Barbarian Build help please - level 6 about to be 7

27 posts / 0 new
Last post
I need my 6th level feat still, and recommendations on what to do for my 7th level (barbarian again, or something else with a different direction)

this is me so far

barbarian 6
human

Strength :
 18 (+4)
 [22 (+6) when in Rage] 
Dexterity : 14 (+2) 
Constitution : 18 (+4)
 [22 (+6) when in Rage] 
Intelligence : 8 (-1) 
Wisdom : 8 (-1) 
Charisma : 8 (-1)


Feats : 5 (1st level, Human, Flaw, Flaw) 

Feat Name & Description: 

Power Attack: May choose to subtract a number from all melee attack rolls and add the same number (twice the number for two-handed weapons or one-handed weapons wielded with both hands) to all melee damage rolls. This number may not exceed the base attack bonus (BAB) and must be declared at the beginning of any combat round prior to the attack roll being modified. 

Cleave: If an attack deals enough damage to drop an opponent in any combat situation, may take an immediate, extra melee attack against another creature in the immediate vicinity. The extra attack is made with the same weapon and with the same bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature. No five-foot step may be taken with this bonus attack and it is usable only once per round. 

Monkey Grip: You can use melee weapons one size category larger than you are with a -2 penalty on the attack roll, but the amount of effort it takes you to use the weapon does not change. For instance, a Large longsword (a one-handed weapon for a Large creature) is considered a two-handed weapon for a Medium creature that does not have this feat. For a Medium creature that has this feat, it is still considered a one-handed weapon. You can wield a larger light weapon as a light weapon, or a larger two-handed weapon in two hands. You cannot wield a larger weapon in your off hand, and you cannot use this feat with a double weapon. 

Weapon Focus Greataxe: +1 to hit with Greataxes. 

Improved Sunder: When you strike at an object held or carried by an opponent, you do not provoke an attack of opportunity. You also gain a +4 bonus on any attack roll made to attack an object held or carried by another character.


Flaws: 2 

Inattentive: Particularly unaware of his surroundings (-4 spot, -4 listen checks) 

Murky Eyed: Your vision is obscured. (every time in combat that you attack an opponent with concealment, you must roll your miss chance twice, if either or both of them miss, your attack fails) 

Traits: 2 

Musclebound: You are good at almost everything that requires strength, but less adept than most at tasks that require coordination. (+1 on all STR based skill checks) (-2 on all DEX based skill checks) Characters with this trait are likely to solve problems with physical strength rather than through trickery or finesse. 

Quick: You are fast, but less sturdy than average members of your race. (your base land speed increases by 10') (subtract 1 from hit points gained at each level, can result in 0) Characters with this trait typically try to avoid physical combat, but a rare few might relish it, striving to see if their superior speed is enough to best hardier warriors



Drop Monkey Grip; it's poo. Drop Improved Sunder, unless you like torquing off the rest of your party by destroying loot. One of those should be used for Improved Bull Rush so you can take Shock Trooper as your 6th-level feat. Take fighter at 7th so you can get Leap Attack. Ask if you can still get the level 1 Barbarian ACF in Complete Champion (Lion Spirit Totem). Ask if you can get the Wolf Totem level 2 ACF from Unearthed Arcana (and the SRD) for Improved Trip. Use either a guisarme or spiked chain.
"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
Leap Attack's not a Fighter bonus feat sadly. Consider a dip of Warblade or Crusader to get the stance Leading the Charge at and some other cool attack options.

Mostly, unless you can retrain there's not a lot to be done for your build, it's fairly sub optimal. It's evidence that you're playing with a group that doesn't necissarily care to do research into making powerful characters. This is not really a bad thing, as long as your game is working. If this is the case just stay hard on Barbarian levels and keep getting the nice class features that come online late. 
It's been alluded to twice already, but I'm not sure you know, retraining is an option introduced in Player's Handbook II.  It allows you to change one of your old feat choices each time you level up.  Alternately, you could change one decision you made with regard to your class features, which should include being able to choose an alternative class feature.  

Extra rage (Complete Warrior, p98) is a feat I'd typically include in a build that uses barbarian.  I should note that I'd typically not be planning to take enough barbarian levels to get a decent number of uses of rage without the feat.  

The reckless rage feat (Races of Stone, p143) gives you an extra +2 to str and con when raging, albeit with an accompanying extra -2 to AC.  

The steadfast determination feat (Player's Handbook II, p83) lets you add con instead of dex to will saves.  With the morale bonus rage already provides on will saves and the increased con, it'd be pretty hard to affect your mind when you rage.  Note that steadfast determination requires endurance.  

The primal rager prestige class (Dragon 295, p70) lets you subtract a number (up to your barbarian level plus your primal rager level) from the duration of a rage and add it to the str and con bonus provided by the rage.  Oddly, the extra con from this ability doesn't add to the duration of the rage.  With a few instances of extend rage (Complete Warrior, p97), you could get some very large bonuses.  

You could take three level of stoneblessed (Races of Stone, p122) to count as a dwarf followed by two levels of deepwarden (Races of Stone, p105) to add your con bonus to AC instead of your dex bonus. 
I'd recommend against Shocktrooper/Leap Attack.  LA will amp up your damage to the point where you'll be able to 1-shot most things printed, and ST makes it so that you almost never miss when you do that.  It turns you into a rediculous glass cannon, beating any bad guy you can reach in one hit and then generally getting slaughtered by anything left behind.  Its very very frustrating for a DM, I'll tell you.

If you can't retrain Imp Sunder, check out Combat Brute from Complete Warrior.  It gives some nice bonuses while PAing, but doesn't completely remove the risk/reward from it like Shocktrooper does.  Momentum Swing is kinda nice.
Lokk thru your skills and pick a feat that boosts skills. A Skill Focus on Swim or Jump. Athaletic is a common choice as well. Toughness for a few hp, can never have too many of those.

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.

Lokk thru your skills and pick a feat that boosts skills. A Skill Focus on Swim or Jump. Athaletic is a common choice as well. Toughness for a few hp, can never have too many of those.

What language is this coming from?  If I am reading it correctly is there some reason you are deliberately trying to give the OP bad advice that has next to nothing to do with the character?

If it really wanted skills the OP would/should have put something into INT which is far more effective then wasting a feat for a few points of bonus.  Suggesting a Barbarian take Toughness is unreasonable by almost any definition unless it is needed as a prereq for something.

Now perhaps I should congratulate you because it appears I have provided a meal for a common regenerating DnD staple that dislikes fire and acid.
 

Several things wrong with this topic:

1.  Why'd you take Murky-Eyed?  Shaky tends to be a little more useful for a character that spends so much time in melee.
2.  Cleave and Weapon Focus tend to be more useless than most feats (since you're not guaranteed to be able to use Cleave if you kill something;  Weapon Focus is only good if you have the feats to spare and if you're going that route).
3.  Improved Sunder?  As stated above, you're destroying items that could very well come into your hands in a few rounds. 
4.  Why are you suggesting Skill Focus/Toughness/Athletic (and its cousins), taradusis?  These feats are the bottom of the barrel for most characters.  Toughness is a drop in the bucket for a character that has high HP;  Skill Focus has uses only in specialised characters (and I think Tempest is the only one that has made any decent use of it);  Athletic is beyond useless (unless you really need to get a small bonus to two skills). 

I'm actually pro-Cleave.  If you can trigger Cleave at least once per combat, it's worth a feat.  A well built fighter-type should be able to drop at least one foe a round, from orcs all the way up to balors when the CRs are about even.  Cleave should be able to be triggered by a smart player at least once per combat in most combats, extra so if you have a reach weapon (smart idea for most melee characters).

Weapon Focus, however, I'll agree with you on that one, except that it is one of the most often listed prereq feats for many PrCs.  Sometimes you gotta burn the feat to get into something nice like Pious Templar or Occult Slayer or Exotic Weapon Master or such.
My biggest gripe with Cleave is that it requires another target within reach (for most melee characters, that's another creature in melee with them), so unless you've got a way to make them cluster near you, you're probably not going to trigger it (especially if your party spellcasters are known for AoEs).
The way I rule on Cleave is that it "gives back" the attack that triggered it less any "next attack" things like True Strike.  This is to say that if you charge something and CLEAVE it I'd actually allow the charge to continue along the path it was going.
That houserule actually makes Cleave worthwhile, Steven. I'll have to use it in my next game!
"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
That houserule actually makes Cleave worthwhile, Steven. I'll have to use it in my next game!

I also like it because it gets rid of some of the stupidity where you could take an attack after someone cleaves which you should NEVER have taken.  Put another way it is my answer to using Cleave off of an AoO; if your AoO triggers a cleave opportunity you get back the AoO.  With the Cleave at the end of a charge you can "keep the charge" against any other target your movement (is) legally targetting or you may be able to convert it into a "normal" attack assuming you haven't moved too far.

If Cleaving is almost like the target wasn't there I want the mechanics to better represent that.
 
What's wrong with Cleaving off an AoO?

Cleave is kinda lame, but it's very situational. Extra attacks are always good, it's just about how often you're going to get them. With a big reach your odds of that go up quite a bit, too. Theoretically, you might be allowed to take an immediate action before taking the Cleave attack (which it says is immediate, but an immediate action can interrupt stuff) such as casting Lesser Celerity then moving over to another foe (a pretty unlikely occurance I know, just musing).

In theory, Great Cleave can give you infinite attacks per round, which is awesome, though in practice, you will likely never get to use that. 
What's wrong with Cleaving off an AoO?


Nothing per say except when Cleave can turn the AoO into a free attack on ANYBODY within reach.  Sorry, but I just don't like that situation.

Consider a battle with three sides; this is to say A is an enemy of B who is an enemy of C who is still an enemy of A.  Now if all of them are in threatened range of each other the problem I have is why should C be able to draw an AoO (from each of the other two mind you) and if he goes down one of his enemies gets a free shot at the other?  This would be in spite of A and B defending themselves from attacks from each other and from C before C does something to provoke.

Although it is never specified I fully believe that Cleave was intended to be used by a character on that character's own turn.  As such any time Cleave would be triggered any target that could be struck was almost certainly a viable target for the triggering attack.  My "giving back" the attack doesn't change that for the most part.  The problem with allowing an AoO generated cleave to be used against ANY target is that it opens up the "bag of rats" situation where multiple, weak "opponents" could be used to generate "free" full powered attacks against a character's real opponent.
The 'infinite cleave attacks' from a bag of rats doesn't work because a bag of rats is a swarm and treated like a single being.

And yes, Cleave could be used to one-shot mooks and multi-hack a boos. It's no worse then Robilar's Gambit in that respect, generating a lot of attacks. And so very, very unlikely to happen except at the lowest levels you can probably ignore the possibility entirely.

==Aelryinth
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Great Cleave, Sweeping Strikes (War Mind Class Feature) and Mithril Tornado (Iron Heart Maneuver) is a pretty funny combo. Attack all adjacent foes, make an additional attack for each foe you attack vs another foe (these all but one of these attacks can be against a single opponent basically). If you cleave you hit additional targets (and another target, due to Sweeping Strikes).

Pile in mooks to better nova strike the boss? It's kinda like Burning Crusade Feral Druids for anyone who played WoW half a decade ago. 
The 'infinite cleave attacks' from a bag of rats doesn't work because a bag of rats is a swarm and treated like a single being.

And yes, Cleave could be used to one-shot mooks and multi-hack a boos. It's no worse then Robilar's Gambit in that respect, generating a lot of attacks. And so very, very unlikely to happen except at the lowest levels you can probably ignore the possibility entirely.

==Aelryinth

I don't see what Robilar's Gambit has to do with my example.  The RG you may open yourself up to attack which a boss can then provoke by attacking you but to me that is a long ways from suffering an attack when some random mook goes down next to you.
StevenO, do a robilar's Gambit and run into a horde of mooks and their boss. Granted, this won't work since RG takes level 12, but conceptually...

THe MOOKS swing at you. It generates an AoO against them. Extra attacks, yay!

You kill them. You cleave into the boss. YAY!
Mook 2 swings. Rinse and repeat.

RG is far more powerful then this technique because it guarantess you the extra attacks against the target of your choice.

Cleave and Great Cleave don't because a) you have to kill something and b) there has to be something else nearby to hit.    
This generally doesn't work because you generally can't kill mooks in one swing after level 3-5.  And trying to do something cheesy like conjure extra 'enemies' out of midair to get Great Cleaves is going to bring the banhammer down from your DM like a mile of bad news.

So my above technique is relatively useless at high levels against a boss. They generally don't have a mook swarm around, the mook swarm can't be one hit, and they might not be in range. So you MIGHT get all those extra attacks, but it's very unlikely.

Now, RG is great because all you have to do is get people to attack you, instead of killing them, and you generate tons of free attacks. that's waaaay easier then dropping a ton of mooks. And it's one feat vs 2. Which would you rather have?

==Aelryinth
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Perhaps we are interpreting RG differently.  When I read the feat I see it is you openning yourself up so that if some attacks you they provoke an AoO.  I certainly assume that the attack RG generates must be taken against the person who provokes it.  Now if that AoO leads to a Cleave opportunity you're right back at the "bag of rats" issue where attacks may be directed where they normally could NOT be directed.

RG can use the "boss's attack" and convert them into attacks by you against him but I don't see it converting attacks by one person at you into attacks by you against someone else.

My ruling on Cleave can be helpful for somone using RG as well.  If you get the attack back that means someone else you can strike later.  I will also point out that just because Cleave generates an attack opportunity that doesn't mean you need to take it.
 
Per your last sentence...

if you have sidestep, you can then use the AoO to move to another position.

I've never specifically looked at Robilar's to see if you have to take the AoO against the one provoking it. Common sense says yes...


Regardless, what I'm doing is drawing a line between a feat or two that gets you extra attacks, and a feat that gets you extra attacks.

nerfing cleave and great cleave are totally unneccessary. The combo you are fearing simply will not come into play without serious metagame cheese.  They will never be as useful at generating extra damage as Robilar's is, and as such, there's really no reason to go after them. The only time you can abuse them is when you are high level butchering very low level opponents...which is precisely what the feat is supposed to allow you to do. And if one time in a hundred you actually can get off a combination of RG and Great Cleave...let me tell you, that will be one awesome moment for a fighter in the game!

==Aelryinth        
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Eh, in theory, yeah, but in practice, I don't think it's going to happen. If someone tries a "bag of rats" tricks, just announce that a piano fell on their head mysteriously, killing them. New plot hook, mechanics abuse ended, all in one fell swoop! Perfect!

Now, sure, being able to pile all your AoOs onto someone is silly, but is it any more silly than taking a full attack against a load of mook and directing each and every Cleave back at the Big Bad Guy? Or more silly than getting all those AoOs in the first place? If you have the time to take an AoO, you have the time to make an attack of some sort; the problem seems to me to be more the large number of AoOs available, in which case just rule Combat Reflexes adds like +2 or something instead of +Dex. 
Who's nerfing Cleave?  I guess you think I am when I'm not letting some contitionally taken "free" attack be directed at someone who doesn't meat that same condition for the initial attack.  I guess you may be right there BUT at the same time I am actually ADDING functionality to Cleave.  Maybe it isn't stated clearly enough but make take on an AoO generated Cleave opportunity is that it gives the character back that AoO allowing it to be used the next time someone provokes an AoO.

My thinking is that a guy with Cleave could guard a doorway and when some mook tries to run through and gets cut down the effort that took isn't enough to take away the guy's AoO so then next guy who tries running though can get smacked as well.  I'm perfect aware that this step on Combat Reflexes a little bit but it also requires dropping targets and would take Great Cleave to do it multiple times assuming foes keep falling.
 
The "bag of rats" or "many minions" scenario is only going to be any kind of an issue if the Cleaver can already take several AoOs (otherwise they're getting one single free attack vs the big bad guy at best), in which case they probably have enough AoOs that getting one back from Cleave isn't likely to be a big deal.

Plus, it's not as useful. If only one mook provokes an AoO, and I kill him with it, then I don't get my Cleave, I only get my (useless) AoO back.

I like the idea that a fighter with Cleave but not Combat Reflexes could get a bit more mileage from his AoOs, but overall I'd say that's a nerf. 
It's an interesting mechanic, but truthfully, I don't know that it fits the flavor of the feat simply based on its name.   Cleave basically means you swing so hard that if you kill someone you cut right through them (or knock them aside, pierce right through, whatever) and went on to the next guy.  You're not so much taking a second attack as continuing the first one.

In response to the original question, another thing that might be worth looking at if you're interested in continuing as a barbarian are the Cityscape alternate class features.  Barbarian had a bunch of those that were really interesting and allowed for vastly improved charging among other things.  Notably, at 7th level you can pick up Streetfighter (the aforementioned charging improvements).
It's an interesting mechanic, but truthfully, I don't know that it fits the flavor of the feat simply based on its name.   Cleave basically means you swing so hard that if you kill someone you cut right through them (or knock them aside, pierce right through, whatever) and went on to the next guy.  You're not so much taking a second attack as continuing the first one.


Here you're really letting the name and fluff of the feat get to you.  How else could you "explain" standing in the middle of a narrow intersection and then dropping a target down one hall with a reach weapon (say a long spear) and then "cleaving" into one down a "side hall" when neither of those targets may have any idea the other one is even there?
 
"As the goblin rushed Thulkar the Great, the mighty warrior grinned wickedly and appeared to brace himself-- only to step aside as the far less experienced fighter charged into his space.  Planting a boot on the stupid little green thing's butt, he kicked the little sod towards his true opponent to distract him and struck.  With a mighty roar, he pushed the weapon not only into his opponent, but through and took the opportunity to strike at the ancient lich Varguun with the deadly thrust."

Positioning is somewhat fluid in these fights-- it's part of the reason they did away with facing.  You're constantly moving around your 5 foot square while fighting, dodging away from and towards your opponents, etc...  It doesn't take much exposition to place a dead opponent in the right place for something like this to happen and it can sound pretty cool when you do so.

If he hadn't killed the goblin, it would have been described differently, maybe the goblin runs up the length of the spear instead before it rips out of him.  The point is that you roll the dice, find out what happened and then you turn it into the story you and your players want to hear.

It doesn't really matter whether the opponents know of each other-- Cleave isn't an attack of opportunity that depends on your opponents defenses being down.  It's you turning a herculean effort into something that can damage more than one opponent.  That said, as usual with D&D, if that doesn't work for you it's something that can fluctuate, so long as you're consistent about it.  I liked the mechanic you came up with, I just don't think it fits in quite as well with the fluff as the normal mechanics of Cleave do.
Sign In to post comments