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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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I was wondering where the Developer went as normally the Devs don't flee a thread until it gets hostile. And then I saw it get locked. Then again, I *was* skimming it and primarily seeing what other tidbits he was going to offer us... *sigh*


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I think Joe M pointed out that the blog threads seem to have like a 48 hour window where there's cool conversation and interesting tid bits revealed, but after that they just become gross bickering with a small number of people.

If we had a Wednesday blog too, maybe we'd avoid the worst of it.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Mark, at least, is also at Origins, so might not be monitoring this thread that much.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

I think Joe M pointed out that the blog threads seem to have like a 48 hour window where there's cool conversation and interesting tid bits revealed, but after that they just become gross bickering with a small number of people.

If we had a Wednesday blog too, maybe we'd avoid the worst of it.

*Me who obviously has no inclination nor interest in seeing 1.5x the preview content for PF2e. Obviously* It would be difficult to adjust, but I suppose I could get down with this.


Stone Dog wrote:
I think that an Anathema drawn from the Giant Totem should be pretty giant centric and likely strength focused, but not necessarily on the "always take a dare" side of things.

Goliaths are a WotC giant-themed race and this is a pretty core tenet of how they behave (they're from late 3.5e and have been recreated in both 4e and 5e). I think this is just how some see giant society.


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I'm going to reiterate my earlier suggestion that I think it'd be great if, everywhere that anathema appear in the game, they offer two or three quite different examples as suggestions to choose from. Then the game can explicitly advise that you can use those as an idea springboard to come up with another option. But at least in PFS, and with GMs who aren't willing to entertain any customization at all, you still have several things to choose from instead of just one locked anathema that you may hate for the option you want, so it's much more likely you'll have something you can have fun with.

Exo-Guardians

Fuzzypaws wrote:
I'm going to reiterate my earlier suggestion that I think it'd be great if, everywhere that anathema appear in the game, they offer two or three quite different examples as suggestions to choose from. Then the game can explicitly advise that you can use those as an idea springboard to come up with another option. But at least in PFS, and with GMs who aren't willing to entertain any customization at all, you still have several things to choose from instead of just one locked anathema that you may hate for the option you want, so it's much more likely you'll have something you can have fun with.

I guess an example of this solution would be for the Giant totem

a) You may never fail to turn down a challenge to your personal strength
b) You may never flee from a lesser foe
c) You must always seek to grow in strength.

Or some such thing, I wrote those other two up in 15 seconds each and even then I think they're meh at best.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MER-c wrote:
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.

GOBLIN BARBARIAN FTW

And if Giant totem, he has to accept challenges of strength to show his right to wield awesome Medium weapons that do so much more damage :-p

Exo-Guardians

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The Raven Black wrote:
MER-c wrote:
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.

GOBLIN BARBARIAN FTW

And if Giant totem, he has to accept challenges of strength to show his right to wield awesome Medium weapons that do so much more damage :-p

You sir have just created a hilarious monstrosity. Also if Roll With It continues to exist in PF2 Goblin Barbarians would be the best soccer balls ever.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Lots of cool stuff here, but I don't know that I'd agree with "Without a doubt, the most popular element of barbarians in Pathfinder First Edition is the totem". I don't think I've seen anyone choose one of these, either at the table or in a printed stat block, or if so, quite rarely.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to include totems as a core part of the class, but it certainly wasn't the most popular element of barbarians.

You've played in a very different game than most I've played in or seen played either in real life or on the boards then. Totems (particularly Beast Totem) are nearly ubiquitous IME.

The only thing more ubiquitous was Superstition, which they are now making a Totem. Which is cool. :)

Eeeehhh... let's be intellectually honest here: "Pounce Barbarians" were incredibly popular, almost universally. The "I'm a totem warrior" part of it was very largely ignored. If the Beast line didn't give Pounce, we would have seen drastically different Barbarians.

:)

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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willuwontu wrote:

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.

I would far and away prefer to get challenged to a test of strength every session than have my sword sundered every session.

Unless cool over-sized magic swords are going to be way cheaper and easier to fix or replace in the new system, this seems like a no-brainer.

Especially since your concern seems to be that your GM is going to try to exploit your anathema too often. In that situation, why would you ever pick "break or steal my weapon" over "challenge me to a test of strength that I don't even have to win"?

Hell, even if it was only once a campaign, I'd still pick the test of strength.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MER-c wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
I'm going to reiterate my earlier suggestion that I think it'd be great if, everywhere that anathema appear in the game, they offer two or three quite different examples as suggestions to choose from. Then the game can explicitly advise that you can use those as an idea springboard to come up with another option. But at least in PFS, and with GMs who aren't willing to entertain any customization at all, you still have several things to choose from instead of just one locked anathema that you may hate for the option you want, so it's much more likely you'll have something you can have fun with.

I guess an example of this solution would be for the Giant totem

a) You may never fail to turn down a challenge to your personal strength
b) You may never flee from a lesser foe
c) You must always seek to grow in strength.

Or some such thing, I wrote those other two up in 15 seconds each and even then I think they're meh at best.

To be fair the only one of those I don't like is C) because that is just a natural consequence of levelling up. B can bring some interesting roleplaying opportunities (surrounded by kobolds you don't view as your enemy, that you don't want to hurt, but they very much want to kill you.)

I'd replace C with one I offered way back at the start of the thread: You must bear the weight of your responsibilities.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
willuwontu wrote:

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.

I would far and away prefer to get challenged to a test of strength every session than have my sword sundered every session.

Unless cool over-sized magic swords are going to be way cheaper and easier to fix or replace in the new system, this seems like a no-brainer.

Especially since your concern seems to be that your GM is going to try to exploit your anathema too often. In that situation, why would you ever pick "break or steal my weapon" over "challenge me to a test of strength that I don't even have to win"?

Hell, even if it was only once a campaign, I'd still pick the test of strength.

Especially as a decent response in most situations from a barbarian can be "I am already showing you my strength, where is yours?" as they tear of the head of an orc and throw it at them.

Grand Lodge

OMG not superstition AGAIN!
Hope there's no something like the human Favored Class Option anymore!
Barbarians should not be immune to all magic!
Unchained version of superstition is kind of reasonable,but the CRB version,no,no,that must be the most terrible design you've ever made in PF1(I mean,besides APG SUMMONER).


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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:


Especially since your concern seems to be that your GM is going to try to exploit your anathema too often. In that situation, why would you ever pick "break or steal my weapon" over "challenge me to a test of strength that I don't even have to win"?

"You don't have to win", heck, you don't even have to accept it if you don't want to, and many people seem to be forgetting that part.

If you fail to ACCEPT the challenge, for whatever reason (its too dangerous, it would take time away from a more important task, you don't feel like it) you will "only" lose some (or all?) your Totem-Related stuff (temporarly mind you), but still be a Barbarian.

Then in comes the roleplaying bit of "Why did I backup from that challenge? Did I use the excuse of my mission to avoid it, or was I afraid for my life?" (or however you wana go about it) that represents tha Barbarian losing his focus/center, and so not being as good at fighting until he has sorted his mind out.
Once you have sorted it out (by spending 1 day sorting your thoughts), you will be back to your own self.

Again, this reminds me a lot of what happens to the barbarian Wulfgar in some of Salvatore's books.


Malk_Content wrote:
Especially as a decent response in most situations from a barbarian can be "I am already showing you my strength, where is yours?" as they tear of the head of an orc and throw it at them.

And this is why I want more unarmed options for Barbarians, some sort of Rip-Off Heads archetype or something.


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Kaemy wrote:
Again, this reminds me a lot of what happens to the barbarian Wulfgar in some of Salvatore's books.

Ironic that he was to be the major star, but was upstaged by the spur-of-the-moment sidekick Salvatore came up with for his editor.


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I do not have much against the totems for Barbarian actually, they seem to be reasonable in their "requests", and even those which sound scary like the Giant totem, it still have the "safety" that you cannot be challenged into suicide, and if you do not accept a challenge it is not a "attonement spell and be on your way" but rather a small ritual to regain your center type of deal.

My opinion is that it adds flavor and the mechanical bit is not a big turn off, especially since my tables can easily just rule it out, and yet its not even that big of a deal than just one or two things you need to consider appeasing your totem.


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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
willuwontu wrote:

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.

I would far and away prefer to get challenged to a test of strength every session than have my sword sundered every session.

Unless cool over-sized magic swords are going to be way cheaper and easier to fix or replace in the new system, this seems like a no-brainer.

Especially since your concern seems to be that your GM is going to try to exploit your anathema too often. In that situation, why would you ever pick "break or steal my weapon" over "challenge me to a test of strength that I don't even have to win"?

Hell, even if it was only once a campaign, I'd still pick the test of strength.

It was an example of a situation that could happen (sunder is a mean thing), the boss could easily just as well disarm the barbarian and knock the sword off to the side as he bears down on him.

Another situation, the barbarian is taken by the guards and imprisoned (by servants of the BBEG? the city for drinking too much and killing someone?), his weapon is held elsewhere from him while he's jailed (duh), and the party goes to free him so they can get him out, and free him before getting his gear (includes a macguffin? he really wants his gear?), on their way to recover his gear they encounter a fight, he won't use the smaller weapons because he only uses strong (larger) weapons or his fists, like a strong person.

There's also a bunch of other suitable anathemas they could have (MER-C suggested some nice ones, and we could always steal the goblin classic of no reading.). My point was that anathemas shouldn't be treated as a one size fits all system and that totems should (as their norm) allow people to choose an anathema that fits their flavor for their character.


Kaemy wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:


Especially since your concern seems to be that your GM is going to try to exploit your anathema too often. In that situation, why would you ever pick "break or steal my weapon" over "challenge me to a test of strength that I don't even have to win"?

"You don't have to win", heck, you don't even have to accept it if you don't want to, and many people seem to be forgetting that part.

If you fail to ACCEPT the challenge, for whatever reason (its too dangerous, it would take time away from a more important task, you don't feel like it) you will "only" lose some (or all?) your Totem-Related stuff (temporarly mind you), but still be a Barbarian.

Then in comes the roleplaying bit of "Why did I backup from that challenge? Did I use the excuse of my mission to avoid it, or was I afraid for my life?" (or however you wana go about it) that represents tha Barbarian losing his focus/center, and so not being as good at fighting until he has sorted his mind out.
Once you have sorted it out (by spending 1 day sorting your thoughts), you will be back to your own self.

By that same logic, paladins don't have to follow their code, they only lose their spell point pool and righteous ally class, but they're still a paladin.

And then they can spend some time figuring out what they did wrong and atoning.

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

How about you can choose your anathema, and then get powers that relate to that anathema. Call the collection of powers something like a ‘totem’.

Seriously, adding options to each totem is much more headache than it is worth when the totem itself is a choice.


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KingOfAnything wrote:

How about you can choose your anathema, and then get powers that relate to that anathema. Call the collection of powers something like a ‘totem’.

Seriously, adding options to each totem is much more headache than it is worth when the totem itself is a choice.

Or they could list all the anathema on one page, and then have under each totem something like

Allowed Anathema: Strength, Superstitious, Bravery, etc.

Allowing each totem to limit the anathema to a suitable list.


Whatever grants the totemic powers in probably substantially weaker than a Deity (though they may also be pettier) and are probably correspondingly easier to placate.


willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

How about you can choose your anathema, and then get powers that relate to that anathema. Call the collection of powers something like a ‘totem’.

Seriously, adding options to each totem is much more headache than it is worth when the totem itself is a choice.

Or they could list all the anathema on one page, and then have under each totem something like

Allowed Anathema: Strength, Superstitious, Bravery, etc.

Allowing each totem to limit the anathema to a suitable list.

Problem here is that now you need to make anathema all roughly equal to each other so you aren't stuck with hurr durr obvious picks. Mark more or less said some totems (Superstitious) pack more debilitating anathemas to compensate for some really frightening abilities and can't just be shuffled around as an option as such. To put it another way, say Giant totem's picks for anathema are the Strength one it has, the Superstitious one, and some other one. Who in their right mind is going to pick Superstitious beyond die hards? Inverse all applies with why not take Superstition totems if you get a ton of power and can shunt away all those downsides by taking something like the Strength anathema.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

How about you can choose your anathema, and then get powers that relate to that anathema. Call the collection of powers something like a ‘totem’.

Seriously, adding options to each totem is much more headache than it is worth when the totem itself is a choice.

Or they could list all the anathema on one page, and then have under each totem something like

Allowed Anathema: Strength, Superstitious, Bravery, etc.

Allowing each totem to limit the anathema to a suitable list.

Problem here is that now you need to make anathema all roughly equal to each other so you aren't stuck with hurr durr obvious picks. Mark more or less said some totems (Superstitious) pack more debilitating anathemas to compensate for some really frightening abilities and can't just be shuffled around as an option as such. To put it another way, say Giant totem's picks for anathema are the Strength one it has, the Superstitious one, and some other one. Who in their right mind is going to pick Superstitious beyond die hards? Inverse all applies with why not take Superstition totems if you get a ton of power and can shunt away all those downsides by taking something like the Strength anathema.

You only have to ensure parity between anathema that are listed together. If Superstitious is WAY harder to play than the others you only give it to totems that are balanced for it (and don't give those totems any other options). Then for other totems you give a broader set of options, balanced against each other, but be sure to exclude Superstitious because otherwise it's a trap.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

How about you can choose your anathema, and then get powers that relate to that anathema. Call the collection of powers something like a ‘totem’.

Seriously, adding options to each totem is much more headache than it is worth when the totem itself is a choice.

Or they could list all the anathema on one page, and then have under each totem something like

Allowed Anathema: Strength, Superstitious, Bravery, etc.

Allowing each totem to limit the anathema to a suitable list.

Problem here is that now you need to make anathema all roughly equal to each other so you aren't stuck with hurr durr obvious picks. Mark more or less said some totems (Superstitious) pack more debilitating anathemas to compensate for some really frightening abilities and can't just be shuffled around as an option as such. To put it another way, say Giant totem's picks for anathema are the Strength one it has, the Superstitious one, and some other one. Who in their right mind is going to pick Superstitious beyond die hards? Inverse all applies with why not take Superstition totems if you get a ton of power and can shunt away all those downsides by taking something like the Strength anathema.

Bolded the relevant part, I'm fine with something like superstition having exactly the one anathema available (I only listed it in the above example, because we only know of 2 anathemas right now, I made up bravery), because as the blog states they're stricter totems. However, they are exceptions to the norm, and should be treated as such, instead regular totems should have a list, and ideally the normal anathemas (which the list for normal totems would be from) would be about the same in terms of impact (strength: accept all challenges, bravery: never flee from battle).

This also helps cut down on the work done for every new totem they put out after the crb, since they don't have to create a brand new anathema for it as it'd feel wierd for 2 totems to have the same anathema if they kept it the way it is. This also makes it easier for them to make new anathema to expand the list in something like an inner sea gods book where they give barbarians religious anathemas they can use.


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willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

How about you can choose your anathema, and then get powers that relate to that anathema. Call the collection of powers something like a ‘totem’.

Seriously, adding options to each totem is much more headache than it is worth when the totem itself is a choice.

Or they could list all the anathema on one page, and then have under each totem something like

Allowed Anathema: Strength, Superstitious, Bravery, etc.

Allowing each totem to limit the anathema to a suitable list.

This is also a great option. Certain totems like Superstitious which are more powerful than others can have a Major Anathema as part of their writeup which is tailored as a counterbalance. Others just get the line entry, selecting from a main list of Minor Anathema.

Then in a later book, when adding more anathema, they can even say stuff like "Counts as Bravery." That way, it's always forwards and backwards compatible. New anathema added later can be used for earlier totems without having to remember to specify every applicable totem in the game, and new totems don't miss out on later anathema.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

How about you can choose your anathema, and then get powers that relate to that anathema. Call the collection of powers something like a ‘totem’.

Seriously, adding options to each totem is much more headache than it is worth when the totem itself is a choice.

Or they could list all the anathema on one page, and then have under each totem something like

Allowed Anathema: Strength, Superstitious, Bravery, etc.

Allowing each totem to limit the anathema to a suitable list.

This is also a great option. Certain totems like Superstitious which are more powerful than others can have a Major Anathema as part of their writeup which is tailored as a counterbalance. Others just get the line entry, selecting from a main list of Minor Anathema.

Then in a later book, when adding more anathema, they can even say stuff like "Counts as Bravery." That way, it's always forwards and backwards compatible. New anathema added later can be used for earlier totems without having to remember to specify every applicable totem in the game, and new totems don't miss out on later anathema.

Exactly, they could also have the anathema categorized by something like: nature, battle, skills/competition (anathemas for competitions of speed, endurance, athletics etc) and so on, with totem specific (major) anathema as their own category.

And then totems could instead give a list of categories or specific totems (major anathema (superstition), etc.) if they want to limit them more.


Crayon wrote:
Whatever grants the totemic powers in probably substantially weaker than a Deity (though they may also be pettier) and are probably correspondingly easier to placate.

You don't need anything to grant totemic powers.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Crayon wrote:
Whatever grants the totemic powers in probably substantially weaker than a Deity (though they may also be pettier) and are probably correspondingly easier to placate.
You don't need anything to grant totemic powers.

You need something, although that might just be a very particular state of mind. Otherwise, the word "totem" is meaningless.

Silver Crusade

Rules question related to the Vulnerability system: does Ostog the Unslain take double damage from swords?


Dean HS Jones wrote:
Rules question related to the Vulnerability system: does Ostog the Unslain take double damage from swords?

Are swords his Anathema?

Unslain Totem: Take half damage from all attacks that deal damage except Swords.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
I've never seen a game where enemies metagame stuff like the cavalier's order. We must play in very different games...
it's not metagaming, it's research: The guy wears THIS Orders colours in his heraldry, their power comes from THIS oath, so we can take advantage of that oath in THIS way, exactly the same as figuring out a Clerics deity or Mages school, or Sorcerers Bloodline, you gain intelligence and use it. If you aren't trying to do the same as a player, looking for and taking advantage of weaknesses, everything from knowing what DR the monsters/beasties have, to what the tenents and doctrines of the other guys faith, what aspect of the Cleric of Lahamatsu's faith can I use, what should I be aware of, what am I likely/unlikely to face etc. The advantage of fighters, barbarians and rogues was that it was individual, you had to get to know that one guy, you couldn't (for instance) say 'oh oversized weapon, ok Giant Totem, obssesed with strength, how can we use this?'

You...are aware that exactly like totems are, orders are things personal to the cavalier, right? (It remains to be seen if you can retrain into a different totem if your ideals or traditions change.)

There's no actual Order of the Cockatrice that cavaliers across Golarion sign up for membership with, with accompanying badges and heraldry.

and for cavaliers they make sense, for barbarians they have no place, at all. Barbarians are not and should NEVER be oath bound warriors, it is completely alien to the idea of being a barbarian (ha, in fact you could say anathema are anathema to barbarians)Basically Anathema/codes are a huge flaw for an intelligent enemy to exploit and require a commensurately large payoff in both RP and mechanics terms to be worth it, the joy of characters without them was that freedom, since barbarians are by definition supposed to be free of restraint, straight jacketing them with anathema breaks the concept, utterly.

Actually barbarians can be even more bound that caliers or paldins. "You are a member of the Frost Clan, you should follow these custom or be cast out. Always avenge any insult, never refue a challence ...". having that limited to a single anathema is a having it easy.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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willuwontu wrote:

It was an example of a situation that could happen (sunder is a mean thing), the boss could easily just as well disarm the barbarian and knock the sword off to the side as he bears down on him.

Another situation, the barbarian is taken by the guards and imprisoned (by servants of the BBEG? the city for drinking too much and killing someone?), his weapon is held elsewhere from him while he's jailed (duh), and the party goes to free him so they can get him out, and free him before getting his gear (includes a macguffin? he really wants his gear?), on their way to recover his gear they encounter a fight, he won't use the smaller weapons because he only uses strong (larger) weapons or his fists, like a strong person.

Again, that seems way worse than having to accept strength challenges. Seriously, getting stripped of equipment and thrown in jail?

Even disarming, which is certainly less "mean" than sundering, is still pretty dang annoying, and seems like it would be a lot easier to exploit that the test of strength stuff. I've been in games where the GM got disarm-happy, it wasn't fun.

I guess I'm just not understanding why you were griping about the impact level of the challenge thing, when your proposed alternative is really high-impact (or at least, something you largely see coming up in ways that profoundly mess with your character).

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
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
willuwontu wrote:

It was an example of a situation that could happen (sunder is a mean thing), the boss could easily just as well disarm the barbarian and knock the sword off to the side as he bears down on him.

Another situation, the barbarian is taken by the guards and imprisoned (by servants of the BBEG? the city for drinking too much and killing someone?), his weapon is held elsewhere from him while he's jailed (duh), and the party goes to free him so they can get him out, and free him before getting his gear (includes a macguffin? he really wants his gear?), on their way to recover his gear they encounter a fight, he won't use the smaller weapons because he only uses strong (larger) weapons or his fists, like a strong person.

Again, that seems way worse than having to accept strength challenges. Seriously, getting stripped of equipment and thrown in jail?

Even disarming, which is certainly less "mean" than sundering, is still pretty dang annoying, and seems like it would be a lot easier to exploit that the test of strength stuff. I've been in games where the GM got disarm-happy, it wasn't fun.

I guess I'm just not understanding why you were griping about the impact level of the challenge thing, when your proposed alternative is really high-impact (or at least, something you largely see coming up in ways that profoundly mess with your character).

At least the barbarian is in control with the challenge anathema. The player has no agency in keeping/breaking their character's anathema if it can be sundered or disarmed.


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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.

Only if operated by big foot from the flipside of our flat earth beamed to us by grey aliens in area 52...


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............GOOD.

BARBARIAN AM INTRIGUED AND WISH FOR SEEING MORE.

SECOND EDITION BARBARIAN MAYBE NOT COOL AS OG, BUT THIS AM CERTAINLY CAPABLE SUCCESSOR BASED ON BARBARIAN PERCEPTION CHECK FOR SO FAR.

THAT AM MEANING PROBABLY OK. BARBARIAN AM HAVING MIGHTYFINE PERCEPTION CHECK.


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
willuwontu wrote:

It was an example of a situation that could happen (sunder is a mean thing), the boss could easily just as well disarm the barbarian and knock the sword off to the side as he bears down on him.

Another situation, the barbarian is taken by the guards and imprisoned (by servants of the BBEG? the city for drinking too much and killing someone?), his weapon is held elsewhere from him while he's jailed (duh), and the party goes to free him so they can get him out, and free him before getting his gear (includes a macguffin? he really wants his gear?), on their way to recover his gear they encounter a fight, he won't use the smaller weapons because he only uses strong (larger) weapons or his fists, like a strong person.

Again, that seems way worse than having to accept strength challenges. Seriously, getting stripped of equipment and thrown in jail?

Even disarming, which is certainly less "mean" than sundering, is still pretty dang annoying, and seems like it would be a lot easier to exploit that the test of strength stuff. I've been in games where the GM got disarm-happy, it wasn't fun.

I guess I'm just not understanding why you were griping about the impact level of the challenge thing, when your proposed alternative is really high-impact (or at least, something you largely see coming up in ways that profoundly mess with your character).

Fair, I lost sight of the forest for the trees. Mostly what I'm against is the shoehorning of a one size fits all anathema for the totem, rather than giving players the choice of what anathema they want to take.


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Does anybody else think the anathema furor is a little strange given that we haven't seen the exact text of a single anathema, nor the full rules for them?

Like people are getting annoyed that Barbarians have "things you shouldn't do" baked in? I don't get it.

Exo-Guardians

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Really the only issue I could possibly see for anathema being broken down into a list is that there might be one that is so minimally disruptive or rather I should say totally uninteresting and not worth the DM's time in using as a plot hook, which also might be attached to a mechanic that is itself either fairly strong, or acts as a component to a much more disruptive build. Akin to what Lore Oracle became for my party, there were curses, but everyone just took the least impact of the 1st party ones then go on to just break the game and never let anyone else in the party actually have fun.

Thankfully I suspect that at least the core anathema will be at least partially useful for a minor plot hook or story tool.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Does anybody else think the anathema furor is a little strange given that we haven't seen the exact text of a single anathema, nor the full rules for them?

Like people are getting annoyed that Barbarians have "things you shouldn't do" baked in? I don't get it.

They did not have them in PF1

Some people feel such restrictions do not fit the Freedom Class that is Barbarian

Some people do not like that to get a specific power that fits your character you might be saddled with an anathema that does not fit at all. Superstition is a specific exception because of the high impact of its anathema


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Choice of anathema is going to increase minmax play. Fixed anathema allows them to have bigger penalties for larger bonuses (like superstition)

Scarab Sages

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We will have to see how the playtest goes and how combat goes. In PF1, its unlikely between level 3 and 9, that combats go much past round 3 unless its a Lieutenant or Boss fight. If combats typically last longer than 3 rounds through the middle levels, then I have a suggestion.

It might be nice to scale the rounds of rage before fatigue. Every 5 levels so at 6, 11, and 16 you get an extra round of rage before fatigue. So between 6 and 10 you get 4 rounds, 11 and 15 you get 5, and 16 and 20 you get 6.

Liberty's Edge

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Wultram wrote:

I would say if not a single person even in that small sample size had any care about totems as the argument made in the blog post, it is a pretty good indication that the premise is wrong.

If really no one in your playing circle care about totems RP side speaks lots about how the people with which you play see Roleplaying, way less about what the average player like to do.

Coupled with your comment on the iconic character, it is very clear that what matter for you is getting the best value for the buck when buing your character feats and abilities. Not wrong, but hardly the only way to play.


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Weather Report wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Polymorph wings is good reason to consider some Barb class abilities working outside of Rage.
I think it's likely that Totem abilities in general work outside Rage. None of the ones we've heard of thus far seem super synchronized with the rage mechanic, and in particular losing your ability to wield oversized weapons from your Giant Totem
How do you figure balancing oversized weapons?

About four inches from the hilt.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
If really no one in your playing circle care about totems RP side speaks lots about how the people with which you play see Roleplaying, way less about what the average player like to do.

I don't feel like that is a very fair argument. I know a lot of people who ignore the flavour of things like totems because they have a character concept with high amounts of flavour in mind before they look at the mechanics, so the flavour of something like totem didn't matter because that wasn't what the character's flavour was focused on.


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Its really not hard to throw together a rp justification to min max however you need to.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Does anybody else think the anathema furor is a little strange given that we haven't seen the exact text of a single anathema, nor the full rules for them?

Like people are getting annoyed that Barbarians have "things you shouldn't do" baked in? I don't get it.

BARBARIAN AM THINKING AM MIGHTYWEIRD.

FOR EXAMPLING, BARBARIAN ANATHEMA AM EXISTING FOR FOREVER: BARBARIAN NOT WEAR SHIRT, EVER. AM NEVER NEED FOR SHIRT. THIS AM NOT NEW FEATURE.


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AM BARBARIAN wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Does anybody else think the anathema furor is a little strange given that we haven't seen the exact text of a single anathema, nor the full rules for them?

Like people are getting annoyed that Barbarians have "things you shouldn't do" baked in? I don't get it.

BARBARIAN AM THINKING AM MIGHTYWEIRD.

FOR EXAMPLING, BARBARIAN ANATHEMA AM EXISTING FOR FOREVER: BARBARIAN NOT WEAR SHIRT, EVER. AM NEVER NEED FOR SHIRT. THIS AM NOT NEW FEATURE.

But were still good with pants right?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ryan Freire wrote:
Its really not hard to throw together a rp justification to min max however you need to.

That is absolutely true.

But Mark Seifter told us that anathema aim at flavor, not power. The devs feel that this kind of RP restriction does not justify some mechanical advantage

And the one exception is Superstition

I read this to mean that Totems are supposed to be roughly equal in "power" and that conversely Barbarian anathema aim at being equally balanced. So there is apparently very little mechanical advantage to be gained by switching the anathema while it could bring great benefits for flavor and RP

Superstition is the one exception to this and thus cannot switch its anathema, because this totem's power was specifically increased to counterbalance the real mechanical restriction of its anathema

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