D&D (2024) Barbarian (Playtest 7)

Another set of comparison charts.

First, a new set of barbarian builds:
UTJQTTL.png


In this case, I want to compare different factors.

The blue line is the original Berserker PAM build.

The red line is the Berserker PAM build, but not using Reckless Attack. That difference shows how much Reckless Attack matters for the Berserker's damage potential.

The purple line is the PAM build with Reckless Attack, but using the World Tree subclass instead of Berserker. The difference between the purple and the blue line shows how much damage Berserker adds to the setup. It shows how much the Berserker is the damage-focused subclass. We thus want to be careful about using it as a metric for how much damage a character "should" be doing.

The green line shows a tank-focused build. It's using the World Tree subclass for temp HP support and being able to move targets around, and picked up feats like Sentinel and Mage Slayer. (I could have used Wild Heart as well; it wouldn't make a difference to this comparison.) It's using a battleaxe (topple) and shield, and not using Reckless Attack. There's lots of tools for tanking, but it's the bottom end for damage output. (NB: Using Reckless Attack on this build increases damage output by about 50%.)

And to expand the comparisons a bit, I got the fighter spreadsheet updated, so I got a chart to see where the Champion lies in comparison to the above barbarian builds.

iI3omDu.png


The blue and green lines bracket the top-end PAM build and the bottom-end tanking build. The red line is the Berserker PAM build without Reckless Attack, while the light blue line is the Champion fighter using a PAM build.

Champion specifics: It took PAM at level 4, GWM at level 6, and Charger at level 8. Using a glaive with Graze, and the Great Weapon Fighting fighting style.

As you can see, the Champion and the non-Reckless Berserker are right on par with each other. The PAM World Tree build with Reckless Attack would be similar. This makes me feel like this is a reasonable middle-of-the-road level for damage output.

If you want to see the other Champion build results:

OHUCCWP.png


Here you see that a PAM build, a rapier build (with Dueling fighting style), and a TWF build all come in nearly identically for the Champion. Only the longbow does poorly. Given the consistency, it seemed reasonable to use this for comparison.

Note: Getting Vex working in the spreadsheet was a pain, and I ended up with a modest approximation in the calculations, because so many uncertainties make an exact calculation impossible. It's still a better approximation than just giving advantage and calling it a day.

Edit: Fixed 4x attack level for Champion.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
Drawing on the ideas of animals was the explanation you provided in the exact line I was quoting:

Ah sorry, that was my bad. I shouldn't have used poor phrasing. I meant that as one possible way. That is my bad for being unclear.

I have no problem with Barbarians gaining heightened focus and physical ability, but using STR (which is defined as physical strength everywhere else in the game) to accomplish tasks that have nothing to do with strength is a lousy way of representing that.

And wisdom which is your ability to see ambushes is the ability that connects you to god. And Charisma can be used to stab people. And intelligence can be used to lift things.

Sure, they could have done something like "Gain a bonus to these rolls equal to your rage bonus damage", but there is just nothing inherently wrong with this concept.

A DEX or CON focused barbarian isn't losing anything directly, but they are gaining a smaller bonus than a STR focused barbarian. If the STR focused barbarian needed to get better, then Barbarians focused on other ability scores needed it even more.

And dex focused bards have lower spellcasting DCs. Look, I'm sorry you are seeing it this way, but frankly the Barbarian has been a strength-based class forever. Dex and Con focused barbarians not getting as big of a benefit from a strength-based ability in a strength-based class is just how it works.
 



Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Look, all I'm saying that is with the enduring popularity of smoldering bad boys and dangerous femme fatales, rolling Cha + Intimidate to pick up dates should be allowed. Is that so wrong? It's practically Conan's signature move, if you read the original stories.

I wonder what the "NPCs should be able to use social skills on PCs" crowd would think of that.
 

If you were to build the barbarian from scratch, I could see a caster who can concentrate on a spell before he/she casts it (something to do when you end your long rest). It isn't so different than ancestral guardian (spirit guardians), storm herald (mostly fire shield), giant (mostly enlarge), and beast (mostly guardian of nature). It wouldn't take much to make the berserker use the fear spell. Totem and Zeal are harder, but I could see a 5th paladin spell that lets you come back as a vengeful spirit to finish a fight, so a win for paladin and a win for the zealot.

I am agnostic on casting stat. Charisma seems good for the intimidation, wisdom has the whole nature thing, and the classic literary barbarians seem pretty good with languages (especially Tarzan, but Conan seemed to pick them up pretty quick too), which makes a case for intelligence.
 

Horwath

Legend
IMO, the solution to the Bear is to eliminate it and instead roll resistance to all damage except psychic into the base Barbarian class. With more and more creatures doing elemental damage, the Barbarian's shtick of being a damage sponge is under serious threat, particularly at higher levels.
Also morph Reckless attack into rage as an non option.
When you rage, your attacks(based on STR) have advantage, all attacks vs. you have advantage.
 


Also morph Reckless attack into rage as an non option.
When you rage, your attacks(based on STR) have advantage, all attacks vs. you have advantage.
I like Reckless Attack the way it is. Barbarians don't have many choices to make in combat as it is, but Reckless Attack lets you decide if you want to be a tank or striker each round.

Also, since advantage doesn't stack and there are so many other ways to get advantage in combat, granting advantage to all incoming attacks would often end up being a straight penalty with no upside.
 

Horwath

Legend
I like Reckless Attack the way it is. Barbarians don't have many choices to make in combat as it is, but Reckless Attack lets you decide if you want to be a tank or striker each round.

Also, since advantage doesn't stack and there are so many other ways to get advantage in combat, granting advantage to all incoming attacks would often end up being a straight penalty with no upside.
it would balance out with default resistance to all that is suggested.
Then you do not need to bother to find any source of advantage.

Or maybe we could get the rule that you can stack advantage two times.
goes for disadvantage also.
 

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