View Full Version : Help me find my rage(ing PrC)

Koromin M'thul
2010-05-08, 11:51 AM
I am asking the Playground for your expertise. I've finally gotten to build and play a Dungeon Crasher Fighter, but now I am not sure what my next build choices should be. I am thinking to grab some Barbarian levels, and I am looking for a good PrC that would fit what I have. Some retraining may be possible, but I would appreciate minimal retroactive changes, if any.

My current build:

Goliath Fighter 6, with level adjustment buy-off

STR 22, DEX 12, CON 18, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 8

1)Power Attack
Ftr1:Improved Bull Rush
Ftr2: Dungeon Crasher
Ftr4:Steadfast Determination
Ft6: Dungeon Crasher

Climb, Jump, and Swim are maxed

I usually use a goliath greathammer, supplemented by a composite longbow, and wear fullplate.

Thanks for your help.

2010-05-08, 12:14 PM
The Consolidated Barbarian Handbook (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19867934/Consolidated_Barbarian_Handbook?pg=1) is a must-read if you're considering a dip into barbarian. The class has a lot of good alternate class features that can make levels in it worthwhile.

The Goliath Barbarian racial substitution level is good for lvl 1. I'd also pick an acf that replaces Uncanny Dodge since you can't have much of a dodge modifier in Full Plate.

You don't have the necessary feats to get into the Frenzied Berserker PrC, but Bear Warrior could be a useful alternative.

2010-05-08, 12:16 PM
The stronger Barbarian-ish PrC are Frenzied Berserker, Wildrunner, Fist of the Forest, Runescarred Berserker, Black Blood Cultist, and Bear Warrior. FB comes with a lot of baggage. Wildrunner is Elf only. Fist of the Forest is an unarmed Dex/Con based PrC. Runescarred Berserker has amazing spells but three lousy feats as pre-reqs. Black Blood Cultist is a Grapple PrC, which doesn't work with Knockback. So your best option is probably Figher 6/Lion Totem Barbarian 1 (for Pounce)/Bear Warrior 1/Warshaper 3. When you Rage, you'll get +12 Str, +2 Dex, +8 Con, reach, and Fast Healing. Pick up Extra Rage, and you should be set. The only problem would be that when you change into a Bear, you'd lose Powerful Build. There's a feat to fix that in Races of Stone. But a reasonable DM would hand wave that away, since your Wild Shape is so limited.

But since you're doing a Knockback build, you should consider Flaming Homer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4108954&postcount=22). You don't even need Barbarian or Pyrokineticist - just Shock Trooper, Sweeping Strike, and Expansion.

More Fighter would also work, though it wouldn't be as strong. With the bonus feats you'd have an easy time getting another melee combo (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=127026) (I suggest a Daze or Fear effect). A nifty web ad on (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060327a) gives you various buffs to your ability to Demoralize. The most important kicks in at 11th level, which lets you Demoralize as a Swift Action. This can be a powerful tool (http://boards-test-dev.wizards.com/wotc_archive/index.php/t-911167), especially when combined with the Imperious Command feat (Drow of the Underdark) which makes Demoralized enemies Cower (www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Cowering).

2010-05-08, 03:26 PM
Do you actually want Barbarian levels? You can skip right into a "rage(ing PrC)" with the Berserk (Deities and Demigods, pages 201-202).

The only wrinkle is for feats/other PrCs which require either a rage or frenzy ability. The Berserk has Battle Fury as its hallmark ability, which isn't specifically either of these. However, the description for the class uses both terms:
Berserks whip themselves into a battle frenzy, biting their shields and howling like animals. They are ferocious fighters and seemingly insensitive to pain while this madness lasts. Berserks make formidable enemies. In their rage they have even been known to attack the boulders and trees of the forest, and it is not uncommon for them to kill their own people. You won't get as many Battle Fury daily uses as the Frenzied Berserker gets frenzy, so the Extra Rage feat (Complete Warrior, page 98) is useful. What you get instead is Beast Shape, which lets you get your wild on in a different way.

Koromin M'thul
2010-05-09, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the feedback, there are some good ideas here. I cannot believe I forgot about the Barbarian Handbook, HunterOfJello. The goliath substitution level, using Lion Totem for Pounce seems like a great way to start.

I have read up on the Flaming Homer, and while it looks great, I'm afraid that is out of line with the rest of the group. Both the Bear Warrior and Warshaper seem like good options. I do wonder, how would those classes affect your equipment, both in terms of use/functioning, and future purchases?

Dusk Eclipse
2010-05-09, 11:38 AM
ow would those classes affect your equipment, both in terms of use/functioning, and future purchases?[/B]

IIRC magic items (except for armor and weapons) automatically re-size to fit the new form. Also since the bear warrior ability finctions as wildsahpe, all your equipment melds (and becomes inactive) into your bear form unless you put a wilding clasp on the item you want to continue using

2010-05-09, 01:45 PM
IIRC magic items (except for armor and weapons) automatically re-size to fit the new form.
No, I'm afraid you don't remember correctly. This resizing is pretty much limited to some wearable items. But only some. The Monk's Belt is user-adjustable just by making more or fewer loops of this rope belt around your body. Necklaces hang high or low based on your neck size. Cloaks scrape the ground or only reach your knees, depending. Rings may fit your pinkie finger or your thumb. Heward's Handy Haversack has adjustable straps.
Size And Magic Items

When an article of magic clothing or jewelry is discovered, most of the time size shouldn’t be an issue. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they adjust themselves magically to the wearer. Also remember most of these things have a specified weight, and that doesn't change. Your Diminutive character's Boots of Elvenkind may magically shrink to fit, but the pair will still weigh 1 pound even though nonmagical boots of appropriate size would be a couple of ounces.

Nonwearable items don't change size. A Bag of Holding is never going to be usable for a Fine sized character.

Koromin M'thul
2010-05-09, 01:59 PM
This would mean that a Wilding Clasp would be required for my armour, but my vest of resistance would resize with me, correct? Further, this would render my weapons useless in my new shape, being replaced by my natural weapons. This leads to a dilemma with regards to weapon upgrades as well as ways to improve my raging bear form weapons.

Another thought: what about my animated shield? Would it stay covering me in my bear shape, still recognizing me as it's owner?

Darklord Xavez
2010-05-09, 02:04 PM
If you're looking to bust down a door and kill whatever's inside, take Extend Rage and Destructive Rage (both from Complete Warrior). Extend Rage is self-explanatory, and Destructive Rage gives you a nice bonus on strength checks to destroy objects while raging.

2010-05-09, 02:48 PM
This would mean that a Wilding Clasp would be required for my armour, but my vest of resistance would resize with me, correct?
The Wilding Clasp would only work if your armor can still be used in the new shape, and I don't know of animal forms that would work (unless maybe you started out as a Large size monstrous humanoid and wanted to assume Ape shape).
A wilding clasp can be attached to any item worn on the body. When so worn, a clasp prevents the worn item from melding into your new form when you use wild shape (as long as the item could reasonably be worn by the new form). Remember, armor never changes size or shape.

Your Vest of Resistance (with Wilding Clasp) would at first just get loose or tight on your body if the new shape allowed it to be worn, only resizing in extremis. (Birds, snakes, and aquatic animals just can't wear vests)

Koromin M'thul
2010-05-09, 03:12 PM
The Beastskin Armour property, MiC p.16, is what I'll need. My main concern still comes from relying only on the natural weapons I'll gain, and the loss of those I can buy and enhance. Is the trade-off really worthwhile?

2010-05-09, 04:44 PM
I wouldn't recommend Bear Warrior, it would overly complicate things when gearing your character and without wilding clasps too much would change when you switched form. Barbarian 2 is a great addition to most combat characters, and with Wolf Totem you could pick up Knock-Down (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/divine/divineAbilitiesFeats.htm#knockDown). You could also dip into Exotic Weapon Master for the Trip Attack trick for a +2 bonus when using Knock-Down. Mountain Rage is good, but Whirling Frenzy (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/classFeatureVariants.htm#rageVariantWhirlingFrenzy ) is also pretty amazing. Take the feat Reckless Rage from RoS with Whirling Frenzy and your AC doesn't even change.

You could consider the Zhentarim Soldier substitution levels (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060327a), reflavored to suit a more local organization or just rename it Big-Bad-Bully, keeping in mind that size bonuses and thus Powerful Build apply to Intimidate checks. That would allow Greater Weapon Focus/Specialization, Melee Weapon Mastery, and eventually Weapon Supremacy.

If your Wisdom was a bit higher, you could swap around some skills and a few feats to grab one level of Sanctified Mind and jump into War Mind, then finish off with more Sanctified Mind. It's sort of something you'd have to build a character toward from the start, but it makes a decent finish to most high BAB nonspellcasters. With a higher Charisma you could take Suel Arcanamach 4/ Spellsword 1/ Abjurant Champion 5, also great for boosting a combat character.

For something completely different, you could pick up Half-Dragon (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/sp/20030912a), especially if your DM would let your Powerful Build make it grant you wings and a fly speed. You could even gain just one level in the template class, buy it off after three class levels, take the second, buy it off after three more class levels, and then pick up the third to buy it off in only three levels too. Remember there's the feat Dragon Breath in Races of the Dragon that lets you use your breath weapon every 1d4 rounds instead of just once/day, and you could get Entangling Exhalation. You could also take Improved Speed in the Draconomicon for +20 ft. fly and +10 ft. land speed, and there's also Endure Blows which with Thick Skinned in Savage Species would give you DR 4/-.

Koromin M'thul
2010-05-09, 07:22 PM
Looking over the Bear Warrior and Warshaper PrCs in more depth, they show promise, but not for my current character. I want to include the Lion Totem Barbarian level, and stick with the theme of a hard charging, heavy hitting soldier. Whirling Frenzy will be considered, but I am not looking for a major departure from the current character concept, such as trying to get half-dragon.

Is there any other PrC out there that a NG fighter6/barb1, not using spells or shifting, would fit?

2010-05-09, 09:47 PM
Be sure to get Barbarian 2 for Improved Trip via the Wolf Totem variant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#wolfTotemClassFeatures ), so you can get Knock-Down. That way every attack will bull rush them back and knock them prone, so they'd have to spend a move action to get up and then another move action to get back into melee, thus wasting their entire turn. You can still use the Lion spiritual totem with that, since Wolf Totem retains Fast Movement which is what gets traded for Pounce.

Consider taking Horizon Walker, since you already have Endurance. Get at least eight levels of it for the Shifting, Cavernous, and Aligned planar masteries. With Shifting you can take Quicken Spell-Like Ability at level 15, though you wouldn't be able to use it until 16, but it's definitely worth it.

War Hulk from the Miniatures Handbook could be useful, if your Powerful Build will allow you to meet the large size prerequisite.

Koromin M'thul
2010-05-09, 09:57 PM
I wasn't sure that you could take both the Totem and the Spiritual Totem variants, but I shall do that.

Horizon Walker was one of my first choices, but I can't get the Knowledge: Geography ranks I need, as it is a trained only skill. I'd thought to take Ranger levels, but the XP penalties would be terrible to face.

2010-05-10, 03:20 AM
Horizon Walker was one of my first choices, but I can't get the Knowledge: Geography ranks I need, as it is a trained only skill. I'd thought to take Ranger levels, but the XP penalties would be terrible to face.

Trained only means you can only use it if you have ranks in it. Any character can take ranks in any skill in the game, even if it's cross-class. Eight cross-class ranks is only available at level 13 though, so maybe take one level of Ranger for it. You could take the Wild Shape Ranger (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#ranger) variant to get barbarian fast movement with that one level, for absolutely no drawbacks. Put two cross-class ranks into Kn: Geography with your Barbarian levels, then spend all six Ranger skill points on it and you can go right into Horizon Walker.

Koromin M'thul
2010-05-11, 03:12 PM
That level of Ranger will still incur the XP penalties, will it not?