When do you guys throw ragers at a party?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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So rage is a scary thing for me. +2 to hit, +3 to damage, and +2 HP per hit die ain't exactly something you can just throw at your party without much thought, especially at low levels with low HP on the party and they don't have any will saves to throw at their enemies.

Basically what I want to know from other DMs is at what levels do you bring out enemies with rage and what do you usually have them as in terms of being a mook, miniboss, or big boss?


early level bosses, mid level "mook leader"


First encounters mooks (plural) - show 'em I'm not messing around ;)

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Alchemists can get +4 Strength and +2 Natural Armor at level 1 for 10 minutes, bards grant +1 attack and damage to all nearby allies, skalds cause their allies to rage, antipaladins have Smite Good - the list goes on. Every class has an ability that can be dangerous at lower levels if used carelessly. One way to use Rage without overdoing it is to make the barbarian someone who normally has lower Strength, such as a 12-14. This makes them a more memorable fight rather than just a mook.


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Whenever it's appropriate to the scenario and the NPCs/villains. Sometimes that's in the early encounters, sometimes it's in the middle, sometimes at the end, and sometimes throughout the entire campaign.


At high levels (6-10), when the PCs get overconfident, you make a bunch of NPC barbarians who spent every feat on extra rage powers, and only took the linorm death curse rage powers, because there isn't a rule that says you can't apply more than one per death.


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No, no. You make a bunch of NPC skalds who took all of the linnorm death curse rage powers and apply them to hordes of weak summoned monsters. Plus several bags full of hedgehogs to really mess with any PC casters who get a bit trigger-happy with their area spells.


What I really want to know is if you can get more death curses via Extra Rage Power.


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It is no longer politically acceptable to throw bloodragers or dwarves. Please use small children instead.


LuniasM wrote:
Alchemists can get +4 Strength and +2 Natural Armor at level 1 for 10 minutes, bards grant +1 attack and damage to all nearby allies, skalds cause their allies to rage, antipaladins have Smite Good - the list goes on. Every class has an ability that can be dangerous at lower levels if used carelessly. One way to use Rage without overdoing it is to make the barbarian someone who normally has lower Strength, such as a 12-14. This makes them a more memorable fight rather than just a mook.

I know, it's just that one in particular just had scarier fangs compared to some of the other features. And the lower strength bit is interesting, I'll have to try it sometime myself.


Luna - Ragers are handleable by low level parties just fine. There are tons of strategies to deal with them *and* they have lowered ACs


I think you should feel free to use raging foes when their CR is appropriate. I've frequently used variations on a build with a few levels of Polearm Master and the rest in Barbarian to make dangerous mooks.

As for lower Str Barbarians, since the Unchained Barbarian gets flat bonuses to attack and damage rather than a Str boost it works fine with Dex based characters (especially goblins)

@Avoron - Masses of mooks with death curses seems kind of brilliant in an evil way. I used to have necromancers in 3.5 take a feat called Destruction Retribution which caused the undead they created to explode for AoE damage when destroyed. The players loved to hate that power.


My Self wrote:
What I really want to know is if you can get more death curses via Extra Rage Power.

current indications show that extra rage powers aren't given out during your song


The low levels are just swingy and characters are generally just one lucky/unlucky roll away from death in any given encounter. Mid-level boss and high level mooks would probably work best.


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HyperMissingno wrote:

So rage is a scary thing for me. +2 to hit, +3 to damage, and +2 HP per hit die ain't exactly something you can just throw at your party without much thought, especially at low levels with low HP on the party and they don't have any will saves to throw at their enemies.

Basically what I want to know from other DMs is at what levels do you bring out enemies with rage and what do you usually have them as in terms of being a mook, miniboss, or big boss?

Depends on how optimized the players are. For beginners, I'd wait until at least 3rd level, maybe 4th, as the PCs ought to have enough HP and resources to avoid death. If we're talking about optimized PFS-type players though...a 2nd level party will make a mess out of a 3rd-4th level Barbarian. Hell, a 1st-level party might do it; they have access to Sleep and weapons with an X3 crit multiplier.

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