D&D 5E Requesting help building a barbarian

ElterAgo

Explorer
Heyo folks. We ended last session in the middle of the BBEG fight. There is an excellent chance my goblin rogue will kick the bucket next session. So I'm working on the next PC. heading for something completely different, I'm thinking barbarian. Big-Stick-Smash-Brutus! We will be re-starting at 4th or 5th level for the next adventure.

Race: Leaning toward Bugbear. The in-game intro story would be an easy, "I have come to find out why Larry hasn't returned yet." However, I could probably be talked into something else if there is enough reason.
Primal Path: Path of the Ancestral Guardian, Path of the the Zealot, and Path of Wild Magic all sound interesting. How do they work out in game.
Multi-Classing: I usually do take a dip into another class. Not sure how needed or even helpful it would be for this. What do you think?

Other suggestions? Anything that would give a stacking bonus to the unarmored & shield AC?
 

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Heyo folks. We ended last session in the middle of the BBEG fight. There is an excellent chance my goblin rogue will kick the bucket next session. So I'm working on the next PC. heading for something completely different, I'm thinking barbarian. Big-Stick-Smash-Brutus! We will be re-starting at 4th or 5th level for the next adventure.

Race: Leaning toward Bugbear. The in-game intro story would be an easy, "I have come to find out why Larry hasn't returned yet." However, I could probably be talked into something else if there is enough reason.
Primal Path: Path of the Ancestral Guardian, Path of the the Zealot, and Path of Wild Magic all sound interesting. How do they work out in game.
Multi-Classing: I usually do take a dip into another class. Not sure how needed or even helpful it would be for this. What do you think?

Other suggestions? Anything that would give a stacking bonus to the unarmored & shield AC?
Re: multi-classing: keep in mind you can neither cast nor concentrate while raging, so spellcasting just doesn't mesh with barbarian-ing. There are some builds that work, but most aren't really better than the first 10 levels of barbarian.

After level 10 then you'll want to evaluate whether you want to continue with barbarian levels or go another route.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
You definitely don't want to multiclass anywhere in the first five levels - that delays extra attack. Level 6 is a subclass feature, usually not great to delay that. After that, some fighter in the mix works well. Rogue is not easy because it's Dex based, and as said above casters are problematic.

Zealot is a straightforward subclass with good damage and the benefit of being very hard to permanently kill.

Ancestral Guardian is a good defender if that's what you want for your barbarian. BUT if there are a lot of encounters rage goes quick she then you can't do your schtick.

I REALLY dislike the path of Wild Magic. None of the 3rd level features are all THAT great and because they are 100% random you can't count on getting the one you need regardless - is just terrible. The 6th level feature is decent but doesn't make up for the awfulness of the 3rd level one, IMO.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I’ve honestly never regretted multiclassing 1 level of fighter before level 5, and then another as soon as I have extra attack. IME that one level of extra waiting is trivial, and level 1 fighter gives a fighting style, Second Wind, and all the proficiencies (which I usually don’t put much importance on outside fulfilling a concept).

That being said, the Zealot is the most fun of those three, IME.
 

greg kaye

Explorer
With int 13 you could start with 3 levs of artificer for hulk smash gauntlets. They would give opponents disadvantage in hitting anyone but you and, if you don't reckless, they wouldn't have advantage on you. A real taunt tank, Banner style. =D
With bugbear you could hit opponents to give them diadvantage at distance then, if they didn't have reach, they'd have to move to hit you and perhaps give opportunity attacks.
 



You definitely don't want to multiclass anywhere in the first five levels - that delays extra attack. Level 6 is a subclass feature, usually not great to delay that. After that, some fighter in the mix works well. Rogue is not easy because it's Dex based, and as said above casters are problematic.
I have experimented a bit with barbarian multiclassing rogue. It works very fine from level 2 and beyond.

The trick is making use of reckless attack and sneak attack using two short swords while raging. Nothing in the rogue says, that you need to use dex for attack. Str works fine. If you really need more AC you can also use a shield and only one short sword. You might also wear a chain shirt, as you might get better AC with medium armor than with unarmed attack, as your dex might likely be 14 or lower. You will be great at grappling and sneaking and surprising enemies. Especially as a bugbear, even if your dex is lower than str.

It really does not matter how you take your next levels. Every level of rogue or barbarian adds to your damage output.

As subclasses, you might find assassin synergetic with surprise attack, but swashbuckler will get you better movement around the battlefield. Most likely you will stay at 3 or 5 for sneak attack damage and probably uncanny dodge to be nearly untouchable from single attacks.

As barbarian subclass, I'd favour totem warrior, maybe with elk or eagle totem if you want to dash through the battlefield or bear if you really want to be untouchable.

Path of the ancestral guardian might be great fun too, if you want to have the enemy focussed on you and not your team.. Might really play well with swashbuckler.

And zealot extra damage stacks nicely with sneak attack and ambush from assassin and bugbear.
 
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If you really need more AC you can also use a shield and only one short sword.
Rapier is better under those circumstances.
Path of the ancestral guardian might be great fun too
One of the issues in pumping up AC is, depending on your DM, it may cause enemies to ignore the barbarian and attack squishier targets. CRPGs, like BG3, are particularly prone to this. The ancestral guardian gets round this drawback for a high AC barbarian.

Alternatively, ignore AC and pump up other defences instead.
 

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