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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    My long time friend, best man at my wedding, and I now live close enough to play DnD. I'm joining a game in progress (lvl 5) and I asked him if I could play a wizard. He said that was cool. So I'm building a wizard and writing a backstory as I'm tying my abilities to the story and telling him my build he starts laughing.

    He tells me that I optimize and min-max too much. My characters are too powerful. I don't think I go crazy on optimization.

    Here is my build.
    I never post builds so I'll just give the bulletpoints.
    Wiz5
    Elven racial substitution for level 1, 3.
    Hummingbird familiar
    Feats: Colegate Wizard, Improved Initiative, Extend Spell.

    He says that since I get a +12 to initiative I'm a cheesemaster.

    Idk what to do.

    He is also the guy that has banned metamagic rods since they are "way too overpowered."

    I would like to build a competent character. I don't plan on making the other players feel useless since well they are new to DnD. I was going to focus on buffs and BC.

    What do yall think I should do?
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Gotta say, I kinda agree with your friend. If this is a party of newbies, I would usually suggest limiting it to one splatbook at most.

    Using racial substitution is a little high brow for new players. Try to think back to when you were playing your first couple of games. There's no way you would know what the player was even doing to build his character the way you have, and the explanation would just become convoluted and lost on them.

    And yes, I do also agree that metamagic rods can be overpowered if used by someone who knows what they're doing, although no, I wouldn't personally restrict them. I say just go with the flow, his restrictions don't seem to be harsh, and he's not crafting the story with only you in mind. You may be the most experienced in the party but no reason to be the leader. You could even drop the metamagic and familiar if this is too close to their first session.
    Last edited by roguemetal; 2012-11-01 at 11:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    haha wow, yeah pure , not to be mean, but I see feats that are cheesy as hell.

    Taking a humming bird as a creature leads me to some thoughts of cheese, your colligate wizard, leads me to think even more natrual link hmm more speed.


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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    You really aren't being overpowered. At all. Maybe he thinks you are because you're taking some ACFs, or Substitution Levels, and that makes it suspicious.

    I am curious how you have a +12 to Initiative, but that's still not something to really cry foul over. Sure, you're likely to go first, but it's not going to win every fight unless you're built to blow away all encounters (which a Wizard can be).

    My recommendation is to simply play as you plan to; a high-initiative, buffer wizard, with some battlefield control thrown in. As long as you're not making the other players feel inept, it'll be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverwolfer View Post
    haha wow, yeah pure , not to be mean, but I see feats that are cheesy as hell.

    Taking a humming bird as a creature leads me to some thoughts of cheese, your colligate wizard, leads me to think even more natrual link hmm more speed.


    I am sorry, am not seeing roleplay, am seeing rollplay.
    I'm sorry... what? Finally found it... okay, Hummingbird is a powerful familiar, no doubt. Yes, it's a bit of optimizing, but it's not really breaking anything.

    Collegiate Wizard? Overpowered? I mean come on! It grants him more spells per level, and more spells at 1st level. A bonus to Spellcraft (Or is it Knowledge Arcana?). It's hardly a cheesy feat.

    The man said he was linking his story to his powers, etc, so I really doubt he's going for "Rollplay" as it were.
    Last edited by Alaris; 2012-11-01 at 11:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    You're dumpster-diving otherwise obscure resources to fit into optimization-staple combos. That's playing a very different game than casual pick-up-the-PHB-grab-what-looks-cool gamers play, and it sounds like the rest of the group falls into that category.

    And free metamagic can be a gamebreaker, so that's not one of those quirks that shows inexperience with the rules.

    So just don't do the things that bug the DM. It's not unreasonable to stick to core, or SRD or SRD+completes or whatever, or to ignore sources of free metamagic.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-11-01 at 11:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    +4 improved initiate

    +4 humming bird
    +4 Elf ACF natrual link


    + whatever dex is


    With alot of spell choices am seeing here for someone who just wants to buff that seems out of place.

    Maybe something more inline to your party members power level is more inline.
    Last edited by silverwolfer; 2012-11-01 at 11:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaris View Post
    My recommendation is to simply play as you plan to; a high-initiative, buffer wizard, with some battlefield control thrown in.
    You ARE aware Initiative is one of the major concerns of all optimized wizards, yes? And +12 is a little much.
    Last edited by roguemetal; 2012-11-01 at 11:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Drop the racial subs and he'll probably be OK with it.


    ...then just pick up Nerveskitter.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by roguemetal View Post
    You ARE aware Initiative is one of the major concerns of all optimized wizards, yes? And +12 is a little much.
    But if he's focused on primarily Buffing, with some battlefield control... and he's AWARE his DM is wary of optimization... I imagine he won't just obliterate things.

    Okay yes, admittedly, +12 is a bit too much to have all the time (basically). He could fix that but choosing a different familiar to ease the worries of his DM, if he really wanted to.

    Honestly, I don't see it as too broken. Doesn't compare to some of the wizards I've seen. As long as he'd not dedicating himself to full battlefield control and "Batman-hood," then his DM should have nothing to worry about.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverwolfer View Post
    +4 improved initiate
    +4 humming bird
    +4 Elf ACF natrual link
    + whatever dex is
    Umm... I don't think the Natural Link thing would apply to Improved Initiative. As far as I can tell, it applies to Skill Bonus, Saving Throw Bonus, or Hit Point Bonus, but nothing else.
    Last edited by Alaris; 2012-11-01 at 11:53 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    You can roll up a pointy-hatted god and roleplay them as an interesting character. All it takes is a playstyle that sees high-op as normal-op, and nobody ever complains about normal-op characters being unroleplayable. Alternatively, all it takes is a player who sees their character's personality as being separate from their build.

    That said, if the DM's response to the power level of your level 5 character is laughter, maybe you should take your op-fu and apply it to something that's either lower-tier or has comparatively little splatbook support? See what the newbies are building, and make your feat, race, and substitution level choices based on that. If you're still set on playing a Wizard, even a purely-Core one is still incredibly powerful.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    The Elf Generalist+Hummingbird+Martial Wizard is a well known, and often used optimization trick. The only thing missing is a domain.

    The combination can be gamebreaking because with Nerveskitter and a decent dex, it's pretty easy for the wizard to sit on an initiative ~20 higher than its enemies, meaning the Wizard *will* go first, and its opponents will usually be blinded/stunned/otherwise removed from the fight before their actions come around.

    Unless the DM escalates the game with constant surprise, foresight-like effects, various immunities or just tougher monsters, the combination, plus halfway decent Save DCs on the Wizard's part, trivializes combat. And if the DM does escalate, and the rest of the party are playing weapon focus Fighters and Spring Attack Monks, the game falls apart.

    The best call is to just tone it down.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Alairis it doubles whatever it gives you :)

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    I'd switch to a cleric or bard even.

    People are generally more likely to be ok with you buffing them and making your side stronger than just knocking out and disabling the enemy or outright killing them.

    It might be fun to try to see if you can make your party just that much better too.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    I say go all-out:
    Name him Ozymandias, the smartest+fastest man elf in the world.

    Snow Elf in Frostburn gets a Cha penalty instead of a Con penalty. Use Martial Wizard to get Improved Initiative instead of Scribe Scroll. Specialize in Conjuration and get Abrupt Jaunt (dodge bullets). Take Obtain Familiar at 3rd level for the Hummingbird, and still get the Elf Wizard 3 sub level. At Wizard 5 get the Domain Power ACF for either Planning (Extend Spell) or Inquisition (+4 to dispel checks) or just get Spontaneous Divination. Go into Paragnostic Apostle asap, and eventually pick up Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by silverwolfer View Post
    Alairis it doubles whatever it gives you :)
    No matter what? Jeez... that's kinda sick. My Crystal Keep Classes file only mentions the Skills/Saves/HP.. okay.

    Definitely either get rid of the Hummingbird, or the 3rd Generalist Level.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Thanks for the advice. I'm probably going to roll something else, though with my 10page backstory I already wrote I feel as though it is a waste.

    The hummingbird was only because I really like hummingbirds. I'll see if he'll keep the hummingbird and change the bonus to be different.

    Collegate wizard I picked because in my backstory my elf was of a noble house, and was sent to a wizarding college.

    My favorite thing to do is buff the crap out of other players. They are a Sorcerer, who I don't know his spell choice I expect blasting, a Swashbuckler, and a fighter.

    I really want to just keep baddies off the blaster, the fighter and swashbuckler buffed to all hell. Maybe a little slow action on the martial baddies.


    Also I don't much care for being called not a roleplayer. The games I enjoy are mostly story and very little combat. The DM I'm talking about, by best man, has lots of sessions that is just story and talking. Love it.

    Anyway my other character I was going to write backstory for and make would be a paladin. I don't know how much I should optimize. It's hard not to when I know too much stuff that works well together. Any help with that? How do I return to that "new player" place?
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    You. Are. A. Wizard. Even going Wizard 20 using spells from core only, you're going to be competent. You just might not be completely indestructible.

    I suggest making a core only, or core + spell compedium only character, maybe with other books for items. And you'd still probably outshine all the other players.


    In general, to return to that "new player place", just forget that any of the splatbooks even exist.
    Last edited by Randomguy; 2012-11-02 at 12:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    You could try the one-splat method. Build your entire character using only one splat-book of your choice, plus core. UA is a splat, the fact it's in the SRD now not-withstanding.

    Tip: you shouldn't pick UA as your one splat.

    To be clear, when I say "build your character" I only mean race, class, feats, ACF's, and PrC's. Pick your spells and items from wherever.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomguy View Post
    You. Are. A. Wizard. Even going Wizard 20 using spells from core only, you're going to be competent. You just might not be completely indestructible.

    I suggest making a core only, or core + spell compedium only character, maybe with other books for items. And you'd still probably outshine all the other players.
    If I just focus on making the other characters total monsters do you think it'd be okay?
    Perhaps I should make a vanilla paladin
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by silverwolfer View Post
    I am sorry, am not seeing roleplay, am seeing rollplay.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by dascarletm View Post
    If I just focus on making the other characters total monsters do you think it'd be okay?
    Perhaps I should make a vanilla paladin
    Honestly, you'd probably be okay if you drop the initiative down. Most of the other stuff is likely fine, since you intend to do buffing primarily.

    [On the other note: Adding another fighter-type to the party is NOT going to help much. At best, I'd say play a Cleric-type to give you guys some healing.]
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    I see a lack of skillmonkey in that party. A well prepared rogue, factotum, bard, etc could do pretty well. Bard could also cover the traditional heal-bot role, not that it's a necessary role if you know what you're doing.

    If you know how to op-fu a bard to the nines, you can still do the buffing schtick pretty hardcore too.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaris View Post
    Honestly, you'd probably be okay if you drop the initiative down. Most of the other stuff is likely fine, since you intend to do buffing primarily.

    [On the other note: Adding another fighter-type to the party is NOT going to help much. At best, I'd say play a Cleric-type to give you guys some healing.]
    True, I've always wanted to roleplay that code though.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by dascarletm View Post
    True, I've always wanted to roleplay that code though.
    You could split the difference and play a sword of the arcane order paladin if Champions of Valor is available.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-11-02 at 01:12 AM.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by dascarletm View Post
    True, I've always wanted to roleplay that code though.
    *Nod* I've been wanting to try out a Paladin, but I'm currently in all of one game... and it's online. Very sad. Used to have 2-3 In-Person games going at any given time, but that died down after 2 of my friend's moved.

    Nonetheless, I am waiting for one of my friend's games to start back up... will probably be playing a Goblin Paladin [in the style of Big Ears from Goblins Comic].

    Regardless, if you really want to, and you think it'll work [with this being a low-op campaign], then I'd say give it a try. Anything is possible.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by dascarletm View Post
    True, I've always wanted to roleplay that code though.
    Just because you're a paladin doesn't mean you're a Paladin. I mean, I'm playing a Dread Necromancer paladin right now, and I've built Wizard paladins, Ranger paladins, and Warmage paladins. Beguiler and Warlock might be hard to do, but paladin orders are going to need spellcasting and scouting support.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff the Green View Post
    Just because you're a paladin doesn't mean you're a Paladin. I mean, I'm playing a Dread Necromancer paladin right now, and I've built Wizard paladins, Ranger paladins, and Warmage paladins. Beguiler and Warlock might be hard to do, but paladin orders are going to need spellcasting and scouting support.
    Well yeah, but it doesn't offer the same feel. The idea with a Paladin (for many people) is that your God is always watching. You are devout, you MUST stick to the code. You are A PALADIN!

    Hired help isn't going to be as restricted, and while they might be "held to the code," it would only be by the church, who isn't always watching.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Well, your wizard for sure is not unoptimized. What would matter to me, is what do you plan to do now you have won the initiative game? Are you going to disable your enemy before it attacks, which is useful but not neccesarily very enjoyable for your team mates, or are you going to cast Haste? Those metamagic rods, would you use them to make your spells even more nasty, or to (in the future) add a quickened Mass Animal Ability score to your Haste?

    I can see you make a case for the latter type of wizard in his games, but it sounds like the first one for sure is not appreciated.
    Last edited by Autopsibiofeeder; 2012-11-02 at 02:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    I don't see what the fuss is about. I mean, yes, that's a high initiative. So what? Honestly, a +6 or whatever you'd get just from having Improved Initiative would often be high enough to go first anyway; all this does is make that more consistent. And while it might seem "high for first level", that's an illusion - initiative doesn't scale by level.

    In actual experience, I'm currently in a game with a character that has +28 Initiative (IIRC). And it's not a significant factor in their power.


    However, this does demonstrate an important lesson - many people get paranoid about seeing "too high" numbers. So if you want to be good at something, get several factors that combine into awesomeness rather than a single big bonus. The actual effect will be the same, but people won't see double digits and claim you're "rollplaying".
    Last edited by icefractal; 2012-11-02 at 02:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    My 2c, cuz everyone cares so much:

    Don't give up on your character completely. If you want to play a Wizard, and you've built up your character in cohesion with the backstory you've come up with, that's great. Go with it.
    The stuff you've said about easing back on it sounds fine to me. If it's the hummingbird you want because of the hummingbird, rather than the abilities, brilliant. I think it'd be great if you talked to your DM about changing the bonuses it gives, and if I were your DM I'd be really pleased about that - I'd feel like you were actually listening to my concerns, and it'd help prove to me that you're basing your decisions not on pure mechanics but on character. I'm not sure what the rest of the stuff is like, but if changing the hummingbird brings you don't to +8 initiative that doesn't seem terrible to me.
    Did you tell your DM that you were intending to focus on buffing the rest of the party? If not, I think you really should stress that, and maybe offer to show him your spell list as you're building it. Make it clear that your goal isn't to destroy every encounter single-handedly, but to help the others to do so.

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