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Barbarian Am Smash - A guide to the Barbarian


Advice

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After being smelt (Smolt? Smelted?) in the fires of Mount Doom for approximately a year, it is finally ready.

BARBARIAN AM SMASH - A Practical Guide to Breaking Faces

Please be gentle, as it is my first guide. Still, any feedback or questions are appreciated.


Greetings, fellow traveller.

I like your guide. It's neatly formatted, uses the "standard" color code and has everything in it, I'd want for playing a barbarian.

Ruyan. *currently seen planning his next character to smash GM's campaign*


Ooh! I am thanked.

Thanks for the thank!

Silver Crusade

I like the guide, but I think you missed one of the greatest items for Barbarians:

Ring of MOTHERF***ING FRIEND SHIELD!

Think about it this way. As a CAGM barbarian, you are gonna be taking hits. But that's ok, you're a Barbarian with Lots of Health and DR. But what if you could have MORE health? And MORE DR?

Take your party archer. Or heck, if you got one, the party cleric. He's just sitting in the back, all of his delicious, delicious HP going to waste because he's just not being hit by the monster because the Barbarian is up in their face.

Lets take a Dragon fight for example

Lets say just for the hell of it that your Barbarian just can't get a win and takes all the dragons attacks. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's got like DR 6/- by now

Bite does 35 damage + 20 Acid
Claws do 30 damage each
Wings do 15 damage each
Tail does 25 damage

BARBARIAN AM TAKE 134 DAMAGE! BARBARIAN AM UNHAPPY!

Now lets take the exact same scenario but with a Ring of Friend Shield on the Cleric.

1st, we need to Halve all the damage.

Barbarian takes:
Bite does 18 damage + 10 Acid
Claws do 15 damage each
Wings do 8 damage each
Tail does 13 damage

Total Damage: 87

Cleric takes:
Bite does 17 damage + 10 Acid
Claws do 15 damage each
Wings do 7 damage each
Tail does 12 damage

Total Damage: 83

But now we get to apply the Barbarian's DR
Bite does 12 damage + 10 Acid
Claws do 9 damage each
Wings do 2 damage each
Tail does 7 damage

Total Damage: 51

So we have a Barbarian who's taken 51 damage and a Cleric who's taken 83 damage. Now the cleric get's to CHANNEL! 30 Healing later, we now have a Barbarian who's taken 21 damage and a Cleric who's taken 53 damage from a FULL ROUND of a dragon's attacks.

BARBARIAN AM HAPPY!

(God help the dragon if Stoneskin is up)


Your clerics sit in the back? That's a terrible use of a combat class! D:

But seriously, Ring of Friend Shield sounds like a very nice trick. While normally in that circumstance (If you have DR 6/- you are likely level 12) you would normally want to either use CAGM to Dazing Assault the dragon, or Knockback to force it away from you prior to the hits coming in, depending on the situation. Still these might fail, and that's an interesting way to avoid the damage.

...I like it.


Evil Lincoln wrote:

Ooh! I am thanked.

Thanks for the thank!

No problem. Even if in a roundabout way, this whole thing is entirely your fault.


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THIS* AM NATIONAL ANTHEM OF BARBARIAN. AM HAPPY IT COOL.

*AM WARNING FOR ADULT THEME. ME AM NOT..."REE-SPAHNS-UH-BULL" FOR CONTENT.

AM LIKE-*cough* *cough*

That can definitely get difficult and bothersome on the vocal cord to maintain it.

Guide is greatly detailed and thoroughly evaluates options (and personal opinions) that a Barbarian can take. +1


Patch v 1.1:

Updates: Ring of Friend shield added to equipment section.

Silver Crusade

Trinam wrote:

Your clerics sit in the back? That's a terrible use of a combat class! D:

But seriously, Ring of Friend Shield sounds like a very nice trick. While normally in that circumstance (If you have DR 6/- you are likely level 12) you would normally want to either use CAGM to Dazing Assault the dragon, or Knockback to force it away from you prior to the hits coming in, depending on the situation. Still these might fail, and that's an interesting way to avoid the damage.

...I like it.

Well, that example assumed that all your defenses failed catastrophically and you're taking the maximum damage (Worst case scenario you might say)

As for sissy clerics in my party, no not really, but my point is that there usually is someone sitting in the back dealing range damage.

Basically Ring of Friend shield turns any range class into a Hit Point Battery for the Barbarian.

If the party has a cleric, it's even better, because Channel Energy becomes exponentially good the more damage is spread among the party.

Likewise, it makes DR and Resit Energy better because the DR/Resistance is applied AFTER the damage is halved.

Also, since Barbarians are more about absorbing attacks rather than avoiding them, it has great synergy.


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Ive played your cagm build to level 13 and let me tell u it is amazing.. Just afew things id like to add.. The feat Raging Brutality should be added immediately as it is a deff "blue feat".. Second the Falcata should be added to weapons. Nothing like 17/20x3 crit weapon... Ive done 130+damage crits vs casters at 13th level with it... Anything that can give ur opponents a miss chance, because yes ur going to get hit alot but why not negate some of those hits... Mistmail is a cheap way to do this.. my personal fav is a crafted none slot item that can do displacement afew times per day.. Fortification enchantment is never bad either.. Allnight is a great herb for u, check it out(Seriously)... Additionally not dumping charisma would allow the option for a +6 headband of charisma and taking the Eldritch Heritage- ORC feat lines, for a +6str and giant size (+8str,+6con) at 17th level.. Get a book of charisma +3 and dump it anyways if u have the cash.. Pretty sure ud be AM GOD with that set up, but thats just me.. Great Guide BTW!


I don't see raging brutality as all that worthwhile, as it gives a bonus on your attack, but only on your turn. This eats your swift action (And doesn't work should you have to strength surge for whatever reason) and ups your rage cost to 4 rounds/turn. In exchange, you're dealing an average of 7 extra damage on each hit on your turn, for a total of ~21-28 by level 12 if all your attacks hit. The big problem is it only works on your turn, and not on your CAGM hits.

It's nice, but it's definitely not blue, because it shortens your ability to murder greatly. When I update, I'll crunch a couple more numbers. Also note that Equipment is, as I mentioned, a 'season to taste' thing. Those are all awesome ideas, but certainly anything that ups your damage or survivability is good.


Ninja dot for later reading


My guy has a 30 con at 13th level, so thats +15dam on 4 attacks per round with haste(which is always up).. To me thats worth it but to each his own i guess, its blue in my book for adding 60 extra damage on a full attack with all hits.. Just curiously imma stat up the str/con the eldritch build could achieve at 20th level...

20 point, dump int and charisma Human race

17 starting str +5level, +6belt, +8rage, +8size, +6inherent
=50

16 starting con +6belt, +10rage, +6size
=38

allows for a 14 starting dex, +6belt, -2size 18, so decent amt of aoo's
pertinent feats and powers involved

raging vitality
raging brutality
power attack
eldritch -orc x3
ewp falcata

witch hunter
reckless abandon
beast totem x3

gears involved
+5 keen furious falcata
+6 belt phy perfection
+4 book of charisma
+6headband charisma
Boots of Speed
So still leaves u with plenty for other things..

standard action giant size, swift activate boots
Free action rage, swift action raging brutality, Charging Pounce Attack

Attack Bonuses and Damage from this Monster

+55/+53/+48/+43/+38 for 2d6+83 17/20x3 +6dam vs casters

Critical Hit for 6d6+207 +18vs casters

Personally i think raging brutality and eldritch lines are worth it, but i agree that some wouldnt..


Just wanted to stop in and give you your props.

Trinam great guide man. I was thinking about doing one myself but you beat me to it.

Props to U and the community thanks you.

Take care.


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I'm actually surprised the guide didn't list Stalwart and Improved Stalwart as potential feats for the barbarian.

If my math is right, if you are a 12th level Invulnerable rager (DR 6/- using Combat Expertise with Improved Stalwart (+ DR 8/-, and also have taken Improved Damage Reduction 3 times (+ DR 3/-), you now have...

DR 17/- at level 12 when raging and using combat expertise.

Add in Ring of Shield Friend?

That Dragon of yours is BARELY scratching you ;)


Duskblade wrote:

I'm actually surprised the guide didn't list Stalwart and Improved Stalwart as potential feats for the barbarian.

If my math is right, if you are a 12th level Invulnerable rager (DR 6/- using Combat Expertise with Improved Stalwart (+ DR 8/-, and also have taken Improved Damage Reduction 3 times (+ DR 3/-), you now have...

DR 17/- at level 12 when raging and using combat expertise.

Add in Ring of Shield Friend?

That Dragon of yours is BARELY scratching you ;)

They weren't on the feat tree on the srd I looked at.

I'll have to give 'em a peek for v1.2 ;D


Yea, my initial goal was to make a Tiefling Barbarian with a bite (1d6), gore (1d8), and 2 claw attacks (1d8 each) all using my FULL BAB bonus.

Sadly, this requires A LOT of rage powers and feats to pull off....but i LOVED the idea of making a demon-like Tiefling who, when raging, become this unstoppable monster that was as powerful as a Balor.

Again, to make Improved Stalwart work, you need a grand total of 5 feats (yea...kinda rough), and then Power Attack and Combat Reflexes (for obvious reasons), Dazing Assault, Raging Vitality, and then maybe something like Toughness (just for the extra hp boost).

In my version, I wanted my barbarian Tiefling to full round on a charge with natural attacks, and then basically take NO damage.

Keep in mind that DR 17/- basically means you'll take almost NO DAMAGE from any CR 12 (aside from casters of course, but then you have Superstition for that).

This effectively makes you the invulnerable INVULNERABLE rager!

YOU! YOU HIT ME!! I HARDLY FEEL IT!!! DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(FYI: Your DR would cap at DR 23/- at level 20...but still, I think that's RATHER IMPRESSIVE honestly)


lol, sorry, I just had to point out...I actually made this character a while back...and I remember going up against the CR12 boss (an Athach actually) who I basically charged while raging and using combat expertise.

On the Athach's turn, he full-rounded me, and I straight up asked the GM if his attacks would ever deal more than 17 damage on a hit.

Needless to say, he hit me every time, but never did more than 17 damage (which basically meant I ignore his poison as well). I literally killed a CR 12 all by myself and didn't take a single hit point of damage :P

The Athach needed to roll MAX damage on an attack in order to deal 1 or 2 points of damage to me.

It was TOO funny.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Duskblade wrote:
Keep in mind that DR 17/- basically means you'll take almost NO DAMAGE from any CR 12.

CR 11 is a Cloud Giant

Which has the following damage output: Melee Morningstar +22/+17/+12 (4d6+18)
Then it has Power Attack - which can boost that output by +12 to a line of +18/+13/+8 for 4d6+30

Powerful - yes.

Almost no damage from any CR 12 or less - no.

Just wanted to temper the enthusiasm somewhat.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Also - your DM was probably not using the Athach properly. It's stat line includes:
Heavy mace +19/+14 (3d6+11) - but the giant also has power attack, which would improve the damage to 3d6+20

So the athach should have been damaging you with every hit (as which giant wouldn't use Power Attack to put down a little one?)


Thanks for the props for the CaGM barb build Trinam.

I can post a Wild Stalker build too if you want.
Technically it's a ranger but with rage and tons of rage powers feels like a barb.


Hmmm Thoughts


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Care to add a couple of suggested builds to the guide? Maybe a Pouncer and a Mounted version as the two major starting points with all the standard guide stuff in there: level stat allocations, feats, skills, rage powers selected and in what order, and suggested gear to pick up at various levels?

Other than that, the guide looks pretty awesome, and really makes me want to play a barbarian the next time someone starts a new PF game.


Could you link your CAGM build, STR Ranger? Wild Stalker build would be cool, too.

Ruyan.


Can't seem to find the web link on my Google drive app.
I'll repost them both here later.


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Wild Stalker

CaGM Build:

Build: Invulnerable Rager 20
Race: Human (Heart of the fields- 1/day ignores fatigue or exhaustion)
or Dwarf
Favored Class:
Human= Favored Bonus: 2 to skills, 18 to Superstition
Dwarf= HP or Rage Rounds as you like

2 traits- Optimistic Gambler (Human) or Glory of Old (Dwarf)
and another I like:
Missing Sibling (sense motive and diplomacy are class skills)

Fast Movement, Rage, Power Attack, H- Raging Vitality
DR1/-, Lesser Beast Totem
Extreme Endurance, Improved Sunder
DR2/-, Power: Strength Surge
Extra Rage Power: Superstition
DR3/-, Cold Resist1, Beast Totem
Extra Rage Power: Reckless Abandon
DR4/-, Witchunter
Cold Resist2, Combat Reflexes
DR5/-,Gtr Beast Totem
Greater Rage Dazing Assault
Cold Resist3, DR6/-, Come and Get Me
Extra Rage Power: Spell Sunder
DR7/-, Eater of Magic
Cold Resist4, Raging Brutality
DR8/-, Ghost Rager
Tireless Rage, Extra Rage Power: Smasher
DR9/-, Cold Resist5, Surprise Accuracy
Extra Rage Power: Sunder Enchantment
Mighty Rage, DR10/-, Good for What Ails You

Why it's awesome:
AC- 10+3(dex)+3(belt)+9 (Celestial Fullplate)+5(amulet)+5(ring)+5(enhancement)+4(beast totem)-6(reckless abandon)-2(rage)+1(Dusty Ioun Stone)=37 when raging and 33 with Come and get me.
VS Incorporal 32

Your attack at 20 is 20 +4(Mighty Rage) +5(enhancement)+ 3(belt of physical perfection) +6(Reckless Abandon)+6(str)+2(Furious Weapon)- 6(PA)= 40/35/30/25
PA/Hasted 41/41/36/31/26
PA/Dazing Assault/Haste 36/36/31/26/21
PA/Dazing Assault/Flanking 40/40/35/30/25

Damage with +5 Furious, Frost, Menacing, Keen, Evil Outsider Bane Adamantine Nodachi is 1d10 +19(1.5 x str w/belt, Mighty Rage)+18(PA)+ +5(enhancement)+1d6(cold)+ 2(Furious)= av 54 per hit
60 vs Casters
72 when using Raging Brutality vs a Caster.

DPR Hasted (4)= 216 (270 with surprise accuracy)
DPR Hasted vs Caster (4)= 240 (300 with surprise accuracy)
DPR Hasted vs Caster/Raging Brutality (4)= 288 (360 with Surprise Accuracy)

Dazing Assault- This is an auto hit on a Standard action attack so have it and PA on. 3 Strikes will still hit if you full attack with it.
On higher AC opponents full attack with it on (landing 3 or 4 hits), then use Come and Get me to force a save while you interrupt their attack on you. Each AOO always hits anyway.
Flanking guarantees 4 hits. 60% chance of a 5th.

Saves (raging)
Fort 12+4(Mighty rage)+8(Con Mod+ Belt/Tome)+5(Cloak of Resist)+13(Superstition+ racial)+1(Raging Vitality= 43
Ref 6+6(Dex Mod+ Belt)+5(Cloak of Resist)+13(Superstition+ racial)=30
Will 6+4(Mighty rage-morale)+5(Cloak of Resist)+13(Superstition+ racial)+1(trait)= 29

Also get 1re-roll per rage vs a failed spell save.

Tactics- Pounce lets you full attack at the end of a move. This means you are behind a Full attacking Fighter but will out damage any fighter variant (except Dervishes, Mobile Fighters), rogue or ranger when you charge.
CAGM is very powerful, canny fighters may try to fight you from reach to deny the AOO’s. This is a valid tactic, so move up (Pounce) and try to Daze. If they fail they can’t move away. If they succeed, hit them with a AOO if they move away or 5ft step to close. It has risks however, your AC sucks when you use both it and Reckless Abandon. They may try a combat maneuver on you- Str Surge so they can’t
Also surprise accuracy or strength surge can ensure a maneuver or extra attack hits.
After 17 Surprise Accuracy, Unexpected Strike and Strength Surge can be used every round.

VS MEGA AC Fighters
Did you try starting with a rage cycle of Str surge and Sunder to dismantle his AC. Sunder is a great combat maneuver for a barbarian considering the new spell sunder. Improved sunder + Str Surge + Lucerne hammer (Add in some adamantine for fun) would give you a +26 to a sunder check. With that kind of bump you only fail on a 1 to destroy that celestial armor/full plate/shield in the first round.


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I like the guide. I would also suggest looking at Stalwart / Improved Stalwart for a CaGM build. I also think it works just fine fighting defensively - you don't need combat expertise.

I think Ferocious Tenacity is actually quite good, and with a half-orc's favored class ability to add one additional rage round per level, it's pretty darn great. I believe STR Ranger posted an "unkillable" half-orc barbarian build utilizing Ferocious Tenacity, Stalwart and Improved Stalwart. It looked like a tough SOB. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find it at the moment.

Bolstered Resilience might also be a consideration as a sort of "poor man's" stalwart, as long as you have immunity to fatigue.


My one contention is Vital Strike. When you can't charge but have to move, 6d6+15 is better than 3d6+15. There are plenty of times when charging isn't an option and having that extra 3d6 is a pretty heafty bonus. I'm not saying it's a Blue, but I would argue a strong Orange, to boarderline green depending on how tactical your GM is.


Jodokai wrote:
My one contention is Vital Strike. When you can't charge but have to move, 6d6+15 is better than 3d6+15. There are plenty of times when charging isn't an option and having that extra 3d6 is a pretty heafty bonus. I'm not saying it's a Blue, but I would argue a strong Orange, to boarderline green depending on how tactical your GM is.

I get what you're saying, but here are the only situations I can think of where you might conceivably not be able to charge:

-The enemy is already in melee. (Murder their face in)
-The enemy is out of your reach (Can't vital strike)
-Another enemy is in the way. (Murder their face in)
-Your party is in the way. (Delay and tell them to move the heck out of the way.)
-The enemy is around a corner from your party. (Down a potion to buff and charge next round, neither of you can hit the other.)
-There is hindering terrain between you and the enemy/a corner that your party is around. (Vital Strike. Or let someone make you fly/levitate and then charge.)

I cannot recommend a feat that is only the optimal choice in a rare situation on a Barbarian, which needs to make sure all its feats are as versatile as possible. If it works for you then more power to you, but there are generally better things for Barbarians to do with their feat slots than Vital Strike.


Trinam wrote:
I cannot recommend a feat that is only the optimal choice in a rare situation on a Barbarian, which needs to make sure all its feats are as versatile as possible. If it works for you then more power to you, but there are generally better things for Barbarians to do with their feat slots than Vital Strike.

Well I guess there is were our experiences differ. In my experience, charging is a lot more rare than standard attacks.

Your party can't always move out of the way, or can't move out of the way without AoO. Sure you could down a potion, but hopefully the scout did their job and it's not needed, so your choice is actually do 3d6 or do 6d6. Levitate or flying the Barbarian so they can make 1 charge is a horrible waste of resources and most casters will tell you to suck it up.

So, again, I get it's a vital feat (get it?), in my experience, it comes into play enough to give it serious consideration.


STR Ranger wrote:
Thanks for the props for the CaGM barb build Trinam.

Can I see this build


Edit: Link didn't work. Look up about four-five posts for STR Ranger's, he reposted it.


Also spell sunder can work on getting rid of a harmful spell on your allies.


doctor_wu wrote:
Also spell sunder can work on getting rid of a harmful spell on your allies.

GREATEST. RAGE. POWER. EVER.


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Glad to see the guide resurrected.

Trinam - Please add Raging Brutality to the feats list. I would say it's green moving borderline into blue at late levels. When you have so many rage rounds, spending 3 to get to add 1.5 x Con Mod to every hit on your turn is just pure brutal. It unfortunately says on your turn not in the round so it wouldn't apply to any CAGM AoO attacks, but it is still a hefty dose of damage and something to do with the ridiculous number of left over rage rounds barbarians have at late levels(Probably more true in PFS than a home game).

Just a testament to the CAGM barbarian build - I feel that chasing after a decent AC while using everything under the sun the kill (Rage/Charging/Reckless Abandon/CAGM) is counter productive. Thus I have ditch AC for the most part and used that cash to mitigate damage in other ways. It is survivable with out investing points in AC. I have a lvl 12 PFS CAGM barbarian with only a 20AC (+1 Agile Mithril Breastplate with Moderate Fortification) when not raging. He has yet to die even once.

So my advice is to take the money you would pump into AC and grab moderate fortification. The reason being is that as a barbarian you have a lot of hit points and DR that keep HP loss very steady and even but it's the crits and sneak attacks (aka high hp loss per hit) that can kill you. Thus grab some mitigation. I am also thinking of grabbing a cloak of displacement, minor. Superstition (as a human) gives you huge saves already and I am unsure of the true gains of a cloak of resistance. In 12 lvls I have only failed one save (a fort save - rolled a 1) and was baleful polymorphed into a turtle. However, I rocked the second save, kept my powers, and continued on my hell bent path of raging and destruction.

My plan is to play him all the way to 17th lvl so we will just have to wait and see how the build works in a PFS setting.


Dot


One thing I'd be curious about/would like to see is an evaluation of Titan Mauler if the fix to the Massive Weapons ability the archetype's author suggested is incorporated. Actually being able to wield a huge greatsword like the archetype was intended to be able to do makes it a much better choice.


StrRanger, A couple of questions:
1) How do you layout your starting stats for 15/20 point builds? For 15, I'd think maybe 16 Str, 12 Dex, 15 Con, 10 Int, 10 Wis, 7 Cha?
2) Do you find that DMs feel rage cycling is cheesy? Or does anyone else feel this way?
3) Does Optimistic Gambler extend the duration of your rage whenever you end it, for 1d4 rounds, or is that only +1d4 to the number of rounds you could rage for the day?
4) Is Missing Child (not sibling I think) just for the +1 to Will saves, or do you use it for the skills? What would you take in place of this if you didn't care for the skill bonuses?
5) How do you get around Superstitious possibly preventing buffs and healing?


I'm not a big fan of Superstition on a barbarian, since it prevents all kinds of buffs from the party. It also makes you unable to use any kinds of potions, like the CxW family. Finally, the party sorcerer can't use his telekinetic charge, depriving him of his best damage spell...

Cheliax

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you for the thank!

I plan on using some of your advice for my weasel-toting barbarian (although he won't be nearly as optimized as AM BARBARIAN would like).


1) those look like good stat array for 15pt build, i would consider switching DEX, or if you can scrounge 1 pt from INT (such as if you are human/half-elf/elf) you can get 14 in both DEX and CON... DEX is also nice for Init, Ranged, and Reflex Saves. But the numbers you posted certainly works just as well, and there's a thing to be said for making your sure your Fort Save is just rock solid.

2) it seems to be not an uncommon sentiment here on the boards, i personally don't find so, although in actual play i don't really push it to it's limits / use it 'all the time'. kind of the unmentioned side to the strategy is that you are either 'wasting' either the offence/defense aspects of rage (per your choice), or spending rage rounds wastefully to 're-rage' twice each round... so i am more likely to only use it in clutch situations (or ones that i perceive as such), and make the most of all my rage abilities: rage is just about resilience and defense as offense (and CAGM is really both, yet doesn't work if your rage defenses aren't up 'off your turn'). in a way it's kind of like 'power points' letting you 'nova'. but i don't really see a valid argument that it's 'not the way it's supposed to work' given that ANY core barbarian gets it EVENTUALLY, and there's just so many options that let you get around the '1 round of rage = 2 rounds fatigued => at least one round not raging for every round raging' 'normal' dynamic', and Paizo keeps on putting out more ways to do so... Scarred Rager is a way to do so full Barbarian with no Feats or anything else. The tactic does kind of bring to the fore certain problems with the RAW wording of how Rage is maintained, although those are applicable whether or not you try to 'Rage Cycle'. I'm pretty sure everybody in PFS is ignoring that problematic RAW though, since it directly conflicts with the idea that you control Rage in 1 round increments, which the 'obvious' intent.

3) ???

4) ???

5) literally, Rage Prophet 'gets around it', otherwise, you can find other ways to get great Saves,
such as being a Dwarf + Steel Soul making your Saves so great (with Rage) that you don't really need it,
to making sure to take all the other buffs you can get (Half Orcs swapping their weak-sauce Die Hard for a stacks-with-most-everything +1 Luck bonus is a trade I'm rather disposed to)
to the point that I can be happy enough with my saves that I don't worry about not taking Superstitious,
although that does you mean you miss out on cool stuff like Spell Sunder.

Notably, you CAN take the Superstitious Archetype but NOT the Rage Power,
which is mostly pretty mediocre until high level when you get stuff like Blindsense, et al.

I personally find that NON-Pounce, NON-CAGM, NON-Superstitious Barbarians are still pretty damn awesome to play, and will usually have some tricks up their sleeve that Barbs who take all of those won't have.

Re: CAGM, it's benefit is really situational, and basing it's value off of paper-doll theorycraft of being attacked a number of times equal to your AoO's just doesn't really resemble actual game play any more. Back since only Core PRPG was out and everybody ragged on Barbarian vs. Fighter with Weapon Training, I really dug Unexpected Strike, which can give you a free AoO vs. an enemy coming up to hit you (pretty much just like CAGM, except usable for more scenarios including when they aren't even attacking you, but are moving to attack an ally or 5' step away from you to cast, etc) but is available from level 8 instead of level 12. With a Strength Surged/Surprise Accuracy Knockback, you aren't getting hurt and your enemy's turn is likely wasted... And you aren't locked into specific Rage Powers/Totems/Archetypes.


evilash wrote:
I'm not a big fan of Superstition on a barbarian, since it prevents all kinds of buffs from the party. It also makes you unable to use any kinds of potions, like the CxW family. Finally, the party sorcerer can't use his telekinetic charge, depriving him of his best damage spell...

You can still use them, you just have to save for half 'damage,' but when using Superstition it's definitely important to try and buff before you rage.

And even if you couldn't, Spell Sunder is worth taking Superstition. I am not kidding when I say it is that versatile and that good.

It's so good that Dwarves from the ARG get it as a feat at 10th level, as a standard action, that is usable 1/day and then 2 and 3 a day at 15th and 20th, and this is still a worthwhile feat because Spell. Sunder.


Quandary wrote:
Re: CAGM, it's benefit is really situational, and basing it's value off of paper-doll theorycraft of being attacked a number of times equal to your AoO's just doesn't really resemble actual game play any more. Back since only Core PRPG was out and everybody ragged on Barbarian vs. Fighter with Weapon Training, I really dug Unexpected Strike, which can give you a free AoO vs. an enemy coming up to hit you (pretty much just like CAGM, except usable for more scenarios including when they aren't even attacking you, but are moving to attack an ally or 5' step away from you to cast, etc) but is available from level 8 instead of level 12. With a Strength Surged/Surprise Accuracy Knockback, you aren't getting hurt and your enemy's turn is likely wasted... And you aren't locked into specific Rage Powers/Totems/Archetypes.

This is true. The logic however is that almost any time you can Unexpected Strike, you will also be able to CAGM.

CAGM is not used offensively. Well, it is, but it shouldn't primarily be thought of as an offensive tool. It prevents some foes from attacking you altogether because you will smash their head in.

It prevents other foes from attacking you by smashing their head in.

It prevents a third set of foes from attacking you by Knockback or Dazing Assault powers, since your attack resolves entirely before theirs is ever rolled. If you're viewing CAGM as a way to cause mass damage and solely to cause mass damage, then you're not getting the full benefit of the ability.


+1 Dwarven Spell Sunder.

EDit: Simulpost... I agree, and aren't arguing that CAGM is useless/has no benefit vs. US...
Obviously, it's main benefit is for taking lots of AoOs, either vs. 1 enemy full attack, or many enemies,
and it's great at that task, although it of course needs Combat Reflexes (w/ decent DEX) to pull that off.
(or you can buy the Rage Power that gives you +1 AoO/round regardless of your DEX)

US does offer broader use cases beyond just 'you are attacked', and indeed there are cases where an enemy may 5' step to attack you from reach (and you wouldn't be able to AoO them from there) but you can AoO them when they are beginning to step to that position.
...but i'm not really mentioning US to say 'you don't need CAGM' but as something that doesn't have CAGM's Feat/DEX/Rage Power investment (for multiple AoOs) or Level Pre-Reqs (meaning you can actually use it in PFS besides 12th level endgame, and especially notable if you want to multiclass). CAGM's multi-attack/multi-AoO functionality definitely IS awesome, and I don't think the powers are mis-tiered re: their level pre-reqs for precisely that reason, I just think that US is too often over-looked completely when it really does have great potential AND at a great 'price'. It DOES feel like over-kill to take both of them of course, even if there is use cases where that is useful, and there's no "Barbarian Retraining" in RAW AFAIK.


Sadly, there is not. That would break the Barbarian too badly.


:-)


I would like to see a section in the guide about multiclassing. I know that alot of people dont think that multiclassing is optimal, and if your aiming for that lvl 12 as soon as possible you might not want to anyways. Still, listing different ways to get fatigue immunity via oracle dip, 5 level martial artist (monk), or a three level dip in horizon walker. Another one is a 2 level dip in horizon walker to get exhaustion immunity and the roused anger power allowing you to rage cycle in a fatigued way (also works well with vital strike, but I agree thats not as viable). Another one to note would be taking a level dip in sohei (monk) to be able to get mounted skirmisher or spirited charge ALOT earlier. Possibly as early as lvl 2 if you wanted. You can also take a level in Master of Many Styles (monk) to get dragon style and ignore allies or difficult terrain on the charge, Very useful! It might be something worth aiming for your horse as well.

Another thing I would like to see is more focus on what you would do at earlier levels. I know that this is geared towards getting that lvl 12 power CAGM, but what do you do before that. Considering that most gameplay happens in the earlier levels, especially in PFS, a bit more info there would be appreciated.

Lastly, I know that this guild is very build specific, but if someone does not wish to use the cookie cutter beast totem build, at least tell them what the others could be good for. As it stands no totem aside from beast is above yellow and the fact that it is VERY good is obvious (if it is not, you alluded to it quite a bit ;P) but what about the other totems if you dont or cannot take beast (gm banned it for example)?

Great guide so far and thanks for the effort!


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Trinam and Lab-Rat

Can you post your CAGM builds to put in the guide

thanks


I'd like to see some builds too, specifically for the Mounted Fury archetype.

I think the Savage Barbarian sounds really cool. If they had gone with damage reduction or something instead of what they did it would make a heck of a lot more sense. Still there ought to be something that can be done with it.

Is there a matrix anywhere with what Barbarian archetype goes with what other archetype?


Quandary wrote:

1) those look like good stat array for 15pt build, i would consider switching DEX, or if you can scrounge 1 pt from INT (such as if you are human/half-elf/elf) you can get 14 in both DEX and CON... DEX is also nice for Init, Ranged, and Reflex Saves. But the numbers you posted certainly works just as well, and there's a thing to be said for making your sure your Fort Save is just rock solid.

The problem with the stats is that you end up without enough points to bump Dex or Con up.
Str 16 (10), Dex 13 (3), Con 15 (7), Int 8 (-2), Wis 10 (0), Cha 7 (-4), or 20 points spent, and 6 refunded, leaving 1 point left over, but both 14 and 16 require 3 points to increase, so neither Dex nor Con can get improved. Could drop Con to 14 and increase Dex to 14, but then I don't meet the prerequisites for Raging Vitality without spending a level-up there, and it's not a feat you want eating up your level 5+ slots, as those are likely going toward feats/rage powers with BAB or level requirements.

2) it seems to be not an uncommon sentiment here on the boards, i personally don't find so, although in actual play i don't really push it to it's limits / use it 'all the time'. kind of the unmentioned side to the strategy is that you are either 'wasting' either the offence/defense aspects of rage (per your choice), or spending rage rounds wastefully to 're-rage' twice each round... so i am more likely to only use it in clutch situations (or ones that i perceive as such), and make the most of all my rage abilities: rage is just about resilience and defense as offense (and CAGM is really both, yet doesn't work if your rage defenses aren't up 'off your turn'). in a way it's kind of like 'power points' letting you 'nova'. but i don't really see a valid argument that it's 'not the way it's supposed to work' given that ANY core barbarian gets it EVENTUALLY, and there's just so many options that let you get around the '1 round of rage = 2 rounds fatigued => at least one round not raging for every round raging' 'normal' dynamic', and Paizo keeps on putting out more ways to do so... Scarred Rager is a way to do so full Barbarian with no Feats or anything else. The tactic does kind of bring to the fore certain problems with the RAW wording of how Rage is maintained, although those are applicable whether or not you try to 'Rage Cycle'. I'm pretty sure everybody in PFS is ignoring that problematic RAW though, since it directly conflicts with the idea that you control Rage in 1 round increments, which the 'obvious' intent.
Yeah, that becomes a rather odd thing to RP or describe.
3) ???

4) ???
That leaves the questions of Optimistic Gambler and the usage for Missing Child left needing some clarification.
5) literally, Rage Prophet 'gets around it', otherwise, you can find other ways to literally...
Rage Prophet 'gets around it', otherwise, you can find other ways to get great Saves,
such as being a Dwarf + Steel Soul making your Saves so great (with Rage) that you don't really need it,
to making sure to take all the other buffs you can get (Half Orcs swapping their weak-sauce Die Hard for a stacks-with-most-everything +1 Luck bonus is a trade I'm rather disposed to)
to the point that I can be happy enough with my saves that I don't worry about not taking Superstitious,
although that does you mean you miss out on cool stuff like Spell Sunder.

Well, if I wanted the rage powers that stem from Superstitious, which I probably would, that still leaves me with difficulty receiving healing, not to mention buffs. Buffing before combat works sometimes, and rage cycling can help, but it seems to me that you're still going to end up in far too many situations where you don't get buffed, and are in danger of dying due to crappy heals. That seems like a rather significant trade-off.

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