1v1 PvP


Advice


In one corner of the room we've got a 10th level Barbarian of the Dragon Order, in the other we have a Polymath/Maestro Bard. Generally who wins in a 1v1 fight between these two combatants when they are both prepared to kill each other.

I am curious to know since I will be playing a Bard and one of our party members a Barbarian. If we were to fight each other for fun, how would I go about slaying this Brute.


Pretty sure the barbarian is expected to win. By a quite a bit probably.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I dunno, the bard has numerous ways to strip the barbarian of its rage benefits.


citricking wrote:
Pretty sure the barbarian is expected to win. By a quite a bit probably.

Certainly in anything like a straight fight she probably should. If the can get airborne high enough though they can potentially use spells to wear the barbarian down. I'd bet on a bard winning a ranged fight, providing he's got spells that can hit outside of sudden leap range.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
citricking wrote:
Pretty sure the barbarian is expected to win. By a quite a bit probably.
Certainly in anything like a straight fight she probably should. If the can get airborne high enough though they can potentially use spells to wear the barbarian down. I'd bet on a bard winning a ranged fight, providing he's got spells that can hit outside of sudden leap range.

LV4 Invisibility would combine nicely with Fly. Also, does the Bard have access to Calm Emotions Spell at LV5 (ideally). If the Barbarian gets the failure effect while raging, the Bard can just sit there and self-buff, waiting for the suppressed rage to run out.

Do keep in mind that if the Barbarian is good in Athletics, they may also try a grapple, which on critical success inflicts the restrained condition, shutting down most of your ability to cast spells. Even if they only get a success, if they took the ‘Attack of Opportunity’ feat, casting spells would be a risky deal.

Winning Initiative seems to be very important to say the least.


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Shank him in his sleep.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Shank him in his sleep.

Haha no. With Coup De Grace gone, you're just fishing for a crit, which admittedly shouldn't be too hard on someone not wearing armor and taking the unconscious penalty to AC. But the barbarian is the most resilient class in the game to this strategy thanks to their enormous HP pool. Unless your a dwarf bard using the heavy pick and maxed strength, I'd assume the barbarian would just wake up, rage to cover their wounds with temporary HP, and then pull your head off.


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My vote is on the rest of the party, as they take this opportunity to get rid of 2 trouble makers at once and get 2 new members that don't PVP. ;)

As to the fight before that, depends on tactics and luck. Dirge of doom/Demoralize can slap on penalties right off the bat. House of Imaginary Walls can help keep the barbarian out of melee range depending on local. Even just Triple Time can help stay out of range. Inspire Heroics [Defense] can be a great help defending against grapples and such.

As far as spells, Synaptic Pulse, Mariner's Curse, Crushing Despair, Cloak of Colors, Phantasmal Killer, Nightmare [cast the night before], Confusion, ect all provide significant debuffs.

A lucky round could have the barbarian slowed, frightened and sickened and if you prepared beforehand with the nightmare spell, exhausted too...


Would it be easy for him to sniff out a Heightened Invisibility?

After Invisible I would like cast Haste while inspiring courage (dancing) so the enemy shouldnt be able to know where I am unlike if I was singing? Could I fire a Ray of Enfeeblement or would that compromise my location? Next could I cast say Hideous Laughter to shutdown ant sort of AOO? Then move up to him with my whip at 10ft range and trip him, would he be able to know which square I am in? Or would it be safer to just stay back and launch phantom pains and shadow blasts from a distance at the brute?

And yes Siro the Bard would have access to a level 5 Calm Emotions.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Shank him in his sleep.
Haha no. With Coup De Grace gone, you're just fishing for a crit, which admittedly shouldn't be too hard on someone not wearing armor and taking the unconscious penalty to AC. But the barbarian is the most resilient class in the game to this strategy thanks to their enormous HP pool. Unless your a dwarf bard using the heavy pick and maxed strength, I'd assume the barbarian would just wake up, rage to cover their wounds with temporary HP, and then pull your head off.

Well, still, shank him. That'll start initiative, you'll be ready, and he'll be prone and unarmed.

Shank him good.


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Even if the Bard is sniffed out, they would still have the hidden condition (In regards to a invisibility.) This would mean the Barbarian (barring any other effects) would be flat-footed against the Bards attack, but more importantly, even though they may be able to target the ‘square’ the Bards in (something made more difficult by fly) they would still need to make a flat DC 11 in order to have a chance to hit. In other words, the Barbarian (again barring any other abilities) should auto-miss half of there attacks.

The Bard (as long as they have an action left after the thing that gave away there location) could use an action to Stealth, possibly making the Barbarian to lose the ‘Square’, and allow the Bard to possibly run out the clock on rage.


Siro wrote:

Even if the Bard is sniffed out, they would still have the hidden condition (In regards to a invisibility.) This would mean the Barbarian (barring any other effects) would be flat-footed against the Bards attack, but more importantly, even though they may be able to target the ‘square’ the Bards in (something made more difficult by fly) they would still need to make a flat DC 11 in order to have a chance to hit. In other words, the Barbarian (again barring any other abilities) should auto-miss half of there attacks.

The Bard (as long as they have an action left after the thing that gave away there location) could use an action to Stealth, possibly making the Barbarian to lose the ‘Square’, and allow the Bard to possibly run out the clock on rage.

Now this is getting interesting, this could cause a lot of problems for the brute.


Keep in mind, 'Invisibility' and other such problematic spells/abilities should be somewhat known to the Barbarian by LV10. The question becomes how much access they have to counter these problems, how effective these are, and if they would bother preparing it. Against Invisibility, Barbarians most likely would not have access to spells such as 'Glitterdust' 'Faerie Fire' or 'See Invisibility' {though it is very possible} but any character for a couple of copper would have access to a bag of flour. Not an ideal solution, {still need to hit with the flour, a GM may rule the creature is no longer hidden, but still concealed, and the same GM may also rule the creature can spend actions shaking it off.) but it is a cheap solution that does not cost a lot of resources.

A large part of the battle is going to be how smart the brute is.


He's also probably got that breath weapon... if he knows your square he can always use that.


Captain Morgan wrote:
He's also probably got that breath weapon... if he knows your square he can always use that.

The Barbarian my not even need to know what square, just a general area depending on the type of breath weapon. If the Bard is using the tactic of a two action spell, followed by Sneak action, assuming no other buffs, and an average sneak speed of 12.5 feet (half of 25 feet) it would be fairly simple to include any area the Bard could be in with one of the cone breath weapons. ( or at least most of it, not to good with area math) That would be an average of 35 damage on a failed save.

However, and forgive me if I am wrong as I am a bit confused with the activation requirements, but can it only be used once per rage? (Assuming the line about it decreasing in power is because a Barbarian could rage multiply times in an hour, and the requirement line ‘You haven’t used this ability since you last Raged’.)


Would invisibility be much better than mirror image vs him?


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Depends. Mirror image initial miss chance to hit is higher then Invisibility, as when you have all images up, you would only have a 1 out of 4 chances to being hit, {with non-area of effects}. Even when your down to one, its still a 1 out of 2 chance, same odds as Invisibility. Plus its a LV2 spell {assuming your comparing it to a LV4 Invisibility because you want to attack}

However, being Invisible does have the advantage of making things flat-footed against your attacks, and allows you to use sneak tactics. The main advantage of Invisibility over Mirror Image, for the fight, is you can generally set it and forget it. Mirror Image can be destroyed in a round of combat {if the attack would be a critical hit, you would get hit and an image would get destroyed. Even if the attack would naturally miss, because it does not met your AC, as long as its not a critical miss, an image would still be hit and destroyed, along with an image getting destroyed when it takes an attack for you ) This could mean you would need to cast Mirror Image multiple times in the fight, taking actions away from you, and spell slots.

Also, forgot to mention, it may be a good idea to have Soothe. While you may have tricks to reduce the chances of the Barbarian hitting you, when they do, its still going to hit like a truck, and for an 8HP class, its going to sting a bit more. {assuming of course you tactics of choice gives you the odd round to repair the damage from the odd hit.)


Would the outcome be any different at a high level say 15? Or pretty much they scale the same?


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That's dependent on the situation. The outcome at level 10 isn't assured, its just a matter of can the Bard using the tricks it has at there dispose avoid enough damage to chip away a 'win'. The Barbarian may be slightly straight forward, but it also means they are more specialized it there bread and butter {the ability to dish out damage, which the bard can't last long against in a straight up sword fight) and don't think they don't have a few tricks of there own that can put the bard in a rough spot {ie my original post on Athletics and Grapples for example.) If the fight becomes a game of avoid and wear down, the odds go into the Bards favor. If the fight turns into a game of whack-a-mole, the odds go in favor of the Barbarian. Its just a matter of who can choose the game.

At level 15 [at least in my small opinion} the goal for each side stays relatively the same. However, the higher level you go the more variables are going to be on both sides. You are going to have more spell slots and more spells to use. The Barbarian is going to have more deadlier rages, and more they can do with it. And that does not included things such as feats {class, general, ancestry, skill} skills themselves, equipment, ect. {which even at level 10 can have a major impact. Heck even at LV5.)

That is also kind of the thing with PF2. Classes stay pretty constant in 'power' to one another, and are generally {note I said generally, in a very broad sense, and I will be dealing with them in a broad sense) close to each other. Barbarians are really good a dishing out damage at a fast click, and have the HP to stand up to punishment. Bards have the knack for 'buffs' and 'debuffs' and can hack certain skills to be used for other things. Barbarians dislike things getting in the way of being able to hit things, and often likes to party with a person that can empower him past those obstacles, while also weakening his foes so he can break them easier. The Bard tends to need a bit of time to 'warm up' in casting those buff and debuff spells, and so tends to like to party with people whom can take advantage of it right away, and whom can then take the focus off of him as he prepares everything.


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I rather appreciate how a level x class y vs class z just isn't a hands-down winner either way. There's so much that actually matters that can make it go either way. And at-the-table actions and choices matter enough that you typically can't definitively call the winner before you even sit down for the fight.


If the barbarian is a little smart they bought at least a ranged weapon as back up and if you try to hide they will attempt to do the same, get out of range or hide in/behind something. If the bard is going to try to use superior range, the barbarian can just do something to not let him have it so easily.

The bard doesn't really have a chance with weapons, so they will need to rely on spells pretty much exclusively.


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Edge93 wrote:
I rather appreciate how a level x class y vs class z just isn't a hands-down winner either way. There's so much that actually matters that can make it go either way. And at-the-table actions and choices matter enough that you typically can't definitively call the winner before you even sit down for the fight.

To be fair, that was kind of true in PF1 as well. Context determined a lot. Yes, the caster martial disparity gap has been significantly narrowed. But a big part of why casters were favored in PvP scenarios was just Schrodinger's Wizard. A well built martial could easily one round a caster... If they got the chance to strike.


In the Bards repertoire he has the following spells while wielding a Whip:

0) Shield, Telekenetic Projectile, Detect Magic, Light
1) Command, True Strike, Sooth (Signature)
2) Calm Emotions (Signature), Hideous Laughter, Mirror Image
3) Haste, Magic Missile (Signature), Slow
4) Spiritual Weapon (Signature), Heightened Invisibility, Fly
5) Synaptic Pulse, Synethesia, Phantom Pain (Signature)

The Dragon instinct Barbarian has the following feats while wielding a Great Pick:

Sudden Charge
No Escape
Fast Movement
Attack of Opportunity
Dragon Rage Breath

Are the Barbarians saving throws as this point in the game simply too high that the Bards arsenal of spells will simply continue to fail to successfully land?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

This would make for some fun Paizo friday streams BTW


indeed it would, I hope someone can provide me some answers as this showdown will occur in due time.


My friends, I'm fighting this worthless morsel of manure I call the Barbarian in 24hrs, how do I slay the vile fiend? Do I take to the air immediately with Fly? Do I cast Heightened Invisibility and then move the opening round? In following rounds do I skip casting Slow altogether and instead cast Hideous Laughter? I'm not sure and that could prove fatal because one mistep and he will take my head off.


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Unfortunately, I don't really have advice on what you should do. But I can tell you what I would do if I were the barbarian.

I would have a bow prepared to deal with your distance or flight. And I would try to break line of sight with you. If there's a building I'll go inside. I will draw you in to an enclosed space so that I can pummel you to death and make it too difficult to get away.


Claxon wrote:

Unfortunately, I don't really have advice on what you should do. But I can tell you what I would do if I were the barbarian.

I would have a bow prepared to deal with your distance or flight. And I would try to break line of sight with you. If there's a building I'll go inside. I will draw you in to an enclosed space so that I can pummel you to death and make it too difficult to get away.

Interesting, what do you mean by break line of sight with me?


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

Generally, the phrase means moving around corners, behind walls, etc, so that the two of you can't see and target each other.


So I guess how would the barbarian know when the Bard is invisible and stalking him?


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Atalius wrote:
So I guess how would the barbarian know when the Bard is invisible and stalking him?

Does the barbarian have cause to know you're out to get him?

Because that would be cause for him to be cautious. But I also meant in general, throughout the combat I wouldn't stand in open areas. You have superior range and spells, but if the barbarian can get you in an enclosed space you're probably dead.

If you don't disable him in the initial volley, he will be aware he's being attacked and take cover from you. Preferably some place that is enclosed and prevent you from easily attacking from distance.

If the barbarian knew this was coming he probably has grabbed potions for see invisibility. And any other bard tricks he'd seen you perform.


Damn your right, do I have atleast a 50% chance of success with my spells landing?


He probably has saves around 18/16/16 not accounting for ability score points.

Fort is probably 20, reflex is probably an 18, and will may be a 16.

I'm not sure what your save DCs are.

You're best bet is to probably try to cast Charm on him and convince him to go someplace that will give you an advantage to kill. A beautiful view overlooking a cliff or balcony followed up with a push could do it, depending on what method of pushing you have available. Or maybe on a rickety bridge that you catch on fire and fly away from.

Wait...he's dragon barbarian right? He might be able to fly in response to falling. I'm not sure.

Dark Archive

You can do this!

With some conditions...
- Does this room have a roof higher than 30ft?
- Do you have House of Imaginary Walls?
- Is their elemental resistance to Acid?

If your answers are No, No and Yes, then you might be in trouble.


Roof is 25ft, large open space otherwise. Don't have house of imaginary walls, and no resistance to acid.


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What is the Barbarian's 10th level feat?

The good news is that the Dragon Wings feat is level 12, so you don't have to worry about a rage-based flying ability. The bad news is that if the Barbarian has any way to gain flight, such as a potion of flying, you might be stuck.

This entire fight might come down to who wins Initiative. If the barbarian wins, potion of flying + bandolier could be the first action, with the second + third being Sudden Charge to hit you for a lot of damage. No Escape means the barbarian can follow you into the air if you try to fly away, or move away to cast a spell. If you don't, the barbarian has attack of opportunity waiting to wallop you with.

Honestly, I think your best option for turn 1 is Heightened Invisibility - regardless of whether or not you win Initiative. If you win Initiative, you cast Invis, then stealth away to a different spot where the Barbarian can't find you. If you lose initiative, then you make a Step to move away from the Barbarian and try to get him to burn No Escape to follow you. You could also Stride, trying to burn his reaction on the AoO as you put some distance between the two of you, but that's a bit more dangerous if he hits you.

Once you're invisible, Fly is the next spell. That gives you another 25 feet of space to move into. You'll need to conserve a 5th level slot for Calm Emotions to end his Rage, as the Incapacitate tag means that if you don't cast it as a 5th level spell, his save is automatically one step better than he rolls. The reason I say conserve is that if he gets the regular failure effect and you engage in a "hostile" action, the calm emotions affect ends. You may want to save calm emotions for if you need to heal yourself with Soothe.

This entire fight will basically revolve around you trying to play keep away from the Barbarian. If he corners you in melee, you'll lose - you can't last long against firepower of that magnitude, and your armor proficiency is only Trained, as opposed to the Barbarian's Expert weapon proficiency. That gives him an edge hitting you. Eventually, this might come down to you spending every round chucking a telekinetic projectile at him and moving away while he tries to chase you down.


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

I would expect a 10th level martial to try to carry something consumable for invisible and flying opponents. That being said, bandoliers do not make drawing and drinking a potion 1 action, so drink then sudden charge is not a turn that could happen.

Winning initiative, moving up and grappling is, though.


Definitely will need to pop heightened invisibility, then sounds like I need haste. With that I could move up to him while invisible trip him, and if the fights lasts more rounds maybe a hideous laughter? Would that work? So basically he would spend one action standing back up from a trip then he would have 1 action left, which he would attack with.

If he can see me while invisible maybe mirror image would need to be popped.


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I think a the key will be starting the fight as far away as you can from an enclosure and coming out with whatever spell has the greatest amount of ability to remove the barbarians ability to act. Will saves are likely his weakest save.


Claxon wrote:
I think a the key will be starting the fight as far away as you can from an enclosure and coming out with whatever spell has the greatest amount of ability to remove the barbarians ability to act. Will saves are likely his weakest save.

Good idea Calm Emotions should be attempted then, if I happen to get lucky and he crit fails I've won the fight. Otherwise I must try some of the other tricks mentioned above. There are quite a few different spells there to choose from hmm.


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Hmm, do you also have time with the Barbarian beforehand, and how ‘honorable’ do you want to be? Because you could ‘win’ the fight without fighting.

For example, using that Bardic Charisma of yours, invite that Barbarian to the local bar, to have a couple of friendly drinks before the match. Perhaps, using Performance, stir up a couple of local patrons to challenge the mighty Barbarian in different drinking games, all the while plying him with more alcohol (and I hope you have heavy coin pouches, since your going to most likely have to buy out half the bar before the Barbarian will get tipsy). Now your goal is to get him blackout drunk so he does not show up to the battle, and you win by default. (This is mostly for jokes, as I’m not even sure there are drunk rules in PF2, though I would assume after the 20th drink, a DM would start making roles, even without hard rules. Though mainly to showcase the ‘fight’ does not necessary begin at the start of battle.)


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If you can, shiv him in his sleep, do it with a spell.
Otherwise, I say turn invisible and...
leave.
Just leave.
Leave and come back for him another time, or, not at all.
Or just back down and grovel,only to poison his food, make him fall while he is climbing, turn on him in the midst of combat, etc.

Never ever voluntary duel someone.
Ambush, maybe, unavoidable fights, sure, but the best thing would be him dying while acting as your meat shield.

Of course I generally play skeevy bastiches, so maybe ignore all of that if honor means something to you.

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