5E Berserker is balanced with Zealot without exhaustion from Frenzy

Stalker0

Adventurer
Taking a second look, does this factor in miss chances at all?

That may be important because the zealot effect applies to the first hit. So as long as either attack hits you'll get the bonus. That may make the zealot DPR a little bit higher in comparison compared to frenzy.
 

cooperjer

Explorer
I removed the Frenzy penalty long ago. It is the only ability I am aware of that actually penalizes the player. Everything else is about resource management. You don't see a Totem Barbarian being punished for being resistant to pretty much every damage type. This ability is so out of whack based on the way they have designed every other ability.

Actually, I take it back. Only ability I can think of that penalizes a player is using a freaking Wish spell. So Frenzy is as game breaking as Wish? Is that what WotC is saying?
Did you add a resource cost to frenzy or are you letting the barbarian increase DPR at no cost?

Sent from my VS988 using EN World mobile app
 

Bardbarian

Visitor
DPR is not the only thing that determines balance. From personal experience the level 6 Frenzy ability is extremely powerful and the reason I choose Frenzy over all other barbarian types. I play a polearm Master so the only thing frenzy does is change my 1d4 bludgeoning attack into 1d10 slashing. A Great weapon master will often get a bonus action attack from the feat. I think people overemphasize the Frenzy ability. In addition Exaustion is not even bad until you get past the third rank. Before that the class abilities of the Barbarian compensate for the Penalties. There are two major flaws with the Frenzy barb.
1: the level 3 ability should have been swapped with the level 6 for a smoother progression, that lines up better with Totem.
2: The level 10 ability is useless.

Exaustion is so over emphasized that I think few people have actually played the class to find out what they actually do. At level 14 they are a beast that strikes fear into the enemy. I cant wait until level 20 when I get unlimited rages.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
[MENTION=6802784]Bardbarian[/MENTION] and others unhappy with the Berserker's Intimidating Presence ability. It is not a bad ability, because it is not meant to be a strong ability. If you look at most barbarian archetypes, level 10 is generally a ribbon ability. Totem Warriors get Commune with Nature, Battleragers get Dash as a bonus action while raging. In comparison with these abilities, Intimidating Presence is right in the same power level of balance. The level 10 ability for a Barbarian tends to be less focused on combat prowess and more focused on movement, exploration, or support. The only Barbarian with a significant level 10 ability might be the Zealot. Advantage for the whole party on all attacks and saves for 1 round is pretty intense.
 

Bardbarian

Visitor
[MENTION=6802784]Bardbarian[/MENTION] and others unhappy with the Berserker's Intimidating Presence ability. It is not a bad ability, because it is not meant to be a strong ability. If you look at most barbarian archetypes, level 10 is generally a ribbon ability. Totem Warriors get Commune with Nature, Battleragers get Dash as a bonus action while raging. In comparison with these abilities, Intimidating Presence is right in the same power level of balance. The level 10 ability for a Barbarian tends to be less focused on combat prowess and more focused on movement, exploration, or support. The only Barbarian with a significant level 10 ability might be the Zealot. Advantage for the whole party on all attacks and saves for 1 round is pretty intense.
I agree that it shouldn't be particularly strong, I was replying to an earlier remark that it was in fact one of their strongest abilities. It is not powerful for the reasons I stated earlier and I would personally prefer it was replaced with another ability entirely just because I feel it is an in combat trap option. I still play a Frenzy barb despite this minor issue and think its the stronger option from the PHB in tier 3 and 4 play. I would like for some of the options of the Frenzy barb to be tweaked but it's a fine line, if tweaked too far it would become the new Bear Barb that everyone seems to play.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
[MENTION=6802784]Bardbarian[/MENTION] Totem Warriors get Commune with Nature, Battleragers get Dash as a bonus action while raging.
I agree that commune with nature isn't all that great, though the dash as a bonus action is actually very nice, and not to be underestimated.

I also think totem warriors are pretty front loaded. The level 3 ability is awesome (especially bear). Level 6 is ok, and then the level 10 is whatever.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
Taking a second look, does this factor in miss chances at all?

That may be important because the zealot effect applies to the first hit. So as long as either attack hits you'll get the bonus. That may make the zealot DPR a little bit higher in comparison compared to frenzy.
I agree with you that this should push DPR into Zealot’s favor. I didn’t adjust the numbers, but I did comment on it near the end of the OP.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
It might be a better ability if it used a stat that was higher in the priority of a barbarian. As the only feature of the barbarian that keys off Charisma in a class that has very compelling need of Str, Dex and Con and a real benefit from wisdom for the purpose of saves and skills, this one ability is not reliable enough to warrant the loss of 3 attacks for a low chance of success of hindering an enemy for a single round.
"Hinder for a single round" is your problem here. For the right foe, being immobilized is effectively incapacitated - many foes don't have powerful ranged attacks. And 'single round' is 'until I choose to stop'. The ability just keeps going as long as you keep maintaining it.

Let's say you'r a 15th level barbarian up against an ancient red dragon, and your charisma is 10.

You still have a 25% chance to affect him. And once you affect him, if you can pull back to 125 feet with the right angle... the fight is over. You literally have as long as you want with that sucker sitting in his corner getting slammed by whatever your buddies have range with, with zero chance to break free.

Personally I think that's worth a crack instead of some comparitively small portion of his hitpoints.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
"Hinder for a single round" is your problem here. For the right foe, being immobilized is effectively incapacitated - many foes don't have powerful ranged attacks. And 'single round' is 'until I choose to stop'. The ability just keeps going as long as you keep maintaining it.

Let's say you'r a 15th level barbarian up against an ancient red dragon, and your charisma is 10.

You still have a 25% chance to affect him. And once you affect him, if you can pull back to 125 feet with the right angle... the fight is over. You literally have as long as you want with that sucker sitting in his corner getting slammed by whatever your buddies have range with, with zero chance to break free.

Personally I think that's worth a crack instead of some comparitively small portion of his hitpoints.
One correction, the effect ends if the target is more than 60 feet away from you, so your example would not work. But even at 60 feet it does limit a dragon to just its breath weapon.

You have given me some compelling arguments, I think this ability is probably still pretty situational, but might still have some good kick to it.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
One correction, the effect ends if the target is more than 60 feet away from you, so your example would not work. But even at 60 feet it does limit a dragon to just its breath weapon.

You have given me some compelling arguments, I think this ability is probably still pretty situational, but might still have some good kick to it.
This scenario is also exaggerated.

I count 15%. 8+5+0=13 vs Wisdom +9. Roll of 4 or better.

The dragon also has legendary resistance in the rare case that the dragon fails their saving throw. That's what it is for. The dragon needs to fail 4 debilitating effects before having issues.

It also has its own Frightful Presence, only it has a range of 120ft and is DC 21.

In addition to its Breath Weapon they also have lair actions to contend with.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
This scenario is also exaggerated.

I count 15%. 8+5+0=13 vs Wisdom +9. Roll of 4 or better.

The dragon also has legendary resistance in the rare case that the dragon fails their saving throw. That's what it is for. The dragon needs to fail 4 debilitating effects before having issues.

It also has its own Frightful Presence, only it has a range of 120ft and is DC 21.

In addition to its Breath Weapon they also have lair actions to contend with.
So the question is, is it common to face a group of medium monsters where the fear would be better than outright damage but the monster is vulnerable enough to the fear to make it worth it
 

Bardbarian

Visitor
So the question is, is it common to face a group of medium monsters where the fear would be better than outright damage but the monster is vulnerable enough to the fear to make it worth it
I don't think that happens very often. I have used the ability (I have a 14 charisma) and it has been a roleplay choice every time. I have feared enemis I could probably have walked up to and killed or grappeld. Also keep in mind that a Barbarian who uses this ability will likely drop out of rage prior to level 15. The ability is a nice ribbon, I am concerend that a new player might fall into the trap of using it in bad situations. Its the type of ability that might look ok in a white room when you set the optimum scenario, however, In actual play you have limited information about your enemy and cannot determine the chance of success as given in your example. I play heavily. this weekend I am scheduled to play 4 AL events. I cannot tell you the chance I have of success with this ability in any game I will be playing. In fact I will be replaying at least one adventure with a different character and I cannot say in the event I am playin that this will work. In addition I know our Homegame Dm tends to increase monster saves from 1-3 on average because our spellcasters have incredibly powerful gear from years of play, (Staf of Magi for example) and a 25 % chance quickly dwindles with such a small alteration. Ths is very common and not outside the spirit or even the rules of the game. There is nothing wrong with having abilities that rarely if ever work. A dragon should be less afraid of a barbarian standing and wagging their finger menacingly. This ability just happens to be close enough to viable that a player who does not understand it's place might expect to use it and screw themselves.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Also keep in mind that a Barbarian who uses this ability will likely drop out of rage prior to level 15.
Ok so now its... is it common to face a group of medium monsters where the fear would be better than outright damage but the monster is vulnerable enough to the fear to make it worth it, AND you have already taken damage that round so you don't lose rage.

Sigh, I had a glimmer of hope for this ability but its not looking good. And even if there are edge cases I think it would be hard for anyone to say it competes with the Zealot ability at the same level
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Ok so now its... is it common to face a group of medium monsters where the fear would be better than outright damage but the monster is vulnerable enough to the fear to make it worth it, AND you have already taken damage that round so you don't lose rage.

Sigh, I had a glimmer of hope for this ability but its not looking good. And even if there are edge cases I think it would be hard for anyone to say it competes with the Zealot ability at the same level
To be fair, if the character is in a frenzy they can use their action on fear and bonus action on an attack.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
To be fair, if the character is in a frenzy they can use their action on fear and bonus action on an attack.
And if they did take damage and are 14+ they'll get another attack as a Reaction.

As much as I dislike the Exhaustion aspect of it, Berserker abilities work well enough together, and it has a really solid theme.

I'd still rather play a Zealot though.
 

Bardbarian

Visitor
Both the Zealot and the Berzerker are interesting classes that just do different things. There are parts I would change about both classes, and I would alter the basic chassis of the Barebarian in a few minor ways as well. Overall I enjoy playing the Berzerker and I am looking forward to playing the Zealot as well once I develop a compelling character idea.
 

Advertisement

Top