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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    So, as discussed here this is the brainstorming thread for a basic FAQ, a place to have answers for some of the more common questions.

    If possible, for ease of use, we might use a common formatting, something like this perhaps:

    Question
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    Brief discussion of question and the issues it presents, links to threads discussing the issue, and general consensus answer


    Now, one potential problem I see is coming up with a general consensus answer. Perhaps we'd like to put forth nominations for a group of posters to be the arbiters of such things?

    Anyhow, here are some potential questions to get started:

    Monks - why does everyone seem to think they're underpowered?

    Wizards - why does everyone seem to think they're the ultimate answer to the ultimate question?

    Wizards/Sorcerers - why is the Wizard considered more powerful than the Sorcerer?

    Fighters - why aren't Bonus Feats valid class features?

    What are these tiers people keep talking about?

    Why do people seem to think the tiers are so important?

    The Stormwind Fallacy - what is it and what does it mean?

    "Oh no, there goes Tokyo..." - what is CoDzilla?

    Why is Tome of Battle so broken/anime/bad/good/whatever?

    What is wrong with the Truenamer?

    Why are Psionics so broken/how are Psionics not broken/why are Psionics frequently banned?

    How do I Incarnum?

    Linear Fighter/Quadratic Caster

    What?! Bards suck, what are you talking about?!?!

    What should I gestalt my X with?

    What is the Dweomercheater/Swift Hunter/Twice betrayer - a discussion of famous builds

    How do I get help with my character build?
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    For best results on build help the following information is generally useful to those that would help you
    0) what particular game are you playing (3.0, 3.5, pathfinder, sword and sorcery), this is 0 because it goes in the subject line in brackets like so [3.5]. If you are not playing in a d20 based fantasy system you want to post it in the appropriate forum.
    1) describe your character concept, and percieved party role.
    2) list materials allowed (core only, srd only, srd + completes, no dragon magazine content, ect.). If not listed any source is generally considered fair game.
    3) applicable house rules.
    4) if known the make up of the rest of the party.
    5) any specific mechanical goals.
    6) any specific mechanics to be avoided.
    7) campaign type (combat focused, intrigue focuses, ect.)
    8) lvl of optimization with which you are comfortable, and your group is okay with.
    9) if the character is already established and you are looking only to build upon what is already there, please note that in your post.
    10) level of the character you are building (you will likely get a lot of full 20lvl builds anyway)
    11) any other restrictions, goals, or thoughts you may have about this character (especially alignment since many classes, feats, and other abilities depend on it, and you don't want to get a bunch of evil specific abilities on what is supposed to be a good character.

    Additional notes:
    Many users of this forum consider classes to be purely mechanical constructs. If you say you want to be an assassin, it is generally assumed you want to be a sneaky murderer, not neccessarily having any levels in the assassin prestige class. If you are looking to play a specific class, and are not willing to play a stonger class that fits the same fluff, please make note of that. Ditto that for feats, skills, spells, ect.


    My game has a problem - how do I talk to my DM?

    Can I use X with my Eldritch Glaive?

    What is RAW/RAI/RAMS?

    What do you mean, Core isn't balanced?

    What are these Handbooks to which everyone is referring?

    What do you mean, mle can't have nice things?

    And with that, I bid you have at it.
    Last edited by Kalaska'Agathas; 2011-06-08 at 11:29 AM.
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    Andrew Eldritch Avatar by Lord Fullbladder, Master of Goblins
    Psionic Tricks Handbook (WIP!)

    Brainstorming thread for a Basic FAQ (WIP!)

    Oh, and you can just call me KA.

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    Mr. Zolrane's Avatar

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Perhaps you, me, Swiftmongoose and the others from the previous thread should be the arbiters. It was our idea after all.

    On the topic of something useful to say, let's start with monks:

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    The main problem with the basic, 3.5 monk, as I see it, and as seems to be the consensus is a lack of synergy. It has all this stuff... but that's all it is... stuff. It doesn't work together to make the whole more than the sum of its parts. The other problem is it looks bloody fantastic on paper to the untrained eye. "Three good saves!? Look at those extra attacks! I can RP as Bruce Lee!? Sign me up, I'll take 50!" It's an Admiral Ackbar moment if ever there was one. Then you start to play, Flurry of Misses kicks in, and you kill yourself and roll a rogue.


    I'm sure someone else will have something to add, but I think that's a good start.
    Last edited by Mr. Zolrane; 2011-06-03 at 12:22 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    There is a sad and surprising lack of songs about vomiting. This should be corrected.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Other questions:

    What are these tiers people keep talking about?

    Why do people seem to think the tiers are so important?

    I see the tier system cause a lot of argument, and think it would probably be a good idea to cover the basics of it.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Zolrane View Post
    Perhaps you, me, Swiftmongoose and the others from the previous thread should be the arbiters. It was our idea after all.
    I'm afraid I must abstain, too many things going on in real life, at the moment.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Geigan View Post
    Other questions:

    What are these tiers people keep talking about?

    Why do people seem to think the tiers are so important?

    I see the tier system cause a lot of argument, and think it would probably be a good idea to cover the basics of it.
    Added to the OP.
    Last edited by Kalaska'Agathas; 2011-06-03 at 12:22 AM.
    No levelled malice
    Infects one comma in the course I hold;
    But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
    Leaving no track behind.

    Andrew Eldritch Avatar by Lord Fullbladder, Master of Goblins
    Psionic Tricks Handbook (WIP!)

    Brainstorming thread for a Basic FAQ (WIP!)

    Oh, and you can just call me KA.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalaska'Agathas View Post
    I'm afraid I must abstain, too many things going on in real life, at the moment.
    I gotcha. I got nothin' but time these days. Thanks all the same for staring the thread.

    A discussion of the Stormwind Fallacy is in order as well, I believe.
    Last edited by Mr. Zolrane; 2011-06-03 at 12:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    There is a sad and surprising lack of songs about vomiting. This should be corrected.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Why wizards are amazing.

    1. A first level wizard can take out a first level fighter. At this level, improved initiative is almost vital for the wizard to survive, so he likely took that. How can a first level wizard take out a first level fighter? Sleep. A fighter has a bad will save, so he'll probably succumb to the spell. Granted, he could beat the wizard, but when it comes down to comparing how likely each is to win, the wizard has a higher chance of winning.

    2. When they hit third level, they get access to invisibility, so they can use sleep without the fighter even knowing they're there. Scorching ray and the ability increasing spells also outclass the fighter, and then there's the summon spells, which can keep the fighter distracted while you pile on the spells.

    3. Once they get to fifth level, they get access to fireball, which can wipe out a group of mooks in a single turn. It affects a bigger area, is more likely to hit, and is gotten sooner than a fighter's whirlwind attack.

    4. The previous examples are all at the low levels. Now imagine when the wizard gets fly, now the fighter can't even reach him. At mid-levels, the wizard also gets dominate person, which can not only make the enemy lose an ally, but you gain some extra firepower on your side. Dominate person and charm person also have good out of combat uses.

    5. At high levels, the wizard breaks the game. Powerful summon spells to get yourself a small army for a few rounds, mind blank, true seeing, greater invisibility, dominate monster, gate, etc. All of these are more powerful than the fighter.
    Last edited by Jade Dragon; 2011-06-03 at 10:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    The stormwinder fallacy would be good to cover.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Zolrane View Post
    Perhaps you, me, Swiftmongoose and the others from the previous thread should be the arbiters. It was our idea after all.

    On the topic of something useful to say, let's start with monks:

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    The main problem with the basic, 3.5 monk, as I see it, and as seems to be the consensus is a lack of synergy. It has all this stuff... but that's all it is... stuff. It doesn't work together to make the whole more than the sum of its parts. The other problem is it looks bloody fantastic on paper to the untrained eye. "Three good saves!? Look at those extra attacks! I can RP as Bruce Lee!? Sign me up, I'll take 50!" It's an Admiral Ackbar moment if ever there was one. Then you start to play, Flurry of Misses kicks in, and you kill yourself and roll a rogue.


    I'm sure someone else will have something to add, but I think that's a good start.
    Adding here would mainly be just going further in depth, but lets look at the first couple abilities they get specifically, and how they line up.

    Improved Unarmed strike: essentially ported directly from the fighter, a bonus feat chosen for you.

    Bonus Feat: hey, twice what the fighter gets, still, you have a small list, you can grapple people, or stun people.

    Grappling has the trouble of: you can't wear armor, so you need dexterity, you need wisdom since other class abilities require it, con is needed, because apparently you are melee, but you don't have the health (nor again, do you have armor) a lot that you need to put into that isn't strength, what you need to grapple... and if its bigger than an ogre, you can't grapple assuming you're medium.

    Stunning has the problems of: well the DC is keyed of wisdom, but that doesn't mean you can ignore strength, you kind of need that for damage... but at least it gives you less of a reason to boost strength... Then there's the problem of a low DC, because you're boosting other stats... And wasting a use if you miss with your attack due to your lower BAB...

    Wis to Armor: This is legitimately nice, but as previously stated, you need dexterity, which gives you armor as well, you need strength and constitution... But hey, if you're a druid, you're not going to be wearing armor anyways, why not pick up some martial arts to get armor from your astronomic wisdom.

    Slow Fall: Next to a wall, you may fall an extra ten feet... Y'know, tumble can do that too, when you're not against a wall. Sure, it can stack... but then two levels from now, your wizard can fall as far as he wants with his slow fall... and that doesn't need to be by a wall...

    Flurry of Blows: Ok, with my reduced strength for needing to raise my dexterity and wisdom, I have about a +2 bonus to attack... with this I can attack twice at 0... About what the wizard can manage I guess in melee, except twice the attacks... Then there's the fighter with 16 strength hitting every time, not needing the second chance...

    Run Speed: Hey, you can run fast... What for? What do you plan on doing with that speed? I guess you could move around, but you kind of can't do your main combat tactic of flurry while moving around.... At least when you hit higher levels, you'd be the best humanoid messenger on the planet if magic spontaneously disappeared... If only you could pounce and flurry with this, you might make decent use of this...




    Going to cut short there.... I have to go curl up in a corner after brutalizing one of my favorite classes... Even if it is going easy.
    +=-K
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Does anyone have the copypaste of the original CoDzilla post (I believe it was either by Tempest Stormwind or Radical Taoist, but I could be wrong on that). It was hilarious and deserves a place in a guide for instructing people about the basics of 3.5 (rule #1 don't piss off CoDzilla, or it will destroy japan)
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Why bonus feats don't hold up to class features:

    Everyone gets feats. Fighters just get them faster, but the difference is quantitative, instead of qualitative as with many actual class features.

    Feats have diminishing returns. You start by picking the great feats, then take the good feats, and as you level, you find yourself picking "okay" to "meh" feats, since there's nothing else.

    Feat chains. Once you finish one, you have to start the other from the beginning, so you're getting something that was appropriate in lower levels (since they were designed to be balanced when you first could have picked them), while class features can become stronger and stronger since they don't have to be appropriate for lower levels.
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    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    I can throw my voice to some of this. I'll try to find relevant links later, though.

    1. In general, 3.5 is about options: there are a lot of them out there, even in core. This will come up in a lot of these questions.

    On Monks
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    As has already been mentioned, monks are something of a trap, even with patches out there in the way of feats. By default, they need strength to hit and deal damage, dexterity to avoid being smacked around while unarmored, constitution for more HP due to their d8 base HD, intelligence of at least 10 for skill points without penalty, a ton of wisdom for more AC, and maybe charisma if you dare go the route of UMD.

    As for class features, the saves are certainly nice, but with stats spread thin, they are mostly there to cover a weakness. Flurry of Blows often misses at lower levels due to the penalties and the lower BAB and strength score. At later levels, enchanting fists is a pain in the arse to do.

    Poison and disease immunity are nice, but ultimately less useful, as it means your good fort save does less for you. It certainly is nice to have, but it's not as big as a deal as one would imagine. Just check the percentages of monsters with those sort of things, after all. SR is much the same way, and people often forget it works against buffs, too, meaning it becomes increasingly hard to save the monk or buff him before the big fight, too.

    The rest of the class feature are either minor, easily imitated with low level spells (feather fall, comprehend languages, et al.), or actively work against each other as written (Flurry of Blows, fast movement).



    On Wizards and other fullcasters
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    Even for casters with limited spells known or lack of scrolls available to increase the spellbook's weight, they have options to spare. All characters have at least 7-8 feats to gain from 1 to 20 just by being alive. Those are some options, others include certain class features, weapon choices, prestige classes, and so on. Spellcasters gain spells. There are easily more spells than feats and a given spellcaster will very easily have more spells known than feats, meaning he'll have any number of options available.

    This leads to a wizard having any given answer at any given time. iven specialization, even at first level, a human wizard will have 2 first level spells. If he knows one reflex save spell, one fort save spell, and one will save spell, he can easily take on a wide array of opponents. Enemy casters eat either the reflex save one or the fort save one, depending. Enemy rogues probably a fort or will, fighters a will or reflex save. As spellcasters level up, they gain more usages per day and more options. Suddenly, no save spell come online, as do multiple threat ones like the orb of X spells with their damage plus save vs debuff.

    People often counter with either high save characters (which can still be hurt via no save stuff like solid fog or things with partial effects, so even a made save means taking penalties or con damage or something else) or with golems and their magic "immunity," which means the wizard simply eiher uses SR: No spells or instead changes the game plan to summon monsters or buff allies instead. With high ability scores and specialization, any given wizard can still contribute, even if it means he's stuck using lower level spells in one particular fight.

    As for wizards versus sorcerers, it's largely an issues of expanded options. While both have roughly the same choice in the way of spells in a given day, over the span of a week, a wizard can easily change his routine around. One day he goes from using blasts like orb of fire to only reflex save debuffs to only will save debuffs to party buffs to battlefield control to... the list goes on. Meanwhile, a sorcerer can still fight plenty well, but his spells known are his spells known with little additions or other options aside from those.


    On Fighters and feats
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    As was mentioned earlier, everyone gets feats. Sure, any one character may not be able to get every feat in existence, but most feats operate along the lines of Requires: BAB alpha, class feature X, [ability score] Y, [skill ranks] Z, and maybe other feats. While a fighter can stack on more and more feats his options become increasingly more limited as he grows in level. After all, he is gaining the same "class feature" each time he dings on an even level, but he has fewer "good" options or rather, options relevant to him being useful in his shtick as he progresses. If he instead tries to branch out into multiple combat styles, he'll either need more than one type of weapon or suffer in all of his styles as his feats become spread too thin. Meanwhile, other classes are either getting improvements to things like rage, which itself at level one acts like both weapon focus (all) and weapon specialization (all) twice over due to the strength bonus, as well as free improved toughness and great fortitude).

    While most melee characters can benefit from 2-6 fighter levels to help them get their style of fighting online sooner, more than that leads to a lose of other, interesting class features that can be found elsewhere. In the case of a 6th level fighter, that's there for an actual class feature: dungeoncrashing fighter, but even then that still eats up two dead levels at 3 and 5.


    General Tiers Information
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    Tiers are not directly of strength of power. Not all tier ones will beat all tier twos will beat all tier 3s. What they do, however, is show the general array of options out there. The lower the tier, generally means the more options a given class has. Having more options means being at least somewhat useful in any given situation, while shining or dominating in areas where resources like feats are dedicated to improving.

    For example, a tier 1 wizard focusing all of his feats on improving his summons will, at 6th level, probably still have a few feats that he could use on non-summoning spells - say, extend spell and metamagic school focus (conjuration). His spells for a given day will probably be 2-3 summoning spels per spell level, plus a couple of general buff spells like haste or debuff spells like web or grease to help his summons better fight in the battle. Even on an off day where he can't summon for whatever reason, grease can still trip up foes for the rogue, and web can still split a large encounter into smaller bites for the frontline guys. If summoning is offline for several days, this particular wizard may grab a few new spells and instead work with some teleporation magic and help move around his allies and use more buff spells than usual. Sure, his summoning-only feats become less useful on these off days or weeks, but his broader feats like extend spell and improve initiative will still help him, and he still has all (or most of all) of his spells to use.


    Sorcerers and most other tier 2s work similarly, except that if they don't know too many other types of spells, they may start losing entire levels of spells. In the same scenario, a summoning based 8th level sorcerer who only knows summon monster 4 will have a rough time using 4th level spell slots if he can't summon for some reason. If he has metamagic feats, then he can still use them at "full power," but it's still rough not actually having that 4t level spell online.

    Most tier 3s function well in one or two areas and are at least adequate elsewhere. A factotum can do just about everything in a given day, but he'll suffer to try to do all of it all the time instead of focusing on one or two things and using the rest of his stuff as back-up for when the primary spellcaster or thief or what have you is out of commission for a bit. Bards and most other "fifth wheels" that fill this spot work similarly, in that they can focus on what have you that they do have, but can at least supply back up when something goes wrong for the primary guy.

    Martial adepts are different in that they function largely in the combat role, but have enough skills to at least do something outside of it. They also have comparably damage to lower tiered barbarians and fighters, but benefit in the fact that if something grows wrong or things are non-ideal, they can at least try another way of saying "no" via the concentration in place of saves maneuvers, Iron Heart Surge (maybe ), or instead changing tactics and going back to standard action maneuvers.

    Tier 4s like barbarians are generally solid in their "comfort zone," but suffer outside of it. Barbarians dealing with nobility instead of the wilderness likely won't have many skills of use outside of intimidate and their massive damage won't necessarily help against entire armies, but they will at least be able to take out many soldiers if it comes to that sort of thing. As such, these guys can work well in their prime, but may lag behind elsewhere. Certain feat choices can help with those, but that's an opportunity cost.

    The lower you go from there, the rougher it gets to even shine in the best of situations.


    Other options include: Why is Tome of Battle so broken/anime/bad/good/whatever?

    What is wrong with the Truenamer?

    Why are psionics so broken?


    and the ever popular How do I Incarnum?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Wizards/Sorcerers - why is the Wizard considered more powerful than the Sorcerer?
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    1. As Thrice has already mentioned, wizards win in the versatility department. Any attempts made by a sorcerer in the same regards limit his options (i.e. he picks teleport as 1 of 2 5th level spells). Whenever this topic is mentioned, people like to mention that the sorcerer shines when the wizard mis-prepares, or gets caught off-guard spellwise. My counter-argument to this is, in many cases, the wizard knows what he could deal with (in character with a good knowledge-base, mind you) ahead of time and prepares spells that deal with the situation, and targets weak saves (Rogue's den? Better not prepare many reflex spells today) Of course, he will also pack some emergency spells (dim. door, teleport) just in case.

    There are other "subtle" (really they are ground-shattering) things that wizards get or can get that make them a league over sorcerers. These are the advantages I have seen:

    Skill (stat) advantage:They use INT to cast spells, over CHA. Let me be perfectly honest, CHA is a horrible stat in 3.5, and from a crunch perspective, only goes to base skill values. However, wizards use INT instead, giving them a decent number of skills, over a broader range of skills. Also, most of the wizard's skills are INT-based, meaning that wizard could really excel in a couple or be decent at many.

    They get higher level spells earlier:They get their next level of spells earlier then sorcerers do, which is extremely good. This is more true early, when sorcerer has to suffer through levels 2 and 3 without any big boost in spell power. Getting a new set of spells at a level means that you can throw your crowd control effects (glitterdust, web, stinking cloud), your divide and conquer spells (web, wall of force, solid fog), and your general utility spells (teleport) sooner.

    Bonus Feats: This is good for grabbing those awesome metamagics (extend spell), or crafting feats. Also, in everything goes land, most twinked wizards will switch scribe scroll for a bonus fighter feat which is always Improved Initiative.

    Better at crafting: Wizard gets bonus feats, and has a wide array of spells and knowledges and maybe even *gasp* the INT-based craft skill for this purpose. Hell, you could only take Craft Wonderous Item and still be an awesome crafter.

    Long-time Buff Support: Ever want to use those 10 min/level or hour/level buffs (mage armor), but not spend an entire spell slot on it? Presto, you're a wizard, and you only prepare one. This leads to, in everything goes land, some wizards running around with a cocktail (the 4 heart of X series plus others) of buffs.

    Splatbook Lovin':There are are lot of things in the splatbooks that further the rift between the power levels of wizard and sorcerer. While I am not familiar with all of the splatbook lovin' a wizard gets, I know of many powerful examples.

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    Greater School Specialization: You dump three schools you rarely would have used anyway (enchantment, necromancy, evocation) to be able to prepare a buttload of spells from one school. This school is usually conjuration or transmutation. By doing this, you have around the same number of spells per day as a sorcerer.

    Faerie Mysteries Initiate: This feat, with a partner with the same feat, allows you both to perform a "sensual act" with each other, with the benefit being you can now use your INT in place of your CON for hit points (so long as you don't switch the bonus on this feat). Yikes.

    Abrupt Jaunt: In exchange for a familiar (which you can get back with a feat), you can teleport 10' feet INT times per day as an immediate action. This means that INT times a day, you can get out of most perilous situations, either due to a spell (web, wall of fire, black tentacles) or a grappler. Hell, you can even use this to find cover before that enemy archer tries to kill you.

    PrC versatility: Wizards have a great many PrCs available to them, which either heavily depend on them being a wizard, require skill points that would hurt a character, or would delay the entrance by one level. Most notable examples of powerful wizard PrCs are:

    -Abjurant Champion (gish-type champ with full casting + other benefits)
    -Unseen Seer (rogue-wizard hybrid with a great casting progression, sneak attack, good skills, and the downside to the class can be covered by Practiced Spellcaster)
    -Loremaster (a core PrC that has full casting progression, better skills, and small benefits along the way)
    -Focused Specialist (early full casting progression PrC with benefits towards the school you focused into)
    -War Weaver (Prc that shares the "buff cocktail" with friends. Usually combines with Spellguard of Silverymoon so that personal range spells can be thrown into this cocktail.)

    and honestly, the only powerful sorcerer-only benefit I know of is the 2nd level spell, wings of cover. It is very nice, but arguably has the same butt-saving power as Abrupt Jaunt.



    I know this has been semi-covered by Thrice but I'd figured I'd expand it. Feel free to use this and edit it. I've probably made at least 5 mistakes in there . Also, I do not possess link-fu for this.

    Also, the whole Linear Fighter Quadratic Caster (or why most fighting classes fall off after around 6th level) is a good topic, as well as
    Last edited by Stompy; 2011-06-03 at 09:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Here's a potential question:

    What? Bards suck! What are you talking about?

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    You guys realize that the people who habitually ask these questions don't read threads in this forum to begin with, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    You guys realize that the people who habitually ask these questions don't read threads in this forum to begin with, right?
    At least we can just drop the link if we're feeling lazy.
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    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    At least we can just drop the link if we're feeling lazy.
    And miss the chance for a rousing internet debate? I have a an awesome price on a nearby bridge, you should check this deal out
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Zolrane View Post
    A discussion of the Stormwind Fallacy is in order as well, I believe.
    Added to the OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Does anyone have the copypaste of the original CoDzilla post (I believe it was either by Tempest Stormwind or Radical Taoist, but I could be wrong on that). It was hilarious and deserves a place in a guide for instructing people about the basics of 3.5 (rule #1 don't piss off CoDzilla, or it will destroy japan)
    Added to the OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrice Dead Cat View Post
    Other options include: Why is Tome of Battle so broken/anime/bad/good/whatever?

    What is wrong with the Truenamer?

    Why are psionics so broken?


    and the ever popular How do I Incarnum?
    Similarly added.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stompy View Post
    Also, the whole Linear Fighter Quadratic Caster (or why most fighting classes fall off after around 6th level) is a good topic, as well as
    Again, added.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drahcir View Post
    Here's a potential question:

    What? Bards suck! What are you talking about?
    Added to the OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    You guys realize that the people who habitually ask these questions don't read threads in this forum to begin with, right?
    At least we can just drop the link if we're feeling lazy.
    Basically this. I do hope it could answer some questions, and maybe prevent some of those rousing internet debates.

    Edit: Oh, and when I'm not busy frantically translating a dead language, I'll make sure to start adding preliminary answers.
    Last edited by Kalaska'Agathas; 2011-06-03 at 10:56 AM.
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    Q What should I gestalt my <x> with?
    A Factotum

    Mostly kidding. Actually, the general advice (something that doesn't require actions, something very different, something with ability synergy...) would be worth including.

    Also, links to the famous builds.
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by dspeyer View Post
    Also, links to the famous builds.
    On that vein:

    What are all these weird names?

    Swift Hunter: Complete Scoundrel feat combines Scout and Ranger, progresses Skirmish and Favoured Enemies, allows Skirmish on enemies normally immune if favoured. Basic build Scout3-4/Ranger17-16.

    Daring Outlaw: Complete Scoundrel feat combines Rogue and Swashbuckler, progresses Grace and Sneak Attack. Basic build Rogue3/Swashbuckler17.

    Tashatalora: Secrets of Sarlona feat allows chosen psionic class to progress many monk abilities. Basic build monk1-2/psychic warrior or ardent19-18.
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    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
    Quote Originally Posted by subject42 View Post
    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

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    The Stormwind Fallacy
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    In brief, the Stormwind Fallacy states that one can have a powerful character or a character with an interesting personality but not both in one character. It often surfaces in threads asking for help making a character or help improving a character. It is a fallacy because it starts from the false assumption that mechanics mean exactly what they say for characters: if someone wants to play a savage outsider who is unaccustomed to civilization they must be a barbarian, and conversely a barbarian must be a savage outsider, for example. This is false, a barbarian could also be a noble who rages at injustices done to his people, a holy warrior imbued with extra strength by their god, or an angry fighter.


    That definition might stir up some controversy... sorry.

    How do I Incarnum?
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    This question comes about in two basic ways. Sometimes someone has acquired a new book (Magic of Incarnum) and falls victim to its infamous organization. More often someone on the internet suggests using Incarnum for a character and problems ensue. Incarnum is made of three basic parts.

    1) Essentia. This is essentially (hah) power for class features and feats. It's like a star ship with only so much power for lasers, mass drivers, shields, life support, scanners, etc. It can be moved around very quickly with the exception of essentia in feats, which is typically stuck for 24 hours.

    2) Soulmelds. These are choose-your-own class features. One level in Incarnate or Totemist or a few levels in Soulborn (shudder) get you access to the entire class's soulmeld list. You know all of them on your class list. Each morning you can choose different ones to shape, and they give you different effects. I suggest finding or making a chart which shows the base, essentia, and bind effects of soulmelds as the table in MoI is insufficient. Soulmelds do not interfere with magic items in the same slot (but see binds). They do normally interfere with each other; you can't shape two soulmelds to your hand chakra (unless you have Double Chakra, a feat).
    2a) One can also shape a soulmeld via the Shape Soulmeld feat. This requires you to pick exactly one soulmeld but allows you to shape it regardless of if you have an Incarnum class or not. It is a bonus soulmeld that doesn't count against your maximum from class features. However, the meldshaper level for it is half your character level. That's not a big deal unless you are getting dispelled or facing SR.

    3) Chakra Binds. Given that soulmelds are all accessible from low levels, there needs to be some sort of level dependent effect to keep Incarnum relevant in mid to high levels. This is where chakra binds come in. Soulmelds can be bound to the chakras they are shaped to, gives thematic and stronger effects. Classes open different chakras at different rates, and give a different number of binds allowed. That's fine.
    3a)There are also feats which open chakras. There is some disagreement on whether this also provides a chakra bind, or if the feats are only useful for multiclass Incarnum characters and Soulborns. My personal view on how it should work is that the feat is pretty terrible unless it provides another chakra bind which can only be used on the chakra you opened with this feat. This makes it useful for characters dabbling via feats and worth considering for Incarnum characters. Check with your DM.

    4) Class features. Some PrC's in MoI have class features which can have essentia invested in them. They work like they say they do.


    Is that good?

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    I'd suggest an alignment question. Would a Paladin fall if...?

    Or possibly: What are some of the gray areas of the alignment divide?
    Labeling this action as Evil seems stupid, why is it Evil?

    I will say that some of those questions are actually pretty debatable, though, so I'm not sure if there would actually be a consensus.
    Last edited by Telonius; 2011-06-03 at 01:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    I think we might want to try to rope JaronK into providing a n00b friendly explaination of the tier system (it's effectively his baby, and he always seems to have an answer)

    Other Questions
    How do I Truenamer?
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    You don't

    Why?
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    Because the class is not functional, WotC dropped the ball so hard on these guys it makes inanimate objects cry. It's broken in the literal sense, not the colloquial overpowered sense
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Glimbur View Post
    The Stormwind Fallacy
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    In brief, the Stormwind Fallacy states that one can have a powerful character or a character with an interesting personality but not both in one character. It often surfaces in threads asking for help making a character or help improving a character. It is a fallacy because it starts from the false assumption that mechanics mean exactly what they say for characters: if someone wants to play a savage outsider who is unaccustomed to civilization they must be a barbarian, and conversely a barbarian must be a savage outsider, for example. This is false, a barbarian could also be a noble who rages at injustices done to his people, a holy warrior imbued with extra strength by their god, or an angry fighter.


    That definition might stir up some controversy... sorry.
    Personally I think that's a lovely explanation, though adding something about optimizers always being poor roleplayers, and great roleplayers always played gimped, incompetent characters as a fundamental tenet of the fallacy. That said, your post may in fact be controversial, as I once started a thread about whether or not class has to be a lifestyle or just a fighting style and it was pretty hotly debated. Still, I'd recommend adding this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    I'd suggest an alignment question. Would a Paladin fall if...?

    Or possibly: What are some of the gray areas of the alignment divide?
    Labeling this action as Evil seems stupid, why is it Evil?

    I will say that some of those questions are actually pretty debatable, though, so I'm not sure if there would actually be a consensus.
    That... is a little too iffy for this thread I think. What we're striving for here are things that experienced players have near-universal consensus on, and I highly doubt that qualifies.
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Zolrane View Post
    That said, your post may in fact be controversial, as I once started a thread about whether or not class has to be a lifestyle or just a fighting style and it was pretty hotly debated.
    That is an area that is very open to interpretation, basically it comes down to whether or not a GM will let you refluff, so long as you maintain the same mechanics. Barbarian is the big culprit in these debates. If a Barbarian takes a level in fighter it is perfectly reasonable since he is focusing on the more "civilized" aspects of fighting. Where as some GMs will cry foul if a Fighter takes a level in barbarian since he didn't go out and live with a tribe of primitives to learn these techniques (though anyone with even a passing understanding of optimization will tend to take at least the first level in barbarian if fighter and barbarian are the only two classes they are using). With the exception of wizards, archivists, and wu jen, I tend to let players do what ever refluff they want. Is your Ranger2/Scout3 a "Barbarian", I'll even give you illiteracy if you want it. But to some GMs tend to have a tight fluff/crunch marriage. It is a valid style, just one I don't like.
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Zolrane View Post
    Personally I think that's a lovely explanation, though adding something about optimizers always being poor roleplayers, and great roleplayers always played gimped, incompetent characters as a fundamental tenet of the fallacy. That said, your post may in fact be controversial, as I once started a thread about whether or not class has to be a lifestyle or just a fighting style and it was pretty hotly debated. Still, I'd recommend adding this.
    It goes a little beyond what TS actually said (and demonstrated quite well). At it's simplest level, the Stormwind Fallacy is asserting that there is a negative coorelation between roleplaying and optimizing. TS made an informal, but very good, disproof of that idea.

    There are some people that will take it to mean that there is no coorelation between the two (TS actually suggested that that was his personal opinion on the matter), but that's both more controversial and broad enough that you couldn't make a sound logical proof like TS choose to do for the specific fallacy in question.
    Last edited by Hecuba; 2011-06-03 at 02:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Stabber View Post
    Other Questions
    How do I Truenamer?
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    You don't

    Why?
    Spoiler
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    Because the class is not functional, WotC dropped the ball so hard on these guys it makes inanimate objects cry. It's broken in the literal sense, not the colloquial overpowered sense
    Certain mechanical features of the Truenaming system are unique and interesting, but also introduce mechanical disadvantage for which they are not otherwise compensated. The most central example is the failure rate of utterances.

    It is possible to limit these disadvantages with (very) heavy optimization. But even when those elements are minimized, the rate at which the Truenamer's power advances over the life of a character runs significantly below every other class in 3.5. Moreover, it does so at an increasing rate relative to level.
    Last edited by Hecuba; 2011-06-03 at 02:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Here's one inspired by the recent "Why?" thread.

    How do I get help on my character build?

    Would be good to point out some common pitfalls in asking for build help that typically result in unwanted advice.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Geigan View Post
    Here's one inspired by the recent "Why?" thread.

    How do I get help on my character build?

    Would be good to point out some common pitfalls in asking for build help that typically result in unwanted advice.
    How do I get help on my character build?
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    For best results on build help the following information is generally useful to those that would help you
    0) what particular game are you playing (3.0, 3.5, pathfinder, sword and sorcery), this is 0 because it goes in the subject line in brackets like so [3.5]. If you are not playing in a d20 based fantasy system you want to post it in the appropriate forum.
    1) describe your character concept, and percieved party role.
    2) list materials allowed (core only, srd only, srd + completes, no dragon magazine content, ect.). If not listed any source is generally considered fair game.
    3) applicable house rules.
    4) if known the make up of the rest of the party.
    5) any specific mechanical goals.
    6) any specific mechanics to be avoided.
    7) campaign type (combat focused, intrigue focuses, ect.)
    8) lvl of optimization with which you are comfortable, and your group is okay with.
    9) if the character is already established and you are looking only to build upon what is already there, please note that in your post.
    10) level of the character you are building (you will likely get a lot of full 20lvl builds anyway)
    11) any other restrictions, goals, or thoughts you may have about this character (especially alignment since many classes, feats, and other abilities depend on it, and you don't want to get a bunch of evil specific abilities on what is supposed to be a good character.

    Additional notes:
    Many users of this forum consider classes to be purely mechanical constructs. If you say you want to be an assassin, it is generally assumed you want to be a sneaky murderer, not neccessarily having any levels in the assassin prestige class. If you are looking to play a specific class, and are not willing to play a stonger class that fits the same fluff, please make note of that. Ditto that for feats, skills, spells, ect.
    Last edited by Darth Stabber; 2011-06-03 at 09:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Stabber View Post
    How do I get help on my character build?
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    For best results on build help the following information is generally useful to those that would help you

    1) describe your character concept, and percieved party role.
    2) list materials allowed (core only, srd only, srd + completes, no dragon magazine content, ect.). If not listed any source is generally considered fair game.
    3) applicable house rules.
    4) if known the make up of the rest of the party.
    5) any specific mechanical goals.
    6) any specific mechanics to be avoided.
    7) campaign type (combat focused, intrigue focuses, ect.)
    8) lvl of optimization with which you are comfortable, and your group is okay with.
    9) if the character is already established and you are looking only to build upon what is already there, please note that in your post.
    10) any other restrictions, goals, or thoughts you may have about this character (especially alignment since many classes, feats, and other abilities depend on it, and you don't want to get a bunch of evil specific abilities on what is supposed to be a good character.

    Additional notes:
    Many users of this forum consider classes to be purely mechanical constructs. If you say you want to be an assassin, it is generally assumed you want to be a sneaky murderer, not neccessarily having any levels in the assassin prestige class. If you are looking to play a specific class, and are not willing to play a stonger class that fits the same fluff, please make note of that. Ditto that for feats, skills, spells, ect.
    Heh, it was actually your last post in that thread that made me bring the question up here. Good explanation.
    Last edited by Geigan; 2011-06-03 at 07:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Thread for a Basic FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Stabber View Post
    How do I get help on my character build?
    For best results on build help the following information is generally useful to those that would help you
    0) System the game uses, including any variants. Put this at the top, maybe even the subject line
    0.5) What level character

    It's amazing how often people miss the basics.
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