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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    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.
    While I agree that this is a good way to solve this, this might not be enough. I play a character who is primarily a healer and a rogue, because there was no one capable dealing with the niche. Still the fact, that I can stealth better than the ranger (and my char is hyper-optimized in Stealth, to make Hellcat Stealth work even with the penalty effectively 100%) annoyed the player, who also wanted to explore the dungeon. And nearly got caught immediately, when I let him. Some players can't be pleased.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    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.
    That last sentence might be a wee bit harsh for the tone this thread needs to maintain.

    To be clear, I'm asking people who are non-optimizers for their thoughts. As much as clarifying that there is "no such thing as 'not optimizing'" may be necessary to the optimizer folks, the primary goal of this thread seems to be to hear the more unheard voice in a constructive manner.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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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?
    I don't think "weaning yourself off optimization" is quite the right way to put it-- not only because of the inherent stigma in the words, but because you really can't un-learn how the game works. If you're stuck with people who do see things that way, for whatever reason, and want to avoid an offensive character...
    • Stick to unique roles. If someone else has made any real investment in something, avoid it, or at least make sure you're equal or inferior to them at it. If there's a melee Fighter, don't bring a Spirit Lion Whirling Frenzy Barbarian.
    • Aim at non-flashy roles. Be a tank, rather than a damage dealer. Buff, instead of blast. Invest in knowledge skills, not social ones. Standing out less
    • Build as narrowly as you can. Use few sources, and in particular limit multiclassing and "weird options." This is a perception thing, but having a "class" line that overflows the space on your sheet is one of those things that can (often wrongly) make people scream "cheese."
    • Be familiar. Don't dig up some weird variant class from an obscure splatbook. Another perception thing-- a powerful Wizard can get cheers, while even a less-powerful Dread Necromancer can get accusations of broken-ness simply because they're different.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    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.
    I admit I may have hit the reply button in the wrong tab. Let's just appreciate the irony. :)

    One, somewhat cynical point I'd like to contribute to this thread is this:
    Char-op can be very intimidating to newcomers. I know how impenetrable it seemed to me when I first started - with all those terms like RAW and uberchargers and batman wizards and DCFS and chain-gating left me completely flabbergasted... Some may never break through that initial block, they might not be interested, they might not have the time or just be too stupid to get on the level of reasoning required there. Heck, some might be opposed to the idea a priori.

    On a more personal note, I myself, as a consummate munchkin frequently find issue with how these boards seem to approach the topic. Too often do people get stuck here in a TO mindset even when a more practical approach is warranted. It starts to get old after a while. It can't make me hate optimization, as I mentioned in my ill-targeted reply, it's just a tool, but it can create a warped perception in people which does nothing to make them appreciate the more mechanical aspects of the game more.

    @Madara, hearing from non-optimizers here might be unlikely due to the filter bubble the impenetrability of the subject tends to create.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    I don't hate optimization, what I understand of it, I just don't like when some people say you can't play certain races with certain classes, or you have to take certain non-core feats or classes or prestige classes. We don't all have every book, and some of them are very expensive because they're out of print, believe me, I've looked.
    Last edited by quark12000; 2017-12-25 at 08:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by quark12000 View Post
    I don't hate optimization, what I understand of it, I just don't like when some people say you can't play certain races with certain classes, or you have to take certain non-core feats or classes or prestige classes. We don't all have every book, and some of them are very expensive because they're out of print, believe me, I've looked.
    Most people don't have all of the books... I'd be willing to bet that most people use .pdf files that they never paid for, at least when it comes to the non-standard core stuff. :P

    Personally, I admit that I use nothing but .pdf files but I kinda justify it in a way because at one point I owned all of the 3.5 books, modules, etc. Everything.

    I'd recommend aquiring the .pdf files and using them instead of messing with hard copy books. It's so much less clutter and way more convenient.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by EldritchWeaver View Post
    While I agree that this is a good way to solve this, this might not be enough. I play a character who is primarily a healer and a rogue, because there was no one capable dealing with the niche. Still the fact, that I can stealth better than the ranger (and my char is hyper-optimized in Stealth, to make Hellcat Stealth work even with the penalty effectively 100%) annoyed the player, who also wanted to explore the dungeon. And nearly got caught immediately, when I let him. Some players can't be pleased.
    I actually had a similar character, we were playing spheres of power, so i picked up basic and advanced magical training, and basically spent all my feats and half my rogue talents on pretty much gestalting rogue/life sphere/warp sphere. I picked up a couple of levels of incanter for more talents, and a level of shadowdancer for hide in plain sight (i actually hate hellcat stealth, if you're in shadowy or total darkness vs someone with darkvision, you're left with your pants down. Really makes hiding in caves or the underdark impossible). She now runs around taking 10 on stealth checks for something close to 50 on her stealth check at levle 12, practically invisible.

    As totally optimized as that sounds, I built her organically in that direction, and didn't even put that much effort into it. Max ranks in stealth, a ring of chameleon (which I upgraded from +10 stelath to +15 stealth), and 3 feats to get into what's generally considered a sub-optimal prestige class. She's good at precisely one thing, and that's not being seen under any circumstances. Rogue's edge for stealth is pretty sweet too, means she can snipe with cantrips for only like a -5 penalty, most things can't see her anyway, so -5 isn't much of a big deal.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by skunk3 View Post
    Most people don't have all of the books... I'd be willing to bet that most people use .pdf files that they never paid for, at least when it comes to the non-standard core stuff. :P

    Personally, I admit that I use nothing but .pdf files but I kinda justify it in a way because at one point I owned all of the 3.5 books, modules, etc. Everything.

    I'd recommend aquiring the .pdf files and using them instead of messing with hard copy books. It's so much less clutter and way more convenient.
    Well, I just couldn't do that. I'll have to stick to the three core books that I have.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by quark12000 View Post
    Well, I just couldn't do that. I'll have to stick to the three core books that I have.
    Yet in this forum you'd hear that perhaps you should "include psionics" because they're in the free SRD and are considered a more balanced system than the core casting. Still, I'm sure you get plenty of flexibility by homebrewing or tweaking that which you do have when needed.


    And yeah, @martixy, you're probably right. I was holding out hope that I might seem friendly enough (and I am genuinely interested in hearing what they'd suggest.)

    @Grod_The_Giant, you make good points (ones I was already aware of but nonetheless good ones). Perhaps this serves as a good reminder that when handing out optimization wisdom, we should include suggestions on how to be a team player and what ways optimization is healthy at the table. We've been treating the Force RAW like a power source when really it's a thing that connects all of the game and all characters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodgruve View Post
    Really though, how effin scary would the beach be if an octopus could launch itself outta the water at a 200' move speed every 6 seconds. I'd never go to the beach again... I thought flying sharks were scary...
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Madara View Post
    Yet in this forum you'd hear that perhaps you should "include psionics" because they're in the free SRD and are considered a more balanced system than the core casting. Still, I'm sure you get plenty of flexibility by homebrewing or tweaking that which you do have when needed.
    I've never been a fan of psionics and to me that site looks a little sketchy. Can't tell if that's actually free stuff or just stuff someone is saying is free.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by quark12000 View Post
    I've never been a fan of psionics and to me that site looks a little sketchy. Can't tell if that's actually free stuff or just stuff someone is saying is free.
    Weird. I guess I never saw that site as one that's sketchy seeming. Did they add ads or something? Last I checked their site was very clean and minimalist.

    This is the official Wizard's site stuff. It's messy but there.

    As for psionics, they are a bit of an acquired taste it seems. I know that a lot of people support its use with the flavor filed off. Nonetheless, free stuff can always be savaged for useful bits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hashmir View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodgruve View Post
    Really though, how effin scary would the beach be if an octopus could launch itself outta the water at a 200' move speed every 6 seconds. I'd never go to the beach again... I thought flying sharks were scary...
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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by quark12000 View Post
    I've never been a fan of psionics and to me that site looks a little sketchy. Can't tell if that's actually free stuff or just stuff someone is saying is free.
    That site is the exact opposite of sketchy.

    There are plenty of other sites with legally free game info:
    - http://dndsrd.net/
    - http://www.opengamingfoundation.org/srd.html
    - https://www.rpgcrossing.com/srd/home.html


    All of them are labeled as "SRD" sites. You won't find stuff like Beholder stats or XP-per-level values because those are excluded contents -- any site with those would be guilty of unauthorized information sharing.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Another reason I request help from optimizers is that I am rubbish at calculation, but my comprehension is great. I have dyscalculia so crunching numbers can take me many times longer than it should. However, if someone else can tell me that x feat is better than y class ability for z reason then I can build on that.

    Additionally, I have learned to label my thread titles as RAW, TO, etc to help facilitate the conveyance of useful info.
    I usually request RAW so that I know just what rules I would be breaking or bending if I were to interpret RAI or houserule for effect.

    These threads, often even with the above explanations spelled out, still suffer a preponderance of antiRAW or antioptimization responses that are usually unhelpful in the given endeavor and rarely well elucidated.

    Admittedly I am fascinated with many of the more difficult to adjudicate elements of the game. Simulacrum being a more recent fascination. (The sheer volune of misinformation and commonly accepted houseruling has been enlightening), but exploring these elements helps our table adapt them to actual play instead of just banning them offhand.

    I've played high op and even TO with my current GM in IRL games. And I'm going to be GMing for them playing a Diplomancer soon. We have had and anticipate future fun. So for me the 'optimization is the antithesis of fun' arguement just fails to hold water. Though I get that this is anecdotal evidence at best.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Thread asks why someone would hate optimization, someone who hates optimization responds, in less than one page the OP and more have dogpiled them about how they're wrong and need to change their mind.

    Well done gents.

    I especially like how right after I told Crake off for being antagonistic and how shouting about the stormwind fallacy didn't mean anything, his very next post continued shouting about the stormwind fallacy while accusing the very person who the thread should be welcoming of being argumentative (hey, did you know that accusing someone of trolling is itself trolling under the forum rules?). If you don't want to argue then stop arguing, let the man say his peace in the thread that directly asked for it without directly contradicting him. Though seeing the OP immediately go from reasonable to straight opposition is right up there too.

    I'm pretty sure that's why martixy's saying this thread is the same as all the others (because it is).

    (Not to say some of you aren't doing a fine job, you lot just keep being fine).
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Wanting to contribute to the conversation but holding, or heaven forbid explaining why, an opposing opinion doesn't seem as sinful to me as it's being made out to be...

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    Quote Originally Posted by magicalmagicman View Post
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Thread asks why someone would hate optimization, someone who hates optimization responds, in less than one page the OP and more have dogpiled them about how they're wrong and need to change their mind.
    It's almost like when someone says some stuff that's just factually incorrect, people are allowed to challenge it.

    I especially like how right after I told Crake off for being antagonistic and how shouting about the stormwind fallacy didn't mean anything, his very next post continued shouting about the stormwind fallacy
    It's almost like when someone says some stuff that's just factually incorrect, people are allowed to challenge it.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Madara View Post
    Weird. I guess I never saw that site as one that's sketchy seeming. Did they add ads or something? Last I checked their site was very clean and minimalist.

    This is the official Wizard's site stuff. It's messy but there.

    As for psionics, they are a bit of an acquired taste it seems. I know that a lot of people support its use with the flavor filed off. Nonetheless, free stuff can always be savaged for useful bits.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    That site is the exact opposite of sketchy.

    There are plenty of other sites with legally free game info:
    - http://dndsrd.net/
    - http://www.opengamingfoundation.org/srd.html
    - https://www.rpgcrossing.com/srd/home.html


    All of them are labeled as "SRD" sites. You won't find stuff like Beholder stats or XP-per-level values because those are excluded contents -- any site with those would be guilty of unauthorized information sharing.
    Sorry, but any time I see something for free, I become instantly suspicious. That's just me.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by quark12000 View Post
    Sorry, but any time I see something for free, I become instantly suspicious. That's just me.
    Uh... are you paying us for advice?

    That would be new.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by quark12000 View Post
    Sorry, but any time I see something for free, I become instantly suspicious. That's just me.
    You're probably not aware of the Open Gaming License, which is part of why 3.x was so popular: the core rules (minus a bit of level up info) were made freely available to everyone, and anyone could publish their own work based on those rules as long as they included a copy of the OGL, which made their work part of it. That's why in addition to the tons of 1st party books from Wizards of the Coast (who own DnD), there were also tons of 3rd party books from other gaming companies. SRD stands for System Reference Document, which is those core rules, and many srd sites also include a couple other books designated as OGL, like Expanded Psionics Handbook and Unearthed Arcana.

    Additionally, WotC had years of articles on their website with freely available stuff, including excerpts from their own printed books and stuff that got cut from those books but was put online anyway. I just linked one of them in your barbarian thread.

    And I suppose I might as well throw in on deliberate optimization reduction: I don't find it that hard. You know what your first pick would be so go for second best, just good enough. The real question is weather or not you'll have fun playing that way- I can only take a couple steps down myself.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    You're probably not aware of the Open Gaming License, which is part of why 3.x was so popular: the core rules (minus a bit of level up info) were made freely available to everyone, and anyone could publish their own work based on those rules as long as they included a copy of the OGL, which made their work part of it. That's why in addition to the tons of 1st party books from Wizards of the Coast (who own DnD), there were also tons of 3rd party books from other gaming companies. SRD stands for System Reference Document, which is those core rules, and many srd sites also include a couple other books designated as OGL, like Expanded Psionics Handbook and Unearthed Arcana.

    Additionally, WotC had years of articles on their website with freely available stuff, including excerpts from their own printed books and stuff that got cut from those books but was put online anyway. I just linked one of them in your barbarian thread.
    No, I didn't know about the OGL/SRD stuff. Thanks. I have seen d20 systems used for a lot of non-Wizard games and wondered how companies did that without being sued!

    Is there a way to tell what is authentic SRD stuff?

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    All OGL material must have a copy of the OGL- but that doesn't make it any more "authentic" than anything else (most websites will have it as a link near the bottom of the page). People like to draw a line between 1st party material from WotC, 3rd party from other people, and homebrew, but in the end its really all the same. Either way, you won't find anything from 1st party WotC online in large quantities for free legally, just the stuff I mentioned. My preferred srd site is http://www.d20srd.org/index.htm . They got bought out fairly recently so I'm told the site's got ads now, but I don't notice because adblock.

    The "guide to free dnd" threads will have links to an srd site and then all the WotC articles and excerpts that were available when the thread was posted, generally speaking. Most of those links will be broken since WotC changed their website/archive architecture several times, but once you have the name of something you can google it up just fine.

    There are other wiki sites that also have homebrew on them, which many people don't like, because a wiki where anyone can put up their homebrew is. . . a wiki where anyone can put up their homebew.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    I'm sorry for failing my Will save to not respond to Darth Ultron, thereby filling the thread with questions that I guess will go unanswered. But to me, his views are extremely weird. And if I didn't believe they're ultimately based on misunderstandings and bad experiences of jerk players, I'd probably view his statements as not just factually wrong but downright insulting to me, the people in my group, and likely many of the GitP 3e/PF regulars.

    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.
    Just to make certain I'm not reading this wrong: you are saying that someone who practices theoretical and/or practical optimization cannot be interested in the ROLE aspects of the game, but only the mechanical aspects, right?

    If that is the case, I am (along with several other people in the hobby) obviously some kind of living paradox!

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    • I enjoy and practice both theoretical and practical optimization in rules-heavy games, and have been doing so since way before any internet forum dedicated to RPGs existed
    • I usually spend a lot more time developing ROLE playing aspects than I spend optimizing mechanical aspects of a PC
    • I wouldn't be playing D&D/PF or any other RPG if not for the ROLE play aspects
    • I enjoy free-form as well as rules-heavy RPGs
    • I have been very involved in what would become known as Nordic Larp - perhaps most famous for its focus on immersion and ROLE play - since the late 80-ies
    • I'm an occasional professional stage and film actor, primarily as a result of my interest in RPGs and specifically the ROLE playing aspects
    I can go on, but I think you get the geist of it.


    And just FYI: I also like tabletop strategy games, but mostly for different reasons. I also believe D&D/PF would make for a pretty bad/boring such game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Now sure, optimizers will say must be super optimized to role play, but this huge disconnect just makes no sense.
    They do? I don't think I've ever heard that outside of jokes. Examples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    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?
    What does "a funny personality" have to do with hp? This sounds absolutely absurd, making me suspect that you've completely misunderstood what someone has said. And exactly what makes you believe this is how "optimizers" think?

    If you were actually referring to not having mechanics backing up your ROLE play where needed, that is however something that easily can produce a huge disconnect. And this is coincidentally also one of the major reasons for practical char-op.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    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''.
    Never seen that either. Examples?

    Moreover, how good a character has to be in order to be considered ''good at what they do'' is ultimately defined by the game's expected power level. But generally speaking, ''always succeeding and never failing ever'' is virtually always firmly in the realm of TO. If a character I play would somehow accidentally end up being that good in a party of PCs which generally aren't, I'd immediately talk to the GM about making some changes to my character build to tone down the effectiveness of the related mechanics. Perhaps more importantly, I'd also call such "self-nerfing" a good example of Practical Optimization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    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.
    Sorry, but I have to ask if most of the people you play with are jerks, just plain stupid, or both? I cant see how they could be anything else, or they would've understood that being "always worried about more optimization" will most likely simply make their game less fun. At least once they've seen an actually seriously OP or game-breaking PC in play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    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.
    Long story short, they've missed that the ultimate goal of practical optimization is to make the game more fun for everyone involved.

    Unfortunately, that goal is often taken for granted and is rarely spelled out in posts giving PO advice.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    I think the problem is this...

    1. META: 3.5 is Not the game you want
    It's not. It is it's own beast, and honestly, if you are playing this game in 2017, you either grew up with it, or people around you are influencing you to choose the game. It's not exactly the most eye-catching thing at barnes and noble. Now, with 2 games of distance away from the present, and also the more forgivable 5e existing, as well as the much more customizable PATHFINDER being a thing, You are going to have to accept some baggage.

    That baggage is the whole kit and caboodle of optimization, and 3.5 is DEEP in that. It's not GOOD, however, but as people have said before, it has a lot of trap options, alongside some really god-level capabilities. We know from time and experience that the lower the tier list you are on the worse you are off falling for traps, such as poor skill allocation, fluff only feats, and even choice of class in itself.


    After kind of thinking about it in this thread, I had an epiphany:[ U]Tier is an indication of how much you have to optimize to have an effective character[/U]
    Read that again, just to really let it sink in.

    New players don't understand that. They think that the higher the tier, the more complex and hard the character becomes to play, when the inverse is true. Tier one characters are inherently effective, so the amount of optimization you need is very little. It becomes cosmetic at that point. I CAN take toughness for all of my feats for a tier one class, and honestly? They will become better for it. They have a more effective chassis. Now at low level, you can still get TPK'd in a all tier 1 party like it was nothing, IF you don't know the little tricks for low level survival, but once you understand the best choices for survival low level, it's cake.

    So really again, that maxim kind of rings. The fact is, optimization is NOT really something tier 1 classes have to necessarily concern themselves with with. If I spend all of my feats on shenanigans for a cleric, at the end of the day, at level 20, that is still a cleric. If I DON'T pick natural spell for a druid, and just pick more trap feats, it's completely fine, because in the end, he can still fall back on all of the class features that can carry them.


    Unfortunately for some, the ideas that they want to execute are outside of the actual crunch FOR the game, so they end up with ideas that they want to execute, made from pure imagination, but aren't grounded in the reality of the rules. You wanna play free form? Go ahead. You wanna be a stage actor and larp? have fun. You want to play this game at the same structure as one would with say a board game, then those ideas are either going to have to be worked around, or fluffing something differently.

    2.You aren't listening to the crowd
    Springboarding off the first point, the vocal majority understands the usefulness and application of optimizing. Just because you choose to use a Spear or a Spiked chain, instead of going for the orcish shotput as a weapon doesn't mean that you are a munchkin. Just because you realize that two weapon fighting isn't an optimal choice, and advise against it, doesn't mean that someone is "mean" or stifling your creativity.
    Even in real life, two weapon fighting is considered unoptimal. Cinematically it's cool, but you know... it takes you away from focusing on your primary arm.

    Should the game have not had so many options that sound appealing, but in reality make you worse at what you are doing? [You know...like a trap...] Absolutely.

    Secondly, in class choice, I see two things often with new players. The first is a die-hard focus on playing one class all the way to 20, and the second is wanting to multi-class and fill up every level to create some sort of jack of all trades, but with spellcasting classes. The problem is that the game only has certain classes that multiclass well. It's GOOD when you dip various full B.A.B classes, but doing that with spellcasters is not only "not optimal" but since spells work on a spellcaster DC, your spells become completely worthless, It's not that you can play that literary dabbler that has his hands in everything and brings it all together. That is done by taking factotum, which was a relatively late edition to the game.

    When everyone says "Hey, it's not going to work", and going against the grain and saying "make this for me, or solve my problems that I am making for myself" It makes everyone just not want to help.
    If you have a garbage build and you are trying to get other people to help, and you won't listen to reason, and there IS no mechanical fix, you just sound stubborn.
    Homebrew, remake it, or stop whining to others when they tell you that you are trying to get a circle to fit through a square. It's like a person with car problems that says tells you to fix the car, as a mechanic, but won't listen when you tell them to do something, or stop doing another.

    It's very That Guy.


    It may sound harsh, or "elitist", but this is an old game that doesn't easily fit everyone's imagination. It has it's own internal logic and consistency, so getting mad at people telling you it doesn't work that way is an exercise in futility.
    Last edited by DMVerdandi; 2017-12-26 at 03:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by upho View Post
    Just to make certain I'm not reading this wrong: you are saying that someone who practices theoretical and/or practical optimization cannot be interested in the ROLE aspects of the game, but only the mechanical aspects, right?

    If that is the case, I am (along with several other people in the hobby) obviously some kind of living paradox!
    Darth Ultron's rhetoric is rather extreme and exaggerated, and this makes him a very easy target for criticisms like this. But, that doesn't mean that there isn't a kernel of truth in what he's saying. It's best to look for that kernel, rather than to get caught up in the hyperbole.

    In open discussion like this, people tend to vilify and tear down reasoning that's based on generalizations. Calling the Stromwind Fallacy is an example of people doing this. It's certainly true that being a good optimizer doesn't preclude also being a good roleplayer, but that doesn't mean that it's common for someone to be both. And if it's not common to be both, then the general observation will be that players are usually either good optimizers or good roleplayers. And, Darth Ultron has incorrectly concluded that there is a causative relationship there.

    I think maybe there's also a tendency for a player's greatest strength to sort of overshadow his lesser strengths. So, say there's a guy who's a pretty good roleplayer, but he's an exceptionally good optimizer. His optimizing skill kind of stands out, and his roleplaying skill looks less impressive by comparison. So, maybe good optimizers tend to be underrated as roleplayers, and vice-versa?

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by upho View Post
    Just to make certain I'm not reading this wrong: you are saying that someone who practices theoretical and/or practical optimization cannot be interested in the ROLE aspects of the game, but only the mechanical aspects, right?
    I think its possible to make the valid point that any character that is based around a pre-planned build has a "character development" that is entirely divorced from what is happening in the actual game. This becomes more pronounced when talking about heavily transformative builds, you know, the ones that start as "A" by necessity to be "B" later on, like, say, an Sorcerdin build that starts as Paladin and will move over to be a full caster later on.

    Its a bit of a major flaw with the class and level structure, that you have to get your stuff together before the "adventure" (*) and don't actually benefit by taking the appropriate feats, skill ranks or PrC in reaction to what the character learned and experienced during that "adventure" (*).

    (*) Take an unprepared Fighter to an elaborate social scene and the character feels mechanically inadequate, even when the player can naturally still participate by simply roleplaying it, pick something like Skill Focus: Diplomacy and some cross class ranks in Diplomacy after that scene and you've practically wasted resources. It´s sad.

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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.
    Firstly, I consider your post an extreme exaggeration to prove a point/ trolling, I will address it non the less.


    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    I hate optimization as it ruins the game.
    Firstly, a blanket statement like “it ruins the game” is clearly untrue. If players are having fun, which from past experience is when people play equally to a certain style, optimization is great. Again, optimization means different things to different people. For Tippy, it means something about having underwear sewn with strings of red dragons for others it means taking weapon specialization. The thing is, if the table agrees to a certain play style anything can be hugely fun. So, I call your blanket statement incorrect.

    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. 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.
    If your roleplaying a powerhungry wizard, you are going to take the things that make you better at surviving and killing your enemies so you have less competition. And considering how most fantasy setting, be it Tolkiens, Harry Potter, Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance etc., are ripe with evil wizards grapping for power, surviving is about becoming more powerful. And that’s in itself is a totally valid goal or character concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    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.
    Again, that surely depends on the person at hand. Personally, I like the idea of playing a powerful wizard, that’s fun for me, but I don’t ahead and Shapechange into a Zodar for free wishes, and still only take options that fit the way I consider cool fluff. But that fluff must be on an option that makes my character better at being a wizard… So, I’m not multiclassing into fighter, not only because it would be a bad option, but because that’s does not further my characters in game goals. So, for me, my roleplaying options and “powegaming” options are the same. (Btw, my wizards ingame goal is to uncover/ decipher the code that is magic… as trying to find the Higgs Boson of magic, so that means encountering some nasty dudes, therefore more power is needed to interact with beings not willing to part with their secrets or artifacts, which must be had to further my research.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    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?
    I have never heard this argument before, but see my above point. If becoming a great swordsman or wrestler is what your fighter’s life, HP is probably a good thing. It seems to me you are equating being good at something mechanically as being bad at roleplaying… again not true at all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    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''.
    Well surely the game is not about loosing encounters and dying? So yes optimizations is about getting the most out of your build. And why wouldn’t you? Would you deliberately dump strength when playing a fighter??? If not, then you are in effect doing the same thing as the ones you say you hate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    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.
    That problem is due to a lack of player to DM interaction. Not saying that the DM in question is bad, but the disconnect is in opposing play styles, not the play style itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    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.
    I have never seen this happen, so unsure of what to make of it…
    Last edited by Melcar; 2017-12-26 at 04:52 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by chaotic stupid View Post
    tippy's posted, thread's over now

    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by quark12000 View Post
    Well, I just couldn't do that. I'll have to stick to the three core books that I have.
    You're basically only using 3% of available options... why omg why? The later stuff printed is actually more balanced than the CORE. Also having direct classes and options makes "optimizations" less necessary!


    Ayways... On a optimizations note. I totally respect everyones point of view, but I must say that the there seem to be one underlying truch in all the haters... and that is two things actually

    1) Jerk players... who are stomping other players with their builds

    2) A discrepancy between level of optimization

    3) A DM who is not able to present correct level encounters for all players in the group!

    So that was three things... if there are no jerks, everyone plays to the same level and a great DM... Everyone will have fun!
    Last edited by Max Caysey; 2017-12-26 at 05:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    This is my personal experience/history.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Goal: Construct Master
    Problem1: Need wealth to get its shtick going
    Problem2: If construct dies, you are screwed. You cannot accrue enough wealth for a replacement for several levels.
    Possible Solution: Wealth Optimization. Various spell combos and rule lawyering resulting in infinite wealth.
    Result: Ruined the game. Wealth limits are very important to the enjoyment of the game and giving everyone 9999999999999gp ruined it. There was no way of making it work.
    Fault: Mine. I was at fault. I was the optimizing power gaming rule lawyer that ruined everyone's fun.

    Modified Goal: Expendable Permanent Minion Master
    Solution: PLANAR BINDING line of spells. Minions are powerful, permanent, free, and expendable because they cost nothing to reacquire.
    Problem1: Shtick comes online at level 9. Pushed back to 10 or 11 if I want to do something else with my character (sorcerer with dips).
    Possible Solution: Early Access Optimization. After a lot of versatile spellcaster debate and whatnot through this forum, came up with a Nar Demonbinder build. Level 8 access to lesser planar binidng.
    Problem2: Nar Demonbinder drops off very badly, especially with only 1 level 8 spell slot.
    Problem3: Planar Binding can backfire and TPK the party.
    Problem4: Requires downtime for spamming debuffs and and retrying when outsider succeeds save.
    Solution: Spell DC optimization and Charisma Check Optimization to maximize 1 day planar binding resulting in extreme amount of class dips. I got 7 classes/PrCs in my final build.
    Result: People called me a power gamer because of the complexity of my build. I did what I did to be the least bothersome as possible to the party and they have a problem with it.
    Solution: Switched to Pure 20 cleric. 100% success rate with Lust Domain and Surge of Fortune.
    Result1: A DM had a problem with free service. he went on to cite some obscure sci fi novel series no one ever heard and kept quoting "There is no free lunch" while he completley rewrites the rules for regeneration because "nothing in the world is immortal and everything should die."
    Fault: DM. If he wanted to use d&d to create a world of his fantasies where he is god and everything works as he thinks how it should work, he should've said it up front so I don't join his game.
    Results...5?: Finally found a game where people play d&d. No homebrew or house rule bull****. Everything was RAW. Everyone was experienced and had a good mastery of the system. Gentleman's agreement in place and no one abused it. Everyone was optimized and it was the best game ever.

    Most common discussion I had: "Why don't you cast heal or buffs and abandon summoning or planar binding?"
    My response: I'm not interested in playing a spellcaster. I'm interested in playing a creator of monsters, but since that's not viable I'm interested in playing a demon master. The entire reason I play d&d is because it's the only RPG system out there that lets me obtain permanent minions. You take this away and I'll play Skyrim or some other videogame. So if you want me to spend 4 hours a week doing nothing except healing and buffing you so you can kill **** while I twiddle my thumbs doing nothing, then go **** yourself.

    Observation1: Experienced d&d players have no problems with me, my character, or my optimization. It's only the noob****s that do.
    Observation2: People who have a specific goal they want to achieve in the game optimize. For me it was being a demon master. Others it's dealing the most epic damage in a charge, being a master in every skill, be invincible, etc.
    Observation3: People who don't have a specific goal they want to achieve in the game don't optimize. It's the difference between "I want to be Aragorn and kill stuff with a sword" and "I want to be a walking tornado of blades so I'm gonna optimize as many attacks I can cram into my character."
    Observation4: It's always the noobs who have a problem with optimization. Noob DMs railroad and when they fail to railroad because the PC is too strong they throw a tantrum and blame optimizers. If the noob is a player he'll get mad because he's weak and the optimizer is not.
    Observation5: It's always the lazy apathetic players who have a problem with optimization. Excited players who are excited about the game spend their free time reading books and online webpages because they love their character and want to cram everything they want to do in the game into their character. Players who just want to punch stuff obviously doesn't read anything in their spare time and get mad when people who do outperform them.
    Observation6: If your optimization goal is "Never be useless" and "always able to do something", all the noobs are going to hate you with a passion. Specialized optimizers get less flak.
    Observation7: Some people just want things to be simple. Simple swordsman fighitng a simple monster supported by a simple wizard. These people aren't noobs, but they hate optimizers. Optimizers love complexity so they introduce levels of complexity simple people don't like, and as such they hate the optimizers.

    Conclusion1: Virtually all optimization haters are noobs so feel free to completely disregard their whining.
    Conclusion2: Some people like to keep things simple and these people hate optimizers. Fortunately 5e created a simpler d&d experience these people can switch to, but there is nothing wrong with people wanting simple games, which is why interviews are important. I believe most of the anti-optimization people on this forum who aren't noobs are these types of people, people who want a simple game without spending hours reading 10 books to build their character.
    Conclusion3: There is nothing wrong with optimization. Excited enthusiastic people optimize their characters during their free time and a game with only these types of people is the most fun as the sheer uniqueness of each character and each campaign and NPC is astonishing.

    So simply put, ignore all the noobs, and either join a simple game and be simple, or join a complex game and be complex. Don't be simple in a complex game or be complex in a simple game.

    In the past 2 threads I've been seeing a lot of "Simple games are better, complex games are bad, so optimizing is bad", or "complex games are better, simple games are bad, so optimizing is good." which isn't really about optimization. It's about people claiming their personal tastes are superior to others. I am guilty of this as well, but I firmly believe if you don't like optimization you should switch to 5e.
    Last edited by someonenoone11; 2017-12-26 at 06:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by quark12000 View Post
    I've never been a fan of psionics and to me that site looks a little sketchy. Can't tell if that's actually free stuff or just stuff someone is saying is free.
    The SRD is actually the officially allowed to be public stuff. And besides, even if you were concerned about the ethics there, we are 2 editions behind the current iteration. Buying a 3.5 book isn't supporting 3.5. It's essentially abandoned content.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by someonenoone11 View Post
    This is my personal experience/history.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Goal: Construct Master
    Problem1: Need wealth to get its shtick going
    Problem2: If construct dies, you are screwed. You cannot accrue enough wealth for a replacement for several levels.
    Possible Solution: Wealth Optimization. Various spell combos and rule lawyering resulting in infinite wealth.
    Result: Ruined the game. Wealth limits are very important to the enjoyment of the game and giving everyone 9999999999999gp ruined it. There was no way of making it work.
    Fault: Mine. I was at fault. I was the optimizing power gaming rule lawyer that ruined everyone's fun.

    Modified Goal: Expendable Permanent Minion Master
    Solution: PLANAR BINDING line of spells. Minions are powerful, permanent, free, and expendable because they cost nothing to reacquire.
    Problem1: Shtick comes online at level 9. Pushed back to 10 or 11 if I want to do something else with my character (sorcerer with dips).
    Possible Solution: Early Access Optimization. After a lot of versatile spellcaster debate and whatnot through this forum, came up with a Nar Demonbinder build. Level 8 access to lesser planar binidng.
    Problem2: Nar Demonbinder drops off very badly, especially with only 1 level 8 spell slot.
    Problem3: Planar Binding can backfire and TPK the party.
    Problem4: Requires downtime for spamming debuffs and and retrying when outsider succeeds save.
    Solution: Spell DC optimization and Charisma Check Optimization to maximize 1 day planar binding resulting in extreme amount of class dips. I got 7 classes/PrCs in my final build.
    Result: People called me a power gamer because of the complexity of my build. I did what I did to be the least bothersome as possible to the party and they have a problem with it.
    Solution: Switched to Pure 20 cleric. 100% success rate with Lust Domain and Surge of Fortune.
    Result1: A DM had a problem with free service. he went on to cite some obscure sci fi novel series no one ever heard and kept quoting "There is no free lunch" while he completley rewrites the rules for regeneration because "nothing in the world is immortal and everything should die."
    Fault: DM. If he wanted to use d&d to create a world of his fantasies where he is god and everything works as he thinks how it should work, he should've said it up front so I don't join his game.
    Results...5?: Finally found a game where people play d&d. No homebrew or house rule bull****. Everything was RAW. Everyone was experienced and had a good mastery of the system. Gentleman's agreement in place and no one abused it. Everyone was optimized and it was the best game ever.

    Most common discussion I had: "Why don't you cast heal or buffs and abandon summoning or planar binding?"
    My response: I'm not interested in playing a spellcaster. I'm interested in playing a creator of monsters, but since that's not viable I'm interested in playing a demon master. The entire reason I play d&d is because it's the only RPG system out there that lets me obtain permanent minions. You take this away and I'll play Skyrim or some other videogame. So if you want me to spend 4 hours a week doing nothing except healing and buffing you so you can kill **** while I twiddle my thumbs doing nothing, then go **** yourself.

    Observation1: Experienced d&d players have no problems with me, my character, or my optimization. It's only the noob****s that do.
    Observation2: People who have a specific goal they want to achieve in the game optimize. For me it was being a demon master. Others it's dealing the most epic damage in a charge, being a master in every skill, be invincible, etc.
    Observation3: People who don't have a specific goal they want to achieve in the game don't optimize. It's the difference between "I want to be Aragorn and kill stuff with a sword" and "I want to be a walking tornado of blades so I'm gonna optimize as many attacks I can cram into my character."
    Observation4: It's always the noobs who have a problem with optimization. Noob DMs railroad and when they fail to railroad because the PC is too strong they throw a tantrum and blame optimizers. If the noob is a player he'll get mad because he's weak and the optimizer is not.
    Observation5: It's always the lazy apathetic players who have a problem with optimization. Excited players who are excited about the game spend their free time reading books and online webpages because they love their character and want to cram everything they want to do in the game into their character. Players who just want to punch stuff obviously doesn't read anything in their spare time and get mad when people who do outperform them.
    Observation6: If your optimization goal is "Never be useless" and "always able to do something", all the noobs are going to hate you with a passion. Specialized optimizers get less flak.
    Observation7: Some people just want things to be simple. Simple swordsman fighitng a simple monster supported by a simple wizard. These people aren't noobs, but they hate optimizers. Optimizers love complexity so they introduce levels of complexity simple people don't like, and as such they hate the optimizers.

    Conclusion1: Virtually all optimization haters are noobs so feel free to completely disregard their whining.
    Conclusion2: Some people like to keep things simple and these people hate optimizers. Fortunately 5e created a simpler d&d experience these people can switch to, but there is nothing wrong with people wanting simple games, which is why interviews are important. I believe most of the anti-optimization people on this forum who aren't noobs are these types of people, people who want a simple game without spending hours reading 10 books to build their character.
    Conclusion3: There is nothing wrong with optimization. Excited enthusiastic people optimize their characters during their free time and a game with only these types of people is the most fun as the sheer uniqueness of each character and each campaign and NPC is astonishing.

    So simply put, ignore all the noobs, and either join a simple game and be simple, or join a complex game and be complex. Don't be simple in a complex game or be complex in a simple game.

    In the past 2 threads I've been seeing a lot of "Simple games are better, complex games are bad, so optimizing is bad", or "complex games are better, simple games are bad, so optimizing is good." which isn't really about optimization. It's about people claiming their personal tastes are superior to others. I am guilty of this as well, but I firmly believe if you don't like optimization you should switch to 5e.
    I think you are pretty close to the mark here... And I actually like your bluntness. However...

    One of my best friends actually like the feeling of playing a low level simple game. For him, that hits the spirit/mood of stories like LoTR... and he enjoys kicking in the door as a level 1... where checks fail and stuff like that... and I agree with him most of the time. He is a very experienced player and a great DM, who himself have build some super complex powerful builds... So he can, he often chooses not to, but he very rarely misses his mark in terms of matching the overall optimization level of the party and setting... Both as a DM and as a player...

    So even though I think that you are right in the majority of things... my friend seem to not fit your conclusions! :)
    Quote Originally Posted by chaotic stupid View Post
    tippy's posted, thread's over now

    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

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