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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Tags: Amiri Barbarians Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Seisho wrote:

Seriously a setting where humans are the paramount of good would be weird for me... I don't think I could take it seriously

And I've had some rather weird settings until now

Well, it was more about goblins being more monstrous in certain settings, never tolerated by humans, elves, and such.

In Dragonlance they tied the original races of Krynn to an alignment: Elves = Good, Humans = Neutral, Irda/Ogres = Evil, that had interesting implications.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You forgot kenders = Greatest Satan evil doom death kill!!


Weather Report wrote:
Seisho wrote:

Seriously a setting where humans are the paramount of good would be weird for me... I don't think I could take it seriously

And I've had some rather weird settings until now

Well, it was more about goblins being more monstrous in certain settings, never tolerated by humans, elves, and such.

In Dragonlance they tied the original races of Krynn to an alignment: Elves = Good, Humans = Neutral, Irda/Ogres = Evil, that had interesting implications.

Was alignment in DL a set thing or a thing of perspective? (I'm having trouble finding the right words here, bear with me).

What I mean is that were elves Good with a capital G, or we're they simply good based on the cultural opinions of the most populous rsces? Did the Orgres see themselves as Evil with a capital E, or did they believe they were the good ones and the humans/elves we're the bad ones?

I guess it's a question of moral relativity vs objective morality within the setting.

(This doesn't really have anything to do with the discussion, I was just curious).


bookrat wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Seisho wrote:

Seriously a setting where humans are the paramount of good would be weird for me... I don't think I could take it seriously

And I've had some rather weird settings until now

Well, it was more about goblins being more monstrous in certain settings, never tolerated by humans, elves, and such.

In Dragonlance they tied the original races of Krynn to an alignment: Elves = Good, Humans = Neutral, Irda/Ogres = Evil, that had interesting implications.

Was alignment in DL a set thing or a thing of perspective? (I'm having trouble finding the right words here, bear with me).

What I mean is that were elves Good with a capital G, or we're they simply good based on the cultural opinions of the most populous rsces? Did the Orgres see themselves as Evil with a capital E, or did they believe they were the good ones and the humans/elves we're the bad ones?

I guess it's a question of moral relativity vs objective morality within the setting.

(This doesn't really have anything to do with the discussion, I was just curious).

Kobolds good with capital K!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Seisho wrote:

Seriously a setting where humans are the paramount of good would be weird for me... I don't think I could take it seriously

And I've had some rather weird settings until now

Well, it was more about goblins being more monstrous in certain settings, never tolerated by humans, elves, and such.

In Dragonlance they tied the original races of Krynn to an alignment: Elves = Good, Humans = Neutral, Irda/Ogres = Evil, that had interesting implications.

Was alignment in DL a set thing or a thing of perspective? (I'm having trouble finding the right words here, bear with me).

What I mean is that were elves Good with a capital G, or we're they simply good based on the cultural opinions of the most populous rsces? Did the Orgres see themselves as Evil with a capital E, or did they believe they were the good ones and the humans/elves we're the bad ones?

I guess it's a question of moral relativity vs objective morality within the setting.

(This doesn't really have anything to do with the discussion, I was just curious).

Kobolds good with capital K!

Kobolds good with Ketchup.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Seisho wrote:

Seriously a setting where humans are the paramount of good would be weird for me... I don't think I could take it seriously

And I've had some rather weird settings until now

Well, it was more about goblins being more monstrous in certain settings, never tolerated by humans, elves, and such.

In Dragonlance they tied the original races of Krynn to an alignment: Elves = Good, Humans = Neutral, Irda/Ogres = Evil, that had interesting implications.

Was alignment in DL a set thing or a thing of perspective? (I'm having trouble finding the right words here, bear with me).

What I mean is that were elves Good with a capital G, or we're they simply good based on the cultural opinions of the most populous rsces? Did the Orgres see themselves as Evil with a capital E, or did they believe they were the good ones and the humans/elves we're the bad ones?

I guess it's a question of moral relativity vs objective morality within the setting.

(This doesn't really have anything to do with the discussion, I was just curious).

Kobolds good with capital K!
Kobolds good with Ketchup.

Yes we can aim bottles of Ketchup really well!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Seisho wrote:

Seriously a setting where humans are the paramount of good would be weird for me... I don't think I could take it seriously

And I've had some rather weird settings until now

Well, it was more about goblins being more monstrous in certain settings, never tolerated by humans, elves, and such.

In Dragonlance they tied the original races of Krynn to an alignment: Elves = Good, Humans = Neutral, Irda/Ogres = Evil, that had interesting implications.

Was alignment in DL a set thing or a thing of perspective? (I'm having trouble finding the right words here, bear with me).

What I mean is that were elves Good with a capital G, or we're they simply good based on the cultural opinions of the most populous rsces? Did the Orgres see themselves as Evil with a capital E, or did they believe they were the good ones and the humans/elves we're the bad ones?

I guess it's a question of moral relativity vs objective morality within the setting.

(This doesn't really have anything to do with the discussion, I was just curious).

Kobolds good with capital K!
Kobolds good with Ketchup.
Yes we can aim bottles of Ketchup really well!

Well played, my friend. I'm still going to eat you, of course, but well played nonetheless.


bookrat wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Seisho wrote:

Seriously a setting where humans are the paramount of good would be weird for me... I don't think I could take it seriously

And I've had some rather weird settings until now

Well, it was more about goblins being more monstrous in certain settings, never tolerated by humans, elves, and such.

In Dragonlance they tied the original races of Krynn to an alignment: Elves = Good, Humans = Neutral, Irda/Ogres = Evil, that had interesting implications.

Was alignment in DL a set thing or a thing of perspective? (I'm having trouble finding the right words here, bear with me).

What I mean is that were elves Good with a capital G, or we're they simply good based on the cultural opinions of the most populous rsces? Did the Orgres see themselves as Evil with a capital E, or did they believe they were the good ones and the humans/elves we're the bad ones?

I guess it's a question of moral relativity vs objective morality within the setting.

(This doesn't really have anything to do with the discussion, I was just curious).

I know what you mean, they (the original races of the gods, before the dwarves, gnomes and kender) were more like the actual subtype (ala fiends, etc), so the Irda, probably the most beautiful and majestic, were corrupted by their inner god-given Evil or what-have-you. The original 1st Ed Dragonlance book has some really cool lore, also a cosmology separate from the Great Wheel.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

My friend came up with another role playing option for the giant totem: a character that accepts all challenges of strength, but let’s the challenger win most contests. It doesn’t say you have to win!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Meanwhile, back at the farm....

Is anyone else annoyed at "superstition" as a name for that totem? The word is basically pejorative, carrying a strict implication of irrationality.

A distrust of magic to the point that you resist even healing is pretty irrational in golarion.

Sure, but do the distrustful barbarians feel the same way?

IRL I don't think people usually refer to themselves as superstitious.

I do.

willuwontu wrote:
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.

Stayed out of this thread entirely for the week, but I really like the idea of choosing anathemas to mix and match character concepts. I don't have a real problem with anathemas as concept (as others have said, this is almost identical to the edicts Cavaliers and Samurai have worked with for years), but being able choose from a menu of general options could make for some interesting character building and probably provide a compromise between GMs that aren't comfortable straying from RAW and players that REALLY want a character concept that is juuust out of reach with the currently presented approach of every totem having a single set taboo. Providing a general list of anaethemas to choose between also fits with PF2 modularity pretty well.

I do sympathize with players discombobulated by having a new restriction placed on the class when none previously existed. I also have little sympathy for the argument that players, given a choice, as going to gravitate towards the one that provides the least resistance to their character concept. That will happen, I agree. In my opinion, that makes for a more pleasant table though, not less (min-maxers leeching the life out of the game being a separate problem that no amount of dev intervention is going to fix).


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
IRL I don't think people usually refer to themselves as superstitious.
I do.

Joey Tempest doesn't.


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I was with them up until the part where they seemed to think that players wanted all totems. I saw players take the full chain of Beast and Dragon (and one very specific build that used Hive). Everything else was a dip or not at all. Seriously, has anyone seen someone use World Serpent or Chaos totem? And let's not kid ourselves, they took them because they provided useful abilities (NA and pounce, energy resistance and flight).

The whole thing really seems like a solution in search of a problem. As far as I can tell you pick the totem at level one (which includes the restrictions) and then starting at level two you can start choosing the abilities. So... it's rage powers. It's rage powers you pick that lock you out of other rage powers. It's exactly what the last edition had, only with a level 9 ability and a restriction that starts before you can even pick up the abilities. Were people really clamoring for more restrictions on the Barbarian? Having to plan their build even farther ahead (since you can't just pick a totem power at later levels, you have to take the totem at level one)?

Then the anathema themselves. Allegedly they're "low impact" except for the ones that are "strict" but as people have already pointed out "low impact" can still mean "the GM can force you to lose your powers or do something suicidal". And that's with the one anathema we already know about. I bet given the rest we'll find similar "here's a situation where the Barbarian does something stupid/suicidal or loses their powers". All the fun of a Paladin with none of the power since these are the low impact ones that therefore don't give you the stronger powers. And nobody can say this won't happen since it's literally Amiri's backstory.

The rest I suppose comes down to the details. If there's only 40 abilities (there were only 28 in the Core before) and 24 of them are locked behind "must be this totem" then that's not a lot of choice. If totems got them for free, or access to them earlier, or they worked better for specific totems then I wouldn't have a problem. But right now it sounds like we're back to "forbidden schools" meaning "can never cast anything from this ever", a design Paizo explicitly got rid of for their Wizard. Why bring it back for a Barbarian?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I was thinking a bit more about the Superstition totem and how strange of a name it is. The concept that a person adheres to their untrustworthy personality or ideals doesn't make much sense thematically.

But then one thing that occurred to me was when someone brought up how magic can be viewed as tainting the spirit and essence of an entity, and that they dislike such things due to their potentially everlasting dilutions of soul. Thus, it might make more sense to consider that the totem's ideal isn't to be untrustworthy of magic, but to be pure of spirit and soul.

It would honestly be best if this was instead called the Purity totem, where one reveres their sense of self and would not taint their being with the founts of sorcery that exist at every dangerous corner.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I was thinking a bit more about the Superstition totem and how strange of a name it is. The concept that a person adheres to their untrustworthy personality or ideals doesn't make much sense thematically.

But then one thing that occurred to me was when someone brought up how magic can be viewed as tainting the spirit and essence of an entity, and that they dislike such things due to their potentially everlasting dilutions of soul. Thus, it might make more sense to consider that the totem's ideal isn't to be untrustworthy of magic, but to be pure of spirit and soul.

It would honestly be best if this was instead called the Purity totem, where one reveres their sense of self and would not taint their being with the founts of sorcery that exist at every dangerous corner.

There are many possible justifications for mistrusting magic. Remember that totems are a source of rage, not just a personality trait. So being superstitious of magic is what fuels their combat ability while the reason they distrust magic varies.


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I'm ignoring the comments which ignore the dev's own comments.

I love the new design, tying into alot of the flavor I enjoy about Barbarian, and I agree with fixed relationship of Anathema and Totems. This represents specific source of specific power, and that comes with specific behavioral dynamic. I think the calibration of power loss is perfect, only Totem powers and only 1 day keeps it real but not apocalyptic.

Looking forward to World Serpent implementation which was my favorite flavor from P1E Totems.
Also interested in powers/class abilities that function outside of Rage, and non-Totem powers.
(Scarred Rager was my favorite in part because of it's dualistic social angle with Diplo/Intimidate)


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I was thinking a bit more about the Superstition totem and how strange of a name it is. The concept that a person adheres to their untrustworthy personality or ideals doesn't make much sense thematically.

But then one thing that occurred to me was when someone brought up how magic can be viewed as tainting the spirit and essence of an entity, and that they dislike such things due to their potentially everlasting dilutions of soul. Thus, it might make more sense to consider that the totem's ideal isn't to be untrustworthy of magic, but to be pure of spirit and soul.

It would honestly be best if this was instead called the Purity totem, where one reveres their sense of self and would not taint their being with the founts of sorcery that exist at every dangerous corner.

"Purity totem" beats "Superstition totem" hands-down.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I was thinking a bit more about the Superstition totem and how strange of a name it is. The concept that a person adheres to their untrustworthy personality or ideals doesn't make much sense thematically...

It would honestly be best if this was instead called the Purity totem, where one reveres their sense of self and would not taint their being with the founts of sorcery that exist at every dangerous corner.

I agree, that Totems should have more "positive" identity, and Purity seems good enough term for this case. I mean, I think it would be good to use the term 'superstitious' in passing while describing it, but the essence of the Totem should hinge on more positive aspect. This hadn't occurred to me, probably because we view ALL the Totems "from the outside" as players, but IMHO it would amplify the narrative power and cohesion.

re: KOA's comment, of course there is various explanations for this and each Totem, that is true whether named Purity or Superstition. But the point is having a positive ideal to aim for, and nobody aims for 'superstition'.


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Purity would imply that magic is impure, and I don't think Paizo is aiming for Conan the Barbarian, where all (almost all?) magic users are evil.


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The setting info for Prophets of Calistrade implies alot of stuff is impure, but you are free to think that is a load of BS, just as much as Giant Totem's fixation on STR challenges can be seen as a load of BS. The point is it is a positive goal/emblem for those who believe in it, even if they are totally BS. You are free to think the entire concept of impurity is BS, doesn't mean others can't hinge their world view on it.

EDIT: The totem seems perfect for world view of Pure Legion / Rahadoum, although they specify Purity vs Divine, that's just more specific vs. broad Purity vs Magic. They don't call their ideology "Anti-Divine Superstition and Bigotry".


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I was thinking a bit more about the Superstition totem and how strange of a name it is. The concept that a person adheres to their untrustworthy personality or ideals doesn't make much sense thematically.

But then one thing that occurred to me was when someone brought up how magic can be viewed as tainting the spirit and essence of an entity, and that they dislike such things due to their potentially everlasting dilutions of soul. Thus, it might make more sense to consider that the totem's ideal isn't to be untrustworthy of magic, but to be pure of spirit and soul.

It would honestly be best if this was instead called the Purity totem, where one reveres their sense of self and would not taint their being with the founts of sorcery that exist at every dangerous corner.

There are many possible justifications for mistrusting magic. Remember that totems are a source of rage, not just a personality trait. So being superstitious of magic is what fuels their combat ability while the reason they distrust magic varies.

There can be, sure. You might not like them because you find them dishonorable, you might not like them because you think they will taint your soul, heck, you might not like them just to not like them; the reasons are endless.

But they are largely irrelevant, as there is one thing that each reason has in common: You do not want any possession or acquisition of magic, due to a mistrust or aversion of some kind, which means you thrive on not having any form of magic affecting you.

"Purity" makes a lot of sense in that regard, since your aversion to magic, whatever the reason for it might be, is what the totem is meant to represent.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Benjamin Medrano wrote:
Purity would imply that magic is impure, and I don't think Paizo is aiming for Conan the Barbarian, where all (almost all?) magic users are evil.

That could be a belief held by adherents of the purity totem, yes. It doesn't have to be something a majority, or even more than a handful, on golarian believe for the totem users to believe it.

I believe I have been swayed to liking this as the totem name.


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I feel like the superstition totem's name underlines the fact that rulebook names for things are not necessarily diagetic names for those same things. We know (as human beings playing a game we have read the rulebook for) know that magic is not generally dangerous (unless it's designed to be) and has no long-term repercussions. But people in the game world don't know that, and can have any number of (internally) valid reasons for disdaining magic.

Remember, in PF1 over half of all of rogue archetypes had names where someone with that class would not readily describe themselves as such.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Yeah, there's no tribe of barbarians roaming the lands building totem poles to superstition, dancing around them when the moon is right.

There are barbarians (maybe tribes where it's a cultural thing, maybe some individuals) that think magic should not be trusted.
Some barbarians might rever a giant totem (roleplaying it, from the player) but (mechanically, without the character knowing it) actually be a superstition barbarian.

Barbarians in Golarion could talk about it:

A: "My spirit animal is the dragon. My father was blessed by his spirit dragon to posess wings! I will follow in his faith."
B: "Spirit animals and totems and things sound like magic to me. Your father posessed wings? It sounds to me like a dragon took over your father!"

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Purity has quite negative connotations to me as a buzzword for cleanse the impure violently or even lethally. Where impure mostly means anyone that does not fit the norm of purity

I think we should steer well away from it


The Raven Black wrote:

Purity has quite negative connotations to me as a buzzword for cleanse the impure violently or even lethally. Where impure mostly means anyone that does not fit the norm of purity

I think we should steer well away from it

I also feel this way.

As for Superstition, I don't necessarily feel like all barbarians would reference their totem's in-world, but I could see how some would.


The Raven Black wrote:

Purity has quite negative connotations to me as a buzzword for cleanse the impure violently or even lethally. Where impure mostly means anyone that does not fit the norm of purity

I think we should steer well away from it

Okay, how is that, exactly? Purity is a sense of absolution, usually in a positive manner (which has been twisted due to historical atrocities, but those have no bearing here).

I mean, you can say it doesn't make particular sense, but calling it Superstition is an equal misnomer.


So is rage a free action? :)


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It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? Foreign magic is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core wizard works. I can no longer sit back and allow wizard infiltration, wizard indoctrination, wizard subversion and the inter-dimensional wizard conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.


Hey, it could be the Precious Bodily Fluids Totem!

Anathema: never use fluoride.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Purity has quite negative connotations to me as a buzzword for cleanse the impure violently or even lethally. Where impure mostly means anyone that does not fit the norm of purity

I think we should steer well away from it

Okay, how is that, exactly? Purity is a sense of absolution, usually in a positive manner (which has been twisted due to historical atrocities, but those have no bearing here).

I mean, you can say it doesn't make particular sense, but calling it Superstition is an equal misnomer.

I beg to differ. Those RL atrocities could have quite an impact on would-be customers and bystanders

I think it better to just not open this can of worms

Edit : I feel that my words might sound harsh and accusing, which is not my intent. I just wish to convey the deep unease I personally feel with using the word Purity


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The Raven Black wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Purity has quite negative connotations to me as a buzzword for cleanse the impure violently or even lethally. Where impure mostly means anyone that does not fit the norm of purity

I think we should steer well away from it

Okay, how is that, exactly? Purity is a sense of absolution, usually in a positive manner (which has been twisted due to historical atrocities, but those have no bearing here).

I mean, you can say it doesn't make particular sense, but calling it Superstition is an equal misnomer.

I beg to differ. Those RL atrocities could have quite an impact on would-be customers and bystanders

I think it better to just not open this can of worms

Edit : I feel that my words might sound harsh and accusing, which is not my intent. I just wish to convey the deep unease I personally feel with using the word Purity

Perhaps because throughout history there've been arguments for "pure bloodlines," "pure races" and so on that have been a sort of calling-cry behind more violent movements. The phrase made me uneasy, also.

It isn't not liking the word--but it does strike the mind and remind of things like cleansings, the "pure race" and so on.

Also, as pervasive as magic is, it might make sense to have a barbarian that only exorcises certain /types/ of magic. To keep that from being OP and everyone choosing the same mechanically advantageous schools, schools might need to be presented in pairs, or have carefully thought out penalties.

For example, under a focused system, barbarians might choose to stand against evocation in order to save vs fireball--then still get protection bonuses from abjuration magic. So, balance.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

From my perspective, there's a horrible gender-skew to "purity".

"Purity tests" are almost exclusively applied to women.

It's never about "absolution" and almost never "positive".

"Pure" is not an adjective commonly applied to male characters, no matter what the genre.


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Champions of Purity, good book y'all should check it out. ;)


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Thought I might as well add my 2c – I hate the Anathema system for Barbarians.

It looks great for Clerics, as it draws them away from Alignment and towards more tangible commandments...

But for Barbarians, it seems to be typecast them as atavistic. It's roleplaying crutch. Not happy about the application.


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Quandary wrote:

I'm ignoring the comments which ignore the dev's own comments.

I love the new design, tying into alot of the flavor I enjoy about Barbarian, and I agree with fixed relationship of Anathema and Totems. This represents specific source of specific power, and that comes with specific behavioral dynamic. I think the calibration of power loss is perfect, only Totem powers and only 1 day keeps it real but not apocalyptic.

You probably shouldn't ignore the dev comments when making your post, you don't get the powers back after one day like a wizard regaining spells. Which is what it sounded like to me what you said.

Whenever you perform such acts, you lose the totem’s power and any totem feats until you spend 1 day of downtime recentering yourself, though you keep all other barbarian abilities.

It's 1 day of downtime. I hope you weren't in the middle of a dungeon delve when you lost your powers otherwise you don't have access to them for the whole expedition.

So while it's lighter and easier to clear up after than a paladins fall (as it should be), if you lose it in the middle of dungeoning it still screws you for something that previously didn't exist.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Purity has quite negative connotations to me as a buzzword for cleanse the impure violently or even lethally. Where impure mostly means anyone that does not fit the norm of purity

I think we should steer well away from it

Okay, how is that, exactly? Purity is a sense of absolution, usually in a positive manner (which has been twisted due to historical atrocities, but those have no bearing here).

I mean, you can say it doesn't make particular sense, but calling it Superstition is an equal misnomer.

I beg to differ. Those RL atrocities could have quite an impact on would-be customers and bystanders

I think it better to just not open this can of worms

Edit : I feel that my words might sound harsh and accusing, which is not my intent. I just wish to convey the deep unease I personally feel with using the word Purity

I remember when I made those same comments about Spell Circles relating to the Rings of Hell, painting the picture of arcane spellcasters being heretical devil worshippers (some actually are, but not the point). I was called silly for making this revelation. I believe I can finally understand why they'd say so after this commentary.


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CrystalSeas wrote:

From my perspective, there's a horrible gender-skew to "purity".

"Purity tests" are almost exclusively applied to women.

It's never about "absolution" and almost never "positive".

"Pure" is not an adjective commonly applied to male characters, no matter what the genre.

The first two points are a non-sequitur that will lead to a can of worms far worse than debating what to name an anti-magic totem. I will not debate those points because there is no merit to do so, for either side, and they do nothing to aid the topic at hand.

As to the last two points, how is absolution not there? Absolution means the subject, and nothing else. The more pure something is, the less of anything else being there. If an entity is of pure courage, there would be no fear or doubt present, as the absolution of courage eschews the other aspects entirely. That is absolution, which is also purity.

Also, a "hero of pure heart" coming to save the day is a very common trope in fairy tales (and other forms of fantasy, a la Superman), so that argument makes no sense; in fact, the opposite is more true due to unfair gentrification of feminine heroes in fantasy and fairy tales, but that's besides the point here.


willuwontu wrote:
Quandary wrote:

I'm ignoring the comments which ignore the dev's own comments.

I love the new design, tying into alot of the flavor I enjoy about Barbarian, and I agree with fixed relationship of Anathema and Totems. This represents specific source of specific power, and that comes with specific behavioral dynamic. I think the calibration of power loss is perfect, only Totem powers and only 1 day keeps it real but not apocalyptic.

You probably shouldn't ignore the dev comments when making your post, you don't get the powers back after one day like a wizard regaining spells. Which is what it sounded like to me what you said.

Whenever you perform such acts, you lose the totem’s power and any totem feats until you spend 1 day of downtime recentering yourself, though you keep all other barbarian abilities.

It's 1 day of downtime. I hope you weren't in the middle of a dungeon delve when you lost your powers otherwise you don't have access to them for the whole expedition.

So while it's lighter and easier to clear up after than a paladins fall (as it should be), if you lose it in the middle of dungeoning it still screws you for something that previously didn't exist.

Why are you being challenged to tests of strength mid-dungeon that you can't accept?

If you're getting hit by a roleplaying thing, then presumably you also have the time to take your day of downtime (barring uh, world-ending apocalypse and sky falling). If not, then you realistically won't be getting hit by a roleplaying thing.


Cyouni wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Quandary wrote:

I'm ignoring the comments which ignore the dev's own comments.

I love the new design, tying into alot of the flavor I enjoy about Barbarian, and I agree with fixed relationship of Anathema and Totems. This represents specific source of specific power, and that comes with specific behavioral dynamic. I think the calibration of power loss is perfect, only Totem powers and only 1 day keeps it real but not apocalyptic.

You probably shouldn't ignore the dev comments when making your post, you don't get the powers back after one day like a wizard regaining spells. Which is what it sounded like to me what you said.

Whenever you perform such acts, you lose the totem’s power and any totem feats until you spend 1 day of downtime recentering yourself, though you keep all other barbarian abilities.

It's 1 day of downtime. I hope you weren't in the middle of a dungeon delve when you lost your powers otherwise you don't have access to them for the whole expedition.

So while it's lighter and easier to clear up after than a paladins fall (as it should be), if you lose it in the middle of dungeoning it still screws you for something that previously didn't exist.

Why are you being challenged to tests of strength mid-dungeon that you can't accept?

If you're getting hit by a roleplaying thing, then presumably you also have the time to take your day of downtime (barring uh, world-ending apocalypse and sky falling). If not, then you realistically won't be getting hit by a roleplaying thing.

Oh look, I'm Superstitious and I accepted a spell to heal up when I was at 1 hp after a fight.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MuddyVolcano wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Purity has quite negative connotations to me as a buzzword for cleanse the impure violently or even lethally. Where impure mostly means anyone that does not fit the norm of purity

I think we should steer well away from it

Okay, how is that, exactly? Purity is a sense of absolution, usually in a positive manner (which has been twisted due to historical atrocities, but those have no bearing here).

I mean, you can say it doesn't make particular sense, but calling it Superstition is an equal misnomer.

I beg to differ. Those RL atrocities could have quite an impact on would-be customers and bystanders

I think it better to just not open this can of worms

Edit : I feel that my words might sound harsh and accusing, which is not my intent. I just wish to convey the deep unease I personally feel with using the word Purity

Perhaps because throughout history there've been arguments for "pure bloodlines," "pure races" and so on that have been a sort of calling-cry behind more violent movements. The phrase made me uneasy, also.

It isn't not liking the word--but it does strike the mind and remind of things like cleansings, the "pure race" and so on.

Also, as pervasive as magic is, it might make sense to have a barbarian that only exorcises certain /types/ of magic. To keep that from being OP and everyone choosing the same mechanically advantageous schools, schools might need to be presented in pairs, or have carefully thought out penalties.

For example, under a focused system, barbarians might choose to stand against evocation in order to save vs fireball--then still get protection bonuses from abjuration magic. So, balance.

I can have qualms about a superstitious guy because I think of myself as a rational skeptic, but I will react negatively to someone defining himself as pure or measuring his worth on his "purity", as usually that means that he judges all other people as impure and use purity as a measure of worth.

@Darksol the Painbringer
"Pure" means a lot of things, my problem is when someone uses that as a "measure of worth" he applies to himself and others.
It is all about context. When the followers of the Prophesy of Callistrade wear white to show how they are pure I have no special problems, when they wear gloves to avoid touching un-pure people I classify them as jerks.


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

I'm ignoring the comments which ignore the dev's own comments.

I love the new design, tying into alot of the flavor I enjoy about Barbarian, and I agree with fixed relationship of Anathema and Totems. This represents specific source of specific power, and that comes with specific behavioral dynamic. I think the calibration of power loss is perfect, only Totem powers and only 1 day keeps it real but not apocalyptic.

You probably shouldn't ignore the dev comments when making your post, you don't get the powers back after one day like a wizard regaining spells. Which is what it sounded like to me what you said.

Whenever you perform such acts, you lose the totem’s power and any totem feats until you spend 1 day of downtime recentering yourself, though you keep all other barbarian abilities.

It's 1 day of downtime. I hope you weren't in the middle of a dungeon delve when you lost your powers otherwise you don't have access to them for the whole expedition.

So while it's lighter and easier to clear up after than a paladins fall (as it should be), if you lose it in the middle of dungeoning it still screws you for something that previously didn't exist.

Why are you being challenged to tests of strength mid-dungeon that you can't accept?

If you're getting hit by a roleplaying thing, then presumably you also have the time to take your day of downtime (barring uh, world-ending apocalypse and sky falling). If not, then you realistically won't be getting hit by a roleplaying thing.

Oh look, I'm Superstitious and I accepted a spell to heal up when I was at 1 hp after a fight.

Worst case scenario there is that you lose your unique ability to shrug off spells. You still have your combat prowess, you're just no longer the spellbreaker. But now you can benefit from buffing and healing spells. Not bad enough of a trade to worry too much about in the short term.

I'd also like to point out that while the anathema part of taboo didn't exist previously in core... neither did the benefits of taboo. So, ya, you could lose your ability to wield gigantic weapons with ease. But you didn't have that before anyway. And if you prefer the old way of doing things, there is always the Fury taboo.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also unless they require you to "accept" positive spells it isn't a problem. Yeah if you don't shout at the cleric, tell them to never allow the tain of their goddess upon you again, you trigger the anathema. But someone else deciding to cast a spell on you doesn't auto break your anathema.


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The problem is as follows –

I like the idea that a totem is something you submit yourself to while under rage. "Fury, take the wheel." "Bear spirits, take the wheel." and so on. I can even roll with "Superstition, take the wheel."

What I think is terrible is all the things that are NOT related to rage receiving benefits/penalties from taboos.

Sure, if someone is channeling the power of inferiority complexes like the Giant Totem, passing a chance to prove oneself may cause them to have performance issues.

But straight up forgetting how to do a mundane act? That's too close to divine intervention to me.

PLUS, the whole "Barbarians are atavistic" thing is problematic.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The first two points are a non-sequitur that will lead to a can of worms far worse than debating what to name an anti-magic totem. I will not debate those points because there is no merit to do so, for either side, and they do nothing to aid the topic at hand.

Which is precisely why "purity" is not an appropriate term to introduce into gameplay in PF2.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
how is absolution not there? Absolution means the subject, and nothing else. The more pure something is, the less of anything else being there. If an entity is of pure courage, there would be no fear or doubt present, as the absolution of courage eschews the other aspects entirely. That is absolution, which is also purity.

You need to look up the meaning of "absolution"


Yeah I think Darksol is thinking about "absoluteness" or "absolutism"


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I like Anathema, I'd like to see it on every class. Can I take one voluntarily as, say, a rogue somehow?


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Malachandra wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Why are you being challenged to tests of strength mid-dungeon that you can't accept?

If you're getting hit by a roleplaying thing, then presumably you also have the time to take your day of downtime (barring uh, world-ending apocalypse and sky falling). If not, then you realistically won't be getting hit by a roleplaying thing.

Oh look, I'm Superstitious and I accepted a spell to heal up when I was at 1 hp after a fight.

Worst case scenario there is that you lose your unique ability to shrug off spells. You still have your combat prowess, you're just no longer the spellbreaker. But now you can benefit from buffing and healing spells. Not bad enough of a trade to worry too much about in the short term.

I'd also like to point out that while the anathema part of taboo didn't exist previously in core... neither did the benefits of taboo. So, ya, you could lose your ability to wield gigantic weapons with ease. But you didn't have that before anyway. And if you prefer the old way of doing things, there is always the Fury taboo.

Yeah, sure it's not a horrible trade, but I'm losing the things I literally chose that totem for (and any of the feats that I chose based off of that totem which could be all of them up to that point, we won't know till we get the playtest), really losing my powers for something that while I had some control over, wally is forced upon me if I don't want to sit around the table and watch the next few fights occur while my barb hides during the fights. If this was a paladin losing their powers, people would be going crazy.

Yes, titan mauler was not core, it still existed and had no anathema (sorry core only people, you lose out on things), so that's a false point of getting benefits from having anathema added.

Also the gm could have planned to do something with your anathema for RP the evening prior to your characters departure out of downtime mode, and you don't feel like dealing with it, so you take the penalty planning on using the following day that you don't get to fix it. It's not the gm trying to screw the player in this case, because they'd already planned on doing this, it's the player screwing themself due to insufficient info, or not thinking properly and realizing what's happening the next day.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I like Anathema, I'd like to see it on every class. Can I take one voluntarily as, say, a rogue somehow?

Yes, it's called "roleplaying".


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

Why are you being challenged to tests of strength mid-dungeon that you can't accept?

If you're getting hit by a roleplaying thing, then presumably you also have the time to take your day of downtime (barring uh, world-ending apocalypse and sky falling). If not, then you realistically won't be getting hit by a roleplaying thing.

Oh look, I'm Superstitious and I accepted a spell to heal up when I was at 1 hp after a fight.

Worst case scenario there is that you lose your unique ability to shrug off spells. You still have your combat prowess, you're just no longer the spellbreaker. But now you can benefit from buffing and healing spells. Not bad enough of a trade to worry too much about in the short term.

I'd also like to point out that while the anathema part of taboo didn't exist previously in core... neither did the benefits of taboo. So, ya, you could lose your ability to wield gigantic weapons with ease. But you didn't have that before anyway. And if you prefer the old way of doing things, there is always the Fury taboo.

Yeah, sure it's not a horrible trade, but I'm losing the things I literally chose that totem for (and any of the feats that I chose based off of that totem which could be all of them up to that point, we won't know till we get the playtest), really losing my powers for something that while I had some control over, wally is forced upon me if I don't want to sit around the table and watch the next few fights occur while my barb hides during the fights. If this was a paladin losing their powers, people would be going crazy.

Yes, titan mauler was not core, it still existed and had no anathema (sorry core only people, you lose out on things), so that's a false point of getting benefits from having anathema added.

Also the gm could have planned to do something with your anathema for RP the evening prior to your characters departure out of downtime mode, and you don't feel like dealing with it,...

Maybe you shouldn't provoke your own downfall then?

There's already been mentioned to be tons of non-magic ways of healing - Medicine skill and alchemical fluids among them, not to mention potions - so you breaking your own anathema to do that is 100% on you.

Similarly, the second one is "I make bad decisions and don't like consequences".


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

Why are you being challenged to tests of strength mid-dungeon that you can't accept?

If you're getting hit by a roleplaying thing, then presumably you also have the time to take your day of downtime (barring uh, world-ending apocalypse and sky falling). If not, then you realistically won't be getting hit by a roleplaying thing.

Oh look, I'm Superstitious and I accepted a spell to heal up when I was at 1 hp after a fight.

Worst case scenario there is that you lose your unique ability to shrug off spells. You still have your combat prowess, you're just no longer the spellbreaker. But now you can benefit from buffing and healing spells. Not bad enough of a trade to worry too much about in the short term.

I'd also like to point out that while the anathema part of taboo didn't exist previously in core... neither did the benefits of taboo. So, ya, you could lose your ability to wield gigantic weapons with ease. But you didn't have that before anyway. And if you prefer the old way of doing things, there is always the Fury taboo.

Yeah, sure it's not a horrible trade, but I'm losing the things I literally chose that totem for (and any of the feats that I chose based off of that totem which could be all of them up to that point, we won't know till we get the playtest), really losing my powers for something that while I had some control over, wally is forced upon me if I don't want to sit around the table and watch the next few fights occur while my barb hides during the fights. If this was a paladin losing their powers, people would be going crazy.

Yes, titan mauler was not core, it still existed and had no anathema (sorry core only people, you lose out on things), so that's a false point of getting benefits from having anathema added.

Also the gm could have planned to do something with your anathema for RP the evening prior to your characters departure out of downtime mode, and you don't feel like dealing with it,...

That's the thing though, totems are almost entirely flavor with a little bit of mechanics. With the exception of superstition, you lose barely anything when you trigger your totem. You still have your rage, your feats and skills, and any other choices you made. Unless you built a character entirely around wielding extra-big weapons (which is unlikely) you are basically unaffected. And it's not like you can only wield those weapons with the Giant totem. There are going to be other ways, probably with a small penalty like in PF1. So I don't see how the triggering the totem is this session-ruining event, even in the outlier case of superstition. Totem's are just not a big enough deal that if you lose the benefits you are left hiding during fights.

I don't see how we don't get benefits from adding totems, even with anathema. Take away the totem powers and you get... a PF1 barbarian. So we can only gain from this. They say "hey, you can have this, but only if you follow certain rules". OK, and if you don't like those rules then you're right back where you started. So we really can't say anything has been taken.

But again, if anyone really hates this system, they just take Fury. No big deal.

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