Help me build a Barbarian


Advice


Hello,

So, a couple of days ago a friend of mine wanted to start a pathfinder game and since this is going to be my first game I could really use all the advice I can get.

We're playing with four people (most likely) and my friend who is going to GM/DM. The other guys are Bard, Druid and a Wizard. So I am going to be the classic Half-Orc barbarian with the following stats:

Str - 18
Dex - 13
Con - 16
Int - 10
Wis - 10
Cha - 12

So, what I want is to get a combination of rage powers and feats that make me survive on my own on the battlefield (since my friends are more long range types I am guessing). Of course there are more ways to go to achieve this. Can you give me any pointers on what choices and combinations would work for me?

Thank you if you reply :)


lesser Beast totem
Beast totem
greater Beast totem
Superstition is good if you're not getting friendly spells on you during rage.
reckless abandon will help you hit better.

Scarab Sages

Add the Invulnerable Rager archetype if possible. The DR you gain is very strong.


Will this be a regular barbarian, or unchained? What is the starting level and if higher than 1st, what kind of starting wealth will your character have?

I would suggest taking the alternate racial trait: Sacred tattoo, which replaces orc ferocity with a +1 luck bonus on all saves and combine it with the trait (if traits are available) fates favored to increase that to a +2 luck bonus on all saves.

For regular barbarian, a two handed weapon with power attack and furious focus is quite strong. Unchained barbarians can be effective with a larger array of fighting styles, like 2 weapon fighting.

I think that if you go with the superstitious route you can use the human favored class bonus to increase the superstitious bonus, but you'll be missing out on fcb to hit points for that.

I would recommend a defensive feat at 1st level, power attack, a 2 handed weapon and rage will kill most things at that level without power attack. Perhaps dodge, iron will or some other defensive feat. Edit: I think the feat extra rage would work well, especially if you can retrain it later.

The weapon enchantment "furious" works great for barbarians when you can afford to get it.


I second Imbicatus' recommendation of the Invulnerable Rager -- DR is great!


Is "increased damage reduction" rage power worth it??

I'm looking at the same thing as OP and wondering if it is worth one or two rage power to reduce damage by one or two per attack.....seems under-rated....

thoughts?


I don't know that spending the rage powers to increase the DR is worth it -- I haven't done the math. I think the built-in DR is worth enough to make use of it; use the rage powers to boost damage output.

Considering Barbmaker's character is probably going to be the primary melee combatant for his group (with the druid being the secondary candidate, I would think), you can easily expect him to be weathering attacks from 2+ opponents every round -- and free, virtual hp suddenly make victory much more likely.


I am not sure about the improved DR either. I have a lvl 14 PFS invulnerable rager Barb about to turn 15 and I have not taken it yet. I find that I still want other abilities over it (gaining rage cycling, unexpected strike, knockback/knockdown). I have more focused on making him pretty invulnerable to spells, SLAs, and SUs. Superstition + human bonus + eater of magic is rediculous. I grabbed a ring of evasion later in life and am basically immune to most spells....including heal and breath of life.....


The advice so far seems solid.

If you want to try something a little different you could consider using the intimidate skill in combination with the Enforcer or Cornugon Smash feats. These can give you an extra attack via the Hurtful feat or possibly lead into Terrifying Howl later on.

My idea here is that Debuffing your foes can prevent them from hurting you. The Cruel weapon enchantment is also one of my favorites.


Agreed. A Buffing/Debuff Barb can actually have some fun. The rage power that shares Reckless Abandon with the party is ridiculous. Any Barb with a decent Cha Mod should grab it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Cuttler wrote:

Is "increased damage reduction" rage power worth it??

I'm looking at the same thing as OP and wondering if it is worth one or two rage power to reduce damage by one or two per attack.....seems under-rated....

thoughts?

If you're making an Unchained Barbarian, then the unchained Improved Damage Reduction rage power increases your DR by 2/- each time you take instead of 1/-. I think that ability is *definitely* worth it -- an additional DR 6/- makes you much harder to take down.

Syrus Terrigan wrote:
I second Imbicatus' recommendation of the Invulnerable Rager -- DR is great!

Yeah, this is a great archetype, especially if you're making an Unchained Barbarian, and can take the unchained Improved Damage Reduction rage power to boost it even further.

...though depending on how some silly FAQ/errata pans out, these might not stack... :P


We agreed to go unchained barbarian.
So, go invulnerable rager with all the beast totems. This is what my GM/DM suggested as well.

Look into:
- superstition
- Reckless abandon
- dodge
- iron will
- unexpected strike
- Enforcer
- Cornugon Smash
- Knockback/down
- Power attack
- Furious Focus

Anything else that might up my survivabilitu a bit?


You can also take the Orc Ferocity chain up and have the ability to keep fighting at -50 hit points, as an alternate.

I think you should dump the charisma down to 8 and build up Int or Wis.

An interesting outlier would be the Diehard/endurance/Stalwart/Improved Stalwart chain. Stalwart is like Expertise for DR, so on top of stacking invulnerable rager DR, this could go on right on top of it. Although you have to put up with a - to hit, your DR scales much faster then taking Improved Damage Reduction.


You're better off using the classic Barbarian... Unchained is a pretty heavy (and completely unnecessary) nerf, except for a few niche builds... And even those are better off with certain archetypes.

And if possible, switch your Wis and Cha stats. A +1 to Perception and Will saves is much better than anything a +1 Cha modifier can give you.


If anyone has one that he/she can easily pull from somewhere, what would a roadmap be for a invulnerable Unchained Barbarian? Like, which feats and rage powers would you pick at which level?


AM Barbarian Guide

Check this guide out. Trinam, STR Ranger, myself, and a few others put a LOT of discussion into the barbarian post ultimate combat. What came of it was AM Barbarian and Trinam's guide to the barbarian. The advice in the guide leans heavily towards the CaGM Invulnerable Rage build that we put together in our discussions and at the very back of the guide is a skeleton of the build by STR Ranger.


I agree with Lemmy regarding Wis vs Cha, especially if you plan to take Intimidating Glare since the Unchained version allows you to use Str in place of Cha to demoralize foes. As for "Classic" vs Unchained Barbarians, I can see some advantages on both sides, but if your DM wants to use Unchained I wouldn't bother to debate it much.

If you wanted a high Cha for RP purposes I guess you could cash in by taking Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) to get a Mauler familiar combat buddy. You'd probably be better off taking a couple of levels of Eldritch Guardian for that though. I think a build like that could be great, but it isn't really the "basic Barbarian".


So I finally had some time to do a little research, and since the barbarian mostly focusses on HP and DR (I hope I got that right). What would be the best way to achieve both high HP (in the unchained invulnerable barbs case I guess that temp hitpoints would count as well) and high DR?

Any other than above mentioned Rage Power or Feats I should investigate?

(I don't really get how DR works, maybe one of you guys/girls could explain that to me? It says like "DR 5/-" what does that actually say? Does it mean that every single damage source that doesn't have some way to overcome DR gets reduced by that number?)

Feel free to correct me if I stated anything wrong, I am here to learn :)


Barbmaker wrote:

So I finally had some time to do a little research, and since the barbarian mostly focusses on HP and DR (I hope I got that right). What would be the best way to achieve both high HP (in the unchained invulnerable barbs case I guess that temp hitpoints would count as well) and high DR?

Any other than above mentioned Rage Power or Feats I should investigate?

(I don't really get how DR works, maybe one of you guys/girls could explain that to me? It says like "DR 5/-" what does that actually say? Does it mean that every single damage source that doesn't have some way to overcome DR gets reduced by that number?)

Feel free to correct me if I stated anything wrong, I am here to learn :)

DR is the number subtracted. If something has say DR 5/good it means you need a good-aligned weapon to bypass that DR, otherwise you'll always deal 5 less damage. So if you have DR 5/- then that means... nothing will bypass it.

Keep in mind this is physical damage only. If you get hit with a fireball, you'll still take the normal damage as DR doesn't deal with spells.

Scarab Sages

Note that all energy damage bypasses DR, even if it's not magical. If a goblin hits you with a dorch for 1d3-1 + 1 fire, you would still take 1 fire damage even though all of the physical damage of the torch was blocked.


Regarding Core and Unchained Barbarians. Core are better, but as a new player Unchained will be easier to understand for you.

As for a build, it really depends on how much you really wanna powergame. Since this is your first time, I'd suggest not going too crazy.

Just take Invulnerable Rager, and move down the Beast totem line. Picking up Greater Beast Totem alone will make your DM cry probably as it'll give you pounce, which in the hands of a Barbarian, will probably cause you to kill whatever you charge.

Other popular rage powers would be Superstition, Witch Hunter, and Spell Sunder. Keep in mind with Superstition it'll be hard for your allies to heal you while you're raging.

All of that basically should be more than enough to get you to crush and kill most anything.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Help me build a Barbarian All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.