I'd say you were in the right. High knowledge checks are already ridiculous powerful in the right hands. Just because they can't achieve one impossibly hard thing doesn't mean you're keeping them from using their high intelligence. That's like saying you'd be killing a barbarians fun if you didn't let him throw a castle at someone. It's ok for some things to be impossible.
Favored class bonus. If you can get the human favored class bonus as a half orc, like claxon said, then half orc would actually be awesome, especially if you could get ferocious action. I wasn't sure about that though.
Ah, oh well. The courageous thing seemed cheesy anyway. I wasn't saying go full on Orc though. I was just saying go human with orc racial heritage for the orc feats. Human barbarian is obviously best barbarian. I still prefer orc to half orc though for ferocious action.
And yeah, you'll obviously need multiple dudes with the same feats for the blood vengeance/horde charge thing to work, but it's pretty awesome if you can make it happen. In general, extra rage power is the better choice though.
Also, you don't need a feat for a falchion. And since the courageous thing doesn't work, you could always go furious/keen falchion for the frequent crits.
You're actually already on your way to being LE. It basically just means having a code (like what the sith follow) that allows you to do evil stuff. You don't have to do ALL the evil stuff to be evil. If your personal code says you don't torture people, maybe you just outright kill them. Who needs information if you're an overpowered death machine?
Goals are also a pretty big part of it. I would consider The Hound from "Game of Thrones" to be LN. He does some pretty bad stuff on the orders of evil people, but it's all in the name of money or survival. If your character BELIEVES in the goals of his evil masters, and his main goal is to commit evil for the sake of evil, with reward being a secondary motivation, then he's evil.
A lot of the campaigns I've played in have been evil, and I love Lawful Evil characters, even though I usually play Chaotic Evil. It enforces loyalty to the party even if everyone is a bloodthirsty psycho.
I'd definitely fight this thing. I don't think it's OP at all, assuming they have the right gear for it. As Redjack said, it might even need more health. If they gang up on it and start smacking it, it wouldn't surprise me if they killed it in two rounds. If they use ranged weapons, they can avoid the rune of agony and not have to wait a round to full attack, which could be really bad for this thing.
It's got a lot of cool stuff, but it's not doing anything crazy. The rune of terror and shockwave are pretty nasty though, I think it's a really cool monster.
Dhampir rogue with natural charmer completely focussed around diplomacy and bluff. I don't know for sure how well it would work in this situation, but at first glance the only nonexistent thing I would want would be something to keep my thoughts from being detected and something to keep people from sensing my motives. He'd have 17 levels of bluff, +3 for it being a class skill, +2 racial bonus, +4 for deceitful, +6 for skill focus, +7 for charisma score, he takes 20's on all lies because of natural charmer and there may be other ways to boost bluff that I'm not thinking of. That mean's I'm guaranteed a 59 bluff check when it counts. Plus, there's that one rouge talent that let's people you've fooled use your bluff check when they repeat your lie to someone else.
Assuming the rogue's journey to the evil castle has been fairly low key, since he's not cut out for combat (fighter, ranger and brawler could take care of that without him getting involved, assuming it was needed at all) and can probably make most bruiser types believe that the sky is red, he could potentially just lie his way into the castle. He most likely won't be able to lie to the wizard because of the wizard's high wisdom, but assuming a similarly high diplomacy check, he could become "friends" with the wizard and then "ask him for some favors". Since all you get when rolling against diplomacy is charisma plus a maximum 25 modifier for a hostile attitude, all he'd have to do is convert the wizard's attitude to helpful and he'd have an all powerful puppet.
It may seem like the wizard would have to be sloppy to allow this to happen, but think about the fact that a maxed out strength score makes the strongest man currently alive look like a gnat. Talking to a guy with maxed out diplomacy checks would basically be like talking to the devil.
I'd rather be Krieg, Drax the Destroyer, Brock Samson, Dirty Harry, The Terminator, Judge Dredd, The Cole Train, Bronn, or Fezzik. Or, like, any other beloved and also competent person.
#2- That's all fine and dandy until you wind up with a useless party. It's happened to me several times, and a lot of DM's just aren't clever enough to make it a fun game, especially if your motivations and alignments are too far apart.
#3- You can have the most OP build imaginable and still give it a personality. The two aren't mutually exclusive. I'm usually the heavy hitter as well as the comic relief.
To me, it's like how two players can play at different difficulty levels in certain video games while still playing together. If the enemy goes for your noobie, he fights at noobie level to even it out. I was on the other side of this the first time I tried to build a barbarian (ok barbarian surrounded by useless teammates) and I didn't mind catching a little extra heat. It'll give him more suspense and more guys to chop up. The DM just has to remember not to be TOO heavy handed.
Also, as everyone else has already said, 20-30 dmg per target on a cleave really isn't all that great. That's like kicking every enemy standing immediately next to you in the shin. If your son wants to hack-n-slash, tell him to look at the BARBARIAN AM SMASH guide on here. Also, pick up a furious falchion. That could really help balance things out in any future games.
The way my DM would handle this would be to have the enemies gun way harder for the stronger character. Let's say you've got an enemy with three natural attacks. When you attack the war priest, you go full attack on him, but if you attack your comic relief guy, just hit him with one attack. Or if your players wind up scattered and fighting different enemies 1v1 or 2v2, send any extra guys you have over to fight the war priest. It'll probably work out fine since he wants to fight and everyone else wants to do whatever people who build underpowered characters see as their end goal.
For me, these characters are usually only memorable in the way Jar Jar Binks was memorable. I hated him so much I couldn't forget him. I would rather not watch a movie with characters like Jar Jar, or Andrea from The Walking Dead, or Dr. Weir from Event Horizon, because it stresses me out, just like playing with people who make purposefully bad characters.
If you make them overcome their weaknesses, like Wraithstrike said, that's all fine and dandy. That's good character development. I've played with a TON of awful characters that were made that way for "role-play reasons" though, and the people who are complaining that the min maxers "aren't letting them play their character the way they wanted" are usually keeping everyone else in the party from playing the way that they want by expecting to have their hand held. It makes no sense for the party to not just kill them and take their stuff.
TL;DR: Non optimal characters are fine, useless characters are definitely gimped, an probably drag the party down just by existing.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
This was really helpful. The "anvil" role seems most appealing to me, although the guy who's DM'ing this game always pulls punches against useless characters, which makes them slow combat down quite a bit just by being so fragile that the DM has to worry about killing them. So I may go for more of the "arm" role. Either way, this gives me a firm idea of where to go.
Victor Von Fausten wrote:
What are the nooblets playing? Since there is already a sorcerer, your party may need a cleric. How about a dwarven cleric of Torag? You will have healing spells and not too bad offensive capabilities. (Not sure on the spelling of Torag, but at the moment I can't pop my pathfinder disk in.) This way you can also help bail out the nooblets and hopefully teach them a thing or two.
I've got no idea what they're playing, they're just regulars in the games I'm in and consistently roll up awful characters.
I want to play a caster for the first time in an upcoming game and will probably have to carry my party. I can understand how casters can be powerful, but I never got the whole "god" thing. I know that a lot of spells are unbelievably awesome (flesh to stone, flight, haste, stone skin, dominate person) but hacking stuff up with a furious falchion always seemed way easier. Let's assume I've got maybe one martial (either a ranger or a fighter) who's reliably good, a blaster sorcerer who will reliably blast things, and three nooblets who made terrible characters for "role play reasons". What do I need to play and how do I use it effectively in combat? I play support all the time in video games, so I'm down for that kind of thing, but I'm afraid there won't be much to support.
I feel like all of this has basically been said before. Barbarian is the ultimate in smashing all of the things. Just taking a one level dip in barbarian make you better at hitting things, so staying in until 12 basically makes you the hulk. The one true barbarian got it's name for a reason, but I also like orc invulnerable ragers with ferocious action.
I've only played the untouchable bloodrager, which has more defensive options than the barbarian, but doesn't hit as hard. I like arcane for blur and haste.
Paladin is good for fighting evil things, which is awesome if you die and get to roll up a new character right before you fight something super evil. This is easily thwarted if the DM says that the bad guy is actually chaotic neutral and misunderstood or lawful good with a different perspective than yours.
Fighter is less reliant on strength because of weapon specialization/weapon training/overhand chop, which can make them good at more than one thing, and they can fight all day. You can also build weird, niche things with fighters because they have good health and tons of feats.
I've heard people say that rangers are good at TWF, but I've never actually seen one not get destroyed in game. My orc barbarian sponged a whole fights worth of arrows while our party's ranger died from one full attack. The worst archer I've ever seen and the worst scout I've ever seen were also rangers. Ranger is still pretty popular though because everyone wants to be Aragorn.
I haven't had a lot experience with the rest.
Being awesome?! A katana really offers no mechanical advantage over a European sword, and even has some disadvantages when you consider the tiny guard and lack of pommel. You just take it so that when you kill someone, the DM can say that your enemy stands for a split second, befuddled, as your blade passes painlessly through him, before his body falls to the ground in neatly carved pieces like a Christmas ham.
Having someone cast fly on you, hiding where it can't hit you from the air so it has to land if it wants to kill you or shooting it are the least silly of your options. One of my party members once jumped on the back of a Roc, stabbed it to death in mid air and then backflipped to safety as it crashed in the background. I've also absolutely abused the tiefling ability "speak to all birds" that's on the SRD.
Ah, never played one, escapism for me almost exclusively means hitting things. I guess that goes to show I shouldn't talk about stuff I don't fully understand. Still though, with a racial +2 and a +1 to any stat every 4 levels, you could roll straight tens and still be able to cast.
If we're talking lvl 1 survivability, then low stats should just be an indicator that you should play something that doesn't die easy, which would still leave tons of options even with low stats. I usually start at lvl 5 though, so I didn't take that into consideration.
I wasn't talking about charisma on casters though, I was talking about charisma for liars and negotiators who, in the right context, don't need to do much else. If you rolled straight tens and wanted to be a caster though, you could still summon stuff or cast stuff like fly, haste, invisibility, or any spells that don't have or need saves. I'm not saying rolling straight tens is ideal, but even if you do you aren't doomed.
I prefer point buy, but rolling doesn't make you useless. You don't need high stats for diplomacy and bluff. The difference between a +5 or a +2 in charisma becomes trivial when you look at all the other ways to boost skills. All you need for a barbarian is strength and constitution, and with toughness and favored class bonus, you could still live without a huge constitution score. A low stat player could also just buff their party with spells. Everyone would love you and you'd definitely make your party better. Also, speaking of goblins, goblins get a +4 to dex, orcs get a +4 to str and dual talent humans can get +2 to two separate stats. That's enough of a boost to make you good at one thing, and being a dumb strong guy or a fragile useful guy isn't bad when you're with a group. Plus, you could always roll god stats.
Game of Thrones it and flat out murder the one dude that tries to fight the guy. The skeletal champion thing sounds too cool to waste and who WOULDN'T want to be a bloody skeleton?! After that, just let the deal go on as normal. The rest of the party should be good after they know this guy isn't to be messed with.
Everybody wants to be the baddest dude around, or the comic relief, or the party weirdo, rather than just wanting to be successful. I like horde charge and amplified rage. Your build will SEEM vulnerable until you and your fellow barbarian charge a guy from opposite sides and you get an extra +5 to damage and an extra +6 to hit on a guy that already took a falchion to the head. Pair that with the fact that your builds force you to stay together if you want to survive and you've got an unstoppable tidal wave of anger.
The OP is just saying that if someone wants to be "THE hero" it's easiest to just tell them to be superman, because that's probably what they had in mind anyway. It's not terrible advice for achieving what the player wants, but I really don't like playing with superman types.
"THE hero" to me is right up there with the guy that falls for the first female NPC he sees and the caster who wants to be a god on the list of most annoying characters. They usually wind up never wanting to do anything even slightly morally gray, trying to intimidate the more morally questionable characters into behaving themselves, and then getting beheaded by the party psycho.
Also, assuming a 20 point buy, most martials would probably have a strength score of 20 once you include their racial modifier. Factoring in rage, spells, items and whatever else, a 25 strength check wouldn't be that hard. An orc abyssal bloodrager could have a 9 strength modifier by lvl 4 when enraged, and get up to an 11 with bull's strength. If your players REALLY want to move this thing and have any kind of party bruiser, they'll probably just toss it aside.
For example, in a past home brew campaign, we've had to go do our main storyline stuff, go kill some dudes on some boats to prove our loyalty to these people we were trying to sabotage, and then had to resist arrest when we got back to land. For two of those, my lvl 5 barbarian could be a hulked out maniac who could power attack with no consequences. For one of those, he was just a guy who was also tired. If we'd have had a skald he could've been a hulked out, heavy hitting freak for all of them.
Yeah... this is all really bad advice. Barbarians get such a surplus of rage it barely even counts as an expendable resource by about fifth level, having more rounds is a net zero gain.
It's not about more rounds, really, it's about not getting fatigued. Before you get tireless rage, you've got two separate bursts of rage with roused anger unless you build around a reliable way to rage cycle. That means you've only got two fights in you before you're exhausted, which means you might have to pick and choose when you're going to rage, depending on how many fights you usually get in per day. You may have a ton of rounds of rage, but it won't matter if you wear yourself out before you use them. The Skald won't have to worry about that though, so you can literally rage all day without worrying.
Bongo BigBounce wrote:
One problem with the standard Skald's song and Barbarians is that while Barbarians can use the Skald's song rounds instead of their own, they cannot use their rage powers while doing so.
They get to use his rage powers though. As long as he takes the big ones like reckless abandon and the beast totem stuff, they should be fine. If they REALLY need to use their own powers, they can just choose not to accept his song and rage on their own. Plus, since raging song doesn't fatigue you, he won't have to worry about taking roused anger early on and can get straight into the good stuff.
On top of having an obscene amount of rage with no negative after effects when using the Skald, you can also get fast healing. It won't do a whole lot with some of the party members, but with your invulnerable rager, he'll have his DR as well as the Skald's fast healing when he's under raging song, which means he'll be able to sponge a ton of damage.
The main take away from this thread should be that casters are really cocky and oftentimes get smashed because they think they're invincible and forget that they'll die if they get their heads lopped off. The funniest case of a caster's hubris getting him killed that I've ever seen is when I grappled one and he turned into a dragon to try and beat me at my own game. A size large dragon. Which only gave him a +4 to his strength score (barely putting him at a positive modifier and still rocking his pitiful BAB) and only gave me a small penalty to grapple him. I then bit the nerd dragon's throat out because it couldn't hit me or escape my grapple and it's breath attack sucked.
Pick a couple of things that seem less than smart and stick to your guns when roll playing them. I've played a dumb character that was impatient to a fault and didn't always think his actions through before committing to them. Being blindly devoted to something, having poor self control, having a bad temper, being overly gullible, not being able to read or not being able to speak common as well as the other characters are all also easy ways to convey dumbness.
As far as specific examples go, I had an orc barbarian named War Feast who was an unstoppable force of nature. Lvl 5, 26 strength when raging, furious great axe, complete bloodthirsty nihilist. Single handedly killed all the guards protecting a dwarven mining crew so we could use them to tunnel under a city we needed to sack. The only reason we failed was because one of the morons in our party was playing both sides and killed me after I had already raged twice in the same day.
Just give your character a clearly defined motive for completing the campaign and play him as though he understands that hurting teammates will slow him down, whether it's because he needs them or because the following retaliation from the rest of the party will be cumbersome.
I love to play chaotic evil barbarians and my party always loves them. I'd throw flammable oil on random roadside bandits so our sorcerer could light them on fire, kill innocents and give their arrows and other things I didn't need to my party members, and keep dialogue heavy bits moving quickly by beheading people who wouldn't cooperate. I was by all means a sadistic maniac, but I was also the most helpful member of our party.
I've killed party members before, but only when they were directly interfering with the rest of the party. If somebody hassles me, they're the one who's causing the problem, and they're going to learn a lesson about picking a fight with a guy packing a 10 intelligence score and a great axe. Only a stupid person would betray someone who's actively helping them though, which is why I've always found it easy to work with my party even when I'm playing an evil character.
DM let one player keep a character from an old campaign with an incredibly broken pair of magic gauntlets. He also let said character keep his levels from the last campaign, but made all new characters start at lvl one. Broken gauntlet dude dragged us along on his cringe inducing rise to godship, complete with horribly improvised political speeches forced into effectiveness via high diplomacy rolls, because he was impossible to mutiny against given how many advantages he had. The DM just kind of gave him free reign while he ruined the campaign and everyone sat on the sidelines texting.
Gnome draconic sorcerer constantly friendly fired everyone in the party and then tried to sell us out to a gang of psychotic clowns. Fortunately someone told him how awesome natural weapons are without telling him that you have to have strength to use them, so he got thrown down a stairwell in a scrap with my fighter and was then burned alive by our other sorcerer. No one in our party was particularly nice.
Orc barbarian with the first set of stats. Put the 12 in strength and when enraged you'll have 20 strength with your +4 from being an orc. Get a furious weapon ASAP and you could have a +8 to hit before you even add in BAB. Put the 3 in int so you'll have a 1 in intelligence after you take the -2 for being an orc. It'll be hilarious. There's nothing more dangerous than being dumb and angry. It'd be even better if you could talk the DM into letting you be a wild rager so you'd just be a big, dumb tornado of anger.
Yeah i mean i was totally annoying to all the party members by saving their skins multiple times and the only one with an int score over 10. But continue to call me the worst players ever because i dont play your way.
I'm half joking. I don't know the dynamics of your party. But I've played with a "take over the world" type, and I've always found the whole god complex thing to be tiresome.
Moral of the story: If a character says "I want to attain ultimate power through magic no matter the cost", cut his head off so you don't have to deal with literally the most annoying kind of party member. Wild rager bro is the real victim here. He just wanted to follow his inner demons and kill some owl bears.
If this is what you want to play then do it, but building a skald more like a barbarian would work better. Put more in strength rather than dex, since your raging song will give you an extra +2, make your con higher since that'll get boosted as well, take power attack, all that kind of jazz.
The carrying capacity rule that says that you can lift your maximum carry weight over your head was always funny to me. A freakishly strong overhead press in real life would be 315 pounds. According to the "lifting and dragging" rules, my last orc barbarian could overhead press 920 pounds at lvl 5, meaning that he could swat down professional strongmen like toddlers.