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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Krazzman's Avatar

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    Default How to find the right Optimization-level?

    Hello again Playground,

    I have been brooding on some thoughts lately as we probably have found a second group to play with.
    Our "normal" group consists of another couple, a buddy of me and a "random" player we contacted via a Forum to stock our group up. We meet up nearly every week with the "random" one being able to come only every second week due to family. Our normal meeting day is Wednesday and well the powerlevel there is quite confusing. On the one hand the DM said that chars that are visibly too powerful tend to have harsh ends (in the sense of it get's more challenging for them if they break out of the powercurve, which I don't have a problem with and which isn't the topic here).
    The PC's there:
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    An old Favoured Soul(low/no OP Istishia focused and not that good spell selection), a Druid of Talos (going for the Stormcaster PrC, took fortsave-feats and uses blasting spells), a Bardlock (Bard 1/Warlock 3 going for arcane archer [allowed to stack EB on her arrows later]), a Rogue2/Ranger2 (newbie player, wanted to do Dungeondelving [treasureseeker/trapdisabler]) and me a Warblade/Fighter Spiked Chain PA-Trip build.
    We or better said I came to the conclusion that Knockdown as a feat would be too much for this group and the DM agreed on that point (since I do about 17+ damage per attack). Here I know my limits and what I shouldn't exceed but since I maxed out Balance, Climb, Tumble and Concentration my Defense and non-combat usability is often better than that of my teammates at the moment (we are in a mountain passage and we were climbing the last 2 sessions and still this session). I needed some time to realise this and had some doubts... this is what I want to advert with our next group.


    We (my GF and I) have the following information for the new group (for weekends): every other week (or at least 2 times a month), probably 6 to 8 players (50:50 male:female ratio), we would be the youngest, 2 probably quitting if it is too many people/too much work to get to play (as they moved away from aachen).
    The game itself is Pathfinder, Core and APG free, everything else goes by the DM, level 6, adventure path (I haven't heard of it, something with tears but I won't search for it) meeting probably on second weekend in december, party has a LG Paladin and a Sorcerer (can't remember the rest, believe a druid was there).

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    Now as you can see this is some information but nothing in particular. No mention of how to roll up a character, what limitations despite UM and UC as ask the dm source. No information on builds or gamestyle. I am confused... what can I bring to this table? Is the Paladin going to slay a Tiefling on sight or not? Would a Critfisher(Butterfly sting)/scythesmasher combo disrupt this party or not? As I don't want to overshadow those guys and want to start focussing on a certain character I feel like I have to seek just hte right optimization level. I mostly think about gishing at the moment. Elemental Fist Monk1/Silver Dragon Sorcerer 4/Dragon Disciple 1, too good or too bad? Alchemist going for Vivisectionist or something? Bladebound Magus? The before mentioned combination of Butterfly Sting and a Scythewielding monstrosity? How do you decide things like making a strong fluff-focused character or a more mechanical focused character? (this should not mean Optimization cancels out roleplay or fluff but making mechanical less sound decisions based on what seems better IC).


    TL;DR: How do you decide how much you optimize for a new group of people you don't really know?
    Have a nice Day,
    Krazzman

    Currently Playing:
    Drako:[3.5] Human Warblade 3/Fighter 2(Hiatus)
    Desmond:[3.5] Human Cleric of Tymora 3/Warlock 1(Hiatus)
    Nikolas:[PF] Human Sage Sorcerer 11(Hiatus)
    Tokias:[PF] Tiefling Heretic Lamashtu Inquisitor 3
    "Ed"uardo:[3.5] Azurin Totemist 4(Hiatus)
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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Orsen's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to find the right Optimization-level?

    I don't think you can realistically know a groups power level before hand so if I were you I would bring a character who could switch from power gaming to an average player with the change of a few feats. Choose a character concept and back story you like and then build that character.
    For example, bring in the crit-fisher build and then see what they other players have to offer. If you're power level will be too high, then drop a feat or two for things like weapon focus/specialization and keep only part of what makes you good at crits. This way, the character can stay relatively the same while lowering it's power level.

    My other suggestion is simply to bring in a Magus. I've never played one but they look to me like they follow the Warblade rule: You just can't make a bad Warblade. Make him flavourful with feats/skills and enjoy your awesome class abilities.
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How to find the right Optimization-level?

    Yeah.


    Think of something simple with the potential to grow.

    And then think of a few ways to stat it.

    Maguses are kind of mid-op fixed, so I dunno if i'd design a character concept around that class without knowing the op of the group.


    Monk/Sorcerer is kind of good.

    Then you can either go heavy on the monk for a low op group, or heavy on the sorcerer for a high op group.



    That said.

    There are not many high op, and not even that many mid op, pathfinder players. Many pathfinder players like pathfinder for the 'balance fixes' which are all aimed at low-op games. Not to say it's universally like that, but blaster wizards, healer clerics, and weapon focus fighters are pretty much the norm.

    So if you aim at low op to mid op you probably won't be disappointed. Build for concept, though. Nothing is worth not playing the character you want to play.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to find the right Optimization-level?

    Plugging JaronK's tier system for classes here. Again, not an absolute tell-all, but a fairly good idea on how things stand. From what I've heard, a Magus is tier 3-4.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Krazzman's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to find the right Optimization-level?

    Thanks for the replies so far.

    The Tier-System is fine and good and all but doesn't really get me to the point of deciding what to play. I don't want options extravaganza due to my ability to quickly fall into a state of "Analysis-Paralysis". I mentioned that before and I think I'll try out and choose the character depending on Stat-generation and other things.

    The Races I think about using so far are: Aasimar, Tiefling or Human.
    Nearly all the classes I want to take have a certain adjustability.
    Magus can either be Str or Dex focused and I think I would go for Dexfocused with a Tiefling or Str focused as a Human.
    If they Roll for stats and I have many High stats I would probably go either Human or Aasimar Monk/Sorcerer. Although I still don't know about the paladin.

    I'll have to adjust things and I am going to ask for some advice on the builds and Character-ideas I have later.
    Have a nice Day,
    Krazzman

    Currently Playing:
    Drako:[3.5] Human Warblade 3/Fighter 2(Hiatus)
    Desmond:[3.5] Human Cleric of Tymora 3/Warlock 1(Hiatus)
    Nikolas:[PF] Human Sage Sorcerer 11(Hiatus)
    Tokias:[PF] Tiefling Heretic Lamashtu Inquisitor 3
    "Ed"uardo:[3.5] Azurin Totemist 4(Hiatus)
    Garm Frost:[SWSE] Human Scout1/Jedi1

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to find the right Optimization-level?

    Hitting a middle-of-the-road solution may look nice, but you're almost guaranteed to be at least slightly off their power level. Think like a T1 and have a solution for every contingency.

    Since your group already has a sorcerer, I suggest Oracle. At the beginning, pick powerful, effective spells like Murderous Command. Have "Plan A" be picking high-op feats to combo with these spells. Also, be a half-elf (or a human with half elf heritage) so you can, in the case of high-op, nab Paragon Surge, mix with Expanded Arcana, and become the party utility bot. This does work better with the arcane list, though.

    If it's low-op, execute "Plan B." Your powerful low level spells will go down in effectiveness over time by themselves. You can focus your higher-level build resources (in this case, feats, spells known, mysteries) on party-friendly specialties like buffing and healing. I'd still get Paragon Surge, though. Having the right spell in your back pocket may get your party's asses out of the fire.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: How to find the right Optimization-level?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodbyeSoberDay View Post
    Hitting a middle-of-the-road solution may look nice, but you're almost guaranteed to be at least slightly off their power level. Think like a T1 and have a solution for every contingency.

    Since your group already has a sorcerer, I suggest Oracle. At the beginning, pick powerful, effective spells like Murderous Command. Have "Plan A" be picking high-op feats to combo with these spells. Also, be a half-elf (or a human with half elf heritage) so you can, in the case of high-op, nab Paragon Surge, mix with Expanded Arcana, and become the party utility bot. This does work better with the arcane list, though.

    If it's low-op, execute "Plan B." Your powerful low level spells will go down in effectiveness over time by themselves. You can focus your higher-level build resources (in this case, feats, spells known, mysteries) on party-friendly specialties like buffing and healing. I'd still get Paragon Surge, though. Having the right spell in your back pocket may get your party's asses out of the fire.
    I'd do something like this. It's honestly easier to do with spellcasters than strict melee. You can pull your punches more easily. By not using the "right"/"broken" spells, you can not look as strong as if you did, but with melee you basically are attacking each round and it's hard to fudge that unless you're playing blatantly poorly.

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