Practical "Barbarian" Optimization

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Hi all, I am new to 3.5 and will be playing my first game in a couple of weeks. I've been doing a lot of reading to get up to speed and have come up with a character, but I feel like I need some help to take it to the next level. I am frustrated by the fact that a lot of the advice I can find revolves around things I am entirely uninterested in, like ridiculous amounts of unarmed attacks or dipping into all sorts of caster and psychic classes.

What I am trying to make is an ubercharger/control "barbarian" who can both do heaps of damage and help protect the other party members, probably by tripping.
I know a lot of people advocate only taking a dip of a level or two into Barbarian, which is fine.

Here's what is allowed:
32 point buy
Virtually everything allowed subject to DM approval
Forgotten Realms, but things from other settings that aren't too reliant on things specific to that setting are ok (example, dragonmarks from eberron are out but Song of the Heart is ok)
Evil alignment barred, although I suppose I could have been evil and then switch to good.
Starting at level 5
9k starting gold

Here's what I've got so far:
I know that the core of the ubercharger is Power attack, leap attack, shock trooper, and ideally pounce and knockdown.
I know that there are at least 4 useful skill tricks: Extreme Leap, Never Outnumbered, Nimble Charge, and Twisted Charge.
My primary weapons will probably be a Guisarme, a greatsword, and armor spikes/locked or spiked gauntlets.
I don't want to go into Bear Warrior, Frenzied Berzerker, frostrager, black blood cultist, primeval, totem rager, or champion of Gwynharwyf. I don't mind dipping Fist of the Forest or other prestige classes if it's worth it, but I have no real interest in unarmed combat. I would like to avoid psychic powers.
I have yet to pick a race. I know water orcs are recommended, and I'm fine with playing an orc, but it does have some downsides, like making Deepwarden off limits. I don't mind a certain amount of cheddar here, but if it's more than LA +1 it's out, and even that much is frowned upon

The build I have at the moment, which is i think pretty suboptimal, is this (warning: there may be mistakes in here since I am new at this):






































































































































































































































ClassBABFortRefWillFeatsClass Features
Level 1Martial Rogue2Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Endurance
Level 2Martial Monk222Steadfast Determinationdecisive strike, unarmed strike
Level 3Martial Monk1333Stand Still, Extra Whirling FrenzyInvisible Fist
Level 4Spirit Lion Barbarian22Pounce, Whirling Frenzy, illiteracy
Level 5Wolf Totem Barbarian33Improved Trip
Level 6Fangshields Barbarian4311Leap AttackFast Charge
Level 7Warblade52Battle Clarity, weapon aptitude
Level 8Warblade6/13Uncanny Dodge
Level 9Warblade7/2311Shock Trooper, Combat ReflexesBattle ardor
Level 10Warblade8/3411
Level 11Warblade9/4411
Level 12Warblade10/5522Robilar's GambitImp Uncanny Dodge
Level 13Warblade11/6/1522Evasive reflexesBattle Cunning
Level 14Warblade12/7/2622
Level 15Warblade13/8/3633Improved Initiative
Level 16Warblade14/9/4733
Level 17Warblade15/10/5733Unnerving CalmBattle Skill
Level 18Warblade16/11/6/1844Knockback
Level 19Warblade17/12/7/2844Unnerving Calm
Level 20Warblade18/13/8/3944


I have indentified quite a few problems with it. There may be others I am not aware of.

- Crap will save, poor reflex save
- BAB suffers at the beginning
- a bit short on skill points if I have to keep Intimidate, Jump, Tumble, and Concentration at the max possible throughout progression while picking up 5 ranks in balance, tumble, possibly spellcraft for mage slayer, etc. I don't know how vital concentration is for the warblade levels; if I don't have to keep that maxed then it's not such a big deal.
- Can't wear heavy armor. Again, not sure how this works. My Dex bonus will be pretty bad, so losing that doesn't hurt too much, but the armor check penalties and reduced speed might be. Do i need heavy armor proficiency to wear mithril fullplate, for example?
- likely Low Int reduces benefit from all the Warblade "Battle" class features
-I don't think i can get Streetfighter or Indomitable Will
- Frenzy is limited in uses per day and doesn't scale.
- I believe that I get Fatigue after Whirling Frenzy, concerned about that.
- Warblade appears to have "dead levels" at 10, 11, 14, 16, 20, and more if you count the "battle ___" features I get minimal use out of.

If there's anything you'd like to know, don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks

Water orc is nice. Humans can take the jotunbrud feat (Races of Faerun), which gives you +4 to trip, among other things.


Extra rage require the ability to rage, “extra whirling frenzy” will have to come after your first barbarian level.


Knockback requires large size. Are you planning on getting a permanent enlarge person effect by that level.


Decisive strike requires you to use an unarmed strike or monk weapon for the attack you make on your turn. There's nothing stopping you from getting the double damage with other weapons on attacks of opportunity, true.


The extra attack from whirling frenzy can't be used with decisive strike. Any form of rage prevents you from using moment of perfect mind and its kin to compensate for weak saves. You can't make use of your ubercharging ability and decisive strike in the same round.


The exoticist fighter variant (Dragon 310, p35) gives you proficiency with any 4 exotic weapons instead of the normal martial weapon proficiency. Since you'll be getting martial weapon proficiency from other classes anyway, it's a good trade.


You say you anticipate having a bad dex. This will limit your attacks of opportunity.

OK, I wan't fully aware of how many ways decisive strike would interfere lol. So I guess I should get rid of those two monk levels.

The extra whirling frenzy is misplaced, good catch. I thought I had fixed that before posting. I think I had swapped it around with something else.

I had seen exoticist but I hadn't seen any exotic weapons that really looked worth bothering with. I also just saw pugilist in there a few minutes ago and I see that it gives you improved unarmed strike and, more importantly, endurance, more or less for free. So that frees up my level 1 flaw feat slot (only get one flaw, should have mentioned that) if i take 2 pugilist fighter levels in place of the monk levels.

Why do you have the monk levels? Swap them for fighter.


You can't take power attack at level 1. It requires BAB +1. 


You don't need heavy armor prof to use mithril full plate. You need medium which you get.


LA generally isn't considered cheesey. Its usually not worth it except for a rare few templates like feral or lolth touched. 


You only get illiteracy if your first level is in barb. You don't suddenly forget how to read.


Fist of the forest is great, just don't use its unarmed strikes power. Con to AC is great for a barb.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

Noted on ditching monk and armor prof.

LA is specific to my GM, he frowns on it for some reason. Not an outright ban but still.

Good catch for illiteracy, that's what i get for copypasting.

Is the con to AC really worth primal living, great fortitude, and not progressing other class features?
Or would I be better served trying to get into deepwarden? I'll have to go and look up the specifics of it.
The Pinball Brothers might be just what you are looking for. It does use psionics, but it emphasizes them pretty heavily.
It's actually pretty easy to do this; if your DM doesn't use the XP penalty rules, it's even easier.  All you need is Barbarian, Fighter, and Warblade or Crusader levels (whichever you prefer).

For example:
Race: Goliath (+1 LA, Races of Stone)
Abilities, before racial mods: 14/15/14/14/12/10 (put your level 4 boost into Dex, all the others into Str)
Skills: Well, you need Jump.  I don't know much about skill tricks, but this will let you qualify for those, too.  And probably still have enough left over for Survival.
Books: Complete Adventurer, Complete Warrior, Eberron Campaign Setting (1 feat), PHB2, RoS, ToB, UA, Dragon 310

Level (assuming you decide not to use a flaw, and assuming no XP penalty):
1) Goliath Lion Totem Barbarian1 (Pounce, Mountain Rage) (Power Attack)
2) Exoticist Fighter1 variant (Spiked Chain, any other three [I like Goliath Greathammer, Greatbow, and Mercurial Greatsword]) (Combat Reflexes*)
3) Wolf Totem Barbarian2 (cheesy, but if your DM allows it...) (Stand Still, Improved Trip*)
4) Fighter2 (Improved Bull Rush)
5) Crusader1 (Furious Counterstrike, Steely resolve 5) (Crusader's Strike, Mountain Hammer, Douse the Flames, Battle Leader's Charge, Tactical Strike) (Iron Guard's Glare)
6) Fighter3 (Shock Trooper)
7) Fighter4 (Leap Attack)
8) Crusader2 (Thicket of Blades)
9) (Precise Swing)
12) Robillar's Gambit
15) Defensive Sweep

After level 8, just decide whether you want to continue as a Crusader or a fighter.  If your DM uses the XP penalty, skip Crusader levels and use feats to learn Foehammer (level 6 or later) and Thicket of Blades (level 10)Ask your DM if he'll let you use the LA buyoff rules; you'll still only start with 4 class levels, but at you'll be a 4th-level character, not 5th.  That will let you earn more XP and catch up to the rest of your party.  
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Thanks for the link to the Pinball Brothers. It gives me some ideas, I'm sticking to no psionics : )

I would honestly prefer to use a combination of guisarme and armor spikes/gauntlets/other than a spiked chain.

One thing I'm concerned about is my skill points. The combination of Barbarian and Fighter is going to leave me pretty short on them, and ideally I'll be picking up something like this at level 8. However, I don't know how crucial it is to keep all these maxed. I also hear autphypnosis is good, but I'm assuming it's cross class and that's 2 skill points right there. I'll take a closer look at your build this evening.





























































5 -Balance (Dex)
11 -Concentration (Con)
11 -Intimidate (Cha)
11 -Jump (Str)
1 -Knowledge - Dungeoneering
1 -Profession - Sailor (Wis)
1 -Survival (Wis)
11 -Tumble (Dex)
Skill Tricks
2 -Extreme Leap
2 -

Never Outnumbered


2 -Nimble Charge
2 -Twisted Charge
I've honestly wondered what argument could be made for following two different spirit totems? A change in which totem you follow would, to me, retroactively take away any benefit you gained from the previous one. That isn't in the books, just something that makes sense.
Just kidding, I'll miss my train and post a new iteration of this
How's this look? Full BAB, gets the whole jumping power attack going ASAP. Not sure if I should start Warblade/Crusader at level 6 or not. Really undecided where to go from here. Can anyone come up with a better framework for the first 5 levels? I wish Ranger had better ACFs at level 1...Are there any other classes that combine full BAB with a decent number of starting skill points that would fit here?

The weakness of this seems to be 2 fewer feats in exchange for getting things going faster (opening up other classes sooner) and slightly better BAB progression. Worth the trade?

























































































ClassBABFortRefWillClass FeaturesFeatsSkill Ranks
Level 1Ranger122Arcane Hunter, Track, Wild EmpathyPower Attack, Improved Bull Rush24
Level 2Spirit Lion Barbarian22Pounce, Whirling Frenzy4
Level 3Wolf Totem Barbarian33Improved TripExtra Rage4
Level 4Fangshields Barbarian4311Fast Charge4
Level 5Pugilist Fighter52Bonus feat, Endurance, Improved Unarmed StrikeLeap Attack2
Level 6UndecidedShock Trooper


EDIT: All simple & martial weapons, all armors, all shields except tower.


@ Caker well one is a "mundane" totem animal and the other's a spiritual one. Plus, totem pole usually have multiple animals. That's my story. Or you could just refluff it. wolf totem -> dire wolf totem or something
Deciding on crusader/warblade is a matter of how controlish you actually want to make the character. Warblade is great for when you don't kill the target in one shot, or in those situations where you can't charge. The diamond mind manuevers are also great. On the other hand crusader gets heals and other utility type manuevers.
Two questions:
1) Why do you not want the spiked chain? I'm not trying to push you into using it; I'm just curious as to why you're dead-set against it, when it can be gained for free.
2) How many skill points do you need, exactly? The build I posted gives you 24 skill points and a d12 HD at first level, and you're getting 4-6 skill points every level thereafter. Why do you need skills like Autohypnosis? What are you trying to accomplish with this character? I ask because you seem to be straying far from your stated "Ubercharger" goal.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Is the con to AC really worth primal living, great fortitude, and not progressing other class features?

Or would I be better served trying to get into deepwarden? I'll have to go and look up the specifics of it.



I think so. Primal living just means you sleep in the woods, a park, or a tree when everyone else goes to the inn most nights. Its even got some leeway where you can sleep inside a every so often. To me this is an excuse to do something a little different or fun. Con to AC is great, and great fortitude isn't terrible, just not good. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

No spiked chain is just personal preferene, I would prefer jumping around with a glaive or guisarme to swinging a chain.
I don't exactly know how many skill points I have to have. I just heard autohypnosis was a good thing to have. I need enough for at least a few skill tricks and then keeping the main skills maxed, plus at least 2 for a rank in survival and a profession. If I go into warblade, how much do I need concentration? That's the only ToB class allowed. Dunno about prestige classes.
I don't want to just be an ubercharger, I also would like to do a bit of tanking or controlling (not sure which, since I'm not sure how barbarians play in practice yet)
My build is actually a combination Ubercharger/AoO tank. If you want to use Warblade, I definitely won't stop you. It's a good class, and the White Raven school is extremely helpful to chargers. For tanking, however, Crusader can't be beat, and it's got access to White Raven, too. The biggest problem with Warblade is that it grants a very limited number of maneuvers, but limited is better than none.
You've never stated whether your DM uses the XP penalty rules; do you know whether he does or not? That answer definitely has a great impact on your build.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
I'd be happy to use crusader, I just can't. Bit silly but there you go. I'll ask if he does, but I don't think so.
There's a lot of good advice flying around here, have a look at my Feral Druid build, I'm not saying you'll want to use Bear Warrior, what I'm getting at though is the real benefit to blending Barbarian and Warblade, and a build that IMO makes good use of the blend.

Simple build would be Whirling Frenzy, Lion Totem Barbarian 4, with Extra Rage taken once, The rest of your build into Warblade. This will net you +4 Str, an extra attack and pounce, and lose you only 2 Initiator levels.

You'll get good use out of the Tiger Claw Maneuvers that add extra damage and the ones that allow saves (since they're Str based). You'll also get a LOT of mileage out of Leading the Charge as a stance, and out of many White Raven maneuvers (ask your DM how Pounce works with White Raven charges, my personal ruling is that you get the full attack but the bonus damage only applies on the first attack you make, and if that attack misses is lost).

Blade Meditation (Tiger Claw) is pretty worthwhile, as it will add 1 to your damage with a Greataxe if you choose to use it, more importantly a +2 to Jump and a +1 to the DC of any save allowing Tiger Claw strikes.

 Tiger Blooded will also have some value to you for Crowd Control, as a 5' knockback ability with a decent scaling save DC can help arange a fight the way you want it.

Stand Still's very important to any control/tank build.

The reason a lot of people suggest Crusader is the Stance ifrastructure, it's easy to get Thicket of Blades. Two feats, Martial Study (Shield Block, or Foehammer are good ones, strangely RAW you don't NEED a shield to use Shield Block), Martial Stance (Thicket of Blades).

Now putting it all together, if you have Thicket of Blades any movement through your threatened area provokes (even if the person moving has some ability that says it doesn't). Stand Still says that anyone you hit with an attack of opportunity must make a Reflex Save (DC 10+Damage Dealt), or stop moving immediately, they do not get back any actions spent on this movement and arguably lose all move actions (RAW). Finally you'll want to be using a reach weapon (Glaive's as good as any here really), and having Combat Reflexes goes a long way to let you lock down a few people at once.

For your non-AOO's you'll need to look at potent strikes for when you're tanking, but more often you'll prefer full attacks to strikes (they output more damage). Strikes are for applying debuffs, and Boosts/Counters will be more valuable to you most of the time.

Maneuver selection

Debuffing Strikes (These all have a negative if the target fails a save, bonus damage is seperate)
Flesh Ripper (Level 3 TC, -4 AC)
Hamstring Attack (7 TC, 1d8 dex damage and -10' speed)
Swooping Dragon Strike (7 TC, +10d6 damage, stun)
Feral Death Blow (9 TC, +20d6 damage, kills target)

Boosts
Fountain of Blood (4 TC, causes fear if you kill someone after activating it this round, unreliable not really saying to use it)
Dancing Mongoose (5 TC +1 attack per weapon, up to two weapons, this round)
Raging Mongoose (8 TC +2 attacks per weapon, up to two weapons, this round)


Getting into the nitty gritty of feat selection here's my suggestion for Barbarian 4/Warblade 16 It's hard to do BOTH charging AND Battlefield control without being a Crusader but it can be done. Needs Human bonus feat to work in this case.
Feat Selection

1 Extra Rage, Power Attack
3 Improved Bull Rush
6 Shock Trooper
9 Combat Reflexes*,  Leap Attack
12  Stand Still
13 Tiger Blooded*
15 Martial Study (Foehammer)
17 Blade Meditation*
18  Martial Stance (Thicket of Blades)
* Warblade bonus feat
Detailed Maneuvers By level

5: Rabid Wolf Strike, Sudden Leap, [Leading the Charge], Battle Leader's Charge
6: Wall of Blades (Good for tanking, avoids getting beat up, especially good after tubing your AC with Shock Troopers Heedless Charge)
7: White Raven Tactics (Just because it's awesome, team tactics ftw)
8: Iron Heart Surge - Replacing - Rabid Wolf Strike (This is generally awesome for getting rid of ongoing negative effects), [Tactics of the Wolf]
9:  Lightning Recovery (This will help if you miss an important Stand Still attack)
10: N/A
11:  Rapid Counter (Combat Reflexes wasn't enough? Now you can AOO one person twice if they provoke or get an extra AOO per round)
12: N/A
13: Dancing Mongoose
14: War Leader's Charge - Replacing - Battle Leader's Charge, [Press the Advantage] (Good for making full attacks after moving 10')
15: Foehammer, Hamstring Attack
16: Swooping Dragon Strike - Replacing - Dancing Mongoose (It was probably not doing you that much good, and it's about to be outshone)
17: Raging Mongoose
18: [Thicket of Blades]
19: War Master's Charge
20: Feral Death Blow - Replacing - War Leader's Charge [Wolf Pack Tactics] (Neat trick with Wolf Pack Tactics, Stand Still, Combat Reflexes and Tiger Blooded, you can basically rearrange the opponents all over the battlefield if you don't need to be in Thicket of Blades Mode)
As a level six Snap Shot of the above build, without even getting Whirling Frenzy or Lion Totem your charges look like this.

+4 Str from Raging (+3 Damage with 2handed weapon)
+4 Damage When Charging (Leading the Charge)
+10 Damage for Battle Leader's Charge
+12 Damage for full Power Attack
=
+29 Damage, +4 to hit, -8 AC, ability to deflect one attack with an attack roll in place of AC

By 9 the bonus damage when charging climbs to 7, and the Power Attack takes a leap (pun intended) to 27. Netting a bonus of 47 damage over your neutral state.

All of this without considering extra damage from additional Pounce attacks, or Additional bonus attack. Not to mention the obvious enhancement of Valorous which you'll want on whatever weapon you get for this guy, along with any other Uber-Charge gear.

Finally, consider buffs that are worth getting to include Enlarge Person and Haste for sure. Enlarge Person is more for the Reach than the Damage. If you threaten a 10' wide perimiteir rather than a 5' one, you'll do much better even before getting Stand Still and Thicket of Blades online.
There's no cross-class EXP penalty.

Why Lion Totem Barb 4? most people seem to think that 2 levels in barbarian is plenty.

I'm a bit confused by the Streetfighter ACF I've seen mentioned a lot, it seems people are using it incorrectly to me. What I would think is that at level 7 you replace damage reduction with Streetfighter, and at each level you would get additonal DR, you instead get a new streetfighter bonus. Which i really annoying, since I don't think I want to go that far into straight barbarian, but the are pretty darn good, it seems. Greater crit threat range, turn during a charge, moving through ally/neutral occupied squares, moving 4x speed while charging, and the cleaving charge that lets you down whole hordes of mooks in one go, all from one ACF. However a lot of people seem to think that you take it at 7 and then can go into whatever else you want and it levels with your character level rather than your class level?

I'd rather go charge with some controlling on the side than trying to do both fully and failing or making life really hard on myself.
I'd be happy to take cruader, but it's banned by GM : /

Why leave Thicket of Blades until 18?

I'm going to go dive into ToB and try to get it to make a little more intuitive sese. I expect it's one of those things that's much easier to grasp once you play with it a couple of times.
You can go Barbarian 2, Fighter 2 if you'd like. It means that you can take a Martial Study at 4, Crusader's Strike will do. Then that frees you to take Thicket of Blades earlier. If you want to get the control trick online earlier take Thicket of Blades at 9, Stand Still at 12, and Leap Attack at 15, Leaving 18 open for discussion, I can't come up with anything spectacular for that slot.

You'll also want another Extra Rage feat if you go with this route to round out so you can rage every single fight. Still nets you +1 feat for -2 HP and -4 Skill points, and a few weak class features. 

The more I think about it the more I like having the full Stand Still/Thicket Trick online at level 12, and ignoring Leap Attack until 15, it's basically just "win more" anyway. 

My prefered martial tank guy build is lion barb 1/fighter 2/ranger 2/prestiges. One level of barbarian is plenty. If your DM doesn't use alignment, or is cool with paladins of freedom, I swap the ranger levels. 


I like the folloring for a solid barbarian/controller/charger build.


Barb 1/Fighter 2/Ranger 2/Horizon Walker 6/Occult Slayer 5/ Horizon Walker 4


Your masteries for horizon walker depend on your game, but for planar ones I recomend this order. Shifting, Cavernous, Underground. The others are solid if you can't find another prestige class for your last 4 levels that you are interested in.


www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/horiz...


Occuly slayer is complete warrior.


Feats are the normal ubercharge feats and extra rage. The advantage of this build is its mobility. Level 11 gives you dimension door every 1d4 rounds, letting you pop wherever you need to be on the battlefield. Occult slayer is great for trying to deal with mages, and most monsters have some SLAs. 


Keep your spiked chain and as many tripping AoO feats as possible.


In my experience the power attack feats is more than enough to hold your own in combat. Put your class features towards utility effects. Dimension door, tremor sense, spell turning, magic sensing. Stuff like that. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

Feat Selection
1 Extra Rage, Power Attack
3 Improved Bull Rush
6 Shock Trooper
9 Combat Reflexes*,  Leap Attack
12  Stand Still
13 Tiger Blooded*
15 Martial Study (Foehammer)
17 Blade Meditation*
18  Martial Stance (Thicket of Blades)
* Warblade bonus feat


My take on this, using Brb2/Ftr2 instead of Brb4:

1) Extra Rage, Power Attack*
3) Imp Bull Rush, Combat Reflexes*
4) Martial Study (Crusader's Strike)
6) Shock Trooper
9) Martial Stance (Thicket of Blades)
12) Stand Still
13) Tiger Blooded*
15) Extra Rage
17) Blade Meditation (White Raven or Tiger Claw)*
18) Defensive Sweep (PHB2) or Precise Swing (Eberron Campaign Setting)

Three things of note: Stand Still DOES NOT deal damage.  It replaces damage, with the save DC being the damage that would have been dealt.
Taking Martial Study like this is both good and bad.  Since you won't have any levels in an initiator class when you take it, it will actually add to your maneuvers readied.  The problem is that you will NEVER be able to change it out, and you can only use it once per encounter.  You could get around this (and get Foehammer instead of CS) if you take Warblade1 before Fighter2.  If you do that, however, you won't be able to get 2nd-level maneuvers with your first level of warblade.
Lastly, you won't be able to use the Diamond Mind save-replacement counters while you rage. 
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User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Yep. I didn't put in the save replacers for that very reason. I don't really care if Stand Still does damage or not, it lets you put your hand on someone's forehead and say "NO, stay there" Or your Guisarme even.
I found references to Tleilaxu_Ghola's "leap frogging" progression for martial adepts, but I can't actually find what it is. Can anyone explain it?

And, what are ways to add utility to a fighter-y type? Right now, it seems like i'll be dishing out a fair chunk of damage, be reasonably quick and mobile thanks to jumping, tumbling, etc, and able to control enemies to some extent via knockdowns, trips, etc. Is there anything else I can do?

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