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The 3.5e of D&D has illiteracy as a barbarian feature.

 

 

lliteracy: Barbarians are the only characters who do not automatically know how to read and write. A barbarian may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak.

A barbarian who gains a level in any other class automatically gains literacy. Any other character who gains a barbarian level does not lose the literacy he or she already had.

dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/SRD:Barbarian

 

 

Similarly in 3e.

 

Illiteracy

 

Barbarians are the only characters who do not automatically know how to read and write. A barbarian may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak.

A barbarian who gains a level in any other class automatically gains literacy. Any other character who gains a barbarian level does not lose the literacy he or she already had.

http://www.d20srd.or...s/barbarian.htm

 

 

Inteliigence was a dump stat in 4e.

 

What do you mean barbarians didn't have to be dumb brutes? :huh:

 

There are many problems with barbarians, only one being the name. We already have so many "melee combat-only" classes out there. Can't the barbarian have a few non-combat skills that he specializes in? What is with this idea that barbarians have to be "savage brutes" that wield only "big weapons"?

 

This idea that they are "free in battle and undisciplined" sort of makes sense, but once again that isn't really a barbarian. A name change would definitely help.

 

The point is this: the idea of a barbarian, even from reading many of the comments here, comes from this misconception that historically speaking these were savage peoples. This was in fact the idea propagated by "civilized" Europe against the tribes and outsiders. This mentality of Vikings being "barbarians" is also very incorrect.

 

 

Barbarity

 

 

170px-Viking.jpg

 

magnify-clip.pngReconstructor portraying a Viking

The image of wild-haired, dirty savages sometimes associated with the Vikings in popular culture[clarification needed] is a distorted picture of reality.[1] Non-Scandinavian Christians are responsible for most surviving accounts of the Vikings and, consequently, a strong possibility for bias exists. This attitude is likely attributed to Christian misunderstandings regarding paganism. Viking tendencies were often misreported and the work of Adam of Bremen, among others, told largely disputable tales of Viking savagery and uncleanliness.[56]

The Anglo-Danes were considered excessively clean by their Anglo-Saxon neighbours, due to their custom of bathing every Saturday and combing their hair often.[citation needed] To this day, Saturday is referred to as laugardagur / laurdag / lørdag / lördag, "washing day" in the Scandinavian languages. Icelanders were known to use natural hot springs as baths, and there is a strong sauna/bathing culture in Scandinavia to this day.[citation needed]

As for the Vikings in the east, Ibn Rustah notes their cleanliness in carrying clean clothes, whereas Ibn Fadlan is disgusted by all of the men sharing the same, used vessel to wash their faces and blow their noses in the morning. Ibn Fadlan's disgust is possibly because of the contrast to the personal hygiene practises particular to the Muslim world at the time, such as the use of running water and clean vessels. While the example intended to convey his disgust about certain customs of the Rus', at the same time it recorded that they did wash every morning.[citation needed]

https://en.wikipedia...ons_and_warfare

 

 

That's the whole point. The concept of a barbarian is a pretty crude mischaracterization of groups of peoples and has no basis in reality whatsoever. These people were not "free and spirited warriors different than other fighters." The differences between the barbarian and the crusader are very slim, if even existant.

 

The point is, if you want to have a "berserker class," fine. But let's not lie to ourselves thinking that this has any basis in reality. Let's build a class from the ground up and make them interesting for people to play. Don't stick to dumb old tropes that make the class uninteresting for people to play. It is obviously going to take developer time and resources to build this class: at least make them interesting for more than 2.8% of the population.

 

Relevant comic:

tumblr_m9h8ommd9O1qmgicgo1_500.jpg

Edited by Hormalakh

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I think you are mistaking historical etymology for the modern usage. Sure it may not have originally meant the whole "Conan" thing it basically means now, but as that's what it does mean now, particularly in a ficticious context you are missing the point. At the most basic the word is theorised to be derrived from a word like "barbar" signifying a speaker of a different language rather than any of the later connotatations, besides if we go by etmolohy wizards had nothing to do with magic and rogues were just idle vagrants.

 

Also, although I disagree with the idea of barbarians being the sole default illiterate class, thats more because pretty much everyone except Cleric and Wizard *should* have been illiterate by default if we were going for some sort of historical accuracy. Even a class like Monks (in the D&D sense) and Bards wouldn't be inherantly literate although most of them probably would read. But you can't hold one interpreatation of a class against the entire concept.

 

I think the issue here is that unlike any other class, Barbarians have literally ONE single name that comes to mind at their name. Conan the Barbarian just overshadows the entire thing so much, that there is a built in assumption of the archetypal image of him with the big greatsword and the loincloth that it overrides what people consider they can do with the class. The answer here is perhaps to build in a few features that would give a bit more bredth to the precedings to give people ideas other than just expected. Bonuses to throwing weapons and using shields offensively would be two things you could do, perhaps build cleave in by default rather than an optional extra.

 

Perhaps a "rend" passive that gives them a % chance to break through shields, blocks and armour?

 

Also, I'm sceptical of your "no one will play them" statistic - 311 is a small sample size out of a very minimum of 73000 people we know will own this game, and honestly, if 1/5 people play Ciphers out of everyone who plays the game I'd be very surprised, if nothing else in that I know several people with Barbarian as their preferred D&D class and a few more for whom it is their preferred melee class. Number of people who I know who've ever expressed interest in psionic style classes? 0.

 

Last but not least, Barbarian is just a better sounding word than Berserker. Has a really nice flow to it.

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I mean, whats the difference between a man and a bear to a mad brawler? Bears a better challenge!

 

Good question. I'm just trying to think of how Barbarians and Fighters might have subtle but poignant differences when it comes to combat knowledge. You could argue that fighters are trained to fight, by and large, against other fighters of the same racial type. In most cases anyway.

 

I suppose a Barbarian could also learn to fight against their own type, but at some point, whether through trials of adulthood or whatever, will have to fight against beasts also. And I'm really just making this up on the fly here, I haven't had time to think this through just yet. This is a fantasy world and I'm thinking in terms of distinguishing class features that give an advantage over another class.

 

So to answer your question, maybe their favoured enemy could be expanded to "Man and Beast". Which would preclude creatures like undead, constructs, and all other magical or unnatural denizens of the world.

 

Remember, history and logic aside (????), we're trying to decide how the Barbarian is *different* to the base fighter class, and other fighter sub-types like Ranger and Paladin for that matter.

 

Edit:

 

Meaning that if we apply history and logic too much, we might find that fighters and barbarians have almost no difference, which is a rather inconvenient answer. :)

 

Barbarians could simply be masters of improvised fighting. That is, they can still use any weapon a Fighter can use, but their specialty is in using what's available, figuring out how to use it effectively very quickly, and doing so. If there are penalties for Improvised Fighting, they should be bonuses for the Barbarian instead.

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I think you are mistaking historical etymology for the modern usage. Sure it may not have originally meant the whole "Conan" thing it basically means now, but as that's what it does mean now, particularly in a ficticious context you are missing the point. At the most basic the word is theorised to be derrived from a word like "barbar" signifying a speaker of a different language rather than any of the later connotatations, besides if we go by etmolohy wizards had nothing to do with magic and rogues were just idle vagrants.

 

Conan isn't a historical depiction: it's a popular comic that later became a movie. It's odd that the rest of the game has some sort of "historical feel" to it with weapons named estoc and fairly interesting armors (female armor and that whole thing being another aspect) while we just let the "barbarian" thing fly.

 

Also, I'm sceptical of your "no one will play them" statistic - 311 is a small sample size out of a very minimum of 73000 people we know will own this game, and honestly, if 1/5 people play Ciphers out of everyone who plays the game I'd be very surprised, if nothing else in that I know several people with Barbarian as their preferred D&D class and a few more for whom it is their preferred melee class. Number of people who I know who've ever expressed interest in psionic style classes? 0.

 

This was a poll done here. It was not scientific, but this has always been a general trend among D&D classes. For another poll done, see here: http://community.wiz.../favorite_class

 

Also, another good read: http://5eworld.blogs...s-at-gates.html

 

More polls:

http://querulousarti...al/poll/492075/

http://bouserthedog....l/poll/2672117/

http://bhryn.deviant...al/poll/144384/

http://bluemoonauror...c.php?f=7&t=729

http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=591.0

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

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I think you are mistaking historical etymology for the modern usage. Sure it may not have originally meant the whole "Conan" thing it basically means now, but as that's what it does mean now, particularly in a ficticious context you are missing the point. At the most basic the word is theorised to be derrived from a word like "barbar" signifying a speaker of a different language rather than any of the later connotatations, besides if we go by etmolohy wizards had nothing to do with magic and rogues were just idle vagrants.

 

Conan isn't a historical depiction: it's a popular comic that later became a movie. It's odd that the rest of the game has some sort of "historical feel" to it with weapons named estoc and fairly interesting armors (female armor and that whole thing being another aspect) while we just let the "barbarian" thing fly.

 

Also, I'm sceptical of your "no one will play them" statistic - 311 is a small sample size out of a very minimum of 73000 people we know will own this game, and honestly, if 1/5 people play Ciphers out of everyone who plays the game I'd be very surprised, if nothing else in that I know several people with Barbarian as their preferred D&D class and a few more for whom it is their preferred melee class. Number of people who I know who've ever expressed interest in psionic style classes? 0.

 

This was a poll done here. It was not scientific, but this has always been a general trend among D&D classes. For another poll done, see here: http://community.wiz.../favorite_class

 

Also, another good read: http://5eworld.blogs...s-at-gates.html

 

Actually Conan is a series of books turned into a comic and then into a popular film, and I never claimed it to be historical, what I said was, that Conan is what people associate with the word barbarian, doesn't imply that Conan is real. However, as Conan is famous and the word is in his name, that is what people associate with the word, regardless of the fact that he is ficticious, and regardless of what the word may have meant in the past.

 

Secondly even that second poll doesn't prove that Barbarian is the least popular class, it only proves that it's the least peoples first choice. Now that is reason to give the old thing a tuneup sure, but not that same at all "everyone dislikes barbarians",

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Lower speech-skills in return for some Fallout-like empathy ability? I remember Conan being described basically like this in certain stories, but that's if you want to go the "noble savage" route. Maybe a bonus with low-tier weapons and armor that fighters would eventually abandon (rather than inability to use high-tier).

 

Edit: gigantic mirth and melancholy, that should be their abilities.

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Actually Conan is a series of books turned into a comic and then into a popular film, and I never claimed it to be historical, what I said was, that Conan is what people associate with the word barbarian, doesn't imply that Conan is real. However, as Conan is famous and the word is in his name, that is what people associate with the word, regardless of the fact that he is ficticious, and regardless of what the word may have meant in the past.

 

Secondly even that second poll doesn't prove that Barbarian is the least popular class, it only proves that it's the least peoples first choice. Now that is reason to give the old thing a tuneup sure, but not that same at all "everyone dislikes barbarians",

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conan_the_Barbarian

Also known as Conan the Cimmerian. First found in a few stories in pulp magazines.

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In my own campaigns I merged the Barbarian class with the Ranger, it worked quite well. Gave them a background of nomadic strangers and made them seek out spirit quests to gain their class powers, so most of them seen adventuring were painted up with symbols of quest and pilgrimage. Druids were their holy men and usually officiated their quests, granting wisdom and powers in exchange for their bravery.

 

Took a few sessions of tweaking but I finally got the balance right, the raging I had the barbarian being overtaken by his totem animal/spirit companion. I cut out the dual wielding simply because I hate Drizzt and all the players who imitated him, and replaced it with spear proficiency.

 

Edit: Later on in my campaigns the barbarian tribes were conquered and were no longer allowed to use steel, limiting their weapons to staves, clubs, bows and such. Might be an idea.

Edited by Nonek
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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I'm sorry but illiteracy does not make you dumb. I was up till the 10th grade and I am not, nor was I an idiot. Rather not go into any more details then that... that aside, I've always felt that was a complete bull**** 'part' of being a Barbarian in 3E. It should be something you specifically choose as part of your character (given it makes sense.. illiterate wizards kinda a silly and impossible thing).

 

INT, in general, can be a dump stat but it also doesn't make the person a complete moron. They need to have INT and WIS below 8 for that to happen. Either one above 8 and they're speaking normally. Keep in mind in DnD, Wisdom is also a 'smarts stat'. Int in DnD is your ability to memorize stuff. Wis is your ability to understand things and learn from experiences. INT reads a book to figure out how something works, WIS just figures it out on there own.

 

In either case ALL of that is irrelevant to what I was saying about read/writing in tribe/clans. Barbarian class isn't the social class/job that would be handling that or would be required of them so weather or not they learned would be a personal preference (or luck of schooled upbringing of some kind). Where as a Wizard in said same situation would have to for the sake of there spells and by virtue of there job/class - know how to as a requirement.

 

-edit-

Oh and the Barbarian Illiteracy nonsense in DnD is the kind of BS im talking about as far as race vs class. Barbarian, in 3E, for whatever reason has racial oriented culture stuff that shouldn't be in the class such as that. Granted you can work that bit into a barb class growing up anywhere, and just say he never learned, good bit of the classes should have that too though and really should be a racial trait instead. Humans, depending on where they originated from in the world and the culture there. Only exception I can think of are priests and wizards where the written word is of extreme importance to there way of life outside of there cultured up bringing.

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Pulp magazines are prose, not sequential art/comics, and you aren't addressing the actual points of my arguements.

 

I didn't actually see any arguments for me to address. If your argument is that "Conan is a barbarian. People want to be Conant, ergo we need a barbarian class" that isn't much of an argument and I have already addressed that (as have some others). Conan is not a class. A fighter/thief is a class. A ranger is a class. Conan would have fit fine in either of these classes.

 

I'm thinking of writing a book called "Edward the philistine." He's going to be strong, smart, and gets all the women :rolls eyes: Maybe in fifty years "philistine" will become a class that you can play in D&D.

 

@Adhin You had an upper-limit for wisdom in 3e barbarians. Illiteracy might not mean stupid but it shows a "lack of civilization" and this combined with other stereotypes thrown at barbarians really makes the class a fairly narrow niche class. As stated before, "barbarianism" was basically an insult -one with no actual truth- thrown at non-Christians living in the outliers of "civilized Europe." This is a poor name for a class verging on being insulting. A mature game like this shouldn't be continuing mischaracterizations and "popular ideas" that are just plain wrong.

 

If we will use barbarian as the class name, then let's be realistic. If we use another name (like berserker) then let's still continue to think about ways in which we can expand the class so that a varied number of characters can play it.

 

lindisfarneredosm.png

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Well, I don't agree with you on the name. Sounds like you have some bizar personal issues with it though, and hey opinions and all that. Also there isn't an 'upper limit' on wisdom. Maybe your thinking of Half-Orcs hit on int and cha? No class limited stats, some 'required' a base value to cast spells but that was about it. You could play a 18 wis Barb if you wanted and enjoy the RP with +4 wis save bonus from it. Fit quite nice with the +2 will saves you get when ya rage, throw in a little iron will and your ripe for resisting mind stuff.

 

Drop the culture background, hope they call it something else all you want. Doesn't really matter to me, Im fine with the name Barbarian or Berserker. Both are descriptive of there way of fighting. They're barbaric and can go berserk when they fight - both titles fit, ancient insult or no. **** people call people use all kinds of words as insults that aren't, ultimately, very insulting or meant as one at its base.

 

I agree on the whole think of interesting ways to evolve the class (and hopefully some dev shows up and gives some barb details). But you gadda let you Barb name hatred go. I love the class, I'm fine with the name, and I've never really seen Barbarians being some kinda unfavored, rarely played class in any game featuring it. It may not be peoples first pick but if its not its often there 2nd or 3rd. If you wanna look up poles, look up ones that're most hated. Since that's what your binary way of thinking is implying with the class name. Or better yet take the original advice - just ignore it. Think up skill stuff.

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I agree on the whole think of interesting ways to evolve the class (and hopefully some dev shows up and gives some barb details). But you gadda let you Barb name hatred go. I love the class, I'm fine with the name, and I've never really seen Barbarians being some kinda unfavored, rarely played class in any game featuring it. It may not be peoples first pick but if its not its often there 2nd or 3rd. If you wanna look up poles, look up ones that're most hated. Since that's what your binary way of thinking is implying with the class name. Or better yet take the original advice - just ignore it. Think up skill stuff.

My mistake on wisdom.

 

I did look at "most hated" polls. Along with sorcerer, and bard (which were hated more) barbarians were one of the top 4 hated classes in DnD. I've posted the link. Monk was also one, but there was an extremely long discussion about monks earlier last year.

 

As for the name, if we aren't having "two-handed swords", "studded leather armor", and other innane faux-medieval terminology in the game, I don't understand why we should have "barbarian" as a class if we aren't going to be true to the name "barbarian".

 

The skills/mechanics is something we agree on.

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Same reason they spell it Berserker not Berserkr (closer to the original spelling). Because its the description we provide. I mean **** the vast majority of class names are basic descriptives of what they do. Barbarians are Barbaric in how they fight. I mean whats Fighters? They... fight stuff? Congrats so do all the other classes. Thief in older games was to direct, so they renamed it to Rogue which is a bit more broad and all the stuff they gets with in that broad sweep. Back to Berserker, what Berserker means, and what it originated from? 2 wildly different things. And your not forced to dress up in bear skins and cut your self while howling wildly in RP to trigger you Berserker rage either for that matter. Its inspired by, but not a direct relation.

 

If I see a guy go into a rage when he fights, im gonna think its Barbaric. Just how it is, someone who likes to kill people or things? Someone who loves that confrontation and prove hes the stronger? It's Barbaric. They could be the nicest person, most civilized guy this side of whatevers but when he fights hes a complete scary bastard about it. That's why im fine with the name because what it means in english today isn't what it was originally used for like so many other words we have.

 

That all said, not much else besides Barbarian or Berserker really fit. They're the only 2 words I can think of that actually describe that. Anything else sounds to much like a title then a basic descriptive class name. That Barb/Psion I was talking about, in RP folks would often refer to him, as he would him self, as a Fury Warrior. But thats kinda a ****ty class name, once you have 2 words it's a title really when you think about it. Worked in the setting for a self descriptor instead of saying 'well im a Barbarian, rawr, also I have psionic powers! =D'.

 

So yeah, if you go far enough back like your thinking, barbarian and berserker really wouldn't fit (partly cause Berserker wouldn't really exist in that form). Hell english as we know it didn't really. So yeah... skill and mechanics, better off ignoring whatever they decide to call the class.

 

-edit-

As a side note, and not entirely relevant. Always disliked Diablo calling one of there 'characters' a Barbarian, which was literally the name of those people (they called them selves barbarians). That was pretty bizar. Least the necromancers had another name and that was the actual class name. Different game, not really relevant as class/background are rolled into 1 in those games. Still, silly stuff.

 

Kinda weird sorc showed up as one of the most hated, it's the thing you get seen played the most in a lot of games.... just bizar. Makes me wonder what kinda communities are actually part of the polls heh.

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If you managed to match Edward the Philistine to a strong existing archetype and because phenomenally successful spawning comics, films, cartoons ang games, then yes, there might be. That's how language and collective conciousness work.

 

Also, as I previously stated, your etymological problem for Barbarian misses the point - you've literally picked a middle definition of the word, not the original or the contemporary and are taking offense at that. The original meaning predates Christianity anyway, originally just refered to as any one who wasn't Greek, see here. Therefore, by its definition unless any of us is greek we all all Barbarians.

 

Lets just stat out a hypothetical Barbarian Class is probably the quickest way to do this all

 

BARBARIAN

- Rage Ability

- Increased Movement Speed

- Proficiency in all conventional weapons, medium armour and shields

- Some sort of damage resistance

- High HP relative to other classes

 

 

Thats all the basic stuff in, so what else?

- Increased offensive ability with shield?

- Passive rend ability with % chance to break/bipass enemy shield?

- Penalty to hit, bonus to damage (vs equivically statted fighter)?

- Resistances to specific things relative to background? (mountains = cold, swamp = disease, city = bludgeoning?)

- Perhaps include in the rage ability at higher levels a bonus whereby they can't be knocked out while raged, only killed?

- Skills relating to their background (including stealth, inimidate, lore for place of background (wilderness/city) etc)

- Higher level rage forces enemies to roll against intimidation check or take penalties?

 

-

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please read my initial post about the greek concept of barbarians. It was not strictly meant 'non-Greek'. The Chinese also have similar connotations for barbarians in their literature. Similarly, outside of the RPG/D&D scene, barbarian still maintains its previous connotations.

 

Using "pop culture" as the reference for games is a poor substitute for creativity, especially in a game intended for mature audiences.

Edited by Hormalakh

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I really like the idea of glancing blow AoE upgrade or part of rage that has friendly fire (like a fireball) in settings that apply. My personal example barbarian, mind you, focused heavily on individual targets. He'd get very focused on what he wanted dead and make damn well sure that thing was dead. He didn't even have the cleave feats. Had crippling blow, imp power attack, could teleport directly to what he wanted to die first.

 

All of it was oriented around ignoring everything but his current target. Which is vastly different then the idea of the whole AoE glancing blow for every swing (or at least stuff in front of/to the side). Soo... well...hmm. I'd say it should be an upgrade. In fact I'd love to just see a list of different upgrades for rage beyond it just being its self. But yeah stuff like the not passing out even at 0 stamina till rage ends as an upgrade. Some kind of intimidation aura, that inflicts penalties on a roll of some kind.

 

As for something really new to the list, rage affinities. By that I mean either something you pick at level 1 (think school specializations with wizards... sort of) that permanently alter how your rage works and levels to some extent. Generally Rage is rage and this would add a bonus and a negative to add flavor beyond the norm. Had some idea for that with a mod once, but also the Barb/Psion I've mentioned had a Blood Affinity on the NWN PW I played on, they had a system of 5 types. So I'll use that as the examples.

 

So the 5 where basically the 4 main elements, Earth, Wind, Water, Fire and then Blood (could consider that body). Blood gave basically vampiric damage but you lost health per round. So you'd basically kill your self if you weren't fighting which, the vampiric regeneration beat out the negative regeneration enough to make it a general bonus... it just had a bit more danger involved really (more so with how NWN handled vampiric regeneration... completely randomly).

 

Fire got fire dmg on attack and a fire shield but you took more physical dmg. Earth had physical immunities (up to about 40% I think at max levels) but made you slower. Water added concealment (kinda pointless since it didn't stack with buffs, always felt it should of been dodge AC bonuses amongst other things) but made you miss more often (also felt that was a bad penalty). Wind made you faster walk/run with bonus attacks. You lost actual damage and con bonus as the penalty.

 

Personally I love the idea of picking an affinity either at level 1 as a base mechanic, maybe lessen the base rage bonus (like +3 dmg instead of +5) while adding a bonus/negative effect due to the said affinity. They could be animal based (Bears, Wolves, that kinda thing). Though I feel elemental/blood related stuff allows for more interesting changes.

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I'm not sure the emotional aspects of the berserker warrior should just be eliminated in that manner. But rather than "rage", they could rename it to "frenzied attack". I.e. they're not simply losing their temper, but are choosing to accept greater risk in an attempt to rapidly overwhelm their enemy. They're essentially thinking the best defense is a good offense, so why not go all-out on the attack and try to make the defender spend all of their energy trying to ward off blows. Ideally then, a frenzied attack by the barbarian would have a chance to put the overwhelmed defender at a penalty to attack.

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Jeez, I come back after a few hours sleep and there are all these cool new ideas here. Here's something I came up with while sleeping.

 

During a Rage, if a Barbarian performs a successful combat feat or special manoeuvre (Knockdown, Disarm, Critical Hit, Stun, Power Attack(?), etc etc) he/she then receives an attack of opportunity (or bonus cleave) for free.

 

This represents the Barbarian's momentum during a Rage. Just need to be careful if you want to keep getting extra attacks if you happen to deliver two criticals in a row or some other feat combo. Although, "Great Cleave" was a little bit like this, so might not be an issue.

 

And the thing about big weapons I mentioned earlier still seems a valid point. Only in that you don't receive penalties for NOT using big weapons. By all means, play with whatever weapon/shield combo you love to play with. But if you're about to fly into a rage and bust up the place, wouldn't it make more sense to maximize your potential damage output? Because.....that's what it's all about.

 

The whole point is to capitalize on the moment, otherwise you've not taken full advantage of the Rage duration. Maybe certain enemies have to make a morale check when witnessing a Rage? This is a cRPG with stylized and sensational visuals. The more direct damage, number of attacks, and overall crowd effects the Barbarian can dish out, the more everyone else has a reason to stand back and utter a collective "Whoa!"

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Using "pop culture" as the reference for games is a poor substitute for creativity, especially in a game intended for mature audiences.

 

Well no offense, but if that's what you feel why on earth do you want to go within a thousand miles of any fantasy whatsoever? If I felt strongly enough about it to make an issue of the word barbarian I would feel sick at the sight of any Elves, Dwarves, Wizards, Dragons or Goblins (not to mention a dozen other things) as its by far the single most incestuous genre relative to its own scope in existance.

 

But furthermore you are missing the point of what classes are for - they are archetypes that the player gets to customise, nothing more, an arguement for the removal of the barbarian is an arguement for the removal of classes because it is a very distinct archetype, and I'm not entirely sure how "for mature audiences" really factors into that. You can go the classless route (Elder Scrolls), or the minimal class route (Dragon Age) but they have their own problems of lack of concept in characters, and, more importantly for this game, makes the build of your party far less interesting and tactical. If you can personally generate some entirely new and distinct archetypes, then fine, but removing one archetype because you don't like it doesn't in any way make a game more or less mature.

 

The trick to making something more mature isn't down to individual words, but down to the game mechanics, plot and lore of a game.

 

As for your specifics, you are adding your own views onto the original meaning - the "savage" bit or "blood thirsty raging fighter" is your own interpretation of what they meant. The word as I've said is basically onoematapic for a "babbling" like noise of a language not understood, and at the most basic it merely means foreigner.

 

TRX50 - While I agree that Barbarians are an attack/damage centric class, the berserker which is within barbarians concept does have strong ties to the shield (they were said to bite their own shields as they went into battle for some reason) so I'd include the bit I mentioned earlier about increased weaponisation of the shield, smashing it into foes, maybe charging them down to knock them back/over etc.

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TRX50 - While I agree that Barbarians are an attack/damage centric class, the berserker which is within barbarians concept does have strong ties to the shield (they were said to bite their own shields as they went into battle for some reason) so I'd include the bit I mentioned earlier about increased weaponisation of the shield, smashing it into foes, maybe charging them down to knock them back/over etc.

 

Just a really quick suggestion then, maybe when they Rage, they gain a temporary "Monkey Grip" feat? Large weapons in their primary hand, and shield in their off hand.

 

There's no specific logic to that suggestion, only something that goes back to the "Whoa!" factor I described.

 

 

As an aside, I don't mind us combing back through history and analyzing cultural and racial reasons to "keep it real". I think it's intelligent and valid. What I'm starting to think though is that maybe we should be narrowing down each class description to a sort of "tag line" so that if you had to pitch each class to someone totally new to the RPG genre, they could see that each class was unique, easy to visualize, and would appeal to a wide audience.

 

How should we sum up the Barbarian class in this scenario?

Edited by TRX850

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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TRX50 - While I agree that Barbarians are an attack/damage centric class, the berserker which is within barbarians concept does have strong ties to the shield (they were said to bite their own shields as they went into battle for some reason) so I'd include the bit I mentioned earlier about increased weaponisation of the shield, smashing it into foes, maybe charging them down to knock them back/over etc.

 

Just a really quick suggestion then, maybe when they Rage, they gain a temporary "Monkey Grip" feat? Large weapons in their primary hand, and shield in their off hand.

 

There's no specific logic to that suggestion, only something that goes back the "Whoa!" factor I described.

 

 

As an aside, I don't mind us combing back through history and analyzing cultural and racial reasons to "keep it real". I think it's intelligent and valid. What I'm starting to think though is that maybe we should be narrowing down each class description to a sort of "tag line" so that if you had to pitch each class to someone totally new to the RPG genre, they could see that each class was unique, easy to visualize, and would appeal to a wide audience.

 

How should we sum up the Barbarian class in this scenario?

 

I think you have to bear in mind that Obsidian have specifically stated that they want classes to be able to be built in various ways and still be viable, so I can't see a focus in any specific weapon being a class focus. This isn't to say that, say, a crossbow/gun wielding barbarian would be the best use of a character, but I'd say any melee weapon setup or any human powered ranged weapon is a fair bet. Mixing in throwing axes/hammers and javelins to spice up a melee class could be fun, perhaps doubling their distance during rage if you advance that way, so you get awesome scenarios where you are trying to fight your way through a phalanx of guys with shields to get to the wizard bombarding you from behind thinking himself safe, barbarian enters rage and hurls an axe across the field way past the weapons normal range into that smug wizards face....

 

You could actually perhaps choose how you develop your rage ability - a frenzy one with increased attacks/round or a traditional fury one which increases your strength.

 

As for a tagline.... kind of depends on those of the other melee classes. I'd go with fighter being something vaguely like "The master of arms", ranger being "The warrior of the wilds" paladin being "The hammer of belief" monks being "The living weapon" which leaves barbarian to be something like "The embodiment of strength". None of them are that great I concede but they get the vaguest gist across.

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Maybe STR should increase (or decrease) the range of throwing weapons anyway? Traditionally they have fixed ranges unless given a specific magical bonus. But yes, an axe in the gob would be an awesome spectacle.

 

I wonder also, if spellcasters could have their concentration broken if they're within a certain proximity to a Raging Barbarian, regardless of physical damage? Maybe that's a bit unfair. Maybe the Barbarian has to activate a special ability (like Battle Cry) to cause them to make a Concentration check across the battlefield?

 

I'm just throwing these out there. It's already been mentioned that Paladins will have a War Cry ability. I guess a Barbarian could have a superior Taunt ability to disrupt spellcasting over a distance.

 

Edit:

 

How about if the Barbarian is hit with a Critical melee blow, they are given a "second chance" to reduce it back down to a normal blow, providing there is an adjacent foe they can pull in (or step behind) and use as a meat shield? Another "Whoa!" factor.

 

I'm enjoying this. :dancing:

 

 

Edit:

 

Strong Back and Fast Movement feats that start off as minor, but scale with level?

Edited by TRX850

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Well, if a Barbarian realized that a series of fast, strong, overwhelming attacks at the cost of large amounts of defensive capability and small amounts of accuracy is an ideal strategy... that actually sounds quite a bit like the D&D 3.5e barbarian with alternative class features. Look up the Spirit Lion Totem Whirling Frenzy barbarian, and the Reckless Rage and Reckless Offense feats, as well as the Shock Trooper feat. It's part of the 'Ubercharger' concept that basically says: 'I will charge into a group of enemies, make a series of absolutely overwhelming attacks, one shoting them all, but completely removing my capacity to defend myself in any way, but it won't matter because they will all be dead. Then I do it again with the next cluster of enemies.' It's basically a binary save or die, like several kills you or does nothing spells; if the barbarian can charge into melee and affect the enemies at all, they are dead. If he can't get off a charge (there are lots of ways of preventing this), they are alive.

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