Undead Barbarians, what to do with Rage?


Rules Questions


So when statting monsters up, how do you deal with this particular confluence of huh regarding con increases during rage? Does it gain bonus charisma when raging instead or does that part of the power not count for anything? Should I just use charisma as the base for the rest of the other keyed stats like how hitpoints switch over?

Shadow Lodge

rage is a mindeffecting ability, i dont think undead can rage.

*rage is a morale bonus, so unintelligent undead cannot rage.
"Bonus (Morale)
A morale bonus represents the effects of greater hope, courage, and determination (or hopelessness, cowardice, and despair in the case of a morale penalty). Multiple morale bonuses on the same character do not stack. Only the highest morale bonus applies. Non-intelligent creatures (creatures with an Intelligence of 0 or no Intelligence at all) cannot benefit from morale bonuses."

if its an intelligent undead they wouldnt get a con bonus, so they would recieve +4str,+will saves, and -2 ac

Sczarni

I'd say bonus Charisma would work. Or just say it gets a bonus to HP and Fort saves, in case the undead uses its Charisma for something that Con wouldn't normally be used for. An undead barbarian/sorceror would be real tricky...


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Quote:
No Constitution score. Undead use their Charisma score in place of their Constitution score when calculating hit points, Fortitude saves, and any special ability that relies on Constitution (such as when calculating a breath weapon's DC).

Dark Archive

TheSideKick wrote:

rage is a mindeffecting ability, i dont think undead can rage.

*rage is a morale bonus, so unintelligent undead cannot rage.
"Bonus (Morale)
A morale bonus represents the effects of greater hope, courage, and determination (or hopelessness, cowardice, and despair in the case of a morale penalty). Multiple morale bonuses on the same character do not stack. Only the highest morale bonus applies. Non-intelligent creatures (creatures with an Intelligence of 0 or no Intelligence at all) cannot benefit from morale bonuses."

if its an intelligent undead they wouldnt get a con bonus, so they would recieve +4str,+will saves, and -2 ac

+1, from the book:

Quote:

Undead Traits (Ex) Undead are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, phantasms, and patterns), paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless). Undead are not subject to ability drain, energy drain, or nonlethal damage. Undead are immune to damage or penalties to their physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects. Undead are not at risk of death from massive damage.

Format: undead traits; Location: Immune.

undead are immune to morale effects. Rage grant moral bonuses to stats as it says below:

Quote:
While in rage, a barbarian gains a +4 morale bonus to her Strength and Constitution, as well as a +2 morale bonus on Will saves. In addition, she takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class.

Undead per RAW, cannot rage as a barbarian.

Now, if they could rage, they would use CHA instead of CON. From the bestiary:

Quote:
• No Constitution score. Undead use their Charisma score in place of their Constitution score when calculating hit points, Fortitude saves, and any special ability that relies on Constitution (such as when calculating a breath weapon's DC).


Technically, it's not a mind-affecting effect, just aspects of it are. So they'd rage, and take a -2 penalty to AC, since they're immune to everything else :P

The barbarians from the Horn of Valhalla on the other hand are SoL. They can't even use their Cha for rage.


Eh, that's another question entirely that I'm not going to get into other than to make jokes.

In any event, barbarian is a piss-poor choice for undead for this reason.

Dark Archive

Cheapy wrote:

Technically, it's not a mind-affecting effect, just aspects of it are. So they'd rage, and take a -2 penalty to AC, since they're immune to everything else :P

The barbarians from the Horn of Valhalla on the other hand are SoL. They can't even use their Cha for rage.

Correct, (missed that). Well, that does mean that they could get great use from rage powers. Since they are immune to fatigue exhaustion, they could drop and re-rage often to get use out of the "once per rage" powers before level 17.


Sweet. For the record the combo of graveknight, barbarian and centaur is pretty much amazing.


yeah, technically the only things called out as morale bonuses are the rage bonuses to STR/CON/Will Saves,
rage 'itself' should be OK for undead to do... meaning furious weapons and rage powers can work.
thats kind of wierd, and i can definitely see the rationale for rage 'itself' to be seen as 'mind effecting', but per RAW it doesn't work that way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Is the penalty, a morale penalty?

I mean, can undead be demoralized?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I view it as negative energy enfusing the undead barbarian to make them stronger and more charismatic (as that replaces the Con boost).

Sczarni

I remember that there was a ghoul barbarian in one of PFS scenario's. Perhaps it can be useful.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Is the penalty, a morale penalty?

I mean, can undead be demoralized?

1. Demoralize bestows shaken condition.

2. Shaken condition is described as "Shaken is a less severe state of fear than frightened or panicked.".
3. Undeads are immune to fear.

Of course one could argue if state of fear equates to fear effect.


I'd use charisma in place of con and call it a day.

The description of the horn of valhalla hasn't changed since 1st ed.

Just use fighters... that's what they originally were. Or maybe the horn user's charisma (quick! hand it to the bard!)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

How does Chill Touch panic undead?

Scarab Sages

blackbloodtroll wrote:
How does Chill Touch panic undead?

specific effect > general rule.


Artanthos wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
How does Chill Touch panic undead?
specific effect > general rule.

That would be a vaild reason. When I checked the spell I noticed that its description states that "(on a failed saving throw) flee as if panicked". Note that it does not say that undead becomes panicked. Instead refers to condition to (probably) save space.


I know I'm necroing here:

Personally I would treat the undead raging as per Unliving Rage spell APG 2014, as it is the rage spell for undead and in retrospect an exact equivalence.

I mean in reality, all it does is the GM has more 'fun' things to throw at a player.


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Unchained barbarian has a competence bonus to damage and HP instead of morale to stats.

Go unchained barbarian instead.

Case solved


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's also official precedent that undead barbarians ignore the normal rules and can fully benefit from their rage class feature. So you don't even need to go unchained, regular barbarian works just fine.


Frankly, putting an all-encompassing general erratum in the description of a specific variant monster's special ability in a random splat book seems like a bad move from a game publishing standpoint. I interpret it as an editing mistake and expect that it is meant solely to apply to that creature type.

That said, if you're a GM designing encounters, there's no real reason that you can't have undead or construct monsters who can rage. Just adjust their CR if necessary and go to town.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
blahpers wrote:
Frankly, putting an all-encompassing general erratum in the description of a specific variant monster's special ability in a random splat book seems like a bad move from a game publishing standpoint.

Completely agree, but it's there. If you're looking for official precedent, you have it.

blahpers wrote:
I interpret it as an editing mistake and expect that it is meant solely to apply to that creature type.

I disagree; that text is very clearly intentional, and while it may only be in a single creature's statblock it represents a precedent. Paizo is willing to publish undead barbarians that gain the use of that class feature, and I have little doubt that any future undead barbarians will have a similar disclaimer in their statblock exempting them from the general rule.

I would certainly take it as an open invitation for GM's to make their own undead barbarians. I'd be a bit more hesitant if this were something for players that could be easily broken, but this is almost exclusively a GM thing and barbarian isn't any more likely to 'break' an undead creature than any other class.


Monster Codex is hardly a splat book - it's a hardback that's made its way onto the PRD.

That aside I don't think it's either an all-encompassing errata or an error. It's a specific creatures special ability that simply shows you how the game designers would do it, also shows that it shouldn't increase CR (CR for the vamp barb is class level+1 same as the other vamps).


Occult Adventures is on the PRD and has much wider scope, but the rules contained therein are not to be assumed for every--or even most, necessarily--campaigns. Monster Codex is even more limited in scope, though thematically appropriate to more campaigns. Basically, rules shouldn't "leak out" of Monster Codex to affect games that do not use its contents.


this is something that is only going to affect home games and will be reviewed by your home game GM.
Clearly the referenced monster shows a path to implementing the barbarian class on an undead but I don't think a GM has to do it that way as it's specific to that creature as written. Yes it's an example and a reasonable one for an NPC. PCs use a more defined and restricted ruleset as the abuse tends to be more rampant. I'll mention Regeneration as an example of differences in spells, monster abilities, and magic items... (*pop* goes that can of worms) lol...

anyways - it's just something the undead have to live with

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