt my back and I haven't been able to do much sitting. Just wanted everyone to be aware that I'm not ignoring this thread.


Elewan wrote:
Thanks for the input everyone. I meant to have everything updated quickly, but I've hurt my back and I haven't been able to do much sitting. Just wanted everyone to be aware that I'm not ignoring this thread.

Do you have other guides?


One thing to address is the interaction of rage powers and how they may change colour depending on selections. For example the Animal totem line to get pounce , Reckless Abandon, Superstitious and CAGM makes 6 rage powers selected and these being very useful (best?) That leaves only four for customization.....Rinse-cycle powers such as Fleshwound and Clear Mind leaves 2

Characters with other leanings may select others of course! I wonder if the auto-crit confirm power can be used to avoid selection of feats in the Crit Focus line, possibly saving two usage of feats Also consider the one time bonus to hit for application of both Dazing and Stunning Assault in a single attack (trying to boost chances of at least one failed save). Is DR beyond 10 that much more protective?

The rage powers for knockback/overrruning Barbs would be very different but are not the "Big 6" powers as above most beneficial?


j l 629 wrote:

What do you think about a Barbarian with Improved Disarm and with Come and Get Me.

Your attack hits first, you can replace an attack with a disarm attempt and suddenly they are hitting you without a weapon. This could also be a trip attempt as well.

Here is an interesting tidbit. Why would you want to not provoke AoO when you have come and get me? The more times the enemy attacks you the more you can retaliate (And CaGM is always resolved first). It seems to me that by provoking an AoO, you will get another CaGM attack out of it.

Enemy attacks you (provokes a CaGM attack, use disarm). This provokes an AoO, which in tern will provoke a CaGM attack. By doing this you squeeze in 2 attacks from CaGM before they even get to hit you. LOL

Note: This all hinges on the idea that AoO can be taken on your own turn, if provoked. Does anyone know if this is true? I know in 4e there is a clause banning AoO on your own turn but I could not find the same in Pathfinder.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also.

In the context of an Invulnerable rager, Fleshwound is much better, definitly blue. The half damage taken is nonlethal. An invulnerable rager, at lvl 10 (when you can take flesh would) has DR 10 against non-lethal damage. This means you can completely ignore a 20 pts of damage. At lvl 20 thats ignoring a 40 pt hit. Not too shabby for once a rage (Oh wait, I mean every round after lvl 17). Pretty damn powerful.

The tricky part is going to be making the save (Fort DC 40+) to take full use of all that DR soaking.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matt Beatty wrote:

Also.

In the context of an Invulnerable rager, Fleshwound is much better, definitly blue. The half damage taken is nonlethal. An invulnerable rager, at lvl 10 (when you can take flesh would) has DR 10 against non-lethal damage. This means you can completely ignore a 20 pts of damage. At lvl 20 thats ignoring a 40 pt hit. Not too shabby for once a rage (Oh wait, I mean every round after lvl 17). Pretty damn powerful.

The tricky part is going to be making the save (Fort DC 40+) to take full use of all that DR soaking.

If you used the 17th level trick wouldn't your rage be down when you took the hit, and thus unable to use the power? Or are you stopping and starting first thing on your turn.

I have never been able to figure out how exactly the 17th level trick works.


Broken wrote:


If you used the 17th level trick wouldn't your rage be down when you took the hit, and thus unable to use the power? Or are you stopping and starting first thing on your turn.

I have never been able to figure out how exactly the 17th level trick works.

Its all free actions For the Win. So at the beginning of your turn, stop then start your rage. You then get all your goodies for the whole round and you cycle your 1/rage.

The only risk is that a wizard may hold action and wait for you to end your rage (up to Gm as to whether there is any cue for the wizard to pick up on this) and then hit you with a save or suck.


Posting for two reasons. One: dotting it because I think it's a well done guide. Two: I'm hoping someone will update this once Ultimate Combat comes out. Preferably Elewan himself, but I'll take anyone that thinks they can do a good job at it.

Scarab Sages

I do hope this gets updated for UC, I see lots of cool options.
I really like eater of magic. :)


Just some ideas:
throw in a level of martial artist, so you can flurry, not so great, but an easy way to open up the Dragon style. With Dragon ferocity you get another 50% on unarmed damage

now put the Ranger archetype (Guide) on top of it.

At lvl 5 you would do a whooping +17 to damage with your unarmed strikes

STR 19 (+4)
RAGE (+2)
Powerattack (+4)
Dragon ferocity +50%
Focus (+2)

Also with martial artist you could go wild rager (good enough for WIL saves), do flurry and wild fighting stack?

Take the bite advancement for barbarian, WF bite, and Feral combat training and you get 5 attacks at lvl 7:
2 normal attacks from BAB, 1 flurry, 1 wild rage, 1 bite

And if anything is wrong, corrections are welcome

Silver Crusade

As a Pathfinder newbie using only the core rulebook, this guide and thread have me very confused. I'm guessing most of what you're talking about is from other books. I know about the online books (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/), but I don't even know where to look for a lot of the stuff mentioned here.

Anyway, I'm making a character for Pathfinder Society play, which means 20 point build and core rulebook only, unless I buy a copy of other rulebooks, which isn't gonna happen immediately. I've decided to do a front line melee warrior, but I haven't decided on the details yet. I was thinking of doing the stereotypical big, dumb barbarian, charging into battle with a big two handed weapon, smacking everyone left and right.

At first glance, it looks like barbarians revolve around their rage ability, which would seem to make the extra rage feat mandatory at 1st level. Otherwise, I'd only be able to rage for probably 6 rounds per day at first level, so a feat that doubles that would obviously be useful. But looking through some of the other feats, I noticed cleave, which lets you hit a second target in battle every round if you successfully hit your first one. This seems like it would be awesome at first level. It has the power attack feat as a prerequisite, but I'm probably going human, so I'll get two feats at first level, and be able to grab both of them. A whole extra attack every round, with no limits on how many times I can use it per day, just seems better than 6 more rounds per day of adding +2 to my strength bonus on the attacks I already get. So I'd put off the extra rage until later.

But then I thought about it, and if I'm not focusing on rage, then why be a barbarian at all? I could do the same cleave thing at first level as a fighter. The main differences would be better armor and slightly lower hit points as a fighter, but I could use the same weapon with the same str bonus and base attack bonus, so the weapon abilities would be the same. That got me thinking about the differences between barbarians and fighters. Do I want to eventually want to focus on rage and rage powers as a barbarian, or just get a ton of extra feats as a fighter? What other considerations am I missing?

Either way, I was thinking that the 20 point build would let me get 16 str with 14 con and dex, while leaving all my other stats at 10 each, and then I could use the human racial modifier to boost str to 18. If I dump int and cha down to 8 and 9, I could even go 17 str before the racial +2, so I'd only be 1 point away from the next str bonus. But I don't know if I want to do that to my cha, since I might actually focus on intimidate a little bit. As a barbarian, I'd have no qualms about lowering my int that way, since barbarians get 4 skill ranks per level, plus I'd get an extra for being human, so losing 1 per level would still leave me with 4 per level, which is plenty. If I go fighter, then that might hurt more, since they only get 2 skill ranks per level.

So what do the rest of you think?


1) you don`t need the book
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/barbarian

2)Cleave is great form level 1 to 5, past 5th level you always want full attacks.

3) multiclass barbarian/fighter is not a bad idea is joust different

4) if you have only levels in barbarian then you should focus in the rage ability. The rage powers are of great importance think carefully when you choose they

Shadow Lodge

Nicos wrote:

1) you don`t need the book

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/barbarian

for PFS play you do need the books or at least the PDFs, from the additional resources section

Quote:
In order to use these additional resources for your character, you must bring a physical copy of the book with you or printouts of the appropriate pages detailing cost (if any) and explanations for each feat, item, spell, prestige class, and so on that you use. (If you're bringing a printout of the pages, it must be from the actual Paizo PDF and not text copied and pasted into a blank word processing document).

Fromper: if you buy other rule books online as PDF they only cost $10, you can just bring in pages printed off that you need, or bring it on a thumb drive to prove you own it(this last one is technically not true, but most GMs will accept it).

As for the Barbarian or Fighter question, My advise, come up with a character concept first then build your character. But one of the great things about a fighter is the huge AC you can get. I've seen one fighter that is only regularly getting hit on nat 20s. Even as a barbarian, don't be afraid to pick up a shield an extra 2 ac will help at lower levels

Oh and don't skip out on int to much, if you want to get fame in PFS you really want some of the skills that pop up a lot for faction missions, and diplomacy comes up a lot. Sleight of hand comes up some times, but these are normally for "don't let any one see you doing this" which can normally be handled by running into a different room, or waiting until the others leave the room then completing your mission. Perception can come up too "find me this object" or Heal "we need this organ/part of a monster".

As for the whole Intimidating thing, there are a few feats you REALLY need to take to make this work, most importantly Cornugon Smash (from the Cheliax book), lets you make free Intimidation checks when you power attack. Intimidating Prowess lets you add your strength modifier to your intimidation checks which means you can pretty much dump cha, also boosts your checks while raging which is nice

oh as a front liner with low ac i'd really recommend more con, some people consider 14 con to be the minimum, and considering barbarians can't wear heavy armor and lose AC when they rage you really want more health. If you change your mind on buying extra books or get the PDFs the APG(Advanced Player's Guide) offers The Invulnerable Rager arch type which trades in a few things for DR, which really helps with the low AC.

Also from the APG is Raging Vitality which is pretty much vital for all barbarians due to the whole rage death issue. Raging Vitality lets you continue your rage while unconscious. Let me explain the issue, your barbarian with 14 con has 14 health, while raging your health goes up to 16, if you get brought down to -1 your rage ends, bringing you back to 14 con, then the extra health you had disappears, you suddenly have -3 health now. As the Barbarian gains levels this effect only gets worse and it can get to the point that when you fall unconscious without Raging Vitality you instantly die. So if you want to play a barbarian getting the APG at some point is pretty much a must

Silver Crusade

Ah, ok. Thanks for pointing me to the Advanced Player's Guide. Now that I've looked at the barbarian section of that online (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advanced/coreClasses/barbarian.html), the whole guide at the start of this thread makes a lot more sense.

I can see why the raging vitality feat would be so important. Of course, that would mean going with 15 con, when I was only planning on 14. I could go with 14 on the initial build, and add the bonus stat point to it at level 4, then get raging vitality at level 5. And I can see how the invulnerable rager archetype would be very useful.

I think I'll probably create a human barbarian with my cleave idea for the first session this Sunday. If I decide to stick with the character, I'll probably have to pick up the AVP before I hit level 2.

And I'm not too concerned about dumping my int by a point or two. As a human barbarian, I'll still get 4 skill ranks per level, even with 8 or 9 int. I'm figuring I'll throw points in perception and intimidate almost every level, and that will leave me a couple of extra for other things here and there.

Silver Crusade

So I'm still creating my character to start playing tomorrow, and wondering what feats to take. The guide at the start of this thread didn't discuss feats, and a couple have popped up in the thread, but I haven't seen any serious guide-like discussion of the best feats for barbarians.

This post will only cover material in the Core Rulebook and Advanced Players Guide, since that's all I've looked at so far. If anyone has suggestions from elsewhere, or just suggestions of other feats I should look at in those books, since I'm new and haven't read them in their entirety, be sure to point them out.

As much as my power attack/cleave combo at level 1 is tempting, so I can get an extra attack per round for levels 1-5, it seems like that would be a better combo for a fighter than a barbarian. Barbarians just don't get as many feats, and there are a couple they really need to pick up early, which doing this would delay. If I want to focus on feat abilities like this instead of raging and rage powers, then I may as well play a fighter instead. And cleave is only useful until you start getting extra attacks from your base attack bonus, so there's no point in waiting to get it later. It's either 1st level or not at all.

It seems pretty obvious that extra rage and raging vitality are essential for any barbarian to pick up relatively early. Note that extra rage can be taken multiple times, and it stacks. I wonder if any human barbarian has ever taken it twice at level 1? Raging vitality can probably wait a couple of levels, but I don't think I'd wait past level 5 to take it, and even that might be pushing it.

Combat reflexes is a good one for extra opportunity attacks, assuming you have a dex bonus. Extra rage power is another obvious choice if there are a lot of rage powers you'd like to get as early as possible.

Other than that, I'm looking at maybe weapon focus for an extra +1 to hit. But not having read through every feat, I'm running low on other ideas for a barbarian. What else is useful for a barbarian?

Since I'm going human, I'll have an extra feat to start, so I'm thinking extra rage and combat reflexes at level 1, then probably raging vitality at level 3.


Remember Barbs are feat starved. Your magic number is 21 for feats and rage powers!

Combat Reflexes and Power Attack are excellent feat choices for you. Weapon Focus may work for you:but should be chosen in context of a feat plan and character weapon choice[obviously!] Weapon Focus will help compensate for BAB loss if u dip into Oracle.

Extra Rage to me is a very problematic feat. A static boost like this wont be a big benefit at higher levels when feats like Raging Brutality and Eater of Magic become available/CHOSEN. Raging Deathblow at level 11 or higher may be a better choice.


My opinions as a fellow barbarian:
You want to start with Power Attack and Furious Focus. For the first five levels you can power attack without taking the penalty and it is still useful later. Combat Reflexes can wait to third or fifth level. You can save Raging Vitality to higher levels, around seven or nine. Test for the first and second levels , if you really feel you need more rounds of rage take Extra Rage, but in my experience you don't need to rage in all the fights during earlier levels and at high levels you have enough rounds to rage all you want. I really recommend Toughness, extra PVs is awesome, especially considering you don't rely much in armor. Stand Still is a good call if your groups usually have many spellcasters, you can stand as wall between your enemies and your friendly squishies. If you want to pursue the Intimidation skill Intimidating Prowess is gold.
On rage powers, I vouch for Superstition. Some complain that it doesn't stack with your normal Will bonus from Rage, but it is bigger than that bonus anyway so I don't see the problem. Another favorite is Intimidating Glare, that lets you intimidate as move action. And of course the Beast totems give you pounce, which is all different kinds of fun.

Liberty's Edge

There's another barbarian guide floating around somewhere, it has an introduction by AM BARBARIAN.

As to barbarian being feat starved. . . it depends. A lot of the barbarian builds being discussed now have 3 feats at level 20 (other than "extra rage power"), power attack, mounted combat, and something else I don't remember.

Humans favored class bonus to superstition is pure gold, making human head and shoulders above the rest.

Half-Orc is a secondary choice with the option of a bite attack.

Silver Crusade

Nordlander wrote:

Remember Barbs are feat starved. Your magic number is 21 for feats and rage powers!

Combat Reflexes and Power Attack are excellent feat choices for you. Weapon Focus may work for you:but should be chosen in context of a feat plan and character weapon choice[obviously!] Weapon Focus will help compensate for BAB loss if u dip into Oracle.

Extra Rage to me is a very problematic feat. A static boost like this wont be a big benefit at higher levels when feats like Raging Brutality and Eater of Magic become available/CHOSEN. Raging Deathblow at level 11 or higher may be a better choice.

You know, I hadn't considered that extra rage is only useful at low levels, but you're probably right, though it might be useful for longer than cleave. So if I go with either cleave or extra rage, I'm going with a feat that's really only needed at low levels.

So now I'm back to considering cleave again, since power attack would be useful to have anyway. Then I can still go with combat reflexes and raging vitality as my next two feats. Or I can skip both of the feats that are only useful at lower levels, but I just like the idea of being a badass from day 1. :)

Silver Crusade

Also, I'm a little confused by what you all mean by "feat starved". Don't barbarians get feats every odd numbered level like everyone else?


I'd say less feat starved and more like there are so many awesome options you can't fit them all in

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Consider the final stage of the Fiend Totem with the Shatter Defenses feat. Of course, it only works if the campaign is about fighting good/neutrals more than evils. Or for DMs making mean villains.


ShadowcatX wrote:

There's another barbarian guide floating around somewhere, it has an introduction by AM BARBARIAN.

As to barbarian being feat starved. . . it depends. A lot of the barbarian builds being discussed now have 3 feats at level 20 (other than "extra rage power"), power attack, mounted combat, and something else I don't remember.

Humans favored class bonus to superstition is pure gold, making human head and shoulders above the rest.

Half-Orc is a secondary choice with the option of a bite attack.

That one is still in development. I'm still picking through feats to figure out what's good and what's not so much the good.


you say Roused Anger is Situational and that "You'd just better make sure it's worth it because the penalty is harsh."
It's not harsh if you got 2 levels Horizon Walker and pick terrain mastery desert.
You become immune to exhaustion :-)


I'm playing with builds for the Ruby Phoenix Tournament (RPT) for PFS and came up with the following Human Barbarian 8/Horizon Walker 3 ; this abuses the start/stop rage + fatigue/exhaustion immunity.

str 20 : 17+2+1 4th,
dex 14,
con 16 : 15+1 8th,
int 7,
wis 13,
cha 7

Invulnerable Barbarian 1 : Power Attack, Toughness
Barbarian 2 : Reckless Abandon
Barbarian 3 : Heavy Armor Prof (for mithral full plate, yes your ac is going to be bad, no reason to make it worse)
Barbarian 4 : Auspicious Mark
Barbarian 5 : Endurance
Barbarian 6 : Powerful Blow
Horizon Walker 1 : Desert Mastery, open feat
Horizon Walker 1 : Desert Mastery Exhaustion Immunity
Horizon Walker 1 : Desert Mastery Fatigue Immunity, Imp Crit Falchion
Barbarian 7
Barbarian 8 : Crippling Blow, Dazing Assault

with everything up and running
+3 Reckless Abandon -3 AC
+2/+3 rage
+5/+7 str
+11 bab
-3/+9 power attack
-5 dazing strike
-----
+13 att/+19 damage +for save 21 or dazed +2 str or dex damage (fort save 19 for half). Assuming you can close with the arcane caster, the Dazing Assault may just shut them down, and the str damage might take them to zero while they stand there dazed.

Before str boost belt and weapon enchantments, +13 to hit with a fort save of 21 or dazed plus lose 2 str or dex with a fort save of 19 for half. which you can do every round as you stop/start your rage at the start of each turn. Any any time you feel they will pass the dazing strike fort save, turn it off for a +18 + str damage every turn.

Not a pounce master, but an interesting idea to me any way for RPT

Dark Archive

Greater Beast Totem Pounce! Oh, and your claw damage goes up to 1d8. (level 10)

Don't forget to add that your claws have a X's 3 crit multiplier.


I do quibble with your conclusion that a good barbarian bowman cannot be constructed. I actually quibble with alot of things in your guide. After all, barbarians and their rage powers are as good as your imagination with all of the feats the can be meshed well with them.

Consider this 5th level barbarian bowman, which I am making up on the fly off the top of my head.

25pt build

Str 18; Dex 18; Con 12; Int 10; Wis 10; Chr 10
Equipment Masterwork Longbow Comp (+4)

Traits: Savage of Society (+3 round of rage); Auspicious Tatoo (+2 v. mind affecting effects).

Choose Urban Barbarian & Superstitious Barbarian Archytypes
0 - Human: Pt Blank Shot
1 - Precise Shot
2 - Reckless Abandon
3 - Deadly Aim (works with reckless abandon to apply penalty to AC - not attack).
4 - Brawler
5 - Rapid Shot
6 - Extra Rage
7 - Power Attack

Full Attack: +12/+12/+7 (1d8 + 6) when raging, deadly aim, reckless abandon and apply +4 to Dex from Urban Barbarian.

Someone corners you so you can't shoot your bow. Unarmed Strike Full Attack: +11/+6 (1d4 +6) using power attack and reckless abandon.

If you are in a situation where you know you have to fight unarmed before you rage then apply +4 to strength and get +13/+8 (1d4+8)

You probably carry at least a 2-handed masterwork weapon that you can take out, apply your +4 to strength while using it and do something like +12/+7 (2d6 + 15) using reckless abondon with power attack.

This guy is a good bowman and melee fighter at 7th level. And this build has no magical items. You have more health than most bowman. You are fairly skillful. The other ability from Superstitious Barbarian and Urban Barbarian are just a bonus.

Dark Archive

Driver 325 yards wrote:
I do quibble with your conclusion that a good barbarian bowman cannot be constructed. I actually quibble with alot of things in your guide. After all, barbarians and their rage powers are as good as your imagination with all of the feats the can be meshed well with them.

You're 'quibbling' with a guide and thread that are over a year old.


Sorry, I just realized you can't do extra rage at sixth. You must pick a rage power. Let's say something like rolling dodge for a +2 AC verse range attack or pick guarded stance for a +2 AC verse melee attacks.

You could through out brawler and take both of them. One at 4th and the other at 6th.


I do not like that I cannot download this guide, either as a .docx or .pdf file.

The Exchange

It also has no colors. Several guides that can't be downloaded are like that.

Grand Lodge

Human
Barbarian Invulnerable Rager Build

•1st Level: Power Attack, Dodge
•2nd Level: Lesser Beast Totem, Dr/1-
•3rd Level: Mobility, Extreme Endurance Hot
•4th Level: Superstition, Dr/2-, +1dex
•5th Level: Witch Hunter
•6th Level: Beast Totem, Dr/3-, +1 Fire Resistance
•7th Level: Spell Sunder
•8th Level: Strength Surge, Dr/4-, +1dex
•9th Level: Improved Sunder, +2 Fire Resistance
•10th Level: Greater Beast Totem, Dr/5-
•11th Level: Combat Reflexes, Greater Rage
•12th Level: Come and Get Me, Dr/6-, +3 Fire Resistance +1con
•13th Level: Unexpected Strike
•14th Level: Increased Dr/1-, Indomitable will, Dr/8-
•15th Level: Increased Dr/1-, +4 Fire Resistance, Dr/9-
•16th Level: Increased Dr/1-, +1con, Dr/11-
•17th Level: Raging Vitality, Tireless Rage
•18th Level: Elemental Rage Lesser, Dr/12-, Fire Resistance +5
•19th Level: Elemental Rage,
•20th Level: Mighty Rage, Energy Resistance, Dr/13-, +1con

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Barbarian Guide All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.