I am looking for help and advice to guide me in the right direction for a new character to play duo with my son. He has a half-orc barbarian that he has fallen in love with, two handed axe smashing things left and right and looking for big crit numbers popping up. He will be staying pure barbarian, he doesn't do traps, he doesn't heal himself and in general is a bit reckless. We will likely just be playing duo with these characters, and we are just talking heroic dungeons.
I am hoping to create a character to play with him that can support his barbarian nature as well as I can, my goal is to create the "Barbarians Best Buddy". I just started playing the game again after a long break and lost my old account in some purge, but I have access to whatever VIP gives and have unlocked drow and artificer. I figure I need to be able to (in order of importance):
* Heal him and myself.
* Do traps/locks.
* He would love if I could buff him a bit.
* DPS a bit either ranged or melee.
I am not looking for a munchkin build, but something that is not broken. The goal is not that the build is fantastic on its own, but that it is a great assistant for a barbarian. Flavor is appreciated. No idea how fast we will level, the build needs to be somewhat playable from level 5-6 and onwards I suppose.
I've been browsing over builds and enhancement trees, but there is just so much to take in that I am starting to go in circles. My current very rough ideas are either:
1. A halfling bard, splashing a little rogue and possibly ranger. I would probably stay at 16 levels bard and splash either 4 levels rogue or 3/1 or 1/3 ranger/rogue or some similar combination. My thought was to dump STR and go high DEX. My motivations here are:
* Flavor (tiny Halfing buddy taking care of his big Half-Orc Barbarian)
* Heroic Companion halfling enhancement seems like a good buddy buff for a barbarian (does the damage resist stack with whatever damage resist a barbarian has from class?)
* Healing dragonmarks from halfling
* Evasion and high reflex saves.
* Dex based hit/damage with dagger/kukri and thrown weapons (and maybe other weapons?)
* Trapskills (wondering how much rogue I will need to keep them up)
* Buffs from bard
* Healing from bard
* Possibly + positive spellpower from ranger enhancements to improve healing
* Possibly some twf stuff from ranger
I am wondering what would be a good split for bard/rogue/ranger or just bard/rogue? Is a bard only useful in full groups or can it shine in a duo? I would prefer being dex based hit/dam for flavor and personal enjoyment and since halfings are -2 str and +2 dex, but if str in any case is clearly better in the long run that would be good to know as well. Should I focus on ranged or twf for dps, what would be easiest to achieve? Would some other race be a better choice?
2. An elf ranger splashing rogue and possibly fighter or something else. For instance ranger/rogue with 1-4 levels of rogue. My motivations here are:
* Some flavor still in a slender elf and brutish half-orc together.
* High dex, evasion and reflex saves.
* I like that elf can get dex to hit/dam with bows and scimitar.
* Should be able to both twf and go ranged (bow) passably well with so much ranger?
* Ranger has a few buffs.
* Ranger can heal some.
My naive understanding is that the bard build would heal and buff a lot better than the ranger build but the ranger build would dps better both ranged and melee. I suppose trapskills would be similar for both builds depending on rogue levels and enhancement choices. I suspect that the healing of the ranger build will not be good enough. Lacking experience with the game I am leaning towards the halfling bard build being a better starting point to flesh out more, but was hoping to get some feedback on whether I was moving in the right direction. Any advice is appreciated!