New Barbarian Spirit Animals

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Re: New Barbarian Spirit Animals

Postby Atoch » Mon Jul 11, 2022 8:22 pm

Hello Sangarunya!

While the road to a new transformed barbarian class may be “long and winding”, perhaps a few of your ideas can be translated into new Spirit Animals and could so be helpful in a less ambitious setting too.

So I took the liberty to “borrow” two of your ideas:

- the “Crow”: As a Free Action you can activate an aura for 3+(basic-)strength modifier rounds. While the aura is active killing an opponent will trigger a fear-check in all opponents in a radius of 15 foot.
Missing the difficulty class by more than 5 points will cause the status of cowering for two rounds. Enemies who missed their save by 5 points or less are only shaken for two rounds.
[to avoid to much similarity with the “Elephant”: the “Elephant” could be changed more in the direction of “Soundburst” and a potential stun effect]

- the “Salamander”: As a Free Action you can activate (self-)regeneration for 3+(basic-)constitution modifier rounds. You can only regenerate to a threshold of 70(?) % of your maximum hitpoints. You regenerate 4, 8 or 12 Hp per round depending on your level.


I think these two Spirit Animals would be very helpful to the barbarian who wants to charge into the midst of the enemy and survive.

And while I strongly wish for the possibility of such an action from a storyteller point of view, there is still the lingering question in me if -as a gameplay mechanic- it is wise to support such unwise action?
Wouldn't it simplify and so diminish the job of the general and strategist i.e. the player to much?
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Re: New Barbarian Spirit Animals


Re: New Barbarian Spirit Animals

Postby Sangarunya » Tue Jul 12, 2022 1:56 pm

Hello again!

Is a party RPG and the joy of this kind of games is the teamwork and the synergies crated between various characters. Every class should have strong and weak points to help the rest of the team and be aided by the other companions. No character must be able to have an answer for every situation and against every enemy. This is not an action-RPG like Path of Exile or Grim Dawn, soloing must not be possible and dealing successfully against every possible enemy has no part in these games. Recent rulesets, from Pathfinder onwards, have increased the power of the players notably and the lethality of systems like AD&D are far behind, changing almost the narrative from a group of adventurers to a team of superheroes. First conclusion: don't give too many powers and options to every class to prevent power creeping.

Let's think about a healer class: should it have exclusively healing spells? What about defensive ones? Recover health points or prevent damage? Both? Would it be beneficial to add some crowd control and offensive spells thematically fitting to improve the arsenal? Clearly, the power level of the later categories should not be at the same level as the offensive classes but it adds more variety and more possibilities of assembling functioning teams. The strong point of a healer class should be keeping the rest of the team alive by supporting them and those few offensive/controlling spells exist to develop alternative options, more limited synergies not as powerful to round up a capable party of adventurers. Therefore, it shouldn't be inappropriate to give the barbarian a few abilities to improve his survival or buff the others if they are thematically appropriate. More options to combine races and classes in a team benefit the replayability. Naturally, the barbarian focus should be dealing damage as much as possible. In addition, the alternative abilities shouldn't fall into the "save button" category - they are included to perform some uncustomary actions in certain combats and not to completely cover the more glaring weak points of a class, functioning almost as "one more life" bonus.

Second conclusion: any new abilities must be evaluated in-game and verify they don't give the class excessive advantages and the power of a solo game. And too many powers out-of-character can modify too much the role of the class in the party.

Thanks for reading!
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Re: New Barbarian Spirit Animals

Postby BlueSalamander » Sun Jul 31, 2022 9:04 pm

Thank you so much guys for the awesome feedback and suggestions! I really appreciate it. :)

Yesterday I updated the Barbarian webpage with the details of the various Spirit Animals.

[Edit] I've also reproduced all the details of the Barbarian upgrade in the latest Kickstarter update page, together with the detail of the upgrades for the Rogue and Monk.

I'll just react to a few of the things that were mentioned.

- access to a few specific spirit animals ("porpoise", "rhinoceros" (and perhaps "bull")) should only possible at a higher level – especially the Spirit animal Porpoise, which gives access to a “True Seeing”-ability (“True Seeing” is a level five spell!)
Could be done, might have to think about it some more.

Still, if you take Porpoise or Rhinoceros at level 1, it does mean you're not taking both of the more destructive powers (Elephant and Scorpion), at least not immediately.

- the concealment effect of the “Spider” shouldn't stack with concealment effects of forest tiles, etc. (even if it would make sense...)
Concealment effects never stack. If you have several concealment effects, only the most powerful one applies. For example: if you have the Invisibility condition, you'll get 50% concealment regardless of any forest or jungle square, Spider Spirit Animal, Blur effect, etc. 50% concealment is the maximum concealment that you can have.

First danger sign: every single ability (but the Elephant one) is a Free Action, so it raises the question: can the barbarian activate several different spirit animal abilities in the same turn? At level 20 six are available, so six powers could be activated in the first round and let the carnage begins! This could be very very unbalanced.
Actually, you can't activate six Free Action Spirit Animals in one round. At the most, you can activate three Free Action powers. The first one you activate does not remove your Move Action or your Standard Action. But the second one you activate removes your Move Action, and the third one you activate removes your Standard Action.

[Jaguar] Combined with the Scorpion spirit, the level-1 barbarian can move, full attack with a reach weapon (two attacks) and let the cleave feats do the rest.
Actually, you can't combine Jaguar and Scorpion, because that would remove your Move Action, leaving you with just a Standard Action. You need both the Move Action and the Standard Action to perform a Charge.

Elephant: at least is a standard action ability. Once more, fixed numbers for the shaken duration and the recharge time can be tiered. Maybe a bonus can be added when charging (like the real animal) or if the barbarian has been significantly damaged. Sounds like the shouting barbarian is back on the menu!
Interesting suggestions, thank you!

One thing the game doesn't have is stacks of throwing weapons, like axes or daggers - they were in the Baldur's Gate saga and are very valuable to strength based combatants with low mobility or not wanting to choose ranged feats so they can be pretty cool with this power.
True. Still, you add your Strength Modifier to Damage Rolls with Slings and Bows, so those can work even with Strength-based combatants.

contrary to Pathfinder and D&D 3.5 rules, the spell True Seeing in this game is much more powerful because it ignores concealment besides mirror images, blur and alike.
As far as I understand it, True Seeing in KotC 2 works just like the D&D 3.5 version. The original spell makes a distinction between concealment of magical origin, such as Blur or Displacement, and concealment of natural origin, such as that from fog. KotC 2 also makes this distinction. True Seeing in KotC 2 does not bypass concealment from non-magical origins, such as fogs and forests.

Perhaps it would be best if only one Spirit animal ability could be activated at a time. Activation of a second Spirit Animal would automatically cancel the first one.
That also could be done, might have to think about it some more.

If Pierre has considered to add new races with the ability of flying then it changes the situation.
Yes, there will be other ways for you to gain the [Flying] subtype. New subraces and new spells.

the wizards needs a better defensive collection and the game needs more protective spells for the spellcasters and others for dispelling and stripping defenses. We're not at Baldur's Gate 2 level yet.
At least when it comes to Dispel Magic, I think that KotC 2 is a lot better than BG 2. Dispel Magic in KotC 2 actually gives you three different ways of casting it, and you can pinpoint a single effect on a single creature. I don't think you can do that in BG 2.

Anyway, now that the upgraded Barbarian is actually playable, please feel free to comment on whether you still think it's overpowered, and whether it should be tweaked, for example using a level prerequisite for certain Spirit Animals, or by having the use of a new Spirit Animal remove the effect of any previously ongoing Spirit Animal effect.

I do appreciate also all the great suggestions for new Spirit Animals.

Thank you!! Best regards 8-)
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Re: New Barbarian Spirit Animals

Postby MrLicorice » Tue Aug 02, 2022 2:35 pm

Jumping in to express an opinion: I have started a run with both a barbarian and a fighter. Early game the barbarian does dominate, but by mid-levels (when wade-in kicks in) the fighter out damages and out survives the barbarian.

I think it is reasonably balanced as it stands.
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Re: New Barbarian Spirit Animals

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:33 pm

Thank you for the feedback MrLicorice! :)

By the way, another change that could be done easily is to switch certain Spirit Animals (e.g. Porpoise) from Free Action to Move Action or Standard Action.'

Best regards 8-)
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