Barbarian have 12hp per level and temporary HP from rage, they just absorb the damage with their ABS.
Sure, but you also absorb way more critcal hits which come with nasty debuffs (unless critcal specilization is strictly a PC Thing?).
And looking at the feat support and build incentives the AC of your average Barbarian is prolly gonna be 2-4 Points behind your average fighter.
So with all you Folks discussing the merits of mobility and how to play second line characters, doesn't that leave the barbarian (i.e. the front liner with poor AC) in a bit of a bind?
Sure I could go around and be creative and have my barbarian Jumping up walls and hiding in nooks and crannies, but that doesn't seem overly barabric to me. And if I'm playing a giant instinct barbarian a GM might actually come to the conclusion, that such behaviour is actually not conform to my anathema.
The only strategy that comes to my mind is to use a reach weapon, but until Level 6 and AoO that won't actually disuade enemy movement.
STR based Ruffian Rogue with horsechopper, intimidation and trip schtick should work well and can be played sufficiently grim that you don't need to be the comic relief.
Horsechopper is arguably one of the better weapons for the Ruffian. And both stats and Goblin class abilities work nicely for rogues.
Cleave and Great Cleave are still pretty bad, because enemies don't often stand next to each other.
Boulder Roll seems like a good way to turn it on on a regular Basis.
Not sure it's worth the cost of 2 racial feats but with swipe and Waraxe (and Cleave) working so well in tandem it might actually be good.
I'm pretty sure you'd get a rage pool (i.e. times you get to use rage equal to your CON, which might increase with dedication feats). If they were to cap rage's damage progression completly it would suck. As +2 damage at level 10 is not worth the loss in AC. Maybe the damage progression scales of dedication feats (+1 per feat)?
They might also limit temporary HP to half level+CON.
Also I'd assume that your granted skill is prolly Athletics as it matches up with your required ability (16 STR).
Second feat gives you a rage power
Third gives you a level 1 totem ability or the other way round?
For pure martials either intimidate or feinting seem almost mandatory as you will often be looking for worthwhile ways to use your third action (or usually first action).
The medicine skill feat that allows you to heal in combat seems attractive for the very same reason!
Every party wants a pure caster cleric with a positive energy pool, and negative energy pools are bad
Colette Brunel wrote:
That said, negative energy pools are bad, and I think that they should be given an upgrade. By selecting a negative energy pool, a cleric takes away their ability to top off the party's hit points between combats, and why would a cleric do that?
Channel Smite can end combats real quick?
Weapon based Clerics can do insane amounts of damage starting at level 1. Gorum gives you a d12 weapon out of the gate which becomes absurd with Magic Weapon and Weapon Surge for 3d12+3 damage at +6 to hit.
You also have access to true strike.
At level 4 you add in channel smite with Harm and it becomes disgusting!
Only problem till level 4 is that you can't harm while wielding a greatsword.
Also stats become spread rather thin. Was thinking about
STR 16 DEX 10 CON 12 INT 10 WIS 18 CHA 12
Alternatively you could go dark knight style using a one handed weapon weapon and harm in your or other hand for second attacks targeting TAC. Also I'm wondering, since fists have the agile property, does this apply to touch attacks?
Don't forget you are also loosing one point of AC. That's also way more important than t was in PF1!
I think the way the damage bonus scales the math should be fairly level throughout the level range.
If Enlarging and a large weapon only give you sluggish 1 then the bility likely becomes worth while just for reach. Then again getting AoO with a barb is also not so easy...
Thanks for the input folks...very insightful! Especially the flat footed condition seems quite simple to come by as it can easily be set up without using an attack action. I was actually considering whether feinting is an option for the barbarian build above, sadly you don't have a lot of points to invest in Charisma...
The assist option seems a bit lackluster as it uses the attack option. But for spellcasters it's actually pretty nice...
Has anyone been able to build anything that crits reliably versus level appropriate foes?
Cause one of the big selling points in the build up was the new critical rules (which sounded really cool) but looking at to hit and AC math in a PC vs. PC fight it looks that you will actually be critting less than in PF1
I like the giant totem for the massive damage boost (+4 at level one when using a d12 two hander). Sluggish 1 is super annoying but still puts you ahead on damage. The enlarge power seems to synergize poorly however.
Also the barbarian seems to be a class which gives you plenty of good choices at each level. While Cleave effects are situational you have the capacity to push folks to make it work. The damage pay off can be worth it though...
Do you have any cool builds you want to share?
Being a big fan of Big Sticks I've been fiddling around with a barbarian. As I like damage I went for a Dwarven Barbarian with the giant totem.
Maul +4 1d12+10
Not sure where to take it from here but prolly cleave feats and investing skills and feats in athletics, survival and possibly intimidate? I only get my first point of resonance at level 4 so that might be a bit late?
Bob Genghis wrote:
For what it's worth, it's not actually restricted to any one race, you can still be a half-orc. And you don't have to use the snake, the companion levels stack once you take Mammoth Rider since that class replaces your existing pet choices
Pretty sure it's Naga only. And for PFS it definetly is... you could be a half orc with racial heritage. Considering all the feats you get for free this might actually be viable.
Well the phntom blade gets a pool of points which can be used to enhance unarmed strikes in addition to AoMF. That's quite something. You could get a vicious AoMF and have your unarmed strikes get enhncement bonuses from class. You have lots of ways to gain temporary hit points so vicious is actually really good especially considering how early you can get it.
Also the phantom blade can target touch AC, albeit at quite the costly upkeep.
I think the pahntom blade really needs something like frostbite on his spell list. If that were the case it would prolly be a viable alternative to the magus.
You should definetly consider that utilizing Stalwart will negatively affect your to hit or your AC via fighting definsively / Combat Expertise.
You will also be investing quite a few feats (and stat points) to get there and it takes quite some time to get going.
Also from a math perspective if you have a high AC (which as a fighter you should) further raising your AC to nigh unhittable levels will probably do more for you in the long term than DR 5.
I've also been debating the merits of Paired Opportunist for such a build.
In theoretical DPR calculations it's gonna do a lot of damage. But I reckon that in many instances where you score a critical hit with your two hander and your bloodthristy doggy takes a big bite you have likely suceeded at taking down your foe anyhow and won't be able to take extra AoO anyhow.
Kobold Commando wrote:
Thanks! Swap Death Touched for Sound of Mind then. Both untamed rager and Savage Dirty Trick get way too little love around here. I will have to run some numbers on CMD but from the looks of it you will have to cope with something like CR+20 on a regular basis. At level 10 your CMB should be something like +31, assuming AoMF enhncement bonus counts for maneuvers.
The tricky part will be to beat opponents FORT save for the secondary condition on Savage Dirty Trick on a regular basis. Against CASTY WEAKLINGS this should be doable, but making T-REXes barf should prove rather difficult. The DC is 10+STR+Half Barb level so at level 10 you are looking at DC 24 or so. Shaken (-2) and Sickened (-2) help a lot here though. So your order of operations on a full attack would look like
1)Primary Trip Attack (Knockdown) - > Prone (-4 AC and Attack)
Then again among the primary debuffs Blinded is super crippling to martials and Deafened is a hevy hit for casters.
I was also pondering the joys of low level Rage Cycling and came across the Allnight Drug. It combos marvelously with Heart of the Fields. However I'm not sure if it will really work as it states that it eliminates the effects of fatigue for the next 8 hours, it does not however remove the condition. Also while nethys says it's PFS legal it is also listed as a black market good.
I'd really like to make this work somehow so that I can play Shroedinger's Barbarian who is a cat and an armored warrior and a giant Octupus at the same time.
I think taking away the beastkins ability score bonuses was legit, otherwise it's just a stright upgrade to the standard barbarian. I generlly agree with caster martial disparity, but show me a caster that wants to be alone in a room with a beastkin berserker...
Anyways I've been doing some brainstorming and have come up with a rather wicked build that tries to circumvent the beastkin's lack of defenses by debuffing. Specifically the Untamed Rager Archetype from Dirty Tactics Toolbox can be stacked with Beaskin Berserker. It gives you improved and greater dirty trick in place of uncanny doge and imp. uncanny dodge and also gets a scaling intimdte bonus in place of trap sense.
Add in Knockback/Savage Dirty Trick and Cornugon smash with 6 natural attacks and you can leave a foe with the following debuffs in one round while still dealing 50some damage at level 6:
Prone AND Blinded AND Staggered AND Shaken AND Deafend
Prone AND Dazzled AND DAZED AND Shaken AND Blinded
Prone AND Dazzled AND DAZED AND Shaken AND Deafend
The possibilities are nigh endless...Also Dirty Trick gives you something nice to do in the first round of combat before aquiring pounce.
Thanks to size increases, Rage, AoMF and Reckless Abandon you should have a fairly competitive CMB throughout your career. Also STR surge means you can land single combat maneuvers agianst pretty much anyone.
Human Barbarian 10 (Beastkin Berserker/ Untamed Rager)
STR 19 DEX 12 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 12 CHA 8
Alt Race Traits:
1 Rage / Savage Raport: Dechynodronus / Feat: Power Attack / Bonus Feat: Extra Rage Power: Reckless Abandon (Retrained 5PP)
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed a post. Let's refrain from using "retarded" to indicate things you feel are suboptimal. Thanks!
I apologize... that was innaproriate on my part.
Back to the matter at hand: I think I've found an easy solution to "rage cycle" with this build. Simply use moment of clarity after your attack:
The barbarian does not gain any benefits or take any of the penalties from rage for 1 round. Activating this power is a swift action. This includes the penalty to Armor Class and the restriction on what actions can be performed. This round still counts against her total number of rounds of rage per day. This power can only be used once per rage.
The way I see it becoming an animal is part of your rage...
The barbarian may enter a rage even if fatigued. While raging after using this ability, the barbarian is immune to the fatigued condition. Once this rage ends, the barbarian is exhausted for 10 minutes per round spent raging.
Not sure if there are any easy ways to remove fatigue however (besides heart of the fields)...
The combination of these abilities means you should be able to pop in and out of animal form fairly easily in the fights where low AC will get you killed. It also gives you some cool RP potential where you can fluff it as an odd form of lycanthropy that you find hard to control.
Dang it... well the demon cat is better anyhow...stinging tail and all...
You are prolly right about the eagle. The marax is described as follows:
Dense, bony growths line the back of this bipedal predator. Between its gnashing, toothy underbite, scythe-like claws, and spiked tail, no part of this beast offers mercy.
Seems like Talons were mixed up with claws but I'd be keen to see a picture before ruling it out categorically...
Admittedly I was immedeatly drawn to this for the hilarity and it's actually not even that suboptimal compared to the eagle. And it actually has a better land movement speed.
Due to being bored I sorted through the Monster list above to identify creatures sized tiny to huge with interesting (not claw, claw, bite) natural attacks:
Name Size Type Senses Aura Speed Melee
Nothing really caught my fancy in the small or medium departement but Marax looks pretty awesome for a large form with up to 7 natural attacks.
Also giant dire frog targets touch AC with his tongue. That's oddly appealing...
Love the arsinoitherium and Vital Strike/Furious Finish idea. Too bad that build really doesn't work out before level 6 at the very earliest...
Sorry I meant Cmapaign Clarifications. It's a specific nerf to the Beastkin Berserker, not to beast shape in general.
Page 21—A beastkin beserker does not adjust her ability scores when she undergoes a feral transformation. When selecting creatures for her savage rapport, the beserker must choose creatures that have statistics, and she can only take the form of a specific animal once she gains the ability to transform into an animal of that size. For example, a beastkin beserker who selects triceratops would be able to take the form of a triceratops at 12th level. She could not take the form of a younger triceratops of varying sizes at lower levels.
Additional Resources for PFS stataes quite clearly that you don't get ability score bonuses from beast shape. To me this seems balanced, but it makes small forms superior.
With Savage Technologist rage actually gives you +4 AC in small form. So with 14 dex and mage armor you are at 20 AC baseline. I feel like this is workable. However Beast Totem is not as good as it would normally be and amulet of natural armor is out of the question. You'd have to look at your AC at level 10 to see if it remains competitve.
The thought of rage cycling hadn't crossed my mind yet but it would be rather awesome, both for defenses and versatility. Also the mental imagery is rather stunning :) Not sure whether or not it's a viable low level strategy though...
Also due to having rage powers that can give you all kinds of nifty powers and most forms of natural attacks (I count claw, bite, gore) this archetype doesn't follow old principles of wild shaping. Also you have to consider that you only get one animal form every 5 levels. So you should pick and choose wisely.
In my mind the natural attacking barbarian is great at dealing damage and is also fairly sturdy (thanks superstition), so I'd mainly like my animal forms to get me to my enemy. This means pounce (level 8) swim, fly and climb speeds are at a premium. Sure some of these abilities can be had via rage powers, but they cost a lot of rage powers and they tend to come online very late.
So as a first animal form the falcon seemed very appealing to me as it flies and has an otherwise unattinable talons. And while there are are birds that have claws in pathfinder, I'm pretty sure you'd have trouble justifiyng this for all the PFS GMs in the world. There's also dire rat that swims and climbs and could use a bit of love from claws and gore.
Also the Lynx is a small pouncer as well, but for pure combat viability the quillct is better due to having a sting.
Looks like the natural armor bonuses from the savage barbarian/Beast totem and Beast shape won't stack :(
Savage barbarian also gets a scaling dodge bonus which would stack... however it's not sizeable enough to make it worthwhile I'm afraid.
Falcon seems like a really good animal choice none the less as it gets two talons and a bite so theoretically at Level 4 you could have 6 Primary natural attack (2 claws, 2 Talons, bite and gore)
This will also work with the dinosaur dude...sans the fly speed.
Also halfling could be cool for the risky striker feat.
So with ths archetype I feel like there are 2 or possibly 3 avenues:
Beastkin/Invulnerable rager: Quite the deadly combo. DR is sweet but your AC will be atrocious. You make it worse by picking up reckless abandon.
Beastkin/Savage technologist/Savage Barbarian: Savage technologist raises your AC by 4. Savage archetype gives you further bonuses to naked AC. Pair this with a small or tiny form (AC bonus with unmodified STR). Beast Totem gives you more AC (especially good for forms laking claws like flying creatures with talons). Get a wand of Mage armor and someone to use it (or get a trait for UMD) and you should be quite tanky.
I feel this strategy is the way to go in PFS where you don't get the ability score bonuses from beast shape, thus smaller forms are much better.
A few thoughts on your build:
So eldritch claws seems like a waste of a feat. Once you have a +1 furious AoMF it becomes superfluous.
Otherwise helm of the mamoth lord will save you the fiend totem.
Also whats up with the intimidate schtick? Which CR appropriate opponent is ever gonna survive your full attack?
Also I'd look into more mobile forms. Possibly ones that let you fly.
Bob Genghis wrote:
Sympathetic Rage and eldritch guardian ma man...
Ninja is best built as a brute. I.e. STR based two hander. The Ki-Pool Extra attack is just so good for such builds. Such a build will want the scout archetype. That way you can easily set up devastating single attacks on a charge and be equally lethal when full attacking.
For pure consistent damage such a build is superior to the unchained rogue.
Matrix Dragon wrote:
I love the idea of the Weretouched Shifter and (generally) how it works. I just wish that it had more than two class features to gain after level 5. This lack of class features is essentially the shifter's main issue IMO.
Yeah feels a bit like the gunslinger in disguise doesn't it...
Chess Pwn wrote:
okay, so it is able to keep up with other full babs. that is good
It's able to keep up with the CRB fighter. That's not saying much. Optimized full martials should be able to put out something like 150 DPR at Level 12.
I'm pretty sure the weretouched shifter can do that as well. For other builds I'm not so sure.
The weretouched shifter really breaks the classes damage math as it can combine Rhino Hide with pounce. Boot trick (Sharp veer) and Dragon Style mean that you should be able to pounce on most rounds of the day (Humans cann pull all this of at 5th).
The major issue with the shifter's DPR is that your to hit will always be lagging behind other martials. Due to the number of attacks precision isn't quite as importants but other martials can easily aquire a dump truck of natural attacks as well.
This is why pouncing is so important as that +2 to hit is vital for a shifter. This also means that power attack is a comparably bad feat for shifters.
Also I'm fairly positive that with the erataded shifter's edge you are not gonna want to Focus on DEX (at least not on a build that goes from Level 1 to 12). For pure DPR reasons investing heavily in WIS for Mutated Shape is probably superior.
Savage Technologist is my favorite Barbarian Archetype. However it's so good because of the changes it makes to Rage and not because of guns.
You can Play ST without ever using a gun and it's prolly more efficient to use a bow at most times but if guns is what you want then you can make it work as a secondary or primary strategy.
There's actually a fairly nice workaround to the misfire problem. Pick up the breaker archetype and once you have a magical firearm just always fire away even after misfire. The worst that can happen is that your gun is out of commision for the rest of the adventure. So always carry a back up gun.
There's 3 diffferent routes to take with the archetype:
Gun as a back up weapon only. All you need is Gunsmithing and a gun that reloads itself like a Dragon Rifle. You fire a bit before closing into melee. Multiple guns and quick draw will ensure that you can keep firing multiple times per round. I'd go for a two handed firearm and ignore the two weapon fightung ability. This build wants high DEX and STR and some CON. You can get Rapid Shot and PBS but don't really want stuff like precise shot. Pairing this with a natural attack build works out well.
The TWF build using a gun and a melee weapon. This is the build that your abilities are hinting at. After running the numbers on this for quite some time, I came to the conclusion that this isn't optimal.
The Gunslinger Archetype. Maybe dip 1 Level of gunslinger and get all the necesarry feats for ranged combat. Sadly barbarian has few rage powers that supplement this role but defenisve rage powers (Superstition), the one that grants quick draw and Reckless Abandon are good picks. This build prioritises DEX over STR. Also since you need an awful lot of feats human is a must. You can make this work either with two repeating one handed guns or a single two handed weapon.
The Soverign Blade Samurai Archetype gains the following ability at 4th level:
Golden Armor (Su)
At 4th level, a sovereign blade can spend one use of her resolve to cause her armor to become golden for 1 round per class level, gaining energy resistance equal to 1/2 her samurai level against one energy type of her choice.
This ability replaces mounted archer.
Question what type of action does it take to use the ability? Most uses of resolve are either a standard or immediate action. For this ability it would prolly make most sense as a swift action but sadly the wording is missing.