Barbarian "Werewolf" critique wanted.


Advice


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This is a character I'm building for an upcoming campaign. I'm trying to play a werewolf without actually being a werewolf. To simulate this I've utilized the barbarian class. I'd like to optimize it within book rules and constraints as follows:
Human or Half-elf
15 point buy, i arrayed stats as follows:
Str: 14
Dex: 16 (14 +2 for human or half-elf)
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis:10
Cha: 10

Our group typically limits 16 as a cap for top end stat and only one 16, post racial modifiers.
Barbarian "Invulnerable Rager" archtype,1-10, not planning past 10 because it seems pointless.
Anything with an * is something previously OKd by the DM for the character's concept.
Feats/Rage Powers
1. Power attack
Human bonus: Extra Rage Power* Beast Totem, lesser.
2. Rage Power: Animal Fury
3. Multi-attack
4. Rage Power: Strength Surge
5. (not sure)
6. Rage Power: Beast Totem
7. Rending Claws
8. Rage Power: (not sure)
9. Rending Fury
10. Rage Power: Beast Totem, Greater

Thinking improved natural attack, either claws or bite not sure which for level 5 feat. Not sure about the level 8 rage power, maybe knockback? Roused Anger? Scent?
Need to figure out 2 traits to take as well. Any thoughts or suggestions?


Have you looked at the Wolf Shifter barbarian archetype in Wayfinder #5 (free).


No, i haven't yet. I'll take a look at it. I'd like to keep it to official sources however, PHB, APG, UC, UM, possibly advanced race guide.


+1 to the Wayfinder Wolf Shifter.
Personally, I would stay away from rage powers which are only usable 1/rage like Strength Surge. It's a bonus to a Str-check or a combat manouver (bonus or defence) and I don't see any manouvers planned in your build.
Thus, it's even more obsolete, since you can only apply it reactively if the enemy is to try some manouver on you, rather than using it actively.

Also, why do you need a special OK from your GM for Extra Rage Power? It's completely legal to take it at lvl1.

Have you considered half-orc? They can take Toothy as an alternative racial trait to gain a (primary) bite attack and scrap Animal Fury

I would add standard feats like Toughness and Iron Will to boost survivability.

Try to fit in the rage power Intimidating Glare (your enemies become shaken and it synergizes with half-orc bonus on the skill).

Scent and Renewed Vigor are also nice.

You would be looking at something like:

Half-Orc Barbarian 10 with Toothy Alternate racial trait

Feats/Rage Powers
1. Extra Rage Power: Beast Totem, lesser - 2 primary claw attacks
2. Rage Power: Scent
3. Power Attack
4. Rage Power: Renewed Vigor
5. Iron Will
6. Rage Power: Beast Totem
7. Rending Claws
8. Rage Power: Guarded Life
9. Rending Fury
10. Rage Power: Beast Totem, Greater

Ruyan.


I'd honestly drop Dex to 12, or 14 at least. 16 strength benefits your hit and damage both and your barbarian doesn't need AC; he has hit points and DR. On that note more Con gives you a better fort save, more hit points, and more rage. All of these you want.

Ideally I'd say go for this:

Half-Orc (we'll get to that) Barbarian
Str 16
Con 14
Dex 12
Int 13*
Wis 10*
Cha 10

One of your traits can be Toothy, which opens up a rage power. This also gives you a non-raging natural attack.

The 13 int lets you take combat expertise and a trip ability.

Alternately 13 wisdom and half-orc opens up Keen Scent as a feat, which gives your Barbarian scent (extremely nice and fits with the were-creature theme).

Regarding rage powers I'd ditch strength surge unless you're going for combat maneuvers. Superstitious opens up a possible path to witch hunter (you want witch hunter) and offers some really nice bonuses during combats.

I'd also ditch multi-attack, as the bite attack simply doesn't do the damage output the claw attacks do. Eldritch claws would fit well for 8th (claw attacks considered magic and silver, take that DR!).

Improved Sunder + the Smasher rage power can open up some really, really mean options in melee, as you're always going to win the fight when the other guy's unarmed.

Finally, your character may be swimming in cash by later levels, as you're not buying weapons. I'd definitely keep a masterwork something around for emergencies (a scimitar or other 1h weapon you can 2h opens up options). Rhino Hide armor could be fun for the character, particularly later when you get pounce.

Just some thoughts. For traits I'd look for bonuses to knowledge (nature) and survival, as those both kind of fit your theme.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

An Oni-Spawn tiefling will have alter self as a spell-like ability, which is great for the flavor when combined with barbarian. If you actually want to become a full fledged werewolf, then the Demonic Obedience feat will allow it if you worship Jezelda.


rending claws is terrible, it has nothing to do with its cool brother, two weapon rend: you only get an additional d6 a round. For the same reason you should stay clear from rending fury too.

strength surge is very nice, even for offense: you certainly have the hp to survive an attack of opportunity and now and then you may want to use a specific maneuver. This feat really help pulling it off.

In another thread I explained why I like to get high AC with barbarian (not hard at all if you take heavy armor prof) but you probably are not interested in it.

Raging vitality is another very good rage power.

If it is your thing you should also look at superstition and the following rage powers: personally I admit it's terrific but I don't like the group dynamic that ensue.

You should also get at least level 12 for come and get me.

Finally, if your plan to not get past level 10 with barbarian, check out the martial artist monk's archetype and the dragon styles feats, coupled with feral combat training for rage cycling, 1-1/2 STR mod to all natural attacks and more mobility for charging.

Liberty's Edge

You can actually get a Bite attack with the Tusked Trait, which can technically be picked up with Adopted. I wouldn't normally allow it for a non-Orc, but forthis concept, sure.

Stat-wise, I'd go something more like this:

Str 16
Dex 14
Con 14
Into 10
Wis 12
Cha 8

(To reflect the -2 Cha, +2 Wis from Lycanthrope).

RuyanVe's Feat/Rage Power progression also looks pretty good, though I'd go Human and grab Raging Vitality somewhere in there.

Liberty's Edge

I see 1 problem with the build. You can't take the extra rage power feat until after you receive rage powers naturally via the class at 2nd level. I'd ask your GM to make sure he'll allow the early class feature access, otherwise you've got a nice build set up there. Have you considered adding some ranger levels focusing on the natural attack combat style?


The wolfshifter is what you want. Judge content by its quality, not what book it came from :-D


Crysknife wrote:

rending claws is terrible, it has nothing to do with its cool brother, two weapon rend: you only get an additional d6 a round. For the same reason you should stay clear from rending fury too.

Rending claws + rending fury = 2d6 extra damage a hit, which isn't shabby.

It isn't as good as two weapon rend because it doesn't cost 3 feats, 17 dex, and is available long before level 11.

Raging vitality is a poor use of a standard action for a character meant to do a ton of damage fast.

Liberty's Edge

Phneri wrote:
Raging vitality is a poor use of a standard action for a character meant to do a ton of damage fast.

Raging Vitality isn't an action. It's the Feat that gives you +2 Con while Raging and lets you keep Raging while unconcious. You're thinking of something else.


Zephyre Al'dran wrote:
You can't take the extra rage power feat until after you receive rage powers naturally via the class at 2nd level.

Ah, ok, this fact eluded me. Thanks!

Deadmanwalking wrote:
You can actually get a Bite attack with the Tusked Trait

Where can I find that trait, or did you mean Toothy as I have included in my build?

Also, +1 to the superstition-witch hunter rage power theme. I like them very much, but be sure to have a potion handy or the Renewed Vigor rage power or similar, due to the obligational saves you have to make vs. any incoming spell (including healing from your party).

Ruyan.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Phneri wrote:
Raging vitality is a poor use of a standard action for a character meant to do a ton of damage fast.
Raging Vitality isn't an action. It's the Feat that gives you +2 Con while Raging and lets you keep Raging while unconcious. You're thinking of something else.

Probably Renewed Vigor rage power which allows healing for 1d8 per four barbarian levels plus Con bonus once per day. It is much better after getting follow-up feat that grants fast healing 1/6 barbarian level for the reminder of the rage.

Back to half-orc option - it has additional benefit of half-orc alternate favored class bonus granting additional round of rage per day.


This is why I loves these forums! So much feed back. Thank you all.

I did look at Wayfinder #5's wolf shifter. It's solid. I don't necessarily like the full wolf transformation, but then again I just read it and it hasn't had time to digest yet. (I never like anything the first time I see it.)

Zephyre, yes I agree with your assesment. The * next to that at level 1 is something I already approved with the DM.

Blackbloodtroll- Inventive! not exactly the route I'm aiming for. Thankyou though!

Deadmanwalking- Nice, uses up a traits and frees up a rage power! Thanks!

Crysknife- Not sure I agree with your assesment of Rending Claws+Rending Fury. You can get those for 2 feats and start opening them up at level 6 instead of level 11.

Phneri- Rending Claws + rending fury grants +1d6 dmg if half the required attacks hit and can only be done once per round. So you'd only be getting 1d6 a round, but it would be off of one claw attack. Also, I think lowering the bite attack from -5 to -2 seems fairly worthwhile? D4+1/2 str +Power attack? You really think it wouldn't be worthwhile?


RuyanVe- I believe they are using the interpretation of Adopted to mean you can take one of the traits from the actual race list of traits in the APG. I've never interpreted "Adopted" in that manner myself. Always thought it meant "racial trait" as in one of the traits listed under another race in the traits section in the back of the book.

Liberty's Edge

RuyanVe wrote:


Where can I find that trait, or did you mean Toothy as I have included in my build?

It's in Orcs of Golarion.

Haskul wrote:
RuyanVe- I believe they are using the interpretation of Adopted to mean you can take one of the traits from the actual race list of traits in the APG. I've never interpreted "Adopted" in that manner myself. Always thought it meant "racial trait" as in one of the traits listed under another race in the traits section in the back of the book.

You are correct as to the meaning. The developers have cleared it up several times, I think it might even be in the FAQ.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What about a Duergar, totem barbarian, with the adopted and tusked traits? The ability to grow in size and then rage will add to the flavor.


Blackbloodtroll- I'd totally do that and be like spriggan gnome... (or just be a spriggan gnome barbarian) in a different campaign. The setting for this one is a Homebrew world, this place in particuliar (Arnonia) is like late 17th century France. Duergar is a bit too outlandish for the setting.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, a duergar is just a slightly exotic dwarf. If you have dwarves, then duergar a no more outlandish than drow or orcs. It's the flavoring that makes the difference in exotic, and mundane.


Haskul wrote:


Phneri- Rending Claws + rending fury grants +1d6 dmg if half the required attacks hit and can only be done once per round. So you'd only be getting 1d6 a round, but it would be off of one claw attack. Also, I think lowering the bite attack from -5 to -2 seems fairly worthwhile? D4+1/2 str +Power attack? You really think it wouldn't be worthwhile?

Ah, you're right, I did misread that.

Well, figuring 20 str while raging and power attack, by level 4 that bite would do d4+4 damage. By 8 it's doing d4+5.

Your main atack is at +10 to hit, the bite is +5. Multi-attack puts you at +8, which takes the chance to hit with that from 25% to 40% (ish).

Weapon focus (claw) takes your main attacks from 50% to 55%, and those are doing double damage and rend.


Phneri wrote:
Crysknife wrote:

rending claws is terrible, it has nothing to do with its cool brother, two weapon rend: you only get an additional d6 a round. For the same reason you should stay clear from rending fury too.

Rending claws + rending fury = 2d6 extra damage a hit, which isn't shabby.

Why 2d6? Rending claws it's explicit, you get an additional 1d6 only once a round. The way I see it is that with rending fury you only need to hit once for an additional 1d6; hitting with both claws will not give you an additional 1d6.

Rending Claws

From experience 1d6 of damage a round is not going to make or break your day as a barbarian.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Do you have a restricted race list?


It is a restricted race list as well as expanded. It's homebrew world. There are 6 versions of humans available, 2 halfling, 2 dwarf, 3 elves if you count half elves, half orc and full orc in some areas, gnomes. The races are all pretty much the same as core with minor differences. For instance the wild halflings or "Hin" are allowed to use normal sized simple weapons, the city halflings or "Tam" gain +3 when flanking. Stuff like that. I have a strong preference for human for this character becuse it fits the backstory of where he comes from. Although half-elf may work as well.


I can't believe you're not taking terrifying howl :D

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Tiefling can work, as they can have two human parents, and look human. The Oni-Spawn would work very well. In fact, having the "lycanthropy" be a curse of your fiendish blood, is a really cool idea.

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