Pathfinder - Character Optimization - The Unchained Barbarian Handbook
Last Updated: October 15, 2018
I support a limited subset of Pathfinder's rules content. If you would like help with Pathfinder player options not covered here, please email me and I am happy to provide additional assistance.
I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks. Also note that many colored items are also links to the Paizo SRD.
- Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
- Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances
- Green: Good options.
- Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.
The Barbarian is in a lot of ways indicative of some of the design flaws of DnD 3.x which carried over to Pathfinder. Chief among them was abilities which temporarily changed a character's ability scores, requiring the player to recalculate their whole character sheet during the course of their turn, leading to frustrating slowdowns at the table. Unlike the Unchained Rogue, the Unchained Barbarian isn't a significant jump in power level and viability over the vanilla Barbarian. Instead, it's a massive simplification of the mechanics to make the class more playable with less painful and time-consuming math.
This guide is for the Unchained Barbarian. For the vanilla Barbarian, see my Barbarian Handbook.
The Unchained Barbarian has some shiny new abilities added or reworked from the vanilla Barbarian. Here's a quick look at the new/updated features.
- Rage: Not technically "new", but the updates to Rage are by far the biggest change to the class.
- Updated Rage Powers: Many Rage Powers have gotten an update, including the addition of "Stance Powers". The updated Rage Powers have removed the need for complicated Rage Cycling builds.
- Danger Sense: An improved version of Trap Sense, which has always been a throw-away ability.
Since so little has changed about the Barbarian, the advice in my Barbarian Handbook is still completely valid. The only real addition is that you should pick up at least 1 Stance Power.