Know Your Class: The Barbarian

We’re starting a new thing here at the blog. From now until Season 4, we’re going to talk about classes. You see, they are an important part of your decision in becoming a player in Pathfinder Society. Now we’re not going to go into great detail about every little aspect, but we’re going to at least give you a short breakdown, some pros and cons and some legal build notes from society that you will need to know. If you are new to RPG’s or to the Pathfinder system, it is advised to check out our PRD at our Getting Started page!

So let’s start at the beginning shall we?

The Barbarian

Stat Breakdown
Hit Dice: d12–7 + CON Mod + Special Feats, per level up
Alignment preference: Nonlawful
Weapon Proficiency: Simple and Martial
Armor Proficiency: Light and Medium/Shields except Tower
Skill Ranks: 4+INT per level
Class Skills: Acrobatics, Climb, Craft (choose), Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature), Perception, Ride, Survival, Swim

Special Class Features
Rage and Rage Powers–See notes
Fast Movement-1st level
Uncanny Dodge-2nd level
Damage Reduction-7th level
Improved Uncanny Dodge-5th level
Greater Rage-11th level
Indomitable Will-14th level
Tireless Rage-17th level
Mighty Rage-20th level

Additional Resources Pages:
Core Rulebook: 31-33
Advanced Players Guide: 74-79
Ultimate Combat: 26-31

Understanding Rage and Rage Powers:

Rage is a special feature that comes with the barbarian class. Rage allows the barbarian to have super strength and toughness for a duration of time. During the rage, a barbarian’s strength and constitution scores are upped by +2. The Barbarian also receives a +4 to their will save until the end of rage. This makes the barbarian the perfect door-kicker and butt kicker while in rage.  What’s better is that you don’t have to rage consecutively, you can rage for one round at a certain point, and then later, rage again for another two rounds so long as you take the rest period in-between.

The downside, is that your character will take a -2 to its AC while in Rage. Furthermore, the barbarian will lose all abilities that need concentration or patience, such as being stealthy or looking at things via a perception check. If your barbarian is multiclassed in spellcasting, they would not be able to cast spells while in rage due to the concentration aspect of spell casting. Also, the effects of rage immediate end when you come out of it, and if you took negative damage while in rage, it will go further down when age ends. Which means that if you end up past -CON score after rage, you die. If you don’t die, you will be fatigued for 2 rounds per 1 round of rage which gives you a -2 to all your checks, saves and attack rolls.

Rage Powers are special things you can do while in rage. These powers are only accessible while in rage, and you may only receive a rage power to use at 2nd level and every two levels afterwards. Each rage power is different so make sure you read each one before taking one for your character.

Society Legal Notes Before Building:
Currently the following archetypes are not legal for Pathfinder Society: Wild Rager, Hateful Rager

Recommended Factions:If your character wishes to “rage for a cause” they will find that opportunity in Cheliax, Andorian, Shadow Lodge, and Taldor. If they wish to be mercenaries, Qadira, and Scarni are the better fits. They do not do well with Osirians and Grand Lodgers due their needs to preserve and maintain things in knowledge, and barbarians do not always care for preserving knowledge let alone objects in certain situations.

Recomended Feats:Lighting Reflexes, Combat Reflexes, Two-Weapon Fighting, Power Attack, Cleave, Toughness, Dodge, Quick Draw, Weapon Focus, Extended Rage, Weapon Finesse,

Recommended Traits: Sacred Touch, Skeptic, Charming, Armor Expert, Caretaker, Reactionary

Recommended Races: Humans, Half-Orcs , Dwarves — but all races can make good barbarians.

Recommended Archetypes To Consider: Urban Barbarian, and Armored Hulk

Recommended Rage Powers:
CRB: Moment of Clarity, Night Vision, Quick Reflexes, Renewed Vigor, Superstition, Unexpected Strike
APG: Beast Totem–To use with Beast Totem Archtype also in APG
UC: Deadly Accuracy, Eater of Magic, Perfect Clarity, Sprint and Swift Foot

Pros To Class:

-The Barbarian class is an excellent fighter class. They can be used to do an array of different things, and if you take the right archetype, your barbarian can easily not be so “barbaric” and have a decent array of skills.

– This is also the perfect “door-kicking” character. If you are looking for a character that specializes in kicking things down and taking names, this class is for you.

-The Roleplay opportunities are endless, you can play a dumb fighter, or a smart one who is all tactics and glory. You can also consider playing the mercenary who cares only when he’s getting paid. A barbarian very rarely has an unfunny story to tell in Pathfinder Society, and it usually starts with “What had happened was…”

-Besides.. who doesn’t want to go: “RAAGGGEEE!!!”

Cons To Class:

While Rage and Rage powers are quite amazing, they come with fatigue and possible death complications if the player is not paying attention. There have been instances when a barbarian comes out of rage, collapses to the ground and dies, because the player didn’t realize that he was going to be dead once out of rage due to his negative hit points being negated by the rage. So it’s important to understand your rage and the consequences while you are taking damage in combat.

– Barbarians in Rage, comes with also the loss of cognitive thoughts. Which sometimes can be a headache for the players who may end up watching things go sour kind of quick. There was an instance when I had a barbarian go into rage pick up a spider and slam him onto a crate. A crate of dynamite that caused a mass fire on board a ship and resulted in the loss of players being able to complete their faction missions. The players were kinda pissed at him for at least a week or two. But now, it’s hilarious.

– The small class set the barbarian has can work against a player as well. Many of the archetypes can supplement or better build the barbarian, but if you choose this class, make sure you think about what your game plan for the character is. The more research you do, the better build you have for a barbarian!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Know Your Class: The Barbarian

  1. Nice job. I’ll look forward to the next one.

  2. Howie23

    Additional consideration: Barbarians tend to have lower AC than other melee types, particularly when raging. As a result, they tend to get hit a lot; so consume more than a typical amount of healing. This can be a drain on healing resources, or merely be be expensive in after combat healing. Bring a wand of CLW, and don’t forget the barbarian armor: displacement.

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