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What does a barbarian need?

jgsugden

Legend
Cloak of Displacement, it grants disadvantage to all attacks against you until your are hit, and then its effect comes back online at the start of your turn.

This would cancel the granted advantage when using Reckless Attack and make them even more hard to bring down. Particularly useful against missile attacks early on in the fight, allowing them to just charge ahead unscathed.
An interesting note - Hit points matter, generally, when you run out of them. As a PC fights just as effectively when they have 1 or 160, the characters generally suffer only when they drop below zero. When you think about this in terms of the barbarian and the benefits of the class, you may come to the conclusion I did: Defense is a huge waste of resources.

One of the benefits of a barbarian is that they have a lot of hit points and damage resistance. It allows them to take a huge amount of damage and keep on ticking. If your barbarian is not being knocked down often, then expending resources to increase their defenses may not be a great use of resources. You'd likely be better off devoting those resources to offense or utility capabilities (or non-hp based defenses like saving throws).
 

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A good exfoliation and mud mask will help clear up that barbarian bacne!

a day at the salon to get their hair done, nails and a nice massage.

Ctrl+F "mighty thews" not found.

In all seriousness, a ring of protection would be great for a barbarian. For non-shield-using barbarians, AC at lower levels is definitely a weak spot - sure they might be resistant to damage, but it's not that hard to hit them.
 

Undrave

Hero
An interesting note - Hit points matter, generally, when you run out of them. As a PC fights just as effectively when they have 1 or 160, the characters generally suffer only when they drop below zero. When you think about this in terms of the barbarian and the benefits of the class, you may come to the conclusion I did: Defense is a huge waste of resources.

One of the benefits of a barbarian is that they have a lot of hit points and damage resistance. It allows them to take a huge amount of damage and keep on ticking. If your barbarian is not being knocked down often, then expending resources to increase their defenses may not be a great use of resources. You'd likely be better off devoting those resources to offense or utility capabilities (or non-hp based defenses like saving throws).

The point here is that it lets the Barbarian be more reckless. Not only getting Advantage on all attacks, but also charging far ahead of their allies even when faced with superior ranged weaponry. I also only have a small amount of experience with magic items to draw from and I thought this particular one was at least INTERESTING in its mechanic. Also, obviously you'd want a big honking' magic weapon first but I don't think the OP needs us for that suggestion...

But saving throw buffing is also a good idea! Nothing worse than seeing a Barbarian being mind controlled and attacking your own team!

A buff to Initiative might also be useful for a Barbarian, like a weapon of Alarm or something.

Anything that lets the Barbarian fly is also a better alternative to throwing javelins and stuff and gives you more utility.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Hi everyone,

Earlier this year we released a free app that helps barbarians in need to calculate their attack and damage bonuses. This all started due to the barbarian in our party struggling with number crunching when a few bonuses were thrown into the mix.

However now that he's no longer stressing over adding numbers to add to the dice, he's looking for useful items to purchase/acquire. He has his trusty great axe, light armour, healing potions and bow, but wants to get creative. Looking for unique support items roughly levels 0-10.
What are some of the more creative items barbarians in your party have carried on them that you could recommend? Fellow barbarians, he needs your help!

We're hoping to add any feedback into our app so current and future barbarians including himself can be inspired by these items :)

For anyone wandering about the app:
Android App
Web Browser version
If you're down with homebrew, a returning thrown weapon with better reach than a javelin.

One I created for a Paladin in my group is a spear with a 120ft thrown range, returning, and she can, a few times a day, teleport to the spear rather than calling it back to her hand.
 

Eltab

Is this a moon, or is it a space station?
Defense is not a waste of resources (poor AC => plenty of incoming hits to sandpaper away those HP). But after acquiring decent defenses, Evasion capability might be a better investment than uber-AC.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Defense is not a waste of resources (poor AC => plenty of incoming hits to sandpaper away those HP). But after acquiring decent defenses, Evasion capability might be a better investment than uber-AC.
Let me elaborate further... Meet Barby and Thelonius. Barby is a 10th level barbarian, and Thelonius is a 10th level monk. They're the best of friends.

They've just encountered a bunch of ogres. Barby has 105 HPs, AC 14 and damage resistance. Thelonius has AC 19 and 73 hps. When they go into battle as the front line, the ogres attacking Barby at +6 for 13 average damage will take him down in roughly 25 attacks. They'll take Thelonius down in about 13 attacks. As a starting point, by the time Barby's hps are drained enough to matter, his allies are down - even when he has a low AC.

Let's now bump up that AC. He wears some spiffy armor, a shield, and has some magical defensive bonuses to AC bringing him up to a 19 AC.

How might enemies adjust their tactics?

If the DM has the monsters think simply, they might see the unarmored monk and the armored brutish warrior and think the easy kill is the silly unarmed man.

If the DM has them apply good tactics with complete information, the DM will focus fire on the monk entirely as taking the monk down will allow more of them to survive long enough to gang up on that barbarian.

Any way you cut it, extra resources devoted to hps or AC, beyond those granted by the core of the class, are likely not going to help you much, if at all. What they may do is give the DM more incentive to not attack you, which draws fire to more vulnerable allies.

You're much better off seeing additional help with utility capabilities, offense, and saving throw defenses.
 

Undrave

Hero
Let me elaborate further... Meet Barby and Thelonius. Barby is a 10th level barbarian, and Thelonius is a 10th level monk. They're the best of friends.

They've just encountered a bunch of ogres. Barby has 105 HPs, AC 14 and damage resistance. Thelonius has AC 19 and 73 hps. When they go into battle as the front line, the ogres attacking Barby at +6 for 13 average damage will take him down in roughly 25 attacks. They'll take Thelonius down in about 13 attacks. As a starting point, by the time Barby's hps are drained enough to matter, his allies are down - even when he has a low AC.

Let's now bump up that AC. He wears some spiffy armor, a shield, and has some magical defensive bonuses to AC bringing him up to a 19 AC.

How might enemies adjust their tactics?

If the DM has the monsters think simply, they might see the unarmored monk and the armored brutish warrior and think the easy kill is the silly unarmed man.

If the DM has them apply good tactics with complete information, the DM will focus fire on the monk entirely as taking the monk down will allow more of them to survive long enough to gang up on that barbarian.

Any way you cut it, extra resources devoted to hps or AC, beyond those granted by the core of the class, are likely not going to help you much, if at all. What they may do is give the DM more incentive to not attack you, which draws fire to more vulnerable allies.

You're much better off seeing additional help with utility capabilities, offense, and saving throw defenses.
I mean... you're using a Monk, that's a pretty bad comparaison :p Maybe compare to a heavy armor Fighter instead?
 

Technically if a Barbarian takes anti-depressants or something for their rage issue, does that mean you reskin their rage as Adventures in Middle Earth's Slayer's Fury? Since technically in that game, they describe Barbarian Rage as the usual supreme anger or just that cold, tranquil warrior fury where everything slows down and they strike hard tactically?
 



jgsugden

Legend
I mean... you're using a Monk, that's a pretty bad comparaison :p Maybe compare to a heavy armor Fighter instead?
Why? That would be missing the point. And it is not a comparison - it is discussing the interaction with party members.

The heavy armor fighter and the barbarian serve the same roll - defender / meat shield. They're there to take the hits so that others do not. My point above was that focusing on defense as a barbarian - rather than using those resources on more useful offensive, utility or save defense capabilities - is not going to help you do your job. By the time it becomes relevant that you have taken less hits, your allies will already be down and dead and you'll have failed at your role. Instead, you're better off hitting harder, being more mobile, etc... because that will actually help your allies by taking down foes faster, allowing you to do more, etc...

A high AC on a barbarian only is significant for you when your team has already lost the battle.
 

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