Solution to Barbarian Anathema


Classes

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Not sure if this as been suggested but it is quite clear that the anathema for some of the barbarian totems are restrictive and potentially deadly. I would suggest a simple fix to solve this problem add the following two words to the anathema: when raging.

This allows animal totem barbarians to contribute every fourth round of combat, use range weapons and contribute in some story elements that require the use of weapons. For superstitious barbarians this means they won't die after the first or second fight and can complete missions involving teleportation/underwater travel/planar adventures etc...

For the others this may or may not be necessary since they seem to be so limited as to be non-existent. Personal slight or challenge? Might come up or be interpreted that way but this also prevents such things as every Giant Totem barbarian from dying when a certain previous Master of Spells in PFS insults their intelligence.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

This has the added effect of the rage embracing your totem more closely. You can imagine an animal totem barbarian carrying around a great sword only he ignores it completely when raging in favor of his bite attack.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I like this, it keeps the flavour while making superstition totem less gimped.
Does mean a couple totems' anathema get a little weird though, like a dragon totem barb will only not defy their relevant dragons or a superstition barb will only leave a group for refusing to stop casting magic at him while raging.
Maybe an alternative could be one effect all the time and a more severe/restrictive version while raging?


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Alternately: dump anathema completely. They're utterly terrible, overly restrictive sometimes mildly offensive and often fairly destructive to inter-party cooperation.

Animal and Superstition obviously stick out for barbarian, but several cleric anathema cause massive problems at the table. Someone brought a cleric of Gorum to the table: the party can't negotiate out of hostilities ever. No avoid bar fights, talking down guards or getting through hostile territory.

On the other side, the Shelynite has to accept every surrender, no matter how insincere, or how debased a villain. Every encounter can be jammed to a halt by every opponent with a modicum of common religious knowledge.

Others break the ability to indulge in typical adventuring duties. Need a McGuffin from a tomb? Well, too bad, Sally is a Spirit totem barbarian and Greg is a cleric of Pharasma. Desecration!

Having a cultural quirk or religion doesn't mean everyone comes out of a copy machine with rigid adherence to a gamey dictum. Let people role play, not dictate behavior with a rulebook.


An interesting idea! That said, I have to agree with CommanderCoyler that some of things should be "at all times" while others could be "while raging".


Actually, being sent into a tomb to remove a specific item needed to prevent some terrible event wouldn't have to be considered tomb robbing. There would be a few ways around that. First would be replacing the item with something of equal value. Another would be using magic to speak with dead (not even sure if the spell still exists) to get permission to take the item. A third would be an oath/geas to return the item. That is just off the top of my head. Not saying that anathemas aren't a pain, and it certainly seems as if the classes should get a boost (although clerics are pretty rock solid) to compensate for having them.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Tbh I think Superstition is fine, but I think it shouldn't apply to natural (IE: Druid/Shaman) magic. Seems weird you would freak out if your own tribe member tried to heal you with something you were brought up with understanding as part of your culture.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
NightTrace wrote:
Tbh I think Superstition is fine, but I think it shouldn't apply to natural (IE: Druid/Shaman) magic. Seems weird you would freak out if your own tribe member tried to heal you with something you were brought up with understanding as part of your culture.

I can sort of get it applying to Primal magic as well. It can do much of the same stuff arcane magic does at this point, which means it generally looks exactly the same. If you consider that superstition implies a lack of deeper understanding, it seems like distrusting primal would amount to about the same reason as not learning why arcane magic can be used safely. I'd imagine that a lone superstitious barbarian probably never trusted their tribe's Shaman, and a full tribe of superstitious barbarians probably never had one to begin with. That's probably part of why they develop the ability to self-heal.

I personally think it is a little weird that it applies to Inspire Courage though. I'm not convinced the barbarian would even understand that compositions are magic.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

I could swear I read somewhere an update that let Animal Totem barbarians use weapons out of rage, with similar changes to other totems (with the possible exception of Superstition for balance reasons). Can't remember where it was, though (or whether it was something official or just a suggestion like this one)


Yeah, Animal Totem got their anathema adjusted to be only when raging. Superstition got some change too, I forget if it was an automatic ability or a class feat but it was a once per hour self heal or something like that. Plus Treat Wounds majorly aids their survivability.

As for other anathema like Spirit totem I think it depends a lot on the player and how they decide to interpret things, as well as the GM.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Ah, there it is, hidden away in the "Other updates" section of the update document (I kept looking in the class changes section).

Superstition totem can once per hour choose to forgo gaining temporary hp to instead heal for twice that much.

Since the other totems' anathemas fall more on the "plot hook" end of the scale (as opposed to having an active effect on gameplay), these are the two "problematic" ones. The animal totem has already been fixed with the exact change you suggest, changing it from "Weapons are for dumb weaklings" to "When the rage takes you, follow only your most primal instincts". Superstition is deliberately meant to be a restrictive anathema, because you're supposed to get better benefits in exchange (whether it's a fair exchange is a different question I don't have the answer to). Adding on "when raging" defeats the purpose of the harsher anathema, although I'll admit I'm a bit concerned about the impact on magic-dependant plots like planar travel


3Doubloons wrote:

Ah, there it is, hidden away in the "Other updates" section of the update document (I kept looking in the class changes section).

Superstition totem can once per hour choose to forgo gaining temporary hp to instead heal for twice that much.

My wife's 4th-level Superstition barbarian for In Pale Mountain's Shadow used that healing ability often. We had deliberately designed the party with the knowledge it would have a Superstition barbarina in it, so no bards (bard song is a spell in PF2) or clerics. The other characters were ranger, wizard, and alchemist. The alchemist was the healer, but the barbarian could heal herself. And since that chapter often involved an hour of traveling or puzzle-solving, she had plenty of opportunity to do so. Under that circumstance, Superstition totem is very powerful.

In fact, she played up her anti-magic stance as keeping herself pure from the taint of magic, and the way that she quickly recovered from wounds made everyone else think that the Superstition was scientifically validated rather than superstitious.

The problem remaining with superstition totem is that an ally has no way to reject the Inspire Courage composition, so the Superstition barbarian is not compatible with a bard until the bard learns other songs.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Player Rules / Classes / Solution to Barbarian Anathema All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Classes