5E DPS Tank: Barbarians and Paladins

Which Class do you recommend?

  • Barbarian

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Paladin

    Votes: 6 85.7%

  • Total voters
    7

Vitor Bastos

Explorer
Intermediate player planning to build a high damage/tanky character. The classes that popped up on my mind were Paladin and Barbarian. Multiclassing is not allowed on this campaign and it will be from level 1 to 12. I wanna know your thoughts about their features and gameplay, comparing them:
  1. Combat: So far I've read that Paladins have a big Nova damage and Barbarians have a constant DPR. Paladins have to time when they'll have to go all-in on their Smites and Barbarians should know when to Rage. Also Paladins seem to have a bigger and better kit than Barbarians to win encounters.
  2. Social: Paladins have more tools out-of-combat to deal with situations. Also a CHA based class. Barbarians doesnt seem bring the "leader" aspect to the table, but of course that also depends on the player.
  3. Exploration: Barbarians look like a better scout class than Paladins.
  4. Spells: Simple. Paladins are Half-Casters and Barbarians cant use spells. So barbarians have less management to do, but less utility.
  5. Tankiness: Bear Totem Barb seems looks like the "best" meat tank in the game. D12 as a Hit die, Damage Reduction. Paladins also look good and depeding on the subclass, they can offer more support spells to aid the party.
  6. Teamplayer: Paladins feel like more of a support-oriented class. Barbs looks more like a "lone-wolf".
  7. Gameplay Mechanis: Barbarians seem more simple and straightfoward than Paladins.
  8. Flavor/Fun Factor?!: This one is kinda personal. But how do you guys feel about it? Which Class do you have most fun with out of these two?
What else can you tell me about these Classes to help me make up my mind and which Subclasses do you recommend?
 
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NotAYakk

Adventurer
Barbarians for damage have GWM and Reckless Attack (advantage at the cost of tankiness).

Battlemaster fighters can pull off surprising damage.

What level are you playng at (starting and expected end), and what charop level (wizard infinite simulacrum, to single classed featless no magic items)?
 

Vitor Bastos

Explorer
What level are you playng at (starting and expected end), and what charop level (wizard infinite simulacrum, to single classed featless no magic items)?
The DM said that the campaign will probably be from level 1 to 12. No Multiclassing was the only condition the DM stated, I'd like to build a strong Character but not cheesy enough to spoil the game for the other players.
 
Paladin all the way for me. Incredible damage, you have the biggest armor (and a lot of healing that you can give yourself), but the biggest difference to me is the 6th level aura. +4-5 to saves, nothing beats that.

In summary:

1) You have some of the best nova damage
2) High AC and ability to heal
3) Best saves in the game
4) Cover all of the "looking cool" attributes with social skills and high charisma.
 

Don Durito

Adventurer
Paladins win on damage because they get to choose when to apply the damage - which is absolutely huge.

When it comes to tanking - well what do you mean by tanking? - just taking damage? or actually locking down the opponent?

For the former I'd build a defence based paladin as the bonuses to save ultimately will win out over resistance. At lower levels I'd favour the barbarian.

When it comes to locking down enemies the Oath of the Ancients or the Conquest Paladin are pretty awesome and I don't think the barbarian can really compete.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
1. Barbarians are not Paladins.
2. Paladins are Paladins.

Game.

Set.

Yawp.
 
  1. Teamplayer: Paladins feel like more of a support-oriented class. Barbs looks more like a "lone-wolf".
This is wrong. Paladins are pretty much a party on their own. Give them an expert sidekick who can pick locks and they are good to go without anyone else. The barbarian, as a tank, is fairly useless without a team to defend. The best barbarian options - Wolf Totem and Ancestor Guardian - are very support oriented.

Flavor/Fun Factor?!: This one is kinda personal. But how do you guys feel about it? Which Class do you have most fun with out of these two?
I think both classes are quite dull to play. Obviously, a good player can make any character interesting, but both paladins and barbarians tend towards cliche.
 
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ccs

40th lv DM
Intermediate player planning to build a high damage/tanky character. The classes that popped up on my mind were Paladin and Barbarian. Multiclassing is not allowed on this campaign and it will be from level 1 to 12. I wanna know your thoughts about their features and gameplay, comparing them:
*Do you know the theme of the game? Or have a general idea of what to expect setting wise? Because I've found that often suggests character types to me.
*Are Feats being used?
*Other than the PHB, what books do you have access to in this game?
*What are your options race wise?
*Are you able to customize backgrounds or are you limited to the listed ones. Because if you're able to mix & match skills/tools/languages/perks you can get a good mix of prof. bonuses.
*Are down-time activities a thing in this game?


Combat: So far I've read that Paladins have a big Nova damage and Barbarians have a constant DPR. Paladins have to time when they'll have to go all-in on their Smites and Barbarians should know when to Rage. Also Paladins seem to have a bigger and better kit than Barbarians to win encounters.
It's about 6 of one & half-a-dozen of the other. Winning (combat) encounters is generally the same - run the enemies out of HP. Both the Paladin & the Barbarian do a fine job of this. Just the details change.
In non-combat encounters the Paladin might, depending upon how built/spells selected/spells used etc have an edge on the Barbarian.


Social: Paladins have more tools out-of-combat to deal with situations. Also a CHA based class. Barbarians doesnt seem bring the "leader" aspect to the table, but of course that also depends on the player.
This depends alot on how you arrange your stats, the skills you're prof. in*, & how you play.

*Do not make the assumption that just because you're not prof. in a skill means that you're bad at it. Or worse yet, unable to use it. All it means is that you've got a smaller bonus on the dice roll.

It's also worth considering your racial +s & how you arrange your stats. My xp with 5th is that you do not need to max out a stat to 20 in order to be effective. Sure, rolling to hit/dam with a huge mod is a blast. But it's often just over kill. You'd have hit that orc or gnoll or whatever, even dragons, anyways with a lower + & minimal tactics (flanking/raging etc).
As for damage? Once again, sure, big max # = cool. But let's be honest. 5e fights are short anyways & as the fighty type you're not really sad to see a fight go a few extra rounds.
So setting things up with a slightly lower combat +, but a higher bonus that'll help non-combat skills or Saves is perfectly viable.


Exploration: Barbarians look like a better scout class than Paladins.
See above. And below!
Although danger sense & not generally wearing clanking metal armor does favor the barbarian in certain activities.


Spells: Simple. Paladins are Half-Casters and Barbarians cant use spells. So barbarians have less management to do, but less utility.
Not entirely true. You might be surprised how handy the feats Magic Initiate &/or Ritual Caster can be with carefully chosen cantrips and spells. If you pick for utility you often don't need to worry about Spell DCs or Spell Attack bonuses.
And certain sub-races grant access to limited cantrips/spells/similar abilities.


Tankiness: Bear Totem Barb seems looks like the "best" meat tank in the game. D12 as a Hit die, Damage Reduction. Paladins also look good and depending on the subclass, they can offer more support spells to aid the party.
True.
Ways to increase tankiness: Consider the Warforged or Revenent races if options. Ancestral Guardian for barbarians is pretty cool in how it protects allies. The Paladin in our Thur game gets good use out of the Shield Master feat.



Teamplayer: Paladins feel like more of a support-oriented class. Barbs looks more like a "lone-wolf".
In practice? No, unless specifically played that way, the barbarians aren't very lone-wolfy.
They're right there in melee using tactics to help the group.
Out of combat they fall into one of two modes of play (depending mostly upon the player):
1) The too common martial players approach to problems where damage isn't the answer - sit & let those with the higher +s/spells/nifty tricks do all the work. Then feel/complain they're lacking options. This is often the result of over specializing in hitting/damage bonuses or combat effects.....
2) Those of us who DO THINGS. Even when we don't have the highest +. Even having a - doesn't stop us.


Gameplay Mechanis: Barbarians seem more simple and straight forward than Paladins.
Again, it's about 6 of one & half-a-dozen of the other in my xp.


Flavor/Fun Factor?!: This one is kinda personal. But how do you guys feel about it? Which Class do you have most fun with out of these two?
I've played a Paladin (Green Dragonborn, Ancients) & a Barbarian (1/2ling, modified Ancestral Guardian).
Of these two I had more fun with the barbarian.

But there were factors beyond mechanics involved.
*The 1/2ling is a very well developed character. That informed every mechanic I chose to represent her. She was played in a fun campaign with good mixes of combat/exploration/social and plenty of space to RP, the ability to take the story in random directions, etc.
The dragonborn was played in the succeeding campaign - Dungeon of the Mad Mage. He was created from the starting point of: a class & race I hadn't yet played in 5e. Then character details were added. Wich proved pointless as what followed was a vacation into my least favorite type of adventure. Until it fizzled out it was little more than a continuous dungeon hack with little RP & ever rotating PCs as people tried out random assorted concepts. It didn't matter what was played.
Mechanically I'm happy with what I made though & how it functioned. I'll revisit the concept at some point.

I also think that I've got more ideas for interesting barbarians than I do paladins.


What else can you tell me about these Classes to help me make up my mind and which Subclasses do you recommend?
I recommend finding out the details of the game you'll be playing in.
Then think up characters who'll fit.
Then picking the mechanical details (race/stats/class/subraces/classes/etc) that will best represent whatever you're envisioning.
 

Al2O3

Explorer
I would suggest paladin.

If you go for barbarian, don't forget GWM. Barbarian without great weapon master only get fun damage numbers on a crit.

The high damage on a crit is a 9th level feature, so if you want it I would recommend half-orc. Then you might as well be a paladin...

Paladin with GWM is also an option.
 

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