PDA

View Full Version : The Party Is Always Annoying



CherryC
2007-10-10, 10:09 PM
Seriously.
I need to vent about a campaign I am in.
Right now I am in a higher level campaign and it is pretty awesome. My DM is nice (although he likes being evil to our characters) and the people I play with are fun to chillax with. However, there is something that is really pissing me off. Everyone's characters are munchkined to hell, and I am stuck being the weakest person in the party.

Here's a bit of background on the party:
We are all 14th level, but because of all the munchkinry a party of 3 can level CR 18 encounters in less than 5 rounds. There's only 2 other regular characters; a Warblade and a super ninja archer that is in more PrCs than I can count on both hands. Sometimes a super-optimized buffing bard comes in and the game gets REALLY broken.

I'm the only full caster in the party. I'm a spirit shaman and I'm focused on blasting. I think my character would have been pretty impressive in a less ludicrous campaign, but she is basically stuck as the weakest person in terms of damage. While the archer does like 100 damage per round and the other characters deal 50 or so, I am stuck dealing less than half that per round during many battles. The only thing I can do well that the rest of the party can't is heal. While I'm no expert at it, I certainly have no problem with power gaming. I've only been playing for a year while everyone else has been at it since they were in diapers, but I still do a fair share of it. but this is really bloody stupid.

I'm strongly considering leaving, but the campaign's been bleeding people and I'm the only person capable of healing. I talked to my DM and he gave me the opportunity to totally redo my character, but I REALLY like how she is right now and screwing with a lot of her stuff would mess up her background.

I mostly did this to vent, but help is nice. Also, feel free to share your rants about things in your game that really piss you off.

....
2007-10-10, 10:15 PM
So...you're upset because everyone is more optomized than you?

Townopolis
2007-10-10, 10:52 PM
In your situation, I'd advise taking your DM up on his offer and spending some quality time retuning your character. You want to keep your character's backstory and concept, but also want to get a boost in power, and in order to get both it looks like your going to have to build her up again, and with care. Go over her backstory and the important aspects of what makes her her. Then optimize a build as best you can around the essentials, and work what you can in with just fluff (some parts of a character need to be supported with mechanics, but others don't).

Machete
2007-10-10, 10:56 PM
My first character was a spirit shaman.

The flavor is soooo gooood but the mechanics keep the class too weak. I feel for you, especially as a blaster.

Guy_Whozevl
2007-10-10, 10:59 PM
Not to be rude, but being a blaster at higher levels sucks. I'm not sure what spells Spirit Shamans can cast, but if they're stuck with direct damage and healing, why did you ever be one? If they have a more diverse spell list, use the non-blasty spells, ie buffs and debuffs. Also, if your party lacks any social characters, you could have made something to fill the role.
Your situation isn't as bad as you make it out to be; just vary the spells you use and you should be find. Be creative with them too.

Jack Mann
2007-10-10, 11:00 PM
This is why parties should get together beforehand to discuss their optimization levels. They should have gone a bit less powerful. By the same token, you should have optimized a bit more so that you could keep up with the. You need to meet a happy medium.

The_Snark
2007-10-10, 11:11 PM
Don't do blasting spells. As a spirit shaman, you're not going to be able to keep up to heavily optimized archers/meleeists. Go for battlefield control, and buffing your already-impressive allies. Add in utility spells; as the only full caster, you're the only one who can supply scrying and divination.

Fortunately, changing your spell selection as a spirit shaman is incredibly easy.

Spells I reccomend:

1st-level: Entangle. Only useful where there's undergrowth, and not great at this level, but a Reflex save pins them in place.
Useful out-of-combat spells: Pass Without Trace, Speak With Animals, Lesser Vigor.

2nd-level: Briar Web. Like Entangle, except that trying to get free or moving deals damage.
Warp Wood. A Will save, and you've just negated several archers or others using a wooden weapon. It's not useful in every fight, but it's only a second-level spell.
Useful buff spells: Bear's Endurance can be handy, especially if your DM likes letha combats. Barkskin likewise grants a good AC bonus.
Useful out-of-combat spells: Spider Climb is useful.

3rd-level: Sleet Storm can majorly hamper enemies, cutting their mobility. Unfortunately, you can't see your enemies either, so it's best used to give your party time to prepare.
Spike Growth is an area spell that hinders anyone walking through it. It can be set up in an ambush, or cast right in front of a charging enemy.
Wind Wall. Enemy archers are now all but useless.
Useful buff spells: Protection from Energy is valuable if you plan on fighting dragons or elementals.
Useful out-of-combat spells: Speak With Plants is a good way to get information in a natural environment. Embrace the Wild will prevent people from sneaking up on you for a while. The upgraded Vigor spells are good healing spells for out of combat.

4th-level: Spike Stones is a slightly upgraded Spike Growth.
Languor is a Will negates spell that will seriously screw over... well, anything. Melee combatants will be crippled, and anything lacking high Strength will be helpless in a few rounds.
Murderous Mist permanently blinds enemies in an area. Blinded foes are near-helpless.
Dispel Magic: As the only full caster, this is essential to have on hand. Use the Greater version, if you can.
Useful buff spells: Last Breath is a great spell to have on hand if party death is frequent; not losing levels is a great thing.
Mass Camouflage can help you set up an ambush with the whole party, but it might not be worth always having it on hand.
Freedom of Movement is a staple buff spell, as grappling monsters are often really tough.
Useful out-of-combat spells: Chain of Eyes and Scrying are great for spying on enemies.

5th-level: Control Winds is a great spell for influencing the battlefield. It has a huge area, and lets you shut down enemies who fly or use ranged attacks. Generally a great spell to have on hand.
Wall of Thorns is a nasty spell to surround an enemy with, especially if you can get your archer flying so that he can pepper the enemy with arrows while he tries to escape.
Baleful Polymorph: Fortitude save, or the enemy is useless. Destroy at leisure.
Useful buff spells: Death Ward is another staple buff spell at high levels, particularly if one of your party has a low Fortitude save. Stoneskin is also valuable.
Useful out-of-combat spells: Rejuvenation Cocoon is a lower-level Heal that's not as useful in combat.
Commune With Nature is a great spell for learning about the surrounding area, as long as you're in a natural area.

6th-level: Greater Dispel Magic is good if you have the spell slots for it.
Wall of Stone is a good controlling spell; you can cordon off enemies.
Miasma is potentially good; depending on how your DM interprets it, it may be a death sentence for anything you cast it on, or it might be too slow-acting to be of any use.
Enveloping Cocoon is spectacular; it lets you replace the save on some very good spells with a Reflex save, often one that enemy monsters aren't good at. Attach Baleful Polymorph or Languor.
Antilife Shell is an unbeatable defense against many types of opponent. Not all of them, though, so be careful when you pick it.
Useful out-of-combat spells: Find the Path is a very handy spell, and something nobody else in your party will be able to manage. Stone Tell is another useful divination. An occasional Spellstaff can let you keep an esoteric spell around, one which isn't often useful but which you need when you need it.

7th-level: Finger of Death is the obvious offensive choice here, but Baleful Polymorph can usually do its job just as well.
Heal is a must, normally.
Sunbeam has a nice endurance factor; you can use it multiple times with a single spell. The damage is weak, but it blinds opponents, and a blind opponent is almost always beaten.
Useful buff spells: Brilliant Aura will help out your allies massively.
Useful out-of-combat spells: Wind Walk is good for travelling fast, Greater Scrying for acquiring information quickly.

You've only got one 7th-level spell slot, which will unfortunately probably go to Heal most of the time. Unfortunately, your spells retrieved are rather limited, so pick them carefully. You can change them around each day, so if a spell doesn't seem to be of any use, switch it out.

This is using only core and Complete Divine; other sources (Spell Compendium, Sandstorm, Frostburn) have some more great spells.

That's the best you can do, really. Hopefully, you can serve a useful party role this way. If not, you might want to take your DM up on his offer.

Ralfarius
2007-10-10, 11:13 PM
A slight adjustment to your outlook on the nature of class building in relation to character background could help a great deal.

If you, for instance, looked at classes (even PrCs) as more of a set of abilities, rather than a 'career path' or what have you. In this instance, you have have a background set, then simply collaborate your class/feat/etc selection to squeeze the most you can out of the concept.

Also, it's a pretty common contention that spellcasting makes for poor direct-damage output, although I would be interested to see an archery-based build that dominates the damage output you described.

serow
2007-10-10, 11:14 PM
Something helpful? (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=611506)

Dode
2007-10-10, 11:21 PM
Level 14? With free concentration checks made by your spirit guide, Extraordinary Concentration and a Swift Concentration skill trick, you could be summoning 3 Greater Elementals (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/elemental.htm) (Summon Greater Elemental from the Spell Compendium has "Concentration" duration) indefinitely and blasting. Of course, spells like Spike Stones are better then any blast the Shaman can produce.

SleepingOrange
2007-10-10, 11:28 PM
I'd drop the campaign like a hot potato if it was me; I don't care how 'great' your DM is, or how 'fun' your friends are, I really can't stand a party of people who let power come before character development and role-playing; that stuff is for video games, not tabletop RPGs.

Sure, combat is great; who doesn't love decapitating a goblin on an obscene critical hit, or disintegrating a construct? Nobody, that's who. But combat (and thus, combat-related munchkinizing) should ALWAYS take a backseat to character development, story-archs, and ROLE-PLAYING. It's a role-playing game.

Of course, that's just me. I just hate it when people turn Dungeons and Dragons into some kind of video-game-with-dice (don't get me wrong, I LOVE video games, and I'm a shamelessly anal leveller and completionist. I just don't think the two should mix.).

Tengu
2007-10-10, 11:35 PM
Stormwind Fallacy, SleepingOrange, Stormwind Fallacy. Powergaming does not make anyone a worse roleplayer.

SleepingOrange
2007-10-10, 11:46 PM
True, I was arguing a correlation, not a cause/effect. In the same way trans fat causes heart attacks(cause/effect) and may be linked to cancer due to lifestyle choices of people with high-trans fat diets(correlation), power-gamers are combat-focused(cause/effect) and are frequently not good role-players(correlation).

Besides, I just plain wouldn't want to be in a campaign as combat-focused as this one seems to be, especially if I was the proverbial fifth wheel. There's no fun in sucking, just as there's no fun in being over-powered.

Jack Mann
2007-10-11, 12:21 AM
There is no correlation. A person's ability to powergame doesn't affect their ability to roleplay. Some people are good roleplayers. Some people are poor roleplayers. Some people are good powergamers. Some people are poor powergamers. Powergaming does not affect roleplaying in any way.

Icewalker
2007-10-11, 12:23 AM
I dunno, it can be fun to be overpowered. I prefer being barely overpowered then being well-backgrounded and roleplayed as well...but I'm getting off topic here. In fact, this thread is basically off topic for me, because I know nothing about the spirit shaman class :smalleek:

But yeah, it looks like there is some good advice. Attempt to powergame up a bit without losing your characters background if you can. If you can't you can always leave if it really isn't that fun anymore.

Dervag
2007-10-11, 12:27 AM
There is no correlation. A person's ability to powergame doesn't affect their ability to roleplay. Some people are good roleplayers. Some people are poor roleplayers. Some people are good powergamers. Some people are poor powergamers. Powergaming does not affect roleplaying in any way.Trans fat doesn't affect cancer, either, but a lot of people who eat lots of trans fats have a higher risk of cancer because of other behaviors that are more common among the sort of people who have high trans fat levels.

So there's a correlation.

What you actually said would prove that there is no causation, that powergaming does not cause bad roleplaying or vice versa. And that is probably true. But there may be a correlation even in the absence of a causal link (some bad roleplayers are bad because they care only about the combat and numbers aspects of the game, and such people are disproportionately likely to powergame, for instance).

Jannex
2007-10-11, 12:38 AM
Ooof. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with Spirit Shaman, so I can't offer much advice mechanically, but I do sympathize. Good luck!

SleepingOrange
2007-10-11, 12:40 AM
Thank you Dervag. You got across my point succinctly and eloquently.

Basically, if your data is best represented by a line or bar graph: cause/effect
If your data is best represented by a scatter-plot: correlation

A cause/effect relationship makes power-gaming and role-playing mutually exclusive, and leads to the Stormwind Fallacy. No-one's arguing that.
A correlation leaves room for high-role-playing, high-power-gaming players, but shows a trend of an inverse relationship. OVERALL. Not entirely. TREND, not FUNCTION.

Jannex, we're in a fantasy setting: 'Been there, done that, bought the doublet.'

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-11, 12:55 AM
Yeah, but with the data that's been given to us, I don't think it's fair to say "CherryC's friends are poor roleplayers" based solely on the alleged correlation between optimizing and poor roleplaying. Where you even come up with that idea...

I mean, it's the same as if I said "my friend had a heart attack" and you assumed "man, your friend must be fat."

***

Anyway, back to the actual topic. CherryC, let's address the facts:
1) You're unhappy because your character isn't as effective in combat as his party members.
2) You're able but unwilling to go back and change your character.
3) You're reluctant but able and willing to leave the campaign.

The instigating problem is 1), and there's a few ways you can address this:
A) Go back and optimize your character (I suggest Druid; it's hard not to optimize for both melee and spell utility, and healing's still available.) But you don't want to do this? Why not, exactly?
B) Leave the campaign. You've expressed this as an option, but it's understandably a last resort.
C) Ask the other players to change their characters. Don't do this, it's really not very fair to them, if they're having fun the way it is now.
D) Get over it. Stop being fixated on who does the most DPS in combat. Concede combat utility to the other guys, and enjoy the roleplaying and "chillaxing" you can do with them. Be sure to remember that D&D, despite all appearances, is not just about killing people and taking their stuff. I have faith that you're aware of this, hence my off-topic arguing above.

If it were me, I'd go with A, but that's just because I'm fixated on character-building. If you really don't want to re-assess your character and make him "better" mechanically, I suggest D, because that's really your only other option beyond leaving.

Take your pick.

Draz74
2007-10-11, 12:58 AM
Stormwind Fallacy, SleepingOrange, Stormwind Fallacy. Powergaming does not necessarily make anyone a worse roleplayer.

Fixed that for you.

Powergaming certainly does make some people worse roleplayers. But not because it has to -- only because they let it. (They either do start thinking of the game as a video-game like mechanical-only challenge, or they still intend to roleplay but are too busy focusing on mechanics.)

namo
2007-10-11, 01:00 AM
I disagree [edit: with Sleepyorange]. Many people I have come across, on this board or others, like to optimize their characters and do so with an extensive knowledge of game. The trick is, they end up caring a lot more about their characters (and not only the mechanics) than people who wave away the specifics.*
I would almost say that the correlation is positive between "powergamers" and "roleplayers", but it's only true when people reach a certain maturity.

* Don't get me wrong, I love diceless/free-form RPGs, but DnD allows some "controlled creativity" that is not always accessible elsewhere.

To the OP: you could post your current character to get suggestions on how to improve it.

The_Snark
2007-10-11, 01:04 AM
I disagree [edit: with Sleepyorange]. Many people I have come across, on this board or others, like to optimize their characters and do so with an extensive knowledge of game. The trick is, they end up caring a lot more about their characters (and not only the mechanics) than people who wave away the specifics.*
I would almost say that the correlation is positive between "powergamers" and "roleplayers", but it's only true when people reach a certain maturity.

* Don't get me wrong, I love diceless/free-form RPGs, but DnD allows some "controlled creativity" that is not always accessible elsewhere.

Agreed, but I think Draz was simply trying to say that in some cases, it does happen. It also happens in reverse; people who don't care as much whether their characters do well sometimes don't care as much about their characters.

I don't think you're actually disagreeing.

Edit- Ah, editing ninjas. This doesn't seem to apply anymore, but I still think most people are generally agreeing.


To the OP: you could post your current character to get suggestions on how to improve it.

That would help, yes. Particularly what feats you have and what books your DM uses. Feat changes can be pretty unobtrusive, and as I said earlier, spell changes are effortless for a spirit shaman.

horseboy
2007-10-11, 01:07 AM
Of course, that's just me. I just hate it when people turn Dungeons and Dragons into some kind of video-game-with-dice (don't get me wrong, I LOVE video games, and I'm a shamelessly anal leveller and completionist. I just don't think the two should mix.).
Well, that is all D&D is good for. You want to role play, play a role playing game. :smallwink:

Jannex
2007-10-11, 01:14 AM
Jannex, we're in a fantasy setting: 'Been there, done that, bought the doublet.'

Or bodice, in the case of most of my characters. :smallwink:

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-11, 01:14 AM
horseboy, you may want to flee the mob holding pitchforks, torches, and Player's Handbooks that's gathering right now. I, for one, am willing to give you a five second head start.

horseboy
2007-10-11, 01:19 AM
horseboy, you may want to flee the mob holding pitchforks, torches, and Player's Handbooks that's gathering right now. I, for one, am willing to give you a five second head start.
Ah, they're used to me carrying on about how trying to roleplay in D&D is like trying to bet a trifecta on a pony ride. Nobody listens when I say it anymore. :smallwink:

Vuzzmop
2007-10-11, 01:21 AM
I'd drop the campaign like a hot potato if it was me; I don't care how 'great' your DM is, or how 'fun' your friends are, I really can't stand a party of people who let power come before character development and role-playing; that stuff is for video games, not tabletop RPGs.

Sure, combat is great; who doesn't love decapitating a goblin on an obscene critical hit, or disintegrating a construct? Nobody, that's who. But combat (and thus, combat-related munchkinizing) should ALWAYS take a backseat to character development, story-archs, and ROLE-PLAYING. It's a role-playing game.

Of course, that's just me. I just hate it when people turn Dungeons and Dragons into some kind of video-game-with-dice (don't get me wrong, I LOVE video games, and I'm a shamelessly anal leveller and completionist. I just don't think the two should mix.).

Stormwind kicks you in the face.

Dode
2007-10-11, 01:28 AM
Stormwind is not proficient in Unarmed Strike, proceed to take your Snark of Opportunity.

SleepingOrange
2007-10-11, 01:32 AM
Nerd-o-rama, I was not just assuming that these people were bad role-players; the context of the word 'munchkined' in the original post made it seem to me that CherryC was rather displeased. Maybe he's displeased for a different reason, but if you'll re-read my original posts, it says that that is what I would do, and how I felt. The ensuing debate about power-gaming vs role-playing is slightly off-topic. It started because I said I think that on the whole power-gamers are bad role-players, took off on the route of the Stormwind Fallacy, became a semantics debate, was corrected by a careful defenition of 'cause/effect' and 'correlation', and traveled down the road of 'who thinks most power-gamers are annoying vs who doesn't'.

Okay, now:

I mean, it's the same as if I said "my friend had a heart attack" and you assumed "man, your friend must be fat."

First, NO IT IS NOT. Not at all. As I defined it, heart attacks are not a FUNCTION of trans fat, they merely can be caused by it. y=/=2x^2-4. A line graph is more organic than a mathematical function.

Second, (and this is in the real world, and outside this debate) I would be safe in assuming, 'wow, your friend was PROBABLY fat'. That's why they say heart failure is one of the leading PREVENTABLE causes of death; sure, some people have a genetic pre-disposition towards heart disease, but those people are HUGELY outweighed(no pun intended) by people who died from that by being fat, unhealthy, and inactive. I am one of the latter, and I know it.

Take THAT, false analogy.

Oh, and Vuzzmop? Thank you kindly for clearly reading through the thread entirely and taking into account the arguments I made and defenitions I provided that clearly show I was not supporting the Stormwind Fallacy. Really, it's much appreciated.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-11, 01:40 AM
I really don't think my analogy loses that much impact from replacing "must be" with "was probably". If you feel it would be more precise, I will state my official desire to change the wording, and leave the original in place as a record of my inability to nitpick my own statements.

Oh, and horseboy: duly noted.

SleepingOrange
2007-10-11, 01:51 AM
*Sigh* This is indicative of a time when reading comprehension scores are dropping like a flying wizard hit with dispel magic. Ahem:

"Second, (and this is in the real world, and outside this debate) I would be safe in assuming, 'wow, your friend was PROBABLY fat'. That's why they say heart failure is one of the leading PREVENTABLE causes of death; sure, some people have a genetic pre-disposition towards heart disease, but those people are HUGELY outweighed(no pun intended) by people who died from that by being fat, unhealthy, and inactive. I am one of the latter, and I know it."

Please note the parenthetical phrase denothing OUTSIDE THIS DEBATE. I was just clarifying that that might not be an unreasonable assumption in the real world; it was not an argument to lessen the impact of your point. That is what the paragraoh that begins "First, ..." was for.

Besides, the trans fat/heart attack argument was a tool to explain the difference between 'cause/effect' and 'correlation' to people who were not on the same wave-length as i am; it was NOT in ANY way a parallel in terms of frequency to role-playing/powergaming. It is a fond fantasy of mine that there are more power-gamers that are great role-players out there than there are people with high-trans-fat diets that live to be 89 and die of rheumatoid arthritis complications. it just isn't my experience.

The_Snark
2007-10-11, 01:52 AM
Please, people—I don't think we're actually arguing about anything.

One 'side' is saying, essentially, that powergaming doesn't mean you're a worse roleplayer. The other is arguing that powergamers who aren't roleplaying aren't fun to play with, and that some powergamers don't care about roleplaying.

When you boil it down, the whole disagreement stems from an assumption that CherryC's group is placing powergaming over roleplaying. Perhaps we could let he/she answer that?


Stormwind is not proficient in Unarmed Strike, proceed to take your Snark of Opportunity.

!

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-11, 01:57 AM
The Snark has it. I think that's all either side is trying to say. As much as I'd like to let this degenerate into a flame war to show off my massive compensation-for-lack-of-real-social-skills skills, let's wait for CherryC's answer to some of the stuff addressed here rather than making assumptions and tangential arguments.

SleepingOrange
2007-10-11, 01:59 AM
Well, Snarky, that is one thing being discussed, but to parallel the 'Innately evil or just misunersood?' thread (which has several arguments flying back and forth; many people are participatiing in multiple) there's 'your' (by which I mean the one you just mentioned, not one that you are the progenitor of) argument (the parallel of the orcs/undead are evil argument) and 'my' argument (the parallel of the 'nature of evil' argument).

Yours is, in fact, not an argument, since the people on opposite 'sides' are arguing about different things. Mine is, as I mantian there is a correlation between power-gaming and being a bad (or not trying) role-player, where-as others dispute that idea.

On second glance, That first paragraph is un-necessarily undecipherable, but I'm too lazy to change it. Have fun.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-11, 02:04 AM
Yeah, but the thing is, the argument over correlations is completely off-topic, and deserves to either be dropped (my preference, as I lack the energy for coherent debate) or opened in a new thread.

SleepingOrange
2007-10-11, 02:08 AM
That's entirely true. I never said this was the proper place for this argument, I just don't like innacuracy. Maybe when I'm feeling less lazy I'll set up a thread for organized discussion of that topic.

Kurald Galain
2007-10-11, 05:12 AM
I'm focused on blasting.

Well, there lies your problem.

Get yourself some new spells. Don't focus on blasting, instead take buffs, debuffs, SOS/SODs, and utility.

Kurald Galain
2007-10-11, 05:18 AM
I'm focused on blasting.

Well, there lies your problem.

Get yourself some new spells. Don't focus on blasting, instead take buffs, debuffs, SOS/SODs, and utility.

Zincorium
2007-10-11, 06:00 AM
That's entirely true. I never said this was the proper place for this argument, I just don't like innacuracy.

Perhaps you should start with not making assumptions which aren't directly supported by the OP. There was not a single complaint in the OP about deficient roleplaying, only that mechanically the other players were in a different level of optimization and that was annoying.

So this:

I'd drop the campaign like a hot potato if it was me; I don't care how 'great' your DM is, or how 'fun' your friends are, I really can't stand a party of people who let power come before character development and role-playing; that stuff is for video games, not tabletop RPGs.

Was bringing in a tangent and an argument that didn't need to be here, that's why you stirred up the proverbial hornet's nest.


@CherryC:

Since you mentioned having problems with changing your character and that conflicting with your background, would you mind posting a summary so that our advice can be better directed? No point giving you suggestions that outright won't work for your character.

That said, yeah, blasting is competing in one of your worst areas in the one area everyone else is good in, if that's all they do you should flank 'em and try a different method, battlefield control is an excellent option. Enemies that can't attack mean you don't need to use as many healing spells.

Fixer
2007-10-11, 06:29 AM
Seriously.
I need to vent about a campaign I am in.
Right now I am in a higher level campaign and it is pretty awesome. My DM is nice (although he likes being evil to our characters) and the people I play with are fun to chillax with. However, there is something that is really pissing me off. Everyone's characters are munchkined to hell, and I am stuck being the weakest person in the party.

Here's a bit of background on the party:
We are all 14th level, but because of all the munchkinry a party of 3 can level CR 18 encounters in less than 5 rounds. There's only 2 other regular characters; a Warblade and a super ninja archer that is in more PrCs than I can count on both hands. Sometimes a super-optimized buffing bard comes in and the game gets REALLY broken.

I'm the only full caster in the party. I'm a spirit shaman and I'm focused on blasting. I think my character would have been pretty impressive in a less ludicrous campaign, but she is basically stuck as the weakest person in terms of damage. While the archer does like 100 damage per round and the other characters deal 50 or so, I am stuck dealing less than half that per round during many battles. The only thing I can do well that the rest of the party can't is heal. While I'm no expert at it, I certainly have no problem with power gaming. I've only been playing for a year while everyone else has been at it since they were in diapers, but I still do a fair share of it. but this is really bloody stupid.

I'm strongly considering leaving, but the campaign's been bleeding people and I'm the only person capable of healing. I talked to my DM and he gave me the opportunity to totally redo my character, but I REALLY like how she is right now and screwing with a lot of her stuff would mess up her background.

I mostly did this to vent, but help is nice. Also, feel free to share your rants about things in your game that really piss you off.

What part is pissing you off?

The fact that their characters are more optimized then yours for dealing damage?
The fact that you have been relegated to the role of walking band-aid?
The fact that things that should be exceptionally difficult challenges can be accomplished in 5 rounds?

to answer each


I only recently went over the warblade and their ability to deal outright damage is truly impressive. I have also prepared a level 7 spirit shaman for play before (but didn't play him) and recognize some of the problems you are having. The fact, however, is that spirit shamans are not designed for being blasters so you are using the wrong tool for the wrong job. Spirit shamans are 1) diviners, 2) healers, 3) leaders & buffers. I suggest, under the circumstances, you change your role in the party and talk to your GM about creating some non-combat related challenges for your character to shine.
This cannot be helped. Your character is the only person with healing so you are stuck with this role. Sorry. If you do not approve you have to either withhold healing (and gather resentment) or change characters.
Don't complain. I wish my PCs would finish combats that quickly. It takes the combat out of the game more and gives more time to role-playing. If a GM is pretty sure that combats won't last long they can bump up the NPCs damage and attack ratings and not fear TPKs as much.

Kaelik
2007-10-11, 07:36 AM
*Sigh* This is indicative of a time when reading comprehension scores are dropping like a flying wizard hit with dispel magic.

Which is to say, very slowly in a way that prevents any real pain and gives him plenty of time to cast a spell and make up that distance?

Maybe you forgot the text of the Fly Spell, or maybe it was your reading comprehension that was the problem.:smalltongue:

As to the subject at hand. Everyone understands the difference between correlation and causation. We just think you are wrong and a whiny baby who can't optimize well (after all, there is no other reason in the universe that someone would say this sort of thing.)

We think that powergaming leads to an investment in one's character and that as such there is a positive correlation between good roleplaying and good powergaming. (I would also argue there is a positive correlation between bad roleplaying and bad powergaming.)

Kioran
2007-10-11, 08:05 AM
Which is to say, very slowly in a way that prevents any real pain and gives him plenty of time to cast a spell and make up that distance?

Maybe you forgot the text of the Fly Spell, or maybe it was your reading comprehension that was the problem.:smalltongue:

His reading comprehension is just fine - that paragraph about what happens after the fly spell expires is still part of the spells effect. A dispel does not cause a spell to end as if itīs duration had expired. It simply ends. Owari da. The Wizard drops 150ft., and quite possibly hits the ground and goes splat.


As to the subject at hand. Everyone understands the difference between correlation and causation. We just think you are wrong and a whiny baby who can't optimize well (after all, there is no other reason in the universe that someone would say this sort of thing.)

We think that powergaming leads to an investment in one's character and that as such there is a positive correlation between good roleplaying and good powergaming. (I would also argue there is a positive correlation between bad roleplaying and bad powergaming.)

Which is only true if you take an image of a character(a small, timid man living in the woods with impressive control of the Elements) and then optimize a little(Wu Jen? Druid? Summoner or blaster? Which Feats?). But as soon as metagame aims take over (I want full spellcasting and strong melee, I want 200 damage on a charge by level 13 etc.) the RP deteriorates. Fast.
It takes the variety out of things.

Besides, few things are better than being a n00b again, experiencing the first adventures and wondrous oppurtunities without knowing your beloved monk actually sucks and nothing beats CoDzilla. Being, as a n00b, caught in a group of avid powergamers to the point of not being able to do a single thing about your character without worrying about effectiveness would piss me off to no end.........

Daimbert
2007-10-11, 08:06 AM
As to the subject at hand. Everyone understands the difference between correlation and causation. We just think you are wrong and a whiny baby who can't optimize well (after all, there is no other reason in the universe that someone would say this sort of thing.)

We think that powergaming leads to an investment in one's character and that as such there is a positive correlation between good roleplaying and good powergaming. (I would also argue there is a positive correlation between bad roleplaying and bad powergaming.)

Now, most of my experience with powergaming and roleplaying is either intellectual or computer RPG based, but I think that there is good reason to think that focusing on powergaming can lead to a reduced ability to roleplay ... and vice versa. It comes down to how you select your skills, abilities, equipment and all the other things that mechanically make your character.

For example, think about "dump stats". If you're roleplaying, are you going to want to lower an ability to the lowest possible level to gain points for other abilities? Probably not; you'll want it to be like a person. As a powergamer? Absolutely. The same thing applies to abilities: would your character take/have a certain ability? What if that's a suboptimal abilty/skill for your class to have? Well, as a powergamer, you wouldn't want to take it, and instead take the ability that best optimizes your character. Even if your backstory means that you wouldn't want to take it. Or, you write your whole backstory with the optimiziation in mind, which only works really well if you make your character interested in being as powerful as possible.

In short, it isn't always possible to take skills or abilities or stats that work equally well for your character as for your "build". Which ever side you take in those instances hurts your ability to fully focus on the other side, which can then impede that side. So if you always choose the optimal option, you will impede your roleplaying; your character will be able to and will do things the character doesn't want to do, and won't be able to do what the character should be able to. And vice versa; choosing for the character makes your build less optimal.

The comments that have been made about "powergamers have an investment in their characters" misses the point as well, since the question is: "As what?". If they care about their characters as a bunch of stats, they don't care about them as actual characters, and so it won't help their roleplaying.

For my part, one of my main gripes about computer RPGs is that you often HAVE to powergame to survive fights, which means that spending points on skills that my character would take but that are mostly useless in the game makes it less likely that I can finish it, so I guess you could say that I play in the sort of campaign where powergaming matters and roleplaying doesn't [grin].

Douglas
2007-10-11, 08:18 AM
His reading comprehension is just fine - that paragraph about what happens after the fly spell expires is still part of the spells effect. A dispel does not cause a spell to end as if itīs duration had expired. It simply ends. Owari da. The Wizard drops 150ft., and quite possibly hits the ground and goes splat.
Nope. Dispel Magic (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dispelMagic.htm) says:

You can use dispel magic to end ongoing spells that have been cast on a creature or object, to temporarily suppress the magical abilities of a magic item, to end ongoing spells (or at least their effects) within an area, or to counter another spellcaster’s spell. A dispelled spell ends as if its duration had expired. Some spells, as detailed in their descriptions, can’t be defeated by dispel magic. Dispel magic can dispel (but not counter) spell-like effects just as it does spells.

Dausuul
2007-10-11, 08:27 AM
Leaving aside the done-to-death Stormwind Fallacy arguments...


I'm strongly considering leaving, but the campaign's been bleeding people and I'm the only person capable of healing. I talked to my DM and he gave me the opportunity to totally redo my character, but I REALLY like how she is right now and screwing with a lot of her stuff would mess up her background.

Well, what do you feel defines your character's background? You'd be surprised how much performance it's possible to squeeze out of a build without compromising on concept. If you explain what the key points of her background are, we can make suggestions on how to keep the background and beef up her combat performance.

Kioran
2007-10-11, 09:27 AM
Nope. Dispel Magic (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dispelMagic.htm) says:

Okay. Sad but true. another point where RAW is complete bull***t and another designer deserves to get punched.

Yuki Akuma
2007-10-11, 10:04 AM
Your problem is "Spirit Shaman blaster". Spirit Shamans do not make good blasters. No one makes a good blaster.

Spirit Shamans have lots of battlefield control and summoning spells. You could try retrieving them instead of direct-damage.

And... you're seriously considering leaving just because your friends are better optimisers than you? That's a little immature. It's like taking your ball back because everyone else is better at football than you. :smalltongue:

Rex Blunder
2007-10-11, 10:20 AM
It's like taking your ball back because everyone else is better at football than you.

Well, not precisely, unless CherryC is the host of the game and owns all the books. It's more like not playing football with people who are better at football than you. And I think it's not unreasonable. Some people don't find it fun spending their leisure time feeling ineffective.

I actually agree that the stated problem is not entirely trivial. I think groups work best when everyone is at a relatively similar level of optimization. All high-optimizers and one low-optimizer is a bad mix. One good solution is for CherryC to become a high optimizer, but that's still a compromise (it involves CC spending energy on something that may not be of interest).

CherryC
2007-10-11, 10:32 AM
Wow, there's a lot of debate up in here.
To resolve the debate: My friends are actually better roleplayers than I am, and they are pretty fun to be with when they aren't being arsehats. I suck at roleplaying and this campaign is almost pure combat so more roleplaying isn't the way to go. This game started at level 1, and for the most part every one was relatively balanced for the first 10 or so levels, but it's just gotten out of control now.

As for why I'm reluctant to change: I'd change over to a Druid but I played one already (she died) and I couldn't stand playing it. Anyway, I doubt it would make much of a difference because I roll really bad all the time. Plus many of these optimized druid builds bring in lots of annoying bookkeeping I don't want to do or require books I do not own.
Anyway, my chara is actually pretty optimized for what a n00b can do. Even though I do plenty of blasting, it's not all I do. I just REALLY like explosions. I actually have a lot of the recommended spells such as Entangle, but a lot of those tend to get in the way. Since the monsters are WAY higher than me, they make saves anyway so it won't help. Buffing really would not make much of a difference, as everyone is awesome already, plus there's a bard who shows up sometimes who can give like +10s to like everything and heal almost as good as I can.

Anyway, it isn't just that I am a wimp that I'm considering leaving; there are some OOC reasons that are stupid E/N BS and irrelevant to the question at hand.
I'll post my character later, but not now because I do not have the sheet on me.

F.L.
2007-10-11, 11:08 AM
Effective casting usually doesn't revolve around you rolling well or badly in combat. It revolves around your enemies being forced to roll, and failing, against your spells. The basic idea is to let the damage dealing, optomized party members around you get to do the coup de grace action every round... with a fort save from the coup de grace in the low triple digits.

CrazedGoblin
2007-10-11, 11:11 AM
all power gaming is evil!! EVIL!!!

valadil
2007-10-11, 11:48 AM
Does the game let you roleplay your character very much? If it's just blasting then you're really not getting much out of that backstory that you like so much. Maybe the DM can turn up the amount of roleplay time? Sure you'll be sub optimal in combat, but you'll have one of the better characters to roleplay. I can't imagine that the archer with 10+ prestige classes makes sense as a character.

I was once the only roleplayer in a game of powergamers. The DM made sure to give out roleplaying experience. By the end of it, my bard/rogue was 2-3 levels higher than everyone else and didn't feel like a slacker in combat. Maybe your DM could work out something similar?

LordMalrog
2007-10-11, 11:56 AM
Alright. I have similar problems. I'll help you to adress them one at a time. Alright, what is the duty of the DM? To provide an entertaining story. Now we must look at the term of entertainment. What do you personally take out of the game? I like deep fun interesting rp along with the occasional broken fun stuff. A friend of mine enjoys pushing the games engine to it's utter most limits. He generally stays within his comfort zone of character concept (loner, but recently he's expanded to inquisitor). Another friend enjoys puzzles, and funny interesting campaigns. See... people take differant things out of D&D. The key is to find balance. A balance between the rules and the rp. Recently, since i myself am getting sick of twinked out PCs. I'm making everyone take Commoner in a new campaign i'm running. It's a mystery story. Very horror campaign. If it really bothers you, address the group on the matter, maybe DM your own game on the side of theirs, with your version of D&D and see how they like it. Sometimes when i no everyone is twinking their guys, i leave my character stats to my friend (the one who likes MinMaxing). All in all have fun!:smallcool:

The_Werebear
2007-10-11, 12:15 PM
There is always the retraining route.. If you must blast, sorcerers are the way to go. You could simply say you are channeling your powers from a new source, get new blasty spells, and still keep a vaguely tribal feel to it. Heck, you could probably say you are still praying to nature for spells and just functionally be a sorcerer. I would say you could even keep your spirit companion, as it is about equal to a familiar.

MartinHarper
2007-10-11, 12:23 PM
House Rule: CherryC's Spirit Shaman does double damage when casting direct damage spells.

Would this solve the problem?

Raolin_Fenix
2007-10-11, 12:24 PM
To be honest, SleepingOrange, fifty damage per round isn't that great. It's probably at least average for a party at fourteenth level; I'd be sort of disappointed if I couldn't do fifty damage a round. That's if, of course, I was focused on dealing damage, instead of battlefield control, buffing, save-or-losing my enemies out of the fight, or anything else.

The fighter has three attacks at that level. With Greater Weapon Specialization, he should be doing 2d6 + 20 damage apiece, bare minimum without power-attacking. (I gave him a 17 starting strength, a +6 strength item, and a +4 two-handed sword.) That averages to around 27 damage a hit, and he gets three of them. He'll probably hit with two, which comes to... 54 damage in a round.

That's about the least optimizing I can imagine, and that's with a fighter -- traditionally, among the weakest classes in the game.

The same really applies for anyone else. The monk will be somewhat less because of his MAD. The barbarian will be somewhat more because of his rage.

The unfortunate exception is... blaster magi. At fourteenth level, about the most damage you can do on a single damage spell is 14d6. That averages to 49 damage, actually, but that assumes the target doesn't make his save and you get through spell resistance (both of which are becoming nasty factors at level 14). Between those two factors, you're lucky if your target gets hit by the full power of it one time in three. And let's not even get started on Evasion/Improved Evasion.

The sad truth is, as a blaster-mage, you're not going to be as awe-inspiring at high levels as you were at low levels. So you have three real options: either get used to doing not very much damage in comparison to the rest of the party, or rebuild your character, or leave the group. I guess you could also die by immersion in lava, and roll a new character entirely.

There is one other choice: just change your focus. As many have said, battlefield control, buffing, and save-or-lose spells are way better. You still only have a one-in-three chance of them working on your target (assuming you're not optimizing your save DCs), but if they fail their save, they're out of the fight completely. One-shotted. The difference is, "Fail your save and take fifty damage... or fail your save and be paralyzed for the rest of the fight, which won't be long for you because the fighter will step up and coup de grace you."

Read TLN's Batman Guide. :P

In closing, the game is about having fun. Optimizing doesn't necessarily detract from fun; in some cases, you have to optimize, at least a little, for the sake of fun. For example: right now you're not having much fun at all, because you're just not that useful compared to the other party members. Optimize a little -- not too much; preserve your backstory and do what you can to keep your flavor -- and you'll be a thousand times happier.

cupkeyk
2007-10-11, 12:29 PM
I must echo the statement that blasting is a BAD way to go.

So your non-blasting spells are failing. Youy just need a quick tutorial.

There are two types of debuffs. (Ranged) Touch attacks and save or sucks.

Since you don't want to roll, touch attacks aren't for you.

Then you are going for save or sucks. There are three saves and you
Good spell selection involves some player knowledge, which you may not have. But there is a way to get around that using knowledge skills. Each of the monster types is associated with a knowledge skill, find out its type and ask your dm what their bad saves are. Each monster type is described with having fast and slow save progressions in their type, thereby knowing which saves they suck is a valid effect of succeeding the knowledge check to find out what they are.

A debuff caster can end combat faster than any damage dealing character can. But then the best debuffs are touch attacks, so you want to reconsider your stand on those.

Starbuck_II
2007-10-11, 02:01 PM
I find it funny all th talk about powergaming and roleplaying:
The Powergamers according to Cherry are the better roleplayers!?

Back on topic:
Warmage would be a better blaster I think.

Have you checked Spell Compendium yet?
Spirit Shaman's use Druid spell list:
4th:
Arc of Lightning: 2 people 1d6/level
Sudden Slagmite: Save or suck, deals 1d6/level also.
5th:
Quill Blast: Penalties don't stack, but until they remove them they have them. Plus damage.
More of a save and still suck.
Freeze: Anoter save or suck
6th:
Also the popular from PHB: Fire seeds.
Bomb version: damage potential: 1d8+1/caster x 8, in example caster 11.
Max 152 damage. Average: 124. Minimum: 96. Reflex save 1/2 for each so some might be saved against. Meaning only deal 62 if all saved against on average.

cupkeyk
2007-10-11, 02:22 PM
I find it funny all th talk about powergaming and roleplaying:
The Powergamers according to Cherry are the better roleplayers!?

Back on topic:
Warmage would be a better blaster I think.

Have you checked Spell Compendium yet?
Spirit Shaman's use Druid spell list:
4th:
Arc of Lightning: 2 people 1d6/level
Sudden Slagmite: Save or suck, deals 1d6/level also.
5th:
Quill Blast: Penalties don't stack, but until they remove them they have them. Plus damage.
More of a save and still suck.
Freeze: Anoter save or suck
6th:
Also the popular from PHB: Fire seeds.
Bomb version: damage potential: 1d8+1/caster x 8, in example caster 11.
Max 152 damage. Average: 124. Minimum: 96. Reflex save 1/2 for each so some might be saved against. Meaning only deal 62 if all saved against on average.

Also from Spell Compendium (or is it from Sandstorm)

Mummify, Save or Die. Fort though, so use it well.

SleepingOrange
2007-10-11, 02:54 PM
Which is to say, very slowly in a way that prevents any real pain and gives him plenty of time to cast a spell and make up that distance?

Maybe you forgot the text of the Fly Spell, or maybe it was your reading comprehension that was the problem.:smalltongue:

No, it was actually more allegorical than that. We're not in an un-redeemable situation, just a deteriorating one.


As to the subject at hand. Everyone understands the difference between correlation and causation. We just think you are wrong and a whiny baby who can't optimize well (after all, there is no other reason in the universe that someone would say this sort of thing.)

Unless the parenthetical phrase is sarcasm or facetiousness of some sort (it's so hard to glean tone on the internet; this leads to too many arguments), you officially need to remove your cephalized region from the depths of your alimentary canals. I'm rather a decent optimizer, I just don't like dong it; [character]zillas (Not CoDzillas; that's dumb. Any class can be broken, except for bards.) ruin the game, and leave less apt optimizers feeling chagrined. That's rather why CherryC is annoyed, yes?


To be honest, SleepingOrange, fifty damage per round isn't that great. It's probably at least average for a party at fourteenth level; I'd be sort of disappointed if I couldn't do fifty damage a round.

I don't remember arguing that it was; although, I am holed up with a horrible bout of God-ony-knows-what right now, and could well be forgetting that I said some-thing at this point. I just am not a big fan of combat taking precedence over story-line and human-human interaction. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of combat on the whole; my campaigns tend to be rather reserved and plot-based, unless my characters want more combat or it's critical to the story.

Besides, 50 damage/round is only disappointing if 1) the other characters are doing three times that, or 2) you're fighting monsters with 764 Hp and a strength bonus of +17. Both of these are avoidable situations.

Kaelik
2007-10-11, 02:56 PM
I find it funny all th talk about powergaming and roleplaying:
The Powergamers according to Cherry are the better roleplayers!?

That's not at all surprising to most of the board. Aside from the few that always declare the evil of powergaming we are all very good powergamers and roleplayers.

Fhaolan
2007-10-11, 03:10 PM
That's not at all surprising to most of the board. Aside from the few that always declare the evil of powergaming we are all very good powergamers and roleplayers.

Technically not true. I am not a very good powergamer, but neither do I deride powergamers. Therefore that statement (with the 'all' being the important part) is not correct.

:smallbiggrin: Don't mind me, I'm just wasting time waiting for a resultset to return from my database...

Reel On, Love
2007-10-11, 03:17 PM
[character]zillas (Not CoDzillas; that's dumb. Any class can be broken, except for bards.) ruin the game, and leave less apt optimizers feeling chagrined. That's rather why CherryC is annoyed, yes?
CherryC is annoyed because he isn't keeping up with the rest.
Bard can be broken. That doesn't mean the phrase "CoDzilla" is dumb. Clerics and druids *are* more potent; the same amount of effort makes them better than equivalent classes. A not-highly-optimized druid who takes Natural Spell (an obvious choice) can eclipse a not-highly-optimized fighter pretty much by accident.


I don't remember arguing that it was; although, I am holed up with a horrible bout of God-ony-knows-what right now, and could well be forgetting that I said some-thing at this point. I just am not a big fan of combat taking precedence over story-line and human-human interaction. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of combat on the whole; my campaigns tend to be rather reserved and plot-based, unless my characters want more combat or it's critical to the story.
That's great, but D&D leans towards being combat-heavy, and the game in question is combat-heavy and the players *like* it that way.


Besides, 50 damage/round is only disappointing if 1) the other characters are doing three times that, or 2) you're fighting monsters with 764 Hp and a strength bonus of +17. Both of these are avoidable situations.
Wait, why is it the responsibility of the *three other players* to tone things down for one? If one players in your game insisted that he was disappointed by everyone roleplaying so much and wanted more combat, would you cater to him? I'd say here the responsibility lies on Cherry to improve the character--something that could be done through something as simple as changing retrieved spells each day--rather than on the entire rest of the group.


Here's what I would retrieve--knowing nothing about the game except that it's combat-heavy--as a level 14 Spirit Shaman:

7th - Heal. Too useful to pass up.
6th - Tortoise Shell (Spell Compendium--really help the melee guys out), Wall of Stone or Greater Dispel Magic; Cometfall instead if you're using the CDiv not the SpC version)
5th - Control Winds, Wall of Thorns or Phantom Stag (SpC) or Greater Stone Shape
4th - Freedom of Movement, Arc of Lightning (SpC) or Flame Strike, Air Walk
3rd - Mass Resist Energy, Sleet Storm, Nature's Balance (SpC; give your melee guy some of your Strength, which you're not using)
2nd - Gust of Wind, Kelpstrand (SpC), Mass Snake's Swiftness (SpC; spamming this when your meleers are beating up enemies should make you popular)
1st - Entangle, Longstrider, Lesser Vigor (out of combat healing; carry a wand, too).

In combat, you can control the area with Control Winds and walls; you're keeping your allies buffed with Tortoise Shell and Freedom of Movement and Mass Resist Energy and Nature's Balance; you're using Mass Snake's Swiftness and Flame Strike when you have nothing else to do.
That spell list should make you a decent contributor, I think. Try and pick up a regular rod of Extend Spell--it's 11k; should be quickly affordable at level 14.

Jerthanis
2007-10-11, 04:10 PM
Here's what I would retrieve--knowing nothing about the game except that it's combat-heavy--as a level 14 Spirit Shaman:

7th - Heal. Too useful to pass up.
6th - Tortoise Shell (Spell Compendium--really help the melee guys out), Wall of Stone or Greater Dispel Magic; Cometfall instead if you're using the CDiv not the SpC version)
5th - Control Winds, Wall of Thorns or Phantom Stag (SpC) or Greater Stone Shape
4th - Freedom of Movement, Arc of Lightning (SpC) or Flame Strike, Air Walk
3rd - Mass Resist Energy, Sleet Storm, Nature's Balance (SpC; give your melee guy some of your Strength, which you're not using)
2nd - Gust of Wind, Kelpstrand (SpC), Mass Snake's Swiftness (SpC; spamming this when your meleers are beating up enemies should make you popular)
1st - Entangle, Longstrider, Lesser Vigor (out of combat healing; carry a wand, too).

In combat, you can control the area with Control Winds and walls; you're keeping your allies buffed with Tortoise Shell and Freedom of Movement and Mass Resist Energy and Nature's Balance; you're using Mass Snake's Swiftness and Flame Strike when you have nothing else to do.
That spell list should make you a decent contributor, I think. Try and pick up a regular rod of Extend Spell--it's 11k; should be quickly affordable at level 14.

This is a good list, but as a Spirit Shaman I find having Summon Nature's Ally spells is always a good idea... particularly Summon Nature's Ally 4, which allows summoning a Unicorn, who has a few healing spells and useful affects. As well, you can summon 1d3 Dire wolves with the same spell, Dire Wolves being oddly amazing battlefield control, as they take up a lot of space and trip anyone they hit, even on AoOs. If you get Augment Summoning (which isn't a particularly good feat when you consider its prerequisite), your wolves will be amazing at tripping folk. Spirit Shamans are a favorite of mine, but their necessary economy of spells known is harsher than most other classes... but the beauty of them is that if you don't feel effective... or you find yourself never casting a spell, or find something better, you just swap it out. I feel like they're a great balance between the spontaneous list being short, the preparers running out of copies of a spell they might need just one more of, and the preparers' strength of being able to prepare just the right spell for the job.

My advice to the OP is not to quit your group if you like the people there, it's hard enough to find a group of people that actually likes each other, and if they're as nice and easy to get along with as your post suggests, you might've found a good group. Additionally, you might be better served going to your fellow players and DM for advice on how to bring your character up to speed as it were. A member of our group doesn't know how to make an effective character in the slightest, and sort of gave up after a while, as he didn't understand/enjoy character creation from a mechanical standpoint, so he just always has the DM craft his character's mechanics, and that makes him always useful in the game, while he can roleplay the character as he wills. It might not be so bad for you, but certainly ask them for advice when making your character, or at this point, when redesigning your character, they might be able to give you helpful tips, and they'd probably be more than happy to help.

Kaelik
2007-10-11, 05:00 PM
Unless the parenthetical phrase is sarcasm or facetiousness of some sort

I intially rejected my first statement that poor optimization is the only reason to complain about it because I thought that it might be mistaken for a serious proposition.

I then came back and added several qualifiers including "the only reason in the universe" because I thought that would make it clear.

To be absolutely transparent: I do not think that is the only reason to make your assertions. I just disagree with all the reasons I have ever heard to make those assertions.

Arbitrarity
2007-10-11, 05:08 PM
Technically not true. I am not a very good powergamer, but neither do I deride powergamers. Therefore that statement (with the 'all' being the important part) is not correct.

:smallbiggrin: Don't mind me, I'm just wasting time waiting for a resultset to return from my database...

Generalizations are always wrong!

:smallwink:

cupkeyk
2007-10-11, 07:12 PM
This is a good list, but as a Spirit Shaman I find having Summon Nature's Ally spells is always a good idea... particularly Summon Nature's Ally 4, which allows summoning a Unicorn, who has a few healing spells and useful affects. As well, you can summon 1d3 Dire wolves with the same spell, Dire Wolves being oddly amazing battlefield control, as they take up a lot of space and trip anyone they hit, even on AoOs. If you get Augment Summoning (which isn't a particularly good feat when you consider its prerequisite), your wolves will be amazing at tripping folk. Spirit Shamans are a favorite of mine, but their necessary economy of spells known is harsher than most other classes... but the beauty of them is that if you don't feel effective... or you find yourself never casting a spell, or find something better, you just swap it out. I feel like they're a great balance between the spontaneous list being short, the preparers running out of copies of a spell they might need just one more of, and the preparers' strength of being able to prepare just the right spell for the job.

My advice to the OP is not to quit your group if you like the people there, it's hard enough to find a group of people that actually likes each other, and if they're as nice and easy to get along with as your post suggests, you might've found a good group. Additionally, you might be better served going to your fellow players and DM for advice on how to bring your character up to speed as it were. A member of our group doesn't know how to make an effective character in the slightest, and sort of gave up after a while, as he didn't understand/enjoy character creation from a mechanical standpoint, so he just always has the DM craft his character's mechanics, and that makes him always useful in the game, while he can roleplay the character as he wills. It might not be so bad for you, but certainly ask them for advice when making your character, or at this point, when redesigning your character, they might be able to give you helpful tips, and they'd probably be more than happy to help.

But he did say he didn't enjoy micromanagement, and summonng stuff is a headache of micromanagement.

SleepingOrange
2007-10-11, 07:51 PM
(1)CherryC is annoyed because he isn't keeping up with the rest.
(2)Bard can be broken. That doesn't mean the phrase "CoDzilla" is dumb. Clerics and druids *are* more potent; the same amount of effort makes them better than equivalent classes. A not-highly-optimized druid who takes Natural Spell (an obvious choice) can eclipse a not-highly-optimized fighter pretty much by accident.

(3)That's great, but D&D leans towards being combat-heavy, and the game in question is combat-heavy and the players *like* it that way.

(4)Wait, why is it the responsibility of the *three other players* to tone things down for one? If one players in your game insisted that he was disappointed by everyone roleplaying so much and wanted more combat, would you cater to him? I'd say here the responsibility lies on Cherry to improve the character--something that could be done through something as simple as changing retrieved spells each day--rather than on the entire rest of the group.

1) I feel fairly certain that's basically... EXACTLY... what I just said. I just used bigger words.

2)*sigh* Yes, I know bards can be broken. I just don't like them and take the occaissional opportunity to mock them. As to CoDzillas, they're only broken if you LET them be so. It's hard to actually over-shadow your party if you let them do some-thing; try role-playing: it can work wonders. For instance, Player A has a ridiculously buffed out druid who can at a whim become an avatar of pain, death, and trees. Player A knows that Character A can outshine the fighter. But, because Player A likes Player B and doesn't want the campaign to become 'Valiant druid saves world; is constantly followed by innefective party', he makes his druid more cautious, thoughful, and reserved. He sticks to healing and battlefield control instead of Huge Wild Shaping all over the place. He does this because he and Players B-F are FRIENDS and like each other, because he knows there's no fun in being a fifth wheel, and because he wants that not to happen to his friends. It's called courtesy. As they say, 'A gentleman is some-one who knows how to play a trombone and doesn't.'

3)That's a stupid statement with a stupid premise and no thought behind it. Seriously. There is no backing for it. Maybe your DM likes it combat-heavy, but that's not to say the game is stacked that way. There are so many spells, skills, and feats centered around non-combat, and a campaign that utilizes them can be great. Just because people lean towards combat doesn't mean the game does.

4)It's not the responsibility of the *two other players* to tone things down for Cherry; if they're as frienly as he's infering, especially if they realize that Cherry is kind of a n00b, they might do it out of deference. Because they're nice. Friends do nice things for each other. Friends don't let friends play bards. Or, they might not; they could well say 'too bad, Ninja McWarrior and the Warblade are here to stay, and this campaign WILL be all about combat against things tht are way bigger than us.'. And that's fine. Cherry could say 'I'm sorry to hear that. I'm just not into that kind of game right now. Call me when you're ready for a new campaign.' or he could just put up with it; I, as has been made clear, would opt for the former. What you're saying is that Cherry has a responsibility to stay in a game that he might not be enjoying? That too is stupid. D&D is a game. About having fun. Saying he has to stay in is like telling me that God-dammit, you will become a power-gamer more concerned with optimization than IC logic. I would have no fun that way, and you'd be wrong to force me to play.

Kaelik, you seem to be laboring under the mis-apprehension that every-one, or at least a large majority, agrees with you. Put simply I see no evidence for this. You are entirely entitled to your opinion, but doin't foist into others' mouths.

horseboy
2007-10-11, 08:10 PM
1) I feel fairly certain that's basically... EXACTLY... what I just said. I just used bigger words.
And we all know, using big words makes you cool. :smallyuk:

3)That's a stupid statement with a stupid premise and no thought behind it. Seriously. There is no backing for it. Maybe your DM likes it combat-heavy, but that's not to say the game is stacked that way. There are so many spells, skills, and feats centered around non-combat, and a campaign that utilizes them can be great. Just because people lean towards combat doesn't mean the game does.No, no. D&D is only SLIGHTLY less combat focused than Inquisitor.

2)*sigh* Yes, I know bards can be broken. I just don't like them and take the occaissional opportunity to mock them. As to CoDzillas, they're only broken if you LET them be so. It's hard to actually over-shadow your party if you let them do some-thing; try role-playing: it can work wonders. For instance, Player A has a ridiculously buffed out druid who can at a whim become an avatar of pain, death, and trees. Player A knows that Character A can outshine the fighter. But, because Player A likes Player B and doesn't want the campaign to become 'Valiant druid saves world; is constantly followed by innefective party', he makes his druid more cautious, thoughful, and reserved. He sticks to healing and battlefield control instead of Huge Wild Shaping all over the place. He does this because he and Players B-F are FRIENDS and like each other, because he knows there's no fun in being a fifth wheel, and because he wants that not to happen to his friends. It's called courtesy. As they say, 'A gentleman is some-one who knows how to play a trombone and doesn't.'

4)It's not the responsibility of the *two other players* to tone things down for Cherry; if they're as frienly as he's infering, especially if they realize that Cherry is kind of a n00b, they might do it out of deference. Because they're nice. Friends do nice things for each other. Friends don't let friends play bards. Or, they might not; they could well say 'too bad, Ninja McWarrior and the Warblade are here to stay, and this campaign WILL be all about combat against things tht are way bigger than us.'. And that's fine. Cherry could say 'I'm sorry to hear that. I'm just not into that kind of game right now. Call me when you're ready for a new campaign.' or he could just put up with it; I, as has been made clear, would opt for the former. What you're saying is that Cherry has a responsibility to stay in a game that he might not be enjoying? That too is stupid. D&D is a game. About having fun. Saying he has to stay in is like telling me that God-dammit, you will become a power-gamer more concerned with optimization than IC logic. I would have no fun that way, and you'd be wrong to force me to play.

Since these are basically the same point, has Cherry brought it up to the rest of the party that she needs help? I haven't noticed her saying anything about saying anything to them about her needing help. This is especially true is she's stuck as a healbot. They may not even be paying attention to her DPS because they're not looking to her for it. I'd say there's defiantly some need for communication within the party.

Kaelik
2007-10-11, 09:01 PM
Kaelik, you seem to be laboring under the mis-apprehension that every-one, or at least a large majority, agrees with you. Put simply I see no evidence for this. You are entirely entitled to your opinion, but doin't foist into others' mouths.

Well my second to last and third to last posts were factitious over-exaggerations. And my last post used almost exclusively the first person. I think that you might want to reconsider what mis-apprehensions I labor under.

kamikasei
2007-10-11, 09:05 PM
...[character]zillas (Not CoDzillas; that's dumb. Any class can be broken, except for bards.) ruin the game,

They don't seem to be ruining the game in this case. The other players would appear to be enjoying the game, and probably the DM too, or they'd be talking about changing things themselves. If Cherry were playing a stronger character, or were not present, the game would likely be a win on all fronts. As is it's not actually to his taste, which is unfortunate, but doesn't mean the other players or their characters are "ruining the game".


...try role-playing: it can work wonders.

Weren't you complaining a few posts back about others using sarcasm? Because if this isn't sarcasm, it's a rather obnoxious comment.


For instance, Player A has a ridiculously buffed out druid who can at a whim become an avatar of pain, death, and trees. Player A knows that Character A can outshine the fighter. But, because Player A likes Player B and doesn't want the campaign to become 'Valiant druid saves world; is constantly followed by innefective party', he makes his druid more cautious, thoughful, and reserved. He sticks to healing and battlefield control instead of Huge Wild Shaping all over the place. He does this because he and Players B-F are FRIENDS and like each other, because he knows there's no fun in being a fifth wheel, and because he wants that not to happen to his friends.

That's like saying Godzilla isn't a giant fire-breathing lizard because he's put on little slippers and is tiptoeing around extra-carefully so as not to upset his little human friends. When a mediocre build of a druid can effortlessly outdo his fighter buddy and has to specifically underutilize his abilities to make his friend feel better about himself, that's a pretty clear example of CoDzilla right there.

Arbitrarity
2007-10-11, 09:07 PM
That's like saying Godzilla isn't a giant fire-breathing lizard because he's put on little slippers and is tiptoeing around extra-carefully so as not to upset his little human friends. When a mediocre build of a druid can effortlessly outdo his fighter buddy and has to specifically underutilize his abilities to make his friend feel better about himself, that's a pretty clear example of CoDzilla right there.

"In case of emergency, break glass"

:smallbiggrin:

CherryC
2007-10-12, 01:23 AM
Okay, the session is over, and I actually did stuff that was useful. YAY!
I've decided that since the campaign is finally hitting its stride again, I'm going to bite the bullet and optimize the crap out of my chara. I'm strongly considering going over to a nature-y, spell-slinging Cleric because there's enough tanking in the party already. Or I can just switch out the character and play something else with no penalty. I will play it as long as it heals, is similar to my character concept, and is broken but simple to play. The party will ALWAYS love healing.

I looked at a lot of the Cleric stuff on the CO boards, and a lot of it is in books I do not own. Are there some awesome Core+Complete Divine-only builds because it's a pain in the ass to get the DM to loan me books.
On a similar note, the DM says everyone in the party get a choice of ANY artifact in DnD ever. What do you guys suggest for me? I have no clue.

Armads
2007-10-12, 04:48 AM
Artifacts? Get the wand of orcus :P

The_Werebear
2007-10-12, 10:22 AM
Hrm.. For an artifact, make sure to take your time looking around. There are some really nasty artifacts laying around.

CherryC
2007-10-12, 12:32 PM
Artifacts? Get the wand of orcus :P

What's that do? Isn't Orcus a bad guy? I'm Neutral Good.

Forrester
2007-10-12, 09:00 PM
Sure, combat is great; who doesn't love decapitating a goblin on an obscene critical hit . . .

*ahem*

www.goblindefensefund.org

Quietus
2007-10-12, 09:44 PM
Okay, the session is over, and I actually did stuff that was useful. YAY!
I've decided that since the campaign is finally hitting its stride again, I'm going to bite the bullet and optimize the crap out of my chara. I'm strongly considering going over to a nature-y, spell-slinging Cleric because there's enough tanking in the party already. Or I can just switch out the character and play something else with no penalty. I will play it as long as it heals, is similar to my character concept, and is broken but simple to play. The party will ALWAYS love healing.

I looked at a lot of the Cleric stuff on the CO boards, and a lot of it is in books I do not own. Are there some awesome Core+Complete Divine-only builds because it's a pain in the ass to get the DM to loan me books.
On a similar note, the DM says everyone in the party get a choice of ANY artifact in DnD ever. What do you guys suggest for me? I have no clue.



Radiant Servant of Pelor, with focus on the "I am the burning sun of Pelor's holy light, unnatural undead fall before my incredibly giant undead-destroying wang!" aspect?

Sorry, I'm sleepy and that was the first thing that came to mind. That PrC, however, combined with Spontaneous Domain Casting or whatever that feat is, is pretty brutal. Lots of maximized/empowered healing spells.