Civilizing the Barbarian - Page 2




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  1. #11
    Just create a Berserk Rage feat tree. You don't need a not-quite-Barbarian class.

 

  • #12
    You guys have many more ideas on this than I ever did. All I was looking for was a way to play a barbarian without him having the same tired background of coming from a distant tribe somewhere. I was thinking that a few minor modifications would turn the barbarian into a tough warrior type who could come from any background, but fights with extreme ferocity (the existing rage ability).

  • #13
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    ø Ignore Cyberzombie
    Ah, if you just want that, that's easy enough. Dragon had one of their class articles a few months about barbarians from unusual backgrounds. You can do that without even changing the class. Don't take handle animal or survival; just take skills that would fit more with an urban setting. Maybe switch those out for something more civilized. And then you can say your character is, say, someone with ADD and a really bad temper.

  • #14
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    ø Ignore GreatLemur
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnome
    You guys have many more ideas on this than I ever did. All I was looking for was a way to play a barbarian without him having the same tired background of coming from a distant tribe somewhere.
    Yeah, one of the biggest problems with D&D is the fact that most of the classes aren't just skill sets; they also include a lifestyle and worldview along with them. The idea that a character has to come from a primitive culture in order to work himself into a berserker rage is straight up absurd, as is the idea that someone needs a life of spiritual contemplation and a lawful alignment in order to do more than 1d3 damage with an unarmed strike.

    I guess relying on clearly-defined archetypes is handy for people who are new to roleplaying, but the rest of us should be able to leave the training wheels behind.

  • #15
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    ø Ignore Cyberzombie
    Amen, GreatLemur! Preach it.

  • #16
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    ø Ignore Jesus_marley
    The easiest way to play a "civilised" barbarian is to roleplay him as civilised. Regardless of the characters background, ultimately, YOU are the one in charge of how he behaves. My favourite character Sulik, is a gnome barbarian. He is from a nomadic culture, but I would never say he was uncivilised. Except for the fact that his clan had a taste for giants (Long Long Pig) and would routinely hunt them for food.
    He was even the unofficial leader of our group. Intelligent, and well spoken though still illiterate (the party wizard was teaching him to read), he was a good negotiator and problem solver.

    Just because a barbarian lives in a tent and not a city does not make him uncivilised.
    There are two kinds of fool in this world.
    The first says "This is old therefore it is good."
    The second says "This is new therefore it is better."


    "So I'll say hello to the girls that you know
    and they'll laugh till they cry over stories of you.
    At a table for one I'll recall all you've done,
    and I'll finish my Guinness for two." - McKenna

  • #17
    Maybe I should have said "Urbanizing the Barbarian".

  • #18
    Welll, since I posted in the Monk thread, I might as well do here too. In our world, we replaced Barbarians with Berserkers. The class no longer is explicitly tied to a primitive culture, although it's still heavily biased towards them. The illiteracy is gone, but the only other change was to the "Rage" ability, which in my opinion is the most stereotypical part of the class; all that STR and CON, and its drawbacks, are aimed at the same thing, the brute-force unintelligent warrior.

    So instead, we have Berserkers generate their own custom 'Trance' ability by picking bonuses and drawbacks from several tables, with better abilities unlocking at higher levels. Instead of STR and CON, you might take DEX and Reflex, or eventually choose DR, Fast Healing, Evasion, or a movement speed increase. Instead of Fatigue and a stat/save penalty, you might choose to take subdual damage when it wears off, or a shorter duration. Each trance includes one Major Drawback, like "can't use spells or abilities requiring concentration", "can't move", "can't attack", and so on; these drawbacks never go away, and pretty much define the type of Berserker you'll end up being.

    Instead of one simple jump in power in the teens, we let them continuously add minor bonuses as they advance, with the option to trade several minor bonuses for a larger one, and the ability at higher levels to remove the minor drawbacks instead. So, one Berserker might slip into a defensive trance where he becomes practically invulnerable for a short time but can't move; another might suddenly move really fast and be impossible to hit but not be able to attack. As a matter of flavor, we require the player to pick some theme (an animal or something) that their particular ability combo and drawback mimics; the PHB Barbarian follows the Way of the Bear, the Dwarven Warrior follows the Way of the Turtle, and so on.

    It's not a major change, but it's made the class pretty popular, especially among multiclassers. A low-level trance might be weaker for pure melee types than the old Rage, but it's far more flexible for everyone else; a Sorcerer might grab a level or two to get a trance that lets him heal himself, for instance. Since you'll only get one or two uses per day, it's not unbalancing, but it's nice having something extra available for the tough fights.

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    ø Ignore Campbell
    You might want to check out the Berserker core class located at The Waking Lands.
    Storyteller 100%| Tactician 100 %| Butt Kicker 92%|Power Gamer 75%|Specialist 67%| Method Actor 58%| Casual Gamer 42%
    -Relaxed Intensity

  • #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnome
    Maybe I should have said "Urbanizing the Barbarian".
    Urbane* Barbarian (a.k.a. "Gothbuckler")

    Alignment: Any nonlawful.

    Hit Die: d12.

    Class Skills: The urbane barbarian’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Forgery (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.

    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

    Table: The Urbane Barbarian
    Code:
    1st 	+1 	+2/0/0 		Slow movement, withering scorn, ennui 1/day
    2nd 	+2 	+3/0/0 		Uncanny dodge
    3rd 	+3 	+3/1/1 		Trap sense +1
    4th 	+4 	+4/1/1 		Ennui 2/day
    5th 	+5 	+4/1/1 		Improved uncanny dodge
    6th 	+6 	+5/2/2 		Trap sense +2
    7th 	+7 	+5/2/2 		Damage reduction 1/—
    8th 	+8 	+6/2/2 		Ennui 3/day
    9th 	+9 	+6/3/3 		Trap sense +3
    10th 	+10 	+7/3/3 		Damage reduction 2/—
    11th 	+11 	+7/3/3 		Greater ennui
    12th 	+12 	+8/4/4 		Ennui 4/day, trap sense +4
    13th 	+13 	+8/4/4 		Damage reduction 3/—
    14th 	+14 	+9/4/4 		Indomitable scorn
    15th 	+15 	+9/5/5 		Trap sense +5
    16th 	+16 	+10/5/5 	Damage reduction 4/—, ennui 5/day
    17th 	+17 	+10/5/5 	Tireless ennui
    18th 	+18 	+11/6/6 	Trap sense +6
    19th 	+19 	+11/6/6 	Damage reduction 5/—
    20th 	+20 	+12/6/6 	Mighty ennui, ennui 6/day

    Class Features

    All of the following are class features of the urbane barbarian.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An urbane barbarian is proficient with all simple weapons, light armor and shields (except tower shields).

    Slow Movement (Ex/Su): An urbane barbarian’s land speed is way cooler than the norm for his race. He cannot charge or run (haste isn't cool), but he is likewise very resistant to effects that would make his movement look less cool. He gains the Travel domain ability, and his urbane barbarian levels count as cleric levels for this purpose. (If he should ever multi-class into Cleric, he must choose the Travel domain.)

    Withering Scorn (Su): Once per day per urbane barbarian level, the character may inflict despair upon a foe he touches. By speaking a phrase of supernaturally potent scorn -- or merely flicking a foe in the forehead -- he invokes an effect identical to that of the cantrip touch of fatigue (except that, as a supernatural ability, it is not subject to spell resistance).

    Ennui (Ex): An urbane barbarian can sink into a jaded funk a certain number of times per day. When filled with ennui, a barbarian temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Charisma, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves. The increase in Constitution increases the barbarian’s hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when his Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are lost first the way temporary hit points are.) A spate of ennui lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Charisma modifier. An urbane barbarian may prematurely end his ennui. At the end of the ennui, the urbane barbarian loses the ennui modifiers and becomes depressed (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity) for the duration of the current encounter (unless he is a 17th-level barbarian, at which point this limitation no longer applies; see below).
    An urbane barbarian can sink into ennui only once per encounter. At 1st level he can use his ennui ability once per day. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day (to a maximum of six times per day at 20th level). Entering ennui takes no time itself, but an urbane barbarian can do it only during his action, not in response to someone else’s action.
    During ennui, an urbane barbarian becomes cool: way cool. Even cooler than normal. This manifests itself in a variety of mechanical bonuses. When sinking into ennui, the urbane barbarian chooses one of the following:
    - Cooler Than You: the urbane barbarian adds his Charisma bonus to all skill checks for the duration of his ennui, but only when attempting a check that someone else just failed.
    - Pesky Mooks: the urbane barbarian adds his Charisma bonus to damage (instead of Strength).
    - You Call That Fencing?: the urbane barbarian adds his Charisma bonus to AC. This is a dodge bonus.
    - You Call That a Spell?: the urbane barbarian gains SR equal to 8 + urbane barbarian level + Charisma bonus.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, an urbane barbarian retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a barbarian already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

    Trap Sense (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, an urbane barbarian gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise by +1 every three urbane barbarian levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level). Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, an urbane barbarian can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the barbarian by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has barbarian levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

    Damage Reduction (Ex): At 7th level, an urbane barbarian becomes too cool to bleed -- he gains Damage Reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the barbarian takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 10th level, and every three barbarian levels thereafter (13th, 16th, and 19th level), this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

    Greater Ennui (Ex): At 11th level, a barbarian’s bonuses to Charisma and Constitution during his rage each increase to +6, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +3.

    Indomitable Scorn (Su): When using his withering scorn ability, the urbane barbarian may instead invoke an effect that is identical to the spell ray of exhaustion (except that, as a supernatural ability, it is not subject to spell resistance).

    Tireless Ennui (Ex): At 17th level and higher, an urbane barbarian no longer becomes depressed at the end of his ennui.

    Mighty Ennui (Ex): At 20th level, an urbane barbarian’s bonuses to Charisma and Constitution during his ennui each increase to +8, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +4.

    -- N

    * Yes, I know, you didn't make a spelling mistake...
    Last edited by Nifft; Tuesday, 1st March, 2005 at 03:34 AM. Reason: some text clairification

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