I figure most people probably won't agree with me on this, but I'll at least try to make my case anyway.
Since EE was released, I've been wanting to play BG1 as a barbarian (and even moreso now that I've found this portrait here:
), but I've always had trouble trying to RP as a barbarian. The most troublesome aspect is probably the fact that your character wasn't actually born among barbarian tribes, but rather, was raised in a secluded library fortress and then "adopted" the lifestyle of a barbarian after a chance encounter with one (which really should make the character a berserker rather than a barbarian, based on their respective kit descriptions). IMO, that kind of background suggests that being a barbarian isn't merely having the misfortune to be born in remote northern lands, but that there's actually some sort of greater purpose to being one.
I've never quite understood how an "elective" barbarian should behave toward others - should I be naive and foolish, gruff and nasty, etc.? But I began to think that being a barbarian would make more sense (at least from an RP perspective) if it was a ranger kit instead. There does appear to be some overlap between rangers and barbarians (they both have a certain connection with nature, for example), and many people here (including myself) will argue that Minsc would more appropriately have been a barbarian than a ranger (again, from an RP perspective). IMO, being a ranger kit would give a barbarian a greater sense of purpose (i.e: protecting nature, guiding and defending lost travelers, etc.). The fact that a barbarian has armor restrictions would also fit in well with the other ranger kits. From a mechanical perspective, it would also mean that a barbarian would begin as specialized in dual wielding, have a racial enemy, and eventually gain druid spells. On the flipside, it would also mean that a barbarian would be restricted to good alignments, and human and elven races - which would probably be enough to turn most people off of this idea.
Still, is there anyone here who shares my view on this, at least from a purely RP perspective?