Why was the barbarian changed?

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Lobo316
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Why was the barbarian changed?

Post by Lobo316 »

Looking back at the 3rd printing barbarian...I can't figure out what was so bad about him that a new version had to be released with 4th printing. I like the 4th printing understand, but it's lacking that "rage" feature the 3rd printing had.

Just curious if anyone can shed some light on that for me.

(I'd allow either version in my game).

tylermo
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Re: Why was the barbarian changed?

Post by tylermo »

I'm sure Stephen commented on this more than once. I'll be damned if I can remember the specifics. Seems like a description of C&C 4th printing at the Paizo storefront might shed some light. "The barbarian lacked proper balance in the game; We've worked hard to address these issues.". Past forum threads will shed more light than the aforementioned comment from the product description.

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gideon_thorne
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Re: Why was the barbarian changed?

Post by gideon_thorne »

Enough people had the same recurring problems with the barbarian rage that it was given a second look. Pretty much what it boiled down too. It was the most consistent, and pervasive, issue talked about for a long while. :)
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Omote
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Re: Why was the barbarian changed?

Post by Omote »

The barbarian was the epitome of boring. The old barbarian was a simple +X to statistics, for WAY too big a penalty.

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Relaxo
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Re: Why was the barbarian changed?

Post by Relaxo »

Omote wrote:The barbarian was the epitome of boring. The old barbarian was a simple +X to statistics, for WAY too big a penalty.

~O
This.
plus the newer version is SWEET!
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MormonYoYoMan
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Re: Why was the barbarian changed?

Post by MormonYoYoMan »

Because adult diapers could only hold 20 pounds?
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Lord Dynel
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Re: Why was the barbarian changed?

Post by Lord Dynel »

Omote wrote:The barbarian was the epitome of boring. The old barbarian was a simple +X to statistics, for WAY too big a penalty.

~O
Yes, I remember this being the core of the issue. The barbarian's major ability was Primal Fury. It was bad enough that it came with a downside...but a four hour downside? It was one of those powers they had to sit on, until absolutely necessary because using it meant being at a disadvantage for a while afterwards.

The rest of his abilities were okay (the "DR" ability, and the bonus to certain saves) but two of them - "Combat Sense" and "Primal Might" - depended on certain circumstances to be effective. While they helped in those circumstances, they depend on those instances to be effective.

Steve wrote a good article in Crusader #19 about this very thing. It wasn't that it was bad, but it had a certain feel about it that didn’t fit the class structure - it was more a cultural or racial feel than an "occupation" that character classes are. He felt the rage ability, as its core ability, was odd and that some mechanic that could mimic this, available to anyone, would work just as well. He talks about how losing one's self in battle would probably lead to a very short barbaric life. He goes on to talk of how barbarians, viewed as those who live outside civilization, view civilized societies as weak. He cites historical examples (notably, the coming of the Goths to Rome). It wasn't so much that they were "barbaric" rather that, through their dress and habits, they terrorized the people they invaded.

This became the basis of the class - a person who lives outside of societies norms (or outside of society altogether) who doesn't fall prey to society's softness and frailty, but one who can actually use that to their advantage if need be. Fearless, brave, intimidating, self-sufficient - all this describes the barbarian. To this end, they (Steve and his crew) built the class up around that, giving the class the ability to survive outside of civilization, to intimidate those he felt were weak, and still give them combat abilities that reflected their fearless demeanor. I think they pulled it off pretty good. As a side effect (whether intended or not...though I think it was) it bought the barbarian more in line with the 1st and 2nd Edition AD&D version of "survivalist warrior."

I would probably allow the original barbarian as well, if someone really wanted to play one, though I'd probably rename it the "berserker" or something along those lines.
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