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 Do War Cries make sense for Barbarians?
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jordanz
Senior Scribe

545 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2022 :  07:22:47  Show Profile  Visit jordanz's Homepage Send jordanz a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I was playing Diablo 2 the other day and it got me thinking.... Back when I played D&D (2nd and 3rd editions I think), I always felt that Barbarians were somewhat lacking. Yes they were naturally tough as heck, but their inability to wear Armor and there aversion to Magic somewhat limited the class - especially at higher levels

I'm not sure what they are capable of now, but to me it makes sense that they should acquire War Cries to bolster their combat skills. I think Bards can (or could) perform limited war cries to bolster moral,or resistances... so why not Barbarians?

The War cries from Diablo provide an interesting template that could be used for Low level barbarians, all to way to Epic levels.

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7654 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2022 :  21:37:32  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1E barbarians have no "inability to wear armor". They can wear any armor they like. They just don't get to enjoy their extra class AC bonuses on top of the armor's AC while doing so.

Remember that the barbarian described in the 1E Unearthed Arcana is basically the fantasy barbarian which Gary Gygax (and/or his son) found greatly impressive after watching Ahnold flex his biceps on the big screen. But the class is also written with an eye for "balance" - which is to say it has some unique abilities and some unique drawbacks, it can't be allowed to break the game for everyone else, in theory every class should be an equally compelling choice for players. The barbarian AC bonus thing was obviously intended to keep them from tossing their stylishly primitive, barbaric wolfskins away the first time they find a platemail +3 in the treasure hoard.

2E offered a Barbarian kit. A few extra proficiency slots and such, a special taunt skill, but far less spectacular than 1E's dedicated Barbarian class. And far less distinctive, too, just another fighter like any other fighter once equipped with the same armor and weapons every fighter uses. A very weak effort for role-players and for roll-players.

I don't think D2-styled warcries would break the class.
I do think they should maybe have a radius effect - it seems logical that you'd have to be somewhere near the barb who gives you "battle orders" or "battle commands", that the barb's constant presence and interaction is necessary to enjoy the benefit - that you can't just let him scream at you then dismiss him and go solo with your buff for the rest of the duration.
I do think there should be limits on usage - number of "castings" per day or whatever - if they've got any game effect more significant than a bard's minor bonuses (and which typically require remaining within the "radius" of the bard's presence/performance).
And I think some careful consideration should be applied before the barbarian warcries and barbarian horde enter the game at the same time.

The 2E Complete Bard's Handbook describes a Dwarven Skald class - a sort of dwarven fighter/bard - which effectively had spell slots used for non-spellcasting purposes.

Diablo and D&D are different games with different rules. There have been a few official (and many unofficial) products which attempt to merge them, though none of these was very good in my opinion, they're the sort of gaming products which can make a fun session or two but which make lousy foundations for any sort of serious or longterm campaign.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 24 Jun 2022 21:49:00
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
36141 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2022 :  22:49:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've never really gotten the thing about barbarians and magic. Yeah, I can see the argument about favoring strength and all that -- but barbarians oft come from peoples living more in tune with nature, and for such groups, magic can be both a natural force and a much-needed tool against very strong or unnatural foes.

And in particular, I don't recall Fafhrd having an issue with magic. His buddy the Gray Mouser used magic on occasion, and both were in service to powerful wizards. Appendix N specifically cites those stories and then adds "The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp & Pratt, R. E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H. P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt;"


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Lord Karsus
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USA
3715 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2022 :  20:40:19  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-I don't see why it wouldn't make sense. Makes plenty of sense.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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jordanz
Senior Scribe

545 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2022 :  03:14:20  Show Profile  Visit jordanz's Homepage Send jordanz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

1E barbarians have no "inability to wear armor". They can wear any armor they like. They just don't get to enjoy their extra class AC bonuses on top of the armor's AC while doing so.

Remember that the barbarian described in the 1E Unearthed Arcana is basically the fantasy barbarian which Gary Gygax (and/or his son) found greatly impressive after watching Ahnold flex his biceps on the big screen. But the class is also written with an eye for "balance" - which is to say it has some unique abilities and some unique drawbacks, it can't be allowed to break the game for everyone else, in theory every class should be an equally compelling choice for players. The barbarian AC bonus thing was obviously intended to keep them from tossing their stylishly primitive, barbaric wolfskins away the first time they find a platemail +3 in the treasure hoard.

2E offered a Barbarian kit. A few extra proficiency slots and such, a special taunt skill, but far less spectacular than 1E's dedicated Barbarian class. And far less distinctive, too, just another fighter like any other fighter once equipped with the same armor and weapons every fighter uses. A very weak effort for role-players and for roll-players.

I don't think D2-styled warcries would break the class.
I do think they should maybe have a radius effect - it seems logical that you'd have to be somewhere near the barb who gives you "battle orders" or "battle commands", that the barb's constant presence and interaction is necessary to enjoy the benefit - that you can't just let him scream at you then dismiss him and go solo with your buff for the rest of the duration.
I do think there should be limits on usage - number of "castings" per day or whatever - if they've got any game effect more significant than a bard's minor bonuses (and which typically require remaining within the "radius" of the bard's presence/performance).
And I think some careful consideration should be applied before the barbarian warcries and barbarian horde enter the game at the same time.

The 2E Complete Bard's Handbook describes a Dwarven Skald class - a sort of dwarven fighter/bard - which effectively had spell slots used for non-spellcasting purposes.

Diablo and D&D are different games with different rules. There have been a few official (and many unofficial) products which attempt to merge them, though none of these was very good in my opinion, they're the sort of gaming products which can make a fun session or two but which make lousy foundations for any sort of serious or longterm campaign.



Great points, I agree special care would need to be taken to keep the class in balance with other classes.
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jordanz
Senior Scribe

545 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2022 :  03:17:13  Show Profile  Visit jordanz's Homepage Send jordanz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've never really gotten the thing about barbarians and magic. Yeah, I can see the argument about favoring strength and all that -- but barbarians oft come from peoples living more in tune with nature, and for such groups, magic can be both a natural force and a much-needed tool against very strong or unnatural foes.

And in particular, I don't recall Fafhrd having an issue with magic. His buddy the Gray Mouser used magic on occasion, and both were in service to powerful wizards. Appendix N specifically cites those stories and then adds "The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp & Pratt, R. E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H. P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt;"




I agree, and one could even argue for an affinity for nature magics...maybe along the lines of a ranger, but perhaps centering around combat,animal totem stuff, e.t.c
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jordanz
Senior Scribe

545 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2022 :  03:19:35  Show Profile  Visit jordanz's Homepage Send jordanz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-I don't see why it wouldn't make sense. Makes plenty of sense.


Indeed!
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