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OrionFaarlane
2010-10-27, 06:45 PM
Hello All!

I play a druid in a 3.P game. We rotate DMs (I'm one of 3-4) and I've optimized my character to be a combat machine who can also handle a little social interaction. I'll save the specifics of my character unless you ask.

My problem is that whenever I run, everyone has a great time... but whenever I'm playing I find I have to cut back on my characters effectiveness because I powerhouse everyone.

One of the DM's even created a cave to keep my animal companion out and I easily figured a way around it.

What do I do? Power down my character? I don't want to tell other people how to play their character!

TLDR: How do I play a character that is awesome with a group who has par characters?

Karsh
2010-10-27, 06:55 PM
Either tone it down or focus on buffing other PCs for a round or two at the start of combat.

Zertryx
2010-10-27, 07:00 PM
In my personal experience, If I find myself becoming over powered from the other PC's I tend to try and tone it down and work more on Flavor tricks, that way the character is still fun effective but doesn't make me a one man army and the other PC's just there to watch.

I think it's more fun as a group when you have challenges that take teamwork and one character isn't solving every problem weather it's battles or social. also as above poster said you can work on buffs for the party as well to help make them feel like your not taking on the task yourself all the time.

dsmiles
2010-10-27, 07:02 PM
Ask them if they would like help with their optimization, but do it individually, and cater to their personal tastes.

For example, to the guy who likes to kill stuff in a spectacular manner:
"Wouldn't it be cool if your character could do X? I could show you how if you want."

IMO, that is the way to introduce/help somebody with their optimization level.

To the same guy:
"This is no fun, let me fix your character for you."

This is bad. Very, very bad. It would turn me off of optimization pretty much permanently. The first way is much more polite, and fosters a feeling of, "oh, he's trying to help me do even cooler stuff."
[/$0.02]

OrionFaarlane
2010-10-27, 07:18 PM
I usually spend the combat buffing if I think my damage is going to end the combat to soon.

I've given a couple websites to one of the players since he asked how I got so powerful after one of the games we played.

On the other end of the spectrum, how do I help a wizard? Any suggestions?

Thanks!

The more two cents we get, the richer everyone becomes.

jguy
2010-10-27, 07:22 PM
I've felt your issues a lot in my campaigns. I cannot help but make Min/Maxxed characters and sometimes I take it a little too far. What I've found best is to crank up the RP a whole lot while reducing the OPness. Currently I am playing a Transmuter Specialist that can end a fight with one or two spells, or make them virtually over. I've toned it down a lot but cranked up my character eccentricity. As of late I've turned a Erinyes and Vrock over to the side of good using some Helmets of Opposite alignment and transformed my whole party into their monstrous counterparts. Hell, some games I don't cast a single spell yet no one seems to mind since I entertain them all.

Kesnit
2010-10-27, 09:28 PM
What are the other players playing? You mentioned one is a WIZ, but what about the others?

If it is a major concern, have you considered re-rolling into a lower-tier class?

Godskook
2010-10-27, 10:42 PM
What level are you, currently? Cause future build advice that would make you more interesting but less powerful won't work if you're already too high level for it.

As for helping the wizard, if he's wanting help, giving him links to the classic D&D wizard/sorcerer guides would help him quite a bit, such as treantmonk's, or LogicNinja's wizard guides or Solo's sorcerer guide.

Gabe the Bard
2010-10-28, 12:03 AM
You could do more buffing and battlefield control, maybe use summons to help the other characters get flanking. In general, help the other characters be more effective without having to be as optimized as you are. You're like Gandalf hanging out with a group of dwarves. You don't want to reveal your full power all the time, but hold it in reserve for the really dangerous situations when you need to "bring out the big guns."

faceroll
2010-10-28, 12:08 AM
No need to link the wizard player to guides if he doesn't feel like doing homework- just point out web, grease, solid fog, nauseating cloud, black tentacles and glitterdust (those spells are still good in PF, right?).

Use your high level spells to buff other people or prepare stuff like plant growth or tree stride. Useful out of combat stuff.

Tvtyrant
2010-10-28, 12:10 AM
You could ban conjuration and transmutation!

Or play a Bard or Monk. You could op those all you wanted and they would only be a little better then your allies.

Valameer
2010-10-28, 12:42 AM
A cool concept might be playing as a mentor figure to the rest of the party. Be the Obi-Wan.

Build yourself as an enabler - someone who lets the other characters shine. A bard is a good choice, or perhaps a transmuter... but I'd shy away from tier 1 classes if I were you.

You don't have to fall into this "mentor-enabler" role in every campaign, but try it once, and help someone else's character become the uber-buffed master of war, and maybe their interest in powerful characters will be piqued.

Anecdote alert: (possibly minor spoilers about Tomb of Horrors) When I was but a lad, I was younger and more timid than everyone else at the table. My characters took the back seat (happily) for my first 4 years of gaming. One fateful night, a vengeful DM threw the Tomb of Horrors at our party. For some reason I'll never understand, my instincts in avoiding the traps of that adventure were near miraculous.

People lost characters left right and center - but not I. Suddenly I found myself speaking up, "Stay away from that gargoyle mouth. Don't touch that coin! I think I've figured out these circles..." People were listening to me. And by the end of it all, my character (and by extension, I) was the party leader. We beat the demi-lich and retreated. I went in as the least of my peers, and came out as, well, the guy that pretty much cracked the dungeon. From then on, I've naturally played the party leader and tactician.

Playing in such adverse conditions, and genuinely fearing for my character's life brought out the leader in me. Despite me being the lone freshman playing in a group of senior students.

Course, now, when I get a chance to play, I find myself trying to subvert my leadership role somehow, since that was 12 years ago, and I'm tired of everyone looking to my character for orders.
How does that help? Well, maybe your friends need to shine before they can shine. Make your character to support theirs, and when they are thrust into the role of party powerhouse, they might find that something about it clicks, and they have too much fun to go back to mediocrity.

chaos_redefined
2010-10-28, 01:01 AM
Been there. I just cut down the spells I used to the lower level stuff. Entangle was the main spell I used, ignoring the 6th level spells I had.

Sir Swindle89
2010-10-28, 08:45 AM
You could do more buffing and battlefield control, maybe use summons to help the other characters get flanking. In general, help the other characters be more effective without having to be as optimized as you are. You're like Gandalf hanging out with a group of dwarves. You don't want to reveal your full power all the time, but hold it in reserve for the really dangerous situations when you need to "bring out the big guns."

I have to advise against the Gandalf approach. Because when the Dm wants to throw a Balrog type encounter at you you'll just kill it and take it's stuff rather than running. Basically never showing your full power just confuses your Dm and makes it hard to plan a good session.

Caphi
2010-10-28, 11:57 AM
I have to advise against the Gandalf approach. Because when the Dm wants to throw a Balrog type encounter at you you'll just kill it and take it's stuff rather than running. Basically never showing your full power just confuses your Dm and makes it hard to plan a good session.

Big Guns aren't necessarily killing Big Guns. He could hold his spells as get-out-of-TPK cards. Even Gandalf only held the Balrog off with Narya long enough for his companions to escape.

Psyx
2010-10-28, 12:01 PM
The problem is that you've not only optimised in a game where others haven't, but optimised a powerhouse class.

Best solution to my mind is to retire the character and instead optimise a T4 character. That way it should balance with the rest of the party.

Using the alternative wild shape rules in PHB2 might help, but it's doubtful that it'll help enough.

valadil
2010-10-28, 12:50 PM
I think you should be playing a less optimal character. If you really enjoy optimizing, my suggestion is to optimize something other than combat effectiveness or to start from a weaker class. A fully optimized bard will not affect the game in the same way as a druid.



On the other end of the spectrum, how do I help a wizard? Any suggestions?


Help a wizard is easy since you get to GM periodically. All you have to do is give him spells you think he should have. Include some nice scrolls in the treasure. If he doesn't take the hint, show him how good the spells are first. Own the party with Solid Fog. Then when they somehow win the fight, surprise, surprise the enemy party had a wizard and in his spell book is a copy of Solid Fog.

OrionFaarlane
2010-10-28, 01:23 PM
The problem is that you've not only optimised in a game where others haven't, but optimised a powerhouse class.

Best solution to my mind is to retire the character and instead optimise a T4 character. That way it should balance with the rest of the party.

Using the alternative wild shape rules in PHB2 might help, but it's doubtful that it'll help enough.

Would someone be kind enough to link the tiers for the character classes?

I've considered creating an alchemist just to have fun with the role playing aspects and I'd be weaker than weak-sauce. But, I'd have fun flinging bombs everywhere (who wouldn't?).

I've Overpowered bards and one of the DMs specifically stated his hatred for them. He kills them outright if he runs.

Thanks again for all the two cents.

Godskook
2010-10-28, 01:35 PM
Here you go:

http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1002.0

Jayabalard
2010-10-28, 03:21 PM
What do I do? Power down my character? Yes. You should match the level of the people you're playing with.

Endarire
2010-10-29, 01:03 AM
How does the rest of your party feel about being outclassed?

Alternatively, play at a similar level to your compatriots, busting out your best moves for otherwise grim situations.

Jornophelanthas
2010-10-29, 07:35 AM
I've considered creating an alchemist just to have fun with the role playing aspects and I'd be weaker than weak-sauce. But, I'd have fun flinging bombs everywhere (who wouldn't?).

There's a nice tactical feat for alchemists in the PHB2, which gives you 2 mediocre and 1 decent combat uses for alchemical items. It's called "Mad Alchemist" or somesuch.

riddles
2010-10-29, 08:27 AM
You could ban conjuration and transmutation!

Or play a Bard or Monk. You could op those all you wanted and they would only be a little better then your allies.

Depending on the optimisation levels of his party mates, the optimised monk would still shine, assuming he uses the tashalotora variety.

As for bard, have you been in a campaign with an optimised one. Inspire courage takes little investment to get to horrific levels. As a dm, seeing a level 8 party where every party member and summon gets 6d6 extra damage or watching the leap attack barbarian add 24 damage for literally no penalty at all is incredibly hard to deal with. And that is not a nova either, they can do it for 4 times a day. It's not difficult for the bard to pick up the feats to take advantage of this either.

I have played these characters and highly endorse them to encourage your unoptimised players. The one fight you get dropped, they will significantly notice the difference and look for ways to get better themselves. Though it may lead to the party fighter demanding you stay in the back ranks because 'you're too important to get hurt'

Transmuter would also work as long as you focused stuff on the party rather than yourself. Or optimise a buffing cleric, similar situation.

Greenish
2010-10-29, 08:55 AM
Depending on the optimisation levels of his party mates, the optimised monk would still shine, assuming he uses the tashalotora variety.Well, given that Tashatalora usually has 0-2 levels of monků

A more Monk monk could also hold it's own if the other party members are low OP. Proper WBLmancy is pretty damn powerful, regardless of class.

Lev
2010-10-29, 09:11 AM
Hello All!

I play a druid in a 3.P game. We rotate DMs (I'm one of 3-4) and I've optimized my character to be a combat machine who can also handle a little social interaction. I'll save the specifics of my character unless you ask.

My problem is that whenever I run, everyone has a great time... but whenever I'm playing I find I have to cut back on my characters effectiveness because I powerhouse everyone.

One of the DM's even created a cave to keep my animal companion out and I easily figured a way around it.

What do I do? Power down my character? I don't want to tell other people how to play their character!

TLDR: How do I play a character that is awesome with a group who has par characters?

By thinking humility is awesome.

Tytalus
2010-10-29, 09:26 AM
You've picked a very powerful class and (apparently) are a better optimizer than your peers, so it's not surprising you overshadow them.

Some options (partially already mentioned):


Give yourself a handicap. Pick a non-optimal race/class combination, come up with a quirk that prevents you from using certain optimal tactics, etc. See this a challenge to your optimization skills. If done right, your optimized character will be on par with the "normal" PCs. Worked fine for me so far.
Play an enabler. Fellow players tend to love buffers and enablers. Any caster class can do this out of the box (some more, some less), and others tend to have options, too. Worked fine for me so far.
Avoid beating others at their own game. If you are a druid in a party with melee characters (fighters, barbarians, etc.), it's not a good idea to focus on fighting in wildshape / overbuffing your animal companion. Instead, be a battlefield controller, buffer, etc. Non-casters tend to have way fewer options, so overshadowing them at their specialty is particularly bad.
Save your true powers for emergencies. As someone already mentioned, you can save your Big Guns for near-TPK situations. It's an option, but it can be rather frustrating. I wouldn't recommend it.
Help others to improve their characters. This is tricky to pull off right and usually takes some time. Not an instant solution. If not done right it might actually worsen the situation.

Leon
2010-10-29, 09:30 AM
Yes. You should match the level of the people you're playing with.

This. Blank text

OrionFaarlane
2010-10-29, 11:06 AM
We reward people for attending the game sessions:
Every game session = 1 point
Every 4 points = +1 level.

Now if you are just joining, the DMs are level 6 (level 7 next Monday), so we put new comers on level 4 and give them two points per game until they are just 1 level away from the highest level character.

Weird, but it rewards those that come the most and doesn't handicap those who can only come every other week. The only down side is missing out on gold/magic items.

Thank you for the tier link. It's bookmarked for reference.

As for my character and working well in the party, I've upgraded to the Dire Tiger wild shape (for level 6) and level 7 will see an upgrade to the Dire Tiger.

I plan on making hilarious ensue as I can't keep the female dire tiger (my other nature animal companion was female) off of me. So instead of doing damage some rounds of combat, I'll be focusing on the eternal "tiger in heat" and how to ensure that my character shapeshifts when the tiger isn't around or vice versa.

It cuts my DPR in half since only one of my tigers gets to act.

Any other ideas are welcome.