Critique My Thunder and Fang Barbarian Build?


Advice

Dark Archive

I have a fun idea for roleplaying this Thunder and Fang Human barbarian for PFS and am looking for some feedback on the build.

Please check it out and let me know what you think.

Human (Shoanti) Barbarian - Thunder and Fang Build

Starting Stats (after human +2 to STR):

STR:18 DEX:15 CON:14 INT:10 WIS:10 CHA:8

All bumps to STR.

1) Weapon Focus: Earth Breaker; Weapon Focus: Klar
2) Lesser Beast Totem
3) TWF
4) Superstition
5) Thunder and Fang
6) Witch Hunter
7) Improved TWF (assumes a +2/+2 DEX/STR belt by level 7)
8) Spell Sunder
9) Extra Rage Power: Beast Totem
10) Greater Beast Totem
11) Extra Rage Power: Eater of Magic

Note that the character will wield an Earth Breaker Two-Handed until level 5. This approach wastes a few feats until he starts with Thunder and Fang, but the damage output should be respectable in the interim, with 18 base STR (22 Raging) and a two handed weapon.

Not sure if I need to work in Power Attack, or if he could just drop the Klar and use the Earth Breaker two-handed when he needs to overcome DR (I don't usually like stacking PA with TWF, as the attack penalties don't stack well, IMO).


Power Attack on a two handed weapon will give you more DPR on average than TWF but you are focusing on using Thunder and Fang so that seems irrelevant. Level 12 rage power should be reserved for Come And Get Me, though it doesn't matter much since you wont get to play at level 12 for very long (as I understand it).

Grand Lodge

Power attack is pretty necessary for damage. Your to hit should be fine (especially if you get reckless abandon). I know it adds versatility but I'd toss spell sunder in this case. You're very feat/rage power deprived. You don't have imp. Sunder or strength surge to make sure you get the dispel off. Frankly, with both thunder and fang AND the barbarian just doesn't have enough feats to be very good at it. You'll still do fairly good damage, but nothing on the 2H. I do commend you for trying the build though.

Fun thought since I tried building it a while ago but never for around to it: Viking archetype fighter thunder and fang. It gets you rage, but also gets you the feats you desperately need. You could also try the ranger archetype that gets rage.


After reading Kiinyan, I'm very much in agreement. I think TWF, ITWF, Thunder and Fang (and it's prereqs of weapon foci) make the build really feat starved.

I agree ditching Spell Sunder for Power Attack is probably a better way to go. I'd also try to shuffle feats around so you have it earlier, because power attack is a staple for dealing damage and until you can obtain Thunder And Fang TWF isn't going to be doing too much for you.


I also suggest a 2 handed weapon, but I suggest keeping spell sunder. If you remove the twf chain, you can get spell sunder, power attack, and strength surge. Also, there are many items or abilities, like reckless abandon, they well increase your cmb for spell sunder.

bracers of skilled maneuver, dusty rose ioun stone in wayfinder for +2cmb/cmd, during-fg weapon.

spell sunder us too good, powerful, and useful to push to the side.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Earthbreaker is a two handed weapon.


I know it is, but I mean as his main fighting style, not the twf tree.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yes, but that sort of defeats the purpose of a Thunder and Fang build.

Wielding a Klar and Earthbreaker is, well, the entirety of it.


Kudos to you for not cheesing this build up by going 'Thunder and Thunder' and designing a character who takes Weapon Focus: Klar specifically so that they will never in their lives have to actually use a Klar.

I personally don't think chasing the Witch Hunter/Spell Sunder/Eater of Magic line in this feat-starved build is the optimal way to go, but optimization isn't everything... better by far to have a niche, to have things you're good at and things you aren't and to have fun playing your concept rather than chasing the ever-elusive perfection of a highly optimized build.

Dark Archive

Damocles Guile wrote:

Kudos to you for not cheesing this build up by going 'Thunder and Thunder' and designing a character who takes Weapon Focus: Klar specifically so that they will never in their lives have to actually use a Klar.

I personally don't think chasing the Witch Hunter/Spell Sunder/Eater of Magic line in this feat-starved build is the optimal way to go, but optimization isn't everything... better by far to have a niche, to have things you're good at and things you aren't and to have fun playing your concept rather than chasing the ever-elusive perfection of a highly optimized build.

Especially since the Klar is the better weapon.

It's cheaper, easier and faster to enchant, does double duty increasing your AC AND your attack AND it can't be disarmed.

Honestly however for a PFS character you should definitely go Fighter 1/Ranger 11. This way you can be using your T&F feat by 3rd level, get Double Slice at 3rd as well and gain access to [url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/shield-master-combat---final]Shield Master at 7th instead of 11th. You can then just ignore Dex from that point on. (If you skip the fighter level then you can just dump your Dex completely).

Dark Archive

I appreciate the comments and suggestions. The whole point of the build revolves around Thunder and Fang. Building a powerful, high- DPS barbarian wielding a two handed weapon is easy. But that isn't what I am shooting for here.

I'll play with a Viking archetype build tomorrow and see how that works. I'm guessing it would be touch to pull off the spell sunder and beast totem combo with Viking, but it might have other advantages.

In all honesty, I think the character would be pretty viable for PFS as is. The DPS at level 8 looks comparable to a hard-hitting two handed fighter that I played to retirement in PFS, but with a little more versatility.

Thanks for the feedback!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ranger really does this better.

Also, it retains the mild nature theme associated with the Shaonti.

Dark Archive

The only advantage I see for Ranger is for the Shield Master feat at level 6. That helps a bit, but he is still way behind the curve on damage compared to a Fighter or Barbarian, except where he can get his FE. Instant Enemy doesn't help very much for PFS, since it doesn't come into play until level 10.

Sczarni

My recommendation is to take TWF only, not Improved. Suddenly you have more options.


I like it!

I have two suggestions based on the fact that this is a PFS character.

  • I would lower CHA to 7, raise INT or WIS to 12. I might not do that in a home game, depending on my roleplaying goals. In PFS, however, I would gladly take +1 skill point per level (INT) or +1 Perception & Will Save (WIS).

  • I would consider dropping Beast Totem. Unless you have a fair amount of PFS experience and are certain you'll be playing the character to at least level 11, you'll get very little out of Beast Totem. Yes, Pounce is an amazing ability for a TWF build. But until level 10, it gives you very little.

Dark Archive

Blueluck wrote:


  • I would consider dropping Beast Totem. Unless you have a fair amount of PFS experience and are certain you'll be playing the character to at least level 11, you'll get very little out of Beast Totem. Yes, Pounce is an amazing ability for a TWF build. But until level 10, it gives you very little.[/list]
  • I was thinking about this, too. Cutting out beast totem would allow me to take Power Attack and Reckless Abandon (for more damage), or Improved Sunder and Greater Sunder (for better Spell Sundering, mostly).

    Liberty's Edge

    Taken a little earlier, Beast Totem's a lovely AC buff over time. +2-3 AC is a damn good Rage Power in it's own right.

    Sczarni

    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

    I've been struggling to come up with a T&F build I like enough to put on paper.

    The version I'm thinking of going with is Ranger-2/Invulnerable Rager

    Dump Dex and put it into Con. Get both Weapon Focus feats at 1st level being Human, get 2WF at level 2 for free, and T&F at level 3. That helps with the feat starvation, essentially subbing a rage power at level 2 for a feat. You'd never get ITWF, but I'd be happy with just the one extra Klar attack anyways.

    Then you can be DPS and tank with your HP/DR.

    Sczarni

    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Oh! And Heart of the Wilderness alternate racial trait.

    Dark Archive

    Here's my first take on a Viking Archetype build for Thunder and Fang.

    It brings the Thunder and Fang as early as you can get it, at level 2. I dropped the Beast Totem path for for damage and versatility. Spell Sunder comes pretty late in the build (level 8).

    Let me know what you think.

    Viking Build:

    1) Weapon Focus: Klar; Weapon Focus: Earth Breaker (H); TWF (F)
    2) Thunder and Fang
    3) Power Attack
    4) Improved Sunder
    5) Extra Rage Power: Reckless Abandon
    6) Superstition
    7) Extra Rage Power: Witch Hunter
    8) Spell Sunder
    9) Improved TWF
    10) Greater Sunder
    11) FEAT (?)

    Dark Archive

    Hrmmm....I don't think the Viking build works, as posted: a viking never actually gains the "rage Power" class feature, so they can't ever take the Extra Rage Power feat. I will have to rethink that.

    Sczarni

    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Although I think we have different concepts in mind, here's my feat tree. My favored enemy is going to be Outsider(Evil), which fits nicely with the World Serpent Totem. Barbarian archetype is Invulnerable Rager, haven't decided if I want a Ranger archetype or not.

    1st (RNG-1): Weapon Focus – Klar
    Weapon Focus – Earth Breaker
    2nd (RNG-2): (Free) Two-Weapon Fighting
    3rd (BRB-1): Thunder and Fang
    4th (BRB-2): (Rage) Reckless Abandon
    5th (BRB-3): Power Attack
    6th (BRB-4): (Rage) World Serpent Totem
    7th (BRB-5): Furious Focus
    8th (BRB-6): (Rage) World Serpent Spirit
    9th (BRB-7): Extra Rage Power – World Serpent Totem Unity
    10th (BRB-8): (Rage) Increased Damage Reduction
    11th (BRB-9): Extra Rage Power – Increased Damage Reduction
    12th (BRB10): (Rage) Increased Damage Reduction


    Don't downplay power attack even though you are TWF, as a barabarian you will have a high to hit anyway, but Thunder and fang also uses a lot of feats, so I would leave it up to you.

    Also sorry to disagree with you Nefreet, but I think heart of the fields is better for the barbarian, bonus to craft yea whatever, but ignore any affect that would make you fatigued or exhausted once per day is a great way to not get screwed by ray of fatigue, or not getting a nights rest, or to do some early rage cycling.


    Nefreet wrote:

    Although I think we have different concepts in mind, here's my feat tree. My favored enemy is going to be Outsider(Evil), which fits nicely with the World Serpent Totem. Barbarian archetype is Invulnerable Rager, haven't decided if I want a Ranger archetype or not.

    Guide architype might help you kill things that aren't evil outsides, but it looks like you are built to specifically kill them, so probably not.

    Sczarni

    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Mark_Twain007 wrote:
    I think heart of the fields is better for the barbarian

    It is, but it is not legal for PFS.


    Hi Argus, I apologize for the thread necro.

    Here's some crappy logic: Thunder and Fang is a TWF feat. It lets you keep your shield bonus, and it lets you use some nastier weapons (and a neat mini) when using TWF.

    The goal of a Thunder and Fang build is to maximize TWF, right? So, we're looking at a mid-Strength, high-Dex build, yeah?

    Here's a tree using a human barbarian, 20 point buy

    Str 16, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 8
    1st: Two-Weapon Fighting
    H: Weapon Focus: klar (fight with a klar main hand and a light mace in the off-hand)
    2nd: lesser beast totem (nearly a waste)
    3rd: Weapon Focus: earthbreaker
    4th: lesser hurling (also a waste)
    5th: Thunder and Fang
    6th: beast totem (good AC bump, that plus a shield and high Dex makes for a relatively high AC barbarian, no?)
    7th: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
    8th: hurling charge (I'll explain this in a minute)
    9th: ??? (could be Power Attack, could be Double Slice, could be Iron Will)
    10th: greater beast totem
    11th: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
    12th: mighty swing

    Here's a setup for using hurling charge, gets good with pounce, clearly

    1. Take the trait Shoanti Tattoo (which gives you proficiency in Shoanti bolas)
    2. See a bad guy, 20 feet away
    3. Drop your earthbreaker
    4. Charge the bad guy, and try to trip him with the bolas when you're only 10 feet away. Use a pair of gauntlets of the skilled manuever (trip) while you're at it
    5. Use your swift action to use your called earthbreaker back to your hand. If you don't have one of those, you still have a free claw.
    6. Pounce (or just mash) the hopefully prone bad guy.

    Crazy secret awesome sauce: mighty swing. A TWF-er is going to be making lots of attacks with low attack bonuses. You're going to start rolling 20s on those hard-to-confirm threats. A mighty swing at the right time is golden.

    9th level feat: it's open, but what to put there? I think Double Slice is better than Power Attack for a high Str TWF build, right? However, a 10 Wis with a bad Will save is not so great, so Iron Will might be better, if you can't get ahold of a clear spindle ioun stone and a wayfinder. What do you think? Hmm, maybe Extra Rage Power: superstition.


    you know thunder and fang kinda leaves itself open to the interpretation of dual wileding earth-breakers...which sounds fairly badass...


    I was always disappointed that thunder and fang only worked for Earthbreakers. I would have loved for it to work with greataxes and other hafted 2-handed weapons.


    I see no Two-Weapon Rend. Why?

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