VIKING BERSERKER (Bear Warrior)

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Slashing, Terrifying and Fearlessly Raging into Battle PvM (1-40) and PvP

VIKING BERSERKER (Bear Warrior)

Joint Authors (in Alphabetical Order): By Deborah “Tyr” Templar and Grimnir77*

*Note: I would like to thank Grim, our resident Master of Norse Lore, for his unsurpassed knowledge of Norse Lore, and his comments throughout the building of this character (from conceptualization to character), which I appreciate, and do herein acknowledge. As such, he deserves half the credit for this build.

The Concept: FEARSOME WARRIOR

Berserkers were loyal to their Viking war god Odin and believed he would protect them, give them superhuman strength and if they died an heroic death, a place in Valhalla in the afterlife. Consequently, berserkers were also called “Odin men.” They fought in groups . . . and often charged heedlessly into the ranks of the enemy or formed a circle to provide the best defense when outnumbered by an opponent. Their unpredictable behaviour and bear-like appearance were meant to strike fear in the enemy and demoralize him so much, he would not fight. When the berserkers did fight, it was to the death.

The existence of the berserker is recorded in the writings of Christian missionaries and monks who claimed to have witnessed their (frenzied state). In some of the Viking sagas, berserkers are portrayed as ferocious fighters . . . (and are) also preserved in Viking art. Chess pieces depicting a berserker show them biting their shields. Viking foil reliefs picture them dressed in bear or wolf skins . . . The word berserker comes from two Norse words bjorn meaning bear or bare (naked) and serkr meaning shirt, a reference to the fact that a berserker warrior went into battle dressed in bear skins or without any armor at all. Berserkers thought that by wearing the fur of the bear, they would become possessed by the animal’s spirit and would gain its strength-a way of shape-shift into the animal’s form. Shape-shifting was important as their pagan gods also had this ability. The meaning of the word berserker is derived from another characteristic of this warrior- berserkergang- a word meaning crazed behaviour. Before a battle, berserkers spent hours working themselves into a frenzy . . . This state, they believed, made them immune to pain and helped them shrug off . . . (their enemies’) blows.”

Excerpted and adapted from, Jim Cornish, “Viking Warriors: The Berserker,” in: The Vikings, and available at: http://www.cdli.ca/CITE/vikings.htm

The Build – Pros and Cons:

This build is based on the above Norse lore, being very fun and also unique (being the first, according to Pulse, to utilize this class combo): with a very nice AB, incl. the ability to self-cap strength (especially good unshifted, but dire bear is a good performer, too), enjoying high HPs and access also to druid and Harper magic, incl. DR, all of which nicely compliments / evolves around the barbarian’s terrifying rage/berserker ability (with a high DC, and also enduring—at 8 rounds (9 w. frenzy) as human, and even better (i.e., 10 rounds/11 w. frenzy) as dire bear).

While saving throws are all quite decent (thanks to druid buffs, Harper abilities, and greater rage), and so, too, is AC while human (thanks to HS skills/abilities, and druid buffs), AC might be a problem in shifted form, due largely in part to the equipment merging rules (i.e., when all dressed for battle in magic gear, etc., not all will merge when shifted, hence your AC in shifted form will be reduced); as such, you’ll want to buff up prior to shifting, and put that Terr. Rage to good use (knowing you can always shift back to human, in the event you should need to, but really, w. that Terr.Rage DC, …

Otherwise, dire bear (improved animal form) is a surprisingly good shape, with over 900 effective HPs (and enjoying also the extended rage duration) to withstand the heat; also comes w. his/her own bear clan/group (i.e., druid summons (dire bear) and companion (bear)). The main drawback of this build is that it takes awhile to get to dire bear shape; this was done in order to get Terrifying Rage early (while preserving BAB/offense) and to make good use of Harper (tumble skills and class abilities, incl. skill foci/feats, which in turn bolsters defense while contributing also to terrifying rage DC, etc., and regardless of form, enhancing the build’s playability overall). As such, the combination makes for a solid melee warrior—the Viking Berserker, being unique. Without further ado, please meet (in human form, followed by dire bear (impr.animal/wildshape) form):

VIKING BERSERKER (Bear Warrior)

Barbarian(23), Druid(12), Harper Scout(5)
Race: Human / Alignment: Any Neutral, Non-Lawful, Non-Evil (Theme: CN or True Neutral)

Attributes:
STR: 16 (30)
DEX: 8
CON: 14
WIS: 16
INT: 12
CHA: 8

Level Guide:
01: Barbarian(1): alertness, weapon focus: battleaxe –or- greataxe
02: Barbarian(2): {Uncanny Dodge I}
03: Barbarian(3): iron will
04: Barbarian(4): STR+1, (STR=17)
05: Barbarian(5)
06: Barbarian(6): knockdown
07: Barbarian(7)
08: Barbarian(8): STR+1, (STR=18)
09: Barbarian(9): blind fight
10: Barbarian(10)
11: Barbarian(11)
12: Barbarian(12): STR+1, improved critical: weapon, (STR=19)
13: Barbarian(13)
14: Barbarian(14)
15: Barbarian(15): improved critical: unarmed
16: Barbarian(16): STR+1, (STR=20)
17: Barbarian(17)
18: Barbarian(18): toughness (or: heavy armor prof. –or- sf: intimidate)*
19: Barbarian(19)
20: Barbarian(20): STR+1, (STR=21)
21: Druid(1): epic weapon focus: weapon
22: Harper Scout(1): epic skill focus: intimidate
23: Druid(2)
24: Barbarian(21): STR+1, terrifying rage, (STR=22)
25: Druid(3)
26: Druid(4)
27: Druid(5): epic prowess
28: Harper Scout(2): STR+1, (STR=23)
29: Druid(6)
30: Druid(7): great strength I, (STR=24)
31: Barbarian(22)
32: Harper Scout(3): STR+1, (STR=25)
33: Druid(8): great strength II, (STR=26)
34: Druid(9)
35: Druid(10)
36: Druid(11): STR+1, great strength III, (STR=28)
37: Harper Scout(4)
38: Druid(12)
39: Harper Scout(5): great strength IV, epic skill focus: taunt, (STR=29)
40: Barbarian(23): STR+1, (STR=30)

• Weapon/Armor Note: Viking Warriors—the Berserker, wore a bear-skin over his/her chain (or, sometimes, just the skin), and wielded an axe (heavy axe or battleaxe); that said, you are of course free to equip your Berserker as you see fit.

PART A. Human Stats (Warrior-Unshifted):

Basics:

a. Hitpoints: 522 (+120 Raging, +40 Frenzy, or: 682 HPs)
* also, Grt.Stoneskin (+120 HPs, and DR 20/+5)

b. Saving Throws:
Fort: 24 (+3 Rage, +1 Frenzy, +2 Tymora’s Smile: 30)
Will: 21 (+3 Insight, +3 Rage, +1 Frenzy, +2 Tym.Smile: 30)
Reflex: 15 (+2 Tym. Smile, +4-5 HS Cat’s & Craft Potion: 22)

Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +5, Mind Effects: +2, Traps: +7, Fear: +2, Poison Immunity

Other (Illustrative):
– Barbarian Speed, Terrifying Rage, and Barbarian DR 5/-
– HS Invisibility, Lliira’s Heart (+2 mind-effects/spells), Tym. Smile (+2 all-saves)
– Druid Spells (curative/regeneration/healing, and protection spells, e.g. death ward (immune to death magic, etc.); Resistance, +1 all-saves; Energy Buffer; Freedom; and Grt.Stoneskin (DR 20/+5, 120 HPs), etc.

Combat Vitals:

a. Terrifying Rage (DC): 53-62, +2 HS Eagle’s: DC 55-64
(add +2-3 HS Craft Potion (Eagle’s) or, DC 58-67); Duration: 8 Rounds (9 w. Frenzy only)

b. Attack Bonus:
BAB: 30, AB (naked): 44 (melee), 41 (unarmed), 30 (ranged)

Mundane Weapon:
AB 44, +2 Nat. Sense (wilderness): 46 AB (No Buffs)
+2 Bull’s
+3 Grt.Rage (-2 AC)
+1 Blood Frenzy (-1 AC)

52, +6 Taunt: 58 AB (Self-Buffs Only/No Equip’t) (-2 non-wilderness)

* Bioware Cap (assuming +20 weaponry): 72, +6 Taunt: 78 AB

c. Damage (comparative):
• Mundane Greataxe: 1-12+15 STR, +9 STR-Buffs (self-capped) (crit: 19-20/x3)
• Mundane Battleaxe: 1-8+10 STR, +6 STR-Buffs (self-capped) (crit: 19-20/x3)

Other: Druid Summons, Companion, and Damage Spells as follows (illustrative):
– Call Lightning (10d6 electrical damage, all enemies in area of effect)
– Druid Ice (3d6 bludgeon + 6d6 cold damage, all enemies in area of effect)
– Inferno (2d6 fire dam. per round, x 12 rounds (no save)
– Entangle, Vine Mine, Wall of Fire, etc.

Defense Vitals

17 AC (Naked)
+5 mundane breastplate
+3 mundane shield

25 AC
+4 Barkskin
+2 HS Cat’s

31 AC (self-buffs only/no equip’t); w. +5 items, haste: 55-plus

Other: Druid Spells, HS Invisibility, & Terrifying Rage (enemies can’t hit you when terrified

Spell Casting:

Druid, Level (6)
Cantrips (6 Spells) / Level 1 (6 Spells) / Level 2 (5 Spells)
Level 3 (5 Spells) Level 4 (3 Spells) / Level 5 (3 Spells) / Level 6 (2 Spells)
* To see and plan your divine spell book, see: http://www.nwnwiki.org/Druid

Skillpoints: 258*

HS Prereq’s: Lore 6(12), Persuade 8(7), Search 4(5)
Concentration 41(43)
Discipline 43(53), +6 self-capped STR (bull’s, frenzy, rage)
Intimidate 43(52), +4-5 stacking HS Eagle’s and HS Potion (Eagle’s)
Taunt 43(52), +4-5 stacking HS Eagle’s and HS Potion (Eagle’s)
Tumble 40(39), Spellcraft 24(25). Heal 1(4)

——–

PART B. Wild Shape: Animal Stats (Improved)—Berserker Warrior/Dire Bear:

Dire Bear, Attributes:
STR: 31, DEX: 13, CON: 19

Basics :
a. HPs: 642 Base, +120 Raging, +40 Frenzy, or: 802 HPs
*(add another +120 Grt.Stoneskin, etc.)
b. Saves: Fort: 26 / Will: 21 / Reflex: 17 (*for info re: buffs & saving throw boni, see above)*

Combat Vitals:
a. BAB 30, AB 40, +2 Nat.Sense(wilderness): 42 (No Buffs)
+6 STR Buffs (self-capped)

48, +6 Taunt, or: AB 54/49/44/39 (-2 non-wilderness)

b. Damage (Claw/Claw/Bite): 1-8+10 STR, +6 STR Buffs (crit: 19-20/x2)

Defense:
AC: 24 (Naked/No Buffs), +4 Barkskin, +4-5 Stacking HS Cat’s, or: AC 32 (self-buffs only)

Other: Terrifying Rage (as above); Polymorph Duration: 10 Rounds (11 w. Frenzy)

* Tip: while barbarian rage and HS castings are available to you while shifted, druid spells (and HS potions) are not; hence, be sure to buff/potion up prior to shifting when desirous of fighting in shifted form (and in the same preparatory way as the Vikings

For more info re: Wildshapes, see: http://www.nwnwiki.org/Wild_Shape ; For more info re: Vikings, see above.
_________________
“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it: and this I know, my lords, that where law ends, tyranny begins!” ~ William Pitt (Lord Chatham) to the British House of Lords (January, 1770)

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4 thoughts on “VIKING BERSERKER (Bear Warrior)

  1. The Harper Scout needs the following Skills: Diplomacy 8 ranks, Lore 4 ranks, Survival 2 ranks, the following Feats: Alertness, Iron Will, and one level in a spell-casting class, i.e Druid.

  2. When playing the Official Campaign, i.e. the first one that comes with the initial release, there is significant opportunity for Crafting, this may influence one’s use of skill points. If you don’t give a stuff, then races other than human may become an option.

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