Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Barbarian

This is the last of the classes on offer (currently) in my home game.
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Base class: HD, saves and exp track of the Fighter.
Unique: Even more so than any other class, every barbarian is different. At first level, and each level thereafter, the Barbarian gets their hit points as normal then rolls twice on the Barbarian Level Up table.
Fuck armour: Barbarians never wear armour. Luckily their toughness, luck and/or protective tattoos grant them a natural AC of 14 makes them immune to the effects of extreme weather.
Fuck magic: Barbarians hate magic. Back home all sorcerors are evil and old habits die hard.
A Barbarian’s fists count as magic vs creatures immune to mundane weaponry.
They may save vs any spell from a Chaotic source, especially those that usually grant no save.
Rolling a 20 on the save means the barbarian temporarily “eats” the spell. This negates the spell’s effects completely, makes their tattoos and eyes glow a cool thematic colour, and lets them unleash the spell on the next person they hit in combat. They may not necessarily know what the spell does though.
Fuck pain: Barbarians don’t feel pain. Once per day they can go berserk for one round/level. A berserking barbarian gets+3 strength, -3 AC, adds their strength modifier to damage and cannot die.
If taken below 0HP they take death crits as normal, except that all negative modifiers due to pain are reversed and they feel no effects from injuries until the rage ends.
If they run out of enemies to kill while raging they will attack anything else nearby at random.
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The Barbarian is meant to be your now-usual raging smashy man (or lady), rather than your classic sneaky Conan type. Specialists have that niche locked up tight.
They are also a sort of equal-and-opposite counterpart to the Muscle Wizard. Both are a bit gonzo compared to the other classes and both are geared towards close combat, but the Muscle Wizard uses magic where the Barbarian actively resists it.

The Barbarian is Unique in another way, they use Zak's Barbarian table to see what they get whenever they level up. The idea being that Barbarians all come from somewhere Far Away and are all somehow different to each other.
Gamewise, a 60% chance to get a to-hit bonus per level means they tend to stay behind the Fighter in terms of raw fighting ability, and means they get a bunch of cool variant abilities too.
The first guy to roll a Barbarian in my game got a +1 to hit and a bonus to armour which meant he had 16 AC at first level, not bad.

Fuck Armour is to keep things traditional. Real barbarians don't wear armour, although spiky shoulder pads and various accoutrements are ok I guess.
Due to their beefy toughness, luck, and/or status as favoured of the Gods they have Leather Armour levels of natural protection, which as an extra perk it can't be ignored by firearms and crossbows, etc.


Fuck magic is to make the Barbarian a wizard killer and because barbarians versus sorcerors is pretty classic pulp fantasy. And because I felt a need to balance out the extra magic classes I added. If you've got sorcerer problems you're definitely calling in a Barbarian.
Punching magic-immune enemies is due to Joesky. That's a good rule and no mistake. Barbarians also save vs any spell, including the ones that give no save like Sleep, which is how you know your job is to ruin a wizard's day.
Eating spells is because I hope that one day I will witness somebody will charge at a wizard, negate his Lightning Bolt, and smash it back into his puny wizard jaw.

Fuck pain because berserking Barbarians is a thing now. Get bonuses to fighting and kill-killing for a short time and become IMMUNE TO DEATH ITSELF. Even if you are fighting someone in a lava pit or something you will destroy whatever you're attacking until your last breath.
You still take damage and Death & Dismemberment effects like arms getting chopped off or stab wounds to the heart still happen but crucially do not affect you and in fact, with the whole pain-reversal thing, make you more angry.
And then when the rage is over you collapse to the floor dead from many wounds but god damn did you make that beast choke on its own acid blood before you succumbed.
This could mean that you keep on fighting after something's chopped off your head but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Of course, if everything's dead you start attacking your friends until you calm down which is also pretty standard as far as barbarian rages are concerned.

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