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Rage Against The Darkness – D&D 5E Barbarian Optimisation Guide
Melee combat is more viable across a wider array of levels in 5e versus 3. It has a more linear power curve than other classes, and lacks some of the build versatility shown with others, but it remains very viable fromand can become a great clutch player for any party.
Do note that while I try and give some mechanical advice, do not consider this purely about character optimization. I like to look at things more than pure damage dice, as I do believe that truly effective characters move away from the one dimensional. Also, there is admittedly my own bias sprinkled around here and there. If I think something is cool, I may give it more of a thought than something that while is mechanically sound, is ultimately boring. There are a ton of potential build options that are viable, and unlike 3.
The Barbarian is, in some ways, the anti-Fighter. Barbarians are specific as opposed to general. What the Barbarian does bring to the party is an incredible Risk vs Reward system. With the highest hit dice in the game, baked in resistances, advantage versus a ton of effects and the ability to stay fighting even after dropping to 0, the Barbarian is amongst the best of the best when it comes to staying alive in melee. But, they also have the ability to turn that around trade some of that defence for some on demand offence.
Or it can be the choice that triggers a TPK. Risk vs Reward. The Core of the Barbarian Unlike melee classes like the Fighter, Paladin or Ranger, the Barbarian has some pretty specific stats it needs to have.I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance. I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can't assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew.
I also won't cover Unearthed Arcana content because it's not finalized, and I can't guarantee that it will be available to you in your games. Barbarians are all about getting angry and dealing damage.
They have a ton of hit points, resistance to damage, and Rage gives a wonderful bonus to damage. Barbarians don't get much in the way of skills, so generally they're stuck as combat monsters, but they function equally well as a Defender and a Striker.
After reading this handbook, I encourage you to read my Barbarian Subclasses Breakdown. Saves : Strength saves are fairly rare, but Constitution saves are common and typically very problematic.
Proficiencies : Medium armor and martial weapons will get you a long way, but you get no tool proficiencies, and only two skills. Rage : Rage is the Barbarian's defining class feature. The bonus damage isn't huge, but it's reliable and consistent. The resistance to damage makes Barbarians exceptionally durable. You can rage multiple times in the same encounter if you absolutely need to, but your number of rages per day is limited, so try not to do so if you can avoid it.
Unarmored Defense : This is great flavor for the Barbarian, but won't do much good for you unless your abilities are very high. That's generally achievable by level 8 unless you rolled for ability scores, and assuming that you started with 14 Dexterity and largely ignored Strength. More realistically, you should expect to hit 20 Constitution by 12th level, and even then Unarmored Defense will only break even with Half plate. If magic armor is an option you'll need to put an ability increase into Dexterity before you have a good reason to drop your armor.
Reckless Attack : Rage makes you resistant to damage from normal weapons Magical weapons which do weird damage types still work fineso advantage on attacks against you doesn't matter as much. Go crazy.
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Mythological Figures: Conan the Barbarian 5E. Click here to find out! This week's Mythological Figure is one sure to generate a lot of discussion, as we delve into Conan the Barbabarian! Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, Mike Myler. You can also find his marks in the N. Ymdar Explorer.The classic Barbarian is featured in all kinds of media as a skilled warrior, under clothed and strong as an ox. It then appeared again in the original Unearthed Arcana book in Melee combat is your Haunch and Yak Butter.
While this 5E Barbarian charop guide is aimed at giving some crunchy advice on mechanics, remember that character optimisation means different things to different players. Where the Fighter is versatile, sharp and precise; the Barbarian flows with the raw, blunt and a force of nature. You have layers of survivability keeping you going as you enemies pile on. You may even get the ability to fight past death itself… at least while the rage continues.
Mythological Figures: Conan the Barbarian (5E)
As a trade off, the Barbarian has the opportunity to make themselves easier to hit in exchange for more potential damage. But, the Barbarian has the ability to trade in some of that defence for some instant offence. Barbarians focus on Strength.
There is no strong Dex based option here Well… there is discussion of finesse weapons in the comments. You need Strength. Strength and Constitution will be your main focus… with some Dex thrown in to make you harder to hit.
Barbarian optimisation starts here. A very strong choice. There are often better choices, sometimes not. You may find use for it in niche circumstances. Darkvision remains a great choice.
Savage Attacks with a great axe is super strong starting off at the start.
D&D 5e Character Optimization – Barbarian
All in all a great choice for an offensively minded Barbarian. I love playing a Halfling, the down side is being a small slow creature that gets disadvantage with the typical Barbarian weapons. I would dip a few levels of Rogue to take advantage of Sneak Attacks with finesse weapons you can still use Strength with those. Resistance to an additional damage type is always welcome but is wasted at higher levels.
The Dragonborn makes for a great Barbarian with a magic trick up his sleeve. However, there are some nice perks such as Darkvision, Fey Ancestry and extra skills.
Here is how I would rank the three subraces:. There is a lack of racial ability benefits that the other races. The fire resistence looks nice but there are other races that can offer this up for you such as Dragonborn. At all. Stick with Cleric or Paladin for this race. Getting extra damage on a surprise attack is just gravy. Not bad, but the Wisdom is mostly wasted here. Aside from that, swim speed, breathe water and air, talk to water creatures, and cold resistance are going to be dependant on your campaign.Legendary Wrestler 5e Barbarian Archetype Guide ~ I've Always Wanted to Suplex a Dragon!
Give this a pass. You get a slightly weaker form of the Charge feat for free, an improved unarmed strike, and a knock-back similar to a monk. The Goring rush makes the Berserker Frenzy a little less interesting with the bonus action competition.What is the best 5e barbarian build?
What are the best feats for 5e barbarians? Barbarians are uncivilized, uncouth, and anger very easily. Read on for our Ultimate Guide to Playing Barbarians in 5e. While fighters are martial experts who rely on full-plate armor and sophisticated tactics to win battles, barbarians rely on sheer toughness and rage to strike down their foes.
This is what makes barbarians unique as a class. Keep reading to find out the best races for a barbarian, best feats, skills, primal path features, and more. For ability scores, there are two different paths you can take when building a barbarian. The first is to take your highest roll and put it into Str. This will maximize your ability to hit and deal damage with melee weapons and with your barbarian abilities.
If you choose this option, put your second-highest roll into Con to get as much HP as possible when you level, but without sacrificing Str. The second path for a barbarian build is to put your highest roll into Con. This will maximize your HP as you level. Since barbarians do not wear heavy armor, some players believe this to be the best build for the class. If you choose this option, put your second-highest roll into Str so as not to harm your ability to use barbarian features and melee attacks.
It only takes a minute to sign up. I rolled his HP and he has the tough feat that I gave him at level 4, so I know, at max, he gets 40 to his HP, but I'm unsure of how to actually calculate the total. As a note, if you had taken the "recommended" hp of 7 per level and 12 at first level, you would have gotten HP, instead. Sign up to join this community.
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Active 1 year, 3 months ago. Viewed 2k times. What is the character's total HP? Active Oldest Votes. The Overflow Blog.
Bar-bear-ian: Wildshape+Rage (5e Optimized Character Build)
It only takes a minute to sign up. I am making a variant human barbarian and I'm wondering If I should get Tough as my 1st or 4th level feat? Which gives more Hp overall? Consider: if you take Tough at 1st level you immediately bump your HP max by 2, then another 2 at 2nd, another 2 at 3rd, another 2 at 4th for a total HP max bump from Tough of 8HP. The consideration, then, needs to be in how much you value that HP earliervs. In other words, how does earlier HP bump compare to the other feat s you are considering?
That's for you to decide. Tough basically gives you hit points equal to twice your current level in addition to 2 additional hit points for every level thereafter. What this means is tough gives you 40 hit points over the course of 20 levels. If you get it at level 1, you get 2 hit points at the beginning.
Levels accrue 38 hit points 19 x 2 for a total of 40 hit points. Not at all. Level 1 parties are notoriously frail due to any crit from a monster easily dealing more than 10 damage and most characters having that much.
The difference between getting Tough at 1st level and 4th level is 6 hit points to help you actually get to level 4. Does a barbarian need charisma, intellect, or wisdom? Not really. Useful to be sure, but specialization is more important than being a jack of all trades.
I'd personally grab the feat at level 1 and focus your attribute increases on your preferred stats or getting even more feats. I assume you asked this question because you want your character to be able to live longer in the game. While other answers pointed out that it doesn't matter if you take the feat early or late with regard to hitpoints, I would advise you to not take the feat at all. The small amount of health you get for the price of a feat will hardly ever matter, while there are many other feats that are truly powerful and can help your character and build become stronger and better.
But since the question is framed in a way that taking the feat is a given, there is a factor that might influence the decision, as the dark wanderer hinted at in a comment: The later you take the feat, the less you will have to give up for it.
At level one, you will 'pay' your only feat slot for something of dubious value with much better alternatives available. However, at higher levels, you should already have the feat or feats that can help your build the most, so it might hurt you less to take the feat at that point. The total amount of benefit is the same no matter when you take it, therefore it often can make more sense to take this fest later when it gains you a measurable immediate benefit in boosted HP.