Buri, are you really trying to say that you can't take a swift actions with full-round actions? Because if so, note:
Full-Round Action: A full-round action consumes all your effort during a round. The only movement you can take during a full-round action is a 5-foot step before, during, or after the action. You can also perform free actions and swift actions (see below). See Table: Actions in Combat for a list of full-round actions.
If not, carry on!
Ok, while "base speed" may not be specifically defined anywhere in the rules as "land speed", there's an AWFUL LARGE amount of evidence that is the case...
As I interpret it, your land speed is set equal to your base speed unless instructed otherwise (e.g. you are encumbered). However, some effects increase your land speed only (e.g. barbarian fast movement) and some your base speed (e.g. travel domain).
There is at least one precedent I can think of off the top of my head for retaining that difference. Consider wings of air:
Benefit: Your bonus on saves against effects with the air or electricity descriptors and effects that deal electricity damage increases to +4. In addition, you gain a supernatural fly speed equal to your base speed (good maneuverability). You may only fly with this ability when wearing light armor or no armor.
So as I read it, barbarian fast movement wouldn't increase your fly speed, but travel domain does.
All of that aside, the PRD currently reads that monk fast movement applies to land speed.
Associating "bard" with "musician" or what have you is really no different from associating "barbarian" with "foreign savage" or "monk" with "guy who comes from a monastery." Yet I think most of us are able to deal with the fact that barbarian (the class) is distinct from barbarian (the culture) and that monk (the class) is different from monk (the occupation). I see no reason that it would be any harder to overcome the first association than the other two. If you can't overcome any of them, that seems to me to speak more to lack of imagination than anything else.
...but it's 'aha', you're just an athlete. Pathetic, isn't it?
I mean, look, I'm happy to concede that there are many situations to which the fighter isn't particularly well suited. But it's true of basically everyone that some situations play to their weaknesses, not to their strengths. This is why it's a team game in the first place.
The fighter is not blessed with a large number of skill points or a long list of class skills. But "I have 2 skills" is not "I have no skills at all."
you've got a 50/50 shot or less of making that DC 10 (if he's well known or in a small town) or DC 15 (he's less well known or in a city) Diplomacy check.
In fact, if it's DC 10, you've got a 100% shot of making it.
That said, you shouldn't have to ask someone what gear one needs for wilderness survival, because Survival is one of your class skills. Either you don't need any skill in order to know what gear would be useful in wilderness survival, or you do. If the former, the fighter is perfectly competent for this, and if the latter, the fighter is still perfectly competent, since Survival is the obvious relevant skill.
Agreed on all counts (and hopefully not a double post!).
This is actually one of the options to get the key to a locked box in Carrion Crown, funnily enough.
Ironically, I'm DMing Carrion Crown now - apparently I just haven't gotten this far yet!
Oh, I see what you mean, because DD and handle Animals are "trained only" skills...
Wasn't there a rule that you don't need ranks in "trained only" skills if the DC was 10 or lower? Was it just for Knowledge checks? Does that rule even exist at all?
It depends on the skill. If the skill entry says the skill is "trained only," you can't even try unless it has a line for "untrained," which spells out what you can try to do without training. See here:
Untrained: This entry indicates what a character without at least 1 rank in the skill can do with it. If this entry doesn't appear, it means that the skill functions normally for untrained characters (if it can be used untrained) or that an untrained character can't attempt checks with this skill (for skills that are designated “Trained Only”).
So, for example, with Knowledge or Sleight of Hand, you can try DC 10 checks, even untrained. Handle Animal lets you try to command a domestic animal with a Cha check, and you can attempt to make it try a trick it doesn't know (even though the DC is 25), but you can't train animals. Disable Device or Spellcraft, on the other hand, you can't even try without training.
He was pointing out the bizarre consequences of ruling the natural 1s are auto-failures in skill-checks. As that would mean that you would fail 5% in even the easiest of tasks (which he treats as skill checks).
Oh, I get that. But per his example, no ranks in Disable Device means you literally cannot even attempt to tie your own shoes, so there's obviously something a little wonky with his example. =)
Otherwise, yeah, we agree that you can cut the wire. What happens next? The DM controls that, not the player (and I don't think anyone is suggesting otherwise). But "I cut the wire" is legitimate, and potentially disarms the trap, or sets it off, or anything in between. And stuff like "I cut the wire" and "I fish the key out of the bowl of acid using a coat hanger" is the sort of thing I think people are suggesting they can legitimately attempt.
Fair enough, and conceded. I'd add that some GM calls are reasonable (like needing a check to swing a rope across a pit, despite the lack of rules one way or the other) and some GM calls are not (like needing a check to pick up an object you can lift, despite the existence of rules for picking up objects, in the combat chapter).
I don't mind treating traps like puzzle, but if a GM is inclined to do that I'd appreciate finding out ahead of time. Before I put a bunch of ranks in Disable Device in the hopes that my +30 modifier will prevent me from getting a tub of acid dropped on my head.
To be fair in turn, that +30 modifier in Disable Device should let you say "I disarm the trap" which ought to work just fine with accompanying roll/take 10, presuming the DC is reasonable. The dumb fighter might look at the wire and decide to cut it on general principle; the skilled rogue actually knows what he's doing.
Lemmy, the DC is 0, as is spelled out in my post and in the Acrobatics rules. Clem can't readily pass that DC 0 check, but fortunately it doesn't matter because, as is also spelled out in the Acrobatics rules, no check is needed.
Now, you're saying, in effect, "I don't have to roll the check, because I automatically pass. This is what 'no check is needed' means."
That's clearly false. I must point out, again, that the DC could get as high as 9 without requiring a check, and for an armored fighter in combat, DC 9 is not an auto-pass. In fact, it's a quite probable fail. But no check is needed.
Similarly, if you're making an Acrobatics check, you're flat-footed, you lose Dex to AC, and you move at 1/2 speed, as pointed out earlier. Even if I pass the check, I still suffer those consequences. But because "there is no check" is not "I automatically pass the check," I am not perpetually flat-footed.
So I'll say it again: "DC 0" and "no check is needed" are different. In fact, any DC and "no check is needed" are different. If the rules do not call for a check, then there is no check, even one in the background which I do not have to roll because I can be presumed to have passed it.
Admittedly, this isn't directly to the point, so let me bring it back around.
Because no checks are needed for certain actions, the PCs can take those actions without needing to be able to pass a corresponding check. Thus, for example, a fighter can readily cut a wire (maybe with a Sunder check if we're being pedantic) even though he has no ranks in Disable Device and therefore cannot make Disable Device checks at all.*
Now, if cutting the wire would disarm the trap, then the fighter has disarmed the trap without making a Disable Device check. If cutting the wire would set off the trap, then he's set it off instead. Note that the action is "I cut the wire," not "I disarm the trap."
This does not say that he automatically succeeds at finding a trap. It does not say that he automatically succeeds at disarming a trap. It does say that he automatically succeeds at cutting the wire (or at least, that he can cut the wire with a Sunder check), and that when cutting the wire disarms the trap, the fighter therefore successfully disarms the trap.
* Incidentally: in your quote, SKR seems to be saying that the average fighter cannot tie his own shoes and the average thief can't pet a cat. I'd buy that!
Lemmy, there are listed DC 0 checks. There are even listed DC -10 checks. Heck, there's no lower limit to the DC on Survival checks to track large groups. Under usual circumstances, you cannot possibly fail such easy checks, and I agree, there's no need to roll them. Nevertheless, those DCs exist, and the checks exist likewise; under circumstances where you cannot take 10 and could fail those checks, you must roll them.
Let's take a simple example. Under Acrobatics, we see that the DC to walk across a wide surface is 0. The ground is such a surface. There are listed modifiers for things like slope, rubble, slippery ground, and so forth. Let us assume that we are in a case where none of these modifiers apply. The DC is therefore explicitly 0.
Suppose now that my PC is Clem the Clumsy. He has Dex 6, is wearing half plate and has a tower shield, and has no ranks in Acrobatics. His Acrobatics modifier is thus -19.
You're simply wrong here. The rules don't say "the check is so easy that you don't have to roll it," the rules say "there is no check at all."
I will, of course, happily concede if you can show me a single shred of evidence that your position has rules support. I see nowhere that it does.
ETA: Basically, the reason I'm insisting on this is that if we say "there's actually a check, just a check you can't fail so we don't roll it," you run into the problem that there are times when the check could be failed, yet the rules don't ask us to roll them. There are also checks which you cannot legally make - skill checks for untrained skills, for example. And there are times when the very act of having a check has consequences, even if you pass - as with Acrobatics.
There are two general frameworks I can see. Yours is "while the rules don't say this, actually everything is a check, all the time, but most of them are so easy that you can't fail them, so we don't make them." Mine is "if it doesn't say it's a check, it isn't a check." The vast majority of the time, the two approaches will give the same answer. When they disagree, your approach seems to give the wrong answer. So why assume it?
And again, there is no check for "I walk across the street," not even a DC 0 check. There is no check for "I pick up an object my PC can carry." These are both house rules. Maybe reasonable house rules, but house rules.
No where in the encumbrance section does it say anything about needing a check to lift an object. If it did, you would have to require each character who wants to pick up, say, a dagger he dropped to roll a check if he were in the middle of combat (since you can't take 10 and you might conceivably fail the check given a negative Str mod). But the rules on encumbrance don't say "roll a check to lift an object you can carry," and the combat rules for "pick up an item" don't mention it either.
Not everything is a check. Things that say "this requires a check" require a check (which you may then skip blithely by if the check cannot be failed). Things that do not say "this requires a check" don't require checks.
Edit: Let me rephrase - there is no DC 0 when there is no penalty. It's considered an automatic success. 1 is the lowest you can get with no penalty.
Uhh... What Lemmy is saying is "I set the DC to 0, which you automatically succeed at."
There are, of course, many skill checks where the DC is 0 or worse (Perception to hear a battle taking place around the corner, for example).
And Vod, of course there are. I don't think people are saying "I cut the wire, and the trap therefore is disarmed!" What they're saying is "I cut the wire" and then the DM tells them "okay, the wire is cut," perhaps after making them roll a sunder attempt. Whether cutting the wire results in the trap being disarmed or results in the characters having a 100 gallons of acid dropped on their heads is a separate issue.
There are at least three problems with what you've described, Lemmy. For example,
* Say, we're distracted, and I get an unlucky roll.
What your cohort do or not do to help me is up to you. I would make no demands on him, except maybe to pass the ketchup at lunch.
That's a perfectly fair position which which I have no argument whatsoever, as hopefully has been clear enough.
True. But then, that out of character problem cuts both ways. If I take a cohort and demand that you should therefore give me more loot, I'm being a jerk. If I take a cohort and you demand to share in the benefits but not in the costs, you're being a jerk.
If you say
Glendwyr, you spent a feat acquiring a cohort for yourself. I am aware that if your cohort dies, the value of that feat choice is diminished.* I expect your cohort to heal me when I need healing, buff me when I need buffing, and so forth, but while doing this may put your cohort at greater risk, I will not contribute to his upkeep.
no amount of in character justification will make you anything else than a total douchebag.
The responsible out of character thing to do is of course to discuss the potential cohort with your other players ahead of time and hash out some workable ground rules before picking the feat. But it's fair neither in character nor out of character to expect the cohort to act for your benefit unless you are willing to reciprocate.
* If nothing else, because my leadership score decreases.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Do you want to bring Alfred to the battle, Mr Batman? Fine, but then he has to be useful. Otherwise, leave him in the batcave, right besides the other 30 followers you also got with the feat.
So you really are saying that you get to decide how someone else uses his feat. I disagree, and think your perspective is staggeringly arrogant.
You're under no obligation to save Alfred (or, more reasonably, Robin), but if Batman wants to bring his sidekick/servant/pet cat along, you have zero right to prevent him from doing so even if the cohort doesn't go out of his way to help you since you haven't given him any reason to do so.
Sorry, now I'm back to being confused about your position. I thought I understood it, but "my friend took leadership, so his cohort is his responsibility and on his payroll, but if his cohort doesn't help me, his cohort doesn't get to come with us" is just baffling.
Bill Dunn wrote:
Is this supposed to be some kind of special revelation?
It certainly shouldn't be, but given that this has been my position for the entirety of the thread but it's been disputed nonetheless, and that I said almost exactly the same thing 3 hours ago and the response was "this is a silly argument," apparently it's not universally accepted.
Ub3r_n3rd, nowhere have I said that I expect a cohort to get a full share of the wealth. Nowhere have I said that I expect the cohort to get any share of the treasure. Nowhere have I said that the cohort is a PC (a "PC" and "a character" are obviously not the same).
I have said that there is a logical consequence to treating the cohort as nothing more than someone else's employer. How you choose to deal with that logical consequence is up to you. A perfectly reasonable approach is to simply accept it. What is not reasonable is to expect the cohort to do more for you than you do for him - that's what the leadership feat is for.
And gustavo, same page. It's a perfectly valid way to run things. I was just confused when you gave us
which certainly seems to say that (a) you don't want to pay the cohort, and (b) you feel comfortable demanding that the leader doesn't take the cohort with him because (subsequently) (c) the cohort's presence causes you harm, since (d) he's taking a share of treasure even though (a) he wasn't.
What's so funny to me about this whole argument is that people keep putting themselves in the NPC's shoes as if it was an actual PC.
With all due respect, what people are actually doing is putting themselves in the NPC's shoes as if the NPC were a character, where in practice your approach is to treat the NPC as a convenient statblock. Thus, you think that "an NPC should behave logically" is "a silly argument" where I think "an NPC should behave logically" is, in fact, an essential aspect of roleplaying.
Now, in practice I don't think we treat cohorts too differently, and I don't disagree with your first list at all. Your second list, however, is an embarrassingly dishonest characterization of any position that anyone has advocated.
You keep saying "let me put this simply" or some variant thereof. So let me put this simply: If you treat a cohort as though he is merely the employee of your friend, you should expect him to treat you as if you are merely the friend of his employer.
gustavo, think we're on the same page. I don't know why you suddenly started talking about the cohort taking a share of your wealth when we'd already established that in your model he didn't, but hey.
It's in the best interest of the party as a whole to all heal each other, buff each other, debuff enemies, and protect each other without any sort of compensation.
Except that you've already defined the cohort as not part of the party. To you, he's just some schmuck that your friend is paying to tag along; to him, you're just some schmuck that his boss hangs out with. That's the way you've defined it, anyway.
And if that's the kind of relationship with the cohort you want, that's completely fine, and completely understandable. But in that case, the only thing you can reasonably demand of the cohort is that he do what he can to help his boss. You deserve no freebies.
Likewise, of course, in such a non-relationship, the cohort cannot reasonably demand anything of you.
Your cohort taking my money out of my pocket is you taking a feat that is causing quantifiable harm to me. That's the point he's making. Maybe it would have been better if he'd said "If your power attack takes money out of my pocket to give YOU a bonus to damage, I'll tell you please not to take it, yes".
Your reading comprehension appears to be failing you (or possibly mine is failing me, or gustavo's is failing him).
gustavo iglesias wrote:
This position is perfectly fair, and it is crystal clear that the "harm" you have proposed is not happening.
So we've established that the cohort gets no money. We've also established that gustavo does not expect the cohort to help his character:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
We also see pretty clearly that gustavo feels that if the cohort isn't helping him as well as the leader, the cohort should stay home and the person who took leadership should be denied the mechanical advantages of his feat, because the cohort has harmed him in some as yet unquantified way. Taking money out of his pocket is self-evidently not that way.
He isn't a class feature, he's a feat.
Yes, I'm well aware. I'm continuing the earlier semantics.
The cohort deserves the same pay our Druids Large Cat companion does, possibly less, because the average 10th level Druid large cat would destroy your follower, so which would actually represent better value for money investment from the party?
The cat. So? If the cat would expect payment for services rendered, the cat should receive payment for services rendered, and if it doesn't get the former, it shouldn't render the latter. Just like the cohort or the familiar or the mount or the followers or any other creature in the game world. That's all I'm suggesting. I'm frankly kind of surprised that's controversial.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
If your power attack gives ME a penalty to hit to give YOU a bonus to damage, I'll tell you please not to take it, yes.
How does my cohort not helping you logically equate to my cohort harming you? The fallacy of the excluded middle is hovering in the wings.
Any argument that states: A cohort has joined the party and now it is the party's responsibility as a whole to provide for said cohort's needs including food, drink, transportation, arms, armor, lodging, and various magical items is dead wrong.
And to be precise, I should have said that my argument is with people who say that the cohort gets nothing, but should nevertheless be expected to help their PCs. If you're fine with the healbot not healing you when needed, the buffer not buffing you when needed, the crafter not crafting for you when needed, and so on, groovy.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
What gives you the right to insist that your fellow PCs don't get access to their class features? Is it okay for me to say that I'm not cool with your power attack, so don't use it? What makes the cohort different? You can't have it both ways - either he's a class feature, and in all cases should be treated as one, or he's a person, and in all cases should be treated as one. To do otherwise is blatant hypocrisy.
Incidentally, you'll note that the argument I have is less with people who say "the cohort deserves a smaller share of loot" and more with people who say "a cohort gets nothing." Your position I find perfectly reasonable, apart from the insistence that if the cohort doesn't go out of his way to help you despite a lack of quid pro quo, the cohort should stay at home.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
That said, I won't complain if he wants to charge for his heals. I'll just ask him to stay in his house, and not come to adventures with me. My groups of friends is very close, and not everybody has the right to come and say "hey, I want to be part of your group. Give me presents in my birthday". Do you admit in your group every single NPC who wants to go to adventures?So, just to be clear:
Just like the wizard can't go and say "I built winged boots to all of you. Here is the bill, pay me".
Indeed, but not really what I had in mind. What I had in mind was whether you pay the cohort NPC rates for services you request, not for services he provides and you don't request. Indeed, under the "the cohort gets nothing" school of thought, I would assume the cohort provides no services whatsoever that aren't actually requested, unless directed by the leader.
For my part, I'm perfectly fine with the cohort getting no loot at all except what the leader takes out of his share, and I think that in return, the cohort does nothing for anyone else without being paid. I'm also perfectly fine with the cohort getting a (lesser) share of the loot and acting to benefit other PCs without requesting payment. Obviously, in the latter case, the party needs to discuss it first.
How you can't see "moo" in your answer is beyond me. I asked a simple yes or no question - if a cohort does a service for you, would you be okay with him demanding payment for it? That you wouldn't ask him to perform the service in the first place is perfectly reasonable, but it doesn't answer the question because you've ignored a word: "if."
Edit: I got a payer/payee backwards!
So your response to the hypothetical "would it be okay if he charged you for services rendered" is "moo." How useful.
Hypothetical for those of you who fall into the camp that "the cohort is the sole responsibility of the person who took Leadership." Would you complain if a cleric healbot cohort charged you the going rate every time you needed him to heal you? And if not, why not? After all, you've defined him as, effectively, not part of the party, so should he not be expected to treat you as would any other NPC spellcaster?
Other ways of increasing the base speed that occur to me off the top of my head are travel domain and horizon walker (via terrain dominance - plains).
Thus, an oread monk/cleric/horizon walker (ugh) might have a base speed of 40 feet, a burrow speed of 20 feet, and a land speed of 70 feet, for example.
So we remember the story:
The OP wrote:
Yeah, I'm seeing less "the character was fairly bothered" and more "the character didn't really care."
I dislike a lot of things, but I just lack the moral drive to give a s$~% if I do it anyway.
Without analyzing the morality of your response, I'd point out that your reaction is in practice "I neither like nor dislike killing the dog" even if in theory you dislike it.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
The main issue continues to be how the character handles the aftermath, because the current status is "not so good".
I agree - an innocent mistake doesn't have alignment repercussions; an "oh well, it was a mistake, and I don't really care" does.
And while I'd also agree that alignment is a pretty personal thing, I have a hard time seeing "I don't like killing innocent children, but the fact that I've done so anyway doesn't really bother me" as anything other than evil. "I don't like" must be understood as "I dislike" if it is to mean that one has any compunctions about it in the first place, and I have a hard time squaring "I dislike doing X" with "it doesn't bother me that I've done X," particularly when X is, in fact, taking innocent life on large scales. Obviously, because alignment is a pretty personal thing, YMMV.
For the record, the official game definitions of evil and neutral would seem to disagree with your assessment (bolding mine):
That goes against my personal philosophy as a DM. I expect my players to roleplay what's going on of course, but it's their characters and their rolls to make.
Personally, what I do is have the players roll a bunch of d20 for me at the beginning of the campaign and, whenever I need the characters to make a "hidden" check, I use their previously rolled numbers in order. Makes for a bit of extra book-keeping, but I feel it's worthwhile.
I'm not particularly sure I'm being clear - I'm struggling to put this into words, so bear with me.
The gist, though, is that "I do this because it is morally right" is good, while "I do this because it's the rules" is lawful. Since the "good" aspect of the paladin's alignment is paramount, that has to be reflected somewhere.
Yes, the code is, mechanically, a set of external strictures on the player. But I think it's silly to envision a character saying "I've signed up to be a paladin, and I have to follow the rules if I want to remain a paladin." That seems like a rather metagame perspective, for one thing. And it doesn't seem like a particularly good perspective, inasmuch as acting in a certain way because you don't want to suffer the consequences of acting in a different way isn't altruism, it's fear. On the other hand, "I live my life according to a strong moral code, and because I do, I am a paladin" strikes me as more coherent.
I do agree, incidentally, that the paladin knows full well that his path is not easy, but I don't think that's particularly confined to paladins. "Good," after all, isn't synonymous with "pragmatic."
What I'm definitely not seeing is the idea that "don't do immoral things" is naive and arrogant!
The black raven wrote:
I must say that I just LOVE unbending Paladins (and I suspect so does Asmodeus). Because they will do ANYTHING (or NOTHING) before breaking their precious code. Gods forbid that they should fall !!!
So I've seen this kind of viewpoint in this thread a couple of times now, and I have to say, I think it's missing the point. The idea being presented is that the paladin follows his code because he's stubborn, vain, and afraid of falling.
But I don't think that's why a paladin follows his code at all, nor do I see that a paladin needs to be able to formulate his code as a set of rules. I believe that it's really as simple as this: the paladin wants to do things that are morally right. That's all it is. I think that the paladin would act according to the code even if he derived no benefit from it at all. And I note that it's not that things that are against the code are morally wrong, it's that things that are morally wrong are against the code.
I don't beat up random strangers for money. That's not because I'm afraid of the consequences, it's because I believe that it's wrong. The paladin is precisely the same, but with a higher standard of behaviour than mine.
No, eliminating DR/silver would be taking something away. Giving people the ability to penetrate DR/silver would be giving something to everyone else. I grant freely that this is just an issue of semantics - I said as much! - and the overall effect is the same. But the way we discuss an issue affects the way we think about an issue. And we may as well discuss what is actually being done.
Maybe this is just semantics, but "giving melee characters extra tools to use against casters" is not the same thing as "taking something away from casters." It's not a zero-sum game. Spellcasters have exactly the same capabilities that they had before; ergo, they aren't crippled in the slightest.
While I totally agree that this is something that shouldn't be in place at level 1, the weeping and gnashing of teeth over this house rule strikes me as hilariously disproportionate.
So, let me get this straight.
Just, y'know, to make sure that I'm getting the argument right.
Kamelguru, the essential disconnect is that you're making a normative statement ("this is how things should be" or, in your case, "this is what PCs should be able to do") when you're not in a position to make such a statement. The game should be whatever the players want it to be, not whatever you want it to be.
If you want to play a game where the characters are extraordinary, that's terrific. I'm sure that's the kind of game that most of us want to play. It's certainly the kind of game I want to play.
But it's just as valid to play Joe Commoner or a game where the characters are everymen overcoming the odds, and that calls for a very different perspective on optimization.
What matters is that the players are having fun, not that the characters live up to an external standard of heroic excellence.
We could go round and round on this all week, which I think wouldn't do anyone any good, so let me just put this to you and then leave the last word on this little subthread to you:
I submit that a typical character in a typical campaign ought to be useful in combat, because "being useful in combat" is part of a typical player's character concept. If a given player doesn't really care about combat, though, his character is not objectively worse because he didn't optimize for combat, simply because there is no objective measure by which to judge characters in the first place.
The way I read what you're saying, you disagree. That's obviously fine. I just disagree with your disagreement.
I assume you're fine with letting a multiclass sorcerer/oracle replace an oracle spell when he hits 4th level sorcerer? It's exactly the same logic.
Regardless, you should probably amend the claim "it is most certainly the RAW, currently" to "it is most certainly the rules as written as I interpret them and you can't prove me wrong, nyeah."
It is better, because you loose nothing by making a character mechanically better.
Skipping the rest of the recent flurry of posts (because go to a meeting and holy crap you guys!), but I tend to think that this isn't quite right, because the implicit assumption is that mechanical efficiency is an important part of judging the goodness/badness of a build.
I think that the main criterion for judging the soundness of a build is the degree to which the build faithfully represents the character concept. Mechanical efficiency is only relevant inasmuch as that concept includes being good at whatever it is that the build is good at (and bad at whatever the build is bad at, of course).
Mind you, my concepts generally include kicking butt and taking names, but hey, there's a whole universe of possibilities out there.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Is there a difference between wanting equality of optimisation by: making everyone skilled at optimising, and making everyone act as if they were as poor at optimising as the poorest in the group?
No. But there is undeniably a difference between one person expecting the rest of the group to adapt to his approach on the one hand, and the rest of the group expecting one person to adapt to their approach on the other. If you track this conversation back, you'll find that the latter was exactly what was being proposed.
But that's entirely missing the point. The point is simply this: the attitude displayed is essentially "your way is bad and sub-par. Because I am a better player, I can teach you how to play the right way." If that attitude isn't okay from people who dislike optimizing, then it's not okay from optimizers, either.
My position, for the record - and it hasn't changed throughout this discussion.
* I prefer the former - "I choose not to make a character that can overshadow the group" is generally more group-friendly than "my character could overshadow the group at any moment, but chooses not to." If you've got a team consisting of Superman and a bunch of generic street level heroes, replacing Superman with another street level hero is probably better than saying "yes, he's Superman, but I swear, he'll hold back!"
'm going to just say that I'm so very glad this has never been a problem for me in my groups then, and leave it at that. Every group I've ever played in, players have been willing and eager to learn how to better craft their characters to excel and survive and happily would take advice from the more skilled or experienced players in their number. I feel very sorry for groups who do not, and would rather force that person to come down to their subpar level than learn to become better themselves.
While Orthos has fled this thread, I find this post and the reaction to it fascinating.
Here we have an optimizer who, on realizing that he's overshadowing other players, suggests that his fellows are "subpar" and could be "better." Fortunately, he is a "more skilled player" and will condescend to help the group adapt to his preferred playstyle. Implicit in all of this is that if you're not optimizing, you're somehow inferior, and you're doing it wrong.
This is exactly the kind of self-aggrandizing rubbish that you get from the sort of anti-optimizer who wanders around proclaiming that if you optimize, you are a bad player/bad person. I find it interesting that the latter kind of idiocy gets shouted down vociferously, while essentially no one seems to object to the former.
In a world where the only way that one player ever marginalizes another is through malice aforethought, you'd be quite correct, and I wouldn't have been disagreeing with you all day. Unfortunately, the assumption that all marginalization is intentional is quite clearly false.
Yes, I can intentionally marginalize other players, in which case the root problem is indeed that I am a jerk. But I can also build a character who marginalizes others as a result of miscommunication or miscalculation or misconception or misfortune. And in that case, the fact that I have optimized is indeed a contributing factor to the marginalization of my peers. Under such circumstances, changing the build or the play style absolutely does prevent marginalization of other players.
My point, then, was that every group will have a different breaking point for when they consider a character to be too far into optimization as opposed to competence. This makes a discussion on optimization hard to conduct, as everyone will have a different point of view.
If you're comparing the same character against two different groups, then it's a problem. If you're comparing a character against the group's own benchmark, the fact that different groups have different benchmarks is utterly irrelevant.
That said, I think we can extract a very blurry, imprecise benchmark by just looking at what the designers apparently expect and by considering common practice across a wide cross-section of groups. This, I strongly suspect, would lead one to the conclusion that at a bare minimum, a wizard should have the intelligence necessary to cast a cantrip, as part of the overall community's expectation for what a wizard is. Given that, the contention that if a person wants his wizard to be smart enough to cast a cantrip, then that person is an optimizer seems to be nothing more than redefining the term "optimization" in order to score rhetorical points.
Optimization is an English word. It has a meaning. That meaning is not "avoiding an absolute minimum." If what you actually mean is "avoiding an absolute minimum," you should probably not use a word whose plain meaning is "seeking a maximum." You might as well make up a whole new term. "Glorbization is bad." The conversation would be equally incomprehensible, but at least it would be honest.
My preferred answer to this is "bring the party up to your level".
Unsurprisingly, I agree with thejeff here. Given the choice between adapting myself to fit in with my peers or forcing my peers to adapt to fit in with me, the former strikes me as vastly preferable, in that it is not only more courteous but also the path of least resistance.