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D&D General why did they transform the Barbarian into a Raging Monster ?


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Reynard

Legend
No, Conan didnt go into bloody rages much at all. If anything Conan in dnd is a Fighter/Rogue not a Barbarian
You may need to reread some of the original fiction. His rage doesn't look much like 5E rage, but 5E doesn't resemble the source material for anything very well. Howard's prose is full of froth and red hazes.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Someone said it was bad form to use 'barbarian' for real world peoples. Your response was 'of course you can, the Romans did!'

Because Romans are not "real world people" ? And it's not a question of "bad form" or not, it is a simple historical fact.

The Roamns doing it wasn't doing it properly. IT was them being pejorative pricks. The current theory I'm aware of is that it was literally them making fun of their language.

It still does not change historical facts.
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
Your sentence seemed odd because I was talking about a modern company, and how they are moving away from using potentially contentious words.

In that context, I can understand a modern day company not calling any real current world group "barbarians", but isn't that extremely far from the post that you were responding to ? How could we infer that you were talking about a company ?
 

Reynard

Legend
I thought the thing with Conan, if we go by classes, was that he heavily multi-classed.
Nah. He was just a fighting man. As a primary influence on the original game, Conan's prowess was a function of high stats and canny play. Remember, when Gygax and Arneson invented the game, there wasn't even a thief class. Conan was a thief because he broke into tombs, palaces and treasures and stole things. He was a barbarian because he came from the hinterlands and disdained "soft" civilized folk. Only later did people try and formalize those traits with class abilities -- and things have been going down hill ever since. ;)
 

In that context, I can understand a modern day company not calling any real current world group "barbarians", but isn't that extremely far from the post that you were responding to ? How could we infer that you were talking about a company ?
Well, the title is "Why did they transform" so I assumed the THEY was WotC.
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
Nah. He was just a fighting man. As a primary influence on the original game, Conan's prowess was a function of high stats and canny play. Remember, when Gygax and Arneson invented the game, there wasn't even a thief class. Conan was a thief because he broke into tombs, palaces and treasures and stole things.

I think that in at least the Tower of the Elephant, he fancies himself a thief, wanting to use stealth to avoid guards, etc.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
Nah. He was just a fighting man. As a primary influence on the original game, Conan's prowess was a function of high stats and canny play. Remember, when Gygax and Arneson invented the game, there wasn't even a thief class. Conan was a thief because he broke into tombs, palaces and treasures and stole things. He was a barbarian because he came from the hinterlands and disdained "soft" civilized folk. Only later did people try and formalize those traits with class abilities -- and things have been going down hill ever since. ;)
Looking at some of the book titles, you could make the multi-class argument.
But I have not read all the books, so.....


YMMV I guess.
 


Someone said it was bad form to use 'barbarian' for real world peoples. Your response was 'of course you can, the Romans did!'

The Roamns doing it wasn't doing it properly. IT was them being pejorative pricks. The current theory I'm aware of is that it was literally them making fun of their language.
None of that makes it not historically accurate, which is certainly a version of "properly".
 

Well, let's think about this and ...

TLDR. The Barbarian is a role-playing tool and needs to be designed as part of the world-building. The Barbarian is something that the locals would see as very foreign
This is good and all, but a barbarian in D&D is not a culture, it is not an ethnic definition nor is it anything to do with such. Its this;
To give them a distinct game mechanic. Otherwise they're just fighters.
Barbarian is all about how they solve problems. Just like a wizard uses knowledge of the arcane, a rogue uses stealth and deceit, a cleric uses divine power, etc. A barbarian uses brute strength and martial prowess (not necessarily skill). They could be a a noble knight who relies upon their "bruteness" and maybe connection with nature rather than training at arms (like a fighter). Maybe GoT's the Mountain could be seen as such.

As said by a small minority in this thread. It is a fighting style to distinguish them from a fighter. Just like a sorcerer and warlock distinguish themselves from a wizard. It has nothing to do (in D&D) with being a foreigner, strange, uncivilized, or other such social distinctions.
It still does not change historical facts.
Which are irrelevant since D&D's barbarian is not a historical classification.
 

Reynard

Legend
Looking at some of the book titles, you could make the multi-class argument.
But I have not read all the books, so.....


YMMV I guess.
Only if you must apply classes to things. I mean, there is no buccanner or pirate class but Conan fancied himself one at times. Does that mean we have to create one so our multiclass Conan can dip in that?

You CAN model Conan with multiclassing if you want, but it isn't necessary. And it is highly dependent on the game or edition and how it handles someone trying to sneak past a guard or climb a wall or not get mind raped by a giant demonic snake, or whatever. There was a time early in D&D when you didn't have skills on your sheet and if you wanted to sneak into the tower to steal the jewels, you told the DM how you were going to do such a thing and they adjudicated the outcome. It so happens that was the same time that RE Howard's Conan was a huge influence on the game. The influences on the game have shifted since then but it still carries a bunch of legacy elements -- like iterations of the UA Barbarian class that was essentially the "play Conan" class.
 

Looking at some of the book titles, you could make the multi-class argument.
But I have not read all the books, so.....


YMMV I guess.
Sure, but that's presupposing that different job titles require different classes, which is begging the question (including your conclusion among your premises).

As D&D was originally created, rogue, barbarian, thief, soldier, knight, cavalier, champion, free lance, would all just be the same class- a Fighting Man, in the parlance of old military history, wargaming and sci-fi (e.g. Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Fighting Man of Mars), later simplified to Fighter.
 




No, Conan didnt go into bloody rages much at all. If anything Conan in dnd is a Fighter/Rogue not a Barbarian
Fighter/Rogue/King :)

While Conan is obviously the inspiration of the Barbarian (esp. Gygax's writeup in Dragon Magazine and 1E Unearthed Arcana, with all his magic hating and armor eschewing abilities), over time other real-world historical legends were drawn upon to be included in the class. Raging in particular was part of the Celtic and Viking traditions/lore. Also, the prestige classes/subclasses since 3.X are obviously leaning more into those "uncivilized nature warrior" tropes.

I don't have my 1E material anymore - anyone know if Raging was an ability for either the Conan writeup or 1E Barbarian? If so, all Conan had to do was rage once in the source material, and Gygax would see that as justification for the ability.
 


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