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Why I power game


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Dragonamedrake you are forgetting E20, the alternative to various crazy epic progression systems.

I do like E6. And I have to emphatically disagree about cheesy builds. The more levels you add the greater the power difference between high powered optimizers and regular role players. Besides why not find a way to stop the progression at the point where everyone is having the most fun without stopping the game?


Zakur Opzan wrote:
I am also a power gamer....lol. But for me it developed from being with a group that did no optimizing at all. I play a crowd control witch and found that while the dwarf barbarian is taking his 5th round to kill the BBEG himself (which had lower AC, and lower bonus to hit with Evil Eye), i slept his minions with slumber and they can be taken out at will over the next 2-3 rounds. The GM was angry at my crowd control, but i didn't shine more than any other character. The barbarian was gloating how he took out the bad guy by himself, the sorcerer how she aoe'd 2 of the minions. WE all had fun and I know I did my job.

Why would your GM be angry? I congratulate my players when they do well. :o

Aranna wrote:
I do like E6. And I have to emphatically disagree about cheesy builds. The more levels you add the greater the power difference between high powered optimizers and regular role players. Besides why not find a way to stop the progression at the point where everyone is having the most fun without stopping the game?

I wouldn't go too far with that. I've seen some truly, truly heinous things in E6 as well.


The_Hanged_Man wrote:

While I am somewhat guilty of being an optimizer I will say that you are as only powerful as the player sitting next to you. Don't worry about the GM. The GM has infinite resources and can always scale things to be appropriately easy or difficult as suits their whim.

Now if everyone at the table is a powergamer that is fine. Otherwise, what advantages are there to being more powerful than your fellow player? While it may stroke your ego, it may also come at the cost marginalizing their experience and making them feel like a bit player. Also, a wide spread of character ability levels makes it really tough for a GM to design a balanced encounter that is fun for all players.

Personally, I prefer to think that how heroic you are has nothing to do with the numbers on your character sheet. Rather, it has do with the actions of your character in relation to the narrative taking place. RPGs are generally meant to be a shared experience between the players and the GM rather than a competition to see who can get the biggest number.

This is a good way of looking at it.


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Zakur Opzan you are the kind of power gamer I actually encourage. Someone who uses their optimizer skills to improve everyone's fun NOT just their own.


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Aranna wrote:

Zakur Opzan you are the kind of power gamer I actually encourage. Someone who uses their optimizer skills to improve everyone's fun NOT just their own.

Where I come from that's normal. O.o


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Orthos wrote:
'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.

Silver Crusade

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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?

I've always hated the concept that 'lowest common denominator' is the ideal! I want everyone to be equally good, not equally bad!

Of course, how you go about this task is how you get judged. You can be a jerk about it, but it's not the way forward!


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I optimized my bard for buff/debuff without a care. Because all it does is make everyone else better. This is why I do not play classes like Magus, that can decimate CR>APL+2 monsters in a single round even at low levels. It just makes the GM frustrated and hogs all the action.


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?

I've always hated the concept that 'lowest common denominator' is the ideal! I want everyone to be equally good, not equally bad!

Of course, how you go about this task is how you get judged. You can be a jerk about it, but it's not the way forward!

But that's making the implicit assumption that being more skilled at optimizing is necessarily good.

That building mechanically more powerful characters is always better.

I don't agree with that assumption.


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Aranna wrote:

Zakur Opzan you are the kind of power gamer I actually encourage. Someone who uses their optimizer skills to improve everyone's fun NOT just their own.

Lol I actually left that table for a while cause the GM kept on me about saying i was "min/maxing" My witch was the only healer in the party, and half of my spells were cure spells. I used slumber hex and misfortune hex religiously. My theory is if they are asleep or not doing damage, then i dont have to heal it. I did allow for many more errors from the less experienced players, because I had control of the battlefield. I think he was mad because my good battlefield control made alot of battles easier. I would throw an occasional damage spell to soften them up or take out some of the weaker ones, but all in all, i was a debuffer/ healer.

Qadira

You could, I suppose build a bunch of inept characters and fail the mod. But otherwise I suggest that at least some level of optimization is good.

Personally, I prefer wizards and I usually sit back and do very little until it becomes clear the encounter requires intervention. Sometimes that becomes clear in the surprise round. Sometimes its clear that no intervention will be required - in which case I'll delay or cast cantrips.


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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.

  • Optimization is neither good nor bad.
  • Optimization is neither a better way to play nor a worse way to play.
  • Optimization is neither always a problem nor never a problem.
  • The appropriate level of optimization is group-dependent.
  • When optimization is a problem, it is usually (maybe always) when some characters are far stronger than others, so that the other characters are marginalized.
  • When that happens, optimization + optimal play is the proximate cause of the marginalization.
  • If the marginalization is intentional, the root cause is that the optimizer is a jerk.
  • If the marginalization is not intentional, the root cause is something else.
  • The best way to address this marginalization is by the optimizer making a less optimal build or playing in a less optimal way.*
  • All of this applies, mutatis mutandis, when the issue is not that a character is too strong for the group but when a character is too weak for the group.

* 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!"


The Superman thing is also assuming they know it's Superman. Not everyone will realize that the Supes next to him is holding back, unless he tells them. Now, if he does so in a haughty matter, it's time to talk to the player (in most cases).

I'm gearing up to DM a game and the only player I'm worried about is a veteran of the PnP games who can really break the system. I told them "Keep it simple, no funky archtypes for rigt now and no oddball character races :P"


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The other thing you can do, if you really are into optimization for the art of it, rather than for the sheer power, is take a weak class/archetype or a weak race/class combination and use all your tricks to bring it up to the power level of the rest of the party.


RipfangOmen wrote:
The Superman thing is also assuming they know it's Superman. Not everyone will realize that the Supes next to him is holding back, unless he tells them. Now, if he does so in a haughty matter, it's time to talk to the player (in most cases).

I don't know how that would work out. It's likely to come up at some point, assuming the character ever has to unload.

I'm not sure if I'd be more bothered by being outshone throughout the game or by the guy holding back and hiding it.
The in character reaction is certainly going to be harsh, unless there's a good in character reason that isn't GM complicity. Especially if the other characters actually got seriously hurt before the optimizer stops holding back.
"Thanks, for saving us, but why did you wait so long? Bob's dead and I'm cut to ribbons.
Hey, if you could handle those two so easy, what have you been doing all this time? Why am I even risking my life here?"


Aranna wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Of course you can... but most people are better at one over the other. I have never seen more than one person at a table truly skilled in both.

Thank you for either insulting my roleplaying ability, or my optimizing. I'd invite you over for a game of Fiasco, but you probably wouldn't like how I optimized my character.

Really? I fail to see how I insulted anyone? You are free to label yourself. Aren't you?

I'm not actually insulted, but I dislike your judging attitude.

I power game. Because I like crunching numbers in my free time. Like right now, I'm not playing a roleplaying game, but if I were to start thinking about one, it would probably involve some sort of number crunching, either game design or character design.

The game I referenced, Fiasco, is a pure 'roleplaying' game, in that all you do is roleplay, there are no skill checks, combat rules or anything similar to how pathfinder works at all. Your character doesn't even have stats... unless you count the relationship with the player sitting on your left and right a stat.

So your categories of optimizer and roleplayer are untrue and unuseful.


thejeff wrote:
RipfangOmen wrote:
The Superman thing is also assuming they know it's Superman. Not everyone will realize that the Supes next to him is holding back, unless he tells them. Now, if he does so in a haughty matter, it's time to talk to the player (in most cases).

I don't know how that would work out. It's likely to come up at some point, assuming the character ever has to unload.

I'm not sure if I'd be more bothered by being outshone throughout the game or by the guy holding back and hiding it.
The in character reaction is certainly going to be harsh, unless there's a good in character reason that isn't GM complicity. Especially if the other characters actually got seriously hurt before the optimizer stops holding back.
"Thanks, for saving us, but why did you wait so long? Bob's dead and I'm cut to ribbons.
Hey, if you could handle those two so easy, what have you been doing all this time? Why am I even risking my life here?"

"You're all capable. I just needed to know how capable. I'm sorry for the lost of Bob. I thought he would have seen this to the end. You're risking your life because as powerful as I am, I'm only one man. Having this much power..well..that's story for another time.."

Edit: Or "I..I don't know how that happened. How..?"


Aranna wrote:

Zakur Opzan you are the kind of power gamer I actually encourage. Someone who uses their optimizer skills to improve everyone's fun NOT just their own.

Gamed with some kind of ninja-Battle Herald (like ninja as in awesome, not like as in ninja)... made *everyone* better...

Vastly more complicated and optimised than your standard 2-hander weilding uber-strength Keen-Falchioning fighter type.

A lot less dull to hang around with too :-)

(Don't get me started on archers... man, they don't even have to think about move actions)


Irontruth wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Of course you can... but most people are better at one over the other. I have never seen more than one person at a table truly skilled in both.

Thank you for either insulting my roleplaying ability, or my optimizing. I'd invite you over for a game of Fiasco, but you probably wouldn't like how I optimized my character.

Really? I fail to see how I insulted anyone? You are free to label yourself. Aren't you?

I'm not actually insulted, but I dislike your judging attitude.

I power game. Because I like crunching numbers in my free time. Like right now, I'm not playing a roleplaying game, but if I were to start thinking about one, it would probably involve some sort of number crunching, either game design or character design.

The game I referenced, Fiasco, is a pure 'roleplaying' game, in that all you do is roleplay, there are no skill checks, combat rules or anything similar to how pathfinder works at all. Your character doesn't even have stats... unless you count the relationship with the player sitting on your left and right a stat.

So your categories of optimizer and roleplayer are untrue and unuseful.

Wow you are determined to find an insult aren't you. Sorry to disappoint you, I have no insult for you.

PS: We are discussing Pathfinder not Fiasco. I am sure you are correct about Fiasco, though I have not played it.


Aranna wrote:

Of course you can... but most people are better at one over the other. I have never seen more than one person at a table truly skilled in both.

Perhaps your limited experiences at gaming tables do not reflect the gaming community as a whole? My experience is precisely the opposite. I play with hardcore roleplayers (usually pages of backstory for every character, use voices, find images of their characters, sometimes even commission them from professional artists, etc...) but almost all are hardcore optimizers as well. (there is one that professes to disdain optimization, but all his characters accidentally become amazingly well optimized. And there is another who thinks he's an optimization savant, but his characters almost always have the wrong skillset)

That said, one does not need to be personally skilled at optimization to enjoy the fruits thereof. There are thousands of people who visit this forum that learn how to optimize their character just fine, and then go home and roleplay the hell out of it.

In my experience, I find poor roleplayers are far more detrimental to a good game than optimizers. You can always help somebody fix their build, you can't instantly teach them how to RP...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

thejeff wrote:
The other thing you can do, if you really are into optimization for the art of it, rather than for the sheer power, is take a weak class/archetype or a weak race/class combination and use all your tricks to bring it up to the power level of the rest of the party.

I've been seriously considering making a TWF character who uses a pair of one-handed weapons and just eats the -4/-4. For extra manliness, I'd be using exotic weapons like katanas or falcatas or bastard swords.


Jiggy wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The other thing you can do, if you really are into optimization for the art of it, rather than for the sheer power, is take a weak class/archetype or a weak race/class combination and use all your tricks to bring it up to the power level of the rest of the party.
I've been seriously considering making a TWF character who uses a pair of one-handed weapons and just eats the -4/-4. For extra manliness, I'd be using exotic weapons like katanas or falcatas or bastard swords.

Or for true manliness, you could just play a core monk. :)

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:

That building mechanically more powerful characters is always better.

I don't agree with that assumption.

It is better, because you loose nothing by making a character mechanically better.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


It is better, because you loose nothing by making a character mechanically better.

Wonky logic aside, there are diminishing returns to both sides of the equation under discussion.


Aranna wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Of course you can... but most people are better at one over the other. I have never seen more than one person at a table truly skilled in both.

Thank you for either insulting my roleplaying ability, or my optimizing. I'd invite you over for a game of Fiasco, but you probably wouldn't like how I optimized my character.

Really? I fail to see how I insulted anyone? You are free to label yourself. Aren't you?

I'm not actually insulted, but I dislike your judging attitude.

I power game. Because I like crunching numbers in my free time. Like right now, I'm not playing a roleplaying game, but if I were to start thinking about one, it would probably involve some sort of number crunching, either game design or character design.

The game I referenced, Fiasco, is a pure 'roleplaying' game, in that all you do is roleplay, there are no skill checks, combat rules or anything similar to how pathfinder works at all. Your character doesn't even have stats... unless you count the relationship with the player sitting on your left and right a stat.

So your categories of optimizer and roleplayer are untrue and unuseful.

Wow you are determined to find an insult aren't you. Sorry to disappoint you, I have no insult for you.

PS: We are discussing Pathfinder not Fiasco. I am sure you are correct about Fiasco, though I have not played it.

So you agree that those categorizations and generalizations are pointless when talking about actual people?

I'm not insulted. I merely found your statement to be wrong. Feel free to respond with another version of "u mad bro?" if you'd like to cement the concept that you don't have anything useful to say.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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thejeff wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The other thing you can do, if you really are into optimization for the art of it, rather than for the sheer power, is take a weak class/archetype or a weak race/class combination and use all your tricks to bring it up to the power level of the rest of the party.
I've been seriously considering making a TWF character who uses a pair of one-handed weapons and just eats the -4/-4. For extra manliness, I'd be using exotic weapons like katanas or falcatas or bastard swords.
Or for true manliness, you could just play a core monk. :)

Godwin called, he wants his law back. ;)


BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:

That building mechanically more powerful characters is always better.

I don't agree with that assumption.

It is better, because you loose nothing by making a character mechanically better.

Always? No matter how extreme you take it?

Possibly the intended balance of the game, as you become effectively several levels higher and the GM has to adapt any published material he want's to use. Or just allow you to power through encounters without challenge which not all groups find fun.

You also lose the chance to play less optimizable character concepts, if you have to boost every one to a certain power level.

If nothing else I lose the time and effort devoted to optimizing well, which I don't care about.

Shadow Lodge

Funky Badger wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


It is better, because you loose nothing by making a character mechanically better.
Wonky logic aside, there are diminishing returns to both sides of the equation under discussion.

Nope. A more optimized character is just that: more optimized. It isn't less flavorful , worse role played, or in any way diminished by being better at what it does.

If thats not what you meant... more exposition please.


Vestrial, you are both right and wrong.

I do have a fairly limited set of recent experiences (only one play group). But back in my college days I participated in many groups. So I am not blind to diversity. Although your use of the word hard core got me thinking just now. There are probably three types of play groups: Hard core gamers who devote a large amount of time and effort into gaming. Regular gamers: who balance gaming with other activities. or Casual gamers who only game occasionally or who don't put much time or effort into the game. It may very well make sense for there to be a greater number of dual master role play/optimizers among hard core gamers than the other two groups. Most of my play has been in regular style groups... even in my college days (though I did meet more than a few hard core gamers and casual gamers). Still as more than an intellectual exercise the idea is moot. This whole discussion and controversy is because people are trying to find a path forward in mixed groups. If your group is truly as homogenous as you claim then you probably can't understand the issues people have when some people can optimize and others can't.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:
Possibly the intended balance of the game, as you become effectively several levels higher and the GM has to adapt any published material he want's to use. Or just allow you to power through encounters without challenge which not all groups find fun.

The DM can adapt it, or you can dial the character back a bit in play rather than in build.


Irontruth wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Of course you can... but most people are better at one over the other. I have never seen more than one person at a table truly skilled in both.

Thank you for either insulting my roleplaying ability, or my optimizing. I'd invite you over for a game of Fiasco, but you probably wouldn't like how I optimized my character.

Really? I fail to see how I insulted anyone? You are free to label yourself. Aren't you?

I'm not actually insulted, but I dislike your judging attitude.

I power game. Because I like crunching numbers in my free time. Like right now, I'm not playing a roleplaying game, but if I were to start thinking about one, it would probably involve some sort of number crunching, either game design or character design.

The game I referenced, Fiasco, is a pure 'roleplaying' game, in that all you do is roleplay, there are no skill checks, combat rules or anything similar to how pathfinder works at all. Your character doesn't even have stats... unless you count the relationship with the player sitting on your left and right a stat.

So your categories of optimizer and roleplayer are untrue and unuseful.

Wow you are determined to find an insult aren't you. Sorry to disappoint you, I have no insult for you.

PS: We are discussing Pathfinder not Fiasco. I am sure you are correct about Fiasco, though I have not played it.

So you agree that those categorizations and generalizations are pointless when talking about actual people?

I'm not insulted. I merely found your statement to be wrong. Feel free to respond with another version of "u mad bro?" if you'd like to cement the concept that you don't have anything useful to say.

What are you taking about? Ok now you are being insulting.

I agreed that those categories meant nothing in the game Fiasco you were talking about. They are completely appropriate in Pathfinder or any other d20 game.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Funky Badger wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


It is better, because you loose nothing by making a character mechanically better.
Wonky logic aside, there are diminishing returns to both sides of the equation under discussion.

Nope. A more optimized character is just that: more optimized. It isn't less flavorful , worse role played, or in any way diminished by being better at what it does.

If thats not what you meant... more exposition please.

If we're going the reducto ad absurdum route, what is optimised?

The practical differences between doing d10+8 damages a hit and d10+10 a hit are minute, over and above a certain level a powerful character can become unbalanced.

By balance in this instance, I'm talking about the balance between all the player characters and the GM running the module. The more balanced, the better.

(I do wish we could get away from the idea that putting 7s in all the mental stats and wielding a keen falchion is some kind of mystic alchemy only a subtle few Optimisers ken...)


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Nope. A more optimized character is just that: more optimized. It isn't less flavorful , worse role played, or in any way diminished by being better at what it does.

If thats not what you meant... more exposition please.

It will be less diverse. Let's say that there's a weapon that's 5% better than all others except in some small set of limited circumstances. Won't all "optimized" characters carry said weapon unless they're build somehow for those limited circumstances ?

I like seeing the diversity of preference. Some people prefer the great-axe over the greatsword, some the other way round. But both are going to lose out to the "optimal" weapon.

Forgive me if I'm wrong about what you're saying, Badger.

EDIT: ninja'd by Badger himself


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Possibly the intended balance of the game, as you become effectively several levels higher and the GM has to adapt any published material he want's to use. Or just allow you to power through encounters without challenge which not all groups find fun.
The DM can adapt it, or you can dial the character back a bit in play rather than in build.

So I go to the effort of making a mechanically optimized character, which I'm not interested in doing, possibly having to change my character concept to fit in the mechanically better stats/skills/traits/etc, then I have to deliberately play him weaker?

I'm actually more interested in the tactical challenge in game, than in the design challenge. But hey, I guess that's one more thing I sacrifice. It must not be important because: "you loose nothing by making a character mechanically better. "


SlimGauge wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Nope. A more optimized character is just that: more optimized. It isn't less flavorful , worse role played, or in any way diminished by being better at what it does.

If thats not what you meant... more exposition please.

It will be less diverse. Let's say that there's a weapon that's 5% better than all others except in some small set of limited circumstances. Won't all "optimized" characters carry said weapon unless they're build somehow for those limited circumstances ?

I like seeing the diversity of preference. Some people prefer the great-axe over the greatsword, some the other way round. But both are going to lose out to the "optimal" weapon.

Forgive me if I'm wrong about what you're saying, Badger.

That wasn't actually what I was aiming for, but its a very good point.

Just imagine, sitting down at your next PFS table, the other PCs? 3 Dervish Dancing Magii, 2 Composite Bow Archers and a Greatsword weilding barbarian.

:-)


TarkXT wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:

You do not win pathfinder by slaking your unnatural lusts for efficiency on the sodden and stained pages of its codex.

You win pathfinder by making the game more fun for everyone involved. Including the GM behind the screen.

Characters are not heroic because they are The Best At What They Do. They are heroic because they overcome attacks and challenges that strike them where they're weak.

This is one way to look at it.

Another way to look at it is that being dead does not win you pathfinder.

If the goal is to tell a compelling story then yes you are absolutely correct. However this is not a novel where the fate of the characters are entirely in the author's hands. This is a game where fate can be cruel and sudden and based part upon skill, part upon luck, and part upon the whims of a person who may not like the story you are telling.

So here's the part where I refer to Treantmonk in saying that optimization has about as much to do with good roleplaying and storytelling as it does with the style and length of your mustache.

You can be an optimizer and a good roleplayer or one or neither.

\

In my experience optimizing can hinder roleplaying if you do it enough. For instance, I have found that optimizing a sorcerer pretty much requires going undead(its a huge survivability bonus) and a bloatmage spellslinger wizard will dominate any other wizard once you get a few bloatmage levels.

It will however limit your roleplaying options.

Shadow Lodge

Funky Badger wrote:

If we're going the reducto ad absurdum route, what is optimised?

I didn't think i made that left turn at albaquerque.... *takes out map*

Or to put it another way, don't read into what i'm saying, I don't do layers.

Optimized: the ability to mechanically perform the task that its intended for.

Quote:
By balance in this instance, I'm talking about the balance between all the player characters and the GM running the module. The more balanced, the better.

That was.. a certain other games motto. It didn't go well. Ideally the characters have incomperables: that is they all spend at least SOME time doing something different so that you can't directly compare their contributions to the party. Whats an open trap worth vs another 5 points of damage to a monster? Whats 15 points of healing come out as as damage? 20? 30? 100?"

Quote:
(I do wish we could get away from the idea that putting 7s in all the mental stats and wielding a keen falchion is some kind of mystic alchemy only a subtle few Optimisers ken...)

Its a falcata thank you very much! :)

In all seriousness, i never play a martial without reach, and there isn't a spreadsheet in the world that can show me i'm wrong because the number of times some mook walks into the end of my glaive guisarm isn't something you can calculate in advance.

Shadow Lodge

Johnlocke90 wrote:

In my experience optimizing can hinder roleplaying if you do it enough. For instance, I have found that optimizing a sorcerer pretty much requires going undead(its a huge survivability bonus) and a bloatmage spellslinger wizard will dominate any other wizard once you get a few bloatmage levels.

It will however limit your roleplaying options.

There's more than one way to optimize a sorcerer, i cant believe they all require that build.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Optimized: the ability to mechanically perform the task that its intended for.

So you agree with me that there's a limit to the need for "optimisation" (let's call this the Falcata Index of a PC from now on, shall we?)

:-)

Tasks intended for PCs:
-Can cast spells
-Can hit things
-Has a good armour class
-etc.

A PC can be perfectly useful at all of these things without, fer instance, having 18s in their main stats...


Finlanderboy wrote:

Well everyone has thier time to shine. I have a control sorc. At best I deal 2d6 from create pit. I grease and color spray a lot. I make encounteres easy by color spraying bosses, putting them in a pit and having other people rain death, or knock them prone so they are worthless in melee.

I take every advantage I can to make my character better at it. But there are fights where I do nothing.

It sounds like you aren't very optimized. if you want a control build, witch would have been better. First round you cast sleep on the enemy. If it succeeds, you have your fighter Coup de grace the enemy and it probably dies.

Shadow Lodge

Funky Badger wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Optimized: the ability to mechanically perform the task that its intended for.
So you agree with me that there's a limit to the need for "optimisation"

I didn't say that.

I didn't hint that.

I didn't imply that.

I have NO idea how you got that out of ANYTHING i said. I also don't know why you tried that hard to get a meaning out of it right after i said i don't do layers.

Quote:


Tasks intended for PCs:
-Can cast spells
-Can hit things
-Has a good armour class
-etc.

A PC can be perfectly useful at all of these things without, fer instance, having 18s in their main stats...

But they do them better with the 18, or with the 20. They cast more spells and more importantly, the spells have a greater chance of working on their target. They have a greater chance to hit things and do more damage when they do, AC can always improve (until things only hit you on a 20 anyway)

In other words its not binary, its "how well" ? A fighter .. or a sorcerer even, with a 14 strength and a fighter with a 20 strength can both hit things .. the one with the 20 strength is just a LOT better at it.

For a character the task is usually to get through the dungeon. which isn't all about hitting things and killing things. You need to make a few skill checks, and you're not hitting things if you have the wisdom score of lemming and keep getting charmed. (or well you're not hitting anything USEFUL anyway... )


johnlocke90 wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:

You do not win pathfinder by slaking your unnatural lusts for efficiency on the sodden and stained pages of its codex.

You win pathfinder by making the game more fun for everyone involved. Including the GM behind the screen.

Characters are not heroic because they are The Best At What They Do. They are heroic because they overcome attacks and challenges that strike them where they're weak.

This is one way to look at it.

Another way to look at it is that being dead does not win you pathfinder.

If the goal is to tell a compelling story then yes you are absolutely correct. However this is not a novel where the fate of the characters are entirely in the author's hands. This is a game where fate can be cruel and sudden and based part upon skill, part upon luck, and part upon the whims of a person who may not like the story you are telling.

So here's the part where I refer to Treantmonk in saying that optimization has about as much to do with good roleplaying and storytelling as it does with the style and length of your mustache.

You can be an optimizer and a good roleplayer or one or neither.

\

In my experience optimizing can hinder roleplaying if you do it enough. For instance, I have found that optimizing a sorcerer pretty much requires going undead(its a huge survivability bonus) and a bloatmage spellslinger wizard will dominate any other wizard once you get a few bloatmage levels.

It will however limit your roleplaying options.

Unfortunately if that is your belief than the problem lies with you not with optimization itself.

Optimization is not about being the best character ever. It's about building the character to do exactly what you want, how you want, and have it be practicaly enough to survive the rigors of actual play. You can overdo this and marginalize other players but that definition is between a GM and his players.

I can probably come up with about five different unique concepts for that undead sorcerer alone. In other words a good roleplayer isn't limited by silly things numbers on a sheet.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


In other words its not binary, its "how well" ?

Correct. And once the answer is "well enough"*, any further Falcataring is pointless.

So, we do agree with each other.

*Granted, this value may vary.


Funky Badger wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


In other words its not binary, its "how well" ?

Correct. And once the answer is "well enough"*, any further Falcataring is pointless.

So, we do agree with each other.

*Granted, this value may vary.

"Well enough" is whatever the table and game deems necessary. And yes it does vary. Wildly. And sometimes unpredictably.


TarkXT wrote:


"Well enough" is whatever the table and game deems necessary. And yes it does vary. Wildly. And sometimes unpredictably.

Although a large part of PFS is designed to minimise the fluctuations (*grumble grumble* Dralkard Manor *grumble grumble*)...


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TarkXT wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:


In my experience optimizing can hinder roleplaying if you do it enough. For instance, I have found that optimizing a sorcerer pretty much requires going undead(its a huge survivability bonus) and a bloatmage spellslinger wizard will dominate any other wizard once you get a few bloatmage levels.

It will however limit your roleplaying options.

Unfortunately if that is your belief than the problem lies with you not with optimization itself.

I can probably come up with about five different unique concepts for that undead sorcerer alone. In other words a good roleplayer isn't limited by silly things numbers on a sheet.

I think this may be part of the divide between those who think roleplay can't conflict with optimization and those who don't.

It's a matter of approach.
I tend to come up with concepts and then try to build mechanics around them. Often, in order to match the concept, I can't do a lot of the optimization. Optimization interferes with my roleplay because I can't play the concept I wanted to play.
I think optimizers tend to build the concept around the mechanics. The roleplay follows and may be just as good, so it doesn't interfere for you.

I wind up with an optimized character I'm no longer interested in.

Assuming for the sake of argument that becoming an undead bloatmage was the best way to play a sorcerer, you can look at that as "Okay, now what kind of person would want to be a bloatmage. I can do something interesting with that."
I've already got something in mind, so I get to, "Oh great I have to be undead to be effective? That's not what this character wants at all. It doesn't even set up an interesting conflict. He'd just be miserable. No fun to play. Guess I'll try something else."


Funky Badger wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


In other words its not binary, its "how well" ?

Correct. And once the answer is "well enough"*, any further Falcataring is pointless.

So, we do agree with each other.

*Granted, this value may vary.

But I've been told there's no "well enough". More is always better.

And it never costs anything.


thejeff wrote:
Funky Badger wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


In other words its not binary, its "how well" ?

Correct. And once the answer is "well enough"*, any further Falcataring is pointless.

So, we do agree with each other.

*Granted, this value may vary.

But I've been told there's no "well enough". More is always better.

And it never costs anything.

The Future of Optimisation. Imagine a magus stamping on your face*, forever.

*With a Keen boot-blade delivering an itensified Shocking Grasp, obv.

Agree with your take on character creation, b.t.w. I get bored of mechanical tricks extremely quickly, got to be a character idea there for the thing to fly...


thejeff wrote:


I've already got something in mind, so I get to, "Oh great I have to be undead to be effective? That's not what this character wants at all. It doesn't even set up an interesting conflict. He'd just be miserable. No fun to play. Guess I'll try something else."

Thankfully optimization doesn't usually point you to one singular build to rule them all. I hear tell Fey and Arcane bloodlines are pretty awesome.


Eugene Nelson wrote:
DM's who run Pathfinder Society who can not deal with or highly dislike Power Gamers are weak DM's. Just because you have 5 stars does not make you a good DM. The regional director of PFS in my area is a horrible DM and shes been around forever. There are others who can barely speak straight and who GM like they wish they were somewhere else. They all have a lot more stars than me. My point is that if you get frustrated over a character thats ok. If you say that it should not be allowed, you should not be a DM. I have been DMing since the late 80's and for some thats not a long time, but I have conditioned and learned along the way that Power Gamers have fun at the table. Min Maxers have fun. Mediocre builders have fun. The whole point is to have fun. Have fun doing what you do and let others please have fun doing what they do. As long as you are not ruining the module by being a pompous uncaring ass about it. Thats the only thing I have dealt with that I did not like. I played PFS with a character who was a synthesist summoner who could not be hit cause his AC was so high, could not miss cause his attack was so high, and all kinds of rediculousness. But you know what, he had fun and so did the rest of the party because I didnt complain too much besides pointing out the rediculousness and the party used him as a meat shield. Now this character did not do any damage and his spells sucked. It all works out in the end.

The main issue is when a character basically solos an encounter in two rounds. For instance, a witch with sleep at level 2 can very reasonably put the boss to sleep and then have a fighter coup de grace said boss. Rest of the party might not even get a turn that fight.

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