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    Default Roleplaying Barbarians

    I was wandering what the best way of roleplaying a charachter with an itn score of 3 would be, i really have no idea. I have made an orc Barbarian with (as i said) int 3 and (as i said) i need help knowing what to do with it, thanks

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    Think Thog, very child like, with temper trantrums that translate into fits of rage. I personally never liked the idea of having very stupid characters, both mechanically and flavor wise

    I mean it's kind of hard to do anyhow, without being funny, and in my experiance barbarians should not be funny, they should be scary....
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    A Player Character with an Intelligence of 3 is potentially a Character with significant mental acuity problems. He is only slightly more intelligent than a Dog or Cat and a potentially very difficult roleplaying challenge.

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    Last edited by Matthew; 2007-01-05 at 05:33 PM.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    I also play nothing with mental scores under 6. I think that thog would be INT 5: even for a half-orc, far below average.

    So think a lot more stupid than Thog. Int 3 is just barely over the line of being able to speak... It could be played kind of a feral beast who gets primal rage when angered but to be any kind of believable as such, you would need charisma over 10...
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    You could play him as being extremely sensitive about his intelligence, and liable to engage in acts of extraordinary violence whenever anyone makes a crack about it. That could help solve the problem of him being merely comic relief, and give him a bit of the scariness that Mick alluded to.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    We had a Barbarian with 5 Intelligence... the player decided that his character could only know single syllable words.

    It was HILARIOUS.
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    Thog is highly suggestible. You could go the opposite way: have a dumb character who leaps to the first conclusion that appears in his dim brain, and then stubbornly sticks to it come hell or high water. Even if he's temporarily convinced otherwise, it'll only take him ten minutes to forget those arguments and then bring his original notion up again.

    Much scarier, especially when there's a lot of strength behind that stupidity. But potentially very frustrating for the other players. I predict a short life expectancy for this character :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunklets View Post
    You could play him as being extremely sensitive about his intelligence, and liable to engage in acts of extraordinary violence whenever anyone makes a crack about it. That could help solve the problem of him being merely comic relief, and give him a bit of the scariness that Mick alluded to.

    Int 3 would be barely able to understand words. Him understanding that he is mocked is very unlikely.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    In one of the games here we were to roll stats. Invisicastle went hard on me and got a natural 5. I took it to int and went half-orc. It is hilarious to play him. Lowest int score possible.

    Misunderstanding the simpliest words is fun. My half-orc currently thinks they are to kill the sherif, which he thinks is a beast.

    It started not so long ago, here you can find it. I think I'm playing him smarter than he actually should be, tough.
    Last edited by amanodel; 2007-01-05 at 06:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegasos989 View Post
    Int 3 would be barely able to understand words. Him understanding that he is mocked is very unlikely.
    Just because he has Int 3 doesn't mean that he can barely understand words. You see, animals don't understand us not because they have 2 Int, but because they don't speak ours or any language. They are capable of making primative sounds like barks, woofs, and meows. I think you should play him as a step abpve this. Able to speak, but with primative 1-3 syllable words.

    Hey! You could play him as barely being able to speak, but with an okay Int. Or play him stupid, but with a good grasp of things.

    thog smash!
    Last edited by The Black Prince; 2007-01-05 at 05:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dndnerd View Post
    Just because he has Int 3 doesn't mean that he can barely understand words. You see, animals don't understand us not because they have 2 Int, but because they don't speak ours or any language. They are capable of making primative sounds like barks, woofs, and meows. I think you should play him as a step abpve this. Able to speak, but with primative 1-3 syllable words.

    Hey! You could play him as barely being able to speak, but with an okay Int. Or play him stupid, but with a good grasp of things.

    thog smash!
    As a owner of parrot which is capable of very humanlike sounds but not forming a single sentence, I would really say that the reason why animals couldn't speak is the intelligence 1-2 (Fiada has spent all her life among humans and been talked with for hours, every single day. She can imitate the words very closely but only can assossiate a few words, like "come" and a calling whistle. A human would learn language from such, I think.).

    Int 3 is just extremely stupid.

    Think of an average ogre. It has intelligence 6-7. Assuming normal array, elite array or pointbuy, ogres have intelligence of 4 minium. Intelligence 4 is so stupid that ogres see him as the "special" kid.

    Now, a notch below it is intelligence 3.
    Last edited by Pegasos989; 2007-01-05 at 06:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    You know, I'm the one who will have to DM for this character...

    Another possibility: He might latch on to another character, probably a high-int one, and follow him around, doing whatever he says. A blind trust, so to speak. He could be fiercely loyal to said character, going into a rage if ever someone says something against them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegasos989 View Post
    Int 3 would be barely able to understand words. Him understanding that he is mocked is very unlikely.
    Possibly, but that might, in fact, make him even scarier. Even if his vocabulary was small, he'd be able to pick up tone of voice and body language, and that could cause him to think he was being mocked when he actually wasn't, lending an element of unpredictability to his violent outbursts. I am reminded here of the running gag in the old Groo the Wanderer comics, where the title character flew off the handle every time someone called him a "mendicant", even though he didn't know what the word meant. Obviously, there it was being played for comedic effect, but you wouldn't necessarily have to do it that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunklets View Post
    Possibly, but that might, in fact, make him even scarier. Even if his vocabulary was small, he'd be able to pick up tone of voice and body language
    Or not. There are many kinds of mental handicaps were people are incapable of interpreting such non-verbal information. And INT 3 is certainly in the land of serious mental handicap.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    A character with an INT 3 is barely sapient, barely more intellegant then a dog would be. Their vocabulary probally only consistants of 100 or so simple words, they have only the most redumentry understanding of right or wrong, and it is near impossible for them to understand anything beyond simple survival instincts.

    Thog probally has an Int around 6-7, he's extreamly simple and doesn't understand advanced or complex comcepts, but he is still more or less functional. A character with 4-5 int would be unable to function really at all in society, and a character with a 3 int would be barely more intellgant then a common animal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apelord69 View Post
    I was wandering what the best way of roleplaying a charachter with an itn score of 3 would be, i really have no idea. I have made an orc Barbarian with (as i said) int 3 and (as i said) i need help knowing what to do with it, thanks

    Eat everything around him and destroy what can't be eaten. Sleep for years at a time for brief periods of destruction. Maybe drool alot and crap on peoples lawns.

    How did the barbarian get an Int of 3? How is that even allowable? Your barbarian isn't even capable of speech! He's just as smart as the tarrasque without the advantages of being big and really hard to kill!

    He doesn't even have human intelligence. Just human like. A clever animal at best.
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    "Forget" to listen to what the DM says. Just say you're doing things every now and then purely on whim with no care for any consequences. Feel free to shout "INSTINCT!" every time.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    I played a barbarian with an int of 4 and a charisma of 6 (rolled). I pegged him as having a fantasy disorder akin to a severe Down's Syndrome. As was suggested above, he was very closely bonded with a maternal character in the game, but cautious and suspicious around the other PC's. He was also stubborn as hell. Not particularly violent, under normal circumstances...until one of the other PC's thought it would be funny to give the barbarian his first taste of alcohol...

    The very slow can create a kind of moral centre to the group - with a black and white sense of what should be - and are also, of course, great comic relief from time to time. My barbarian was a favourite character in the group, and others tended to work hard to shield him from the more complex realities of situations.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    Yeah, really base things off of animal instinct. Someone explaining to you why your animal instinct is not the best idea in this scenario is not going to make a lot of sense to you, and unless you've got another character who can tell you "just trust me," I doubt anyone would be able to convince you otherwise.

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    Just out of curiousity, what are his Wisdom and Charisma? That's going to play a major role in his roleplaying, in addition to his Intelligence.
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    3 Intelligence is a lot. A single point of intelligence divides man from beasts. Even the goofiest of retards is miles ahead the most clever ape when it comes to language, communication and problem solving.

    And animals aren't that dumb. They're exeedingly well adapted for their environment, and for mammalian megafauna, this means they use a large brain to adapt to environmental changes. Wild canines are not at all dumb, compared to their prey. Nor are ravens. Wolves are ruthless, efficient pack hunters, with social skills about on par with that of people. When it comes to society, dogs and humans are virtually identical. In fact, anthropologists speculate that 30,000 years ago, dogs helped people become more socialized as they learned how to hunt together.

    Ravens are also socially organized, use tools, and adult birds engage in play. They have a keen memory. They watch other birds for environmental cues. They communicate with each other. Scientists that capture and study ravens must wear disguises, including mustaches, hats, and different types of clothes to fool ravens into letting them close enough. Fool them once....

    I would play your barbarian (depending on charisma and wisdom) as an intelligent wolf. One that could talk, form rudimentary battle tactics (flanking, surprise, etc), count, use tools and lie. He would eat raw meat, avoid large crowds, dislike bright light, and places without cover. He would dislike clothes, cities and treeless areas. I would decide his verbosity on his charisma score. 10 or higher and he uses words, albeit simple. 10 or lower, he grunts, yells, or uses force. Or maybe just wouldn't talk.

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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    I have had some experience with playing dumb barbarians and even some not so stupid barbarians who merely acted dumb( its funny i always seem to fall into this roll because no one ever wants to be a front line tanker). any way an int score of 3 is pretty severe. The best thing to do is to do a combination of what has been said here. He would probably act like a four or five year old child and not know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Also having him latch onto another character, probably a charismatic one and follow him or her around like a puppy.

    Note: the most fun i ever had while playing a dumb barbarian was when my char was so stupid he had no concept of currency and therefore handed it over to the party rogue for "safe keeping" it was a regular occurance that my share of the treasure ended up benefiting someone else. That is until one day i was with the party buying supplies when I saw something i wanted and would have been able to afford if not for the thieving. Anyway to make an already long story shorter that particular shop got busted up a little bit along with a few of the city guards and the odd samaritan that was poking his nose where it didn't belong. The entire party was arrested and stripped of their possessions in order to pay for damages and we were then pressganged into the service of the city's officials. My share of the gold never came up short again.

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    I had a half-orc named "Lothar, the mentally challenged barbarian" in a campaing with a 4.


    Speak in third person, have a vocabulary of about 100, so you repeat the same words alot, and horribly misinterpret what everyone else says.

    Nothing pisses the clerics of grumphs off more than when they say "We want his land!" and you fill a few bags of holding up with dirt and deposit them on their shrine.

    Heh, good old lothar.

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    Do remember that Int is not Wis. From the PH: "Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons." "Wisdom describes a character's willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. While Intelligence represents one's ability to analyze information, Wisdom represents being in tune with and aware of one's surroundings. ... A simpleton (low Intelligence) might still have great insight (high Wisdom)."

    If you've ever read Animal Farm, the character Boxer (the horse), could be a good inspiration. Immensely strong, he is convinced that any problem that his community befalls can be solved by increased effort on his part. He has become convinced of the community leader (Napoleon)'s infallability. This gives the basis for his two main sayings: "I will work harder, comrades!" and "Comrade Napoleon is always right." Initially, all the characters are trying to learn how to read. Boxer learns the letters A, B, C, and D. By the time he has learned E, F, G, and H, he has forgotten A-D. He relearns them, but cannot remember E-H. Despite being stupid, he is looked up to by almost everyone for his strength, willpower, and work ethic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClericofPhwarrr View Post
    Do remember that Int is not Wis. From the PH: "Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons." "Wisdom describes a character's willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. While Intelligence represents one's ability to analyze information, Wisdom represents being in tune with and aware of one's surroundings. ... A simpleton (low Intelligence) might still have great insight (high Wisdom)."

    If you've ever read Animal Farm, the character Boxer (the horse), could be a good inspiration. Immensely strong, he is convinced that any problem that his community befalls can be solved by increased effort on his part. He has become convinced of the community leader (Napoleon)'s infallability. This gives the basis for his two main sayings: "I will work harder, comrades!" and "Comrade Napoleon is always right." Initially, all the characters are trying to learn how to read. Boxer learns the letters A, B, C, and D. By the time he has learned E, F, G, and H, he has forgotten A-D. He relearns them, but cannot remember E-H. Despite being stupid, he is looked up to by almost everyone for his strength, willpower, and work ethic.

    ...yeah. I like Orwell's works.



    Boxer had HORRIBLE perception though; he got sold off to a glue factory!

    The person with wisdom was the goat, not boxer. If boxer was wise, he would of realized that "I will work harder!" was just the pigs way of using him (horrible sense motive, a wisdom skill).

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    Quote Originally Posted by krossbow View Post
    Boxer had HORRIBLE perception though; he got sold off to a glue factory!

    The person with wisdom was the goat donkey, not boxer. If boxer was wise, he would of realized that "I will work harder!" was just the pigs way of using him (horrible sense motive, a wisdom skill).
    Yeah, he did. Though, technically, I never said that Boxer had a decent wisdom score... Hence the two seperate paragraphs.

    And really, most of the main characters other than Benjamin (said donkey) and the pigs have terrible wisdom (and intelligence).
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    Default Re: Roleplaying Barbarians

    Wisdom and Charisma are definitely the things to go by here. Even if he's dumb as a post, that's his ability to reason cognitively - with a high wisdom score, you might not to be able to explain a complicated plan to him, but he'd be cannily able to tell when someone was talking down to him or hiding something. Or to put it another way, he'd have a very good sense of the moment, and a very poor sense of consequences and how things play out over time (he always knows what's going on with A, but the path to B is a bit misty and C never enters his mind). With low charisma, he could be very indrawn and frustrating to talk to, and with high, he'd be so gregarious and likable that people are willing to be patient and explain things clearly to him.

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    If he's got a high wisdom, then you could get away with a primal cunning, like almost a predatory intelligence.

    Low wisdom+low int= the incredible hulk, only capable of processing immediate threats and who is not "hurting hulk" and responding in turn.

    Pllleeeease say he's got a decent wisdom! Please!!!

    Oh, and his charisma will represent how well he can express himself too. An abysmal score there will truly make him the Hulk, unable to express himself in any other way than with his fists (or Greataxe)
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    Think of it this way: Thog has crap wisdom and intelligence but (I assume) great charisma.


    Personally, I like to have my barbarians wear a top hat and monacle around because they're convinced it makes them "look fancy".

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    A friend of mine told me about a great barbarian in a campaign he played. He had two sacks. One was filled with meat. The other was filled with money to buy meat. His entire reason for adventuring was to get more money to buy more meat, as it was his only true love in life. Good deeds didn't make any sense to him if it didn't somehow involve promises to obtain either meat or money to buy said meat. It also never occured to him that he could steal the meat.

    Basically, he was too stupid to be good or evil.
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