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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    In my experience, optimization threads are far more often about making a character concept work than they are about getting as powerful a character as you can. If you just want power, a cleric, druid or wizard with a good PrC is basically all you need. But being effective with some characters requires a lot of hoop-jumping and/or particular material, which is where optimization comes in.
    This is what i used it for, help in making a weird concept work. Now i dont really post for help anymore unless i really cant think of a way to make an idea work or i just want more suggestions.

    ANd on another note thats always what optimization meant to me, "How to best make the character do what i want it to do." and feats like Toughness dont actually do that, which is why i consistently advise new people not to take them. Now im not a "Monks suck be a Swordsage" guy, but sometimes the answer really is Swordsage.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    I hate optimization as it ruins the game.

    Once a player goes down the optimzation lane, they are saying they have no interest in role playing. And as we are talking about a role playing game, they are really saying they are not going to play that game: they will only be playing a roll playing game.

    In short, they want the table top role playing game like D&D and make it a table top rule playing game like Risk or Clue. Or even worse, a video game.

    Now sure, optimizers will say must be super optimized to role play, but this huge disconnect just makes no sense. Why does a character need 100 hit points to be funny? Why can't the player role play a funny personality if the character only has 30 hit points?

    Then you get the demigod problem: the player that wants the character to be ''good at what they do'', but they have the huge disconnect that ''good=demigod''. For the optimizer ''being good'' comes down to ''always succeeding and never failing ever''.

    And from a game experience, I have seen very few happy optimizers. The vast majority are always worried about more optimization. How can they get just one more plus or one more thing. It is always out of reach as they just want more and more and more. they don't even have time to play the game, as they are playing the numbers game to try and get more.

    And then there are all the players that get swept up in the opritimaztion lie, but they don't have the experience, ability or game mastery to do so. So they are lost in the limbo that somehow they are playing the game ''wrong'', but they don't know what to do about it.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    This is what i used it for, help in making a weird concept work. Now i dont really post for help anymore unless i really cant think of a way to make an idea work or i just want more suggestions.

    ANd on another note thats always what optimization meant to me, "How to best make the character do what i want it to do." and feats like Toughness dont actually do that, which is why i consistently advise new people not to take them. Now im not a "Monks suck be a Swordsage" guy, but sometimes the answer really is Swordsage.
    I mean, it's not always "weird", as 3E D&D tends to make a lot of concepts way more difficult to play than they need to be, until you pile up some splatbooks. It's also true that optimization often results in characters that are just more fun to play. I can't see any deep roleplaying experience derived from Toughness or Dodge.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    I hate optimization as it ruins the game.

    Once a player goes down the optimzation lane, they are saying they have no interest in role playing. And as we are talking about a role playing game, they are really saying they are not going to play that game: they will only be playing a roll playing game.

    In short, they want the table top role playing game like D&D and make it a table top rule playing game like Risk or Clue. Or even worse, a video game.

    Now sure, optimizers will say must be super optimized to role play, but this huge disconnect just makes no sense. Why does a character need 100 hit points to be funny? Why can't the player role play a funny personality if the character only has 30 hit points?

    Then you get the demigod problem: the player that wants the character to be ''good at what they do'', but they have the huge disconnect that ''good=demigod''. For the optimizer ''being good'' comes down to ''always succeeding and never failing ever''.

    And from a game experience, I have seen very few happy optimizers. The vast majority are always worried about more optimization. How can they get just one more plus or one more thing. It is always out of reach as they just want more and more and more. they don't even have time to play the game, as they are playing the numbers game to try and get more.

    And then there are all the players that get swept up in the opritimaztion lie, but they don't have the experience, ability or game mastery to do so. So they are lost in the limbo that somehow they are playing the game ''wrong'', but they don't know what to do about it.
    No offense, but this is entirely your anecdotal experience. The 100 hit points connection with being funny makes no sense, I don't think anyone has ever said to themselves "I want to make a joker character, i need to have the most hp ever". A better example would have been to ask "why do you need 30 charisma to play a funny character". And the answer is, because more charisma means you're more capable of being funny when it mechanically matters.

    Now of course, since humor is a subjective thing, you can't always be funny to every person ever, but, a more reasonable comparison would be: I want to play a character who's tough. Now in that circumstance, having 100 hp or having 30 hp actually matters. How can you possibly call yourself tough if you have low hp? You can call yourself tough, but the mechanics of the game disagree with you, since you always drop in one or two hits, not very tough at all now, are you.

    Same goes for calling yourself a master swordsman, but not being able to hit the far side of a barn with a sword, or any other character concept. If you want to play something, you need to actually be able to represent that with mechanics, because despite what you seem to be saying, D&D does have rules, and if your character is a terrible mechanically, then it won't live up to the hype of your roleplay. The two go side by side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Once a player goes down the optimzation lane, they are saying they have no interest in role playing.
    Also nice stormwind fallacy.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Hi my name is Alex, i am a optimization munchin. i use my system mastery to break characters as bad as possible. but i am at least responsible to not use my most broken characters and simply do it to test myself and do it. this is why i have bad (in a good way) characters such as: christopher moss tree the evergreen treant who wears crystal armor and has hide in plain sight; my one armed pixie barbarian with greater flyby attack, a whip-dagger, and whirling frenzy; yet have the lvl 3 shadowcraft mage who gets 8th level spells by 6th level (shadow).

    i am the Mr. Fixit of my group who plays the only spellcaster (ranger doesn't count) in the group of 8 people. i use optimization to get what we are missing on my character to help everyone. just last session i had to take a tumbling leap into a spiked pit trap to save my dragonfire adept with cure light wounds, after he fell in for the second time that session after trying to jump it (DC 10 failed) while he was bleeding out and stabilized at -9 only because of me.
    Quote Originally Posted by BassoonHero View Post
    No, the problem is that the limit one can achieve with physical brute force from a human body is low, very, very, very low, so obviously someone pursuing strength via muscles is not going to get far.
    This is certainly true in 3.5, but I don't think that it's an inevitable feature of the fantasy genre. Look at wuxia. Look at mythology. Look at what "peak human" means in the DC universe. I think that "strength via muscles" can do some pretty amazing things if the system allows for it.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Weirdly, the 5e subforum here tends towards that direction-- post about optimization or a powerful combo you found, and people jump all over the thread screaming about how you're playing wrong and ruining the game.
    That is. . . unfortunate. Guess I'm glad I don't hang out over there either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I can't see any deep roleplaying experience derived from Toughness or Dodge.
    I actually can (though I do buff Dodge to +2 to give it more bite and roll both Toughnesses into one 2+level feat). +3 hp is a huge difference at 1st level- you can roleplay a "tough guy" version of a normally squishy class much easier if you actually have nearly twice as many hp as most people in that class, able to just take a sword hit without worrying where you'd usually avoid it at all costs. It's particularly important for armies of properly 1st level non-elite NPC dudes, effectively doubling their survival time and thus effectiveness: nations with boot camps that Toughen their guys up are way better on the battlefield. And on the PC, you get to further roleplay how someone who used to be the tough guy eventually comes to grips with not being the tough guy anymore, as more hit dice dilute that toughness feat and he needs to act more like a squishy- then you learn to let go and retrain toughness into something else.

    Dodge isn't great on its own, true, but with some sort of tweak to boost it and build aiming for full AC, it just makes you that much harder to hit than someone otherwise the same but with no Dodge- so again, easier to rolelplay the guy who's good at dodging if you can dodge (that's the problem I have with monks, they can't actually dodge like a kung-fu movie).

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    No offense, but this is entirely your anecdotal experience. . . Also nice stormwind fallacy.
    That's kinda the whole point of this thread man, asking people why they personally are annoyed by something. Anecdotal experience is absolutely admissible. And this sort of dismissive community-defined fallacy response is the exact sort of thing that cheeses me off. Even if I agree with your explaination of how mechanics support roleplaying (as I literally just did the exact same thing above), the attitude is all wrong.

    And the thing that the stormwind fallacy ignores is that. . . it's still a trend. Just because some or even most of the optimizing community doesn't do a thing, doesn't mean a bunch of them don't still do it. DnD is a game, and there are certain types of people who play games in order to optimize them no matter the cost to the rest of the players, or even their own enjoyment of anything but that optimization. Those people give optimization a bad name, and no shouting of stormwind fallacy will change that.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    No offense, but this is entirely your anecdotal experience. The 100 hit points connection with being funny makes no sense, I don't think anyone has ever said to themselves "I want to make a joker character, i need to have the most hp ever". A better example would have been to ask "why do you need 30 charisma to play a funny character". And the answer is, because more charisma means you're more capable of being funny when it mechanically matters.
    It is bad enough that optimizers can't role play a funny character without something mechanical like a 30 in charisma, as a character with a charisma of like 11 simply can't be funny...or anything.

    It is just beyond worse when the optimizers go off the deep end and say they must have high, or ''good'' everything to role play. Even when somethings like hit points don't have any effect on role playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Now of course, since humor is a subjective thing, you can't always be funny to every person ever, but, a more reasonable comparison would be: I want to play a character who's tough. Now in that circumstance, having 100 hp or having 30 hp actually matters. How can you possibly call yourself tough if you have low hp? You can call yourself tough, but the mechanics of the game disagree with you, since you always drop in one or two hits, not very tough at all now, are you.
    This is yet another problem. A player will pick something like ''tough'' and then just randomly pick something mechanical, like ''hit points'' and then say ''my character must have a lot of hit points to be tough''. But something like ''tough'' can mean a lot of things, not just ''a got hit points''. And this is where the big disconnect is: the player could just be honest and say ''I'm roll playing and only care about the number of hit points my character has''....but they don't: they whip up the whole optimizing toughness cover and then hide behind it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Same goes for calling yourself a master swordsman, but not being able to hit the far side of a barn with a sword, or any other character concept. If you want to play something, you need to actually be able to represent that with mechanics, because despite what you seem to be saying, D&D does have rules, and if your character is a terrible mechanically, then it won't live up to the hype of your roleplay. The two go side by side.
    And this is the problem of ''master swrodsman'' vs ''demigod of swords''

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    I suspect part of the stereotype lies in the fact that, if you're in this hobby and you're indifferent towards the RP side of things, you must either really be into the G side of it or deserve to find a hobby that suits you better. So a lower proportion of players who actively optimize will actively roleplay (and visa-versa, for parallel reasons,) even though there's nothing about one that interferes with the other.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    It is bad enough that optimizers can't role play a funny character without something mechanical like a 30 in charisma, as a character with a charisma of like 11 simply can't be funny...or anything.
    Optimizers can't be funny? Have you seen The Reclamator?

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    I donīt "hate" optimization, as itīs a core part of the d20 system, I just dislike certain aspects of it and try to avoid/disallow them at my table when gmīíng.
    - RAI always beats RAW
    - Setting is important / crunch doesn't come devoid of meaning, there is no refluffing
    - This is a group game, there will always be a session zero and group character creation, everyone can veto a not fitting character.

    @Darth Ultron:

    I rather get the feeling that you have problems with two very integrated aspects of the d20 system.

    The core dice mechanics are prone to be very "swingy" (*), so you're expected to find ways to even the odds in your favor to counter this. If a character is supposed to be consistently good or at least above average at some tasks, then you must start stacking the odds in your favor, mostly by enforcing the mechanical side of it.

    "Player Empowerment" overrides the "Mother May I?"-style of gmīing by giving the players the tools to announce an action and possible resolve it on their own without needing any gm interference. Yes, that means that "Perform (Comedy)" can be resolved mechanically without the player having to be funny, but itīs also easy to weave it into the ongoing narrative.

    (*) Compared to systems like L5R or Splittermond that can generate very smooth bell curves.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by ayvango View Post
    When you start to play street football too hard, you could end as a professional player. What was fun become tedious labour betraying the original concept of game as something fun to spend your time on.
    ?? The quest to get better at something is at right-angles to enjoyment of it. My main job skills are cataloging and customer service. As I've grown more optimized for each of those, my enjoyment of my work time has increased. I certainly haven't felt like improving my social skills or Dewey Decimal experience has become a tedious betrayal of what I enjoy.

    I analyzed Terraforming Mars in terms of tag spread, corporate-era versus standard play, how things differ in the solo game, the value of 'standard projects', and so on, and I have more fun playing now than I did when I couldn't explain my wins/losses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    On the forums I have seen games move at a much much slower pace, arguably because they have all the percieved time in the world. The wizard obviating a sidequest with a single spell could certainly be seen as cheating your fellow players out of valuable playtime in that circumstance.
    An especially lovely point. And it highlights the fact that a character can (and should!) be optimized to meet the needs of the playgroup, not just for what that player is trying to accomplish. The character shouldn't be built in a way that pisses off the GM, shouldn't be built to 'Leeroy Jenkins' in a group that likes subtlety or only have social abilities in a kick-down-the-door game, shouldn't be built to teleport the party if the players like exploration or the GM has a fun wilderness thing planned ... That's why e.g. the Jumplomancer will never see real play. Even if all the RAW is acceptable in a given game, the ridiculousness of the maneuver isn't going to fit a group's preferred playstyle.

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    A "diplomancer" takes advantage of 3rd-ed D&D's poorly-thought-out Diplomacy skill rules to make basically anyone she meets into a fanatical follower. That just requires a very high Diplomacy roll. The Jumplomancer is a specific kind of diplomancer, adding in one particular prestige class that lets any skill substitute for Diplomacy. Since Jump skill gets bonuses from movement speed, it's very easy to get a ridiculously high roll. So whenever you jump, people nearby start following your orders with a smile, throwing flowers at your feet and trying to get you to marry their children.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    ?? The quest to get better at something is at right-angles to enjoyment of it.
    I think this is more about the "arms race" that can happen when ramping up the complexity to still create a challenge. Look up some of what Cosi is writing about what a gm should prep and pre-plan to keep some "pro players" happy and engaged. Not my cup of tea.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    While I agree that that can be a problem, and I wouldn't enjoy being in such an arms race myself, high-op play isn't inherently unenjoyable. It's just a matter of what kind of game you and your group are looking for. I don't like high-op poker but I prefer my Advanced Civilization high-op. I want Tier 3 play in D&D 3.5 (so, poor optimization for good classes and strong optimization for bad ones) but I find 5e insufficiently heroic if the players don't optimize. Ya know.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Cuz differing power levels are unfair and ruin the game for everyone. The DM's encounters are either too easy for the stronger players or too hard for everyone else. It's fine if everyone optimizes equally, but this is difficult to pull off on practice. It's way easier with limited optimization and/or lower limits on what's allowed. With DM experience the limits may be raised, but it's hard. Most build tricks discussed on these boards are beyond what most DMs are capable of handling. Even well meaning players often guess wrong when trying to guestimate the optimization level of the group and/or proper and fair ways to handle it.

    IMO optimization should almost always be low to low-moderate to makie it easier to prevent such issues. A little more can be done with only small problems, but it's better not to.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    It's just a matter of what kind of game you and your group are looking for.
    This is part and parcel for the "social contract" any group will establish. Only problem with "optimization" in context of system mastery is hitting the sweet spot for a group and not over- or undergoing it, or, worse, going into the area where it becomes fully self-serving. I'm with Fizban in this regard, that the attitude of "OP or else" that is prevalent with some users and discussions is highly annoying and destructive.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    It is bad enough that optimizers can't role play a funny character without something mechanical like a 30 in charisma, as a character with a charisma of like 11 simply can't be funny...or anything.

    It is just beyond worse when the optimizers go off the deep end and say they must have high, or ''good'' everything to role play. Even when somethings like hit points don't have any effect on role playing.
    A character with 11 charisma will be midly funny at the best of times. 30 charisma is excessive to be sure, but a decent charisma score does help. If you're going to let players out play their ability scores then what's the point of having them to begin with?


    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    This is yet another problem. A player will pick something like ''tough'' and then just randomly pick something mechanical, like ''hit points'' and then say ''my character must have a lot of hit points to be tough''. But something like ''tough'' can mean a lot of things, not just ''a got hit points''. And this is where the big disconnect is: the player could just be honest and say ''I'm roll playing and only care about the number of hit points my character has''....but they don't: they whip up the whole optimizing toughness cover and then hide behind it.
    While you're right, being "tough" can cover many aspects, the other end of your argument fails to hold up. It's not that you should't worry about hp, it's that you should worry about all the other things that being tough entails, such as fortitude saves and endurance of various sorts. That said, you're being so antagonistic and argumentative that I'm fairly sure you're just trolling. That and the fact that your entire post basically is just stormwind fallacy after stormwind fallacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    And this is the problem of ''master swrodsman'' vs ''demigod of swords''
    The difference between master swordsman and demigod of swords is just a matter of character level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Playing a wizard the way GitP says wizards should be played requires the equivalent time and effort investment of a university minor. Do you really want to go down this rabbit hole, or are you comfortable with just throwing a souped-up Orb of Fire at the thing?
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    It is bad enough that optimizers can't role play a funny character without something mechanical like a 30 in charisma, as a character with a charisma of like 11 simply can't be funny...or anything.

    It is just beyond worse when the optimizers go off the deep end and say they must have high, or ''good'' everything to role play. Even when somethings like hit points don't have any effect on role playing.
    Except no one is saying that they must have 30 charisma to roleplay a funny character. You are kinda taking an example to explain why one would want high charisma for them, to an extreme. He even specifically states that the 30 charisma is only if it needed to come up mechanically, which is separate from roleplaying. But then you say that he is saying that he must have 30 charisma to roleplay.

    Also, we should probably get out of the out-group, in-group mentality. We are all simply talking about a game. We are all just people, and a group of people, particularly the group that you may be trying to describe, probably don't share many of the characteristics of those you ascribe to them.

    And this is the problem of ''master swrodsman'' vs ''demigod of swords''
    ...again, you are going to an extreme. His example was "hit the far side of a barn." That's quite a minimal requirement. He didn't say he must be able to cut down gods with a sword.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by ayvango View Post
    When you start to play street football too hard, you could end as a professional player. What was fun become tedious labour betraying the original concept of game as something fun to spend your time on.
    But just like some professional football players enjoy the game, so also do some optimizers (like me) enjoy their craft. For example, I really enjoy optimizing a character; I view it as a game inside the game.
    So, I disagree that optimization is viewed as a chore.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Cuz differing power levels are unfair and ruin the game for everyone. The DM's encounters are either too easy for the stronger players or too hard for everyone else. It's fine if everyone optimizes equally, but this is difficult to pull off on practice. It's way easier with limited optimization and/or lower limits on what's allowed. With DM experience the limits may be raised, but it's hard. Most build tricks discussed on these boards are beyond what most DMs are capable of handling. Even well meaning players often guess wrong when trying to guestimate the optimization level of the group and/or proper and fair ways to handle it.

    IMO optimization should almost always be low to low-moderate to makie it easier to prevent such issues. A little more can be done with only small problems, but it's better not to.
    Agreed. That's why, when I post my games, I make clear the level of power I am expecting from my players. (And often...I am far too easy on them. But everyone has fun.) Having a character that underperforms while one overperforms can be quite disheartening. Though mostly that's when their roles overlap, like an unoptimized blaster sorcerer and a fighter. Or that one dude who brought an uber charger to a random table.

    I've never actually experienced it with those who are of different roles, though. Having a wizard lock down enemies while the martials take a couple turns to finish them off, tended to go over rather well, especially when some of the enemies escape or save the control. ...Which, I guess, implies high but not impossible save DCs.

    Wait. I correct that, I did have one time when a player cast that blinding cloud thing on enemies, and the DM just threw up his hands and said "yeah, they can't fight, you win." That did kinda ruin the whole encounter, and had the wizard trying to ask the DM to retcon it so he didn't even prepare the spell. But I think I may be a bit off topic to what I'm talking about. I imagine it's more of the DM having recently heard of how OP wizards are, and just giving up at the first sign of it.
    Last edited by SangoProduction; 2017-12-25 at 06:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by lbuttitta View Post
    But just like some professional football players enjoy the game, so also do some optimizers (like me) enjoy their craft. For example, I really enjoy optimizing a character; I view it as a game inside the game.
    So, I disagree that optimization is viewed as a chore.
    For some, it's not their cup of tea, and drop out, though. Those who like to optimize probably don't hate optimization. I believe he was hypothesizing about those who hate optimization, rather than talking broadly about it.
    Last edited by SangoProduction; 2017-12-25 at 06:18 AM.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    I hate optimization as it ruins the game.

    Once a player goes down the optimzation lane, they are saying they have no interest in role playing. And as we are talking about a role playing game, they are really saying they are not going to play that game: they will only be playing a roll playing game.

    In short, they want the table top role playing game like D&D and make it a table top rule playing game like Risk or Clue. Or even worse, a video game.

    Now sure, optimizers will say must be super optimized to role play, but this huge disconnect just makes no sense. Why does a character need 100 hit points to be funny? Why can't the player role play a funny personality if the character only has 30 hit points?

    Then you get the demigod problem: the player that wants the character to be ''good at what they do'', but they have the huge disconnect that ''good=demigod''. For the optimizer ''being good'' comes down to ''always succeeding and never failing ever''.

    And from a game experience, I have seen very few happy optimizers. The vast majority are always worried about more optimization. How can they get just one more plus or one more thing. It is always out of reach as they just want more and more and more. they don't even have time to play the game, as they are playing the numbers game to try and get more.

    And then there are all the players that get swept up in the opritimaztion lie, but they don't have the experience, ability or game mastery to do so. So they are lost in the limbo that somehow they are playing the game ''wrong'', but they don't know what to do about it.
    Optimization does not preclude role-playing. Role-playing is independent of game mechanics, and in some cases, a mechanical choice gives you an idea about how to role-play your character. (Also, I've never seen an optimizer try to claim they need 100 hp to be funny or anything remotely similar.)

    The "demigod problem" is something I've seen, but not to the degree that you describe, where it interferes with the game. On that point, I partially agree with you.

    As for new players attempting to optimize, I can't speak to that, but, having once been a new player myself, I know there are tons of valuable resources for new players trying to learn about the game.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    I donīt "hate" optimization, as itīs a core part of the d20 system, I just dislike certain aspects of it and try to avoid/disallow them at my table when gmīíng.
    - RAI always beats RAW
    - Setting is important / crunch doesn't come devoid of meaning, there is no refluffing
    - This is a group game, there will always be a session zero and group character creation, everyone can veto a not fitting character.
    Interesting. I would very well possibly have a problem with your particular gm'ing style, as it can be rather hard to tell what is RAI (unless you're getting into really sketchy stuff), and I rather like having the crunch be merely what the character can mechanically do, rather than imposing its characterisation on mine. I like the session 0 thing though. I use it myself. But the simple solution is that I wouldn't personally join your game. Nothing against you.

    I once played a Mana Addict (sorcerer with a level of barbarian), who'd fly in to a magically-induced rage if he ran out of- or low on- spells. As well as a "techno-mage" psion, whose powers were a bunch of devices, as he walked around in "full plate" that was some psuedo-magical mech suit.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    I optimize my characters because, and this may be an odd concept but bear with me, I like my characters. Some posts mention how 'always winning is boring', but when losing means you STOP playing your character, to me it's worth it.

    I'm sure there are games out there where the party can fail, repeatedly even, and still end up alive and having fun. But in games I play in, if someone screws up and someone else doesn't pick up the slack, somebody dies. And even if you're at the level where death is just a pain to deal with, sometimes it's just that.

    It's also why I get annoyed by anti-optimizers. Buddy, half the time I'm pulling your ass out of the fire, I'd like to have some assurance you can do the same for me.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by lbuttitta View Post
    Role-playing is independent of game mechanics, and in some cases, a mechanical choice gives you an idea about how to role-play your character.
    I disagree with this, actually - I think that mechanics play a very large role in roleplaying (heh) because they describe how things are, and how things work; even mechanics your character isn't using can easily change their entire life. In my opinion, mechanics and roleplaying should be intertwined, as both have a great impact on the other. The impacts of something like being heavily resistant to the cold, a mechanical difference between this human barbarian and the others they grew up with, could be minor or major. The effect of the Rage class feature, or even simply having a very high Fortitude save - these all change the character's life, their past, and thereby their present.

    And, in a more direct sense, mechanics like 'I only have 5 maximum HP' and 'my Fortitude save bonus is -1' have a direct, immediate effect on a character's actions. They know they're unlikely to be standing after they take an axe in the chest, or after testing that strange liquid, and act accordingly. On the other hand, the guy who grew up with DR 2/lawful, +2 natural armor and 18 Constitution is a lot more likely to shrug off the same risks, because they're much less dangerous to him, as determined by the game mechanics that govern their interaction with the world.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quick reminder:


    Optimization is a tool that facilitates several different character concepts like kicking butt(being powerful obviously means you'll do that effectively), being super cool, playing a favourite role(power to not die means you keep playing your favourite role) and a bunch of others where mechanical performance representative of fluff is an essential part of the concept. This excludes TO, which is fun, but a different game altogether.

    P.S. This thread needs a mediator. It's turned(like the other) into a complete clustrertruck of people talking over each other. How christmassy.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by martixy View Post
    Optimization is a tool that facilitates several different character concepts like kicking butt(being powerful obviously means you'll do that effectively), being super cool, playing a favourite role(power to not die means you keep playing your favourite role) and a bunch of others where mechanical performance representative of fluff is an essential part of the concept. This excludes TO, which is fun, but a different game altogether.

    P.S. This thread needs a mediator. It's turned(like the other) into a complete clustrertruck of people talking over each other. How christmassy.
    Did you mean to put this in the other optimization thread? There's only one person here who actively talked past the others, and even he was directly responded to. I think this post, if intended to be in this thread, is actually incredibly ironic.
    Last edited by SangoProduction; 2017-12-25 at 10:16 AM.
    "I, the wizard, make an unarmed strike against our fully armored tank. Obviously it misses. Now that I'm in combat I ready a maximized enervation." - Lilith Knight

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    And this is the problem of ''master swrodsman'' vs ''demigod of swords''
    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    ...again, you are going to an extreme. His example was "hit the far side of a barn." That's quite a minimal requirement. He didn't say he must be able to cut down gods with a sword.
    Hearing Darth Ultron, I get the impression that anyone who can hit the broad side of a barn is a "demigod of swords". Someone who doesn't hit the broad side of a barn is then a "master swordsman".

    Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if something like max-ranking a skill goes against DU's views of a good character.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    Interesting. I would very well possibly have a problem with your particular gm'ing style, as it can be rather hard to tell what is RAI (unless you're getting into really sketchy stuff), and I rather like having the crunch be merely what the character can mechanically do, rather than imposing its characterisation on mine. I like the session 0 thing though. I use it myself. But the simple solution is that I wouldn't personally join your game. Nothing against you.

    I once played a Mana Addict (sorcerer with a level of barbarian), who'd fly in to a magically-induced rage if he ran out of- or low on- spells. As well as a "techno-mage" psion, whose powers were a bunch of devices, as he walked around in "full plate" that was some psuedo-magical mech suit.
    I guess at this point it may be a bit late for me to bring this up but considering the more freeform nature of this post....

    I would really like to hear some info on what....anti-optimizers(please give me another term to use in reference to those who follow this position) would like optimizers to do. Like, I'm hearing "don't optimize." But I'm curious what that looks like once you've seen the man behind the screen.

    How do you non-optimizer folks recommend I would hypothetically ween myself off of optimization?
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Madara View Post
    I guess at this point it may be a bit late for me to bring this up but considering the more freeform nature of this post....

    I would really like to hear some info on what....anti-optimizers(please give me another term to use in reference to those who follow this position) would like optimizers to do. Like, I'm hearing "don't optimize." But I'm curious what that looks like once you've seen the man behind the screen.

    How do you non-optimizer folks recommend I would hypothetically ween myself off of optimization?
    Don't.

    Instead, optimize towards the goal of supporting your party and the goal of supporting your character concept.

    You don't need to exceed the previous world's record, you just need to contribute to the success of your group.

    So: pick a concept that's interesting, then optimize to make that concept work. When you have a choice of being generous or selfish, be generous -- you can probably afford it.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    There's no such thing as 'not optimizing' unless you intentionally make an ineffective character. Any character with Dex higher than Str who takes Weapon Finesse is optimizing. Anyone with a low will save that takes Iron Will is optimizing. Anyone who learns/prepares spells that they expect will be useful is optimizing.

    One guy I previously played with absolutely adheres to the built-in flavor of everything printed, and contributes very little to character development or role-playing. He's also decidedly against optimization, but IMO that's more due to his lack of creativity and effort. Most of his characters are ineffective compared to the rest of the party, unless someone hands him a predetermined build. Even then, he tries to replace feats or dip classes that make the character significantly worse or delay the next thing he needed to qualify for, because it happens to look better at the time. Based on personal experience, I view non-optimizers who aren't ignorant of game mechanics as lazy, uncreative, unintelligent individuals like him.

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