This player character build (barbarian 28/ bard 2/ red dragon disciple 10) is based on another with the same class levels. This variant features two key differences, with the net result of improving reflex and will saves, increasing (by 16) the DC of its terrifying rage, and adding an extra (unspecified) feat, while decreasing the attack bonus (by 1 initially and by 5 ultimately). This makes the build a softer hitter, but with a more effective rage at (just) level 40. It retains the ability to withstand punishment from casters and hard-hitting monsters, as most levels have 12-sided hit dice, and received damage is often mitigated by epic barbarian damage reduction or immunity to fire.
The first difference is a change in the order classes are advanced. Specifically, red dragon disciple is acquired earlier, resulting in more skill points (most of which go into intimidate, resulting in the higher terrifying rage DC). A side benefit of this reordering is that reflex and will base saves are improved, as multiclassing now happens before character level 20. The negative consequence of this change is the reduction of base attack by four.
The second difference is a racial change from half-orc to human. This provides an extra feat, but forces strength to be lowered, which reduces attack and damage rolls by 1. The (forced) change in strength does permit a higher dexterity, though, reducing the reliance on dexterity increases from spells and items. (The higher dexterity is more a consequence of the lower strength, rather than the racial change, as lowering the strength in the half-orc version allows ability scores equivalent to the human version.)
Abilities: (final scores in parentheses)
- Strength: 18 (40)
- Dexterity: 12
- Constitution: 14 (16)
- Wisdom: 8
- Intelligence: 10 (12)
- Charisma: 10 (12)
Alignment: Any non-lawful
Level progression Edit
Classes by character level
- All ability increases are in strength.
General feats by character level
- 1: weapon focus (longsword); extra feat (player choice)
- 3: blind fight
- 6: armor proficiency (heavy)
- 9: improved critical (longsword)
- 12: power attack
- 15: cleave
- 18: great cleave
- 21: armor skin
- 24: epic weapon focus (longsword)
- 27: epic prowess
- 30: great strength I
- 33: great strength II
- 36: great strength III
- 39: great strength IV
Barbarian epic bonus feats by character level (barbarian level in parentheses)
- lore 8 (at level 5 to gain red dragon disciple)
- intimidate 25 (at level 40 to gain terrifying rage) class skill for only barbarian
The other skills most important for this build are the following. Ranks are listed first, with the score modified by the relevant ability in parentheses.
- discipline 43 (58)
- intimidate 43 (44) class skill for only barbarian
- spellcraft 39 (40) class skill for only bard and red dragon disciple
- taunt 43 (44) class skill for only barbarian and bard
- tumble 40 (41) class skill for only bard
This leaves 6 unused skill points to be used as desired.
In the absence of magical enhancements, whether from items or spells, this character's attack bonus (AB) when wielding a (mundane) longsword is composed of the following elements at level 40.
45 AB, for attacks per round of +45/+40/+35/+30
If the character is permitted a sword with a +5 enhancement bonus and gear that provides a +12 bonus to strength (increasing the strength modifier by 6), the attacks per round become +56/+51/+46/+41. If the character is additionally permitted to reach the +20 attack bonus cap and acquires haste, the attacks per round become +71/+66/+61/+56/+71.
In the absence of magical enhancements, whether from items or spells, this character's armor class (AC) when wearing (mundane) full plate and a tower shield is composed of the following elements at level 40.
- 10: base AC
- +8: full plate base AC
- +3: tower shield base AC
- +1: dexterity modifier
- +2: armor skin
- +8: tumble
- +4: red dragon disciple bonus
36 AC, reduced to 34 when in rage.
If the character is permitted items with a +5 bonus in each of the five categories (armor, deflection, dodge, natural, and shield), the AC total becomes 61 normally, 59 in rage. If the character is instead permitted a +20 bonus in each category, the AC total becomes 136 normally, 134 in rage.
- Any one-handed weapon could be substituted for the longsword in the weapon-specific feats without adversely affecting the build.
- That extra feat adds to this build's versatility. It allows adding another desired feat (such as knockdown), choosing a feat earlier than listed, or changing the focused weapon to an exotic one (which can make up for the decreased damage resulting from lower strength).
- Thundering rage and terrifying rage can be taken earlier than noted, as armor skin, epic prowess, and epic weapon focus are all part of the barbarian's bonus epic feat list.
- The barbarian class is often looked over because barbarian rage counts towards the +12 ability cap. Players using this build may want to look for servers that have modified rage to give an attack bonus if the barbarian is already at the +12 cap for strength.