ASK THE WIZARD – Angsty Weightlifters
Greetings to you, pestilent proliferating peasants. It is I, Ulesorin the Green, returned to serve you with wisdom once more. Do I do such kindness because I am a kindly old soul? Do I do it because of my immense love for all mortals? Do I do it because it is community service mandated by the court and my kobold lawyers are the absolute worst? I mean, just the absolute worst. Don’t ever hire kobolds folks. Definitely one of those reasons.
Regardless of the cause for my generous donation of time, my crystal ball and attached interdimensional storm stand ready to receive your mail. So send me your woes that I may be their salve. Please. If I don’t keep doing this they’re going to make me clear the palace dungeons again, I just know it. No adventurer has set foot down there in a decade, it must be positively brimming with monsters by now. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get giant spider goop out of embroidered robes? It is a nightmare.
Can you provide any advice on Barbarian rage issues?
Dear Barrel Rider,
You are not the first to encounter trouble with an overly exuberant meat-shield, but rest assured, there are some vary simple solutions that can be implemented to manage their customary fury.
The first and foremost solution that I have seen practiced in many variations across the centuries, is to bring along a bard. Gentle soothing music will of course have no effect on the ire of a barbarian, but almost invariably, a small, cosmopolitan man, possessed of bright coloured clothing and a surplus of wit is inexplicably antagonistic to the barbarian’s mindset. Just as my new tower has a rather magnificent looking weather vane topped with a copper rod to draw down lightning, so too does this intensely irritating adventurer focus all of the barbarian’s wrath away from vital party members, like wizards, and towards the… less valuable sort.
Admittedly, there is an upper limit to the number of times you can recruit new bards after the local guilds realise the rate at which you are going through them, but so long as your adventures take you far and wide, and you travel faster than news, it should not become a problem.
If you are suffering from a tragic lack of bards, perhaps due to an accompanying lack of earplugs making travelling with them tolerable, then there are a variety of other methods available to you.
Some have found that like a fancy bird, a barbarian will simply fall asleep if deprived of light, so pulling a small sack over their head may be sufficient to send them off to dreamland. Similarly, they might be equipped with blinkers, allowing party members to hide in their peripheral vision without the danger of becoming fodder for their wrath.
A more extreme measure, which I cannot say that I fully approve of, is to have another member of the group pair off with the barbarian in a romantic relationship. The downside of this is of course that you must listen to them rutting in a tent five feet from the campfire, because of course we could all hear you Ragthar you were both yelling at the top of your lungs! In times of crisis you place the object of their affections in the barbarian’s path and the power of love overcomes their dire fury.
There is a greater than usual element of risk involved in this type of arrangement. Firstly, because you are liable to have a perpetually exhausted and grinning party member tagging along with you, but more importantly because this failsafe is not a guaranteed success. Sometimes, the barbarian cannot see through the red haze in time to halt, and then you are left with a barbarian in a downward spiral of depression and overabundant angst. Angsty barbarians are truly terrible at carrying heavy objects for you, and their ability to be hit in your place declines rapidly when they are sad. I cannot recommend it.
Finally, there is always my favoured solution to the problem, barbarians are notoriously weak to magic, so something along the lines of a fireball will most likely provide a permanent solution to any oversized Grumpy Britches.
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*Disclaimer: All answers are provided for entertainment purposes only. It may not be in your best interests to follow advice provided by a 1794-year-old man who firmly believes that arson is the best medicine.