By Nick Langley - September 15, 2009
So how has the Barbarian fared in most of its incarnations? I’d say they’ve been shown a lot of love. Anyone from a Frank Frazetta fan to someone that just wants to kick a face in can get behind the Barbarian. Why be a Fighter when you can be the guy that flips out during battle and starts chopping up all of the goblins without the silly burden of thoughts getting in your way?
3rd Edition’s Version: The Rage ability is just cool. I’ve had more Players as Barbarians than Fighters in my campaigns. They essentially filled the same role but Barbarians were tougher and could Rage to deal lots of extra damage. They were just more interesting to play. The Barbarian helped bring a little bit of variety to the boring melee-based classes where all you would do is hit your enemy with your basic melee attack over and over.
Pathfinder’s Version: The same as 3rd Edition with the great big exception of the Rage mechanics. Instead of being an ability limited by uses per day, there are a limited number of rounds that you can sustain Rage. You also get a bunch of “Rage Powers” which are these varied abilities that give anything like permanent climbing bonus to abilities that let you strike fear into foes that can only be used while you are Raging. Tactically, this gives them a great deal of flexibility during combat making them far more interesting to play.
4th Edition’s Version: Rage is now a category of powers that are hugely varied in what bonuses they offer. All of the Barbarian’s Daily powers are Rage powers. A Rage always includes an attack to start it off before you enter the stance, so they’re actually quite useful beyond just the bonuses granted to the Barbarian for the encounter. Even though your Barbarian will be showered with Rage powers that can only be activated one at a time, they can expend a Rage power to use their Rage Strike ability that is one of the hardest hitting abilities in all of 4th Edition D&D.
If you missed the exact premise for this series of articles, you can find the original article here.
Here are also the previous entries in this series…