Due to their high health pool, resistance to damage during a Rage, and the need to attack enemies every turn to maintain it, Barbarians are best utilized as front-line warriors. Every Barbarian subclass is well-suited for this role, but in slightly different ways. The Wildheart subclass offers the most utility and even some ways to buff the team. The Berserker offers unrivaled damage output but with diminishing returns. And the Wild Magic subclass spices things up with random beneficial events every time you enter a Rage.
Barbarians have the highest starting hit points and the best hit point progression in the game. Their starting Proficiencies let them effectively use all weapons, shields, and all armour except Heavy. Their Unarmored Defence feature even allows them to forego armour altogether and still maintain a reasonable degree of protection. All of this makes equipping a Barbarian very simple. Generally, if you see an item you like, you’ll be able to use it.
On top of an increased damage output, the class-defining Rage feature also grants Barbarians Resistance to physical damage, making them very tanky. Barbarians are also more likely to avoid traps, surfaces, and certain spells thanks to Danger Sense, and starting at level 5, they can move faster than most other classes.
In dialogues, Barbarians get a decent number of unique Intimidation checks they can roll with Advantage.
Barbarians don’t get access to any spells. Even the Wild Magic subclass doesn’t actually get innate spell progression. Even if they have them, Barbarians can’t use spells or maintain Concentration when raging, so if you manage to use a spell scroll with a continuous effect, once you enter Rage, that spell will get canceled. On the opposite end of this, Barbarians cant use Rage when wearing Heavy Armour, which makes that particular choice of attire useless for any Barbarian.
Barbarian General Tips
The Reckless Attack feature allows you to have Advantage on your attack rolls for the turn, but also grants enemies Advantage when attacking you.
However, when attacking a hard to hit enemy, you don’t need to expose yourself for no reason – if you miss on your first attack for the turn, you’ll get the option to use Reckless Attack as a Reaction and reroll the attack.
Charisma is listed as the Spellcasting Ability for Barbarians because even though Barbarians don’t get spells of their own, they still can use spell scrolls in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Some items also grant spells as active skills to their wearers. Charisma determines the difficulty check for these spells. It also helps you with the Intimidate checks. So, if you have any points to spare, consider putting them into Charisma during character creation.
With how prevalent resistances to certain damage types are in the game, unless you’re going the Polearm Master route, it’s advisable for Barbarians to always have several weapons on hand to cover the Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing damage types.
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