This time in The Dungeon Master column we are going to rage our way into the depths of the barbarian class from the game Dungeons and Dragons Online.
For everyone that wants to begin a Barbarian, they have to keep some things in mind. One is your weapon; it doesn’t matter if the player is an half-Orc, a Human or a Warforged, the player will be using two-handed weapons. Any generic “just-found-it” two-handed weapon will do.
Now the half-Orc does loan itself the best for making a barbarian, but making it a Warforged or Human is not that bad of an idea either. Warforged do get some enhancements that boosts the usage with two-handed weapons and the extra feat the player gets when they are a Human can open up some nice possibilities with feats.
The second thing the player will have to keep in mind is that the Barbarian has only one class skill that practically all of his enhancements revolve around: Rage. This is the class’ blessing and curse paradox. It is a blessing because the player’s rage will eventually give a lovely Strength and Constitution bonus, with a +8 to both with no enhancements, and a +12 and +11 respectively with enhancements. The player will also gain a +4 bonus without enhancements, and a +7 with, to their Will save when they are raging. This makes killing things easier as the player’s Strength will be decently high along with their HP, so they won’t die that fast.
Though, now comes the problem. As the adventures become increasingly difficult, the player will quickly notice that because they can not use heavy armor, they will take massive amounts of damage, and will rely mostly on their Rage – to have more HP to survive.
This isn’t as much of an issue as the player might begin to think, and honestly, it isn’t. The flaw with “Rage Surviving” is that you can only use it a certain amount of times. Eventually, the player will be able to use it either five (5) times as base, or nine (9), if they take enhancements.
That might sound like enough Raging for one fight, but another concern is that one Rage lasts for 30 seconds (1 minute if you have the enhancements, or higher if you invest in a high Constitution score). Unfortunately, most combat situations take longer than that, so they player will be using their every Rage they need in every combat encounter just to survive. Luckily, the player can, of course, always rest to regain the lost Rages, but that is a slight loss of game time.
The solution: Try to team up with a healer as much as possible, and the problem will vaporize into thin air with the lack of requiring Rage to live, and could convert it to the bonus damage it was designed to be.
Personally, I would rather play a Fighter, which can do extensive damage, as well as having armor to protect themselves.
Editor’s Note: Perhaps if the player is interested, they should look up the infamous, Adam Grizzly, or move over to talk to Beararms.