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Mini-Guide: The Tank Barbarian


Advice


7 people marked this as a favorite.

We all know the trademark 'SMASH' image the Barbarian tends to conjure up, but what about a build that makes him a very effective tank? I've always felt that the bonus hit points from Rage was kind of fool's gold - you suffer a -2 AC when raging, meaning that you're going to get hit more and the hit points disappear after the rage ends anyway, potentially leaving you in a very dangerous position. Moreover, I've found that the bonus hit points can make some players a bit careless when it comes to combat, and that's not good for anyone.

Traditional Barbarians get Damage Reduction, but at such slow rates that they really tend to be afterthoughts, a nice little bonus but nothing thatr you would lean on in a battle when the claws and spells are flying.

Now, my reccomendation for a solid Barbarian Tank comes in two parts, with the second part being optional (detailed at the end). The first part is to actually begin as a Fighter - and Unbreakable Fighter in fact. That archetype grants the feats Diehard and Endurance as bonus feats at level 1, feats which will serve as very important pre-requisites. After that, its Invulnerable Rager all the way. I also strongly reccomend for this build that you make the character Human for the extra feat, for the Heart of the Fields option and for the tremendously effective favored class bonus to Superstition that Humans get.

There's a combination of feats and Rage Powers which work nicely together to really amp up your Damage Resistance, and in a way that stacks with the 1 per 2 levels you're already getting from the archetype. To begin, you'll want to take Combat Expertise and Stalwart, a feat which has the aforementioned Diehard and Endurance as pre-requisites. This has the cumulative effect of allowing you to take a -1 attack/+4 BAB to add +1 to your DR total. Improved Stalwart doubles that bonus to +2 DR per -1 attack penalty. At 12th level, for example, that's -4 attack to gain +8 DR to go along with the DR 5/- you already have from being an Invulnerable Rager.

So, at level 12, to use this example, you're sitting pretty with DR 13/-, but at a -4 attack penalty, and this is exagerrated by the -4 attack penalty you'll probably want to take for Power Attack - one you could certainly absorb, but not both. Well, that's when Rage Powers step in to help. Reckless Abandon will give you back the attack bonus you've lost at the expense of AC... but we don't want to sacrifice AC for DR, we want both - and fortunately the Beast Totem Rage powers will grant you that AC bonus back. So, at the end of the day you're getting a DR 1/- for every 2 Barbarians levels AND a stackable DR 2/- for every +4 BAB with no penalty to AC nor attack bonus. And then, of course, there's the Rage Power Increased DR which you can take up to three times.

Now, I'm a big fan of a tank type character having layers of protections - in this case your Barbarian will have a solid AC, have outstanding DR and supernaturally high Superstition. To further optimize the effectiveness of this character and to expand upon his versatility, I'm also going to suggest that you go with the Urban Barbarian archetype as well. A Barbarian's Fast Movement ability is something you'd rather not have to give up, but I've found that when combined with the Desperate Battler feat, Crowd Control is nothing to sneeze at. More importantly you get a better option for Raging.

Keep in mind that I said you get a better option when raging - you still have the normal rage available to you at any time. Focused Rage, however, gives you some nice trade-offs. The first is that you lose your +2 Will save bonus but you also shed that -2 AC penalty, and with Superstition as high as its going to be, you won't miss the bonus to Will saves at all. More importantly you get the option of increasing STR or DEX or FORT... which means you can customize your needs in each encounter, becoming more dangerous at range while increasing you AC and reflex saves, becoming more dangerous in melee by increasing your attack and damage bonuses or enhancing your toughness and gaining those bonus hit points to simply endure for as long as you must. I've found that combining the Auspicious Mark rage power to be particularly effective in maximizing this benefit since you can use it and your customized Rage to grant bonuses of 1d6+2 to skill checks, saves, you name it. Whether you're trying to sneak past a watch dragon, make that crucial save against poison, fight off a disease infesting your body or jump a particularly wide chasm, Auspicious Mark and Focused Rage make it child's play. This - if you didn't catch it already - is the option I alluded to above. You can choose to take it or not, and it as Invulnerable Rager and Urban Barbarian do not conflict or overlap one another in any way and the choice to do so shouldn't affect any of your feat or power selections with the possible exception to Auspicious Mark.

I prefer to think of this sort of character not as a raging barbarian, but rather as someone who has developed phenominal focus and body control, able to harden his body to pain and injury, to focus his energies to become temporarily stronger, more agile or more able to withstand punishment.

Now, as far as the build, when to take what - it would be easier if we could construct columns in our posts, so bear with me.

Human Fighter 1 (Unbreakable) / Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager & Urban Barbarian)
Human Barbarian favored class option

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 17 (includes +2 racial bonus, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level)
INT - 14
WIS - 12
DEX - 14
CON - 14
CHA - 7

Traits:
Defender of the Society (+1 AC when wearing medium or heavy armor)
Birthmark (+1 Will saves)

Feats & Rage Powers:
1st - Desperate Battler, Combat Reflexes, Endurance, Diehard
3rd - Power Attack, Superstition
5th - Deadly Aim, Lesser Beast Totem
7th - Combat Expertise, Beast Totem
9th - Stalwart, Reckless Abandon
11th - Improved Stalwart, Greater Beast Totem
13th - Extra Rage Power: Come and Get Me, Guarded Life
15th - Extra Rage Power: Auspicious Mark, Greater Guarded Life
17th - Extra Rage Power: Increased DR, Renewed Vigor
19th - Extra Rage Power: Increased DR, Regenerative Vigor

A couple of points:

I took Combat Reflexes because when playing a tank type, I prefer to use a reach weapon. Nothing says you can't use a different type of weapon and take a different feat there. I also took Deadly Aim to combine with the ability to boost DEX in an effort to be a little more effective at range. If favored a purely melee-centric character obviouslt that is anothe rchange you could make - perhaps to take Auspicious Mark earlier and add in a third Increased DR later.

Guarded Life and Greater Guarded life might seem a little redundant with Diehard, but they allow you to convert 1 and then 2 points of damage per Barbarian level into non-lethal damage if it would take you below zero... and your DR is doubled against non-lethal damage. The point is to make yourself borderline unkillable, correct?

So this is a character with a good number of skill points, who can be somewhat effective at range, shrug off both magical and mundane attacks and even Pounce into combat when the quick kill is more important than the ability to withstand punishment - death is, after all, the ultimate de-buff.

A few milestone levels for example:

6th level
14 rounds of Rage, DR 2/-, Superstition grants a +4 bonus vs. Spells and Spell-like Abilities

9th level
20 rounds of Rage, DR 7/-, Superstition grants a +6 bonus vs. Spells and Spell-like Abilities

12th level
26 rounds of Greater Rage, DR 13/-, Superstition grants a +7 bonus vs. Spells and Spell-like Abilities

15th level
32 rounds of Greater Rage, DR 16/-, Superstition grants a +9 bonus vs. Spells and Spell-like Abilities

18th level
38 rounds of Greater Rage, DR 20/-, Superstition grants a +11 bonus vs. Spells and Spell-like Abilities

20th level
42 rounds of Greater Rage, DR 24/-, Superstition grants a +12 bonus vs. Spells and Spell-like Abilities

Cheliax

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Shouldn't Antagonize be in there somewhere? Just to prevent the whole "Yeah, great tank build, I'm...just going to avoid you" kinda thing?


+1 for antagonize, also Flesh Wound would seem great on this setup.

edit: i note a suspicious lack of spell sunder/strength surge.


Lamontius wrote:


Shouldn't Antagonize be in there somewhere? Just to prevent the whole "Yeah, great tank build, I'm...just going to avoid you" kinda thing?

I find that there are too many limitations on Antagonize - have to use Charisma-based skill, creature must have an INT of 3 or higher, must understand you, takes a standard action, etc. and the penalties it imposes too mild for it to be worthy of the investment. Getting in the bad guy's way has always worked well enough for me - especially with a reach weapon and/or battlefield control effects from other players.


AndIMustMask wrote:
+1 for antagonize, also Flesh Wound would seem great on this setup.

Flesh Wound would probably be a very effective replacement for one of the Increase DR's taken later in the build, especially once Tireless Rage has been attained.


still though, if it were possible to tack on spell sunder to that build, you could pretty much just sit back and laugh as the world wets itself in terror.


After taking the chance to build this character for posterity, i notice two things:

1. under traits, you want indomitable faith (+1 will saves), not birthmark (counts as divine focus, +2 vs. charm/compulsion effects)

2. renewed vigor and regenerative vigor might seem good, but they aren't much help--5d8+con healing once per day (eating a standard action), followed by fast healing 3 until your rage ends doesn't actually do much in combat.

that said, it's great for the adventuring lifestyle (not really): banged up after that fight? pop your renewed vigor and burn some rage and heal up. great for long trips fraught with danger if you don't already have some sort of healing in the party by eighteenth level.

regenerative vigor and auspicious mark also conflict somewhat: the former wants you to keep your rage up as long as possible to get the most out of it, while the latter wants you to stop/start your rage repeatedly to get the most out of it.

seems you'd be better off using those two slots on improved DR--or forgo all the increased DR altogether and grab witch hunter, spell sunder, strength surge, and flesh wound instead (using the two rage power slots form renewed/regenerative vigor, and changing the extra rage power feats to the above).

also for your stat spread i'm a tad confused how you got those, since i came up with below trying to emulate it:
str - 16 (+5 points, +2 racial)
dex - 14 (+5 points)
con - 14 (+5 points)
int - 14 (+5 points)
wis - 12 (+2 points)
cha - 8 (-2 points)

leaves the 5 level up stats to place as you want. you can also dump the cha to 7 to increase wis to 13 (to make use of that odd 5th level up point)


Damocles Guile wrote:
Now, I'm a big fan of a tank type character having layers of protections - in this case your Barbarian will have a solid AC, have outstanding DR and supernaturally high Superstition. To further optimize the effectiveness of this character and to expand upon his versatility, I'm also going to suggest that you go with the Urban Barbarian archetype as well. A Barbarian's Fast Movement ability is something you'd rather not have to give up, but I've found that when combined with the Desperate Battler feat, Crowd Control is nothing to sneeze at. More importantly you get a better option for Raging.

I don't have the number-crunching nouse to comment on the rest of the 'build', but the italicised is a major stumbling-block: per RAW, you can only have one archetype per class.


Trace Coburn wrote:
Damocles Guile wrote:
Now, I'm a big fan of a tank type character having layers of protections - in this case your Barbarian will have a solid AC, have outstanding DR and supernaturally high Superstition. To further optimize the effectiveness of this character and to expand upon his versatility, I'm also going to suggest that you go with the Urban Barbarian archetype as well. A Barbarian's Fast Movement ability is something you'd rather not have to give up, but I've found that when combined with the Desperate Battler feat, Crowd Control is nothing to sneeze at. More importantly you get a better option for Raging.
I don't have the number-crunching nouse to comment on the rest of the 'build', but the italicised is a major stumbling-block: per RAW, you can only have one archetype per class.
Where are you getting that you can only have one archetype per class? It certainly isn't RAW:
Quote:
A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.


Bearded Ben wrote:
Trace Coburn wrote:
I don't have the number-crunching nouse to comment on the rest of the 'build', but the italicised is a major stumbling-block: per RAW, you can only have one archetype per class.
Where are you getting that you can only have one archetype per class? It certainly isn't RAW:
Quote:
A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.

... Ack! Mental transplant from reading SGG Anachronistic Adventurer .pdfs. Never mind. :blush:

Taldor

Why not take Threatening Defender as one of your traits to knock -1 off your combat expertise penalty?


RtrnofdMax wrote:
Why not take Threatening Defender as one of your traits to knock -1 off your combat expertise penalty?

seems a decent trade for defender of the society


Hello Damocles and all.

First I would like to congratulate immensely you on your build - it does seem to have much thought and reasoning pured int it, and all the explanations are very clear.

With your permission, I am taking this build for a spin on a couple of Mythic Playtest sessions (15pt buy/lvl11/Mythic5), so I have a couple of questions, if that would be ok:

- The tank aspect of the build seems to be very well covered, however how would one make sure that opponents are not simply ignoring you and attacking other, more vulnerable targets - would this be because you are pounding the life out of them? :D

- Due to the group restrictions, and also because it would fit the background I envisioned for this character much better, I am taking the Mythic Guardian Path - do you have any suggestions regarding the abilities chosen (it would seem that Epic DR would be a no-brainer :D)

@RtrnofdMax: That would be an excellent trait choice, unfortunately in this one we are not allowed traits :/

@AndIMustMask: I am DEFINITELY trying to fit in Spell Sunder into the build, but so far the only actually "expendable" feat I seem to have found in it was Combat Reflexes, and that one seems to be one of the few available possibilities to discourage enemies from walking away from me (apart from chasing them and beating them down some more :D)

Thanks for any feedback on these.

Cheliax

I altered this build a little for myself, and the plan was:

Dwarf
17 Str
12 Dex
14 Con
13 Int
14 Wis
6 Cha

1 Power Attack, Endurance, Die Hard
3 Superstition, Combat Expertise
5 Lesser Beast Totem, Steel Soul
7 Beast Totem, Improved Sunder
9 Reckless Abandon, Stalwart
11 Greater Beast Totem, Improved Stalwart
13 Come and Get Me, Dazing Assault
15 Witch Hunter, Extra Rage Power: Spell Sunder
17 Strength Surge, Extra Rage Power: Auspicious Mark
19 Eater of Magic, 1 feat (maybe Desperate Battler)

If you're human, you can very easily pick up Combat Reflexes at level 1, though I would need to move a point into Dex to make it work with my build. And, long story short, you are absolutely right with how you hold a target's attention. You get mad, start yelling and hit them in the face.


following seranov's example i'll post that character i built with this guide--it's got spell sunder too.


Do I understand correctly that you are beginning play with a strength of 12?

Cheliax

The OP? No, he starts with 17 Str, which is 15 + 2 from his racial bonus, then each of his level ups go into Str.


now that i've had a chance to actually get home and post from my computer, here's my take:

all-purpose tankbarian

Spoiler:

human fighter (unbreakable) 1 / barbarian (urban barbarian/invulnerable rager) 19
alt. racial features:
heart of the fields

stats:
str - 22 (7 points, 5 levels, 2 racial)
dex - 14 (5 points)
con - 14 (5 points)
int - 14 (5 points)
wis - 10
cha - 8 (-2 points)

traits:
threatening defender or defender of the society
indomitable faith

feats:
1 combat reflexes
1 desperate battler (or power attack)
1* endurance
1* diehard
3 power attack (or desperate battler)
5 combat expertise
7 deadly aim (optional, can be replaced as needed)
9 stalwart
11 improved stalwart
13 extra rage power (come and get me)
15 extra rage power (auspicious mark/strength surge/flesh wound)
17 extra rage power (auspicious mark/strength surge/flesh wound)
19 extra rage power (auspicious mark/strength surge/flesh wound)

rage powers:
3 superstition (all FCB's go into increasing this)
5 lesser beast totem
7 beast totem
9 reckless abandon
11 greater beast totem
13 guarded life
15 witch hunter
17 spell sunder
19 greater guarded life


this one can nix deadly aim and desperate battler for some wiggle room feat-wise if they're not playing human (so you can get steel soul as a dwarf or whatever)

.

melee-oriented tankbarian (with teammates):

Spoiler:

human fighter (unbreakable) 1 / barbarian (urban barbarian/invulnerable rager) 19
alt. racial features:
heart of the fields

stats:
str - 22 (7 points, 5 levels, 2 racial)
dex - 14 (5 points)
con - 14 (5 points)
int - 14 (5 points)
wis - 10
cha - 8 (-2 points)

traits:
threatening defender or defender of the society
indomitable faith

feats:
1 combat reflexes
1 power attack
1* endurance
1* diehard
3 combat expertise
5 extra rage power (witch hunter)
7 extra rage power (spell sunder)
9 stalwart
11 improved stalwart
13 extra rage power (come and get me)
15 extra rage power (auspicious mark/strength surge/flesh wound)
17 extra rage power (auspicious mark/strength surge/flesh wound)
19 extra rage power (auspicious mark/strength surge/flesh wound)

rage powers:
3 superstition (all FCB's go into increasing this)
5 lesser beast totem
7 beast totem
9 reckless abandon
11 greater beast totem
13 guarded life
15 greater guarded life
17 increased damage reduction
19 increased damage reduction


this build in melee is basically both an unstoppable force and an immovable object. wield either a lucerne hammer for reach or a piston maul if not and sunder ALL the things.

serviceable right out of the box, hits its stride at 7 and even more so at 11 (you should totally try this one Reknarok).

Cheliax

Yeah, I was struggling between an Earthbreaker and a Dwarven Longhammer for my build, and will likely try for one of each! Not being tied to a single weapon is a nifty perk of a build like this.


Seranov wrote:
Yeah, I was struggling between an Earthbreaker and a Dwarven Longhammer for my build, and will likely try for one of each! Not being tied to a single weapon is a nifty perk of a build like this.

tack on +3 adamantine furious (1) courageous (1) impact (2, optional but fun) to your weapon of choice, a few +1 adamantine (or living steel) anchoring (2) daggers to throw at people to lock them down in medium range, and whatever long range weapon you prefer and go to town.

adamantine ignores hardness which is great for sundering things, and living steel is great for re-usability if/when the opponent breaks the daggers (since they can repair themselves)


Hehe, the suggestions are great guys, unfortunately I'm still only at level 11, packing simply 82k gold...

Went with a ghost touch, furious adamantine, +1 Lucerne hammer - bad choice?


Reknarok wrote:

Hehe, the suggestions are great guys, unfortunately I'm still only at level 11, packing simply 82k gold...

Went with a ghost touch, furious adamantine, +1 Lucerne hammer - bad choice?

sounds like a great start. you'll want something you can threaten close range with, so you'll wanna pick up armor spikes or something (claws wont work since you're using those hands to wield the hammer)


Hello again guys, I am aware that maybe I shouldn't be ressing this thread for this reason but hey, I've gotten nice advice before from you all that I am back again.

Now.. the thing is... I am starting a RotRL pbp and after much soulsearching, and back and forth with the group composition, I am left with the frontliner role.

Since this is going to be DM'ed by someone I know for a fact takes things to the end, I have again decided that this may be a good opportunity to "apply" the Barbarian Tank - sweeeet :D

This will be on a lvl1 character, and the stats have to be as follows (before racials apply), since this is a method we agreed with the DM, to make a long story short:

Str: 16
Dex: 11
Int: 11
Wis: 17
Con: 14
Cha: 10

As you can see this is not at all optimized, and I would have your assistance in making it work, and actually your honest opinion if you actually think it can be done or not.

So, some considerations:

- Race: My first reaction was to go Tiefling Daemon Spawn - this adds to my Dex and Int, making Combat Reflexes and combat Expertise available, but keeping my STR at 16... The end result is totally unoptimized: STR16, Dex13, Int13, Wis15, the works... but seems to be one of the best options to maintain the combat expertise core ability, and also Combat Reflexes which I enjoy a lot;

- Not being human: It is damaging - the loss of a feat is quite brutal, but I still haven't figured a way around this;

- STR16: How bad is it?

- I could just forget the Dex, and the Combat Reflexes, trying to go for a race that gives me maybe a bonus on STR and INT... again losing the extra feat as above - how big a loss do you think this would be?

- On a side note, I have played with the character in the alias - Reknarok - on an encounter, and kinda felt immediately the lack of "aggro" or "pin-down" mechanics on him, many foes actually went around him to attack more vulnerable companions (truth be told we were attacked by a PACK of Devilish hounds - I think they were over 20 - not much any tank could do there I guess :D), on the other hand boy oh boy does this guy dish out damage - the lucerne hammer coupled with the combat reflexes... three hounds attacked me on the same round and they were eating over 30 points of damage per opportunity attack...

- How do you deal with opponents "inside" the range of your reach weapon?

- From all of the above, it would seem that the best option would actually be to learn to live with STR16 and take it from there, but I would like to hear the expert's opinion ;)

- Last thing, I would be playing him from level 1 (even though, according to the GM, this may go beyond the scope of the AP and into higher levels), and would probably start as Barbarian... seems more logic from a background perspective, then suddenly becoming a raging barbarian :D On this note, would you stick to the same feat progression? Seems the character only ACTUALLY comes together when Stalwart kicks in, so should I go for it sooner? Are extra fighter levels worth it at all?

- Bottom line, you think it can be done with any sort of acceptable efficiency, or should I take the high Wis and go play a monk?

Thanks for any possible feedback guys.


My take on this is that one level of unarmed fighter would give you IUS and crane style (for the reduced fighting defensively penalty) for the least investment with no BAB lost. This is better than combat expertise IMO.

Priority 1 is get Stalwart ASAP, especially when you're using Fighting Defensively for a quick +4 DR (assuming 3 ranks in acrobatics for the bonus).

With those stats, though, you could run a zen archer monk very effectively. Unfortunately if someone locks you into a set of stats they have locked your character choices down pretty severely.


Hmmmm, I had never considered the IUS + Crane Style option stemming from the Unarmed Fighter Archetype - might be a good option to look at, and check if it overlaps with the Unbreakable archetype.

And just to clear it up, we suggested the DM to use this method, to strain our imagination - it was just fate that I got the STR and CON stats to boot :D


Lastoth wrote:

My take on this is that one level of unarmed fighter would give you IUS and crane style (for the reduced fighting defensively penalty) for the least investment with no BAB lost. This is better than combat expertise IMO.

Priority 1 is get Stalwart ASAP, especially when you're using Fighting Defensively for a quick +4 DR (assuming 3 ranks in acrobatics for the bonus).

With those stats, though, you could run a zen archer monk very effectively. Unfortunately if someone locks you into a set of stats they have locked your character choices down pretty severely.

I haven't actually done the math but on a second look, Crane Style simply lowers your to-hit penalty by 2, for an additional +1AC, meaning:

With Combat Expertise:
Level1
-1 to hit/+1 to AC/DR
Level 4
-2 to hit/+2 to AC/DR
Level 8
-3 to hit/+3 to AC/DR

With Crane Style:
-2 to hit/+3 to AC/DR
(Which is roughly equivalent to lvl8 if using Expertise)

But Crane Style will not get any better than this - am I looking at this correctly?


With 3 ranks in acrobatics your dodge bonus from fighting defensively goes up 1. so it's -2 for +4, which you gain at level 3 and you don't need to deal with a progressively higher penalty. I think it's better than -5/+5 personally.


Equivalent to a level 12, damn that IS high - even though it is still effectively "capped", it is so at a quite decent value.


remember you couldn't exceed it until level 16, and even then you'd be sucking up -3 to hit in exchange for one more point anyway. That's a trade worth taking.


Lastoth wrote:
remember you couldn't exceed it until level 16, and even then you'd be sucking up -3 to hit in exchange for one more point anyway. That's a trade worth taking.

What do you mean exactly? I seem to have gotten lost in the math - you mean with the crane style I could add another -1 at 16?


With Combat Expertise:
Level 1
-1 to hit/+1 to AC/DR
Level 4
-2 to hit/+2 to AC/DR
Level 8
-3 to hit/+3 to AC/DR
Level 12
-4 to hit/+4 to AC/DR (EQUAL HERE)
Level 16
-5 to hit/+5 to AC/DR (Finally would exceed Crane Defensive Fighting)

With Crane Style:
-2 to hit/+4 to AC/DR with 3 ranks of acrobatics
(Which is roughly equivalent to lvl 12 if using Expertise, and not to be exceeded until level 16)

Also after you achieve 11BAB you can get improved stalwart, which doubles your DR from dodge bonus (Cap 10).

Cheliax

The problem is that you're using, at best, a one-handed weapon when using Crane Style. You're not going to hold anything's attention as well with your bare hands, compared to a big two-handed weapon, especially one with reach.


Seranov wrote:
The problem is that you're using, at best, a one-handed weapon when using Crane Style. You're not going to hold anything's attention as well with your bare hands, compared to a big two-handed weapon, especially one with reach.

No, you do not need to use a one handed weapon to benefit from the first feat in this chain, which is the only feat in the chain we care about.

Cheliax

I could have sworn it says you need to have one hand free for it.

-e-

Welp, looks like you're right. Nifty. I don't imagine you can mix Unbreakable and Unarmed Fighter, though, which means you end up needing to take Endurance and Die Hard with your normal feats, instead of getting them for free.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/crane-style-combat-style


Seranov wrote:

I could have sworn it says you need to have one hand free for it.

-e-

Welp, looks like you're right. Nifty. I don't imagine you can mix Unbreakable and Unarmed Fighter, though, which means you end up needing to take Endurance and Die Hard with your normal feats, instead of getting them for free.

That is actually not a HUGE issue to be honest Seranov, because in fact Endurance from the Unbreakable replaces the fighter's bonus feat anyway - you do end up missing Combat Reflexes, and most likely will be lagging one feat behind, which you can probably catch up when you were planning on taking Combat Expertise.

Your reasoning looks quite solid Lastoth, I won't even throw the trait Threatening Defender to the mix - it actually alleviates the penalty from combat expertise by -1 - but it is only a matter of mathematics, actually lowering the match between the two options to around level8 I guess.

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