Tactics against Barbarians


Advice


I am playing in a group whose characters are having to head north to retrieve some things taken by a barbarian tribe. We're going in with diplomatic tactics, but not expecting that will work. If it comes down to combat, what are some really effective tactics against barbarians?

My first thought is fight defensively until their rage wears out and they are fatigued.

Second thought, what effects and abilities could fatigue them, and cause them to prematurely end their rage? Touch of Fatigue? OK but the wizard won't like getting toe-to-toe with a frothing-at-the-mouth, big, fur-loincloth-clad, shield-chewing monster :)

Discuss :)


Derrian Thews wrote:


My first thought is fight defensively until their rage wears out and they are fatigued.

Wrong.

Fight far far far away from them on a very high place preferably with ranged weapons. If this is unfeasible make it so the barbarians can't get to you. Remember you're fighting defensively while they're getting bonuses to attack and god knows what else. It's much more feasible for your to rain death from above on them with their lowered AC's then it is to sit quietly while GARTOCK, SKULLCRUSHER AND ORC SLICER has his merry little way with you.

Liberty's Edge

1. Calm Emotions - divine spell removes rage.
2. Snare em, then range em! Practically no AC, makes them weak to even non-archer builds using ranged weapons.

So work against there weaknesses. Low Reflex, low AC and usually they lack good range attacks. You right though about fighting defensively, a battle of attrtition is your best bet. You will never burn down a barbarian (singular/plural).

To help further posters with your upcoming battle you should post what your group consists of (class, level, ect.).

oh, bring beer and if you happen to accidentally drug it then oops!

good luck buddy!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Derrian Thews wrote:

I am playing in a group whose characters are having to head north to retrieve some things taken by a barbarian tribe. We're going in with diplomatic tactics, but not expecting that will work. If it comes down to combat, what are some really effective tactics against barbarians?

My first thought is fight defensively until their rage wears out and they are fatigued.

Second thought, what effects and abilities could fatigue them, and cause them to prematurely end their rage? Touch of Fatigue? OK but the wizard won't like getting toe-to-toe with a frothing-at-the-mouth, big, fur-loincloth-clad, shield-chewing monster :)

Discuss :)

Kinda depends on level but keeping them at range helps some, although they are fast so you have to really control the battlefield. Waves of fatigue and ray of exhaustion are good picks to shut down rage if they aren't supported by someone who can remove them. Also depends on level but sleeping barbarians are not raging and calm emotions can also shut them down as ending their rage makes them fatigued :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If you're going to be using calm emotions and other effects to remove their rage, do what you can to get them low on HP first, then get rid of their rage. It should knock them out. Alternatively, if you can bring them to negatives, when their rage ends they should die immediately.


Derrian Thews wrote:


Second thought, what effects and abilities could fatigue them, and cause them to prematurely end their rage? Touch of Fatigue? OK but the wizard won't like getting toe-to-toe with a frothing-at-the-mouth, big, fur-loincloth-clad, shield-chewing monster :)

Discuss :)

Get him a rod of Reach Spell, lesser. Problem solved! And if you have SGG's 101 Spell Variants, he can use that with Magic Mace as well!

I'm currently making an encounter for a group of PCs which involves a kobold sorceror on a floor above where the party enters, with a staircase leading up to him. The kobold has two animated crossbows attacking from the higher ground too.

I'm expecting to face at least one barbarian, so I greasing the staircase, then using Hydraulic Push should keep him away while letting the crossbows do their thing.

Obviously a different problem, but the main ideas battlefield control and keeping them as far away as possible, holds true!


party consists of

L7 Dwarven Drunken Monk
L7 Gnome Cleric - Cayden
L7 Halfling Swashbucker Rogue
L7 Dwarven Fighter
L7 Human Bard
L7 Half-Orc Alchemist


I might be a little rusty on my scroll rules, but if I recall, you can attempt to cast a scroll of a higher level than you would normally be able to at the risk of a mishap. Go ahead and spring for a scroll of Waves of Exhaustion and use it in the first round. You should be able to catch a pretty sizable group of barbarians in the area, and even if they fail their save, they're still fatigued and can't rage.


Derrian Thews wrote:

party consists of

L7 Dwarven Drunken Monk
L7 Gnome Cleric - Cayden
L7 Halfling Swashbucker Rogue
L7 Dwarven Fighter
L7 Human Bard
L7 Half-Orc Alchemist

Have the Cleric cast Calm Emotions to keep them out of rage, have the Bard cast Charm Person to play against the Barb's weak Will.

Don't forget to have the bard get a Rod of Quicken Spell, Lesser so he can Inspire Courage, Haste, and use Good Hope all in one round. With potentially 4 melees (if the alchemist is going Mutagen route), that will be brutal.

Shadow Lodge

Barbarians can also be delayed with entanglement, giving you extra repositioning and battlefield control time.

Throw nets and tanglefoot bags, and you'll at least manage to cut their speed in half. No need to be proficient in the net, it's a touch attack.


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Love!

..love conquers all!

*shakes fist*


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

You need to fly. A few infusions from your alchemist should take care of that. Then pelt the barbarians from above with whatever you'd like.

Liberty's Edge

Like the monk thread last week this seems unnecessary. Barbarian's aren't powerful enough to warrant specific strategies to counter them. Kill them. With damage.

If you're looking for an RP angle challenging the leader to single combat is always cool. It's a shame most groups won't go for this sort of thing.


Gallard Stormeye wrote:

Like the monk thread last week this seems unnecessary. Barbarian's aren't powerful enough to warrant specific strategies to counter them. Kill them. With damage.

If you're looking for an RP angle challenging the leader to single combat is always cool. It's a shame most groups won't go for this sort of thing.

While cool, there is a very significant possibility that the leader is individually more powerful than any single character in the group, at the very least it is a swingy style of approach.

Also I somewhat disagree, a good number of low level barbarians are probably some of the worst low CR critters you can run across.

Commonly there would be not just barbarians in a tribe though, a fair number are probably common warriors, maybe a few druids, clerics and rangers might be present.

I would likely add one or more bards(skald), clerics or druids and rangers, possibly rogue and sorceror or (beast totem)summoner. Just saying do not blindly assume, barbarian tribe equals barbarians exclusively.


To all the people who respond that [insert class] sucks and just to kill them.

Here is a quote from Sun Tzu.

Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer defeat. If you know neither your enemy nor yourself you will Succumb in every battle.


Derrian Thews wrote:

party consists of

L7 Dwarven Drunken Monk
L7 Gnome Cleric - Cayden
L7 Halfling Swashbucker Rogue
L7 Dwarven Fighter
L7 Human Bard
L7 Half-Orc Alchemist

The key will be where you fight. You will likely be outnumbered so do not allow yourselves to be surrounded. Try to get in a position where you will be able to attack from range.

If you are stuck on an open plain use darkness spells to close off a flank if you can. Summons no matter how feeble will also help here. Every attack on a summoned thing is gravy.

Cleric round 1 sanctuary. Rounds following prayer, bless, etc then summon or heal.

Monk and Swashbuckler form a team and remove any casters. Monk grapples rogue back-stabs. Remember the drunken bonus damage works in a grapple.

Bard sings and de-buffs preferably while vanished or invisible remember to target will when ever you can. Once out of spells, help the fighter. Focus on one target at a time and remove them.

Fighter keeps the alchemist from getting flanked.

Alchemist throws will effecting bombs if possible. Reserve mutagen for emergencies unless it is a focus for the character. Alchemist and fighter should focus on the same target as much as possible the only exception to this is non-grappled casters. They eat at least 1 bomb a round to force concentration rolls and to keep them from summoning.

If the Monk rogue team run out of targets start triple timing targets with the fighter

At least that is how I would start this.

Note. Running away is always a good idea if nothing else if you can force them to come to you you may be able to rain more ranged death on them or perhaps things will cool off enough that diplomacy becomes an option again.


Confusion! Make them attack each other!

Any that make their save, then you cast Slow! Kill that fast movement, limit them to one attack.

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