Barb DR is pretty pathetic


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


No, really.
1 point at level 7 makes no difference.
5 points at level 20 means you might survive the TPK one round longer than everyone else. Two if you're super-lucky. But it won't swing the fight in your favor.

There's a reason most Barbs go Invulnerable Rager - Because it turns flimsy DR into DR you aren't embarrassed by.

So, that being said... Would it even be all that unbalanced to just change the standard Barb DR scale to work like the Invuln Rager scale, and just award 1 point every other level?

Sczarni

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Then what would be the use of the invuln rager then?


i think that is what OP is saying get rid of invulnerable rager make DR on every odd level don't get rid of anything and then your Barbarian has a ton more flavorful options since it no longer has to worry about mixing archetypes

Liberty's Edge

If you're a disciple of CharOp-fu Invulnerable Rager is the default barbarian.


Neo2151 wrote:

No, really.

1 point at level 7 makes no difference.
5 points at level 20 means you might survive the TPK one round longer than everyone else. Two if you're super-lucky. But it won't swing the fight in your favor.

Agreed. 1 point of DR at level 7 is the kind of ability I'll be looking to trade away, because I don't want to deal with that piddly BS at the table.


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You're right that it's basically worthless without Invulnerable Rager. Let people take Invulnerable Rager. No you shouldn't just give it to them for free. Arguably the Barbarian is the pinnacle of martial might. He get's better toys than everyone else, no reason to start giving him more toys he doesn't need to pay for.


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If 1 point of DR is useless, then so is having d12 instead of d10 for HP - by 7th level that adds up to 8 HP (on average).

At 7th level the same barbarian gets 1 DR. If he's fighting several smaller enemies with multiple attacks, that DR might stop at least 8 HP (1 HP per attack for 8 petty attacks, or more). If he's fighting one huge BBEG, that DR might only apply a few times (1 HP per attack for just 2-3 big nasty attacks).

If the fights are longer, and if the barbarian is receiving some healing, even if it's only occasional or between fights, and if there are multiple fights in the same day, then that barbarian might see 20-30 HP absorbed by his DR during an adventuring day, maybe more than that. But he still only has 8 extra HP from that d12.

If nothing else, it saves 5 or 6 charges from the Wand of Cure Light Wounds every day.


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Or to put it another way, it all adds up. d12 instead of d10 is a tiny benefit. 1 point of DR is a tiny benefit. Together, they're small benefit - but hey, small is bigger than tiny, right?

Does every class ability have to make the player say "Wow, that's AMAZING!!!" or is it OK to have 1 or 2 really good abilities and still have a few tiny benefits?


And then there's the "Increased DR" rage power thing.


A handy aspect of DR at 20th level is you become effectively immune to low-level enemies. That's more-or-less nothing, "practically speaking", but it's a cool ability to have that really shows how far you've come. You can just stand still in a sea of goblins and watch them futilely try to cut you to ribbons. The fighter still has to worry about natural 20s.

Any DR is really fun if you're facing an army of archers, for instance. Watch a hundred arrows bounce off your bare chest!


Always thought that's why the lich gets DR/magic.

At that level, with him at least being an 11th level caster, there's no way that the PC's don't have a magic weapon.

No, it's meant to defend from the rabble that rise to take him out with their non-masterwork light crossbows and pitchforks.


Exactly. It won't help you in the bossfight, but if you're dealing with a horde of mind-controlled villagers (or normal villagers and you did something murderhoboly to them), that DR 1/- adds up.

Sovereign Court

bigrig107 wrote:

Always thought that's why the lich gets DR/magic.

At that level, with him at least being an 11th level caster, there's no way that the PC's don't have a magic weapon.

No, it's meant to defend from the rabble that rise to take him out with their non-masterwork light crossbows and pitchforks.

Same thing only moreso with dragons. Without said DR/magic, 'Smaug' can't make flyby attacks over towns which have several hundred archers in them. Even just 400 farmers with regular longbows and no relevant feats would deal 99 damage per turn on 20's. As it stands - only the average of one crit/round stands a chance of hurting them.

That's actually why cities/towns put up with mage guilds in my world. They all have armories full of Acid Arrow wands of various elemental flavors. Where even a couple thousand regular archers fail against said dragon, a couple score wizard apprentices firing wands from arrow-loops etc (for +8 reflex and improved evasion) succeed.

Against a Great Wyrm red - it has a touch AC of 0 - and they're no good ways to boost it more than a few points outside of a monk level (which would be lame!). 40 level 3 castings of Acid Arrow/turn would hit 38 times for 199.5 damage the first turn - with equal damage the next turn from those same spells (1.5x as much if cold damage). Not to mention whatever the higher ranking mage guild members do. Said CR 22 critter isn't likely to survive said city assault. And frankly - that tactic works to some degree against most giant monster threats.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
A handy aspect of DR at 20th level is you become effectively immune to low-level enemies. That's more-or-less nothing, "practically speaking", but it's a cool ability to have that really shows how far you've come. You can just stand still in a sea of goblins and watch them futilely try to cut you to ribbons. The fighter still has to worry about natural 20s.

Why does the fighter have to worry? She'll have DR 5/- along with the barbarian thanks to armor mastery.


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The Barbarian can do it without pathetic crutches like armor.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
The Barbarian can do it without pathetic crutches like armor.

Why your barbarian gotta be all elitist?!?! Fighters have feelings too.


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You're missing the most practical benefit from the barbarian's point of view: DR 1/- means no more bug and vermin bites, ever. Mosquitos, bedbugs, lice, or leeches, it doesn't matter. The 7th level barbarian is the most comfortable guy in the camp, bar none. For the first time in his entire unhygienic life, he DOESN'T ITCH. At all. Let's see a puny extra feat match that!

Silver Crusade

Feral wrote:
If you're a disciple of CharOp-fu Invulnerable Rager is the default barbarian.

It REALLY is.

On topic, Barb doesn't NEED better DR, and having to pay an archetype to get it is fine. Hell, you can build on it too with Stalwart (improved), and end up getting DR equal to your level if you take it with Combat Expertise. DR 20/- at level 20 is awesome!


bittergeek wrote:
You're missing the most practical benefit from the barbarian's point of view: DR 1/- means no more bug and vermin bites, ever. Mosquitos, bedbugs, lice, or leeches, it doesn't matter. The 7th level barbarian is the most comfortable guy in the camp, bar none. For the first time in his entire unhygienic life, he DOESN'T ITCH. At all. Let's see a puny extra feat match that!

And then a mosquito swarm shows up and the barbarian starts to cry.

Oh, wait. He probably has a breath weapon.


Or Hive Totem.


Remember back in 3rd when creeping doom had 1000 pests do a point of damage each totally 1000 damage and barbarians were like...oh that's cute. But I'm level 7. So I ignore that.

Oh 3rd.

Unchained barbarians with improved DR rage powers can ignore most attacks offhand with even minor investments. If that interests you then go that route. Barbarians are suited well to use Cleave and wipe out large groups of smaller enemies. They ignore large portions of damage and keep moving forward. Excellent at clean up. This helps that. It's perfectly fine.

Even the lack of being flanked tells you this is a great tactic.


N. Jolly wrote:
Feral wrote:
If you're a disciple of CharOp-fu Invulnerable Rager is the default barbarian.

It REALLY is.

On topic, Barb doesn't NEED better DR, and having to pay an archetype to get it is fine. Hell, you can build on it too with Stalwart (improved), and end up getting DR equal to your level if you take it with Combat Expertise. DR 20/- at level 20 is awesome!

Don't forget your +6 DR from Dragon Totem.


bigrig107 wrote:

Always thought that's why the lich gets DR/magic.

At that level, with him at least being an 11th level caster, there's no way that the PC's don't have a magic weapon.

No, it's meant to defend from the rabble that rise to take him out with their non-masterwork light crossbows and pitchforks.

Well, that and the fact that I am pretty sure it can cause trouble for underequipped/buffed animal companions and summoned animals from SNA.

So nice against those pesky druids saying "Oh, you can't turn all the animals in the forest into an undead army" or "oh, you can't eat the lifeforce of this land in your bid to gain god-like powers".

They are just so annoying. The paladin at least gives a little amusement when you start using hostages, and he has to wonder whether he will fall.


DM_Blake wrote:

Or to put it another way, it all adds up. d12 instead of d10 is a tiny benefit. 1 point of DR is a tiny benefit. Together, they're small benefit - but hey, small is bigger than tiny, right?

Does every class ability have to make the player say "Wow, that's AMAZING!!!" or is it OK to have 1 or 2 really good abilities and still have a few tiny benefits?

Does it have to? No. Should it? Probably. I mean, is there any good reason why secondary or defensive class features shouldn't be as useful as the primary ones, if perhaps less flashy / prominent? Spell-casting is the primary class feature of clerics and wizards and it's awesome enough that at odd levels they (usually) get nothing else. Channel energy and spontaneous casting and domains are still really good for clerics, though, while arcane bond and bonus-feats/arcane discoveries are great for wizards. These are awesome secondary class features, so clearly Paizo believes that's possible and makes it so in some cases. Why not here as well?


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Personally, I consider all barbarians with the exception of invulnerable rager to be suicide bombers: they do a ton of damage and die really fast. My personal opinion is IR is the only survivable barb. Can you blame people for choosing the archetype most likely to survive?


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Cerberus Seven wrote:
Does every class ability have to make the player say "Wow, that's AMAZING!!!" or is it OK to have 1 or 2 really good abilities and still have a few tiny benefits?
Does it have to? No. Should it? Probably. I mean, is there any good reason why secondary or defensive class features shouldn't be as useful as the primary ones, if perhaps less flashy / prominent?

That's patently not true.

If it were true, then every class would have the same number of equally useful abilities. You know what edition that describes, and you know how well that worked out.

It should be possible, for example, to build one class that has a single super great class ability and nothing else. And right next to him is a class that has two abilities that are each about half as great. Right next to that guy is a class with four abilities that are each 1/4 as great as the first guy. And somewhere in between is a guy with one good ability, 1 OK ability, and six weak abilities. And so on.

It SHOULD be possible to build all those classes AND balance them.

Whether Pathfinder succeeded at building and balancing all their classes is a separate question - at the high end of game design theory, it should be possible to do it.

But if you apply your limitation that every ability should be equally awesome, then you have to pick an ideal number of abilities (for example, three) and then have each and every class become a cookie-cutter class with three abilities that are equally balanced.

That is way too limited and way too boring.

This game and the people who developed it, even long before Paizo, decided to expand the possibilities and allow for classes that have lots of little abilities and classes that have few big abilities, and then set out to balance that. For better or worse.

We can discuss all day the various successes and failures of class balance, but I think it's pretty much an obvious conclusion that more game design options is better than fewer options, which means that the option to have a balanced class with lots of weaker abilities is one option that should not be excluded.

Cerberus Seven wrote:
Spell-casting is the primary class feature of clerics and wizards and it's awesome enough that at odd levels they (usually) get nothing else. Channel energy and spontaneous casting and domains are still really good for clerics, though, while arcane bond and bonus-feats/arcane discoveries are great for wizards. These are awesome secondary class features, so clearly Paizo believes that's possible and makes it so in some cases. Why not here as well?

And yet, wizards have basically two class features. Spells and arcane bond. Barbarians have at least 7 class features depending on how you count them.

By your suggestion, if wizards are a good class, then barbarians should only have two class features that are as good as the wizard's two. Or if barbarians are a good class, then wizards need five more class features.

Or are you suggesting that all 7 barbarian class features should be as awesome and game changing as wizard spellcasting? Surely you don't want that, to make barbarians 3.5x MORE awesome than wizards?

Paizo ahs decided that it's OK for one class to have two class features and another class to have 7, as long as the class with 7 has some smaller ones that are not really that terrific.

And Paizo is right. It makes the classes more interesting and it makes many things possible that would not be possible your way. Balance between the classes is far from perfect, that's for sure, but the design theory is still correct.


DM_Blake wrote:
A bunch of stuff.

Here's the thing about your Barb/Wizard comparison though: When equally built, the Wizard is always superior to the Barb. The "7 abilities" the Barb has don't compare to the "2 abilities" the Wizard has.

You don't have to design each class identically in order to achieve balance (ie: your suggestion about every class being designed, instead, with three abilities, and it's similarity to the failed 4th Edition.)
But what you *do* have to do, is build every class in a way that, when you combine all of the various moving parts of that class, the overall power level you come out with is similar across the board.

Wizards of the Coast failed at that.
Paizo has taken Wizard's failed forumla and run with it, without making enough changes to compensate, so it continues to fail. (Hence how Martial/Caster disparity has been an issue for several decades, and no end to it can be seen in the immediate future. But that's for another topic.)

If the Barb abilities, all "7" of them added up, come to "10" in power, than the Wizard's "2" abilities come to "15."
I don't see what's wrong with suggesting that some of the variables in the Barb equation be raised so that their end number comes closer to the Wizard end number.

Hopefully that made sense. =P

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Rynjin wrote:
Or Hive Totem.

The rare hive totem barbarian sighting? Take a photo, quick!


I think I may have given you the wrong impression earlier. Class features don't have to be all "WOW AWESOME", my mistake for apparently conveying that. The distinction here is between power and usefulness, which aren't the same thing. Many domain powers aren't immensely powerful, but they're often very handy to have. Arcane Bond is not amazing potent, but it's useful as hell because you can pull out a spell 1/day that might save your ass. That's why I said these things don't have to be equally powerful / flashy. A fighter's level 3 and 7 armor training is good because it does more than just apply a tiny numbers modification. Same thing with a barbarian's tireless rage or a monk's high jump. The common element here is that these give the classes new options or remove baseline restrictions, not just pump up numbers a little bit. That's usefulness, not power. THAT'S what the game needs and what too many class abilities otherwise fail to do. That's why a new level of spell-casting tends to be so powerful, it opens up so many options to the character even if none of them are the equivalent of an 'I WIN' button.

Full-disclosure here, I actually think full-casters should have MORE class abilities (perhaps in exchange for leveling off the higher-end impact of some of their spells) to make them more versatile. As it stands, put a full arcane caster in an area where they have trouble using their spells and they kinda suck. Things like Arcane Blast and Arcane Shield should really be built into the wizard class, imho, just to give them extra options in addition to their spells and school abilities. Plus, putting everything into their spellcasting class ability gives virtually no room for trading out class features with new and interesting archetypes. Take a look at the number of archetypes available for full-casters vs. other classes and what they trade out, one list is smaller and more consistent/boring in what it loses than the other (rogues are kinda the exception).

I also think you're mistaken in your appraisal of Paizo's class design philosophy. I believe the ACG laid out their thinking by stating that a new level of spell-casting is equivalent to a new class ability (and a powerful one at that), so that's why full casters typically get nothing else at that level. So really, wizards don't get two class features, they get ten. You might add a variable amount more if you count bonus feats/discoveries, some of which are really damned good, *cough* True Name *cough*. Of course, this was from the same book that described the rogue as the most skilled class because they get the most skill ranks, so that may not be the best source of design philosophy.

Lastly, that veiled jab at 4E. Look into 5th edition if you get the chance. The classes have been overhauled to look and feel a lot like their third edition cousins, but their features all tend to be interesting and useful, with the actual impact level at any given moment for them varying but few tending towards near-uselessness. So, I don't think the idea that trying to make classes have class features that are at least all useful is necessarily valid.


I Think the barbarian DR is fine. It is a Nice ability that scales with level and it is not actually changing the Way the game works.
In some figths it Will be important and in some not so much. both uncanny Dodge and DR are Nice abillities and to get them both is sweet for a normal barbarian. If you want more just spend the feats and rage powers. More DR for barbarians is not on any to do lists in my game fix ideas.


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Neo2151 wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
A bunch of stuff.

Here's the thing about your Barb/Wizard comparison though: When equally built, the Wizard is always superior to the Barb. The "7 abilities" the Barb has don't compare to the "2 abilities" the Wizard has.

You don't have to design each class identically in order to achieve balance (ie: your suggestion about every class being designed, instead, with three abilities, and it's similarity to the failed 4th Edition.)
But what you *do* have to do, is build every class in a way that, when you combine all of the various moving parts of that class, the overall power level you come out with is similar across the board.

Wizards of the Coast failed at that.
Paizo has taken Wizard's failed forumla and run with it, without making enough changes to compensate, so it continues to fail. (Hence how Martial/Caster disparity has been an issue for several decades, and no end to it can be seen in the immediate future. But that's for another topic.)

If the Barb abilities, all "7" of them added up, come to "10" in power, than the Wizard's "2" abilities come to "15."
I don't see what's wrong with suggesting that some of the variables in the Barb equation be raised so that their end number comes closer to the Wizard end number.

Hopefully that made sense. =P

Stop bringing up specific class balance. I agreed with you before you even responded. Classes are not balanced.

Nothing in my post was about the balance of the actual existing classes.

All I am saying is that it SHOULD be possible to balance a class with one ability against a class with 7 abilities, as long as those 7 abilities collectively equal ABOUT the same power/usefulness as the one ability of the other class.

Your original post that all class abilities should be amazing would make creating classes with different numbers of abilities impossible - every class would require the same number of equally amazing abilities to be balanced, and that would make it impossible to have classes with different numbers of abilities.

By being able to have classes with more abilities that are less-than-amazing, the developers have options to make more interesting classes.

Having those options is a good thing. What Paizo did with those options is certainly flawed, but that doesn't invalidate the option.


Petty Alchemy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Or Hive Totem.
The rare hive totem barbarian sighting? Take a photo, quick!

You got a problem with Hive Totem? You wanna go?

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