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How to become the Lord of Rage: N. Jolly's guide to the Pathfinder Barbarian


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Silver Crusade

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Welcome to my second guide, this time for the Barbarian class. This has been a class that I've been enjoying more and more, as it is my favorite mundane class. Looking over at the guides for the class, I thought that I could put my own spin on them, and decided to do my own.

How to become the Lord of Rage

As this is my second guide, it's a bit more polished (as well as being a google doc for those of you of whom had issues with my last guide for the alchemist), and I hope that my experience in making guides shines through.

While it's not finished, I'm quite okay with the level of progress shown here. At least to the point where I'm willing to share it with others. The formatting of this one was a bit odd since it was a new style of guide, but it contains just the same info that my other guide does. I should be finishing it soon enough though, with only magical armor and items to go (and sample builds...sigh.) I might also be adding a mythic section later, although that's up to debate.

I hope you'll enjoy this guide, and I look forward to any comments, suggestions, or critiques you have of it. I'd like to make sure I include everything that makes this class great, so let me know if I've omitted anything.

I'll be sourcing the pictures later as well (gotta love them), so have fun going god tier.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Now I just gave it a quick browse to see how complete it was before I decided to give it a full read, and from what I did glance over I will say I like what I read. A side note I didn't like what I saw and have to question the picture choices.

Silver Crusade

Yeah, I didn't think the pictures were going to be this forum's thing. But it's my guide, and I love homestuck, so in they go. I'll probably be fandom theming most things I do, which includes a Gurren Lagann/Kill la Kill Fighter guide sometime in the future.

The guide is mostly done though, at least to a point where I'm okay with showing it. Way more than my Alchemist guide at least.

Grand Lodge

Very nice, I agree with most parts. On the weapon enchantments, I would add courageous in purple to the +1 enchantment section. It increases all of your morale bonuses, which increase all of your rage bonuses.

Silver Crusade

Reading over Courageous, it is pretty good, probably high green/low blue, but not purple. Seeing as you have to get to a +4 to get any higher than a +1 to your strength, it's not as amazing as our other purple enchant, which instantly adds +1 attack and damage, as well as better DR piercing. Although I did overlook it, so I'll add it in a bit. I guess it is also pumping your con and Will save too, but it's still a hair away from purple to me (a definite green for Urban Barbarians)


I think you vastly underrate Dazing Assault and Dreadful Carnage.

DA is amazing combined with CaGM, especially considering you resolve CaGM AoOs before the enemy actually attacks. The DC really isn't that bad... 22 when you pick it up around 12th level, 30 by level 20... Not much worse than a caster's DCs. In any case, AoOs are at full BAB, so the -5 is fine, and you're potentially robbing the enemy of his entire turn (if you daze on the first try; otherwise it's still at least preventing damage on a subsequent counter-attack during the foe's full attack). The main knock against it is you don't want to power attack *and* use this, so it's costing you some damage output.

Dreadful Carnage is amazing, it's a free area demoralize every time you drop someone, which should be happening a lot. Cornugon Smash is single target, it really doesn't even compare. Your mileage may vary, depending on the quantities of foes your DM uses against you, though. Still, the only real negatives to DC are its high level and requiring the atrocious Furious Focus.

I also think you vastly overrate Antagonize. The nerf makes it useless. You spend your action to *maybe* make the enemy waste his action throwing a rock at you or whatever. It's only good when your party has a huge action economy advantage over the enemy (ie, solo enemy) to the point where throwing your turns into the garbage to take away the enemy's is unquestionably a great idea. Those situations are generally pretty in the bag anyway. And casters just do that stuff much, MUCH better. Leave it to them. And you can only use it once on a given foe, too.

Pre-nerf, it forced the enemy to close to melee with you, which made it actually useful beyond yet another way to make an enemy lose his turn. (And an extremely underpowered way to do it, to boot).

Post-nerf, it's average at best. I'd say subpar.

Sczarni

I'd say courageous is most definatly a purple "must have" for any barbarian, along with furious.

Together they take up +2 and that means for the cost of a normal +3, when you're raging you get an additional point of strenght, resist, con, etc...

Also if you combine it with the ioun stone that grants +1 moral bonus to damn near everything it comes out as a +1 to everything for a mere +1 enhancement.

If your strength is at an odd number that's an even bigger boon and you will want your weapon to be +4 eventually.


I think you may be underselling Double Slice.

You're a barbarian. Half your strength on each off-hand attack is a big number. You only have to get to 22 strength (16 bought +2 racial +4 morale so first level for all the good races except dwarf) before it's basically 2 damage per attack on a full attack and you're going to keep stacking on more and more strength as you level and get more and more magical belts.

Double Slice makes TWF less lame before Two Weapon Rend and helps make it maybe good after. I don't think it should be rated lower than the main TWF feats, though perhaps the problem's that you've rated them too high.


I absolutely agree about Courageous being purple - maybe uber-purple... It adds to Str and a Con while Raging, Superstition, Surprise Accuracy, Ghost Rager bonus to touch AC, if you have Herosim or Greater Heroism cast on you, a flawed Pale Green Prism Ioun Stone, etc...There's lots of morale bonuses in the game.

As far as equipment, I've always liked the the Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid for only 1500gp - you gain weapon familiarity with any weapon, so you don't need to waste a feat on an exotic weapon like the fauchard or falcata.

Speaking of the falcata, I didn't see it mentioned in your guide - it's one of the best weapons in the game, and there's no reason you can't wield it two-handed.

I also didn't see the Headband of Havoc, Cloak of the Hedge Wizard (Abjuration) or the Quick Runner Shirt in your guide. The Headband is custom made for barbarians - it allows you to enter rage as an immediate action and treat a rage powers as if 4 levels higher. The Cloak of the Hedge Wizard (Abjuration) gives you 1/day shield spell. The cloak is cheap enough that you can carry multiple cloaks and switch between combats. Eventually, the standard action to activate the shield is probably not going to be worth it, but at low to mid-levels, definitely worth the investment. The Quick Runner Shirt allows you to move as a swift action 1/day - again inexpensive enough to carry multiples and switch between combats. It's a quick and cheap way to move and attack without waiting for pounce.

Lastly, this is purely anecdotal, but I'm currently playing a barbarian and decided to take the level dip in Unbreakable fighter and the ridiculous DR from Stalwart and Improved Stalwart - I'm finding that I really don't need all that DR, and more importantly, I frequently need to increase my to hit chances by using Reckless Abandon and having the wizard buff me with Heroism (and adding Courageous on top of that). Anyway, if I could do it all over again, I would probably reconsider taking the Unbreakable, Stalwart and Improved Stalwart Combo (unfortunately, the GM does not use the retraining rules). In Hindsight, Bolstered Resilience might have been the better way to go for increased DR when I need it.


I think Flesh Wound + Invulnerable Rager archetype already does a pretty good job of preventing damage, albeit once/round. Flesh Wound halves it and makes it nonlethal; IR gives you doubled DR against nonlethal. A Barb 10 would turn 20 damage into 0, or 25 into 2.
You just need to get the fort save stupidly high, and stick to damages you can actually save against with at least 50% odds.

If you need more protection, go with CaGM + Dazing Assault.


D'arandriel wrote:

I absolutely agree about Courageous being purple - maybe uber-purple... It adds to Str and a Con while Raging, Superstition, Surprise Accuracy, Ghost Rager bonus to touch AC, if you have Herosim or Greater Heroism cast on you, a flawed Pale Green Prism Ioun Stone, etc...There's lots of morale bonuses in the game.

As far as equipment, I've always liked the the Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid for only 1500gp - you gain weapon familiarity with any weapon, so you don't need to waste a feat on an exotic weapon like the fauchard or falcata.

Speaking of the falcata, I didn't see it mentioned in your guide - it's one of the best weapons in the game, and there's no reason you can't wield it two-handed.

I also didn't see the Headband of Havoc, Cloak of the Hedge Wizard (Abjuration) or the Quick Runner Shirt in your guide. The Headband is custom made for barbarians - it allows you to enter rage as an immediate action and treat a rage powers as if 4 levels higher. The Cloak of the Hedge Wizard (Abjuration) gives you 1/day shield spell. The cloak is cheap enough that you can carry multiple cloaks and switch between combats. Eventually, the standard action to activate the shield is probably not going to be worth it, but at low to mid-levels, definitely worth the investment. The Quick Runner Shirt allows you to move as a swift action 1/day - again inexpensive enough to carry multiples and switch between combats. It's a quick and cheap way to move and attack without waiting for pounce.

Lastly, this is purely anecdotal, but I'm currently playing a barbarian and decided to take the level dip in Unbreakable fighter and the ridiculous DR from Stalwart and Improved Stalwart - I'm finding that I really don't need all that DR, and more importantly, I frequently need to increase my to hit chances by using Reckless Abandon and having the wizard buff me with Heroism (and adding Courageous on top of that). Anyway, if I could do it all over again, I would probably reconsider taking the Unbreakable, Stalwart and...

Thank you for this insight D'arandriel. Have been wondering about this. Are you not needing the dr because party healing can cover you?

Also, how would you deal with the fatigue from bolstered? Restoration pots? Almight drugs? Heart of fields? Probably all 3? ;)


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

I think Flesh Wound + Invulnerable Rager archetype already does a pretty good job of preventing damage, albeit once/round. Flesh Wound halves it and makes it nonlethal; IR gives you doubled DR against nonlethal. A Barb 10 would turn 20 damage into 0, or 25 into 2.

You just need to get the fort save stupidly high, and stick to damages you can actually save against with at least 50% odds.

If you need more protection, go with CaGM + Dazing Assault.

.

I think flesh wound is amazing. I'm planning on taking it at 13 instead of ghost rager and delaying ghost rager till much later. What is your feeling on the comparison between the 2?


klevis69 wrote:

Thank you for this insight D'arandriel. Have been wondering about this. Are you not needing the dr because party healing can cover you?

Also, how would you deal with the fatigue from bolstered? Restoration pots? Almight drugs? Heart of fields? Probably all 3? ;)

I generally don't need the DR, because nothing survives the damage my barbarian can put out. I have a +4 keen, furious, courageous fauchard with a CaGM barbarian. Most of the creatures we face are large or bigger, so I decided a reach weapon made sense. Most of the damage I do take in combat can be covered by healing after combat.

I have fatigue immunity through a custom item that is essentially a cord of stubborn resolve/belt of physical perfection. Before I could afford the item, I used the allnight drug or potions of invigorate.

EDIT: I also tend to control the battle field with Lunge and trip attacks, so I am only facing a number of opponents I can handle. This also mitigates the damage I take in combat. I also love Unexpected Strike, since it's a free attack every round without granting my opponents a +4 to hit and damage against me via CaGM.


klevis69 wrote:
I think flesh wound is amazing. I'm planning on taking it at 13 instead of ghost rager and delaying ghost rager till much later. What is your feeling on the comparison between the 2?

I know this question was not addressed to me, but I did take ghost rager instead of flesh wound, and in hindsight, I think flesh wound would have been better. Flesh wound can be used every round (with fatigue immunity), ghost rager is amazing when you go up against the BBEG and he's throwing maximized, empowered ray attacks against you and finding that you are not so easy to hit.


I generally don't need the DR, because nothing survives the damage my barbarian can put out. I have a +4 keen, furious, courageous fauchard with a CaGM barbarian. Most of the creatures we face are large or bigger, so I decided a reach weapon made sense. Most of the damage I do take in combat can be covered by healing after combat.

I have fatigue immunity through a custom item that is essentially a cord of stubborn resolve/belt of physical perfection. Before I could afford the item, I used the allnight drug or potions of invigorate.

EDIT: I also tend to control the battle field with Lunge and trip attacks, so I am only facing a number of opponents I can handle. This also mitigates the damage I take in combat. I also love Unexpected Strike, since it's a free attack every round without granting my opponents a +4 to hit and damage against me via CaGM.

Hm that sounds great!


D'arandriel wrote:
klevis69 wrote:
I think flesh wound is amazing. I'm planning on taking it at 13 instead of ghost rager and delaying ghost rager till much later. What is your feeling on the comparison between the 2?
I know this question was not addressed to me, but I did take ghost rager instead of flesh wound, and in hindsight, I think flesh wound would have been better. Flesh wound can be used every round (with fatigue immunity), ghost rager is amazing when you go up against the BBEG and he's throwing maximized, empowered ray attacks against you and finding that you are not so easy to hit.

I feel also that if you are going mythic, parry spell is better.

EDIT Flesh wound almost makes me want to just use normal instead of controlled rage for the con bonus to fort saves.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been playing a cagm level 13 Barby for a couple of session as my last dude was retired due to being broken.
The first combat was 2 mastadons with 2 hill giant riders. I pounced, what remained tried to attack me but was dead before they landed a hit. Brutal! In fact it continued to be so ridiculously brutal that after 2 sessions I've retired him because it was going to break the game. 200+ damage in my turn, followed by nearly the same in AoO's.

Im going to play a Bard with a courgeous weapon, as did the Barby... PURPLE.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Before discounting fiend totem look at Hamatula Hide armour. Yes it combines to give 3d8+12 per hit.

Liberty's Edge

Before you get CaGM, how do you survive with Superstition? You can't always 1-hit things, and bad guys will be possibly higher CRs and can focus fire on you.

Scarab Sages

Half-Orcs can take the Human Superstition favoured class bonus so you might want to consider bumping them up to blue. Sacred Tattoo with the Fate's Favoured trait is a +2 to all saves which is a nice bonus for them.


Coinshot Colton wrote:
Before you get CaGM, how do you survive with Superstition? You can't always 1-hit things, and bad guys will be possibly higher CRs and can focus fire on you.

You control the battlefield with lunge, reach weapons and combat maneuvers to mitigate damage. I haven't had too much of a need for in combat healing. Spells like haste can be cast before you begin your rage. The benefits of Superstition far out way the drawbacks.


Coinshot Colton wrote:
Before you get CaGM, how do you survive with Superstition? You can't always 1-hit things, and bad guys will be possibly higher CRs and can focus fire on you.

Superstition at worst halves healing from spells, but does nothing at all to prevent you from benefiting from channel energy or lay on hands. One Lay on Hands or Channel will probably get you out of your temporary con HP so you can drop rage and be healed normally. With d12 HP and +4 temporary con you shouldn't need in combat healing.


One thing I didn't see in the guide that our Barbarian uses quite regularly is the Cleaving Finish feat. It's totally worth it to pursue this if you have tons of killing to do. the best part is that it also works on Attacks of Opportunity.

Liberty's Edge

minoritarian wrote:
Half-Orcs can take the Human Superstition favoured class bonus so you might want to consider bumping them up to blue. Sacred Tattoo with the Fate's Favoured trait is a +2 to all saves which is a nice bonus for them.

How can they get the Human favored class bonus...?

Liberty's Edge

D'arandriel wrote:
You control the battlefield with lunge, reach weapons and combat maneuvers to mitigate damage. I haven't had too much of a need for in combat healing. Spells like haste can be cast before you begin your rage. The benefits of Superstition far out way the drawbacks.

Okay. I wasn't questioning its benefits, just not sure how people go about things. I've never played a bbn before, just theorycraft mainly. So they survive fine from levels 1-7 or so, before I can get my hands on a Boots of Speed and such?


klevis69 wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:

I think Flesh Wound + Invulnerable Rager archetype already does a pretty good job of preventing damage, albeit once/round. Flesh Wound halves it and makes it nonlethal; IR gives you doubled DR against nonlethal. A Barb 10 would turn 20 damage into 0, or 25 into 2.

You just need to get the fort save stupidly high, and stick to damages you can actually save against with at least 50% odds.

If you need more protection, go with CaGM + Dazing Assault.

.

I think flesh wound is amazing. I'm planning on taking it at 13 instead of ghost rager and delaying ghost rager till much later. What is your feeling on the comparison between the 2?

It depends on how often you face touch attacks, really. But you can get Ghost Rager at 6 and FW at 10, so I never thought of them as being in competition...

Much harder is choosing among FW, Eater of Magic, and Greater Beast Totem, since all 3 are amazing and 10th level. And whichever one you choose last has to wait until 13th (if not getting Dazing Assault) or 14th level to be taken, because nothing tops CaGM at 12th. (11th level feat going towards 2nd choice).

Sir Culer wrote:
One thing I didn't see in the guide that our Barbarian uses quite regularly is the Cleaving Finish feat. It's totally worth it to pursue this if you have tons of killing to do. the best part is that it also works on Attacks of Opportunity.

No. It's a very mediocre feat and is not worth wasting a worthless feat to pick up. I especially hate it because in D&D 3E "Cleaving Finish" was called "Cleave."

A much better version of Cleave wrote:

Cleave [General]

Prerequisites

Str 13, Power Attack.

Benefit

If you deal a creature enough damage to make it drop (typically by dropping it to below 0 hit points or killing it), you get an immediate, extra melee attack against another creature within reach. You cannot take a 5-foot step before making this extra attack. The extra attack is with the same weapon and at the same bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature. You can use this ability once per round.

Special

A fighter may select Cleave as one of his fighter bonus feats.


OP, I also don't like how you refer to rage cycling in the handbook as eating 2 rounds of rage per round of use.

I get that by strict, stupid RAW, it is a free action to end rage and thus it can't be done out of turn. But that's blatantly moronic and not intended, as with that ruling, unless you only have 1 round of rage left for the day, it is IMPOSSIBLE to actually use only 1 round of rage, despite that being how it's supposed to be incremented.

"Well, you can end it at the end of your turn you activated it on."

Yeah, but that's not really a "round" of rage, either.

If nothing else, mention that it should *not* be so, and that you should discuss it with your DM. This doesn't just affect rage cycling. It means any combat you rage, unless you expect that the combat's end is imminent and pre-emptively cease raging on your turn, you'll be stuck with an extra round charged every single combat you rage in.

Coinshot Colton wrote:
minoritarian wrote:
Half-Orcs can take the Human Superstition favoured class bonus so you might want to consider bumping them up to blue. Sacred Tattoo with the Fate's Favoured trait is a +2 to all saves which is a nice bonus for them.
How can they get the Human favored class bonus...?

Because they count as both Human and Orc (and Half-Orc, when appropriate) for all effects, which includes favored class options. The FAQ has clarified this.

Silver Crusade

Well, looks like things filled out a bit while I was gone.

StreamOfTheSky wrote:

I think you vastly underrate Dazing Assault and Dreadful Carnage.

DA is amazing combined with CaGM, especially considering you resolve CaGM AoOs before the enemy actually attacks. The DC really isn't that bad... 22 when you pick it up around 12th level, 30 by level 20... Not much worse than a caster's DCs. In any case, AoOs are at full BAB, so the -5 is fine, and you're potentially robbing the enemy of his entire turn (if you daze on the first try; otherwise it's still at least preventing damage on a subsequent counter-attack during the foe's full attack). The main knock against it is you don't want to power attack *and* use this, so it's costing you some damage output.

Dreadful Carnage is amazing, it's a free area demoralize every time you drop someone, which should be happening a lot. Cornugon Smash is single target, it really doesn't even compare. Your mileage may vary, depending on the quantities of foes your DM uses against you, though. Still, the only real negatives to DC are its high level and requiring the atrocious Furious Focus.

I also think you vastly overrate Antagonize. The nerf makes it useless. You spend your action to *maybe* make the enemy waste his action throwing a rock at you or whatever. It's only good when your party has a huge action economy advantage over the enemy (ie, solo enemy) to the point where throwing your turns into the garbage to take away the enemy's is unquestionably a great idea. Those situations are generally pretty in the bag anyway. And casters just do that stuff much, MUCH better. Leave it to them. And you can only use it once on a given foe, too.

Pre-nerf, it forced the enemy to close to melee with you, which made it actually useful beyond yet another way to make an enemy lose his turn. (And an extremely underpowered way to do it, to boot).

Post-nerf, it's average at best. I'd say subpar.

Dazing Assault I'll give you, although I stand by my issues with it. I'm willing to bump it up to blue, but no higher myself.

As for Dreadful, I don't have a lot of group attacks in my game, although I'm willing to push it higher for when we do. But Cornugon Smash still rules the roost in regards to free intimidation, as you can keep at it until they die. And I HATE needing Furious Focus a lot unless you're using Mythic Vital Strike, and even then it's lackluster.

I'll give you Antagonize, that's me wanting it to be better. Taking off the rose tinted glasses on this one.

lantzkev wrote:

I'd say courageous is most definitely a purple "must have" for any barbarian, along with furious.

Together they take up +2 and that means for the cost of a normal +3, when you're raging you get an additional point of strength, resist, con, etc...

Also if you combine it with the ioun stone that grants +1 moral bonus to damn near everything it comes out as a +1 to everything for a mere +1 enhancement.

If your strength is at an odd number that's an even bigger boon and you will want your weapon to be +4 eventually

I guess I can see it with everything else as long as Furious is still taking the first +1 slot, since the two have synergy together. I'll be adding it as appropriate.

Atarlost wrote:

I think you may be underselling Double Slice.

You're a barbarian. Half your strength on each off-hand attack is a big number. You only have to get to 22 strength (16 bought +2 racial +4 morale so first level for all the good races except dwarf) before it's basically 2 damage per attack on a full attack and you're going to keep stacking on more and more strength as you level and get more and more magical belts.

Double Slice makes TWF less lame before Two Weapon Rend and helps make it maybe good after. I don't think it should be rated lower than the main TWF feats, though perhaps the problem's that you've rated them too high.

I probably did, although I really want TWF to be viable with a Barb. It's just that the off hand weapon boost to damage is only going to be around 1-3 in the early game, and until you're getting your second off hand strike, it's not really paying for itself. I'd wait until later in the build to pick it up if at all unless you could get more offhand weapon attacks (Dwarven Boulder Helmet?)

stuart haffenden wrote:
Before discounting fiend totem look at Hamatula Hide armour. Yes it combines to give 3d8+12 per hit.

For this situation, one piece of equipment doesn't save the line, especially when it's cutting us out of Beast Totem.

minoritartian wrote:
Half-Orcs can take the Human Superstition favoured class bonus so you might want to consider bumping them up to blue. Sacred Tattoo with the Fate's Favoured trait is a +2 to all saves which is a nice bonus for them.

I did forget that, I'll update the guide with that info in a bit.

StreamOfTheSky wrote:
OP, I also don't like how you refer to rage cycling in the handbook as eating 2 rounds of rage per round of use.

There's so much stupid debate on this, and I agree with you, so I might just put it as one round since that's how I feel it should be.

Also with Blood of the Night hitting the SRD, there's a lot I need to add...los sigh...

Lantern Lodge

The trample feat that you can take has good synergy with the greater trample rage power.

You go around on your mount, trampling everything. You get free overruns, which triggers the trample feat, granting even more damage.

Lantern Lodge

Oh, and Goblins + Hobgoblins have an inexpensive rage cycle that is worth mentioning: Goblin War drought. While it's listed under the Hobgoblin, goblins can use it to just as good effect. Since you already have crazy good Fort saves, nothing bad should ever happen.


Furyborn?

Silver Crusade

klevis69 wrote:
Furyborn?

Sorry, I meant Furious.

Also is Blood of the Moon kidding? Half the stuff in there is making me salivate as an optimizer and cringe as a GM. Wereboar-Kin is at the top of that list, as it's making it stupid easy to get 6 primary (as hooves aren't stated as secondary, and hell if even if they weren't, that's not terrible) natural attacks. That style might just overshadow THF as the go to style, with all Barbarians being Wereboar-Kin since they get such a stupidly good Natural Attack routine. And getting distraction too (which according to the SRD can be done ranged) for the wererat, or +2 to all saves for the werewolf is just...this is sarcasm, right? Like it just has to be.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Sir Culer wrote:
One thing I didn't see in the guide that our Barbarian uses quite regularly is the Cleaving Finish feat. It's totally worth it to pursue this if you have tons of killing to do. the best part is that it also works on Attacks of Opportunity.

No. It's a very mediocre feat and is not worth wasting a worthless feat to pick up. I especially hate it because in D&D 3E "Cleaving Finish" was called "Cleave."

Don't let nostalgia cloud your judgement. I'm describing my experience with it, and you say, "No"? As if I didn't experience it? How wonderfully dismissal of you. Just because it was better before doesn't make it useless now. Our Multiclassed Barbarian/Ranger carved through the scores of enemies flung against us, and as our primary damage dealer, she would get at least one extra attack per encounter, or more if we were attacked by 4-5 creatures. Several times, as they would approach, she would get an attack of opportunity on one and then be able to kill it as the second one closed when she was able to one-shot it with a crit, killing half the encounter before she got a turn and finishing it when she did.

It's a perfectly viable feat you can use to get extra attacks if you aren't going Beast Totem, and some people will not do that for flavor, or due to multiclassing. And it's useful at lower levels than 10, which you spend at least half of your time in any given AP, and more so in PFS. Also, if you receive Enlarge and have Lunge, your reach is amazing and you can hit bad guys that are twenty feet or more.

Extra Attacks are extra attacks, and Cleaving finish is superior to your version because you always get your extra attack at your Highest Attack Bonus and it doesn't specify that you cannot take a 5' step. Now I can understand that YMMV, especially if you aren't doing more than 4 encounters in a day, but if you have a GM that brings the minions it's worth the investment to preserve the resources of the group.

I also made mention of the feat because in the guide, it didn't. It did mention Cleave, and it mentioned Improved Cleaving Finish, which isn't worth it, but it left out Cleaving Finish. I'm not even arguing that it's a must have, but rather that it should at least be mentioned if Cleave is mentioned because it's better than Cleave, even the Cleave that was, and if retraining isn't an option, this is a way to make it useful.


N. Jolly wrote:
I hope you'll enjoy this guide, and I look forward to any comments, suggestions, or critiques you have of it.

Sniff. Brings tear to my eye. Reminds me of grandma.

Silver Crusade

Sir Cular wrote:
I also made mention of the feat because in the guide

I did rate it, it was rated orange. It was next to improved, which was rated red. I don't think it's garbage, but I do think it's quite lacking in what a good feat should be.

Mordo the Spaz - Forum Troll wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
I hope you'll enjoy this guide, and I look forward to any comments, suggestions, or critiques you have of it.
Sniff. Brings tear to my eye. Reminds me of grandma.

I'm glad SOMEONE got it. Probably going to work on the magic armor section today, just added a lot of the Blood of the Moon stuff, and that's probably going to be the go to natural weapon fighter for...everyone ever.


Tripping strike does not deserve a blue rating.

With INT 13, Combat Expertise and Improved Trip as prerequisites you're sacrificing something important in order for the chance to knock something prone on a crit.

With the same investment (because you're taking power attack anyway right?) you can get Felling Smash which can let you trip on every round.

But really it's just not worth the investment.


Why are all barbarian guides so dismissive of the idea of being an archer barbarian. They can be rather effective. I just don't get.

Silver Crusade

TarkXT wrote:

Tripping strike does not deserve a blue rating.

With INT 13, Combat Expertise and Improved Trip as prerequisites you're sacrificing something important in order for the chance to knock something prone on a crit.

With the same investment (because you're taking power attack anyway right?) you can get Felling Smash which can let you trip on every round.

But really it's just not worth the investment.

I can agree that it's an opportunity cost, your swift action is also a pretty big cost as well. The free action for Tripping Strike is what makes it better to me, as I'd rather be using my swift action for something else. Also the fact that you're only allowed to make a single attack with it also really dampens the feat to me.

Felling Smash wrote:
If you use the attack action to make a single melee attack at your highest base attack bonus while using Power Attack

I did knock down Tripping Strike to Green, but Felling Smash is also an opportunity cost that I don't care for myself.

Driver 325 yards wrote:
Why are all barbarian guides so dismissive of the idea of being an archer barbarian. They can be rather effective. I just don't get.

It's just that any other class that wants to do Archery can do it better. It's not the Barbarian's strength, and while you can play against type, this is an optimization guide, so I have to list the best options. Rangers get the feats they need faster and more easily than you, as do Fighters, and most of your class features don't really help Archery, so you're really working from a deficit.

You CAN make Archery work, but the opportunity cost of it is just too high to suggest for others to do, so I left it off of the guide except for when needed, as Barbarians do not make for great archers.


N. Jolly wrote:


Rangers get the feats they need faster and more easily than you, as do Fighters, and most of your class features don't really help Archery, so you're really working from a deficit.

You CAN make Archery work, but the opportunity cost of it is just too high to suggest for others to do, so I left it off of the guide except for when needed, as Barbarians do not make for great archers.

Have you compared the barbarian archer to the ranger archer? I am curious because I have and I think they are on par though different. I will say that the barbarian archer should start off one level of fighter and should be human. However, after that he is all barbarian. His damage and accuracy are better than a ranger. His health is obviously better than a ranger.

How does this build suffer in comparison to a ranger?

Optibuilds wrote:

Quote:

Urban Barbarian/Invulnerable

Campaign Traits / Feat / Rage Power Progression: Traits) Reactionary and Dangerously Curious; Human Feat) Point Blank Shot; F1) Precise Shot, Rapid Shot; B3) Reckless Abandon, Deadly Aim; B5) Superstitious, Weapon Focus; B7) Witch Hunter, Manyshot; B9) Ghost Rager, Snap Shot; B11) Quick Reflexes, Improved Snap Shot; B13) Clustershot, Unexpected Strike

This guy can cast gravity bow (just like a ranger). Even without gravity bow, at 13th while raging, he can effectively shoots deadly aim / reckless abandon arrows at +22 / +22 / +22 / +17 / +12 for (1d8 +17) from within 30 feet (the first two shots are really a Manyshot for two arrows made with one roll). He can add +4 damage against creatures with spells and spell-like abilities with witch hunter. Using quick math, that is about 130 damage on average if they all hit.

Of course we are just getting started. Improved Snap Shot and Quick Reflexes are working well together. Clustershot rocks. Unexpected strike in the hands of a snap shot archer (especially with one of those belts that let you rage cycle - think about it!)

Furthermore, the build can be modified. Ghost Rager could be replaced with Disruptive to make you that much more menacing to spellcasters with his improved snap shot. I also read your guide and apparently there are tricks to add arcane strike into this build down the line.

Finishing this build out to twentieth could even involve power attack and other melee feats/rage powers because the rage powers he has already selected would naturally fit into melee.

Oh, and I forgot, he is quite durable.

I have to disagree that with the statement that the barbarian archer is not on par with the ranger archer. I think he is.

Silver Crusade

Driver 325 yards wrote:

Have you compared the barbarian archer to the ranger archer? I am curious because I have and I think they are on par though different. I will say that the barbarian archer should start off one level of fighter and should be human. However, after that he is all barbarian. His damage and accuracy are better than a ranger. His health is obviously better than a ranger.

How does this build suffer in comparison to a ranger?

Optibuilds wrote:

Quote:

Urban Barbarian/Invulnerable

Campaign Traits / Feat / Rage Power Progression: Traits) Reactionary and Dangerously Curious; Human Feat) Point Blank Shot; F1) Precise Shot, Rapid Shot; B3) Reckless Abandon, Deadly Aim; B5) Superstitious, Weapon Focus; B7) Witch Hunter, Manyshot; B9) Ghost Rager, Snap Shot; B11) Quick Reflexes, Improved Snap Shot; B13) Clustershot, Unexpected Strike

This guy can cast gravity bow (just like a ranger). Even without gravity bow, at 13th while raging, he can effectively shoots deadly aim / reckless abandon arrows at +22 / +22 / +22 / +17 / +12 for (1d8 +17) from within 30 feet (the first two shots are really a Manyshot for two arrows made with one roll). He can add +4 damage against creatures with spells and spell-like abilities with witch hunter. Using quick math, that is about 130 damage on average if they all hit.

Of course we are just getting started. Improved Snap Shot and Quick Reflexes are working well together. Clustershot rocks. Unexpected strike in the hands of an archer (especially with one of those belts that let you rage cycle - think about it!)

Furthermore, the build can be be modified. Ghost Rager could be replaced with Disruptive to make you that much more menacing to spellcasters with his improved snap shot. I also read your guide and apparently there are tricks to add arcane strike into this build down the line.

Finishing this build out to twentieth could even involve power attack and other melee feats/rage powers because the rage powers he has already selected would naturally fit into melee.

Oh, and I forgot, he is quite durable.

I have to disagree that with the statement that the barbarian archer is not on par with the ranger archer. I think he is.

I feel like what you're arguing is that Archery is good, which no one is denying. But the Barb's class features are just giving bonus damage, not really archery damage. The feat loadout you're showing could be taken by any full BAB class. Where you have Witch Hunter, you could have bonus feats from the Ranger, or the Fighter, either one boosting accuracy.

I'll give you that Unexpected Strike and such are decent for this build, but using all your feats to do this feels like you could have just gone with another class.

At best, the Barbarian could make a switch hitter, but even then I feel like the Ranger outclasses him by both feats and spells. Plus this isn't really using some of the Barb's best tools like CAGM or Spell Sunder, which again just feels like a waste.

I'll admit this is just my personal opinion, but an archer Barbarian feels like you're not using the class to its fullest. Archery is strong, but it's better left in the hands of someone who's more competent at it.


If I were making a Barbarian archer, I wouldn't take the weaker bonuses of Urban Barbarian just to boost my to-hit.

I'd do normal rage and just get the Adaptive property (flat 1000 gp cost; bow always matches your current str bonus) placed on my bow.

But it is pretty suboptimal. You get no bonus feats on a build that badly needs them, no early entry for feats like Ranger and Zen Archer get, and no spell support like Gravity Bow (Ranger). And Fighter just gets much better attack/damage boons than you.

You can try to overcome these things as your above build does, such as getting UMD as a class skill and wand of gravity bow, but it's still not as good / takes a higher level to be available/viable.
And nothing is going to make up for the lack of Instant Enemy spell + Favored Enemy. That's ultimately +8 attack and damage on any boss you really want dead.


130 points of damage with a full attack with snap shot and unexpected strike to boot is not suboptimal. Now, maybe if someone shows me the output of damage of this theoretical ranger then I will admit that I am wrong.

By the way, he gets all the feats he needs on time and some feats the other classes can't get (reckless abandon, witch hunter, unexpected strike). I know you guys don't think of these as archery feats, but they are for this guy. By the way, the ranger get three extra feats for archery. The barbarian's three extra feats are the ones mentioned above.

StreaOfTheSky (cool name by the way) I like Urban Barbarian because it gives the build options. When he needs more accuracy he has it. If he needs more damage he can pump up strength and use adaptive bow.

So he is not missing out on anything. What feat is he missing out on? I guess Improved Precise Shot?


N. Jolly wrote:
I feel like what you're arguing is that Archery is good, which no one is denying. But the Barb's class features are just giving bonus damage, not really archery damage.

Urban barbarian dexterity boost and reckless abandon give boost to accuracy. Urban barbarian strength bonus and witch hunter give bonuses to damage.

Quote:
The feat loadout you're showing could be taken by any full BAB class. Where you have Witch Hunter, you could have bonus feats from the Ranger, or the Fighter, either one boosting accuracy.

Your arguing that other archers are different, but not necessarily better. In fact, I like that the barbarian archer is different. Variety is great.

Quote:
I'll give you that Unexpected Strike and such are decent for this build, but using all your feats to do this feels like you could have just gone with another class.

All archers dedicate there feats to taking archery feats. Why should barbarians be any different? By the way, this guy still has multipurpose abilities like superstition, which beats the Iron Will the fighter would have to take. Ghost Rager is something that is not dedicated to archery and is great. Reckless abandon, quick reflexes, witch hunter and unexpected strike also can be used to make him great with a sword when that bow is sundered(Zen Archer try that).

Quote:
At best, the Barbarian could make a switch hitter, but even then I feel like the Ranger outclasses him by both feats and spells.

The ranger is not a better switch hitter. Period.

Quote:
Plus this isn't really using some of the Barb's best tools like CAGM or Spell Sunder, which again just feels like a waste.

Apples and Oranges. The point is not to compare the melee barbarian to the archer barbarian. The point is to compare the archer barbarian to other archers. If someone wanted to be an archer and they played the above build they are not second fiddle to any other archer build. They are different, but not second fiddle.

Silver Crusade

Sigh, I really don't feel like doing a full build for this, but I'll take the relevant parts out. What's the point buy you're using for this character so I make sure to leverage it out to the same?


N. Jolly wrote:
Sigh, I really don't feel like doing a full build for this, but I'll take the relevant parts out. What's the point buy you're using for this character so I make sure to leverage it out to the same?

I take it you are comparing the ranger to the barbarian. Point Buy 25 points.

Silver Crusade

Then I'm going to just take your 25 point buy from the thread you put up. I'm doing this for the Ranger, as the Fighter is just a class I don't like.

Race: Human
Stats Str 22 (Human bonus, 4th level bump, +2 Belt) Dex 22 (8th/12th level bump, +2 belt) Con 12 Int 10 Wis 10 Chr 10

Feats
H: Point Blank Shot
1st: Deadly Aim
2nd: Precise Shot
3rd: Rapid Shot
5th: Weapon Focus (Composite Longbow)
6th: Point Blank Master
7th: Clustered Shots
9th: Snap Shot
10th: Many Shot
12th: Improved Snap Shot
13th: Boon Companion

Favored Enemy
+6 Outsider, Evil
+4 Undead
+2 Magical Beast

Equipment +3 Adaptable Longbow, +2 belt of Str/Dex

Relevant Spell: Instant Enemy, Gravity Bow

So Rerrickr the Ranger is at least up the ability to attack with his bow with no AOOs on all shots instead of just AOOs. His attack routine vs Evil Outsiders or anything he's used Instant Enemy against is:
+24(x2)/+24/+19/+14 for 2d6+23, or 1d8+23 for rounds you can't get off Gravity Bow.

I'll admit the difference isn't as big as I thought, but I still have a full HD Animal companion as well as spells. But I'll give you that it did give me a bit more insight into Barb Archers. I might have to chance a few things, even if I still feel it's a waste.


Well, there you go. And note, you have to use instant enemy to make your point. How many instant enemies do you get? That barbarian is a bad azz all the time. No prep needed. And he can still do gravity bow.

As for the animal companion, I think the barbarian makes up for that with his hitpoints, damage reduction, natural switch hitting ability, superstition, money he doesn't have to spend on animal companion.

Like I said, they are different. However, I don't believe the ranger is superior. Just different

By the way, I think your starting stats would have to be 19, 18, 12, 10, 10. Is that possible with a 25 point build?

Finally, note that the link I provided had miscalculations to the detriment of the barbarian.

Accuracy = BAB (13) + 26dex raging (8) + 3 bow -2rapid shot + 1weapon focus + 1PBS + (deadly aim & reckless abandon cancel out) = 24

Damage = +8 deadly aim + 3 bow + 4 witch hunter + 5 strength +1 PBS = 21
so, 1d8 + 21

that means 24/24/24/19/14 for (1d8 + 21) all day every day no prep.

Silver Crusade

Driver 325 yards wrote:

Well, there you go. And note, you have to use instant enemy to make your point. How many instant enemies do you get? That barbarian is a bad azz all the time. No prep needed. And he can still do gravity bow.

As for the animal companion, I think the barbarian makes up for that with his hitpoints, damage reduction, natural switch hitting ability, superstition, money he doesn't have to spend on animal companion.

Like I said, they are different. However, I don't believe the ranger is superior. Just different

By the way, I think your starting stats would have to be 19, 18, 12, 10, 10. Is that possible with a 25 point build?

To be fair, you have rage rounds to deal with where the Ranger has spell slots. All the best classes have a limit to their power to stop them from throwing the kill switch all the time.

I'd say the Ranger could Switch hit just as well, especially with these stats, and the Ranger still gets more skill points, Favored Terrain, and other things. I guess when I look at the Barb, I want to use the most shiny toys. I'm wondering if I should consider the Archer a main role or keep it as a sub role though, as that's a rather important decision to make.

And the 17 was taken to a 19 for Human Racial bonus, although even if it was an error, it only drops his damage by one per shot, since he's not attacking off of it. Again not a huge difference.


N. Jolly wrote:

To be fair, you have rage rounds to deal with where the Ranger has spell slots. All the best classes have a limit to their power to stop them from throwing the kill switch all the time.

You can't compare a spell you may be able to cast once or twice to 30 rounds of rage. He is basically always raging. Further, you rage as a free action. That matters. So you spend one round casting while the barbarian is laying waste to his enemies.

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