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 Some interesting class differences - Picking through the Conversion Guide

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Eric Gaidin
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PostSubject: Some interesting class differences - Picking through the Conversion Guide   Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:53 am

Here are a few really interesting differences between 3.5 classes and Pathfinder:

1) Barbarians - "Remove illiteracy from your barbarian. Enjoy books."

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this one. What makes a barbarian a barbarian? The fact that they come from a cultured tribe that just gets angry quickly? This seems a little off to me. I understand that you can have intelligent barbarians and that not every barbarian should be illiterate. However, that's when a player buys a rank in Linguistics.

Here's the description from page 31:
"For some, there is only rage. In the ways of their people,
in the fury of their passion, in the howl of battle, conf lict
is all these brutal souls know. Savages, hired muscle,
masters of vicious martial techniques, they are not soldiers
or professional warriors—they are the battle possessed,
creatures of slaughter and spirits of war. Known as
barbarians, these warmongers know little of training,
preparation, or the rules of warfare; for them, only
the moment exists, with the foes that stand before
them and the knowledge that the next moment
might hold their death."

Oh yeah, and while these "savages" are tapping into their "vicious marital techniques," they took the time to teach reading and writing. Imagine how many pencils were snapped in the rage of trying to write a cursive capital "Q." I'm not digging this new rule.

The point of the illiteracy rule was to demonstrate the type of culture barbarians come from. They are a tribal people that rely on an oral tradition to pass down their stories; stories of their warrior heroes and the gods. This is EXACTLY like the Anglo-Saxons, who, as far as we know, were for the most part illiterate. All records of Anglo-Saxon stories were recorded by Christian monks--the very people who the Anglo-Saxons attacked. The same goes for the Visigoths who sacked Rome.

Barbarians are not any worse off for being illiterate. Their culture reveres the oral stories because the oral narration is the vehicle by which their fame spreads far and wide. Many bards rely on the stories passed down from the barbarian cultures to the extreme north and south--those stories are vibrant; full of battle, passion, gods, and glory.

If I run a Pathfinder campaign I'm not adopting this rule. It doesn't hurt the barbarian character whatsoever as far as combat is concerned, but I do believe it takes away from the role-playing color.


Last edited by Eric Gaidin on Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:44 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : clarification)
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Rikan
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PostSubject: Re: Some interesting class differences - Picking through the Conversion Guide   Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:02 am

i don't know about this one. I have played a few barbarians in my day. one died in a cave because he couldn't read the directions given to him, and the other didn't much care for learnings anyway. However, I always did find myself putting points into the the languages i could at least speak so that I could read them. To me just seems like a way not to get fudged over in terms of role play or game mechanics. ( there's a prestige class that requires both the rage ability/and to cast 3rd level spells) so....how am i to read all those scrolls if i can't read 'em?
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Eric Gaidin
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PostSubject: Re: Some interesting class differences - Picking through the Conversion Guide   Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:51 pm

Rikan wrote:
i don't know about this one. I have played a few barbarians in my day. one died in a cave because he couldn't read the directions given to him, and the other didn't much care for learnings anyway. However, I always did find myself putting points into the the languages i could at least speak so that I could read them. To me just seems like a way not to get fudged over in terms of role play or game mechanics. ( there's a prestige class that requires both the rage ability/and to cast 3rd level spells) so....how am i to read all those scrolls if i can't read 'em?

I feel that you're actually proving my point. Your barbarian that died in the cave died because he was relying on written instructions to get him out of there. Barbarians don't adventure off by themselves--they travel in bands or clans. They don't need to read, they destroy and fight. If your barbarian is in danger because he can't read the instructions of how to disarm a trap of doom, that's when you pass that little note to the learned wizard. However, when that wizard is facing an orcish horde and has one fireball scroll left, his literary skills won't keep him alive. The barbarian's axe is linguistically superior when your learned ally isn't alive to argue the point.

If you wish to spend a skill point in linguistics to be able to read and write Common, then that's your choice. However, barbarians fill a unique niche in the martial culture of the gaming nworld, much as their historical counterparts did. I consider this a fault on the flavor of the game and I won't be adopting it.


Last edited by Eric Gaidin on Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Uncle Mart
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PostSubject: Re: Some interesting class differences - Picking through the Conversion Guide   Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:13 am

Eric Gaidin wrote:
The barbarian's axe is linguistically superior when your learned ally isn't alive to argue the point.


LOL, well said sir! I agree with Eric on this. If a barbarian wants to read in my campaign, he'll be spending skill points to do it.

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Rikan
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PostSubject: Re: Some interesting class differences - Picking through the Conversion Guide   Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:31 pm

I always have, and with Pathfinder you can expect to see some Barbarian/Druids running around.
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Eric Gaidin
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PostSubject: Re: Some interesting class differences - Picking through the Conversion Guide   Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:56 pm

Well if your barbarian multi-classes with a druid, congrats, you spent time learning to read.

Your barbarian friends glance at their greataxes and laugh at you when they point out your new, shiny shillelagh.
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Rikan
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PostSubject: Re: Some interesting class differences - Picking through the Conversion Guide   Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:52 pm

well thanks to the linguistics skill, there are gonna be some not so smart, yet multilingual barbarians running around.
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