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Getting really tired of min / maxing


Gamer Talk

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Alitan wrote:
but every freaking druid ought to be at least capable of casting their higher-level spells.

Because Druids are full Casters, I too would be looking at ways to make sure I had access to 9th levels spells. That doesn't necessarily mean that I need to take a 19 WIS into the game at 1st level, but I won't be marginalizing it either.

Also, just because I have a high WIS score, it doesn't mean I'm full of folksie sayings and always "just know what to do", rather it could be mean I'm in tune with nature and the capabilities of my chosen Deity. I could still be quite obtuse about a great many things.

You really have to step back from the numbers and look at them from both the crunch and fluff perspectives. While the crunch is pretty well set, the fluff is highly flexible and adaptable.


@Finn: seems you are implying that it is you impression that the devs never intended characters to take less than ten in any stat... Could you tell me where you get that impression?

To the OP: this sounds like a really frustrating situation. The way this guy has changed his character to outshine yours is pretty aggressive. My advice would be to talk to him about it and if that doesn't work talk to the Gm.

There's no reason a Druid who starts out with 14 wis won't be able to cast his highest spells. Put wisdom up every four levels and get a headband... They're not going to be as good at casting the spells as someone who had focused on wis at character gen but they sacrificed that to be more of a melee beast form Druid.

I lean on the side of optimisation myself and I love to Rp... My dwarf with Cha 5 was cranky as hell and ugly to boot. He wasn't an idiot however and would shut his face when negotiations were necessary. He knew what he was good at... Not getting hit, and hitting things hard. If I want to play a social type I'd play a bard or cleric maybe.

Also Diplomacy is a learned thing that's why it's a skill. I see no reason why my Cha 5 dwarf fighter shouldn't be allowed to watch and learn from more social people (and thus put ranks into diplomacy or bluff or intimidate. Yet I probably wouldn't bother cause that wasn't the character I was trying to play (apart from intimidate with the view of getting the feat that allows you to add your Str modifier as well)

@Cranewings: shooting heavily armed ugly people at the gate seems a little over the top to me. I guess farmers from my worlds would at least question the group and request them to give up their weapons at gun point before just shooting them.


Kip84 wrote:

@Finn: seems you are implying that it is you impression that the devs never intended characters to take less than ten in any stat... Could you tell me where you get that impression?

I've never had that impression, and I'm pretty sure you're misreading my posts in order to get that implication.

What I have been saying, and do think-- is that the developers and game designers never intended for anyone to take a stat less than 10 AND simply "hand-wave away" all negative effects and repercussions by spending a few skill points-- which is what many of the posters on this thread seem to think should be the only effect of dumping some stats (Charisma, for instance).

I am inclined to believe (and it's the impressions I have of how things ought to work from many many years of playing RPGs) that if you 'dump' a stat, you should have to face up to the negative consequences of the flaw that 'dumped stat' represents. Simply buying some ranks in social skills should not be enough to entirely counter the issues that basically being utterly uncharismatic should leave you with-- yes, it's reasonable to say that learning from others mitigates the effects a little bit, but it shouldn't just 'wipe it away entirely'.

I'm in favor of playing effective characters-- which does require optimization (at least up to a point)-- I'm not in favor of carrying optimization past the point where it starts to look like munchkinish tweaking of the rules for every last little scrap of mechanical advantage you can grasp, while virtually requiring that you ignore the "fluff", common-sense, and background bits that you have to twist, bend, break, and violate to get there.

I have also observed (many times throughout these threads), that the "fluff" (as well as the crunch) for ALL of the basic six stats is important. While the fluff is highly flexible and adaptable, it's still there, still has clear meaning and-- especially in the case of Charisma (but also sometimes with other stats)-- gets violated by min-maxers all the time.


Ah yes. The resulting penalties should never be hand waved I agree. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Dumping charisma and making up for it by learning the skill of diplomacy is never going to wipe that penalty completely away. For instance a fighter who has a negative or low charisma will never be as good as a more socially inclined character. He will not get a class bonus and will always have to deal with his Cha modifier. Even if he spends a feat on skill focus it's not going to completely wipe away the penalty from his low score. (most optimisers wouldn't do this anyhow as its not really optimal.)

I like your rule about making Cha checks to determine initial attitudes of npcs towards the players. A great way to make charisma have more meaning to the whole game. My only question with this is that if the bard or other party face is up the front putting on his best negotiation face and the butt ugly fighter is standing at the back keeping his mouth closed, does the fighters penalty effect the bards negotiating?


Kip84 wrote:

Ah yes. The resulting penalties should never be hand waved I agree. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

No prob/apology accepted. :)

Kip84 wrote:


I like your rule about making Cha checks to determine initial attitudes of npcs towards the players. A great way to make charisma have more meaning to the whole game. My only question with this is that if the bard or other party face is up the front putting on his best negotiation face and the butt ugly fighter is standing at the back keeping his mouth closed, does the fighters penalty effect the bards negotiating?

So long as the fighter does stand at the back and doesn't interrupt the 'face character' during negotiations, I don't think so. I believe it is fair to not penalize the party for having some specialization of duties, regarding who handles which situations (fighter with low charisma ain't the face character-- it is fair to dump a stat, realize you've got a flaw, and try to avoid the situations where you're going to bring your party down because of it-- real people work around their flaws all the time, so I do accept that characters should be able to do that)-- and, when the pretty bard's doing the negotiation, most people aren't going to pay attention to what they probably assume is the pretty bard's socially inept bodyguard (which is what they probably assume the big, ugly off-putting fighter is). IMO, the player is still adequately playing his 'flaw' by doing his best in play to avoid putting himself on the line where those penalties are going to hurt him and/or the party, and if he is almost always successful in doing so-- by his still recognizing that if it ever happens that all the face people are 'down' and he's suddenly the one who has to make a good first impression, he's gonna have a problem (kind'a the same as we expect poor melee fighters to do their best to stay out of melee).


And when the poor fighter is left to negotiate on his own hilarity ensues as he tries to talk his way out of a problem most likely unsuccessfully. I think it can make for fun Rp and could be a great adventure hook.


Kip84 wrote:

And when the poor fighter is left to negotiate on his own hilarity ensues as he tries to talk his way out of a problem most likely unsuccessfully. I think it can make for fun Rp and could be a great adventure hook.

Yepyep. :D

I can see it now...

The rest of the party is off running other errands, when the Cleric is wise enough to realize something is drastically wrong, but wasn't quite sharp enough to catch it in advance. The cleric turns to the bard...

"Ummmm, did we just leave big'n'mean Joe all by himself back there to handle the negotiations with the locals for replacing that barn we torched last adventure?"

(Bard does face-palm... meanwhile, back at the inn....)


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CHA 8 + 6 ranks = Diplomacy 5 (6-1)

CHA 20 + 0 ranks = Diplomacy 5 (0+5)

Per the rules of the game there is no difference here. Both equations demonstrate characters who have a +5 bonus in Diplomacy checks. They are equally good, the difference being that the 20 represents a natural talent (no ranks invested), while the 8 represents someone who had to work at it (for 6 levels).

That's it, that's the difference and I'm quite sure that the game designers are A.) aware, and B.) quite alright with it. This isn't some Paizo-only mechanic that's new to the game, you could do this starting in 3rd edition.


If you are talking about a fighter, where did he get the skill point from each level? Was it the one he had for riding his horse or the one he had for swimming?


cranewings wrote:
If you are talking about a fighter, where did he get the skill point from each level? Was it the one he had for riding his horse or the one he had for swimming?

Where does anyone get their skill points from?

Andoran

Alitan wrote:
Good point about smart play preventing the obsolescence... but every freaking druid ought to be at least capable of casting their higher-level spells. In my humble opinion... otherwise they're just a ranger with a better animal companion and worse BAB.

He can cast 9th level spells with a +6 wisdom headband.

loaba wrote:

CHA 8 + 6 ranks = Diplomacy 5 (6-1)

CHA 20 + 0 ranks = Diplomacy 5 (0+5)

Per the rules of the game there is no difference here. Both equations demonstrate characters who have a +5 bonus in Diplomacy checks. They are equally good, the difference being that the 20 represents a natural talent (no ranks invested), while the 8 represents someone who had to work at it (for 6 levels).

That's it, that's the difference and I'm quite sure that the game designers are A.) aware, and B.) quite alright with it. This isn't some Paizo-only mechanic that's new to the game, you could do this starting in 3rd edition.

That's perfectly acceptable if you're in a situation where you're using diplomacy. Diplomacy, however, takes time and it takes people willing to listen and work with you.


Man, I really feel your pain.
I mean, yeah, roll-playing isn't the opposite of roleplaying. But it's really annoying when you're constantly outshined in combat. And if the outshiner doesn't care about who his character is, it adds insult to injury.
Not much you can do, though. I agree with the suggestion to ask to remove Point Buy as an option, but that won't do anything to a preexisting character. Just keep an eye out for ways you can still show off, and maybe ask for a few roleplaying encounters--that's one thing you know your ranger can do better. ;)


ShadowcatX wrote:
Alitan wrote:
Good point about smart play preventing the obsolescence... but every freaking druid ought to be at least capable of casting their higher-level spells. In my humble opinion... otherwise they're just a ranger with a better animal companion and worse BAB.
He can cast 9th level spells with a +6 wisdom headband.

Lots of people seem to frown upon looking forward into the game and kind of predicting and/or determining what kinds of magic items a character might need or want. I'm okay with it and I start those predictions at 1st level. I look at all my stats and I consider which magic items I'll need to eventually acquire, in order to get whatever effect I need.

ShadowcatX wrote:
That's perfectly acceptable if you're in a situation where you're using diplomacy. Diplomacy, however, takes time and it takes people willing to listen and work with you.

So where are the rules that govern whether or not you have the *time? I've looked and I'm just not seeing it.

/ *Diplomacy checks, the successful ones, are what determines if someone has listened to you.

Andoran

loaba wrote:
Lots of people seem to frown upon looking forward into the game and kind of predicting and/or determining what kinds of magic items a character might need or want. I'm okay with it and I start those predictions at 1st level. I look at all my stats and I consider which magic items I'll need to eventually acquire, in order to get whatever effect I need.

A fighter predicts he will get magic weapons, and belts of strength. Around 4th level (give or take) he even dictates what type of magical weapons he's expecting to find. No one ever seems to have a problem with that.

Not every spell caster should have to be the world's best spell caster. Sometimes people are just average at what they do and really good at other things. For a fighter, however, this renders them almost unplayable. However, druid is one of the classes where a person doesn't have to focus on their primary schtick and can create a character who isn't just another stereotypical wise old cripple in the woods.

I can't help but shake my head, people complain that casters dump their strength to max out casting stats in one thread, then complain that they dump casting stats to max out in another thread. I think people just like to complain.

Quote:

So where are the rules that govern whether or not you have the *time? I've looked and I'm just not seeing it.

/ *Diplomacy checks, the successful ones, are what determines if someone has listened to you.

Diplomacy wrote:
Action: Using Diplomacy to influence a creature's attitude takes 1 minute of continuous interaction. Making a request of a creature takes 1 or more rounds of interaction, depending upon the complexity of the request. Using Diplomacy to gather information takes 1d4 hours of work searching for rumors and informants.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Diplomacy wrote:
Action: Using Diplomacy to influence a creature's attitude takes 1 minute of continuous interaction. Making a request of a creature takes 1 or more rounds of interaction, depending upon the complexity of the request. Using Diplomacy to gather information takes 1d4 hours of work searching for rumors and informants.

Okay - so that's saying you need some real-world time to state your case, listen to theirs, maybe make a counter-offer etc, etc.

Obviously there are going to be situations where there is no time for Diplomacy, but I'm not seeing where that's really relevant to the 8 vs 20 CHA comparison.


If you don't have the time for full-blown diplomacy, that's where you're stuck (in a lot of games, and as far as I can tell suggested by both the crunch and the fluff in the description of Charisma) relying on a straight Charisma check. Which is where that 8 Charisma will really hurt.

Oh, and diplomacy is used to modify a creature's reactions... so, also-- that may often come back to what the creature's initial reaction was in the first place.... which may be based on that straight-up charisma check. Seems in keeping, if one should pay attention to the fluff and crunch for all stats.


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To no one in particular:
If the min-maxer has one option taken away he will just find another. The solution is to talk to the player, and try to find common ground.

Andoran

wraithstrike wrote:

To no one in particular:

If the min-maxer has one option taken away he will just find another. The solution is to talk to the player, and try to find common ground.

We can't have that, that's crazy talk.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ShadowcatX wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

To no one in particular:

If the min-maxer has one option taken away he will just find another. The solution is to talk to the player, and try to find common ground.
We can't have that, that's crazy talk.

If Wraithstrike continues in this vein of sensible player/DM discussion, then he should be banned.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

BURN THE HERETIC!

Indian burn, bon fires are too much work.


cranewings wrote:
If you are talking about a fighter, where did he get the skill point from each level? Was it the one he had for riding his horse or the one he had for swimming?

he dumped Cha not Int! :D lol


So if I'm stuck in a point-buy stat game, I don't dump a stat: not having attribute penalties is worth having my highest attribute bonus be +2/+3.

At the same time, I am NOT (as a caster) going to make my spell stat 14... I don't like having to rely on (a) getting and (b) keeping a stat buff item just to be able to reach the high levels of spells. I want to have those spell levels in reach with simple level attribute bumps.


And god forbid a caster gets stat drained in a loot-lite campaign...he can kiss those high level spells goodbye forever.


It would be a shame for this thread to forget just how reasonable it was when it started out.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
It would be a shame for this thread to forget just how reasonable it was when it started out.

It's already half way through it's third page; it's starting to reach senility.

Btw, I hope OP got things figured out by now.

Sczarni

Not to instigate things, or drag this thread back from the dead but... How would you guys handle a character that dumped wisdom?


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The crappy perception and crappy will save is its own punishment. I tell players that Wisdom is nothing more than focus and the natural inclination towards self awareness - and not to RP it - or more, to RP whatever they want without regard for the stat.

Sczarni

Those are very good points. Thanks for the tip. I like to take stats along with alignment into consideration when trying to portray my characters personality.
Like a rogue with a decent intelligence score but horrible wisdom and an alignment of Chaotic Neutral who has been paid to help a small group of farmers deal with a reoccurring problem with orcs raiding their farms. I may have him set some traps confront the orcs (sneak attack one) and get them to chase him back to the farm, through the traps, and use the farmers as man power to help take down the orc raiders. Even though he may forget to mention this plan to the farmers.

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