Here's the deal: I've virtually no experience with Barbarians. All my melees have had Monk splash and Evasion and are usually TWF. But ever since the bard revamp, I've been toying with the idea of a barb/bard. There seems to be synergy here, but I just can't find it. Anyway, I'm currently looking at 12/8 split, and the idea is to pick up the core bard buffs (most noticably Displacement; GH accessed by song) thinking that the split will gain more than it loses. Of course it's just a pure theory build at this stage.
General layout: Human, max STR + levelups, rest in CON, any spare points in CHA, THF chain, Cleave chain, Extend and IC: Slash.
General AP layout:
SS: 7 (Magical Studies and Lingering Songs)
WC: 25+ (all the way up to High Spirits - this includes Rage fatigue, no? - STR II and possibly Inspire Recklessness)
FB: 34 (all the way up to Focused Wrath)
OS: 7 (Uncanny Dodger and Extend Rage)
Human: 5 (Amp I, STR I)
The idea is to run in Fury, simply because I usually always run in LD.
So what do I lose by splashing?
Apart from spreading myself thin on AP, looks like Death Frenzy, 48HP, +2 BAB, 2 Rages/rest (does Boast III give +1 Rage?), 2% Dodge, 3/- DR, +2 Fort save. Technically I lose some Save vs Traps and vs Enchantments, but that's offset by higher Will and Reflex saves. You'll also suffer ASF on Medium armor.
And what do I gain?
+4 Reflex and +4 Will save, various songs including Heroism and Courage, L3 bard buffs (only at caster level 8, but with Extend).
Obviously the first major drawback is that buffing is largely negated by Barbarian rage, but I'm thinking a Displace and Haste between Barbarian rages will still go a long way, and if I need more survivability I have the option to use Scaldic rage instead keeping Displacement up as long as SP lasts (Fury abilities still work during Scaldic rage?). Blur and GH is nice, and a gimped Inspire Courage is still better than no Inspire Courage if the group lacks a proper Bard.
The second major drawback is losing Death Frenzy, which is potentially huge. But how much is Death Frenzy used? Given how hard stuff hits in late game, ~2 HP/attack seems pretty negligable - especially if you can play in a Radiant Aura. On the other hand the general idea of getting access to Displacement and whatnot is to avoid being a spell power sponge if possible.
Is there any merit at all to this split? Or would I be better off doing a traditional max-DPS all-out barb?