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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I believe that the barbarian can be quite tactical Marthkus. The rage power that allows you to drop your rage can be accomplished with a held action which, I think, makes the barbarian much more tactical in his teamwork.


Trogdar wrote:
I believe that the barbarian can be quite tactical Marthkus. The rage power that allows you to drop your rage can be accomplished with a held action which, I think, makes the barbarian much more tactical in his teamwork.

Oh yes the teamwork element certainly goes up, but the interesting interactions barely moves.

As in the barbar definition of teamwork is "talk about party buffs WAY ahead of time and then delay to casters turn or have caster delay to my turn. Oh and I can only do this ONCE per rage." Of course it's not like the barbar ever needs a buff.

Like I'll keep saying. If you can challenge the barbar, chances are everyone else is going to get wrecked.

Dark Archive

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Lemmy wrote:
Majuba wrote:
Pounce is just wrong. Most of the rest is alright.

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.

Actually monks are the only class that get "pounce" at level 1.

Sohei Monk mounted skirmisher.


Everything is unbalanced in it's own right.

It's not hard to make a character that could rip a level 20 barbarian to shreds*.

I can think of 2 off the top of my head.

*Results of how quickly he would be ripped to shreds may vary based on item and gold allowance.


Marthkus wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Even the fighter (although weaker) has more interesting combat interactions.

I call shenanigans here.

I also challenge you to name a single "more interesting combat interaction" that a Fighter has.

Because, to me, it looks like the only thing a Fighter can do is roll a die/swing a weapon over and over.

Mid combat a party member cast a buff spell on the fighter.

That alone gives the fighter innumerable more interactions and teamwork options than the superstitious barbar.

They actually have to play with tactics and thought, not just going "ROAR! ragelancepounce while being invulnerable to magic!" doing their own thing while the rest of the party does their own thing.

There's a huge difference between 'very high chance to make a saving throw' and 'immune to magic.'

A great deal of magic doesn't require a saving throw, or does unpleasant things even on a successful save.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Even the fighter (although weaker) has more interesting combat interactions.

I call shenanigans here.

I also challenge you to name a single "more interesting combat interaction" that a Fighter has.

Because, to me, it looks like the only thing a Fighter can do is roll a die/swing a weapon over and over.

Mid combat a party member cast a buff spell on the fighter.

That alone gives the fighter innumerable more interactions and teamwork options than the superstitious barbar.

They actually have to play with tactics and thought, not just going "ROAR! ragelancepounce while being invulnerable to magic!" doing their own thing while the rest of the party does their own thing.

There's a huge difference between 'very high chance to make a saving throw' and 'immune to magic.'

A great deal of magic doesn't require a saving throw, or does unpleasant things even on a successful save.

This really is the fatal flaw in Marthkus's argument. A save doesn't mean much when we are talking about high level spell casters.

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Removed an unhelpful post.


Trogdar wrote:


This really is the fatal flaw in Marthkus's argument. A save doesn't mean much when we are talking about high level spell casters.

I don´t understand this kind of argument.

1)A very few people here play at high level.

2)When i play at high level the spell caster is on my side.

Grand Lodge

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Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
2)When i play at high level the spell caster is on my side.

Damn those Runelords.


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Pen and Paper RPGs are in general not balanced, ever.

They are not video games, the DM and the players together are here to tailor the experience the way they want toward balance.

The most balanced PnP RPG I have ever seen is actually DnD 4th edition, and most people whined about it.


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Unbalanced? Well, sure--rage is basically temporary madness, after all, so even the most levelheaded barbarian's probably not a poster child for Captain Sanity's Superhero Sanitarium.


How many classes reach these stats at level 20?

All saves: 25+
HP: 400+
Still fight on negative hp: 30+ hit points
RD:29/-
To hit: 40+
Bonus damage:60+
5 attacks + 1 attack every time the enemy enter on reach + 1 attack every time the enemy attack him
Natural fly speed + pounce


Oh so with a +5 courageous and furious weapon the total superstitious bonus is +16.

So 25+ to all saves is a very low estimate. We are looking at at-least 27+ or most likely 30+ with 34+ being the MAX min.


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What matters isn't how powerful one build is in a vacuum.

What matters is A) how effective the build is in comparison to other party members, and B) how effective the build (and team are) compared to what the GM has prepped.


A) &B) super effective.

And i dont know the Dc to stay in vacuum, but that barbariam wont die


Leonardo Trancoso wrote:

How many classes reach these stats at level 20?

All saves: 25+
HP: 400+
Still fight on negative hp: 30+ hit points
RD:29/-
To hit: 40+
Bonus damage:60+
5 attacks + 1 attack every time the enemy enter on reach + 1 attack every time the enemy attack him
Natural fly speed + pounce

Can you post this barbarian bulid? I dont think any body get all these things but Lots og characters can be great at level 20.

But post the built pehaps your problem is not what the barbarian can do but what you think he can do. And pehaps this super built is totally legal you are better at the built part of the game than me.


Cap. Darling wrote:
Leonardo Trancoso wrote:

How many classes reach these stats at level 20?

All saves: 25+
HP: 400+
Still fight on negative hp: 30+ hit points
RD:29/-
To hit: 40+
Bonus damage:60+
5 attacks + 1 attack every time the enemy enter on reach + 1 attack every time the enemy attack him
Natural fly speed + pounce

Can you post this barbarian bulid? I dont think any body get all these things but Lots og characters can be great at level 20.

But post the built pehaps your problem is not what the barbarian can do but what you think he can do. And pehaps this super built is totally legal you are better at the built part of the game than me.

The only thing that looks suspicious to me is the DR.


I hope you are getting the natural fy speed from assimar or sylph race feat and not from dragon totem, casue the later is incompatible with beast totem.


Aasimar or Sylph wouldn't be compatible with the human favored class bonus to Superstition though.

I guess a human barbarian with racial heritage: Aasimar could technically qualify for Angel Wings...?

Edit: Never mind, racial heritage specifies humanoids - sylphs and aasimar are not humanoids.

Edit Edit: Tengu are humanoids - technically you could pick up Tengu Wings at level 5. That's a 1/day spell-like ability with a duration measured in minutes though.


Alexandros Satorum wrote:
I hope you are getting the natural fy speed from assimar or sylph race feat and not from dragon totem, casue the later is incompatible with beast totem.

Oh nice call.


Kudaku wrote:

Aasimar or Sylph wouldn't be compatible with the human favored class bonus to Superstition though.

I guess a human barbarian with racial heritage: Aasimar could technically qualify for Angel Wings...?

Edit: Never mind, racial heritage specifies humanoids - sylphs and aasimar are not humanoids.

Edit Edit: Tengu are humanoids - technically you could pick up Tengu Wings at level 5. That's a 1/day spell-like ability with a duration measured in minutes though.

Aasimaar with scion of humanity can take human favored class bonus to Superstitition by effectively gaining the human subtype in a fashion similar to racial heritage or a half elf. as an Angelkin, it can take arcane strike as well. they can also be enlarged or reduced unlike a normal Aasimaar.


Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
Trogdar wrote:


This really is the fatal flaw in Marthkus's argument. A save doesn't mean much when we are talking about high level spell casters.

I don´t understand this kind of argument.

1)A very few people here play at high level.

2)When i play at high level the spell caster is on my side.

Its a pretty straightforward position Leonardo. Marthkus believes that the barbarian is too strong because his class features give him great saves, thus invalidating caster threats.

I propose that this argument is invalid because caster classes are not invalidated by high saving throws.

Its a kind of if then scenario.


Marthkus wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Even the fighter (although weaker) has more interesting combat interactions.

I call shenanigans here.

I also challenge you to name a single "more interesting combat interaction" that a Fighter has.

Because, to me, it looks like the only thing a Fighter can do is roll a die/swing a weapon over and over.

Mid combat a party member cast a buff spell on the fighter.

That alone gives the fighter innumerable more interactions and teamwork options than the superstitious barbar.

They actually have to play with tactics and thought, not just going "ROAR! ragelancepounce while being invulnerable to magic!" doing their own thing while the rest of the party does their own thing.

I asked for a single example, not a straw-man.

What buff spell does anything other than make the Fighter swing his weapon better?

If your argument truly holds any weight, you can do better than this.


Neo2151 wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Even the fighter (although weaker) has more interesting combat interactions.

I call shenanigans here.

I also challenge you to name a single "more interesting combat interaction" that a Fighter has.

Because, to me, it looks like the only thing a Fighter can do is roll a die/swing a weapon over and over.

Mid combat a party member cast a buff spell on the fighter.

That alone gives the fighter innumerable more interactions and teamwork options than the superstitious barbar.

They actually have to play with tactics and thought, not just going "ROAR! ragelancepounce while being invulnerable to magic!" doing their own thing while the rest of the party does their own thing.

I asked for a single example, not a straw-man.

What buff spell does anything other than make the Fighter swing his weapon better?

If your argument truly holds any weight, you can do better than this.

I said interesting combat interactions. Not different actions. Which are totally different things.


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You still haven't named an interesting combat interaction that a Fighter with a pocket caster can have that the Barbarian you're complaining about can't.

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cnetarian wrote:
The reason I put the cavalier a weak class is that the major attack mechanic (charge) doesn't work with a full attack action, a cavalier can either charge and do an enormous damage single attack or not charge and make many attacks without much in the way of bonuses. A mighty charge with an overrun and a disarm and a trample thrown in can do pretty hefty damage, but usually a full attack with a mount's full attack does more damage even though the class in general doesn't provide bonuses to those attacks. I'm not saying you're wrong and the cavalier is a weak class, though in my limited experience the class under-performs for that reason.

The Cavalier can actually almost always meet or beat his full attack damage using Spirited Charge and later Supreme Charge. And when/if he picks up Mounted Skirmisher, by the time he level caps he can charge for 5x damage and still make three standard attacks, all potentially modified by his Challenge and any appropriate Order abilities. For straight up destroying a single target, Cavalier's potential is actually the best out there. So, all told, pretty solid class. And with either a small cavalier or the Narrow Frame feat from Animal Archive, you can bring your mount pretty much anywhere.

Which is not really to go on about the Cavalier, but more to offer up the point that a class you dropped in the "weak" pile is actually probably at least as useful as the Barbarian, potentially moreso depending on the circumstances, and with higher damage potential. Which further undercuts the "Barbarian's are unbalanced" idea.

Paladin's are also at least as durable as the Barbarian and can spike damage higher under the right circumstances.

Ranger's can boost their action economy via an animal companion or share potent bonuses with their allies, and are often not far behind the Barbarian's damage with greater utility.

And again, that's just looking at other full BAB classes. The classes that are really unbalanced are the Rogue, Fighter, and Wizard (not necessarily unbalanced on the same sides of the scale though).


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I'm not saying Marthkus is necessarily one of those people, but there are quite a few people on these boards who believe 'vessel for the caster's buffs' is akin to a class feature of the Fighter (and one which justifies his presence in a party)


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Scavion wrote:


Imma disagree with ya here Marthkus. Most people who actually know what makes the Summoner strong isn't the Synthesis Summoner. The Synthesis is just a hilarious parody of how spellcasters totally trump martials in everything. It's clearly visible how it does so...

Calling a Master Summoner a one trick pony is [crazy]...

IMO, The most balanced classes in the game currently are...

Bards
Alchemists
Inquisitors
Rangers, could actually use some more love.
Oracles minus Paragon Surge and Aasimar FCB bullpoop which should have never existed.
Cavaliers are a bit on the weak side. They definitely need some more non-mounted combat options.
Paladins
Barbarians are strong yes, but still get trivialized in the same way other martials do at high levels. Positioning, magic, and intelligent enemies simply keeping their distance.

The only full caster to make my list was the Oracle due to the cleric list just not being very fantastic for a spontaneous caster.

I don't have experience with a Witch but I hear they're fairly balanced excepting Slumber Hex.

I totally agree with most of your observations, Scavion. I'm coming increasingly to regard the Bard as the gold standard of class balance, though maybe someone will come along and tell me why I'm wrong. I also like Rangers and pretty much agree with you about Cavaliers and Oracles. Some of the other classes on your "balanced" list, though, I have to take issue with.

Alchemists- bombs trivialize too many encounters, especially once they are fast, force bombs. That combined with the class's overall versatility makes them, to me, a bit much.

Inquisitors- I would mostly agree with you about Inquisitors, except that their abilities all work with ranged weapons. Inquisitor archers are just too devastating.

Paladins- smite can lead to trivialized encounters too, but the real problem of the Paladin shows up when it is combined with certain other things (especially when Oath of Vengeance is employed). Gunslinger is the biggest offender, but there are other pretty annoying Paladin combos too.

As far as Barbarians, Markthus, I agree they can be an annoying class. From an optimization point of view, many of their abilities look like taxes, since they are so blatantly superior to their competitors. Also, I gather that most people more or less base their arguments about this class around the assumption that the Barbarian is rage cycling, which is pretty annoying. Finally, they're swingy. They tend to either completely wreck encounters or be completely neutralized by them. Is that the type of stuff you mean when you say they're unbalanced, but not OP?

Incidentally, Cavaliers can be annoying for similar reasons. It's like "well, are you playing a Small Cavalier on a Medium mount, in a game where the GM doesn't tend to make terrain a big issue? Okay! You're the highest DPS class there is and are super effective!! Are you playing, well, any other kind of Cavalier in any other situation? Oh. Well, then nevermind. You're just okay. A little weak, really." It's like they should have just called the class Dog Rider from the start. All of which is more than a bit annoying, because the idea that a little halfling riding around on a dog is doing the most devastating attacks of anyone is, well, a little silly.


Erick Wilson wrote:
As far as Barbarians, Markthus, I agree they can be an annoying class. From an optimization point of view, many of their abilities look like taxes, since they are so blatantly superior to their competitors. Also, I gather that most people more or less base their arguments about this class around the assumption that the Barbarian is rage cycling, which is pretty annoying. Finally, they're swingy. They tend to either completely wreck encounters or be completely neutralized by them. Is that the type of stuff you mean when you say they're unbalanced, but not OP?

Yeah more or less.


This is falling into the Crane Wing trap. A certain kind of Barbarian being strong and effective for being a melee brute does not mean it's overpowered, it means other options and comparable classes are UNDERPOWERED.

The question should be "How can I make other martial dudes as useful as a supersticious barbarian?"


OgreBattle wrote:
The question should be "How can I make other martial dudes as useful as a supersticious barbarian?"

God no, the game would be unplayable by that point, depending on what you mean by useful.

If you mean everyone should have pounce, stupid saves, and great AC, then no. That would be dump.

If you mean more martials should go toe to toe like the paladin, then yes fine.


Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
Trogdar wrote:


This really is the fatal flaw in Marthkus's argument. A save doesn't mean much when we are talking about high level spell casters.

I don´t understand this kind of argument.

1)A very few people here play at high level.

2)When i play at high level the spell caster is on my side.

Leonardo Trancoso wrote:

How many classes reach these stats at level 20?

All saves: 25+
HP: 400+
Still fight on negative hp: 30+ hit points
RD:29/-
To hit: 40+
Bonus damage:60+
5 attacks + 1 attack every time the enemy enter on reach + 1 attack every time the enemy attack him
Natural fly speed + pounce

I don't get this... First you say it doesn't matter if high-level casters can ignore the strength of barbarians because few people play at high levels, then you claim barbarians are too strong at high levels?

If we look at level 7 instead, when "no save" spells are much more limited, the bonus from superstition isn't +12, it's +5 (assuming human favored class).


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OgreBattle wrote:

This is falling into the Crane Wing trap. A certain kind of Barbarian being strong and effective for being a melee brute does not mean it's overpowered, it means other options and comparable classes are UNDERPOWERED.

The question should be "How can I make other martial dudes as useful as a supersticious barbarian?"

Except that if we all start thinking this way, each class will effectively have only a small handful of options. That sounds really boring to me. That's why many people prefer to nerf or ban the really attractive/powerful options. You want most or all of the choices to feel valid, at least when measured against one another. Otherwise you wind up rewarding optimizers, while effectively punishing people who choose their builds based on aesthetic or RP motivations.

That's the trouble with optimization: it kicks non-optimized play in the balls. Ron Edwards said:

"I might as well get this over with now: the phrase "Role-playing games are not about winning" is the most widespread example of synecdoche in the hobby. Potential Gamist responses, and I think appropriately, include:

'Eat me',
(upon winning) 'I win',
and 'C'mon, let's play without these morons.'"

I understand his point. If you're only playing to win or succeed at the game, then other motivations are probably baffling.

But it's generally not really that optimizers want to win and RPers don't (and before somebody accuses me of perpetuating the Stormwind Fallacy, let me say I'm aware of it and I'm not doing that, though in fact there is a grain of truth in that supposed "fallacy"). It's that optimizers want the pre-game character building phase to be a big part of what accounts for their success during game, whereas RP or aesthetically motivated players want it to play a very small part. They may want their build to determine how they win, but they don't want it to determine whether they do.

These kinds of play are probably essentially incompatible. I don't really have a solution.

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