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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    @Darth Ultron:

    Tell me, does a character who maxes out stealth, gets a +10 or 15 stealth magic item, gets a level of shadowdancer for hide in plain sight, along with 10 levels of rogue for skill mastery to take 10 on stealth checks, as well as something like darkstalker or dampen presence to literally be able to walk in front of people without being see against any enemy without at least +30 or so spot, does that count as optimization?

    They're good at doing exactly one thing without fail, but everything else they do has a failure chance. You seem to decree that an optimizer must not fail at anything ever, so if you leave even one hole in your optimization, you're not an optimizer? So if... I say, suck at knowledge checks, does that prevent me from being an optimizer? Or is it anyone who is capable of avoiding failure chance at anything that's an optimizer?
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Uhm...

    In 3.5, at least, a character who misses with a weapon attack absolutely, literally, and in every situation I can think of other than fighting defensively, does nothing but waste their action. A character who misses really is doing nothing.
    Only if they suck at chess.

    Seriously. Just being in the right position, threatening the right enemy, providing flanking, holding a choke point, can be much more valuable than hitting.

    Also, discussions about hitting half the time seem to have forgotten about iteratives. If my twf-er hits with half his attacks, whoever he's attacking is probably dead. I think that qualifies as a master swordsman at least.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by someonenoone11 View Post
    There is nothing wrong with a player succeeding 100% of the time as long as they work for it, but whatever, to each his own. I certainly won't play in a game ran by Darth Ultron.
    Except then your not even playing the game. If a character just succeeded 100% of the time, then why even play. Just to see ''how'' they succeed?

    Like sitting down at the very first game session and saying ''well the characters and players have all ready done the goal and won the game...but lets see how they have automatiacly done so, " and then not play the game to find out if the characters took the rocky path or the forest path.

    Failure is part of the game...it is why it is in the game.

    And I'm not saying that is bad, if you want to have a game with all like people and you just want to all say ''we always win'' that is fine. But just stay in that sort of game.

    To say to someone ''well I won the game, but lets play the game to see how I won'' is just silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    1: the idea that if your character misses you contributed nothing to that round is technically not true. you can act as a 5ft/5ft wall DC 25 tumble. but most people wouldn't much care to be a wall so it fells like you failed. people tend to not like to fail. this does not mean the world ends by failing though.
    But it is not like if a character fails once they fail forever. Not for most rolls. So a character missed and attack...oh, well, just try again next round.

    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    2: of course the rules don't cover everything there are too many things to be comprehensive. but the rules should cover the common cases. the rules SHOULD cover the most common adjudications, but even then you have to make allowances for differences (hence the circumstance bonus/penalty for skills as an example)
    Right.

    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    3: there are many kinds of people, too many to really categorize them all. not to mention people change based on circumstance. yes there are the "simulationists" as i call them who prefer the mechanical aspects of RPGs over the RP. there are also RPers who prefer fluff over crunch. both can be optimizers both can be fluffers (non-optimizers) it depends on the person themselves.
    Lots of people...ok

    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    4: not all optimizers MUST be as powerful as possible. there are many optimizers who enjoy the "mini-game" if you will but tone it down to their groups play level. multiple people in this thread have stated they do so as do I.
    True...there are a couple ''ok'' ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    5: 3.5 is an optimizers playground, and tends to attract more than its fair share as does pathfinder. that said the lowest forms of optimization are things like taking power attack on a two handed fighter with a lot of strength, taking spell focus on that specialized wizard, natural spell on a druid. these are basic things which people tend to do in order to be effective AND because of fluff reasons. have you ever played a wizard that dumps his INT? or a warrior who dumps Str stat? if so you are a %$* and are trolling your group if you are telling the truth and i would think you are lying to us if you say so. doing ANYTHING that benefits your character is optimization in some way.
    Both games do attract them like ants to sugar.

    And have I, the anti-optimizer, had such characters? YES. Quite often. And it kind of gets back to my point.

    Meep was a kobold fighter, 3.5E, with a STR of 6 and a DEX of 10. So he did not hit often or do much damage when he did. It like took him six rounds to kill a giant ant. Did it matter? Nope. I still role played his characters personality, was engaged in the game and did things in the game. But then I was not roll playing to always hit and do a ton of damage every round.


    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    7: i can role play the flashiest swashbuckler in the world who is supposedly the strongest warrior in the world but if im a wizard with all skill focus for feats and 8 int str and dex i won't be able to hit the broadside of the barn. the mechanics don't fit the concept. the fluff and mechanics are both part of the game for a reason.
    Well...you might be loosing me here: Why can't such a wizard hit a barn? The spell Shatter, or Fireball is an ''auto hit barn'' type spell. Or are you talking about the wizard hitting a foe, like say a goblin? And plenty of spells you don't need to roll to hit...


    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post

    9: see answer 1. again missing means failure, people don't like failure.
    It is fine to not like failure.

    But it's a huge insane jump to say ''I must never ever fail ever!"

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Only if they suck at chess.

    Seriously. Just being in the right position, threatening the right enemy, providing flanking, holding a choke point, can be much more valuable than hitting.
    Okay, to be obnoxiously clear, does nothing with that attack action. And if your plays aren't doing anything then you're not having fun, usually.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    ..

    It is fine to not like failure.

    But it's a huge insane jump to say ''I must never ever fail ever!"
    Which is why you confused so many when you fisrt brought that up.

    Which is why so many have defended their own optimisation against this erroneous assertion.

    There's a difference between compromising in your position blaming your opposition for your own assertion.

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    ... You seem to be the true golem master on this forums.


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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Except then your not even playing the game. If a character just succeeded 100% of the time, then why even play. Just to see ''how'' they succeed?
    I remember when I got 100% of the questions on a trivia pursuit game right. Cannot say it was like not playing.

    You are confusing succeeding 100% of the time with having no opportunity to fail.

    I try to take Sun Tsu to heart; win before fighting and make it look effortless so the DM calls you a dirty munchkin.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Okay, to be obnoxiously clear, does nothing with that attack action. And if your plays aren't doing anything then you're not having fun, usually.
    I think you quoted the wrong part of my post, and instead quoted that part that says "even with your obnoxious clarity, here is why you are wrong about needing to hit with your attack action to do something productive that round."

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    @Darth Ultron:

    Tell me, does a character who maxes out stealth, gets a +10 or 15 stealth magic item, gets a level of shadowdancer for hide in plain sight, along with 10 levels of rogue for skill mastery to take 10 on stealth checks, as well as something like darkstalker or dampen presence to literally be able to walk in front of people without being see against any enemy without at least +30 or so spot, does that count as optimization?
    Well, it depends as your example is a bit to vague to tell.

    To just take things that make your character better in ways you like is optimization...but, the good rare kind.

    I'm talking about the more common bad optimizating where the player is obsessed with every plus.

    And well....some of them silly rules are broken, but that is a whole other thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    They're good at doing exactly one thing without fail, but everything else they do has a failure chance. You seem to decree that an optimizer must not fail at anything ever, so if you leave even one hole in your optimization, you're not an optimizer? So if... I say, suck at knowledge checks, does that prevent me from being an optimizer? Or is it anyone who is capable of avoiding failure chance at anything that's an optimizer?
    An optimizer only cares about one thing or a couple things.....so they don't ''fail'' at anything else, as they don't even try to do anything else.

    Like the Super Stealth character that the player only plays as a Supprise Murderhobo, just kills. If anything else comes up in the game, they just sit back and complain ''man this game is so boring, can't we fight something?"

    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    Which is why you confused so many when you fisrt brought that up.

    Which is why so many have defended their own optimisation against this erroneous assertion.

    There's a difference between compromising in your position blaming your opposition for your own assertion.
    It is true that I'm the hero that pulls away the curtain or picks up the rock to reveal the dirt and bugs underneath. But that does not mean they were not their before.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    An optimizer only cares about one thing or a couple things.....so they don't ''fail'' at anything else, as they don't even try to do anything else.

    Like the Super Stealth character that the player only plays as a Supprise Murderhobo, just kills. If anything else comes up in the game, they just sit back and complain ''man this game is so boring, can't we fight something?"
    This is an interesting distinction, as that's basically saying that the Batman wizard is "good" optimization, because he's omni-competent, but a specialist rogue is "bad."

    I don't necessarily disagree with that, it's just not where I thought you'd come down.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post

    Meep was a kobold fighter, 3.5E, with a STR of 6 and a DEX of 10. So he did not hit often or do much damage when he did. It like took him six rounds to kill a giant ant. Did it matter? Nope. I still role played his characters personality, was engaged in the game and did things in the game. But then I was not roll playing to always hit and do a ton of damage every round. "
    What was the character concept? How did it survive for 6 rounds? What was it’s strong points?


    I have never met an optimizer who had to succeed at everything all the time! Not even here! I have met people who will go to lengths to avoid failing!

    Btw at level 2, my human fighter has +7 to attack! I’m optimizing, I’m taking the feats that best represent my character concept of good with a sword on melee combat!

    At level 6 I have had a dwarf fighter with 31 AC! Again just taking options to be the best tank I could be!

    Being better at your concept thus hitting the concept more often is a big part of playing any role! If your concept is wizard, but you dumped int, you have no spell casting, thus you are not a wizard thus not playing your concept!
    Last edited by Melcar; 2017-12-26 at 08:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Well, it depends as your example is a bit to vague to tell.

    To just take things that make your character better in ways you like is optimization...but, the good rare kind.

    I'm talking about the more common bad optimizating where the player is obsessed with every plus.

    And well....some of them silly rules are broken, but that is a whole other thread.



    An optimizer only cares about one thing or a couple things.....so they don't ''fail'' at anything else, as they don't even try to do anything else.

    Like the Super Stealth character that the player only plays as a Supprise Murderhobo, just kills. If anything else comes up in the game, they just sit back and complain ''man this game is so boring, can't we fight something?"



    It is true that I'm the hero that pulls away the curtain or picks up the rock to reveal the dirt and bugs underneath. But that does not mean they were not their before.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Well, it depends as your example is a bit to vague to tell.

    To just take things that make your character better in ways you like is optimization...but, the good rare kind.

    I'm talking about the more common bad optimizating where the player is obsessed with every plus.

    And well....some of them silly rules are broken, but that is a whole other thread.

    An optimizer only cares about one thing or a couple things.....so they don't ''fail'' at anything else, as they don't even try to do anything else.
    I honestly don't think I've ever met a person who was obsessed with not failing at anything ever. Pretty much every person I've ever encountered wanted to not fail at their thing, but was totally fine with, say, not being the most diplomatic person ever, or whatever. Their lack of ability to automatically succeed at something didn't stop them from trying that thing.

    Take the master swordsman example, sure, maybe they never miss, but at the same time, maybe they're decidedly average at talking to people? Even if they're a knight, and have learned how to be diplomatic (as a knight should be), they still only have max ranks and no cha. You can optimize one thing, and simply be average, or above average at other things (because lets be honest, at mid to high levels, max ranks alone in diplomacy makes you PRETTY diplomatic, especially if you get sense motive and knowledge nobility synergies, which is something a knight should have picked up).

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Like the Super Stealth character that the player only plays as a Supprise Murderhobo, just kills. If anything else comes up in the game, they just sit back and complain ''man this game is so boring, can't we fight something?"
    I actually played that character, and in addition to being practically impossible to spot when she didn't want you to see her, she also started a guild, bringing together some of the greatest magical powers in the kingdom, subdued an increasingly larger tribe of giants to protect said kingdom from an invasion of fungal creatures who are being led by former team mates who fell and were converted by a fungus queen, all while dispensing her own justice on criminals, punisher style. There were many failed diplomacy checks, sense motive checks, bluff checks and intimidate checks along the way down that path, and many things didn't go her way, but that didn't stop her from trying.

    She's also hideously over WBLed, because just before her party members were lost to the fungus queen she was in the process of crafting them gear, so she had all their stuf on hand, resulting in her getting 90% of the party's wealth upon their demise. Of course, all her efforts are in an attempt to save her party members and restore them from the fungus queen's influence, at which point she fully intends to give them back all their stuff, but it's been like 4-5 levels since all that happened now

    Now with all that laid out on the board. Am I still an optimizer? Or is an optimizer someone who never strays from their schtick for fear of failing a check?
    Last edited by Crake; 2017-12-26 at 08:35 PM.
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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
    Except then your not even playing the game. If a character just succeeded 100% of the time, then why even play. Just to see ''how'' they succeed?

    Like sitting down at the very first game session and saying ''well the characters and players have all ready done the goal and won the game...but lets see how they have automatiacly done so, " and then not play the game to find out if the characters took the rocky path or the forest path.

    Failure is part of the game...it is why it is in the game.

    And I'm not saying that is bad, if you want to have a game with all like people and you just want to all say ''we always win'' that is fine. But just stay in that sort of game.

    To say to someone ''well I won the game, but lets play the game to see how I won'' is just silly.
    Goal: Build a home for the homeless.
    Me: I want to succeed so I'm gonna read books about constructing homes, look up vast amount of online materials, talk to everyone experienced in this field for advice, and even hire an experienced person to take the lead in the project for a 100% success rate. I'm gonna be super careful and after everyone goes home I'm gonna inspect everyone's work to ensure there is no mistake.
    Darth Ultron: You optimized. 100% success rate makes the game boring so I'm banning the internet, books, and your access to experts. I want you to have a 50:50 chance of failing your task. No matter how hard you try, you cannot exceed 50:50 chance because the game is boring if you can't fail.

    In this scenario I can totally fail. If i'm lazy, corrupt, or incompetent I can fail building the home, but since I'm a hard working studious person I should succeed. You're saying this is boring so flip a coin to see whether a fist of god comes crashing down to destroy the home or not, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to prevent this because 100% success rate is boring.

    Samething in d&d. A murderhobo attacking everything in sight has a very good chance of being killed in a city especially by guards but a careful adventurer who never acts violently and obeys all laws should have a 100% survival rate in a city. The careful adventurer optimized his chance of getting attacked by guards to an absolute minimum with his behavior.

    edit: A DM who enjoys watching HOW players succeed is a great DM. A DM who enjoys watching players fail is a sadistic DM and a bad DM. Your enjoyment of the game seems to be on the sadistic side so our interests conflict which is why I will not be playing in your game. I'm all for DMs punishing careless, stupid, or violent players but forcing failure on smart careful players because the DM enjoys watching players fail is a red flag.

    As someone mentioned above you seem to be confusing having a 0% chance of failure and having a way to succeed and watching if the players figure that out or not.

    Most DMs watch how players interact with their world and their NPCs and villains. No one i played with cared whether the players succeeded all the time or not. They only cared if the players succeeded effortlessly. They all wanted the players to struggle and suffer but ultimately succeed, not fail.
    Last edited by someonenoone11; 2017-12-26 at 08:49 PM.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    I think you quoted the wrong part of my post, and instead quoted that part that says "even with your obnoxious clarity, here is why you are wrong about needing to hit with your attack action to do something productive that round."
    I see I need to be more obnoxiously clear:

    What is the difference between making an attack that hits, and making no attack at all? Yes, you can do something productive just by existing (though I would hasten to add that that's not doing something productive "With your round"), but if you're not making meaningful plays, you're probably not having fun. Unless you enjoy making exactly as much contribution as you would if you put your mini on the table and then played Call of Duty for a while.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    but if you're not making meaningful plays
    As I said, "if you suck at chess."

    Your even greater obnoxious clarity only tells me not to look to you for tactical advice.

    I've had times where I couldn't roll higher than a 5 to attack and did a total of zero damage, yet prevented our position from being overrun just by maneuver. But I'm now informed that keeping the party alive is not a meaningful play. Didn't know that at the time. Maybe that's why I forgot to not have fun.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    On a more concrete example, one of my favorite characters I'm playing right now is a pacifist cleric. Izzy will not hurt anything sentient as a matter of principle. This does not mean that she won't stop you if you're trying to do something evil. She'll just do so in a way that technically deals no damage.

    It takes a fair amount of system knowledge, skill and even optimization to make her effective despite a refusal to deal hit point damage. If I were to decide to let her start hurting people and started using her whole skill list, she'd be far more powerful. If I didn't put in the work to make her effective despite her beliefs she'd become more of a burden to the party than an asset. (Especially given her tendency to try and negotiate with everyone instead of sneaking up on enemies and killing them in their sleep.)

    I'm okay with failing sometime but I'd also like to be reasonably powerful despite this role playing constraint I've willing taken on. Balancing these requires that I play the system more than I would if I was willing to take up a mace and start swinging.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    As I said, "if you suck at chess."

    Your even greater obnoxious clarity only tells me not to look to you for tactical advice.

    I've had times where I couldn't roll higher than a 5 to attack and did a total of zero damage, yet prevented our position from being overrun just by maneuver. But I'm now informed that keeping the party alive is not a meaningful play. Didn't know that at the time. Maybe that's why I forgot to not have fun.
    Sometimes you might already be in the best position available, correct? You then say, use your whole action to attack one or more times, and miss every time? Your turn is now over with no additional impact on the game, and had you simply not acted that turn, it would have resulted in the same game state.

    Is that not functionally the same as "wasting your turn"?

    Sure, if you have less than 6 bab, and can only attack once, you could potentially do something with your move action to change the game state, but if you full attacked, your only options remaining are a 5ft step and other free actions. We've already determined your position is the best currently available to you, so..... what more can you do?
    Last edited by Crake; 2017-12-26 at 09:11 PM.
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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 Deophaun View Post
    As I said, "if you suck at chess."

    Your even greater obnoxious clarity only tells me not to look to you for tactical advice.

    I've had times where I couldn't roll higher than a 5 to attack and did a total of zero damage, yet prevented our position from being overrun just by maneuver. But I'm now informed that keeping the party alive is not a meaningful play. Didn't know that at the time. Maybe that's why I forgot to not have fun.
    Standing on the board may be meaningful, but it's not a play. Like I said, if you're not making any more contribution out of all your actual actions than if you'd just plonked your mini on the board and gone off to play CoD, then you're not really making any actual plays. And if there's no difference between standing at F3 and attacking and standing at F3, then your attacks aren't meaningful plays either.

    Plus, if your enemies aren't just walking around the guy who can't hit them, then either you're in a teeny-tiny corridor or they're exceptionally stupid and need to learn to play che... uh, D&D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Take the master swordsman example, sure, maybe they never miss, but at the same time, maybe they're decidedly average at talking to people?
    But just look what your saying: The optimizer player wants to be a master swordsman and be good at one thing: Roll Playing Combat and is will to be ''average'' or not even do things like Role Play.

    Quote Originally Posted by someonenoone11 View Post
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    Hummm...are you talking about Real Life or Just a Game?

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    Quote Originally Posted by someonenoone11 View Post
    edit: A DM who enjoys watching HOW players succeed is a great DM. A DM who enjoys watching players fail is a sadistic DM and a bad DM. Your enjoyment of the game seems to be on the sadistic side so our interests conflict which is why I will not be playing in your game. I'm all for DMs punishing careless, stupid, or violent players but forcing failure on smart careful players because the DM enjoys watching players fail is a red flag.
    The DM that just rolls over and lets the players succeed is not even a DM, let alone a great one. They are at best a 'spectator player'. After all when the Not-DM is saying ''well you have all ready succeed, lets just see how you do it'' , then how can they do the most basic functions of a real DM like make the game challenging?

    My game: there is a chance of failure.

    Your game: The players have already won the game and succeeded, even before the game starts.

    Quote Originally Posted by someonenoone11 View Post
    Most DMs watch how players interact with their world and their NPCs and villains. No one i played with cared whether the players succeeded all the time or not. They only cared if the players succeeded effortlessly. They all wanted the players to struggle and suffer but ultimately succeed, not fail.
    The DM does not want the players to fail, but they are not bowing down and saying ''the players must always sicced and win".

    And this is about the player anyway:

    Normal Player: I will play the game and see what happens and might succeed or fail based on what I do.

    Optimized Player: I win. I must always win and succeed . I just not play the game to see how I do it.

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    there is a difference between DM's who just line up the monsters to die and a DM who plays the monsters tactically. true if the wizard gets that grease spell off there is a no go zone for most monsters but after seeing 1 of thier friends fall down unless mindless they would skirt around it. i prefer to DM (only done it occasionally) as the tactical DM the more powerful the PC's the better i can play the monsters.

    hell i had a chimera fight where the PC's were so un-op'd that i had to litterally use standard actions on the fighter or risk killing him Too quickly.

    meanwhile in the arena campaign i am building there are oddball creatures that will be a challenge (space/time magic disabled for the campaign) my favorite is the fire elemental . . . KITTEN OF DOOM!!! TM. for most mundanes it will be a challenge due to heating thier weapons but if they properly research their fights before hand and bring a few waterskins i would let them use it like an oil to prevent 1 rounds heat damage to the weapon. it is an expansion of its burn ability but not one that is immediately destructive. mind you the arena has a fully stocked magic mart so oil of cold damage (can't remember exact name/ sourcebook) are technically availible too. mind you that this is a campaign set for lvl 1 start up to lvl 8.

    on the other hand using ANY caster competently against a group of adventurers spells more trouble than the CR indicates.

    welp have to go to work now see you guys in a few hours.
    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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    Been a couple pages,

    Quote Originally Posted by DMVerdandi View Post
    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.
    Except as always, your assumption isn't necessarily true either. I'm in it for the customization, and I generally hate Pathfinder: it's all the worst parts of the bloat that crept up on the game as it went on. I want 3.5 because its actually possible to pare it back down to core design principles and easily understood classes, rather than being a bunch of houserules by one group of people built on rules from a previous group of people and rocketed off in completely the wrong direction with an ever expanding list of feats and ACFs with just as much or more variance and stealth fixes than 3.5.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melcar View Post
    Firstly, I consider your post an extreme exaggeration to prove a point/ trolling, I will address it non the less.
    Accusations of trolling remain against the forum rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    I actually never noticed your post, cause I noticed darth ultron's response and responded to that without looking at much else. To respond to it now: The main issue I had with what darth ultron was saying was that he was framing it as fact, not experience.
    Which is still an excellent example of the problem: see post, see red, immediately post contradicting it. (Everyone does it eventually, but I try to make a habit of resisting)

    People will post their opinions and experience as fact, it's just something you have to learn to deal with in real life. I even remember it being recommended for persuasive writing in high school: if you think it's true, say it's true, or you won't convince anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Uhm...

    In 3.5, at least, a character who misses with a weapon attack absolutely, literally, and in every situation I can think of other than fighting defensively, does nothing but waste their action. A character who misses really is doing nothing.
    When your job does not require hitting things, you don't need to hit all the time. Contrary to popular belief, the fighter's job is not killing, it's surviving. A standard fighter attack bonus progression hits often -but not all the time, as you are aware.

    What you're missing is that a fighter with a positive strength bonus and full BAB isn't a mediocre fighter, they're an optimized fighter. A mediocre fighter would have 10 or even 8 str, and maybe a level of commoner or expert from before they became a fighter.

    The game does expect you to have a 14 or higher in your main stat, but if you put your 14 in con for survival since surviving is your main job, and only have a 10 left for str because standard rolling has plenty of room for terrible stats, then you can absolutely have a mediocre fighter by the standard rules. At -2 or -3 attack those high odds of hitting start looking a lot closer to 50%.

    Add in a side of human statistical blindness, and it could very well look like a standard un-optimized figher should in fact only hit "50%" of the time, regardless of their level. Even though DU has already explained that he bases mastery level on level.

    Deophaun got the chess response already, tactical positioning, to which you've responded. As to weather it's fun, well that's on the person's understanding of their role. If someone expects the fighter to be the main DPS of the party, they're going to be disappointed. If they know that the fighter's main role is taking hits and gumming up the battlefield with tactical positioning (which can be optimized to hell and back if you want vis a vis trip builds), then maybe they would have fun figuring out positioning in a game with more variability than chess - a game where most of the moves are moves and not attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by someonenoone11 View Post
    1. Players don't like to fail so they optimize their character to minimize the chances of failure.
    2. Darth Ultron wants players to fail a lot.
    3. Therefore Darth Ultron hates optimizers.

    Instead of admitting this is just personal taste he is claiming that players failing is mandatory and the best way to play d&d and optimizers who don't like failing are game ruiners. I think the discussion is at an end. Nothing said in this forum is going to change his claim that his personal tastes are the best.

    There is nothing wrong with a player succeeding 100% of the time as long as they work for it, but whatever, to each his own. I certainly won't play in a game ran by Darth Ultron.
    Actually no, this is provably wrong: players are not expected to succeed 100% of the time, no matter how much effort they put in. 5% of encounters are supposed to be difficult enough the characters should run or lose, while at most 80% are supposed to be "challenging" (one equal CR monster, x2 of -2, etc) or lower, and that's assuming that every single time "easy if handled properly" is handled properly (otherwise 60% are "challenging" or lower). (Which is another facet of optimization- expecting perfect counters every time).

    Many people define success as defeating monsters of equal challenge rating single-handedly with little or no resource expenditure, while the DMG makes it quite clear that they are not supposed to succeed that easily (that encounter should expend 20% of the entire party's resources, including that giant pile of spell slots). It always comes back to this, that some people think they should be allowed to optimize their characters past that point. The DM can compensate for it, but if your character requires monsters of higher CR with reduced xp and treasure to match your level in order to be challenged, it's pretty obvious your character is overpowered.

    We don't really have any examples of full characters from Darth Ultron's games that he finds acceptable, but we don't need them. There is a limit defined in the system if anyone cares to look for it. Or if they see it after I shove it in their face.

    (Actually we do have an example now, though of a deliberately de-optimized character.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    I honestly don't think I've ever met a person who was obsessed with not failing at anything ever. Pretty much every person I've ever encountered wanted to not fail at their thing, but was totally fine with, say, not being the most diplomatic person ever, or whatever. Their lack of ability to automatically succeed at something didn't stop them from trying that thing.
    I'm about to spin off into the blue here, but first: What is the primary interaction method of DnD? Combat. If your character's thing is "combat," and they never fail at combat, the rest should be obvious. Social and skill based encounters are encouraged, but not required.

    People have called rogue the perfect tier 3 and the only well written class, a significant part of which is because they're the only class that is really build around something besides "combat," while also having combat bonuses that can be optimized up to their standards. And in order to do that, to compete with that, you need essentially all of the non-knowledge skills.

    Which is why people say there's not enough skill points. They're counting non-combat encounters as part of their design for party balance, with multiple roles the game never seriously considered full roles, that now need to be distributed among the party. What skill roles even are there? Traps are still dungeoneering, still avoiding damage. Stealth is also a combat role. Knowledge is used to know monsters for combat. Town face is the only one that can actually be identified (and then optimized into combat anyway). So it's not an extra source of non-combat roles- its just one or maybe two non-combat roles that four people are expected to participate in under the non-combat role design theory (because if your character can't participate in an encounter, people will complain about being useless). Yes, I'm basically saying that because people are fine with being bad at things outside of combat, you've made combat the most important thing- that or decided that it's okay for encounters to only involve one person and keep a rigorous rotation.

    The supported roles are meat-shield, trap guy, crowd-control, and heal/magic defense, which are all dungeon combat roles. A lot of people don't like the idea of being trap-guy or heal/defense, so they specialize in the more popular DPS, which often devalues the team with a goal of being overpowered (see above), or "lockdown," where they specialize in spells that leave the meatshield with no active foes to shield against, or "party face," which requires whole new non-combat encounters that the standard classes aren't built to participate in.

    More popular roles are "combat", "skills," "magic," and. . . ? If you're re-defining the party roles then of course you're going to need to change the game. The cleric doesn't even have a role there, they're just slightly restricted magic with a side of combat, and hey look at the favorite complaints about the cleric. If you only have three roles then you're going to have problems when there's four players, two have the same role, and one is better than the other (whether its in absolute values, or in having a whole secondary suite for another role when the other guy is sitting out).

    In order to avoid that you have to use more specific roles, but people love their wizards and DPS, so "combat" and "magic" are considered standard roles, which leaves only the skill based face/stealth/traps, all of which are done by the same class, while the cleric has no role of its own so it has to steal someone else's, and you have all the room for one person to be better than the other at the things they're supposed to be doing.

    So to bring it back around again, yes, I'm saying that the problem with people stepping on each other's feet is a direct result of trying to invent new roles so people wont step on each other's feet. Because if you don't recognize and understand the beginning, you can't hope to re-design classes or build characters to reach the end. And since the root of all optimization arguments comes from not understanding the design. . .

    Edit: edits are in.
    Last edited by Fizban; 2017-12-26 at 11:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Is that not functionally the same as "wasting your turn"?
    No. Tactically speaking, your turn is best spent getting into the most tactically advantageous position. If you're already there, great. It's not a waste to stay there even if there is nothing else to do.

    That many (And I will conceed, I am the minority) would rather be tactically stupid but active as opposed to tactically smart but passive does not change the fact that you do not need to hit things to be doing something. If you're between the squishy sorcerer and the giant minotaur, then you are preventing the minotaur from charging and killing your squishy sorcerer. If you're in the dragon's face, then you're providing flanking for the rogue.

    And as the original statement was that you are literally doing nothing, I do not care what you think is fun or how many actions you may or may not have used, as such things are utterly irrelevant to the statement as it was made. Moving the goalposts is simply a concession of error on your part.
    Last edited by Deophaun; 2017-12-26 at 11:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    The problem here is the disconnect. A master swordsman is, by the rules even, a higher level character. So if your charater is say 2nd level, they are NOT the most super duper awesome master swordsman in the world (you know, unless your playing in a campaign setting like Eberron). But the optimzer thinks thier character must be a 'master' from birth.
    No. An optimizer is someone who from a meta perspective, knows certain options are going to make you worse than the standard.
    Skateboarding is cool, but If my job is financial analyst, don't you think I should put some more points in INT, and less in DEX? Adventurers are mercenaries. Every job in the phb and beyond is a killing class. Wizard is a war mage from the jump. Look at it's spell list. All of the spells have combat application. Now, if your job is killing, scouting, defending, supporting, beguiling, maiming, and capturing, you should be good at your job, yes?


    Optimizing is the same thing as choosing the best route to be successful. Every time a stock market investor studies, or changes things to maximize his growth on ROI, he is OPTIMIZING his portfolio.

    It's not a character flaw. It's the lack of character flaws in the face of logic. Character flaws are what cause people to deviate from optimizing.




    This is a good spot to separate optimization from a normal player that just wants to have a good character.

    Normal Player: A mid level specialist (so this would be 10 on D&D 1-20 scale) to a normal player should be able to do: Simple and Easy tasks with just about no chance of failure, do Average tasks more then half the time, Do Hard Tasks slightly less then have the time and only have a small chance of doing a Very Hard Task.

    Optimizer: My character must always succeed at every task they do, otherwise I'm doing nothing and not playing the game at all.

    See that huge disconnect?
    The disconnect is with you. If you are in college and you are taking your final exam, 60% is a fail. 80% is damn near a fail.

    Now if you are a fantasy warrior, and your friends all have the presence of mind to alleviate any chance of error, since... it's their lives on the lines, and a large amount of monsters, human and inhuman are after their very souls, you don't think they would try to hedge all of their resources on staying alive?

    Sure. Optimizer: ''My character must always succeed at every task they do, otherwise I'm doing nothing and not playing the game at all.''

    No? You can make a powerful character if you want to...that has nothing to do with optimizing.
    It has everything to do with optimizing. Optimizing is picking the optimal choice to be successful at an avenue of influence. Like you can optimize for social, magical, or physical challenges. Now magical just in the degrees of influence does kind of dip it's toe in everybody's sauce, but it's magic.

    But back to the main point, optimization is what makes someone powerful. If you are are 5'0 you might do poorly playing basketball, but you might be fantastic at gymnastics. Being "gymnast" over "basketballer" is essentially class choice. If you have an aptitude for natural studies over theology, you might make a better druid than cleric. That kind of stuff. Even children are taught to optimize.

    Lets use harry potter for an example. Harry, Ron, and Hermoine are arguably NOT really griffindor types. Harry had he picked the optimal choice, would have been in slythrin , Hermoine in ravenclaw, and Ron probably in hufflepuff with his affinity for snacks [lel]. Now, we would not have gotten the story we did, which DID end up in triumph, but because of such choices could have equally ended up in failure.

    But it took spirit into account rather than the best choice. Harry could have been the shining beacon for slythrin, showing them that pride, ambition, and power can be a tool of great good, rather than just prey for predators to take advantage of.
    Hermoine could have been the gusto that shows ravenclaw that you can have brawn,brains, and beauty if you optimize [COUGH,COUGH] Study efficiently.
    Ron is useless, and I hate his whole brood.




    I know this well....I ''break'' optimizers often. Even just one encounter where an optimized player can't be ''super great'' is often enough to have them leave the game.
    So when they play within the rules, you break them just to break the spirits of your players?
    Noice


    Well, if a character misses, they did not do nothing: they missed. Doing nothing would be ''my character goes home and does nothing''.
    "GG, You tried" as dark souls death comes up. Missing is not an option, its the lack of options. Why would a seasoned warrior be missing anything trivial/CR appropriate? It's because they suck.
    That would be like you telling me to go to a dart tournament, and I completely miss the board 50% of the time. I am wasting time. Sure when you are making a fool of yourself, it can be fun to initially be bad at something, But anything that anyone considers important or worth investing time in, being inept is almost a cardinal sin.

    No less this actually being these character's lives on the line. YOU are the one who is out of character. No one who was risking their lives would ever make fool hardy choices. Those are the ones who die quickly. Being in character would be a character not wasting their time on silliness because they know that death is a real thing, and that living on chance is something an idiot does.


    See, this is the Optimization I hate: the idea that every single round a character must succeed at whatever they do. There is no ''try''.
    As yoda said, there is no try, only do or will not do.
    With things like attacks of opportunity, and multiple enemies, every enemy that you don't kill is an enemy that is still alive and can very well kill your friends and you. And that isn't to say that every enemy need be turned into red paste. sometimes the optimal choice is not to engage at all, but you don't want to fail at sneaking away, or fail at combat. The wounds are real [in game], and every scar, even if it is healed away carries a memory of very real pain with it. All of those wounds are supposed to HURT.

    If you aren't optimizing, you aren't taking the game seriously, and if you aren't taking the game seriously, as it should be in universe, how can you accurately roleplay, rather than acting like a clown who has mixed up priorities.

    If you have seen the walking dead. That is a fantastic example of party growth, and the risks of enemies. They get better, and make decisions to not ever lose. They come up with plans, tactics, and get better weapons to win at all times. Losing is death. Each of them has different skills, and each of them explores those skills while also practicing teamwork, and every now and then they happen upon a bunch of level 3 knuckleheads that are just barely surviving, and are so inefficient, and they visibly cringe.
    Last edited by DMVerdandi; 2017-12-27 at 01:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Which is why people say there's not enough skill points.
    Me personally, I say there's not enough skill points because I know few adult-age people who have as little skill as a typical D&D monk, druid or barbarian, to say nothing of the 2+Int classes. Real people with normal Int scores have meaningful investment in social, physical, professional and knowledge skills all at the same time. It really strains my suspension of disbelief to see a hero who theoretically lives by her wits in a dangerous world but only gets two skill points per level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    This is a good spot to separate optimization from a normal player that just wants to have a good character.

    Normal Player: A mid level specialist (so this would be 10 on D&D 1-20 scale) to a normal player should be able to do: Simple and Easy tasks with just about no chance of failure, do Average tasks more then half the time, Do Hard Tasks slightly less then have the time and only have a small chance of doing a Very Hard Task.

    Optimizer: My character must always succeed at every task they do, otherwise I'm doing nothing and not playing the game at all.

    See that huge disconnect?
    Let's see. A 10th level wizard with 24 Int (18 base, +2 race, +2 Headband, +2 through leveling = +7 mod) and 13 ranks has in a Knowledge skill already a +20 modifier. If you take 10, you achieve casually DC 30. What do the rules say about the DCs?

    Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).
    I consider easy tasks then a DC 10, average tasks DC 15, hard tasks DC 20, really hard tasks DC 25. I add really really hard tasks with DC 30, which should be impossible according to your scaling.

    So a 10th level character according to D&D rules succeeds even at really tough questions 100%. I suppose you are going to claim that this is far too optimized. Let's see:


    • Having a high Int for a wizard is expected, the same as a high Strength for a fighter. If you can get a 18 for a stat, then using it for Int is simply a good choice.
    • Taking a race which provides an Int bonus is then obviously a good choice, too.
    • Putting attribute increases into the main stat of your class is also obvious.
    • Getting a magic item which increases the main stat of your class follows as well.
    • Putting skill points into a class skill, because you buy ranks 1:1 is also a good choice. (In PF, because you get a +3 class skill bonus instead.)
    • Max ranking a skill makes simply sense, because a more skilled person (which the wizard archetype incorporates via being a scholar) has more ranks. Also it puts you on equal footing with an opponent, who max ranked an opposing skill.


    How optimized is that character? I've employed two basic strategies. Max ranking a class skill and maximizing the main attribute of the class, which happens to be the associated attribute of the skill (so synergy). How obvious are the strategies? Most of it follows the meta-rule of optimization: Having higher numbers is better. Even a newbie can pick up most of the points I've used with ease.

    But you still might complain about this being too much. I did aim for having a +20 mod, because taking 10 succeeds for a DC 30. Taking 10 - which is a core rule applicable to out of combat skill checks - eliminates low rolls. If we need to that in combat, we have a 50% chance to succeed DC 30 (the really really hard tasks), 100% for DC 20 (hard tasks). So how can we realistically reduce the skill mod? I would still expect a Int 16 at least, which reduces the mod by 4 - or 20%. Really really hard tasks are still succeedable at 30% of the time, which is higher than the 5% you accept for really hard tasks.

    To actually get to the scaling you seem to want, the skill mod may be at most +5. So DC 25 can be achieved only with a nat 20. But then easy tasks with DC 10 - which shouldn't fail - fail 20% of the time and average tasks with DC 15 fail 45% of the time - probably a little too often to your preferences - if you can't take 10. If you can take 10, then average tasks succeed 100%.

    All in all, I don't see how your preferences map to the game's math.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    No. Tactically speaking, your turn is best spent getting into the most tactically advantageous position. If you're already there, great. It's not a waste to stay there even if there is nothing else to do.

    That many (And I will conceed, I am the minority) would rather be tactically stupid but active as opposed to tactically smart but passive does not change the fact that you do not need to hit things to be doing something. If you're between the squishy sorcerer and the giant minotaur, then you are preventing the minotaur from charging and killing your squishy sorcerer. If you're in the dragon's face, then you're providing flanking for the rogue.

    And as the original statement was that you are literally doing nothing, I do not care what you think is fun or how many actions you may or may not have used, as such things are utterly irrelevant to the statement as it was made. Moving the goalposts is simply a concession of error on your part.
    You're not really adressing the point though. I agree with all your points about being in the right position and whatnot, and sure, standing there "does something", but if you read what I said, I didn't say you're "not doing anything" I said you "wasted your turn", because functionally, on your turn, had you attacked and missed, or done nothing at all, you achieved the same result. I'm sure that's not a hard concept to grasp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Which is still an excellent example of the problem: see post, see red, immediately post contradicting it. (Everyone does it eventually, but I try to make a habit of resisting)

    People will post their opinions and experience as fact, it's just something you have to learn to deal with in real life. I even remember it being recommended for persuasive writing in high school: if you think it's true, say it's true, or you won't convince anyone.
    It's honestly less about seeing red, and more that I was limited in time at that moment, and was specifically looking for the reply I knew was coming. As for people framing opinions as fact, I see this more like a debate environment rather than a persuasive writing environment, and in debate, framing opinions as fact or the other way loses you points. I understand that people will still invariably do so, but at the same time, when I see it happening, I'm gonna point it out, just like I did. You then told me off about it, which is why I explained to you the reasons behind me saying what I did. My first reply to darth ultron was more for other people who would read his post and see his statements as factual, not anecdotal due to the way he framed his post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    I'm about to spin off into the blue here, but first: What is the primary interaction method of DnD? Combat. If your character's thing is "combat," and they never fail at combat, the rest should be obvious. Social and skill based encounters are encouraged, but not required.
    I disagree, nobody's thing is "combat". That's too broad a category to be "a thing". Combat entails many different aspects, and sure, maybe focusing on an aspect, like swordsmanship, or tripping, or disarming, but then those things might not always be an option. You might not always have the option to hit an enemy with your sword, perhaps you'll occasionally be forced to shoot a bow, because the enemies are ranged and have a significant terrain advantage. Of course, you can just sit behind cover and do nothing, but I don't think I've ever seen a player do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    People have called rogue the perfect tier 3 and the only well written class, a significant part of which is because they're the only class that is really build around something besides "combat," while also having combat bonuses that can be optimized up to their standards. And in order to do that, to compete with that, you need essentially all of the non-knowledge skills.
    I've not qualm with this, I do so enjoy the rogue class, especially the pathfinder unchained rogue, which I use for my 3.5 games. In fact, the aforementioned character was primarily a rogue, a dip into spheres of power's incanter, and shadowdancer, but aside from that, yeah, just good ol' rogue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Which is why people say there's not enough skill points. They're counting non-combat encounters as part of their design for party balance, with multiple roles the game never seriously considered full roles, that now need to be distributed among the party. What skill roles even are there? Traps are still dungeoneering, still avoiding damage. Stealth is also a combat role. Knowledge is used to know monsters for combat. Town face is the only one that can actually be identified (and then optimized into combat anyway). So it's not an extra source of non-combat roles- its just one or maybe two non-combat roles that four people are expected to participate in under the non-combat role design theory (because if your character can't participate in an encounter, people will complain about being useless). Yes, I'm basically saying that because people are fine with being bad at things outside of combat, you've made combat the most important thing- that or decided that it's okay for encounters to only involve one person and keep a rigorous rotation.
    I also agree on this issue, which is why I quite like the background skills from pathfinder, it's not much but it's a bit of a start. For example, a character can suddenly become a polyglot by investing into linguistics, taking the social role of translator, which is something my table actually takes seriously, you can't simply say "I translate" you actually have to translate someone's words yourself, which can sometimes result in miscommunications.

    I do kinda disagree that stealth and knowledge are combat roles. Sure they have combat utility, but they aren't exclusively combat abilities. In fact, in many circumstances stealth isn't really usable at all in combat, unless you basically have hide in plain sight. Knowledge can also help with decision making when it comes to social encounters, knowing the right people to talk to, the right places to visit, or simply knowing things about the situation to gain a new perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    The supported roles are meat-shield, trap guy, crowd-control, and heal/magic defense, which are all dungeon combat roles. A lot of people don't like the idea of being trap-guy or heal/defense, so they specialize in the more popular DPS, which often devalues the team with a goal of being overpowered (see above), or "lockdown," where they specialize in spells that leave the meatshield with no active foes to shield against, or "party face," which requires whole new non-combat encounters that the standard classes aren't built to participate in.
    Saying that the party face removes other classes from participating is outright false. That's not quite what you said, but my point stands: sure, the party face will be the one rolling the actual check, but the other players can still participate, providing persective to the roleplay, and mechanically they can participate by assisting the party face with a simple DC10 check. They may not be built to specialize, but no class needs to be built to participate, because the participation DC is so damn low, anyone can participate without even investing ranks or having a high ability score.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    More popular roles are "combat", "skills," "magic," and. . . ? If you're re-defining the party roles then of course you're going to need to change the game. The cleric doesn't even have a role there, they're just slightly restricted magic with a side of combat, and hey look at the favorite complaints about the cleric. If you only have three roles then you're going to have problems when there's four players, two have the same role, and one is better than the other (whether its in absolute values, or in having a whole secondary suite for another role when the other guy is sitting out).

    In order to avoid that you have to use more specific roles, but people love their wizards and DPS, so "combat" and "magic" are considered standard roles, which leaves only the skill based face/stealth/traps, all of which are done by the same class, while the cleric has no role of its own so it has to steal someone else's, and you have all the room for one person to be better than the other at the things they're supposed to be doing.

    So to bring it back around again, yes, I'm saying that the problem with people stepping on each other's feet is a direct result of trying to invent new roles so people wont step on each other's feet. Because if you don't recognize and understand the beginning, you can't hope to re-design classes or build characters to reach the end. And since the root of all optimization arguments comes from not understanding the design. . .

    Edit: edits are in.
    So you went on about party roles and everything, and I feel like you're having a different conversation. I'm not talking about redefining character roles, I'm saying that people should generally be good at the one thing they want to be good at. I'm not talking about a character role, I'm talking about a character concept. Many concepts can fill the same role after all. Sure, some concepts may be more effective than other concepts, but that's a different story altogether. What I'm saying is that you have a character who's whole thing is he's a pinpoint sniper. I don't expect this character to have necessarily the same impact as the master swordsman, after all, the master swordsman can keep people at bay, but the pinpoint sniper can hit people at range. He can ready attacks against the enemy spellcasters to ruin their day, or shoot the rope that's holding the counterweight on a gate, to shut it before enemies come pouring through, or whatever.

    I'm talking about people being good at the thing that defines their character. I've honestly lost track of who's debating what at this point. All I can really say is that in all my years, I've only ever see people optimize the thing that defines their character. What I have not seen, which apparently darth ultron has, is that a player will optimise their schtick, and then literally refuse to participate in anything else.

    I'm 99% sure everyone else is saying that failure should be avoidable for a character's defining features, not for literally everything a character does. Nobody expects a master swordsman to have a silver tongue, but in my experience that's never stopped a player from participating in a conversation, which does seem to be an experience that darth ultron has had.

    What I see is this:
    • Optimizing yourself at one or a few things, being completely unbeatable and unable to fail at those things, and then refusing to participate in anything that doesn't involve those things: bad
    • Optimizing yourself at one or a few things, being completely unbeatable and unable to fail at those things, but still participating and accepting the consequences of failure in things that you're not necessarily optimized, or even skilled at: perfectly fine


    The thing is, if you look at the above, in both circumstances the player has optimized, thus I must conclude that it's not the optimization that's the problem.
    Last edited by Crake; 2017-12-27 at 05:25 AM.
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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?
    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    Me personally, I say there's not enough skill points because I know few adult-age people who have as little skill as a typical D&D monk, druid or barbarian, to say nothing of the 2+Int classes. Real people with normal Int scores have meaningful investment in social, physical, professional and knowledge skills all at the same time. It really strains my suspension of disbelief to see a hero who theoretically lives by her wits in a dangerous world but only gets two skill points per level.
    Well then, bluntly, I expect most of the people you know are pretty well off. Because I've seen plenty of people who don't have much in the way of skills, and I don't live somewhere bad by any standards. There's also the tendency for people to assume that any skill= a bunch of ranks, because in DnD people play high level characters. In real life, as in DnD, most people are 1st level, and at 1st level even having one rank+ high ability score is impressive. A 1st level expert can have a ton of trained skills (8 for a non-elite human), and has nothing to do with a monk or fighter. Modern day first world countries don't use the commoner class anymore thanks to modern farming. Someone who spends 14 hours a day subsistence farming will have a smaller skill set than you, as would someone who spent all their time working out and drilling with weapons instead of studying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    My first reply to darth ultron was more for other people who would read his post and see his statements as factual, not anecdotal due to the way he framed his post.
    Which is kindof a straw man. Do you honestly expect anyone would believe that in anything except a vacuum? The post is in a thread, surrounded with the context of almost every other poster not saying the same thing. It does not require a direct contradiction when the purpose of the thread is soliciting that answer, and pointing out that it's a personal experience when that's a perfectly valid reason seems. . . petty? I'll assume that you don't have anything else to defend the stormwind fallacy fallacy with.
    I disagree, nobody's thing is "combat". That's too broad a category to be "a thing". Combat entails many different aspects, and sure, maybe focusing on an aspect, like swordsmanship, or tripping, or disarming, but then those things might not always be an option. You might not always have the option to hit an enemy with your sword, perhaps you'll occasionally be forced to shoot a bow, because the enemies are ranged and have a significant terrain advantage. Of course, you can just sit behind cover and do nothing, but I don't think I've ever seen a player do that.
    And yet the higher op the build, the more it aims to make their thing always matter, to the point where their one aspect applies in every combat and their thing is winning combat. Unless you've deliberately chosen to eschew it, everything dies to hp damage, and it doesn't matter how you deliver it. Tactical positioning, hiding, buffs and healing, none of it matters if your character can one round everything, they just win at combat and everyone else loses.
    I do kinda disagree that stealth and knowledge are combat roles. Sure they have combat utility, but they aren't exclusively combat abilities. In fact, in many circumstances stealth isn't really usable at all in combat, unless you basically have hide in plain sight.
    To borrow Deophaun's line, "only if you're bad at chess," or once again, positioning. If they can't find you they can't hit you, and if you're a sneak attacker you get bonus damage. Knowing how cover and concealment and hiding work and using the terrain, allied spellcasters, or carrying the right consumables (just a smoke bomb really) will let you sneak attack every round. Hide in plain sight is pretty borked, but is was never required- I'd put that on the list of things that people never learned to do because they expected it to be done for them.

    Actually, I could make a case that hiding (and sneak attacking) abilities infringe a bit on the standard meat-shield+ hit stuff role, but they're mostly complimentary since the standard mead-shield can only block a small area and single shot SA's don't hugely outclass normal full attacks.
    Knowledge can also help with decision making when it comes to social encounters, knowing the right people to talk to, the right places to visit, or simply knowing things about the situation to gain a new perspective.
    Knowledge has no RAW uses outside of identifying monsters, and while I hate RAW with a passion, the fact remains that in the standard game it only gets you monster data and whatever hints the DM or module has already picked out for your skill check. The DM can make knowledge into a role, but it doesn't start as one.
    Saying that the party face removes other classes from participating is outright false. That's not quite what you said, but my point stands: sure, the party face will be the one rolling the actual check, but the other players can still participate, providing persective to the roleplay, and mechanically they can participate by assisting the party face with a simple DC10 check. They may not be built to specialize, but no class needs to be built to participate, because the participation DC is so damn low, anyone can participate without even investing ranks or having a high ability score.
    And indeed, I will also be the first to point out Aid Another being a thing, but by most people's definitions that's not participating. The type of people who demand you run up and hit something rather than tactically position are generally the same type of people who won't accept adding +2 to someone else's roll.


    So you went on about party roles and everything,
    I did warn you I was about to take off
    I'm talking about people being good at the thing that defines their character. I've honestly lost track of who's debating what at this point. All I can really say is that in all my years, I've only ever see people optimize the thing that defines their character.
    And what I'm saying is that the thing that defines your character isn't a role, unless it matches one of the roles the game is built on.

    Why do people get mad about optimization? Because it hurts the game. In order to fix this, we must understand why it hurts the game, which means understanding why the classes are the way they are and why the encounter system is the way it is and how it all fits together.

    If everyone has their own role, they can be fine with not being good at other things -as long as someone else doesn't infringe on their role and they aren't left out of an encounter. The classes of 3.5 were built for a certain type of game with certain roles, but people either don't know or ignore those roles and make up their own. These roles don't fit the game, so they make it exceedingly easy for certain classes infringe on these made up roles, and optimizing those characters makes a bad situation worse.

    Yeah, optimization isn't the only problem, but it is what exposes the problems you get from not playing the same game it was designed for, and exposing those problems hurts the game. It's a lot easier to not care about being deficient in a role when being proficient in that role isn't actually so far above you, when no one else is infringing on your own proficiency, when you haven't made up a role for yourself that another class happens to do better.

    It's also a lot easier to run a game when the characters aren't demonstrably overpowered compared to what the game is expecting, forcing you to compensate, but if you're only doing one "type" of encounter you can at least beef that up for everyone. As long as they're optimized such that beefing it up doesn't mess with their roles by making one role too much more important than the others (the "this monster will auto-kill everyone but one character problem, same as the "spellcasters only" and "trapfinding only" problems), then things should be fine.
    What I have not seen, which apparently darth ultron has, is that a player will optimise their schtick, and then literally refuse to participate in anything else.
    You must know some extremely well-engaged people then, 'cause I'm pretty sure just about everyone I've played with will check out at least some of the time when their character doesn't have any mechanical ability for the situation. That's the whole point of reminding people about Aid Another, but again, that's just a single die roll for a +2 for someone else, not very engaging if they're mechanically focused. And that's not counting challenges that actually do prohibit other characters from joining, like trapfinding, knowledge skills, stuff that requires magic or significant player knowledge of magic, etc.
    I'm 99% sure everyone else is saying that failure should be avoidable for a character's defining features, not for literally everything a character does. Nobody expects a master swordsman to have a silver tongue, but in my experience that's never stopped a player from participating in a conversation, which does seem to be an experience that darth ultron has had.
    Allow me to be obtuse for a moment: You keep using the phrase "defining features," but what if my defining feature is "taciturn swordsman?" Yes, that means I've chosen to opt out of these encounters, but for game that's built around combat with a bunch of optional-only skills, many of which I can't meaningfully participate in with a tacticiturn swordsman, making those into Encounters rather than minor bits is pretty bogus- "I" didn't know that was a role, while my taciturn swordsman does a great job at meat-shielding and hitting things with a stick.

    And plenty of people want to play silent hero archetypes.
    What I see is this:
    • Optimizing yourself at one or a few things, being completely unbeatable and unable to fail at those things, and then refusing to participate in anything that doesn't involve those things: bad
    • Optimizing yourself at one or a few things, being completely unbeatable and unable to fail at those things, but still participating and accepting the consequences of failure in things that you're not necessarily optimized, or even skilled at: perfectly fine


    The thing is, if you look at the above, in both circumstances the player has optimized, thus I must conclude that it's not the optimization that's the problem.
    Optimization is the problem in the second, where the game absolutely expects you expend limited resources and have a chance of failure as part of an encounter.

    The bigger problem that I worked my way over to, is that the game is only designed for one type of encounter: dungeoneering combat. Every class has a role in this, their secondary functions balanced so that they won't outshine the primaries of others, and their non-combat abilities considered a non-required convenience (or at least the main four do, results vary on the other attempts).

    If you're redefining the the game to include non-combat encounters, those encounters still need to be designed to burn resources, have risks, and a chance of failure, and you'll need to rebuild the classes so that each class can participate meaningfully in both types of encounters. This really should include a whole new set of roles, none of which overlap with the combat roles, to avoid destructive overlaps.

    3.5 kinda does have a tiny stab at that in the skills, there are in fact multiple social skills you could base social encounter roles on, but Rogue gets all of them, making it definitively overpowered. Sense Motive is fairly rare, and Intimidate is actually the rarest with only Fighter and Barbarian outside of Rogue, but Diplomacy was broken hard enough that with enough op nothing else matters anyway. Optimization rears its head again and combines with rogue so that rogue has perfect in all social roles, while perfect at one dungeon combat role (trapfinding) and potentially good at another (frontline/damage) So if you want social encounters, you need to fix the social skills to fix the social roles by spreading them through the classes (and then find some resources to work with). You'd also want to consider that many social "encounters" don't make sense for a full party- putting them together in a way that means they need to work together or face catastrophic risk going it alone, would be a thing.

    And yes, I did just tell you the Rogue is overpowered and that's why you had fun with it. I need a smugface
    Last edited by Fizban; 2017-12-27 at 07:29 AM.
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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    ~snip~
    So I feel like the points have gotten a bit elongated and meandering that responding to each individual line is becoming counter-progressive, so I'm gonna try and be a bit more concise about it, just to make things hopefully a bit easier.

    You believe optimization creates a problem when two people compete in the same role, resulting in an imbalance, and one player feeling less effective? While that's correct, unless they're built exactly the same, one will always be more effective than the other. Sure, optimization can exacerbate the issue, but it's not the root of the issue, but at the same time, optimization can also balance the issue, by helping the weaker character concept become more effective.

    Sure, if you can one round enemies that does kinda remove the need for other roles, but not every encounter will be so easy. Perhaps there will be many foes, or the foes you fight may have some kind of defense that you cannot so simply overcome (ubercharger vs abrupt jaunt springs to mind). And typically uberchargers leave themselves wide open for counterattack, so unless you end the encounter in one attack, which isn't so easy when there are multiple enemies, or, you know, any kind of terrain that makes charging impossible, etc etc but even then, it's not always appliccable, see the scenario of the enemies with the terrain advantage forcing you to use ranged attacks. Sure, it's natural for people to want their thing to apply to as many circumstances as possible, but unless people are going into the deep end while everyone else is splashing about in the kiddie pool, it shouldn't be such an issue. I think most people would agree that overoptimization is very much so a bad thing as it ruins the game for many people.

    I do feel the need to discuss the hiding issue though, how would you be getting sneak attacks every round without taking a massive -20 on your hide check to either a) hide while attacking, or b) snipe? Because once you've been spotted, the hiding game is practically over. If you're hiding in smoke/fog, then the enemy will have concealment relative to you, meaning you cannot sneak attack, or you're using a bluff check to hide behind cover at a penalty, involving all the enemies involved failing two checks, the bluff check to fool them, then the hide check to actually hide. At that point you're spending a lot of actions setting up a sneak attack, you may as well just get into flanking to sneak attack instead, and get full attacks off. Hide in plain sight on the other hand literally lets you hide as a free action with a 5ft step, since hiding is a part of any movement, so that alone lets you attack, hide at a -20 penalty, then if you fail to hide, you can 5ft step, hide again without a -20 penalty, then attack again, again hiding at a -20 penalty, or if you're ranged, you can greater manyshot, reveal yourself, then move away, hiding as part of the movement without any penalty. I guess as you said though, a single sneak attack hit per round isn't that big a deal.

    All in all, I think people performing the same role, but differently, is enough to generally have people not feel like they're being trodden on. A warlock and a ranger both do ranged damage, but while a warlock doesn't have to deal with damage reduction, a ranger doesn't have to deal with spell resistance, plus they can carry around a quiver filled with neat arrows, like demonbane arrows (quite a favourite of mine, cold iron, holy, magebane, evil outsider bane, chaotic outsider bane arrows that deal +8d6 damage against demons and overcome practically all of their DR/regeneration, albeit in a limited capacity, in that they can only have so many speciality arrows laying about). Unless one character is vastly more effective than the other, I think generally both would be happy despite the other.

    And that's what I think, at least for you Fizban, is where the issue arises. Not in optimization itself, but in overoptimization, which is honestly something I think everyone could agree on. Darth Ultron seems to have a different issue which I'm still trying to understand.

    Also, regarding social skills. Pathfinder fixed that quite nicely by having traits that granted class skills, sometimes even multiple social skills at once, and by having class skills be a binary, rather than per level thing. Anyone can get practically any one or two skills as class skills by simply picking the right traits.
    Last edited by Crake; 2017-12-27 at 08:09 AM.
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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?
    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by DMVerdandi View Post
    No. An optimizer is someone who from a meta perspective, knows certain options are going to make you worse than the standard.
    Skateboarding is cool, but If my job is financial analyst, don't you think I should put some more points in INT, and less in DEX? Adventurers are mercenaries. Every job in the phb and beyond is a killing class. Wizard is a war mage from the jump. Look at it's spell list. All of the spells have combat application. Now, if your job is killing, scouting, defending, supporting, beguiling, maiming, and capturing, you should be good at your job, yes?
    See this is what separates Optimizers from the Other Players: Optimizers see things only One Way. You say Adventurers are mercenaries, always and forever and can never be anything else. But this is silly, as any normal player can tell you that an adventurer can be many things. Every class is a killing class? A wizard is a war mage?


    Quote Originally Posted by DMVerdandi View Post
    The disconnect is with you. If you are in college and you are taking your final exam, 60% is a fail. 80% is damn near a fail.
    People really need to separate real life from the game. Real Life is not a Game.


    Quote Originally Posted by EldritchWeaver View Post

    How optimized is that character? I've employed two basic strategies. Max ranking a class skill and maximizing the main attribute of the class, which happens to be the associated attribute of the skill (so synergy). How obvious are the strategies? Most of it follows the meta-rule of optimization: Having higher numbers is better. Even a newbie can pick up most of the points I've used with ease.

    This is an example of a normal character that has optimized a skill, not a crazy optimizing player. This character can answer any question from easy to really tough, and that is fine. Of course ''30'' does not max out the scale, the rules never say that. DC's can go up forever. DC's still keep going up as the game level increases....just like the DC of everything else does. Questions beyond ''really tough''. And, the rules are clear that the DM gets to set the DC for things.

    Quote Originally Posted by EldritchWeaver View Post
    All in all, I don't see how your preferences map to the game's math.
    A high level character can do a lot of things 100% of the time...but that is because they are a high level character. And, as said, a high level character does not need to optimize to do easy things. A 10th level character can do things of DC 30 with little or no problem. But ''30'' is not the end of the scale, as the DC scale has no end. The 10th level character would still have a problem with a DC of say 45 or 50. Plus a character might not always be able to ''take 10'' , might lose their items/stuff or be under something like a spell or curse that effects skill rolls.

    But the optimizer wants to be the Super Duper Expert even at first level, to get that +20 at first level. They MUST be a race that has AT LEAST a +4 to intelligence AND will demand no LA; they MUST start with a ''masterwork knowledge book'' for that extra plus, even if they don't have the money for it. And they MUST take that feat/ability/whatever that gives a plus, no matter what the ''rules'' say.

    And the optimizer will never be happy....even with a +20 and the ability to know all common, hard and ''really tough'' things...they will still not be able to know ''beyond really tough things'', so they will still be obsessing and going crazy to get more pluses.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Could build quite the mountainous molehill out of all the chips on all the shoulders in this thread.

    And that's for both sides of the discussion, clearly.


    It has become more than clear that some folk emphasize the RP while others emphasize the G of RPG.

    This isn't wrong. Though from where I sit arguing without clearly delineated definitions certainly could be.

    For my part there's little point to engaging such a rich and delightfully flawed set of game rules just to throw them out whenever it suits, especially if the reason for throwing them out is bullying or some sort of player agency hamstringing power trip.

    To me, if one wishes to RP and not have to fight through such a dense ruleset there are better game systems.

    On the other hand, if one remains too fascinated by the 3.x/PF ruleset to simply discard it then one has but two options, learn to use said rules (read as optimize) or be VERY clear and up front about one's intention to throw them to the wayside at the first opportunity.
    Last edited by unseenmage; 2017-12-27 at 08:22 AM.

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