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  1. - Top - End - #31

    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    Bards are only gimped in core.

    *Casts Summon Keld Denar*
    Hey, I love me some bards, too.

    He and I had a wonderful discussion based on theoretical optimals (192d6 attacks) or realistic optimals (Being able to do something in more than one combat)

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Pick anything in Tier 4 or below and optimize the heck out of it. If you're really "a diehard optimizer" you'll enjoy the challenge. Make the very best Marshal or Paladin or whatever possible.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by Zovc View Post
    I've never read the Artificer, but isn't he all about putting spells in items? If he is, just put spells in party members' items instead of putting everything in yours.

    Seems like it works to me, you get to optimize as much as you want and everyone benefits.

    Then again, I've never read the class.
    The Artificer is about making items for the whole team, and getting extra mileage out of wands and scrolls. The issue is, he can make wands and scrolls rather easily, and apply powerful metamagics to even the higher level ones without too much trouble. Now, some metamagic'd wands/scrolls benefit the whole party, but many just do 42607d6 damage in a single round, which tends to make the rest question their contribution to the team.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    +1 Bard vote.

    Stay away from Dragonfire Inspiration; it will make the other players love you, but will still make the DM mad. Same with Sublime Chord and Words of Creation.

    You can still make a perfectly awesome Bard without those three tricks, if you use all the other optimization stuff that's come out for Bards. Song of the Heart, Inspirational Boost, Improvisation, Melodic Casting, Captivating Melody, skill tricks, Badge of Valor, Versatile Peformer, Crown of the White Raven, Martial Stance (Leading the Charge) ...

    (Caster-focused? Metamagic Song, Chain Spell, Sculpt Spell, Heighten Spell, Rapid Metamagic ...)

    (Melee-focused? Snowflake Wardance, maybe Song of the White Raven, more Tome of Battle dipping, feycrafted weapons ...)
    Last edited by Draz74; 2009-10-04 at 11:50 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #35

    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Pick anything in Tier 4 or below and optimize the heck out of it. If you're really "a diehard optimizer" you'll enjoy the challenge. Make the very best Marshal or Paladin or whatever possible.
    Real optimizers use Samurai*!

    *Damn you Shneeky!!!
    Last edited by Pharaoh's Fist; 2009-10-05 at 02:13 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    For this group I'd probably make a character who's good at everything except offensive combat. The best choice I've found for this would be an Arcane Swordsage, but get only defensive buffs and problem solving abilities. Get Adaptive Style and probably Weapon Finesse and Shadow Blade with TWF, or even Spring Attack and the PH2 upgrades, and don't really try to do anything impressive in combat. Focus on AC and saving throws, and pick spells that grant immunities or get you out of bad situations like the Heart Of line from Complete Mage and Ruby Ray of Reversal in SC. Be the one character that escapes the trap and rescues everyone else, or the one survivor who drags everyone else to safety. You can also get party buffs like Haste, Bull's Strength, and Greater Magic Weapon, with no limit to the number of uses/day so everyone else will feel more useful.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    The Bard class features are rather shoddy in core. The bonuses from Inspire Courage are nominal at best, hardly worth the combat actions unless you're picking up Dragonfire Inspiration from out of Core.
    I've been a lurker for a long time, and just joined to respond to this. I'd be really curious to know what Core games look like where Inspire Courage is "hardly worth" a single standard action.

    I played in a level 1-to-20 mostly-Core campaign and noticed that Inspire Courage was HUGE. The bonus to damage was nice, but the bonus to hit was tremendous. Iteratives hit, and summoned creatures hit. Now, the party in this campaign included, among others, a summon-happy druid, a dual-wielding rogue and an archer Shadowdancer. The combats tended to involve generally 8 or more enemies, often 12+ and sometimes 20+. (This meant my druid would often summon lots of weaker creatures, who benefit more from Inspire Courage.) So the situation was skewed towards the ability being more effective in some ways. In many combats, the bard was responsible for more damage than anybody else, albeit mostly indirectly.

    But I was curious about this. I ran the numbers with my assumptions of a "basic Core non-optimized game" (e.g. Default Array, human, weapons +1 per 4 levels, rounded down). Looking at sword-and-board fighter, THW fighter, single-weapon rogue, and TWF rogue. By my math, vs. AC of APL+15, Inspire Courage at +1 adds about +20% to party damage on full attacks. The bard can still make his own attacks (archery often a good option) or cast spells. At +2 it's +50%. At +3 it's +75% and is better than Haste for most combatants. At +4 it's over +100%. The gain is higher for a TWF rogue, lower for a THW fighter, and about at that level for a sword-and-board fighter or single-weapon rogue. And higher for opponents with an "AC margin" of better than 15. Depending on party composition, the bard may be "pulling his weight" in combat just by singing, even at low levels, and anything else he can do is gravy.

    If you're curious about the math I can present my assumptions about stat boosts, weapons, feats, and so on. But the bottom line is that the Inspire Courage bonus can be an astoundingly good benefit in Core, WAY more effective than it is generally given credit for. That's just a result of the numbers.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    So i hear you like optimising?
    Howabout taking Marshal as you base class and building an uber buffer.
    Try and see how much marshal you can fit (common belief is two, but i suggest trying to get up to grant movement, for the challange).
    The nenought for Insire Courage as a Bard.
    Then move one to Warblade (or maybe swordsage, keep you BaB down nice an low) White Raven tactics: Your intitator should now be Highish, so you won't have to waste manovers on too much out side white ravin (sinfact since you want to minimse your warblader lvls you should do only white raven to makesure you maent the prerequisits for all manouvers)
    I'm sure you as an optyimiser can take my rough idea and turn it into a powerful build.

    What everyyou do stay away from tier 1 casters, your group may not trust you with them.



    Oh and just for lols Have a Mule.
    If the party ever turns on you, focus all your buffing into that Mule, and make it eat them.

    Maybe animal cohort feat so you have an AC to buff and attack with, but then he might take the spotlight too much (it could be looked on as you taking two actions for everyone elses 1)
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Play a Ranger. Not much that can make them good.
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Moon View Post
    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?
    Quote Originally Posted by Guancyto View Post
    Perhaps this will sate Flickerdart's endless hunger for assassinations.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldizog View Post
    I've been a lurker for a long time, and just joined to respond to this. I'd be really curious to know what Core games look like where Inspire Courage is "hardly worth" a single standard action.

    I played in a level 1-to-20 mostly-Core campaign and noticed that Inspire Courage was HUGE. The bonus to damage was nice, but the bonus to hit was tremendous. Iteratives hit, and summoned creatures hit. Now, the party in this campaign included, among others, a summon-happy druid, a dual-wielding rogue and an archer Shadowdancer. The combats tended to involve generally 8 or more enemies, often 12+ and sometimes 20+. (This meant my druid would often summon lots of weaker creatures, who benefit more from Inspire Courage.) So the situation was skewed towards the ability being more effective in some ways. In many combats, the bard was responsible for more damage than anybody else, albeit mostly indirectly.

    But I was curious about this. I ran the numbers with my assumptions of a "basic Core non-optimized game" (e.g. Default Array, human, weapons +1 per 4 levels, rounded down). Looking at sword-and-board fighter, THW fighter, single-weapon rogue, and TWF rogue. By my math, vs. AC of APL+15, Inspire Courage at +1 adds about +20% to party damage on full attacks. The bard can still make his own attacks (archery often a good option) or cast spells. At +2 it's +50%. At +3 it's +75% and is better than Haste for most combatants. At +4 it's over +100%. The gain is higher for a TWF rogue, lower for a THW fighter, and about at that level for a sword-and-board fighter or single-weapon rogue. And higher for opponents with an "AC margin" of better than 15. Depending on party composition, the bard may be "pulling his weight" in combat just by singing, even at low levels, and anything else he can do is gravy.

    If you're curious about the math I can present my assumptions about stat boosts, weapons, feats, and so on. But the bottom line is that the Inspire Courage bonus can be an astoundingly good benefit in Core, WAY more effective than it is generally given credit for. That's just a result of the numbers.
    I'd be very interested in seeing your math and assumptions; I'm a bit of a number cruncher myself, and I admit I threw that out there based more on my experience than on actually calculating things.

    A brief counterargument

    - At extremely low level (1-3), the number of uses per day can be a substantial limitation. It's only ever good for a single encounter and possibly not even that (at least without going out of Core for Lingering Song). At level 1, the Bard can only do it once, can only cast Cantrips, and is down to fighting with a Rapier or Shortbow the entire rest of the day.

    - At mid levels (3-7), it scales too slowly. This is the level range I've played with the most, and my impression is that the majority of games are around here. The Bard's Inspire Courage is still a piddly +1/+1, while the Cleric is starting to be able to cast Prayer which adds to a whole lot more thing and equally debuffs the enemy with no save. Really, by level 5 most characters are starting to become dangerous inside their own idiom, but the Bard lags sorely behind. Only the Barbarian waits longer for his definitive class feature to improve, but at least he has Core feats to improve his style and can easily stay competitive, while the Bard's still tossing out the same +1/+1 that he was at first level.

    - At higher levels, it doesn't matter enough. Attack bonus scales way faster than AC, and by the time the Bard can be adding the really big numbers to attack rolls, it really isn't anything to write home about. Any other buffer can do a whole lot more and have it last a whole lot longer, and another "controller" or "striker" (to borrow some 4e terms) could have a much bigger impact on the battle.

    - It's not so much that the bonuses don't do anything, it's that the Bard spends one round tossing out a basic buff that any other buffer could probably do better, and then... what? Tries to hit things with his rapier? Casts a couple low level spells with poor DCs? Acts like a Rogue without Sneak Attack (and less skillpoints and a worse class skill list and no trapfinding)? I've never been impressed.



    Frankly I think the class was just poorly designed by WotC. Every other Core class gets Core feats that help it rock out in style, but what does the Bard get? What can it do to boost its effectiveness in Core? What else can it do effectively besides provide a nominal buff and occasionally lie through its teeth? I completely agree that there's certain "best case scenarios" for the Bard - a large party with a lot of allies, and many people that rely on masses of attacks with a relatively low chance to hit - but the Core Bard seems profoundly disposable. If all he's doing is tossing out one buff that isn't all that level dependent, why not hire an NPC or get a cohort? And if an NPC or cohort who's five levels behind can provide almost as big a contribution, then what justifies your place in the party?

    (Of course, all this is a total wash in an RP-heavy game, where the flavourwise coolness covers a multitude of sins. But I'm a firm believe that flavour is what you make of it.)


    EDIT - We're getting rather off topic here. I'd still love to see your numbers, and am more than willing to be proven wrong, but perhaps we should take this to PM?
    Last edited by sonofzeal; 2009-10-05 at 12:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Come on, did some one say it and I jsut missed it? Vow of Poverty Monk :)

    Or in the same vein as 'optimize a buffing character' here's a link to a character I made last year and his build.
    Chain wielding maniac focused on AOOs.

    The party was absurdly large, with mostly new players. 2 sorcerors, 1 wizard, 1 rogue, 1 healer, 1 do nothing cleric, 1 neanderthal barbarian, and 1 goliath knight. THe last 2 were heavy damage dealers for melee, then there was my character.
    The DM had warned us against too much powergaming, but I managed to get relatively free rein because my character was intended as a backup melee character from the start (we started at level 3)

    Here's the original build I posted when asking for help in this thread . Though in the end I switched the order around for my feats a little.

    Rog1: Exotic weapon prof, combat reflexes
    Ftr1: Deft Opportunist (+4 on AoOp)
    Ftr2: Weapon Focus :chain
    Ftr2: Vesxing flank (+4 when flanking)
    Ftr 4: Adaptable flanker (any square I threaten, can be used to give allies flanking)
    Ftr5: Combat Expertise
    Ftr6: Improved Trip
    Ftr8: Vae School (drow of underdark. )

  12. - Top - End - #42

    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by herrhauptmann View Post
    Come on, did some one say it and I jsut missed it? Vow of Poverty Monk :)
    Ah, but you are forgetting the fact that VoP is "hideously overpowered".

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Ah, but you are forgetting the fact that VoP is "hideously overpowered".
    But it's a monk! :)

    edited for smiles
    Last edited by herrhauptmann; 2009-10-05 at 01:27 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #44

    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    A broken class.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintjebus View Post
    While I don't agree with Milskidasith that you should leave the group for this, they did not handle this well at all, either. They should have taken it up with you first. However, that being said, try talking with them. See what kind of party member they would like. I'm not saying let them build your character, but communicating.
    This. I would have been furious is a DM did that to me.

    Anyway, +1 vote for wizard.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Ehhhhh, yeah, I don't think you should make anything. It's obvious you are having a pretty serious goals difference here. Doing the hidden optimizing thing is just going to result in you being fine up until you reveal your optimization, and then having everybody get even more pissed at you.

    A question, are these guys making "Bad" Characters, or just non-optimized? If you are using Time Stop and Contingency Cheese, and they are just having fun, well I think they have a valid concern. The DM didn't deal with it in the proper way, but their concern is valid.

    If they are making "Bad" characters, as in characters that in someway do not work (say they all decide to play truenamers) just help them make some better one's that fit in with their concept.

    If they are playing characters that simply to do not break the system (say a Fighter who doesn't abuse Dungeoncrasher or tripping, a Cleric who doesn't use DMM and Nightsticks to break the game, a Druid that doesn't take Natural Spell) well then... you might have to take a bullet. Play something that matches their level of power. Intentionally making the game unfun (like some of the given examples) is a stupid and childish idea, and makes you just as bad as the DM who dropped the monsters on you.

    Either way, work with the DM and players, not against them. Hiding things from them and trying to prove them wrong is a bad idea that will only make things worse.

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    God damn that makes me look like a Pansy. If that doesn't work, make a grappler. The DM will quit before the first couple of rounds.

  17. - Top - End - #47

    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Grappler who trips things while in a grapple from a mounted position.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Combine Monk, Sohei, and Bear Warrior to do multiple flying kicks as a bear after a charge? Not amazingly effective but an awesome image...

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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Play a tripping knight with a buckler and glave. You won't do a lot of damage. You'll just be a walking debuff. Everyone else looks good as they get the damage. Meanwhile you can actually be useful.
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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    I actaully know someone who played in a game with a guy playing a sorcerer, for a whole campaign, pretending to be a fighter, to everyone one, DM, PC's, NPC's monsters.

    He wore Fullplate and a wielded a greatsword, taking the Massive nonporficency pentites to everything.
    He basically never Hit anything the whole campaign.
    He Would Charge in to Battle, Roaring battlecried,m and hew about with his greatsword. and need to be healled back to conciosness after almost everyfight.
    They all thought he was just a really badly built fighter.

    HE played the whole campaign like this, for mulitiple months.

    Until they came to a room in the dungeon.
    They Saw a Balor.
    And everyone one charged in to battle.
    excedpt player X.
    Player X: "I start taking of my armour"
    Dm: "... OK?"
    The other players all kept fighting it, taking large amounts of wounds.
    everytime it came to X's turn.
    DM :what do you do?
    X: I countinue taking off my armour.
    DM: "...ok, whatever, it's your character"
    Gradually everyone one else in the Party died.
    DM: what do you do?
    X: I've finished taking of my armour. I cast dismissal.
    DM, Other Players: !!!

    DM: You What!
    Players: but,t but you're a fighter! you don't cast spells
    X: nope Sorcerer, says it right here on my character sheat.

    I'm not sure if he succeeded the first time, but he was on full HP, and full spell attoment.
    When after he got rid of the demon.
    Player X: heh, that was fun, i should do that more often.
    Players to DM: thanks for the tpk
    Last edited by oxinabox; 2009-10-05 at 02:25 AM.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Sorry, Guisarme for tripping. Also: Get Quick draw, so if some poor bastard gets inside your range, drop the guisarme and trip him with a scythe.

    Of course, you'll need Dex for combat reflexes, Strength for trip attempts, Con for hit points to pull it off, Cha for knight abilities, and Int for feat reqs. So your optimization is going to be limited by the nature of the build.
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  22. - Top - End - #52

    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    The full plate sorceror works best with still spell. Takes much longer to take off armor than to eat the 1 round metamagic cost.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    The full plate sorceror works best with still spell. Takes much longer to take off armor than to eat the 1 round metamagic cost.
    I did this once. Actually, what I did involved a Divination-specialist Wizard who'd do his heavy lifting out of combat when he didn't need the armor, and used Wands to buoy up his in-combat ability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    +1 for optimised inspire courage bard. everyone loves a good bard. hell, even with a 2handed weapon you can power attack fairly well, but you don't need to because you made everyone else awesome.

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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    In such situation, if I still wanted to stay with the group in the first place, I'd probably pick a very weak class and make the character fairly un-optimized. He'd be a survivor ("defensive" feats like toughness, fortitude, evasion etc), but little else, and would barely contribute in combat. I'd pick a couple of interesting skills to avoid being completely useless. Now I wouldn't go with Monk, because with the party you described even an unoptimized Monk would be fairly strong, but I'm sure there's something appropriate out there...

    Expect to be attacked by CR 1 or 2 monsters so you could "taste your own medicine"; alternatively, if someone complains that you're useless, simply reply that you didn't want to steal the spotlight this time, and that you were simply being considerate while making your character.
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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    If you know the game, and the other players don't, than you could steal the show even with the weakest classes.
    I'd go the route of making a character that is really good with assisting his teammates. You get your fun with optimization and the others have fun in the spotlight. Wielding the weapons you enchanted for them, charging through a dragons breath with the energy resistance you put on them, and crashing the adamantine doors with their magical strength provided by you.
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Based on the "killing you with something you had no chance against" part, I'd argue that you're better off leaving, especially since they didn't have the decency to talk to you about it first (my stance is that compromizing in any wqay will suggest to them that they have a point, which is probably a bad thing if they aren't willing to optimize their characters at all while you are).
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    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    Another vote for bard. Specifically, a whip-wielding bard who does a neat sideline in trip and/or disarm attacks.

    More generally, think of niche protection. Pick a role that the party is currently not filling and preferably does little direct damage (buffer, debuffer, healer) and do that. This is tricky in 3.5, for a variety of reasons that I'll not go into here, but it can be done.

    Alternatively, take on a challenge to your optimising skills. Instead of going for 'huge DPS' go for survivability. See just how many hit points you can rack up. How many buffs can you deploy in one round? Or pick a deliberately lower-tier class and see how effective you can make it.
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  29. - Top - End - #59
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    ok i'd normally be towards the head of the queue for comprimise and discussion. but in this case first i would be letting off a bit of steam at how the DM reacted. then point out that if they have a problem with the way you are gaming, they need to talk first.

    Then play a party enhancement speicalist (bard/cleric/transmuter/knight/ whatever...just primary focus is powering up others)
    optimise the hell out of making others good, and just add a bit on to your defensive power (high AC, DR, fast healing , etc), and everything else on upping the other party members damage quota?

    but really they were not communicating with you so, until that is sorted it could be a lot of issues over time.

    Fitz

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Le Quebec

    yuk Re: Toning it down: hiding optimization

    I'd say take Dragonfire Adept
    Then take stuff like Draconic Knowledge, Endure Exposures, Magic Insight

    Be the useful sage type

    This can also be done with a Bard of course, but then you don't get to walk around in full-plate breathing on stuff like some madman

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