D&D (2024) UA 8 Barbarian Discussion

Amrûnril

Adventurer
To help keep the discussion of the UA8 playtest packet organized, here is a thread for discussion of the revised Barbarian. To begin, here are my thoughts on some of the features:


Rage: Maintaining rage as a bonus action was a good addition, and it's elegantly presented here. With the reduced risk of losing rage during combat, I'm less convinced of the need for additional uses through short rest recovery and persistent rage.

Weapon Mastery: This is a great feature for Fighters, as the class focused on representing trained weapon users. I'm glad to see it removed for Monks, who often focus on unarmed fighting, and I'd also be inclined to remove it from the Barbarians, who tend to focus on instinct over training. I'm not opposed to barbarians gaining access to this through a subclass or feat, but I'd rather keep this as primarily a Fighter ability than treat it as a default feature for warrior classes.

Primal Knowledge: I'm still not convinced of the thematic rationale for this ability. I also dislike further emphasizing class associations with specific ability scores (there's no reason an instinct-based warrior should be discouraged from emphasizing dexterity or wisdom over strength), but I recognize this is a lost cause as far as the 2024 rules are concerned.

Brutal Strike: I like these new options. The level 9 options in particular seem like they could be helpful in dealing with mobile opponents, especially since as far as I can tell there's nothing preventing the Barbarian from using them with thrown weapons. I'm a bit surprised by the removal of Brutal Critical, which I wasn't aware of any complaints about.

Path of the World Tree: I'm not convinced this is a good fit for the PHB, but my concerns are more about the theme being overly specific than about any of the features these revisions are analyzing. I think this would be a good subclass for a future setting book or Xanathar's/Tasha's equivalent.
 

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Simple but good changes here.

One rage recovered on finishing a short rest - if they aren't going to fix short rests at all then at least giving more classes a reason to take them is a good thing.

Brutal Critical was never any good. Replacing it with "Brutal Strike" giving up advantage on Reckless attacks (despite some unclear wording) to give the barbarian mighty options is a good thing.

Persistent Rage is too high level for me to care.

World Tree looks like a decent polish.

This looks good to go to me.
 


To help keep the discussion of the UA8 playtest packet organized, here is a thread for discussion of the revised Barbarian. To begin, here are my thoughts on some of the features:


Rage: Maintaining rage as a bonus action was a good addition, and it's elegantly presented here. With the reduced risk of losing rage during combat, I'm less convinced of the need for additional uses through short rest recovery and persistent rage.

Weapon Mastery: This is a great feature for Fighters, as the class focused on representing trained weapon users. I'm glad to see it removed for Monks, who often focus on unarmed fighting, and I'd also be inclined to remove it from the Barbarians, who tend to focus on instinct over training. I'm not opposed to barbarians gaining access to this through a subclass or feat, but I'd rather keep this as primarily a Fighter ability than treat it as a default feature for warrior classes.

Primal Knowledge: I'm still not convinced of the thematic rationale for this ability. I also dislike further emphasizing class associations with specific ability scores (there's no reason an instinct-based warrior should be discouraged from emphasizing dexterity or wisdom over strength), but I recognize this is a lost cause as far as the 2024 rules are concerned.

Brutal Strike: I like these new options. The level 9 options in particular seem like they could be helpful in dealing with mobile opponents, especially since as far as I can tell there's nothing preventing the Barbarian from using them with thrown weapons. I'm a bit surprised by the removal of Brutal Critical, which I wasn't aware of any complaints about.

Path of the World Tree: I'm not convinced this is a good fit for the PHB, but my concerns are more about the theme being overly specific than about any of the features these revisions are analyzing. I think this would be a good subclass for a future setting book or Xanathar's/Tasha's equivalent.
Brital critical is one of the most unliked features in 5e...
 

Larrin

Entropic Good
Yeah, brutal critical looks good on paper (maybe), but it doesn't actually add much damage (especially at low levels) and statistically it affects "on average" 1 in 10 reckless attacks, which isn't often enough to really help out. So every now and then you might get a tiny damage bump. It didn't really help the barbarians do much more damage, yet it was the only thing they got past level 10 to do increase damage, so barbarians really lose damage potential in the later levels compared to other classes.

To further make it feel bad/be disliked, its really unreliable: this is the sort of feature where it might only trigger once or twice per level if you're unlucky, technically it has the possibility (however small) of NEVER triggering EVER through no fault of the player. Not really great when its the ONLY boost to damage you're getting from your class.

Or you might get it three times in one combat, in which case it still doesn't really do that much to help the Barbarians damage totals in the long run. Once you get 2 dice at 13, maybe you notice, but you're still not keeping up with the damage growth of other classes.

So seeing a notable damage boost that the player can choose to activate is an improvement to be sure in my opinion.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
I agree that the Barbarian is a great improvement. Not sure about some of the higher level features still, some of them seem to be redundant or sound better than they would be in actual play.

I also dislike the whole concept of the World Tree subclass and really feel that WOTC is dropping the ball on subclasses by forcing this symmetry of opposites on the 4 included with each class rather than just the most iconic versions. The World Tree really does feel like a stretch and there are probably plenty of other Barbarian subclasses I would rather see in the PHB.
 
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I agree that the Barbarian is a great improvement. Not sure about some of the higher level features still, some of them seem to be redundant or sound better than they would be in actual play.

I also dislike the whole concept of the World Tree subclass and really feel that WOTC is dropping the ball on subclasses by forcing this symmetry of opposites on among the 4 included with each class rather than just the most iconic versions. The World Tree really does feel like a stretch and there are probably plenty of other Barbarian subclasses I would rather see in the PHB.
I actively like the World Tree barbarian - but would far rather that the fourth in the PHB was something more basic even while being supernatural; I'd suggest either Storm Herald or Beast.
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
I actively like the World Tree barbarian - but would far rather that the fourth in the PHB was something more basic even while being supernatural; I'd suggest either Storm Herald or Beast.
I think the Ancestral Guardian would also be a strong choice, especially if they're looking for something with protection oriented abilities.
 


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