OK I'm just going to say it. Barbarians are unbalanced.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Err, Magic Missile isn't too powerful, not by a long shot. It is actually rather difficult to justify any of the direct damage spells as being too powerful as the damage values tend to be very small compared to actual monster health. I know there is a designer comment out there that magic missile is too powerful for a level 1 spell and they considered making it level 2 but thought there would be a rebellion. Frankly that made me die a little inside at the lack of understanding of what the magic system is capable of.

The real power of magic wielders comes in two areas. In combat control effects are simply too powerful and it is too easy to force enemies to fail. Colour Spray, Blindness, Create Pit, all of them allow casters to dictate the pace of encounters from right out of the gate. Yes on their own they wont win an encounter so at lower levels you bring along a martial or a druid animal companion to finish things off but at higher levels spells can and do end encounters in a single standard action. Outside of combat spells offer too much flexibility at too little price and are simply too reliable.

Finally to be fair to evocation it is now possible to make its damage encounter relevant with laser focus on it or you can just take Dazing Spell and turn it into the best control in the game.


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Thomas Long 175 wrote:
All we've decided is forum goers are unbalanced

No arguments here.


Ssalarn wrote:


Ummm.... No. Pathfinder has its own definition of high fantasy, which does not conform to the Wikipedia definition. I promise you that Frodo and Samwise were not built on a 25 point buy, and in fact not one of the hobbits ever really reached a point where they could reliably be expected to deal with a single orc/goblin. The bounds of all the Tolkein characters in the well known books were fairly low when compared to Pathfinder. The Wikipedia definition of high fantasy is absolutely not the same as the Pathfinder definition.

Well, we just have a confusion of terms here then. Though I think it's actually very hard to determine the point buy that a fantasy character was built on, since ultimately ability buy points aren't all that hugely relevant to overall power level.

But even if we go down that road and we say that Frodo and Bilbo aren't built with 25 points, well, Aragorn and Legolas probably still are.


Erick Wilson wrote:
At the same time, I don't disagree that martials need more flexibility and options. I would love to see more systems like the talents and ki options that are available to ninjas and the tricks available to the skirmisher Ranger archetype (though both of these, especially the latter, are...

One thing they could do is to introduce more interesting and flexible alternate class features. They could do it via the archetype system or by introducing alternative class levels which 3.x did. I don't believe they will do so though. Instead we will continue to get a wide range of caster material, much of it rubbish but containing some real and potent gems. These will largely be spells and therefore automatically available to all casters. Decent martial options will be stuck behind feat walls meaning you wont be able to get them on your existing character unless you use lots of retraining or you have a very generous GM. And this process will continue until PF2.0 resets everything and the cycle begins again.


Erick Wilson wrote:
But even if we go down that road and we say that Frodo and Bilbo aren't built with 25 points, well, Aragorn and Legolas probably still are.

*Smirks*

15 points at most. They actually had problems with a cave troll at level 5-6. Definitely not high point buy.


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Aragon fought off all nine ring wraiths including the Witch King of Angmar on his own, resisted Dominate Person from Sauron and took control of an entire army of ghosts. Sounds like book characters don't neatly fit into rpg rules more than anything else.


Maybe I'm overly simplistic, but I don't think the barbarian itself is the problem. BLEEPING the rules to make a terrifyingly unassailable character is a problem for EVERY class. I used the urban barb archetype, loved it, had fun. In no way OP. Your choice is the issue. Have a fun/cool concept and play it. Any class fully optimized by race, archetype, gear, Mythic powers is a winner. Might not be as fun as you think though.


andreww wrote:
Aragon fought off all nine ring wraiths including the Witch King of Angmar on his own, resisted Dominate Person from Sauron and took control of an entire army of ghosts. Sounds like book characters don't neatly fit into rpg rules more than anything else.

That probably is the take away, here...


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andreww wrote:
Aragon fought off all nine ring wraiths including the Witch King of Angmar on his own, resisted Dominate Person from Sauron and took control of an entire army of ghosts. Sounds like book characters don't neatly fit into rpg rules more than anything else.

Everyone rolls a 20 every now and again, we have no idea what the CR of those ring wraiths are (though they have basically no spells or spell likes and are only pretty good with the sword), and he made a bargain with the leader of an army of ghosts in order to lead them. He didn't take control of them.

The halflings at the start fought beneath average human irl level, and at the end were probably about as skilled as a semi competent real life fighter. Nothing larger than life there. As for the other half of the party, the vast majority of them fought probably somewhere around professional fighter level. They were highly skilled and could take on multiple foes, but could also be overwhelmed by sheer numbers.

Finally gandalf. Biggest thing he did in lord of the rings were something equivalent to a daylight spell. He created a light to drive the nazgul away, collapsed a miniscule bridge with a huge size creature on it (wow cause it shouldn't have done that on its own), and created an illusion that didn't need to change over time or give off any kind of sound or smell. He might be 5th level, in which case I'd smack that wizard for not preparing as many fireballs as he could at the battle of minas tirith.


andreww wrote:

Err, Magic Missile isn't too powerful, not by a long shot. It is actually rather difficult to justify any of the direct damage spells as being too powerful as the damage values tend to be very small compared to actual monster health. I know there is a designer comment out there that magic missile is too powerful for a level 1 spell and they considered making it level 2 but thought there would be a rebellion. Frankly that made me die a little inside at the lack of understanding of what the magic system is capable of.

The real power of magic wielders comes in two areas. In combat control effects are simply too powerful and it is too easy to force enemies to fail. Colour Spray, Blindness, Create Pit, all of them allow casters to dictate the pace of encounters from right out of the gate. Yes on their own they wont win an encounter so at lower levels you bring along a martial or a druid animal companion to finish things off but at higher levels spells can and do end encounters in a single standard action. Outside of combat spells offer too much flexibility at too little price and are simply too reliable.

Finally to be fair to evocation it is now possible to make its damage encounter relevant with laser focus on it or you can just take Dazing Spell and turn it into the best control in the game.

You misunderstand me. I don't disagree with most of what you've said here. I mean that magic missile is too powerful because, at the end of the day, when the mid-high level Sorcerer/Wizard has nothing else to do, or when he's just conserving resources, he can still do magic missile. He uses a virtually negligible resource (1st level slot) in order to do a non-negligible bit of damage, at very good range, that is completely reliable, always hits, ignores incorporeality and mirror image, etc. The spell is, you know, fine, at low levels, and still a valid choice pretty much all the way up. It is the cumulative effect of having so many of even this type of little uber reliable option (on top of all the truly crazy type of stuff that you mention) that makes arcane casters so unbeatable.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
andreww wrote:
Aragon fought off all nine ring wraiths including the Witch King of Angmar on his own, resisted Dominate Person from Sauron and took control of an entire army of ghosts. Sounds like book characters don't neatly fit into rpg rules more than anything else.

Everyone rolls a 20 every now and again, we have no idea what the CR of those ring wraiths are (though they have basically no spells or spell likes and are only pretty good with the sword), and he made a bargain with the leader of an army of ghosts in order to lead them. He didn't take control of them.

The halflings at the start fought beneath average human irl level, and at the end were probably about as skilled as a semi competent real life fighter. Nothing larger than life there. As for the other half of the party, the vast majority of them fought probably somewhere around professional fighter level. They were highly skilled and could take on multiple foes, but could also be overwhelmed by sheer numbers.

Finally gandalf. Biggest thing he did in lord of the rings were something equivalent to a daylight spell. He created a light to drive the nazgul away, collapsed a miniscule bridge with a huge size creature on it (wow cause it shouldn't have done that on its own), and created an illusion that didn't need to change over time or give off any kind of sound or smell. He might be 5th level, in which case I'd smack that wizard for not preparing as many fireballs as he could at the battle of minas tirith.

You see why I didn't want to start talking about Record of Lodoss War?


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andreww wrote:
Aragon fought off all nine ring wraiths including the Witch King of Angmar on his own, resisted Dominate Person from Sauron and took control of an entire army of ghosts. Sounds like book characters don't neatly fit into rpg rules more than anything else.

Wraiths are CR5. The King of the Wraiths is easily nothing more than just the original. Sauron only had charm person and Aragon got a +4 to save.

Aragon was maybe 6, making CR 5 monster a fomable but manageable threat.

The ghost army control was a plot device, nothing more. Does not indicate ability on Aragon's part aside from being sired from the right loins.


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Marthkus wrote:
andreww wrote:
Aragon fought off all nine ring wraiths including the Witch King of Angmar on his own, resisted Dominate Person from Sauron and took control of an entire army of ghosts. Sounds like book characters don't neatly fit into rpg rules more than anything else.

Wraiths are CR5. The King of the Wraiths is easily nothing more than just the original. Sauron only had charm person and Aragon got a +4 to save.

Aragon was maybe 6, making CR 5 monster a fomable but manageable threat.

The ghost army control was a plot device, nothing more. Does not indicate ability on Aragon's part aside from being sired from the right loins.

You see why I didn't want to start talking about Record of Lodoss War?


I have no idea what Record of the Lodoss War I. Can someone clue me in.


Erick Wilson wrote:
You see why I didn't want to start talking about Record of Lodoss War?

No.


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Marthkus wrote:
Wraiths are CR5. The King of the Wraiths is easily nothing more than just the original. Sauron only had charm person and Aragon got a +4 to save.

9 CR5 wraiths makes for a CR11 encounter. That is going to be pretty lethal for a level 5 or 6 ranger on their own stuck in melee.


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andreww wrote:
I have no idea what Record of the Lodoss War I. Can someone clue me in.

Record of Lodoss War Opening


kyrt-ryder wrote:
andreww wrote:
I have no idea what Record of the Lodoss War I. Can someone clue me in.
Record of Lodoss War Opening

I do not see how this is relevant. Although I do appreciate how everyone is sporting cloaks of resistance like in slayers.


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Ok, to summarize. Record of Lodoss War was an OVA (there was also a series, I'm not sure which came first) based on early D&D, right down to 'Elf' and 'Dwarf' being represented as basically being their own classes.

Deedlit the blonde elf shown in the OP.


OVA?

I am showing my age aren't I.


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Original Video Animation.

Basically a japanese cartoon produced direct-to-video.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Original Video Animation.

Missed it by twenty seconds. :P

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

andreww wrote:

Err, Magic Missile isn't too powerful, not by a long shot. ****

Finally to be fair to evocation it is now possible to make its damage encounter relevant with laser focus on it or you can just take Dazing Spell and turn it into the best control in the game.

And you address the issue you refute in your own post. Magic Missile isn't too powerful by itself, but combined with Dazing Spell you can use a Magic Missile spell to effectively end an entire encounter.

Power in game is determined by options, because as you level up the encounters you face will more and more often be more effective against different types of resolution. Caster power comes from the fact that they have the most options. Not only do they have hundreds of spells to choose from, they've got dozens of ways to modify those spells making them more potent or better at dealing with various situations.

A Barbarian is (generally) going to be more useful than a Fighter in combat because he has more options. While the Fighter is generally limited to variations on "I hit it", the Barbarian has options allowing him to fly, sunder magical effects, self-heal, or grant himself incredibly huge bonuses on a physical exertion (allowing him to pull a Beowulf style swim-so-fast-you-skim-across-the-water, or pick up a house to save his ally the Witch who is trapped underneath it, etc.).
Paladin's are more useful than Fighters for similar reasons, as are Rangers, etc.

When you view it from that perspective, the class with the most options is inherently the most powerful, while the class with the fewest options is the least. Using that as a guideline, the Barbarian is definitely not too powerful, as it falls in the bottom third of classes for available options (though closer to the top of that bottom third). From a perspective of options for reaching resolution, your class potency from least to greatest looks something like:

Fighter, Gunslinger, Rogue, Monk, Samurai, Cavalier, Barbarian, Paladin, Ninja, Magus, Ranger, Inquisitor, Alchemist, Bard, Sorcerer, Oracle, Summoner, Witch, Cleric, Druid, Wizard

If you start evaluating how good they are at their particular method(s) of resolution, you'll see some shifting around in the bottom classes, but the overall spread stays the same.

Individual examples of any of those classes can rise above individual examples of any other; you can have a specific Fighter that is better at resolving a variety of situations than a specific Wizard, but if you follow the system mastery arc from least to greatest you'll find that classes like the Fighter own a much smaller span of effectiveness along that arc than other classes. Think of it like a gauge going from 1-100. A Wizard can occupy every stretch of that gauge from 1-100, accounting for both the lowest and highest points. A Fighter may start at 10 thanks to a full BAB and good proficiencies, but he'll never get to exceed 50. Classes like the Barbarian and Paladin who have class features that automatically make them good at at least one thing start at 20, but cap in the 60-70 range. Classes like the Inquisitor and Bard can also occupy the gauge as low as a 20, though 3/4 BAB, good skills, and 2/3 spellcasting keep them from hitting really low numbers, and they get the closest to the true casters hitting up to 80 when someone really know what they're doing with them. All you're left with is the full casters vying for that top 1/5 of the performance slot.

So, no, Barbarians are not OP.


andreww wrote:

Err, Magic Missile isn't too powerful, not by a long shot. It is actually rather difficult to justify any of the direct damage spells as being too powerful as the damage values tend to be very small compared to actual monster health. I know there is a designer comment out there that magic missile is too powerful for a level 1 spell and they considered making it level 2 but thought there would be a rebellion. Frankly that made me die a little inside at the lack of understanding of what the magic system is capable of.

The real power of magic wielders comes in two areas. In combat control effects are simply too powerful and it is too easy to force enemies to fail. Colour Spray, Blindness, Create Pit, all of them allow casters to dictate the pace of encounters from right out of the gate. Yes on their own they wont win an encounter so at lower levels you bring along a martial or a druid animal companion to finish things off but at higher levels spells can and do end encounters in a single standard action. Outside of combat spells offer too much flexibility at too little price and are simply too reliable.

Finally to be fair to evocation it is now possible to make its damage encounter relevant with laser focus on it or you can just take Dazing Spell and turn it into the best control in the game.

Step 1) Take 2 traits (Magical Lingeage and Wanyang Spellhunter)

Step 2) Start as a 1 level Crossblooded Sorcerer with Dragonic and Orc Bloodlines

Step 3) Go in Admixture wizard and continue along tree.

Step 4) Work toward Spell Perfection Fireball

Step 5) Get Goblin Wardrum

Step 6) Profit.


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K177Y C47 wrote:
andreww wrote:

Err, Magic Missile isn't too powerful, not by a long shot. It is actually rather difficult to justify any of the direct damage spells as being too powerful as the damage values tend to be very small compared to actual monster health. I know there is a designer comment out there that magic missile is too powerful for a level 1 spell and they considered making it level 2 but thought there would be a rebellion. Frankly that made me die a little inside at the lack of understanding of what the magic system is capable of.

The real power of magic wielders comes in two areas. In combat control effects are simply too powerful and it is too easy to force enemies to fail. Colour Spray, Blindness, Create Pit, all of them allow casters to dictate the pace of encounters from right out of the gate. Yes on their own they wont win an encounter so at lower levels you bring along a martial or a druid animal companion to finish things off but at higher levels spells can and do end encounters in a single standard action. Outside of combat spells offer too much flexibility at too little price and are simply too reliable.

Finally to be fair to evocation it is now possible to make its damage encounter relevant with laser focus on it or you can just take Dazing Spell and turn it into the best control in the game.

Step 1) Take 2 traits (Magical Lingeage and Wanyang Spellhunter)

Step 2) Start as a 1 level Crossblooded Sorcerer with Dragonic and Orc Bloodlines

Step 3) Go in Admixture wizard and continue along tree.

Step 4) Work toward Spell Perfection Fireball

Step 5) Get Goblin Wardrum

Step 6) Profit.

Yeah 15th level characters that choose to specialize are damn good at whatever it is their focus is.


K177Y C47 wrote:
andreww wrote:

Err, Magic Missile isn't too powerful, not by a long shot. It is actually rather difficult to justify any of the direct damage spells as being too powerful as the damage values tend to be very small compared to actual monster health. I know there is a designer comment out there that magic missile is too powerful for a level 1 spell and they considered making it level 2 but thought there would be a rebellion. Frankly that made me die a little inside at the lack of understanding of what the magic system is capable of.

The real power of magic wielders comes in two areas. In combat control effects are simply too powerful and it is too easy to force enemies to fail. Colour Spray, Blindness, Create Pit, all of them allow casters to dictate the pace of encounters from right out of the gate. Yes on their own they wont win an encounter so at lower levels you bring along a martial or a druid animal companion to finish things off but at higher levels spells can and do end encounters in a single standard action. Outside of combat spells offer too much flexibility at too little price and are simply too reliable.

Finally to be fair to evocation it is now possible to make its damage encounter relevant with laser focus on it or you can just take Dazing Spell and turn it into the best control in the game.

Step 1) Take 2 traits (Magical Lingeage and Wanyang Spellhunter)

Step 2) Start as a 1 level Crossblooded Sorcerer with Dragonic and Orc Bloodlines

Step 3) Go in Admixture wizard and continue along tree.

Step 4) Work toward Spell Perfection Fireball

Step 5) Get Goblin Wardrum

Step 6) Profit.

I did sort of account for that in my first post. Laser focus on damage gets encounter relevant damage. Now. Not then.

Also you take the sorcerer level at character level 6, no need to be behind a level before then. Before then you are just a normal wizard.


chaoseffect wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:
andreww wrote:

Err, Magic Missile isn't too powerful, not by a long shot. It is actually rather difficult to justify any of the direct damage spells as being too powerful as the damage values tend to be very small compared to actual monster health. I know there is a designer comment out there that magic missile is too powerful for a level 1 spell and they considered making it level 2 but thought there would be a rebellion. Frankly that made me die a little inside at the lack of understanding of what the magic system is capable of.

The real power of magic wielders comes in two areas. In combat control effects are simply too powerful and it is too easy to force enemies to fail. Colour Spray, Blindness, Create Pit, all of them allow casters to dictate the pace of encounters from right out of the gate. Yes on their own they wont win an encounter so at lower levels you bring along a martial or a druid animal companion to finish things off but at higher levels spells can and do end encounters in a single standard action. Outside of combat spells offer too much flexibility at too little price and are simply too reliable.

Finally to be fair to evocation it is now possible to make its damage encounter relevant with laser focus on it or you can just take Dazing Spell and turn it into the best control in the game.

Step 1) Take 2 traits (Magical Lingeage and Wanyang Spellhunter)

Step 2) Start as a 1 level Crossblooded Sorcerer with Dragonic and Orc Bloodlines

Step 3) Go in Admixture wizard and continue along tree.

Step 4) Work toward Spell Perfection Fireball

Step 5) Get Goblin Wardrum

Step 6) Profit.

Yeah 15th level characters that choose to specialize are damn good at whatever it is their focus is.

You don't even NEED Perfection. You still have 2 free levels of meta-magic AND you are adding 2 damage PER DICE of damage. So yeah... that is gonna hurt...


There is always a dispute about the right 'level of heroism' in a game. I personally would rather see boosted martials and slightly nerfed casters in a low magic setting. Suits my concept more.

As for this discussion, not everyone plays at high levels. I am currently running a game with such a barbarian at low levels, very ably backed up by his party. He still has come close to death 3-4 times even as the 'battering ram' in combats.


Marthkus wrote:
Erick Wilson wrote:
But even if we go down that road and we say that Frodo and Bilbo aren't built with 25 points, well, Aragorn and Legolas probably still are.

*Smirks*

15 points at most. They actually had problems with a cave troll at level 5-6. Definitely not high point buy.

i think aragorn may very well be built on a 25 pt buy. However, he wasnt optimized in the way pathfinder characters are. I think an array of Str14/Dex16/Con14/Int12/Wis14/Cha14 wouldnt be out of lie, and thats like a 32 pt buy. He was perceptive and had good intuition,.seemed decently intelligent (though int10 would work too), he was agile.and fast, had good endurance and was decently strong. And his words carried a lot of weight.

Now, you may say that ability scores doesnt affect those things since you dont share my view that ability scores represent anything but their modifiers, but if so, how can you tell they where NOT suitable to bebuilt on a 25 pt buy? Cave trolls in LotR and cave trolls in pathfinder are completely different...


Oenar, the Winter wrote:
Cave trolls in LotR and cave trolls in pathfinder are completely different...

Are they?

Liberty's Edge

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Marthkus wrote:
Oenar, the Winter wrote:
Cave trolls in LotR and cave trolls in pathfinder are completely different...
Are they?

Well, Cave Trolls in Pathfinder are Medium while those in LotR are Large and trolls don't regenerate or have claws in LotR...so yeah, completely different in just about every way.

Additionally, it wasn't a fight of the party vs. a troll they had problems with, it was a fight of the party vs. a troll plus a substantial number of orcs/goblins. Which isn't quite the same thing.


Marthkus wrote:
Oenar, the Winter wrote:
Cave trolls in LotR and cave trolls in pathfinder are completely different...
Are they?

Yes. link

"This ugly humanoid appears to be about 6 feet tall. Its leathery skin is blackish-gray and its eyes are yellow. It has long, upright ears, almost elven in nature. Its arms and legs are long and slender and end in wicked-looking claws."

Pathfinder cave trolls are small trolls on speed. Quite literally. They're medium-sized, have a speed of 60 ft/climb 20ft, and regeneration.

While it was long since I read the books, the cave troll as presented in the LotR movie seems to be most close to either a particularly stupid but also particularly large hill giant (it seems closer to 12-13 ft than the 10 of a hill giant), or something like this tome of horrors cave giant.


andreww wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:

Honestly, I've never had anyone try to cast a buff on me, or a healing spell for that matter, for me to care about the downside of superstition.

Every wizard I've met, pfs or homebrew, PEW PEW PEW. Not one person other than myself has built a cleric. No other bards. The oracle has never cast a buff spell on me.

Wow, in our games and in JJ's games the opposite is true. You must play with very selfish players who don;t know the value of teamwork.
Or with players who recognise the value of in combat offence over wasting their time casting small buffs or trying to undo monster damage with in combat healing.

Or with DMs that don't create challenging encounters.

My encounters are so challenging buffing and healing are required, not optional. If you try to unload hoping to kill them or gain the upper hand, you're going to die 90% of the time.

I don't mean rinky dink trash encounters. I'm talking the BBEG encounters it seems most players on here tend to steamroll. Doesn't happen in games I run very often at all because the enemy is every bit as well-equipped and supported as the PCs. Their strategies to win are equally vicious.

If you're playing with guys who think they can do math and win, I can see why you don't bother with healing and buffing. My players see the value of buffs and not always the same buffs. At high level avoidance buffs like displacement and invisibility tend to be worthless. But haste and hit buffs highly worthwhile. Healing is almost a must because I buff opponent damage output substantially. At the moment Pathfinder monsters are woefully underpowered when it comes to damage output.


Ssalarn wrote:
I think Greater Invisibility is generally a pre-combat buff. In combat you're talking about wasting up to two rounds before that has any usefulness. Also, pretty irrelevant to the actual discussion about whether Superstition on a Barbarian is really any kind of hindrance. The Barbarian tends to have abilities that negate his need for a lot of the buffs that are more handy for mundanes like the Fighter and Rogue.

Superstition is not a hindrance most of the time. Barbarian damage resistance (since Invulnerable Rager is the standard archetype now) is high and their hit points are high. They can generally take so much damage that half heals are sufficient to keep them alive. With Greater Beast Totem combined with fly makes their damage output amongst the highest in the game. They don't care about attacks of opportunity and charge into combat knowing that a full attack with Raging Brutality is often all they need to finish most targets.

Now against a prepared caster looking to take them out Superstition doesn't help much. The best way to hammer a barbarian is with enervate and energy drain. Barbarians tend to have very low touch ACs. As long as enervate and energy drain don't allow a save, you can annihilate even high level barbarians fairly quickly. Some get death ward on them prior to battle knowing this strategy is highly viable. A barbarian with death ward is virtually unstoppable. You have to strip it first which takes actions.

Superstition does not hinder a barbarian. It makes them nearly invincible against anything that allows a save. If they pick up a ring of evasion, they dodge reflex save attacks better than a rogue or monk. Make the so called reflexes of a rogue or monk look like fairy stories.

Which comes back to why I buff damage. Paizo does not test this game at high level. I have to believe that because when a Great Wyrm Red dragon has near zero chance in melee against a lvl 20 raging barbarian because their damage output is too low, they did not do a good job testing the damage output of a great wyrm red dragon versus the barbarian. Yes, the barbarian has free action by that time to ensure he can't be grappled. The dragon is wasting his time trying.

That being said, I'd rather see monsters made tougher than barbarians nerfed.

Silver Crusade

Raith Shadar wrote:

Or with DMs that don't create challenging encounters.

My encounters are so challenging buffing and healing are required, not optional. If you try to unload hoping to kill them or gain the upper hand, you're going to die 90% of the time.

I don't mean rinky dink trash encounters. I'm talking the BBEG encounters it seems most players on here tend to steamroll. Doesn't happen in games I run very often at all because the enemy is every bit as well-equipped and supported as the PCs. Their strategies to win are equally vicious.

If you're playing with guys who think they can do math and win, I can see why you don't bother with healing and buffing. My players see the value of buffs and not always the same buffs. At high level avoidance buffs like displacement and invisibility tend to be worthless. But haste and hit buffs highly worthwhile. Healing is almost a must because I buff opponent damage output substantially. At the moment Pathfinder monsters are woefully underpowered when it comes to damage output.

Do you also buff healing? Because if not, it's still a terrible exchange rate unless you're quick channeling. And Haste is a minute per level, so you could burn that off before the encounter and be fine. Barbs already have nice to hit, and a lot of other good buffs to hitting also are pretty long term (Heroism for example), meaning Superstition doesn't get in the way. What it DOES get in the way of is breath weapons, SLAs, Spells, and other SU abilities that would halt a melee monster from melee monstering. If I had to choose between having an extra attack but being dominated, I'd go without Haste. Being almost immune to most things that require saves is worth being buffless/healless, but thankfully you can buff ahead of times (especially before a BBEV, since most of the time you're the proactive one of the two there)

But if you've buffed healing abilities (which I advocate to make them worthwhile in combat), then yeah your encounter strategy works.


Haste is 1 round per caster level

Silver Crusade

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Haste is 1 round per caster level

Hm, I must be thinking of something else. Still something you could pop off before kicking open the door, unless your enemy gets a 4 round monologue beforehand. I do stand by my statement of rather having impossible saves though.


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That is, of course, assuming the GM is running a campaign where 'kick in the door' works. Many of us (myself included) prefer to avoid that as much as possible.


N. Jolly wrote:
Raith Shadar wrote:

Or with DMs that don't create challenging encounters.

My encounters are so challenging buffing and healing are required, not optional. If you try to unload hoping to kill them or gain the upper hand, you're going to die 90% of the time.

I don't mean rinky dink trash encounters. I'm talking the BBEG encounters it seems most players on here tend to steamroll. Doesn't happen in games I run very often at all because the enemy is every bit as well-equipped and supported as the PCs. Their strategies to win are equally vicious.

If you're playing with guys who think they can do math and win, I can see why you don't bother with healing and buffing. My players see the value of buffs and not always the same buffs. At high level avoidance buffs like displacement and invisibility tend to be worthless. But haste and hit buffs highly worthwhile. Healing is almost a must because I buff opponent damage output substantially. At the moment Pathfinder monsters are woefully underpowered when it comes to damage output.

Do you also buff healing? Because if not, it's still a terrible exchange rate unless you're quick channeling. And Haste is a minute per level, so you could burn that off before the encounter and be fine. Barbs already have nice to hit, and a lot of other good buffs to hitting also are pretty long term (Heroism for example), meaning Superstition doesn't get in the way. What it DOES get in the way of is breath weapons, SLAs, Spells, and other SU abilities that would halt a melee monster from melee monstering. If I had to choose between having an extra attack but being dominated, I'd go without Haste. Being almost immune to most things that require saves is worth being buffless/healless, but thankfully you can buff ahead of times (especially before a BBEV, since most of the time you're the proactive one of the two there)

But if you've buffed healing abilities (which I advocate to make them worthwhile in combat), then yeah your encounter strategy...

Nope.

It's a choice between living and dying. Mass Heal heals 150 to 170 to each target when you acquire it. Higher with beads of karma. It can stave off death and give an extra round of battle. Heal is a "death from damage" mitigator.

Damage at high level both ways is sufficient to kill the opponent in one to three rounds depending on build and crits. Effect mitigation is very powerful at high level and usually done with buffs that prevent conditions from occurring, but can also be done post-effect as long as the casting time of the effect remover is a standard action.

Healing is required because the opponent is usually defended against save or suck or save or die effects or has an effect remover which prevents their attacks from being mitigated. Thus if the PC does not have heals, they will be hit with attacks that are sufficient to obliterate their health. This requires a heal to keep them up and fighting.

I have designed encounters where the exchange is important to survival. Anything that keeps you alive is not a terrible exchange.

It is hard to do when the barbarian has 420 base hit points. 520 when raging. I gave them an ability called Rage to the Death, which allows them to rage until they reach negative con. An opponent has to plow through 560 hit points to bring them down. Not easily accomplished I must say. This with the barbarian hitting them with Raging Brutality, which matches the best fighter output for damage. Then using Come and Get me on his turn. I've had to buff the hit points and damage output of many an enemy to keep up with the Barbarian. He's vastly most powerful than any other martial character in most combats.

Silver Crusade

Raith Shadar wrote:

Nope.

It's a choice between living and dying. Mass Heal heals 150 to 170 to each target when you acquire it. Higher with beads of karma. It can stave off death and give an extra round of battle. Heal is a "death from damage" mitigator.

So do you not in battle heal before Heal? Or do you buff heal spells before that then, since prior to Heal you're getting a pretty terrible exchange rate for your action. I've been thinking of making the lesser cure spells better myself.


Raith Shadar wrote:

....

It is hard to do when the barbarian has 420 base hit points. 520 when raging. I gave them an ability called Rage to the Death, which allows them to rage until they reach negative con. An opponent has to plow through 560 hit points to bring them down. Not easily accomplished I must say. This with the barbarian hitting them with Raging Brutality, which matches the best fighter output for damage. Then using Come and Get me on his turn. I've had to buff the hit points and damage output of many an enemy to keep up with the Barbarian. He's vastly most powerful than any other martial character in most combats.

So you buffed the Barbarian and he is now "vastly more powerfull than any other martial character in most combats"? Pehaps the other Martial classes need some of your helfull houserules to even the score.


EvilPaladin wrote:
So, have we decided about whether or not Barbarians are unbalanced yet?

Yeah, you can tell by which replies get the most upvotes:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qt2q&page=1?OK-Im-just-going-to-say-it-Bar barians-are

This one has the most upvotes, at 17

Lemmy wrote:

What's wrong is that Barbarians are the only martial class that get Pounce. (At 10th level. After investing 3 Rage Powers. Meanwhile, Druids get it for free at 6th level and Summoners at 1st level for a single evolution point).

Martial classes losing 90% of their effectiveness because they dared to move 10ft is one of the biggest flaws with the system.

This one has 12

Deadmanwalking wrote:

First Paladins, now Barbarians. Are Martials suddenly not allowed to have nice things by the fandom even when Paizo gives them some?

More seriously, any Superstition Barbarian has this unfortunate problem where they cannot be healed by spells while raging and if they stop raging without getting healed when they need healing, they're likely to die. There are ways around this...but they're not as easy as all that. They also have less utility options than, well, any 6 or 9 level caster class or those with more skill points (which is around 3/4 of existing classes).

I love Barbarians, and they are very good at hitting things until they die...probably better than anyone else vs. non-Evil targets (they fall behind Paladins vs. Evil stuff), but that's all that they're the best at. Let them have the win.

You can go look for the rest yourselves, but the ones that go "Barbarian is fine, others need to catch up and here's why:" are the popular posts.


Erick Wilson wrote:


You see why I didn't want to start talking about Record of Lodoss War?

I like it when Circle of Protection is actually a forcefield radiating from the caster instead of a passive bonus. I guess the way to represent that in d20 is some kind of force wall sustained by the caster's focus.


Cap. Darling wrote:
Raith Shadar wrote:

....

It is hard to do when the barbarian has 420 base hit points. 520 when raging. I gave them an ability called Rage to the Death, which allows them to rage until they reach negative con. An opponent has to plow through 560 hit points to bring them down. Not easily accomplished I must say. This with the barbarian hitting them with Raging Brutality, which matches the best fighter output for damage. Then using Come and Get me on his turn. I've had to buff the hit points and damage output of many an enemy to keep up with the Barbarian. He's vastly most powerful than any other martial character in most combats.

So you buffed the Barbarian and he is now "vastly more powerfull than any other martial character in most combats"? Pehaps the other Martial classes need some of your helfull houserules to even the score.

We buffed the rogue and cleric as well.


N. Jolly wrote:
Raith Shadar wrote:

Nope.

It's a choice between living and dying. Mass Heal heals 150 to 170 to each target when you acquire it. Higher with beads of karma. It can stave off death and give an extra round of battle. Heal is a "death from damage" mitigator.

So do you not in battle heal before Heal? Or do you buff heal spells before that then, since prior to Heal you're getting a pretty terrible exchange rate for your action. I've been thinking of making the lesser cure spells better myself.

Occasionally we use cure spells or channel, we don't use those as much as heal. I'm mostly talking the high level game. Lower level you can get by without much healing in battle.

That's why we gave all clerics the ability to channel positive and negative energy and cast cause or cure spells. Give them a little something else to do.

Sometimes healing is needed at lower levels. Most of the time you can end a battle before you need in combat healing. If you were referring to lower level games, then I agree that in combat healing not a great choice.

Lantern Lodge

I personally don't think that barbarians are overpowered in a general sense. I believe some barbarians (ahem, invulnerable ragers + stalwart and/or beast totem pouncers) can appear over powered because they are generally grossly superior at melee combat to most other melee characters, largely due to the rarity of access to pounce on non-shapeshifters.

Much like some of the monk style feats, some of the rage totems could use a little bit of a boost.

On a completely separate topic, I continue to be astonished that Crane Wing took such a big hit and greater beast totem pouncing continues along it's merry way unmolested.


Raith Shadar wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
Raith Shadar wrote:

Nope.

It's a choice between living and dying. Mass Heal heals 150 to 170 to each target when you acquire it. Higher with beads of karma. It can stave off death and give an extra round of battle. Heal is a "death from damage" mitigator.

So do you not in battle heal before Heal? Or do you buff heal spells before that then, since prior to Heal you're getting a pretty terrible exchange rate for your action. I've been thinking of making the lesser cure spells better myself.

Occasionally we use cure spells or channel, we don't use those as much as heal. I'm mostly talking the high level game. Lower level you can get by without much healing in battle.

That's why we gave all clerics the ability to channel positive and negative energy and cast cause or cure spells. Give them a little something else to do.

Sometimes healing is needed at lower levels. Most of the time you can end a battle before you need in combat healing. If you were referring to lower level games, then I agree that in combat healing not a great choice.

I'm curious now. Show us one of your infamous combats that was much harder than any other gm's we've played with.

Because I played a 3.5 game where as a level 7 fighter i fought and beat a CR 13 Golem, immediately followed by a CR 12 Vampire Lord, all while getting blasted by undead dragons that they had energy protection from.

BTW, DR 15/- Golem, and Vampire Lord basically meant rogue was useless, wizard was worthless against golem, Ranger was already still dead from the 45d6 fire ball trap we got hit with at level 5 (he refused to make a new character but kept showing up) and the vampire was way too high for the cleric to even hope to turn (The cleric was level 6).


Lormyr wrote:

On a completely separate topic, I continue to be astonished that Crane Wing took such a big hit and greater beast totem pouncing continues along it's merry way unmolested.

People use it less in PFS.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
wizard was worthless against golem,

Really? I find golems to be easy pickings


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Lormyr wrote:
On a completely separate topic, I continue to be astonished that Crane Wing took such a big hit and greater beast totem pouncing continues along it's merry way unmolested.

I think it has a lot to do with how late Greater Beast Totem comes? People are going to see Crane Wing Doing Things from essentially the beginning of the game, while GBT is almost a capstone for many campaigns especially in (sigh) PFS.

I'm pretty happy it isn't nerfed really. GBT doesn't need to be weaker, it needs to be used as a benchmark for other martial abilities. GBT is what all martial 10th level abilities should aspire to be as strong as.

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