Tuesday, August 26, 2014

5E PHB Quick Thoughts - Barbarian

I'm re-reading the classes and the barbarian stands out as a real tank type character. With the traditional d12 hit points he's off to a good start. They get up to medium armor + shield, but with no armor (shields are allowed) they get to add their Con bonus to their AC - could be a viable option if you can manage 3 decent scores (Str + Dex + Con). Rage gives resistance to B/P/S damage so you're taking half damage from pretty much all physical attacks. That's a strong start and they do have some offensive options as well.

The "Primal Paths" up this even more.

  • Berseker is a slightly more offensive option as it gets a bonus melee attack every round. By 6th they get immunity to charm and fear while raging. 
  • The Totem Warrior/Wolf grants his allies advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature within 5' - that's a pretty strong bonus if you're going to have some fellow melee combatants in the party. 
  • The Totem Warrior/Bear path though, while raging ... "resistance to all damage except psychic damage" ... that's very strong. At 14th any creature within 5' of them (while raging) has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you - hey look that's a real 4E-style tanking feature! It's a shame it takes until 14th level to come through, but that's a really nice ability for a "tough" fighter type.

It's a very combat-focused class but I think that's almost expected of a Barbarian, right? Someone has to be the combat monster and this class can definitely fill that role.

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