[RPG] Overly strong level 1 barbarian


I am new to DMing (this is my first campaign) and one of the PCs rolled a 18 str char and made a 20 str Barbarian.

What is the best way to deal with this at the early levels of the game where his hit rolls and damage bonus are enough to wipe the floor with even special NPCs?

It feels weird to just make everything harder which would have 2 side effects:

  1. the barbarian would be the only character who could compete cleanly

  2. it sidelines a legitimate character trait that the player rolled.

As an example I have a level 4 NPC coming up who is for the most part by himself but the barbarian can take him to near death in one swing (with rage) if he rolls well and his other characters should have no problem finishing him off. There will be 4 level 1 PCs (Barb, Rogue, Wiz, Oracle) entering his house to question him.

More details on this encounter:

It's listed as EL3, but it's going to be very easy for him so I am trying to figure what good options I have for a lonely "loan" shark (see my pun there) and his baboon that makes sense. So there are no wizards or swarms of goblins in this case. Should I just throw a bunch more bystanders into the fight?

The other problem I foresee is doing something like that is going to pump up their XP even faster pushing them ahead of schedule.

The other part of this is with armor and dex bonuses, most of the monsters they encounter at level 1 have pretty poor odds of hitting them. The first encounter they faced, they took 0 damage from NPCs.

Any input on the situation will be appreciated.

P.S.: this is the second darkness campaign

Best Answer


I don't know if you do much role playing as well as combat, but a Raging barbarian probably shouldn't take time to consider if he should chase down the fleeing kobolds.

I had a DM once who loved to do this with kobolds. They'd run in, fight for a couple of rounds and run away. If you chased them there were always one or two traps.

With your loan shark, if they are attacking him on his home ground, like an office, he could have a trap door that takes the Barbarian out of the fight. Or maybe a wall of bookshelves that doubles as damage to the party and an escape tunnel for the loan shark. He tips them over onto everyone and escapes through the tunnel or door behind them.

Maybe, since he is a barbarian, the barbarian has fear of books? :-)