Eclipse Pathfinder – The Barbarian

   There have been a number of requests for a “Pathfinder Upgrade” to Eclipse.

   Well, while Pathfinder did make a fair number of changes to spell lists, skill lists, and various other items, most of that has nothing to do with Eclipse. Eclipse already allows the use of custom spell lists, variant skills, and so on. Eclipse is primarily concerned with building characters and races however – and Pathfinder did throw in some upgrades to the Core Classes there.

   Of course, the upcoming power creep was inherent in the prestige class system – and in the need to sell ever more expansion books – from the very start of d20. That’s one of the major reasons why I put the Fast Learner ability into Eclipse, and why it was not used in the sample builds which match the base classes. That left it available for upgrading those base class builds to match the later class and prestige class builds – which generally do use it.

   So, first up we’ll consider the Barbarian. How would you build a Pathfinder barbarian in Eclipse?

  1. Don’t buy those extra six skill points at level zero. That saves six character points with respect to a 3.5-style Barbarian build.
    1. Pathfinder settings do provide a +3 bonus on all trained skills – which also neatly cancels out the three skill points it takes to upgrade an otherwise-irrelevant skill (such as “Aerospace Piloting” for a medieval-setting monk) to a “class skill”.
  2. Buy Fast Learner, Specialized for double effect/only to buy abilities that can only be used while berserk – and buy it at level zero. That costs six character points and provides two bonus character points per additional level to buy “Rage” abilities with.
  3. Spend those points. Abilities which are only usable while Berserk will generally be Corrupted, since you can’t spend all that much time being berserk – which means that most of them will cost four character points or less. Funny, that’s just what Fast Learner will be providing every second level…
  4. Don’t take Illiteracy if you don’t feel like it. It’s only two character points either way – and Eclipse characters will usually have some spare points from disadvantages anyway. If you do feel like it, you can still have it though.
  5. Buy skills to suit the setting. Since Eclipse was designed to be compatible with any setting, it doesn’t specify a skill list anyway. If your game master wants to use the Pathfinder list, use that one. Same goes for using the classic 3.5 list, the d20 Modern list, or any other list.

   So, no; there’s no “Pathfinder Upgrade” required here. A barbarian-themed Eclipse character can precisely match a Pathfinder barbarian – or they can create their own “rage powers” or spend their points on an unlimited array of other abilities to suit their character conception. They’ll also be able to spend more time raging – but rage is, after all, their signature ability. Reducing the amount of time a Barbarian can spend raging, as Pathfinder did, does seem sort of counter-intuitive. Still, if you really must have an exact match, you could corrupt the Berserker ability to limit it to the Pathfinder allotment – but you’d only be saving a few points, and I’d recommend against it.

   Next up is to convert the various “Rage Powers in detail. That will take a little time, but it’s easy enough. Ideally, of course, all of them would come out to exactly four character points, but a few are a point or two over, and a few others are a point or two less. That’s fine, since it won’t make any real overall difference; nobody minds having a spare point or two left over – and if you need an extra point or two, then – as noted earlier – Eclipse characters normally have a few spare points to spend anyway.

   So here we have the basic Rage Powers list.

  • Animal Fury: You gain a bonus bite attack that inflicts (1d4+Str Mod/2) damage. Ok… This is a bit distasteful (do you really want most of the things a typical barbarian fights in your mouth?), but it’s easy enough to buy: that’s Opportunist (may make a bite attack as part of a full attack or when attempting to maintain or break free of a grapple), Specialized and Corrupted/attack involves biting things and getting them into your mouth, requires having your mouth uncovered, only works at very close range, is normally made at -5 as a secondary natural attack if part of a full attack option, and only gets half the user’s strength modifier to damage, only usable while raging (2 CP) plus Martial Arts/1d4 Natural Weapons with all the same modifiers (1 CP). At a total cost of 3 CP, this saves 1 CP to be spent on another Rage power. If you’re going to be going around biting things, I’d advise scrolling down to Swift Foot, below.
  • Clear Mind: Reroll a failed will save once per rage. Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/only usable while raging, only to reroll failed will saves, only once per rage (4 CP).
  • Fearless Rage: Immunity to the Shaken and Frightened conditions (Uncommon, Minor, Major, Corrupted/only while raging) (2 CP). That has a net cost of only 2 CP, so there will be two points left over to put towards another rage power.
  • Guarded Stance: Defender/dodge bonus option, Corrupted/only while raging (4 CP).
  • Increased Damage Reduction: Damage Reduction. This is a bit harder, since Eclipse Damage Reduction has a sliding cost, depending on how much you buy – but getting from DR 5/- to DR 8/- has a base cost of 12 CP, 6 CP after specializing it for physical damage only, and only 4 CP after Corrupted/only while raging. In other words, unlike in Pathfinder, as an Eclipse ability you need only take this once – at a total cost of 4 CP – to get that total of +3/- Damage Reduction.
  • Internal Fortitude: Immune to the Sickened and Nauseated conditions. (Uncommon, Major, Major, Corrupted/only while raging) (4 CP).
  • Intimidating Glare: Reflex Training/the character may reduce the time required to use a skill by one standard action once per round, Specialized/only for use with Intimidate, Corrupted/only while raging (2 CP), with a +3 Skill Speciality in Combat Intimidation, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect (+9)/only to increase the duration of the effect rather than also boosting it’s chance to succeed, only while raging, increased duration is rolled as (1d4-1) rounds (with an average of +1.5) rather than simply taking the usual +2) (1 CP). That has a net cost of only 3 CP, so there will be a point left over to put towards another rage power.
  • Knockback: Once per round the user may make a Bull Rush attempt in place of melee attack. That’s Opportunist, Corrupted/only usable while raging (4 CP).
  • Low-Light Vision: Occult Sense/Low-Light Vision, Corrupted/only while raging (4 CP).
  • Mighty Swing: Automatically confirms a critical hit once per rage. Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/only usable while raging, only to confirm critical hits, only once per rage (4 CP).
  • Moment of Clarity: Ignore the action restrictions of being Berserk for one round. That’s the Controlled modifier on the Berserk, Specialized and Corrupted /only usable once per rage, only lasts for one round, 2 CP) plus Luck with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/only usable while raging, only to invoke the Controlled modifier, only once per rage (3 CP). Oops. That one comes out to 5 CP rather than 4 CP. A character taking this one will either have to spend an extra CP or take one of the powers that came out to less than 4 CP.
  • Night Vision: Gain Darkvision. Occult Sense/Darkvision, Corrupted/only while raging (4 CP).
  • No Escape: Move at double speed as an Immediate Action to pursue a retreating foe. Reflex Training/three extra actions per day variant,
  • Powerful Blow: Adds (1+Level/4) damage to a blow – if it hits. Difficult, simply because it’s so feeble an ability that it’s hard to restrict something that far… so lets improve it a bit; Augment Attack/+6 Damage when Raging, Specialized/may only be invoked, in advance of the roll to hit, and only once per rage (3 CP). That will leave a point left over to put towards another rage power – or it could be upgraded to +9 damage, and a total cost of 4 CP.
  • Quick Reflexes: You gain +1 Attack of Opportunity per Round. Reflex Training for Attacks of Opportunity, Specialized/only grants one extra AoO per round, Corrupted/only while raging (2 CP). That will leave two points left over to put towards another rage power.
  • Raging (Physical Skill): Adds a +(Level) enhancement bonus to a particular physical skill while raging. Now, there are a LOT of ways to get check bonuses in Eclipse, so lets look at a couple of them:
    • First. try Luck with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Double Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost/only usable for physical skill checks, user may only take [1d20+Level] instead of [40], only usable while raging (6 CP). Now, that IS 2 CP more expensive than the usual rage power – but it covers all three physical skills. It won’t cover bounding around throughout a rage though, at least without more bonus uses.
    • A few points of Innate Enchantment will also do it nicely; a +10 bonus (increasing to +20 at caster level six and +30 at caster level nine and up) to a simple physical skill is a first level effect. Ergo, Innate Enchantment/5000 GP Effective Value, all effects spell level one, caster level one, unlimited-use use-activated, personal only. That’s 1400 GP equivalent for those first level effects – so +10 to any three simple physical skills (climb, swim, etc) would be 4200 GP effective value. Corrupted/only works while Raging and Specialized/only provides bonuses of +(level) would be 2 CP. Unfortunately, we’ll also need an Immunity to the XP cost of Innate Enchantments. That’s Immunity (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial [only covers first level effects at caster level one], Specialized/only to cover physical enhancement effects (1 CP). Now, to make sure that those bonuses get above +10 when the time comes, we’ll want to boost the effective caster level – and for that we can use Empowerment, limited to physical skill enhancing innate enchantments for unlimited use, Specialized in these three effects and Corrupted/only while raging (+2 CP). That’s a net cost of 5 CP, but covers three physical skills instead of only one. That’s more effective than the Luck-based approach, but could also be briefly disrupted by Dispel Magic.
    • There are lots of other ways to go about it; those are just the first that came to mind.
  • Renewed Vigor: Heals up to 5d8+Con Mod hit points once per day as a standard action. Take Grant of Aid, Specialized in Hit Points Only, Corrupted/requires a standard action instead of just happening, only available when raging (2 CP). Go ahead and spend the remaining 2 CP on another rage power.
  • Rolling Dodge: Gain a dodge bonus to AC. Defender/dodge bonus option, Corrupted/only while raging (4 CP).
  • Roused Anger: You may ignore Fatigue for a time. Immunity/Fatigue (Common, Minor, Minor, Corrupted/only while about to fly into a rage or while raging (3 CP).
  • Scent: Gain the Scent ability while raging. Occult Sense/Scent, Corrupted/usable only while raging (4 CP).
  • Strength Surge: Adds the user’s level to one strength check, combat maneuver check, or to his or her combat maneuver defense once per rage. Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Double Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost/only usable for attacks and combat maneuvers, user may only take [1d20+Level] instead of [40], only usable while raging. Double specialization requires special permission from the game master – but in this case it seems appropriate to allow it; “only usable once per rage” is a definite limitation on this, and reduces the cost to a total of (4 CP).
  • Superstition: Gain up to a +7 morale bonus on saving throws made to resist spells, supernatural abilities, and spell-like abilities. Immunity/magical powers (Very Common, Severe, Specialized for Double Effect AND for half cost and Corrupted/while raging, the barbarian cannot be a willing target of any spell and must make saving throws to resist all spells, even those cast by allies, the bonus counts as a morale bonus instead of being typeless, only becomes gradually available (the total is +2 + Level/4 at any given time), only while raging (6 CP). This is another slightly over-expensive power, and another one that calls for special game master permission to double-specialize – but it is offering a great deal of protection from an incredible range of special abilities. That’s fair enough.
  • Surprise Accuracy: gain a +1 +Level/4 bonus to one attack roll once per rage. Another rather minor effect. In this case I’ll upgrade it a bit – to an automatic hit, Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized/only for “taking 20” on attack rolls, only once per rage, Corrupted/only available while raging (4 CP).
  • Swift Foot: +5′ Speed, may be taken up to three times. Improved Celerity, Specialized for Half Benefit (+5′ rather than +10′), Corrupted/only usable while raging (1 CP per level). Take this as much as you want. At 1 CP/level, it’s cheap enough to let you move really really fast while you’re in a rage if you like.
  • Terrifying Howl: The user may attempt to Panic (for 1d4+1 rounds) all Shaken enemies within 30 Feet. This allows a Will Save (DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the barbarian’s level + the barbarian’s Strength modifier) and only gets a chance to work on any given enemy once per day. That’s Presence (Fear) with an Immunity to the usual range restriction (Common, Minor, Minor, to get +20 feet), both Specialized/requires a standard action to use and Corrupted/only works while raging (4 CP).
  • Unexpected Strike: The barbarian can make an attack of opportunity against a foe that moves into any square threatened by the barbarian, regardless of whether or not that movement would normally provoke an attack of opportunity. That’s Opportunist, Specialized/only usable once per rage (2 CP).

   Now, a variety of additional rage powers from later books have been released into the Pathfinder SRD; I may convert those next – but none of them really look to be any harder to do.

   Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in a Shareware PDF Version, in Print, and in a Paid PDF Version that includes Eclipse II (245 pages of Eclipse races, character and power builds, items, relics, martial arts, and other material) and the web expansion. It will be updated with Eclipse III when that’s done as well.

   On a personal note, I find it rather gratifying to see that Eclipse can still handle, and even expand on, material that wasn’t published for years after it came out.

   Oh yes, since the rage power conversions are from Pathfinders rage powers, as presented in their SRD, here’s the OGL on the Pathfinder SRD site I referenced.

One Response

  1. […] Eclipse breakdowns for Pathfinder -Basics and Races and the class breakdowns for the  Alchemist, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer and Summoner. The sample […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: