No sooner than I stepped away from my desk for lunch, I realized why the “duskblade or hexblade” idea for primeval braves seemed so wrong when I came up with it initially. Two of main concepts of primeval magic include not just color, light, enchantment, and illusion, but also emotions. Here I described braves as being stronger and faster but less disciplined, then I remembered the barbarian class.

Several years ago, I toyed with the concept of making the barbarian’s rage ability into a kind of stance. This was certainly after I started playing Guild Wars, and I was examining the warrior’s Frenzy stance and the various adrenaline skills. I don’t think rage should be a stance anymore, but what to do with it instead?

On my list of favorite rules interactions in Third Edition is the interaction between the calm emotions spelland the barbarian rage class feature. Barbarian rage was typed as an extraordinary ability (rather than a supernatural one), and represented a state of heightened and focused emotion. There’s also the rage spell which has a similar, but somewhat inferior effect (rare for spells that duplicate class features).

What I’d like to do is create a category of effects, similar to stances, which represent different emotional states, or other states of mind. Rage and fear would be basic states in this category, but suggestion, domination, and charm effects would also fall under this category. It’s sort of an “enchanted” state, with variable effects, but one that can be considered part of a single group.

What I should probably do is look at barbarians across a variety of sources — from the more obvious Dungeons & Dragons and Diablo 2 sources for barbarians, to Guild Wars for the adrenaline skills. I’m sure there’s some way to bring all of these emotions and conditions together under one umbrella type like stances.

If you know of any other games that feature emotion manipulation as a feature of gameplay, or otherwise contains barbarians or rage mechanics, please leave me a note in the comments section so I can check it out! :)