D&D (2024) UA 8 Barbarian Discussion

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
If you’re pulling out the spreadsheet as a Barbarian than the class has failed.
You don’t need a spreadsheet, you can just make a simple formula. Or even just a simple guideline like “use it if the target’s AC is below 14 (or whatever; I haven’t done the math yet).
 

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Stalker0

Legend
The point I’m making is that brutal critical, while notably weak, is always on. It’s like bless, technically whole fights can happen where bless didn’t help me one bit, but it feels really good to have it because it’s just there for you backing you up.

The problem with brutal strike is for Barb players tbst don’t choose to use it and just want to swing away and hit…they get nothing, less than what they used to get (and part of the whole issue here was barbs don’t get enough especially at high levels).

Focusing the meat of their new high level strength on an ability players may choose to ignore…I don’t know if that’s the right design plan
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The point I’m making is that brutal critical, while notably weak, is always on.
It’s not always on though, that’s the thing. It’s randomly triggered by a small portion of your attacks, so not only can you not count on it when you need it, sometimes it happens when you don’t need it. It’s feel-bad gameplay all around.
It’s like bless, technically whole fights can happen where bless didn’t help me one bit, but it feels really good to have it because it’s just there for you backing you up.

The problem with brutal strike is for Barb players tbst don’t choose to use it and just want to swing away and hit…they get nothing, less than what they used to get (and part of the whole issue here was barbs don’t get enough especially at high levels).

Focusing the meat of their new high level strength on an ability players may choose to ignore…I don’t know if that’s the right design plan
I mean, clearly WotC thinks that the Barbarian’s power budget demands that their level 9, 13, and 17 features do very, very little, because neither brutal critical nor brutal strike really increase the Barbarian’s expected damage output by very much. But at least with brutal strike it’s the player’s choice instead of the dice’s.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
The point I’m making is that brutal critical, while notably weak, is always on. It’s like bless, technically whole fights can happen where bless didn’t help me one bit, but it feels really good to have it because it’s just there for you backing you up.

The problem with brutal strike is for Barb players tbst don’t choose to use it and just want to swing away and hit…they get nothing, less than what they used to get (and part of the whole issue here was barbs don’t get enough especially at high levels).

Focusing the meat of their new high level strength on an ability players may choose to ignore…I don’t know if that’s the right design plan

I think the issue with this is that... yes, if you don't choose to use your ability, you get nothing. This is true of action surge, second wind, superiority dice, ect ect.

I LIKE that we can now choose, instead of having no choice but a random chance.
 


The point I’m making is that brutal critical, while notably weak, is always on. It’s like bless, technically whole fights can happen where bless didn’t help me one bit, but it feels really good to have it because it’s just there for you backing you up.

The problem with brutal strike is for Barb players tbst don’t choose to use it and just want to swing away and hit…they get nothing, less than what they used to get (and part of the whole issue here was barbs don’t get enough especially at high levels).

Focusing the meat of their new high level strength on an ability players may choose to ignore…I don’t know if that’s the right design plan
I have never,
It’s not always on though, that’s the thing. It’s randomly triggered by a small portion of your attacks, so not only can you not count on it when you need it, sometimes it happens when you don’t need it. It’s feel-bad gameplay all around.

I mean, clearly WotC thinks that the Barbarian’s power budget demands that their level 9, 13, and 17 features do very, very little, because neither brutal critical nor brutal strike really increase the Barbarian’s expected damage output by very much. But at least with brutal strike it’s the player’s choice instead of the dice’s.
I truly have no idea why wotc thinks these featutes are equal to 7th and 9th level spells in termsof oomph. High level play is just not exciting when it comes to martial class design. I dont get it.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I LIKE that we can now choose, instead of having no choice but a random chance.
This is the part I want to dig in on. I think people are making the assumption that I am saying "I would rather keep brutal critical".

I don't...I think brutal critical is a bad ability and should go, I am just not sure this is the right replacement. Is the barbarian class the place we want to insert more strategic choices, or should it just remain a class that walks up and beats the crap out of you, no real thought, just raw awesome.

In other words, should there just be a new ability that adds to the barb's awesomeness all the time, no choice, no thought, just more awesome.

I've had 3 different barb players in my games, and all of them are traditionally "intellectual, strategic players". But what they enjoyed about the barb was just cutting loose, sitting back and just feeling invincible, wading into enemies without a care in the world. So to me that is the main strength of the barb, and so debating between whether option A or B in a given round is the best choice I am not sure if that is the best fit for the barb class.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
This is the part I want to dig in on. I think people are making the assumption that I am saying "I would rather keep brutal critical".

I don't...I think brutal critical is a bad ability and should go, I am just not sure this is the right replacement. Is the barbarian class the place we want to insert more strategic choices, or should it just remain a class that walks up and beats the crap out of you, no real thought, just raw awesome.

In other words, should there just be a new ability that adds to the barb's awesomeness all the time, no choice, no thought, just more awesome.

I've had 3 different barb players in my games, and all of them are traditionally "intellectual, strategic players". But what they enjoyed about the barb was just cutting loose, sitting back and just feeling invincible, wading into enemies without a care in the world. So to me that is the main strength of the barb, and so debating between whether option A or B in a given round is the best choice I am not sure if that is the best fit for the barb class.
I think the only way to make it an always-on ability would just be to let them bump up their weapon damage die by one size, which is about the DPR increase it seems like WotC is shooting for with these features. But, to answer your question, no, I don’t think we should be aiming for a feature that requires no thought to use. I think making it a meaningful decision point is the best part of brutal strike. The game needs more opportunities for non-casters to make meaningful decisions, not fewer.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I think making it a meaningful decision point is the best part of brutal strike. The game needs more opportunities for non-casters to make meaningful decisions, not fewer.
I think that's the area where we will just have to agree to disagree. I think there are plenty of areas for this kind of decision making on rogues, rangers, many fighters, and even now the monk. But to me the barb is the relaxed casual class, little thought, full awesome.
 

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