Below is an early version of the template for Barbarian 101. Written for newly-starting DDO free players, we've opted for a dwarf Two Handed Fighter (THF) template with a 28pt build. The skill, feat and enhancement selections are designed to output solid damage with reasonable survivability (for a new player).
Is there a factual mistake somewhere that we haven't shaken out? Do you have suggestions on a more ideal skill, feat or enhancement progression? Please share!
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==Every New Barbarian Should Know …==
• (Got advice? Please share in a comment below!)
==Template: Two Handed Weapon Dwarf Barbarian==
This template is a great starting point to create a melee powerhouse with lots of hit points (and even more damage output).
Note: While these templates typically avoid equipment suggestions, for the Two Handed Weapon variant it's suggested that a greataxe or greatsword is used in conjunction with the Improved Critical: Slashing feat.
===Ability Point Buy===
Dwarf will be our racial choice for the +2 Constitution (CON) and various defensive bonuses.
• STR: 18
• DEX: 14
• CON: 16
• INT: 8
• WIS: 8
• CHA: 6
• Ability Point Buy: Point grants at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 all go to STR.
• Tumble: Invest two skill points into Tumble, a skill that comes in handy but cannot be used without 1 Rank trained.
• Balance: Barbarians are constantly on the front lines of battle, so keep Balance maxed to ensure a speedy recovery upon a knockdown.
• Jump: Having a total score of 10 in Jump (which barbarians can easily meet with their high strength) is enough to get you across chasms and traps -- especially with help from Jump-enhancing spells and potions. You can choose to invest ranks in jump if you don't want to be dependent on magical items.
• Spot: A skill useful for its ability to help you detect hidden enemies. Invest any spare skill points here as you level.
• Intimidate: Use of Intimidate can help even without any invested ranks because it increases the amount of threat generated with every attack for a short period of time.
• 1) Toughness: This feat adds survivability by increasing hit points by +3 at level one, and +1 hit point for each additional level. More importantly, Toughness opens up "Toughness Enhancements," opening the way to further hit point bonuses as you earn Enhancement points.
• 3) Power Attack: Able to be toggled on and off, Power Attack mode trades up to 5 of your attack bonus for equal extra damage on melee attacks. Using a two-handed weapon in this build makes Power Attack mode more appealing: the feat offers double bonus damage when using two-handed weapons.
• 6) Cleave: Activate this ability to attack one or more enemies within a forward-facing arc.
• 9) Improved Critical: Slashing: This feat greatly increases the likelihood of your attacks dealing critical damage by increase the "critical threat range" of any slashing weapon you use. This means axes and swords, more or less – weapons that deal bludgeoning, piercing, ranged or thrown damage will not benefit from this feat.
• 12) Two Handed Fighting: Increases the damage of glancing blow attacks when wielding a two-handed weapon by 10%. Also grants a 3% chance for weapon effects to trigger on glancing blows. A glancing blow is a free, additional attack that only two-handed weapons are capable of doing.
• 15) Improved Two Handed Fighting: Increases the damage of glancing blow attacks (See "Two Handed Fighting" feat above for more info) when wielding a two-handed weapon by an additional 10% on top of the Two Handed Fighting bonus. Also increases the chance for weapon effects to trigger on glancing blows by an additional 3%.
• 18) Greater Two Handed Fighting: Increases the damage of glancing blow attacks when wielding a two-handed weapon by another 10% on top of the previous Two Handed Fighting feats. Also increases the chance for weapon effects to trigger on glancing blows by an additional 3%. At this point, your barbarian will have a 50% total chance to produce glancing blows (the base is 20%).Optionally, grab Stunning Blow at level 1 (but remember you'll lose the extra Toughness enhancement line):
• Stunning Blow: This potent feat allows you to stun enemies for 6 seconds and increase all the damage they take from you and your allies by 50% for the duration of the effect. Having higher strength increases the chances of a success.
The enhancements suggested in this section have been chosen to build upon the barbarian's damage-output and damage reduction traits.
All enhancements below effectively upgrade the barbarian Rage ability, making it even more potent than vanilla Rage.
The rundown on Rage enhancements: Extend Rage increases the Rage ability's duration, Extra Rage adds additional Rage uses between rests, Hardy Rage increases Constitution (CON) while Rage is active (adding more hit points) and Power Rage increases Strength (STR) while Rage is active (adding more damage per attack). Extend/Extra Rage is usually sufficient at Tier 2, but you can take Tier 3 if you find it helps.
Simply put, the below enhancements transform a raging barbarian into stampeding death-machine.
• Barbarian Extend Rage I - II
• Barbarian Extra Rage I - II
• Barbarian Hardy Rage I - II
• Barbarian Power Rage I - IV
Attack & Damage enhancements: Power Attack I–III will bolster Power Attacks extra damage at the cost of lowered accuracy; the high Strength (STR) of barbarians, decent weapons, and good Base Attack Bonus more than negates a slight loss of accuracy. As a dwarf, it's a good idea to invest a bit into boosting accuracy and damage with greataxes, a solid weapon-of-choice for most of DDO.
• Barbarian Power Attack I - III
• Dwarven Axe Attack I
• Dwarven Axe Damage I
Defensive enhancements: Dwarven Spell Defense makes you more resistance to spells, boosting all your saves by one against spells. Willpower grants you an additional +1 Will save when raging, a useful bonus when going up against magically-inclined baddies.
• Barbarian Willpower I
• Dwarven Spell Defense I
Survivability enhancements: Barbarians rely on hit points (HP) and damage reduction (DR) to survive any attacks enemies might land before their demise. Ideally, a barbarian drops all opponents to the ground before they get a chance to attack. In the event a kobold or two slips past, it's a good idea to have the extra hit points (HP) offered by the below enhancements.
• Racial Toughness I - II
• Barbarian Constitution I
• Barbarian Toughness I – II
• Dwarven Constitution I
Damage Reduction (DR) enhancements: Damage Reduction is a great choice for barbarian enhancements, lowering the amount of overall damage received, resulting in longer survivability.
• Barbarian Improved Damage Reduction I - II
The rundown on Frenzied Berserker: An ever-important barbarian enhancement line, Frenzied Berserker adds to the damage multiplier on critical hits while raging, two-handed weapon glancing blows have a greater chance to add magical effects (such as flaming, etc), you may spend 10 hit points to use Supreme Cleave – and most importantly, you can spend 20 hit points to enter a Death Frenzy (at rank III).
Think of the frenzy (unlocked via Frenzied Berserker I) and Death Frenzy (Frenzied Berserker III) as an optional "Super Mega Ultra Rage" mode. Damage Boost is an enhancement that does two things for a barbarian using this template: activates for increased damage, and meets the requirements for Frenzied Berserker.
• Barbarian Frenzied Berserker I - III
• Barbarian Damage Boost I - IV
Barbarian capstone enhancement: A player must take 20 levels of the barbarian class to obtain the capstone enhancement, but it's worth the investment. A barbarian who takes Barbarian Might receives +2 STR, and when wielding two-handed weapons receive increased glancing blow damage and an increased chance of applying weapon special effects on glancing blows. By the capstone point in DDO magically-infused weapons are something of a regularity, and Barbarian Might – combined with other elements of this template – ensures their magical effects occur as frequently as possible.
• Capstone: Barbarian Might
In case of Stunning Blow (optional enhancement): As mentioned above, you can boost the DCs of your tactical feats like Trip and Stunning Blow as a barbarian if you actually decide to take Stunning Blow instead of toughness. Use the 6 AP you spent in toughness enhancements above (which you no longer have access to without toughness) to boost the DCs of all your tactical feats using the following enhancement.
• Dwarven Tactics II