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Should "barbarian" have been a ranger kit?

SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,498
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:
image), 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?

Blackraven

Comments

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    In PNP Barbarian is a Fighter kit. Although I've known DMs who allowed it for Rangers, or even Paladins.

    There was also a "Wilderness Warrior" kit for Ranger that I believe was very similar to Barbarian.

    In every case, the PNP kits are much less of a big deal than they are BG. They are mostly about role playing, and add back ground flavor to a character, but very few actual powers or abilities.

    But I do agree Barbarian is difficult to justify in BG, from a role playing perspective. I can't quite see anyone growing in Candlekeep being one!

    SCARY_WIZARDJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,287
    edited August 2014
    Noooooo, not the mullet! Cruel man, that Gorion fellow.

    OT: The armor and weapons proficiency limitations as well as the affinity with the wilderness make the Ranger class a fitting one for Barbarians IMO, but like @Southpaw I wouldn't really appreciate the alignment restriction.

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    I can't see it, personally...

    To me, a ranger serves some higher purpose (not necessarily good, mind... I have a slight problem with the alignment restriction for rangers). They want to protect, or hunt, or avenge...

    A barbarian really only wants battle and glory and fame.

    But these are my personal feelings... The great thing about RP'ing is that you can justify almost anything if you try hard enough!

    Kamigoroshijackjack
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited August 2014
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    atcDave
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,814
    Yeah, no.

    Barbarian is a 100% Fighter kit and it should stay that way. Just the thought of the Barbarian being a Ranger kit gives me the creeps. I mean come on! No more Half-Orc, Dwarf, Gnome or Halfling Barbarians? That preposterous heresy right there! D:

    jackjackSouthpaw
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,047

    Yeah, no.

    Barbarian is a 100% Fighter kit and it should stay that way. Just the thought of the Barbarian being a Ranger kit gives me the creeps. I mean come on! No more Half-Orc, Dwarf, Gnome or Halfling Barbarians? That preposterous heresy right there! D:

    atcDave said:

    In PNP Barbarian is a Fighter kit. Although I've known DMs who allowed it for Rangers, or even Paladins.

    Technically in PnP they are considered to be a warrior kit. So fighters/paladins/rangers are allowed to use them.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited August 2014
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    elminster said:


    Yeah, no.

    Barbarian is a 100% Fighter kit and it should stay that way. Just the thought of the Barbarian being a Ranger kit gives me the creeps. I mean come on! No more Half-Orc, Dwarf, Gnome or Halfling Barbarians? That preposterous heresy right there! D:

    atcDave said:

    In PNP Barbarian is a Fighter kit. Although I've known DMs who allowed it for Rangers, or even Paladins.

    Technically in PnP they are considered to be a warrior kit. So fighters/paladins/rangers are allowed to use them.
    elminster said:



    Wasn't it actually in the "Fighter's Option" supplement? I thought it was presented as a Fighter kit, but with the suggestion other warriors might qualify at the DM's option.

    Anyway, very small distinction.

    elminster
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,047
    I found it right under "Warrior Kits" in the Complete Fighters Handbook. It says there that any warrior kit can be taken by a warrior (with a few exceptions and whether or not you are allowed to do it is at your DM's discretion regardless).

    atcDave
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,498
    edited August 2014


    Frankly I've been looking for ideas for more ranger kits to add to my mod, and a barbarian ranger is not a bad one. The abilities from one or both classes would have to be toned down substantially for it to work well though. Throw out some ideas, and maybe I'll code it up and make it available!

    I like the idea of a "barbaric ranger." If you're looking for suggestions to "tone it down," perhaps you could forgo the immunity to backstab and/or gaining druid spells? Otherwise, I think the combination of armor, racial, and alignment restrictions, plus slower leveling (as compared to vanilla barbarian), would nicely offset the remaining advantages.

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  • TwaniTwani Member Posts: 640
    edited August 2014
    The idea of a barbarian paladin is either A) hysterically stupid or B) the most awesome thing since (probably sliced bread). Warrior barbarian kits for everyone! Woo! Ajantis the Barbarian!

    ...Yeah, I don't see barbarian as a ranger, mainly because evil barbarians worshiping Malar are such a big part of the Forgotten Realms setting, and in AD&D, rangers and Malar don't get along.

    (Ironically, in 3E, Malar would become one of the biggest ranger deities, but hey, Forgotten Realms. Doesn't have to be coherent.)

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    I know you all are going to stone me to death, but as I mentioned in another thread: due to the menu implementation of the Barbarian kit, it looks like a class. As I see it, it may as well be a separate class (sorcerer gets Dragon Disciple as a kit, even though sorcerers are *quite* similar to wizards). Therefore... I would like to see barbarian kits.

    Yes, it's heresy, a kit getting its own kits? Absurd of course, but there's that tantalizing menu button there offering us untapped potential of more class options. I want to see a Frostwalker with cold-themed powers, a Skirmisher who takes barbarian mobility to the extreme, a Ragemaster who has more extended rages but reduced speed, a Thorncoat who specializes in retributive damage against those who hurt him, and a Trapkiller who can detect traps and disarms them by attacking them (this was a 3.5 edition optional class feature for barbarians).

    Give us the many flavors of barbarians! For that matter, add a barbarian-themed kit to every class for background (and make Branwen one of them).

    Goturaljackjack
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    atcDave
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    @subtledoctor Hey, more background is always cool. Personally I am not offended by mechanics-driven kits, as long as the setting gives them some background; I also enjoy setting-specific kits as well that are built out of flavor and storyline (that is always ideal). The barbarian with ice-themed powers, for example, might hail from some area up in the Spine of the World where cold exists as an elemental force that infuses everything that's able to live up there; your mother, therefore, would have granted you the powers by virtue of her genetics rather than some upbringing at Candlekeep. In game design terms, starting from flavor is a "top-down" design where you make the rules adhere to the flavor you come up with, and starting from the mechanics means you have to find some justification down the road for why the rules work that way.

    Neither method is incorrect; sometimes you get a fun kit starting from mechanics, sometimes you get a lousy prestige class starting from flavor (I'm looking at you, Harper Scout). As in all things, I say to strike a balance and pursue both methods. Those who know their Abeir-Toril lore will have a leg-up on me (I think I've read... one? Faerun novel), so I tend to start at the mechanical side: I know my game design.

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,498


    Also, what about a CHA penalty, maybe -2? Not for being ugly, just to represent the difficulty for the barbarian ranger (who is presumably a bit of a loner, and uncouth to boot) in dealing with the civilized folk in Baldur's Gate and Amn?

    My only problem with that is that the vanilla barbarian doesn't suffer a char penalty, so why would a barbaric ranger? (whose barbarian temperament is arguably diluted somewhat by the ranger's wisdom and sensibilities).

    If you're looking to further balance the class, perhaps you would consider either,
    1. Cannot use stealth ability, and/or,
    2. Must be human, or at least half-human race (representing the fact that an elven ranger would probably be too "refined" to be a barbarian).

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,498
    edited September 2014
    Southpaw said:

    My barbarian was gruff, hairy and insolent. He used to drink wine from a mug and barely managed to use a spoon while eating.
    A steak.
    Albeit using a fork was just too much, he introduced his axe to the table during official dinners with Ulraunt.
    He used to wear slippers into the Theatre and laugh during tragedies.

    My problem with this scenario is that an actual barbarian behaves (or is imagined to behave) in this manner because they grew up in a harsh, remote wasteland with no access to formal education and civilized technology. By contrast, a person growing up in a comfortable library fortress who behaves in such a manner is just a brat. It's like a spoiled, rich yuppie kid trying to act "ghetto" by emulating a thug.


    The way that I imagine a barbarian charname (based on the information given in the game's bio), is that they were a reckless, uncontrollable "problem child" while growing up (which actually coincides well with the fact that they have Bhaal's blood flowing through their veins), and it was their barbarian mentor who taught them how to channel or redirect their wild impulses. This enabled the charname to control their inner rage and function normally in society. However, perhaps in order to maintain the connection to spirits of nature, the charname must maintain a simpler, "stripped down" lifestyle, somewhat similar to a ranger kit or druid (hence no use of plate mail armor).

    Post edited by SharGuidesMyHand on
    Blackraven
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    elminster
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