Rage and Tactical thinking


Rules Questions


Simple enough.

Is there a rule for or against a barbarian (or whatever) Using Rage, that states they can think tactically, or must they use more base and crude instinctual forms of action and reaction.

Based on my understanding of Rage. It has a lot to do with giving into to your emotions and just flying off the handler on on opponent, which doesn't much allow for tactics. Working towards a goal, or anything other than, well, “HULK SMASH!”*

I have had my NPC Barbarians/Rage users reflect this attitude in my games as DM, but our other DM has regularly had Barbarians working in a tactical minded group to take on our party, while you know, said Barbarian NPC's are frothing at the mouth trying to hack down everything in sight also.

* With just enough 'awareness' not to try and turn a friend into hamburger. Or just aware enough of self not to push themselves into death, unless they want to.


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Rage, along with Barbarian, is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, it deals with emotion, but it doesn't hinder tactical thinking. It interferes with tasks that require patience and concentration like picking a lock or casting a spell, but that's it. It doesn't turn you into a slathering idiot. It's probably a better idea to think of it as "battle trance" rather than "rage". The "recklessness" of the state is reflected in the AC penalty; that's all. You are putting more focus into attack than you are into defense, but you can still think tactically, consider flanking position, and even retreat if the need arises. Hell, there are even rage powers concerned with climbing and flying; tasks which demand tactical awareness. Even the Wild Rager who's rage can impose confusion doesn't lose tactical awareness outright. He may be inconvenienced by confusion at an inopportune moment, but at times where he is lucid, he functions like any other raging Barb who, in turn, functions like any other martial save for the inability to cast spells or do patience-related tasks.


Rage only forbids specifically what it says in the description.

Raging Barbarians can ...
Fight defensively
Use Total Defense
Retreat
Withdraw and go hang out near the cleric
Use combat maneuvers
Drink a potion
Delay an action
Ready an action
Use Combat Expertise
Tell friend from foe
Keep their mind on an objective
Speak coherently
Listen and comprehend


Zhayne is right. The rage description only restricts using "any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration."

The difference is probably in the GM's interpretation of "ability that requires patience or concentration".


Yeah, the only really questionable part of what is restricted is "requires patience or concentration". But tactics do not necessarily require either.

But barbarians are not the hulk. They don't turn into some crazed mouth frothing moron.

Liberty's Edge

Claxon wrote:
They don't go "full retard".

Please don't use that phrase. It is pretty offensive.


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RedDogMT wrote:
Please don't use that phrase. It is pretty offensive.

Fine. Edited.


I might say that "hanging out near the cleric" and waiting for the enemy to attack requires patience. Choosing to defend the cleric actively, not so much.


Gwen Smith wrote:

Zhayne is right. The rage description only restricts using "any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration."

The difference is probably in the GM's interpretation of "ability that requires patience or concentration".

This.

And if you want you can take traits or feats for some skills to use them while raging.
-coherent rage
-wisdom in the flesh
-some feat from the ACG. Forgot the name.


daimaru wrote:
I might say that "hanging out near the cleric" and waiting for the enemy to attack requires patience. Choosing to defend the cleric actively, not so much.

That is not an ability, so it is exempt from the clause 'any ability that requires patience'.


Zhayne wrote:
daimaru wrote:
I might say that "hanging out near the cleric" and waiting for the enemy to attack requires patience. Choosing to defend the cleric actively, not so much.
That is not an ability, so it is exempt from the clause 'any ability that requires patience'.

Sounds reasonable.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
RedDogMT wrote:
Claxon wrote:
They don't go "full retard".
Please don't use that phrase. It is pretty offensive.

I use the term "temporary mental retardation".

Still, this is not what Rage is.


Rage is not brain damage. I'm not sure why so many people seem to think it is.


Warpers are meant to have insane tunnel vision.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Mutagen is a little bit this, as it actually decreases mental scores, but not really.

You don't have any restriction on skills, or abilities that require concentration though.

Wild Rager's Uncontrolled Rage is the only thing that really creates anything close to this.


Gwen Smith wrote:

Zhayne is right. The rage description only restricts using "any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration."

The difference is probably in the GM's interpretation of "ability that requires patience or concentration".

One of my players and I alternate DMing and he house rules that Sneak Attack requires concentration to aim for a vital location and won't let the Barbarian/Rogue sneak attack while raging.

I allow it in mine, because, you know-RAW.

Shadow Lodge

Rage does hamper the character a little bit, but it's specific as to how it does that.

Nothing else applies.

Shadow Lodge

FrozenLaughs wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:
The difference is probably in the GM's interpretation of "ability that requires patience or concentration".
One of my players and I alternate DMing and he house rules that Sneak Attack requires concentration to aim for a vital location and won't let the Barbarian/Rogue sneak attack while raging.

You could similarly argue that rage gives the character more focus to sneak attack the source of his rage.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
FrozenLaughs wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:

Zhayne is right. The rage description only restricts using "any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration."

The difference is probably in the GM's interpretation of "ability that requires patience or concentration".

One of my players and I alternate DMing and he house rules that Sneak Attack requires concentration to aim for a vital location and won't let the Barbarian/Rogue sneak attack while raging.

I allow it in mine, because, you know-RAW.

Really?

Being in a murderous rage, makes you more likely to not hurt someone?

Can you only do nonlethal during rage?

I mean, if you are more likely to not hit vital spots, then your hits are more likely to be less lethal.

Does he allow nonlethal during Rage?


Oh yeah, add 'deal nonlethal damage without a Merciful weapon' to my list above.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Profession skills can be used as well.

This makes for some awesome Sea Captains.


No, he just envisions rage as the Conan the Barbarian murderous Frenzied Berserker rage where you fight anything in your way until either they're dead, or you are.

I see it as more of an adrenaline rush where the fight or flight instinct kicks in and you fight until you have nothing left, or the same surge that happens when you pick a car up off your kid.

He argues that sneak attack requires extensive training and knowledge in things like anatomy, as well as tactical strategy and focus, all of which are Intelligence based. He's very... difficult to work with at times.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I feel your pain. I have had similar experiences, with past DMs.


I have seen real world rage in action.

Story:

It was after school, we kids were on our way home with our bikes. One older guy, who had repeated several grades was bullying other kids and especially harassing one kid. At a crossroads the smaller kid (an overweight kid of medium size, over a head smaller than the bully) got of his bike and engaged the bully. They were fighting hard and while the big one was clearly stronger he reacted to strikes that hit him. Not so the smaller one. He fought with reckless abandon, giving and taking blows. At one time he landed a serious knee in the groin which felled the bigger guy.
Seemingly despite his rage the kid could/would not attack the prone/helpless bully and instead completely trashed his bike. He jumped on the tires, lifted it up, just to kick it down again like a madman.
Then, when the bully got back to his feet the small kid charged back to start beating him up again.
Shortly after that an adult came and made the two stop their fight and head their way. The small kid drove away while the bully had to carry his trashed bike home.

The smaller kid was well liked, had good marks, especially in something I'd translate as conduct/demeanor. But he sometimes lost it when he had to fight.
If I remember right the small kid was 10 at that time, the large one 13 or 14.

My main point: He could aim for "weak spots" like the groin, he could decide not to attack a downed guy but he was absolutely careless about being hit. Did not even seem to notice.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Umbranus wrote:

I have seen real world rage in action.

** spoiler omitted **

My main point: He could aim for "weak spots" like the groin, he could decide not to attack a downed guy but he was absolutely careless about being hit. Did not even seem to notice.

Ugh, that gives me terrible flashbacks.


Were you the kid that got kicked in the nards?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Were you the kid that got kicked in the nards?

Sort of. I got bullied a lot, and "won" a number of fights, by just having a very high pain tolerance, and would just stand there, and get punched. Some of those times, I would get kicked in the groin, and it didn't quite hurt me, like it did others. Most of time, this just really pissed off those who were bullying me even more, and they would walk away, as punching me, wasn't getting the results they were looking for.

What got me, is his description of the kid finally losing it, and fighting the bully, with reckless abandon, and it reminded me of the very rare times, when I would fight back. I don't remember the actual incidents, as I would black out. Those incidents scared the crap out of me, as the sheer lack of personal safety, and raw violence, at least, as described by others, was so out of control, I had a very real possibility of leaving others, and myself, with permanent physical damage, and possibly prison time, for assault, or worse.

I have since learned to stop these incidents from happening, but even now, years, and years later, those moments haunt me.

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