For those fans of the Barbarian class in D&D the preview is up at the official site.
Because it is a preview article you do not get all the options and some of what is listed might change before the official release in 2009 (as part of the Player’s Handbook 2), however we do get to see some of what we’re in for.
One interesting thing to note is that the Barbarian was built as a Striker. Some had speculated a Defender while others had considered the possibility of it being a Controller. Striker does seem to be the most obvious choice but I found the description of the Barbarian’s role very interesting:
“Striker. You use powerful two-handed weapons to deal serious damage to your enemies. Your physical power and daunting presence can cause foes to cower before you, and you can temporarily increase your abilities by harnessing great bursts of terrifying rage. Depending on your choice of class features and powers, you lean toward either defender or leader as a secondary role.”
Some classes and builds have already felt as though they had a secondary role but it seems with the Barbarian they want to make this more acute. For example, the two-weapon version of the Ranger can be built to be a stand-in controller.
I know a lot of people have been very excited about the Barbarian class coming out. Personally, however, I have always had a bit of a problem with games including Barbarian as a class. It always seemed to me that Barbarians were simply fighters that came from a more primitive setting and the idea of being “trained” as a Barbarian seemed almost ludicrous. Because the new D&D changes things up as far as Profession vs. Class goes, I was feeling a little less disturbed by the addition of the Barbarian. To make me feel even better Wizards made the power source for Barbarians Primal rather than Martial. For me this sets it apart from Fighter more distinctly than the fact that they have different roles.
If anyone gets a chance to put together a Barbarian let me know how it plays!