Barbarian Class Preview

Monday, June 11, 2018

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

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

Rage

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

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Totems

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

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

Additional Barbarian Features

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

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

Barbarian Feats

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

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

Mark Seifter
Designer

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You know, it's a funny thing...
For the better part of ten years, many folks wanted Lawful Barbarians because there were endless examples of barbarians who followed a tribal or personal code or restriction and 'codes are inherently Lawful'
Now we have Lawful Barbarians who can choose to take a code or restriction if they want, and I see folks up in arms over the very thing that was once used to 'prove' that they should get to be Lawful at all.
But such is life, I suppose.


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Spell sunder and superstitious in core. Great. Just Great.
Also i'd like to know ho much of the ubiquitness of the totems was because of coolness or because f%~!ing pounce on a barbarian was THE mechanically optimal choice.


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Rob Godfrey wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Is it just the totems that are giving the anathema? If so maybe the totem options are slightly better then non-totem options?
their are no 'non totem options' as far as I can tell, from reading this they are a core class mechanic.

Yes, but it does seem that "Fury" is a Totem in the same sense that 'Bald' is a hair colour...


Malachandra wrote:
Wultram wrote:
Call them as I see them, might be subjective matter. So is music, but I will still call bubblegum pop garbage music. Neither do I need to jump out of an airplane without a parachute to know that it is a bad idea. And yes I use strong language because that gets the point across I am trying to communicate. If someone takes offense to my use of language that is their problem not mine.
No. It is your problem. This is a community, and if you want to be part of it, you are obligated to be respectful. In fact, others expressed similar opinions using actual reasoning, not just offensive nonsense. They were engaged in discussion by people who disagreed. Your post, on the other hand, was deservedly called down, the content ignored. The way you express your opinion matters, and as it stands now you were counter-productive to the ideas you were trying to communicate. Using offensive language only results in making people want to disagree with you. And being respectful really isn't that hard, and results in your ideas actually being considered.

Who are you to say what is the qualification of being part of a community? Even if I was despised universally that does not make me not part of it. And no respect is earned, people are given common courtesy, there is a very big difference between the two. And ideas are not even inside the spehre of courtesy. What I have essentially said this idea is dumb. That is purely statement of the idea itself. And yes it does imply someone had a dumb idea, and as such reflect badly on them.(if we for convinience sake assume that idea somehow is without room for argument dumb.) That does not mean that calling someones idea dumb is somehow attack on their person. And if someone ignores content based on the tone it is said, well that is their personal flaw. Sure we are all human but if someone can't get around their emotional reaction, that is again on the listener(in this case reader) not the talker. Also I disagree that I was offensive, people certainly took offense but those two are different things. I am not responsible for someones sensitivities or feelings. And for the record I did not see reason to actually write down an argument, the simple mention of equating this to paladins and the arguments about them is all that is needed. Those discussions have been had and this is the excat same situation once you go down to the fundamental level.

_______________________________________________________

@Cheburn: As established earlier the quote system isn't the best around here, so I will just adress your post as a whole:

I certainly would agree that my sample size is smaller, even if I consider PFS as not valid data point due to it's organized play form and all that comes with it. I would reckon even ignoring that that the devs have a higher sample size. However I would consider my sample size to be big enough that it is highly unlikely that large part of the popularity did not come from the fluff.

We also seem to have a fundamental disagreement on good game desing. To me anything that decides for the player what type of personality their character has is to be avoided like the plague. Of coarse that is not without it's exceptions, like say divide between arcane and divine magic, naturally will determine for a caster if they are religious for divine casters. But generally speaking broad strokes like that are better than more narrow ones. And it should always have a good justification for it. I see nothing of the sort in adding anethma to the barbarian chassis.

Regarding the communication aspect. First I would at best say I was insulting their work, which is quite bit different than insulting them. And I would say my messege got across in the way that it was not unclear to anyone what I think about the implementation of locking mechanics behind character personality. Now if I was trying to convince someone that is a different story. Though to be fair I am not sure I have a desire to convince people who are unable to supress their emotional responses and judge content on it's own merits and nothing else.

__________________________________

@Deadmanwalking:

I haven't gone into detail about all of the iconics so possible that I have missed some. But we seem to have different opinions on what passes for good or acceptable or whatever term one wants to use. Regardless I don't think this is the thread to discuss the merits and flaws of the iconics.

____________

So here is a simple argument then. Enforcing and/or locking mechanics behind characters personality is a bad decision and about as close as wrong as you can be on a subjective matter. As an example who would tolerate their GM saying something along the lines "You find this person attractive"(In this example assume that no external forces influencing the character.) As in not describing that the NPC is atractive, but that your character find them so. To me at least that is stop hold on a second, serious talk and very real possibility of walking from the table. So why should we allow the rules to do this?


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Dragon78 wrote:
Can we please not call them "anathema". How about "taboo" or some other similar word.

ANATHEMA

ta-boo, ta-boo-oo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo ta-boo ta-boo ta ta ta-boo

(I regret nothing)


Honestly if sorcerer doesn't have taboos from their bloodline, I'm going to be thoroughly disappointed. And it seems like wizards should have anathemas associated with their schools.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wultram wrote:
So here is a simple argument then. Enforcing and/or locking mechanics behind characters personality is a bad decision and about as close as wrong as you can be on a subjective matter. As an example who would tolerate their GM saying something along the lines "You find this person attractive"(In this example assume that no external forces influencing the character.) As in not describing that the NPC is atractive, but that your character find them so. To me at least that is stop hold on a second, serious talk and very real possibility of walking from the table. So why should we allow the rules to do this?

This is a complete and total non-sequitur that has... absolutely no relation to Anathema as showcased.


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Perhaps it's just me, but having experience with point-buy games that have options for stuff like codes of conduct or the like, I've never seen anyone metagame their chosen code or choose one just because they want the points, and know it'll never come up. It's always been something that makes sense for the character and setting. I don't see why just leaving it open to the players and the GM to come up with on an individual basis isn't just the go to. Maybe for PFS you could have some predefined PFS-legal anathema options, but I don't even know that that's necessary.


Rysky wrote:
Wultram wrote:
So here is a simple argument then. Enforcing and/or locking mechanics behind characters personality is a bad decision and about as close as wrong as you can be on a subjective matter. As an example who would tolerate their GM saying something along the lines "You find this person attractive"(In this example assume that no external forces influencing the character.) As in not describing that the NPC is atractive, but that your character find them so. To me at least that is stop hold on a second, serious talk and very real possibility of walking from the table. So why should we allow the rules to do this?
This is a complete and total non-sequitur that has... absolutely no relation to Anathema as showcased.
Blog wrote:
you cannot fail to accept a personal challenge of your strength

Sure about that? Sounds a whole lot like enforced personality trait to me.


Tholomyes wrote:
Perhaps it's just me, but having experience with point-buy games that have options for stuff like codes of conduct or the like, I've never seen anyone metagame their chosen code or choose one just because they want the points, and know it'll never come up. It's always been something that makes sense for the character and setting. I don't see why just leaving it open to the players and the GM to come up with on an individual basis isn't just the go to. Maybe for PFS you could have some predefined PFS-legal anathema options, but I don't even know that that's necessary.

I mean this is the internet, no one on any side of any issue is ever alone. For instance, I've seen plenty of point buy build a codes where people just cherry pick the blindingly obvious for free points ("never abandons friends" is the perennial classic since that's literally just good party etiquette). GURPS is also pretty famous for picking useless free points, hence the joke of all GURPS parties consisting of sterile dwarfs.

Either way, the fact that so many people are getting their pants in a wad over totems and anathemas/restrictions really just confuses me. I mean, this general thing is nothing new in rpgs, let alone pathfinder and people thrived in those times with fairly minimal complaint outside of paladins really (which also had a lot of people harrange for explicitly defined and non-interpretation open codes too). I forget who said it, but the person who said people on these boards are all about having all of the cake and eating it too was spot on for a lot of people.


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Tholomyes wrote:
Perhaps it's just me, but having experience with point-buy games that have options for stuff like codes of conduct or the like, I've never seen anyone metagame their chosen code or choose one just because they want the points, and know it'll never come up. It's always been something that makes sense for the character and setting. I don't see why just leaving it open to the players and the GM to come up with on an individual basis isn't just the go to. Maybe for PFS you could have some predefined PFS-legal anathema options, but I don't even know that that's necessary.

I've seen plenty of players choose a code they were going to follow anyways for the points. After all, if I'm going to play a Street Samurai in Shadowrun that follows Bushido, I might as well get something out of it.

What Wultram is getting at, I think, is that the vast majority of players didn't choose Totems for flavor, but for mechanics. Nobody cared what the Beast Totem said, the important thing was Pounce at 10th Level. I doubt every person that chose Superstitious actually RP'd their barbarian as an actual superstitious person, they just looked at the cost:benefit ratio and went "This is good, I'll take this."

Furthermore, no totem in PF1e has any sort of code. You took whichever you liked the most, that was it.

Now in PF2E they're shoehorning roleplaying restrictions into the totems for flavor reasons, but the totems aren't just flavor, they're mechanics. So you're locking mechanics behind arbitrary RP restrictions. Mechanics that weren't previously so gated. Understandably, some people don't like that.

Silver Crusade

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Wultram wrote:
Even if I was despised universally that does not make me not part of it.
It kinda does.
Wultram wrote:
And no respect is earned, people are given common courtesy, there is a very big difference between the two.
Or... you could just not insult people and treat them with basic decency. "Respect has to be earned" aka you have to earn the right for me to not insult you is just sad.
Wultram wrote:
That does not mean that calling someones idea dumb is somehow attack on their person.
It kinda is.
Wultram wrote:
And if someone ignores content based on the tone it is said, well that is their personal flaw.
No. That is you failing to present your views so you resort to attacks.
Wultram wrote:
Sure we are all human but if someone can't get around their emotional reaction, that is again on the listener(in this case reader) not the talker.
Aka I should be allowed to insult people freely and wantonly and they just have to take it. No.
Wultram wrote:
Also I disagree that I was offensive, people certainly took offense but those two are different things.
They took offense because you were offensive. You do not get to decide that what you say is not offensive just because you said it.
Wultram wrote:
I am not responsible for someones sensitivities or feelings.
When you are insulting people, yes, you very much are.
Wultram wrote:
However I would consider my sample size to be big enough-
It's really not.
Wultram wrote:
To me anything that decides for the player what type of personality their character has is to be avoided like the plague.
Of which the Anathema showcased does not do.
Wultram wrote:
First I would at best say I was insulting their work, which is quite bit different than insulting them.
It isn't, you're still insulting them.
Wultram wrote:
Though to be fair I am not sure I have a desire to convince people who are unable to supress their emotional responses and judge content on it's own merits and nothing else.

Then you will never be bale to convince any human of anything. As everyone has been trying (repeatedly) to point out, insulting people working on the game and the people trying to talk to you just because you believe you should insult people and they have to be insulted is bad, you will not prove a point or convince anyone to your side by doing so.

Silver Crusade

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Wultram wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Wultram wrote:
So here is a simple argument then. Enforcing and/or locking mechanics behind characters personality is a bad decision and about as close as wrong as you can be on a subjective matter. As an example who would tolerate their GM saying something along the lines "You find this person attractive"(In this example assume that no external forces influencing the character.) As in not describing that the NPC is atractive, but that your character find them so. To me at least that is stop hold on a second, serious talk and very real possibility of walking from the table. So why should we allow the rules to do this?
This is a complete and total non-sequitur that has... absolutely no relation to Anathema as showcased.
Blog wrote:
you cannot fail to accept a personal challenge of your strength

Sure about that? Sounds a whole lot like enforced personality trait to me.

"You must accept personal challenges of strength" and a GM arbitrarily deciding your character finds another attractive have absolutely nothing to do with each other.


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I did enjoy the read on the Barbarian, and also many of the comments in favor or against some of the specific things, but please if you feel the need to post over 10 post complaining and trying to refute other's opinions, go open a thread dedicated to it, don't make half the comments under ANY Paizo Post be a discussion between 4 guys quoting each other non-stop...

As for calling the Barbarian thingie something else than "Anathema" (some suggested "Taboo" and other things) that would be going back to square one and call every Class Feat something different for each class. They want to make PF2 easier to read and understand, we don't need 5 different words to decribe the same thing for 5 classes. Call all the RP-Hooks Roleplaying-Guidelines or Character-Codes Anathemas for everyone and be done with it.

And about having a problem with a particular Totem having a particular Anathema that doesn't fit your character, I could just say the exact same about my Wizard having to write and daily memorize spells from a book (have yet to see that on a movie)... Just live with it... or don't. Rule it out.

If you are exerienced enough at Pathfinder to know how to do interesting characters and roleplay them, chances are you are also experienced enough to know when to ignore a Rule/Anathema/Suggestion that doesn't suit you or your group...
If you aren't experienced enough, having an Anathema forced upon you is more likely to improve your Roleplaying and make the game more interesting that it is to ruin your "amazing character concept" that more likely than not had no flaws.

If your actual problem is that you can't agree with your DM to use a different Anathema for your Barbarian (or none at all), and that he wants to do all by the book... Looks like you shouldn't be playing with that DM to begin with (not because he is wrong, but because you clearly want different things and games).
And I do think is better for the Core Rulebook to have a different Anathema for every Totem, that way when you play a different Barbarian, you do have to actually roleplay it differently, instead of them all being pretty much the same but this one has a big weapon and this one transforms into a bear.

The whole Barbarian Anathema thingie keeps me thinking about Wulfgar, from Salvatore's books. When he fails to do "the right thing" (from his point of views/traditions/etc), he loses his center and can't concentrate (nor "rage"). I do wonder if Paizo got some of the inspiration from him.

BTW I must say I'm surprised by the 3/1 Rage/Fatigue rotation, but the idea to keep gaining Temporal Hit Points on a long combat does fit my image of the barbarian.

Sovereign Court

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Wultram wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Wultram wrote:
So here is a simple argument then. Enforcing and/or locking mechanics behind characters personality is a bad decision and about as close as wrong as you can be on a subjective matter. As an example who would tolerate their GM saying something along the lines "You find this person attractive"(In this example assume that no external forces influencing the character.) As in not describing that the NPC is atractive, but that your character find them so. To me at least that is stop hold on a second, serious talk and very real possibility of walking from the table. So why should we allow the rules to do this?
This is a complete and total non-sequitur that has... absolutely no relation to Anathema as showcased.
Blog wrote:
you cannot fail to accept a personal challenge of your strength

Sure about that? Sounds a whole lot like enforced personality trait to me.

Options: you are cursed to accept challenges of strength; any challenger is a potential recruit to join your order, and you are always on the lookout for new recruits; your tribe places strong cultural value on demonstrations of strength. You don’t agree with them, but still feel dissonance when you break that tribal custom.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Wultram wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Wultram wrote:
So here is a simple argument then. Enforcing and/or locking mechanics behind characters personality is a bad decision and about as close as wrong as you can be on a subjective matter. As an example who would tolerate their GM saying something along the lines "You find this person attractive"(In this example assume that no external forces influencing the character.) As in not describing that the NPC is atractive, but that your character find them so. To me at least that is stop hold on a second, serious talk and very real possibility of walking from the table. So why should we allow the rules to do this?
This is a complete and total non-sequitur that has... absolutely no relation to Anathema as showcased.
Blog wrote:
you cannot fail to accept a personal challenge of your strength

Sure about that? Sounds a whole lot like enforced personality trait to me.

Options: you are cursed to accept challenges of strength; any challenger is a potential recruit to join your order, and you are always on the lookout for new recruits; your tribe places strong cultural value on demonstrations of strength. You don’t agree with them, but still feel dissonance when you break that tribal custom.

Or d)

You don't always accept challenges of strength, instead you can't use any weapons smaller than larger ones as using them messes with your ability to use larger ones, causing you to be unable to do so while you have to readjust back.


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willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Wultram wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Wultram wrote:
So here is a simple argument then. Enforcing and/or locking mechanics behind characters personality is a bad decision and about as close as wrong as you can be on a subjective matter. As an example who would tolerate their GM saying something along the lines "You find this person attractive"(In this example assume that no external forces influencing the character.) As in not describing that the NPC is atractive, but that your character find them so. To me at least that is stop hold on a second, serious talk and very real possibility of walking from the table. So why should we allow the rules to do this?
This is a complete and total non-sequitur that has... absolutely no relation to Anathema as showcased.
Blog wrote:
you cannot fail to accept a personal challenge of your strength

Sure about that? Sounds a whole lot like enforced personality trait to me.

Options: you are cursed to accept challenges of strength; any challenger is a potential recruit to join your order, and you are always on the lookout for new recruits; your tribe places strong cultural value on demonstrations of strength. You don’t agree with them, but still feel dissonance when you break that tribal custom.

Or d)

You don't always accept challenges of strength, instead you can't use any weapons smaller than larger ones as using them messes with your ability to use larger ones, causing you to be unable to do so while you have to readjust back.

How does that create a roleplaying hook? That just sounds like a mechanical "this is pretty much never going to come up, so it's optimal".

Grand Lodge

Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Can we please not call them "anathema". How about "taboo" or some other similar word.

ANATHEMA

ta-boo, ta-boo-oo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo ta-boo ta-boo ta ta ta-boo

(I regret nothing)

Great. Thanks for the earworm, Wandy.

ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo-oo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo ta-boo ta-boo ta ta ta-boo
*GAAAAAHHH!*


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willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Options: you are cursed to accept challenges of strength; any challenger is a potential recruit to join your order, and you are always on the lookout for new recruits; your tribe places strong cultural value on demonstrations of strength. You don’t agree with them, but still feel dissonance when you break that tribal custom.

Or d)

You don't always accept challenges of strength, instead you can't use any weapons smaller than larger ones as using them messes with your ability to use larger ones, causing you to be unable to do so while you have to readjust back.

Well, option D sounds like someone is trying to rewrite the rules in the book. I'd recommend they go with this next option:

E) Play something that better aligns with your character concept and personality.


Here's a question (I was going to do this with a bunch of characters later):

One of the PCs in a campaign I assosiate closely with is a Barbarian. What would be the best totem for a young feral woodcutter wielding a magitech chainsaw?

Liberty's Edge

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Wultram wrote:

@Deadmanwalking:

I haven't gone into detail about all of the iconics so possible that I have missed some. But we seem to have different opinions on what passes for good or acceptable or whatever term one wants to use. Regardless I don't think this is the thread to discuss the merits and flaws of the iconics.

If you'd said something like 'I don't like the Iconics, so how appropriate the Anathema are to them is irrelevant to me.' I would never have commented. You made a very different statement that they were worthless, which sort of requires a response.

This also goes back to the question of courtesy. Where I pretty much agree with Rysky. Being rude and insulting does not win you friends or influence people, and saying people should 'get around their emotional reaction' to your rudeness comes off as pretty hypocritical when you so very clearly appear to be angry and lashing out.

I mean, if you aren't responding emotionally, why are you being so abusive about the whole thing? Are you just generally verbally abusive towards anything you don't like? And if so, why in the world do you think that's acceptable?


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Gregg Reece wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Options: you are cursed to accept challenges of strength; any challenger is a potential recruit to join your order, and you are always on the lookout for new recruits; your tribe places strong cultural value on demonstrations of strength. You don’t agree with them, but still feel dissonance when you break that tribal custom.

Or d)

You don't always accept challenges of strength, instead you can't use any weapons smaller than larger ones as using them messes with your ability to use larger ones, causing you to be unable to do so while you have to readjust back.

Well, option D sounds like someone is trying to rewrite the rules in the book. I'd recommend they go with this next option:

E) Play something that better aligns with your character concept and personality.

Sounds more like dissatisfaction with a one size fits all system for how the anathema is done.

E) A character who wields large weapons to protect others, because they believe larger weapons allow them to shield others easier and that offense is better than defense in that regard, which is why they don't use a shield instead.


Cyouni wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Wultram wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Wultram wrote:
So here is a simple argument then. Enforcing and/or locking mechanics behind characters personality is a bad decision and about as close as wrong as you can be on a subjective matter. As an example who would tolerate their GM saying something along the lines "You find this person attractive"(In this example assume that no external forces influencing the character.) As in not describing that the NPC is atractive, but that your character find them so. To me at least that is stop hold on a second, serious talk and very real possibility of walking from the table. So why should we allow the rules to do this?
This is a complete and total non-sequitur that has... absolutely no relation to Anathema as showcased.
Blog wrote:
you cannot fail to accept a personal challenge of your strength

Sure about that? Sounds a whole lot like enforced personality trait to me.

Options: you are cursed to accept challenges of strength; any challenger is a potential recruit to join your order, and you are always on the lookout for new recruits; your tribe places strong cultural value on demonstrations of strength. You don’t agree with them, but still feel dissonance when you break that tribal custom.

Or d)

You don't always accept challenges of strength, instead you can't use any weapons smaller than larger ones as using them messes with your ability to use larger ones, causing you to be unable to do so while you have to readjust back.
How does that create a roleplaying hook? That just sounds like a mechanical "this is pretty much never going to come up, so it's optimal".

The barbarians giant sword gets shattered from a mighty blow from the boss, the fighter, noticing his ally lose his weapon, presses back his foe for a moment and then goes to toss his sword at the stunned barbarian for him to take and use as he draws his back up axe. The barbarian ignores the sword going into his rage as he pounces barehanded onto the boss, "No. This just got personal."

This sorta situation, is perfect for it. But then again you'd rather have him get challenged every session by some person to do something, which isn't the point of what's supposed to be a

blog wrote:
relatively low impact

thing. When it's occurring often it's no longer low impact to a player.


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Aristophanes wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Can we please not call them "anathema". How about "taboo" or some other similar word.

ANATHEMA

ta-boo, ta-boo-oo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo ta-boo ta-boo ta ta ta-boo

(I regret nothing)

Great. Thanks for the earworm, Wandy.

ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo-oo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo!
ANATHEMA
ta-boo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo-oo, ta-boo ta-boo ta-boo ta ta ta-boo
*GAAAAAHHH!*

Heh. Sorry. But it was either that or try and engage with someone who seems to think it's not their problem if they offend people, so...

(FWIW (not a lot, I suspect) I agree entirely with Rysky's post above and would like to favourite it more than once.)


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willuwontu wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Wultram wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Wultram wrote:
So here is a simple argument then. Enforcing and/or locking mechanics behind characters personality is a bad decision and about as close as wrong as you can be on a subjective matter. As an example who would tolerate their GM saying something along the lines "You find this person attractive"(In this example assume that no external forces influencing the character.) As in not describing that the NPC is atractive, but that your character find them so. To me at least that is stop hold on a second, serious talk and very real possibility of walking from the table. So why should we allow the rules to do this?
This is a complete and total non-sequitur that has... absolutely no relation to Anathema as showcased.
Blog wrote:
you cannot fail to accept a personal challenge of your strength

Sure about that? Sounds a whole lot like enforced personality trait to me.

Options: you are cursed to accept challenges of strength; any challenger is a potential recruit to join your order, and you are always on the lookout for new recruits; your tribe places strong cultural value on demonstrations of strength. You don’t agree with them, but still feel dissonance when you break that tribal custom.

Or d)

You don't always accept challenges of strength, instead you can't use any weapons smaller than larger ones as using them messes with your ability to use larger ones, causing you to be unable to do so while you have to readjust back.
How does that create a roleplaying hook? That just sounds like a mechanical "this is pretty much never going to come up, so it's optimal".
The barbarians giant sword gets shattered from a mighty blow from the boss, the fighter, noticing his ally lose his weapon, presses back his foe for a moment and then goes to toss his sword at the stunned barbarian for him to take and use as he draws his back up axe. The...

Again, that's not a roleplaying hook. That's a "I can't use the sword or I lose access to features" mechanical thing.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Wultram wrote:

@Deadmanwalking:

I haven't gone into detail about all of the iconics so possible that I have missed some. But we seem to have different opinions on what passes for good or acceptable or whatever term one wants to use. Regardless I don't think this is the thread to discuss the merits and flaws of the iconics.

If you'd said something like 'I don't like the Iconics, so how appropriate the Anathema are to them is irrelevant to me.' I would never have commented. You made a very different statement that they were worthless, which sort of requires a response.

This also goes back to the question of courtesy. Where I pretty much agree with Rysky. Being rude and insulting does not win you friends or influence people, and saying people should 'get around their emotional reaction' to your rudeness comes off as pretty hypocritical when you so very clearly appear to be angry and lashing out.

I mean, if you aren't responding emotionally, why are you being so abusive about the whole thing? Are you just generally verbally abusive towards anything you don't like? And if so, why in the world do you think that's acceptable?

For the record my opinion on their worth has not changed, but if you really want to continue that discussion shoot a PM or something. We have different definations what constitutes as insulting. Also I never said that people weren't allowed to have emotions. I was talking about being able to set those aside, to see if whatever has merit. Only time I have gotten angry during this thread is when, someone decided to lie about what I actually meant, instead of what I said. Again we have very different ideas about what counts as abusive. Abusive to me means that I would actually be trying to hurt someone.

Regardless I think it is better for me to step away for a time, because this isn't doing me nor anyone else any good. Suffice to say we have different values and definations regarding respect, courtesy, decency and responsibilities of an invidual.


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TheFinish wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Perhaps it's just me, but having experience with point-buy games that have options for stuff like codes of conduct or the like, I've never seen anyone metagame their chosen code or choose one just because they want the points, and know it'll never come up. It's always been something that makes sense for the character and setting. I don't see why just leaving it open to the players and the GM to come up with on an individual basis isn't just the go to. Maybe for PFS you could have some predefined PFS-legal anathema options, but I don't even know that that's necessary.

I've seen plenty of players choose a code they were going to follow anyways for the points. After all, if I'm going to play a Street Samurai in Shadowrun that follows Bushido, I might as well get something out of it.

What Wultram is getting at, I think, is that the vast majority of players didn't choose Totems for flavor, but for mechanics. Nobody cared what the Beast Totem said, the important thing was Pounce at 10th Level. I doubt every person that chose Superstitious actually RP'd their barbarian as an actual superstitious person, they just looked at the cost:benefit ratio and went "This is good, I'll take this."

Furthermore, no totem in PF1e has any sort of code. You took whichever you liked the most, that was it.

Now in PF2E they're shoehorning roleplaying restrictions into the totems for flavor reasons, but the totems aren't just flavor, they're mechanics. So you're locking mechanics behind arbitrary RP restrictions. Mechanics that weren't previously so gated. Understandably, some people don't like that.

This.

Sovereign Court

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Wultram wrote:

@King of anything and willuntu:

That just means a larger list of enforced personality traits to choose from. Which will always be less than the infinite that thrashing the idea allows. Granted the curse one would be character not specifically personality trait. All the same completely useless restriction on character concepts with absolutely nothing of value gained to someone who is perfectly capable of creating a good character to begin with.

Choose a personality trait for your Giant-sword-wielding barbarian, then. There are very few that would be difficult to justify or work with the anathema.


Cyouni wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
willuwontu wrote:


Or d)
You don't always accept challenges of strength, instead you can't use any weapons smaller than larger ones as using them messes with your ability to use larger ones, causing you to be unable to do so while you have to readjust back.
How does that create a roleplaying hook? That just sounds like a mechanical "this is pretty much never going to come up, so it's optimal".

The barbarians giant sword gets shattered from a mighty blow from the boss, the fighter, noticing his ally lose his weapon, presses back his foe for a moment and then goes to toss his sword at the stunned barbarian for him to take and use as he draws his back up axe. The barbarian ignores the sword going into his rage as he pounces barehanded onto the boss, "No. This just got personal."

This sorta situation, is perfect for it. But then again you'd rather have him get challenged every session by some person to do something, which isn't the point of what's supposed to be a

blog wrote:
relatively low impact
thing. When it's occurring often it's no longer low impact to a player.

Again, that's not a roleplaying hook. That's a "I can't use the sword or I lose access to features" mechanical thing.

Just as much as accept every challenge or lose these features is.


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In a perfect world all of the totems will be pretty good, so "choose a totem because its anathema seems fun to RP and then take advantage of whatever that gets you" should be as valid a way to go about building a character as "choose a totem for its mechanical benefit then deal with the anathema."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
In a perfect world all of the totems will be pretty good, so "choose a totem because its anathema seems fun to RP and then take advantage of whatever that gets you" should be as valid a way to go about building a character as "choose a totem for its mechanical benefit then deal with the anathema."

In a perfect world, anathemas would be suggestions of roleplay not hard shutdowns of your abilities, because this is a game and losing abilities is not fun.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
necromental wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
In a perfect world all of the totems will be pretty good, so "choose a totem because its anathema seems fun to RP and then take advantage of whatever that gets you" should be as valid a way to go about building a character as "choose a totem for its mechanical benefit then deal with the anathema."
In a perfect world, anathemas would be suggestions of roleplay not hard shutdowns of your abilities, because this is a game and losing abilities is not fun.

But, drawbacks, tradeoffs, and meaningful choices are fun. So as long as you can choose not to lose your abilities, everything stays fun!


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KingOfAnything wrote:
necromental wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
In a perfect world all of the totems will be pretty good, so "choose a totem because its anathema seems fun to RP and then take advantage of whatever that gets you" should be as valid a way to go about building a character as "choose a totem for its mechanical benefit then deal with the anathema."
In a perfect world, anathemas would be suggestions of roleplay not hard shutdowns of your abilities, because this is a game and losing abilities is not fun.
But, drawbacks, tradeoffs, and meaningful choices are fun. So as long as you can choose not to lose your abilities, everything stays fun!

To you maybe, not to me. Not everything has to be a choice/drawback/whatever, some thing can just be good on it's own.


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The Raven Black wrote:

When you write about optional flavor, I read it as being able to choose the flavor/restriction that best suits your concept (ie having many options). But I think other posters may read it as being able to have zero flavor/restriction at all (ie not choosing an option)

I also understand the concerns of those that feel some players will try and pick the best of both worlds

But if anathema are as little game-impacting as Mark Seifter implied, Superstition being the exception, then giving the choice would carry very little risk of munchkinism

You are correct, that is how this discussion personally affects me. However, while I prefer characters with significant flaws and less of a mechanical focus to the game, that is not true for everyone else and those people are no more inherently right or wrong in their opinions than you or I. If someone is disruptive to a group, they're a problem. Otherwise, their different playstyle is not wrong.

dysartes wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
It's almost like forcing role-playing restrictions that the player doesn't want doesn't work out well. If Bookrat's interpretation is correct, the developers' intent is to instead encourage a dialogue where the GM and player together decide on restrictions the player finds fun. If that's correct, it's an ingenious way to sidestep this problem.
Nah, it's more like a chunk of the Pathfinder playerbase are determined to get as much ice cream as possible, while eating as few vegetables as possible.

Who are you to decide what is good or bad for someone else when they're enjoying their freaking hobby? Why should they have to eat the vegetables you give them? You aren't their mother.

Now speaking to no one in particular: Deciding you know better than someone else how they should have fun is the epitome of arrogance and pretension. Using the rules to force your preferred style on unwilling people makes you a petty tyrant and a toxic sore on the community. These attitudes are what drive players permanently out of the hobby, because unsurprisingly, people don't like listening to how much better you and your preferences are. It costs you nothing to live and let live and find a group you're compatible with; insulting the playstyle of others is not necessary.

The reason this last bit was directed to no one in particular is because I'm assuming that I must be misunderstanding something and people aren't seriously championing such a destructive attitude. I'm giving the individual posters the benefit of the doubt while speaking to a recurring problem I've encountered in this hobby.


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Draconis Magnum wrote:

You know, it's a funny thing...

For the better part of ten years, many folks wanted Lawful Barbarians because there were endless examples of barbarians who followed a tribal or personal code or restriction and 'codes are inherently Lawful'
Now we have Lawful Barbarians who can choose to take a code or restriction if they want, and I see folks up in arms over the very thing that was once used to 'prove' that they should get to be Lawful at all.
But such is life, I suppose.

Some of us didn't like seeing arbitrary restrictions prevent us playing characters that we thought made a lot of sense and were really excited about. Now they're trading one set of restrictions that limit concepts we like for another. There's nothing inconsistent about not liking either restriction.


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necromental wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
In a perfect world all of the totems will be pretty good, so "choose a totem because its anathema seems fun to RP and then take advantage of whatever that gets you" should be as valid a way to go about building a character as "choose a totem for its mechanical benefit then deal with the anathema."
In a perfect world, anathemas would be suggestions of roleplay not hard shutdowns of your abilities, because this is a game and losing abilities is not fun.

It's important to recognize that all games work within contraints and that the amount of fun can't always be dictated by whether you lose abilities or not. There's plenty of games where being prevented from doing something (or take a penality) is considered fun.

Here's an example of taking the "can't lose abilities or it's not fun" thing to the opposite extreme:

You lose *all* abilities when your PC goes unconscious or dies. The rules should prevent a character from ever going below 1 HP, or the game isn't fun.


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bookrat wrote:
necromental wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
In a perfect world all of the totems will be pretty good, so "choose a totem because its anathema seems fun to RP and then take advantage of whatever that gets you" should be as valid a way to go about building a character as "choose a totem for its mechanical benefit then deal with the anathema."
In a perfect world, anathemas would be suggestions of roleplay not hard shutdowns of your abilities, because this is a game and losing abilities is not fun.

It's important to recognize that all games work within contraints and that the amount of fun can't always be dictated by whether you lose abilities or not. There's plenty of games where being prevented from doing something (or take a penality) is considered fun.

Here's an example of taking the "can't lose abilities or it's not fun" thing to the opposite extreme:

You lose *all* abilities when your PC goes unconscious or dies. The rules should prevent a character from ever going below 1 HP, or the game isn't fun.

And? The extremes are worthless in an argument so whats your point? And yes games work within constraints. I'm saying that this particular constraint is not to my liking. And I'm already making a choice, I'm playing this totem, so I can't play the other ones. The only thing I don't want is my choice to be burdened with forced roleplaying.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Going to temporarily close this thread so I can review what's going on as there is an exception number of flags.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Removed a couple posts and replies. Opening thread back up.

Before you hit "submit post" on your text please take a moment to review our community guidelines. It is helpful when engaging in debate on the forums to consider that there is another human on the other side of the internet who is part of the community and head into discussions assuming that other community members are also here in good faith, for sharing thoughts on a game that we are all passionate about. If you find yourself getting into fights or feeling negatively riled up by comments in a thread consider taking a break so that you can respond thoughtfully in a way that moves the discussion forward and doesn't escalate tensions. Be wary of hyperbole, over-generalizations, and catastrophizing both in your own posts and in others, as these are easy rhetorical devices to fall into and can create tension where none is intended.


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I have rethought my position on the underlying math of the Barbarian (not that anyone was paying attention amidst the flames of the Anathema War)

I don't mind if the Barbarian is going to be relatively low accuracy/high damage. Before, I said that such a regimen would paradoxically incetivize the barbarian to play MORE strategically than a fighter.

Then I realized another thing when I thought about the barbarian's big-ass health pool and good saves:
Since the Barbarian can take so much punishment, it actually kind of incentivizes them to do stupid stunts to maximize their accuracy. Like: a fighter might not jump off a roof to get a +1 against an enemy but a barbarian might! A barbarian will look at its high HP, low accuracy, and high base damage and then very well decide to goomba stomp an orc off a 3 story building.

Shadow Lodge

Can we get a different name for Tireless Rage? The fact you still need to take a break at 17th level is a bit much.


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Who would have expected so much rage in the barbarian thread?


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Malthraz wrote:
Who would have expected so much rage in the barbarian thread?

Contagious Rage is... well... you know.


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Malthraz wrote:
Who would have expected so much rage in the barbarian thread?

Divination Wizard.

Shadow Lodge

Combat Monster wrote:
Malthraz wrote:
Who would have expected so much rage in the barbarian thread?
Divination Wizard.

Superstitious Totem!

Liberty's Edge

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Combat Monster wrote:
Malthraz wrote:
Who would have expected so much rage in the barbarian thread?
Divination Wizard.
Superstitious Totem!

Computers steal your soul.

Exo-Guardians

Paladinosaur wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Combat Monster wrote:
Malthraz wrote:
Who would have expected so much rage in the barbarian thread?
Divination Wizard.
Superstitious Totem!
Computers steal your soul.

Words steal your ideas.

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