Barbarians and thieves have distinctly different ways of dealing with traps. Case in point. What’s more surprising is the amount of conceptual space that the two fantasy archetypes share. Folks tend to forget that Conan started out as a thief, planning a museum heist in “The God in the Bowl” and stealing jewels from the thief city of Arenjun in “The Tower of the Elephant.” You can see some of that reflected in the Pathfinder barbarian‘s trap sense ability, not to mention its uncanny dodge. Both are abilities that the class shares with rogues.

Despite these similarities, thieves and rogues tend to get pigeonholed as “the skill guy.” They’re good at opening locks, disabling traps, and providing a little light skirmishing support. That makes Bard the logical choice for Thief’s counterpart in the anti-party. However, I can’t picture this guy willingly putting himself on the wrong side of Fighter. Moreover, what makes a really good anti-party is contrast. Just check out the Thog vs. Roy battle for comparison. Your opposite number on Team Anti-Party exists to highlight something about your own character. They’re a sort of warped mirror, reflecting and distorting.

In the case of Thief vs. Barbarian, it’s all about personality. Both are capable of filling the “point man” position in the party, and both characters can disable/tank traps or rob/mug a bar patron. If Thief is duplicitous and reserved, however, Barbarian is direct and vivacious. Both ladies provide their teams with a little sex appeal as well, and we know how well Thief deals with that.


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