Any way to NOT "Hulk-smash" your allies?


Rules Questions

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Ok, the vigilante gets an archetype called the Brute, which is basically a reference to the Hulk. You get a transformation into a larger creature and deals tons of raw damage, except that you're a little... frenzied...

Yeah, that's my major issue here: the Brute is VERY similar to a PrC back in D&D 3.5 known as the Frenzied Berserker. The Frenzied Berserker was a Barbarian PrC which you received a Frenzy. Frenzy was an upgrade to your Barbarian Rage, except that after each fight you had to roll in order to calm down or else you could end up killing your own allies.

I see similarities to the Brute as of now, so I was wondering if there was something to prevent that. I'm a little surprised that the Brute doesn't get a Talent related to that, like a high-level talent which he learned how to control his Brute Form, only saving to avoid hurting others if he unwillingly transformed.


You generally don't get a class feature designed to negate the weakness of your class.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You generally don't get a class feature designed to negate the weakness of your class.

- Magi can cast spell in heavier armors

- Kineticists can reduce Burn
- Vigilantes can reduce the transformation time
- Monks can bypass certain damage reductions with their unarmed strikes


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Improved iron will and your teammates take skill focus.

Gotta do it the Scarlett Johannson way.


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P.S.

Failing that, another teammate should be able to take you down if necessary. AKA The Tony Stark way.


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TempusAvatar wrote:

P.S.

Failing that, another teammate should be able to take you down if necessary. AKA The Tony Stark way.

Or the Stephen Strange way, depending on if you have a wizard in the party.

Probably would be more effective.


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or the Mister Fantastic Way and send you to another planet


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Blackvial wrote:
or the Mister Fantastic Way and send you to another planet

And nothing bad ever resulted from that decision.


Blackvial wrote:
or the Mister Fantastic Way and send you to another planet

Yeah, but didn't he come back and beat up everybody? Not such a fantastic result.

Maybe you should just Superman it, and laugh off the hits with your incredible AC. It happened in a crossover. Not a regular occurrence.

Or multiclass into Barbarian (Wild Rager) and Alchemist (Ragechemist) and pick up a Berserking Sword for maximum volatility.


Ragechemist is a god option, your party can just back off until you fall into a coma.


I haven't read the class yet, so I have no idea if it would work, but...would a Wand of Calm Emotions do the trick?


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JiCi wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You generally don't get a class feature designed to negate the weakness of your class.

- Magi can cast spell in heavier armors

- Kineticists can reduce Burn
- Vigilantes can reduce the transformation time
- Monks can bypass certain damage reductions with their unarmed strikes

-Armor isn't a weakness of Magus

-Reduce is not eliminate and you still NEED burn to fuel things like Overflow
-DR is not a weakness of Monk but ALL weapon using classes

Can't bring myself to care to read Vigilante... but they do have an archetype to be a Magical Girl...


Ventnor wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
or the Mister Fantastic Way and send you to another planet
And nothing bad ever resulted from that decision.

Actually the problem was including the bomb on board that was meant to kill the Hulk.

I guess Dr. Strange forgot to mention the results of his attempt to exile the Hulk to the Crossroads Dimension.


At the very least, even if you get enraged against your will you always can attack your enemies first. You're not "forced" to turn on your allies until there's nothing else available to punch.


Take Iron Will. The Indomitable Faith trait and be a dual minded half elf. That lets you pass your will save on a 15 at 1 with 10 wisdom and unless you want to pump that stat that's the best you can do.

Ventnor wrote:
And nothing bad ever resulted from that decision.

Luckily unlike The Hulk Brute vigilantes aren't actually that scary in the first place.

That's the problem with talking about mitigating the weaknesses of the brute like there's some sort of meaningful tradeoff there. In the end a Brute is effectively just an archetype that gets a worse version of rage and a free enlarge that admittedly can be better than the original if you build for it.

They don't even get real full BAB.

From a roleplaying perspective while it's okay for some people, you have to be aware that the only version of the hulk this archetype supports is the mindless beast. A lot of people like that version of the hulk, so that's fine, but if you want any of the moments from the movies or comics where the hulk hesitates or befriends someone or gets talked into a less violent course of action you're out of luck. You fail your will save and murder your friends or succeed and change back. There's no middle ground for the Brute.


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Sort of an aside to the discussion, but there is a close approximation of the Frenzied Berserker prestige class that's a barbarian archetype, called the wild rager. It's from Ultimate Combat.


Step 1) Identify weakest save. Most likely either reflex or will depending on the build.

Step 2) Target that save with a spell to disable them for the foreseeable future, such as wall of stone to trap them or hold person to keep them from moving.


Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You generally don't get a class feature designed to negate the weakness of your class.

- Magi can cast spell in heavier armors

- Kineticists can reduce Burn
- Vigilantes can reduce the transformation time
- Monks can bypass certain damage reductions with their unarmed strikes

-Armor isn't a weakness of Magus

-Reduce is not eliminate and you still NEED burn to fuel things like Overflow
-DR is not a weakness of Monk but ALL weapon using classes

- Arcane Spell Failure... for an arcane spellcaster... is ALWAYS a weakness.

- By 20th level, you can reduce the Burn cost by 6 points for infusions, Supercharge by 2 or 3 points, Metakinecist by 1 point and Composite Blasts by 1 points. You can basically avoid Burning 10 Burn points in one Blast.
- A monk's unarmed strike cannot be made into special materials, so being able to bypass certain damage reductions is a plus.

Arachnofiend wrote:
At the very least, even if you get enraged against your will you always can attack your enemies first. You're not "forced" to turn on your allies until there's nothing else available to punch.
Ultimate Intrigue, p.54 wrote:
While he still attacks enemies preferentially during a battle, when there are no more enemies around, each round he must succeed at a Will save (DC = 20 + 1/2 his vigilante level) or continue fighting against his allies or bystanders.

That's the major issue.

Ashram wrote:
Sort of an aside to the discussion, but there is a close approximation of the Frenzied Berserker prestige class that's a barbarian archetype, called the wild rager. It's from Ultimate Combat.

The Uncontrollable Rage hits only when you're at 0 hit point of fewer; the Brute Form is always active.


JiCi wrote:
Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You generally don't get a class feature designed to negate the weakness of your class.

- Magi can cast spell in heavier armors

- Kineticists can reduce Burn
- Vigilantes can reduce the transformation time
- Monks can bypass certain damage reductions with their unarmed strikes

-Armor isn't a weakness of Magus

-Reduce is not eliminate and you still NEED burn to fuel things like Overflow
-DR is not a weakness of Monk but ALL weapon using classes

- Arcane Spell Failure... for an arcane spellcaster... is ALWAYS a weakness.

- By 20th level, you can reduce the Burn cost by 6 points for infusions, Supercharge by 2 or 3 points, Metakinecist by 1 point and Composite Blasts by 1 points. You can basically avoid Burning 10 Burn points in one Blast.
- A monk's unarmed strike cannot be made into special materials, so being able to bypass certain damage reductions is a plus.

-That's a trait in all arcane casters, not a weakness of Magus.

-All that reduction and you still need to take burn for Overflow and advancing the benefit of defenses.
-They can pike up a Monk weapon made out of any material they need but it's still a weakness of martial classes, not the Monk itself


Oh good grief, I remember playing with a guy who had Babaian/Frienzied Berserker/War Hulk. He killed the group so many times. CampinCarl had the best idea, using the weakest save to disable the char. It would be the most consistant way. Worst come to worst, talk to the DM & get an item made that helps.


Also a grappling specialist could lock them down. Remember AC penalties apply to CMD, so barbarians actually have not-great CMDs.

Also, any player that builds this character should be talked to. The only time I ever build a frenzied berserker style character is either 1) The game is trolly and I want to troll, or 2) All of the players are sick of the campaign but the GM won't change anything so I force a TPK.


JiCi wrote:


Ashram wrote:
Sort of an aside to the discussion, but there is a close approximation of the Frenzied Berserker prestige class that's a barbarian archetype, called the wild rager. It's from Ultimate Combat.
The Uncontrollable Rage hits only when you're at 0 hit point of fewer; the Brute Form is always active.

Not really: It is when the enemy is at 0.

Spoiler:

A wild rager's rage functions as normal, except that when she reduces a creature to 0 or fewer hit points, she must attempt a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the barbarian's level + the barbarian's Constitution modifier) or become confused. For the remainder of her current turn, she attacks the nearest creature other than herself. On the following round, refer to the confusion spell to determine her actions. At the end of this round, and each round thereafter, she can attempt a new saving throw to end the confusion effect. The rounds during which she is confused do not count against the rounds she has spent raging that day, but she cannot end her rage voluntarily, nor can she use rage powers while confused.

But really 2 levels Wild Raqer is useful for extra attk.
I'd avoid Rage Chem as it is only +2 Str.

Pro of Brute: Full BAB for attacking (well if in Vigilante form equal to level), better Fort saves,
Gets a loose Weapon training at 5 level, 13, 19 with all weapons (not called weapon training but acts like it)
Cons: use regular BAB for qualifying (but better BAB for Power Attack bonuses, etc),
No enemies seen need Will save or attack enemies. But can be calmed down.

Combining the two means you have to make a will save more often, but really helps with extra attacks.


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Carry a few Bag of Tricks around....


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Also a grappling specialist could lock them down. Remember AC penalties apply to CMD, so barbarians actually have not-great CMDs.

Huh? Rage is CMD net-neutral, until higher levels when it's a CMD buff. Variant rages are often straight CMD buffs, such as the Savage Technologist's rage, the Urban Barbarian's STR or DEX rages, and the Stalwart Defender's rage-like Defensive Stance.


But what kind of halfway decent barbarian doesn't use reckless abandon? :P


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
But what kind of halfway decent barbarian doesn't use reckless abandon? :P

Fair enough.


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Have allies that can cast Summon to get a few more "targets" for you as speed bumps until you calm down.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:

Also a grappling specialist could lock them down. Remember AC penalties apply to CMD, so barbarians actually have not-great CMDs.

Also, any player that builds this character should be talked to. The only time I ever build a frenzied berserker style character is either 1) The game is trolly and I want to troll, or 2) All of the players are sick of the campaign but the GM won't change anything so I force a TPK.

The [other] major issue I have with the Brute is that... it's a very inticing powerhouse. Sure, you may think that Unarmed Strikes are awful, but a human Brute hits as hard as a Large monk. While it can't flurry, TWF can easily wreck any opponent. Oh, and it can a ranged attack that deals scalable damage, in the form of "picking a HUGE rock and tossing it at my foes".

The thing is that unless there is at least one enemy, the Brute can still reason, but as soon as that enemy is down, he loses it... somehow. Forget the Hulk in the Avengers' cartoon, you get the usual Hulk who wrecks everything, like in the movies.

Hulk in the Avengers movies:
Yeah, yeah, I know. Hulk loses control during the helicarrier attack, but at the end, Banner gains more control over it. In Age of Ultron, he needs to be calmed down, he gets possessed by Scarlet Witch but again at the end, he can control himself better. Essentially, the Brute is missing THAT part.


Here's something I'd like to know: if there's only one enemy left as part of the encounter, can I turn back to normal, so my allies can finish it off without me going berserk?

I... don't see a rule about that, so...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Seeing as how you have to make a save to avoid transforming when a fight breaks out, and the only other time it specifically says you're allowed one is when there are no more enemies around, I would say no.


Rysky wrote:
Seeing as how you have to make a save to avoid transforming when a fight breaks out, and the only other time it specifically says you're allowed one is when there are no more enemies around, I would say no.

Hmmm... it only states "when he is in mortal peril" or "when threatened in his vigilante identity"... TBH, when you're outnumbering one enemy 4-to-1, you're... not really threatened :P

I don't see anywhere that the Brute cannot end voluntarily his transformation...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Brute Form (Ex) wrote:
While he still attacks enemies preferentially during a battle, when there are no more enemies around, each round he must succeed at a Will save (DC = 20 + 1/2 his vigilante level) or continue fighting against his allies or bystanders.

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense that it would be easier to transform back when there are enemies still around than when there's not. No matter what you as a player may think, if one enemy is still present, you're still being threatened.


JiCi wrote:

Here's something I'd like to know: if there's only one enemy left as part of the encounter, can I turn back to normal, so my allies can finish it off without me going berserk?

I... don't see a rule about that, so...

But it takes 5 minutes to turn back till you get those talents that lower it.

When you can then sure. But till then you'd stop in the middle of changing back unless killing the last foe took 5 minutes.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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JiCi wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You generally don't get a class feature designed to negate the weakness of your class.

- Magi can cast spell in heavier armors

- Kineticists can reduce Burn
- Vigilantes can reduce the transformation time
- Monks can bypass certain damage reductions with their unarmed strikes

Also, Gunslingers get multiple deeds for mitigating misfires, Fighters get Bravery to shore up their weak Will save (for what it's worth), Barbarians have AC boosting Rage Powers, etc.

I'd say it's probably much more common for classes to have ways to mitigate their weaknesses than it is for classes to have insurmountable weaknesses that become increasingly crippling.

The Brute, IMO, is a really good idea poorly executed. Not only does it actually get progressively harder to not murder your allies as you level, it misses one of the defining features of the Hulk- his ridiculous durability. The Hulk is one of the toughest characters in the Marvel Universe, but the Brute is a ridiculously fragile glass cannon who'll probably have the lowest AC in the group for the first quarter of the game while also being the biggest target.


Yea, Plus why should the party have to near constantly get the tanglefoot bags and hold person spells ready to disable?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

And so I will defend to the death that the Brute archetype is meant for NPCs/Antagonists, not Player Chaacters.


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I don't know if this is Paizo's worst archetype... But it's a serious contender for the position.


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Rysky wrote:
And so I will defend to the death that the Brute archetype is meant for NPCs/Antagonists, not Player Chaacters.

That does not justify the brute being terrible in the slightest unless the archetype writer literally couldn't figure out a reasonable way for the archetype to work for both Antagonists and PCs despite trying really, really hard.

In fact, I think it's a reasonable guideline that if it's possible to make a rules element more broadly usable without significant tradeoffs in other areas of the design, then the rules element should be more broadly usable. The brute fails miserably to live up to this guideline.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Snowblind wrote:
Rysky wrote:
And so I will defend to the death that the Brute archetype is meant for NPCs/Antagonists, not Player Chaacters.

That does not justify the brute being terrible in the slightest unless the archetype writer literally couldn't figure out a reasonable way for the archetype to work for both Antagonists and PCs despite trying really, really hard.

In fact, I think it's a reasonable guideline that if it's possible to make a rules element more broadly usable without significant tradeoffs in other areas of the design, then the rules element should be more broadly usable. The brute fails miserably to live up to this guideline.

*shrugs*

It's an archetype that flips out and tries to kill everything around it when stressed. I think they succeeded in that regard. How is it a failure?

Because it tries to kill everything around it but doesn't get super buffed up that would make it easier to do so?


The Hulk is invincible, why can't I!

Scarab Sages

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Guys, frenzied rages that force you to attack everything standing (even your allies) are not a drawback, they are a feature. :)

One of the most entertaining half-hours of roleplay I have ever heard in my life was a game of Rolemaster where the raging, hulk-style half-giant barbarian botched a series of rolls to calm down, but kept getting open-ended/exploding crit rolls(rolling multiple stacking crits) whenever he went to hit anything. He took down all of the bandits attacking the party, and then proceeded to take down all of his teammates one by one.

They survived (barely) by falling down and playing dead/unconscious when he hit them (some of them didn't have to pretend). One PC thought he was safe because he was flying, but then the barbarian critted a jump role to leap 40 feet in the air and knock the guy out of the sky. It was awesome.

Yes it was bad news for the party, but a very fun time for the players.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Great! Now I'm totally going to make Any Poehler's character from The Awesomes for Hell's Vengeance.


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Wolfsnap wrote:
Guys, frenzied rages that force you to attack everything standing (even your allies) are not a drawback, they are a feature. :)

Meh... Intentionally poorly designed rules are still poorly designed.

Wolfsnap wrote:

One of the most entertaining half-hours of roleplay I have ever heard in my life was a game of Rolemaster where the raging, hulk-style half-giant barbarian botched a series of rolls to calm down, but kept getting open-ended/exploding crit rolls(rolling multiple stacking crits) whenever he went to hit anything. He took down all of the bandits attacking the party, and then proceeded to take down all of his teammates one by one.

They survived (barely) by falling down and playing dead/unconscious when he hit them (some of them didn't have to pretend). One PC thought he was safe because he was flying, but then the barbarian critted a jump role to leap 40 feet in the air and knock the guy out of the sky. It was awesome.

Yes it was bad news for the party, but a very fun time for the players.

And that may be interesting once in a while... But it's not fun to have to deal with it every other fight. It's likely to not even be fun even once.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lemmy wrote:
Wolfsnap wrote:
Guys, frenzied rages that force you to attack everything standing (even your allies) are not a drawback, they are a feature. :)
Meh... Intentionally poorly designed rules are still poorly designed.

And I don't see it as poorly designed. It's an archetype that causes the character to transform and try to kill everything around that. And that's exactly what it does.

Just because it doesn't get buffed up to "offset" the whole kill everything around mode doesn't make it bad. It just makes it party unfriendly.


We had that problem with our Barbarian. Not sure what Archtype he is, but he becomes "Confused" when he kills an enemy. Our solution was a "Wand of Boxes". Super easy, level 1 wand that creates the illusion of a box around the guy, or between him and us if there are more enemies we want him to focus on.

As a bonus, it can also make many other simple, soundless illusions.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wild Rager is the archetype.

Which is hilarious that it's much more party friendly than the Brute archetype.


Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
but they do have an archetype to be a Magical Girl...

But can I be Madoka?


Ssalarn wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You generally don't get a class feature designed to negate the weakness of your class.

- Magi can cast spell in heavier armors

- Kineticists can reduce Burn
- Vigilantes can reduce the transformation time
- Monks can bypass certain damage reductions with their unarmed strikes

Also, Gunslingers get multiple deeds for mitigating misfires, Fighters get Bravery to shore up their weak Will save (for what it's worth), Barbarians have AC boosting Rage Powers, etc.

I'd say it's probably much more common for classes to have ways to mitigate their weaknesses than it is for classes to have insurmountable weaknesses that become increasingly crippling.

The Brute, IMO, is a really good idea poorly executed. Not only does it actually get progressively harder to not murder your allies as you level, it misses one of the defining features of the Hulk- his ridiculous durability. The Hulk is one of the toughest characters in the Marvel Universe, but the Brute is a ridiculously fragile glass cannon who'll probably have the lowest AC in the group for the first quarter of the game while also being the biggest target.

I still want to play, but yeah, you have to do the same work around that Unchained Monk uses (focus Wis/Will save boosting).

But I found the Quick Change Mask in magic items (only 650gp), if want to change back as a move action, very useful for the Brute.

Also sucks that you are limited to 2 hours of Brute at a time (3 times this can be done in 24 hours, =6 hrs).

So your party pretty much figures out who you are.

Also sucks whenever you succeed on save you have to switch back. I mean, what if enemy dies, you can back to not rage against allies then 2 round later more enemies appear.

Might as well be a Avenger specialization and enlarge person yourself with potions (you can do more often, no chance hurting allies, full Bab when choose feats, avenger talents chooseable)

You do lose out on awesome blow talent, but eh.


Invisibility sphere. Make the rest of the party invisible, barbarian ends his rage because he can't see anybody else*.

*Results may vary in populated areas.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I'm not entirely convinced the class needed two poor saves either; a good Will save would actually represent the character's internal battle strengthening his mind against outside influences and help alleviate the current issue where it gets progressively more difficult to rein in the Brute's aggressive tendencies (why does the character have less control over his actions as he becomes more experienced?). The Hulk in the comics (particularly modern Hulk) is notoriously difficult to manipulate mentally, swatting aside the mental intrusions of even powerful telepaths, which is one of the reasons the best trickery against him usually involves lying or showing him a partial event that leads him to a false conclusion and causes him to act out under his own volition.

I kind of have to agree with the statement that currently, it's really more of an NPC archetype, which is unfortunate because it's so close to being something really cool and interesting. I might experiment with giving it a good Will save and a pool of temp hp equal to twice it's class level when in brute mode (maybe a natural armor bonus equal to 1/4 class level, minimum 1?) and see how that goes.

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