No CO board? How about a handbook board?


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So, I had been waiting for an optimization board to pop up here, when a friend told me, "There is a huge argument going on the forums their regarding a CO board, it's the longest thread on the forum!"

Couldn't really figure that one out, so I checked it out and he was right. It seems the argument against a character optimization board is that it will foster negativity? (Correct me if I'm wrong).

Personally, I've been involved in character handbooks on the CO boards on other forums (for those who don't know, a class handbook will take either a class or a PrC and provide pointers on good options mechanically).

However, having switched to Pathfinder, it would be more worth the effort to create Pathfinder-specific handbooks if they were available on the Paizo boards (naturally).

My other option is to post this stuff on the General Discussion board, but I'm thinking some posters surely wouldn't want it there, and I would prefer it to be somewhere where people specifically looking for optimization hints could find it.


I second this nomination.

Also, welcome to the boards Treantmonk, deffinitely would be awesome to see a Pathfinder version of your spell selection and conjurer guides. Maybe the malconvoker one as well, though that one has a narrower target audience.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Welcome.

Realizing I have absolutely no say in anything that goes on around here, I'll give my thoughts.

I have no interest in a CO board (and BTW, a Handbook board just sounds [from how you've described it] like another name for a CO board). Or a Role Playing board. Or a Casual Gamer board. Etc., etc. Personally, I just don't see the point (outside of the organizational aspect). It seems like everyone that comes around pushing for a new board is pushing their own pet idea. Or they want the boards here organized like some other board they're used to visiting. On the other hand, a CO board that contained all threads pertaining to CO would make it infinitely easier for me to ignore its existence.....

Personally, I prefer boards to grow organically. If the General board starts getting overrun with CO threads, then create a CO board. If there aren't many threads, don't make one. You'll find alot of long-time posters here are refugees from WotC's boards and many left specifically to get away from the CO board and other contentious boards (a large number also left when Dragon and Dungeon were canceled and still more as a result of the edition schism). A non-trivial number of posters view a CO board as an "if you build it, they will come" device. Put up a CO and its invites the kind of contentious posting that took place on those boards at WotC.

Just some random thoughts. Personally, I haven't seen that there is a need for one yet; and if there's no need, why create it? Honestly, I don't care much either way, I just prefer to err on the side of not making changes that aren't needed. In the end, it's Paizo's decision, not ours.

-Skeld


kyrt-ryder wrote:

I second this nomination.

Also, welcome to the boards Treantmonk, deffinitely would be awesome to see a Pathfinder version of your spell selection and conjurer guides. Maybe the malconvoker one as well, though that one has a narrower target audience.

Thanks, yes, I will be posting some guides here, though not a Malconvoker guide as I'll be sticking to Pathfinder content. A summoner's guide is possible though.


Skeld wrote:

Welcome...<snipped post for space>

Thanks for your response, it is appreciated by me if that helps?

I agree that boards should spawn organically, CO would be my pet project, and that would be my reason for wanting a separate board (ease of finding Optimization material and separation from those not interested in CO), however, I agree that a CO board should spawn from the requirement, not the request.

As for posters who moved here to get away from Optimization at WOTC, well, to me that stinks of prejudice and intolerance, so I can't really bring myself to feel sorry for them. It's like feeling sorry for a guy who left his old country club because it was mixed-race only to find out his new club is no longer going to be exclusive.

We all bought this product and have a right to discuss it on these boards. If they aren't interested in what I have to say, they can ignore it. If they are truly repugnant, they may complain how it isn't enough to ignore it, you must instead belittle others who don't. So be it, I'm thick skinned enough to deal with intolerance in all its ugliness.

I'm not sure what you are referring to when you talk about "contentious posting" on the WOTC CO boards? Can you explain? Feel free to be blunt.

As for Paizo's decision, I disagree, we are the consumers, and although the employees of Paizo run the company, we are responsible for its very existence, and our needs deserve and demand to be their highest priority. Companies that ignore the needs of their customer cease to exist very quickly.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Treantmonk wrote:
I'm not sure what you are referring to when you talk about "contentious posting" on the WOTC CO boards? Can you explain?

I think I joined the WotC forums in 2001 (I think), but I was never a big poster there. My first, and last, experience with what I call "contentious posting" was when I started a thread to ask a question about a character taking feat X (I don't remember the specifics). Before I stopped viewing the thread, 4 of the 5 replies of the "it's stupid for [that class] to take [that feat] instead of [some other feat] because [that feat] will make your character worthless" ilk. Honestly, it's a game. I have neither the time not patience to be berated in such a manner. From my personal observations, that kind of posting attitude was relatively common and accepted by the community.

Treantmonk wrote:
As for posters who moved here to get away from Optimization at WOTC, well, to me that stinks of prejudice and intolerance, so I can't really bring myself to feel sorry for them. It's like feeling sorry for a guy who left his old country club because it was mixed-race only to find out his new club is no longer going to be exclusive.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you equating people that didn't like WotC's CO forums to racists? That seems a bit harsh.

Treantmonk wrote:
As for Paizo's decision, I disagree, we are the consumers, and although the employees of Paizo run the company, we are responsible for its very existence, and our needs deserve and demand to be their highest priority. Companies that ignore the needs of their customer cease to exist very quickly.

If you hang out here for a while, you'll probably see that Paizo has about the best customer service and developer/customer interaction around. The customers here are not ignored. If enough people clamored for a CO forum, they'd probably make one. I just don't think there's the critical mass for one right now. I could very well be wrong, but again, I'm not a decision maker. I'm just a dude who like the atmosphere.

-Skeld


Skeld wrote:


My first, and last, experience with what I call "contentious posting" was when I started a thread to ask a question about a character...

Wow, that is completely unacceptable behavior. I started posting on CO about 3 or 4 years ago, and I've seen cases of unacceptable behavior, but nothing that was accepted by the community, and I think most of those posters have been banned, as lately I think the WOTC CO boards are pretty open and friendly. I would wager you could post a similar question today and get a much better response.

Basically, I would expect your experience isn't because the boards happened to be optimization boards, but probably a bad culture that existed at that time that has since left.

Certainly, I would expect an optimization board to respond to a question regarding the taking of a certain feat by letting you know whether taking it is a good idea mechanically or not, but it sounds like they did so in an insulting way. This kind of behavior is no less unacceptable in one forum than another.

Treantmonk wrote:


Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you equating people that didn't like WotC's CO forums to racists? That seems a bit harsh.

I'm not suggesting having prejudice against someone who likes to discuss optimization techniques in a roleplaying forum is anywhere near as serious as prejudice against someone for their race.

However, intolerance in any form or severity is poor behavior, and not worthy to be catered to.

"You can choose to not eat rotten apples but they still stink up the joint why not, never have them there."

This quote is from the "We need a CO forum" thread (one of many). In this case the rotten apple is me. Not because of anything I've done to the poster, but because I enjoy an aspect of the game they apparently are intolerant of, therefore, its not enough to ignore me, they would instead imply my very presence "stinks".

If the above statement is unacceptable if referring to another race, what segments of humanity is it acceptable to be used towards, and which is it not? When is it prejudice, and when is it simply good taste?

Treantmonk wrote:


If you hang out here for a while, you'll probably see that Paizo has about the best customer service and developer/customer interaction around.

I have and I agree. This is why I point out that it is our decision. As consumers, their decisions should cater to us, and Paizo recognizes this. I think the Pathfinder RPG's very existence is evidence of this.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

CO forums are the breeding grounds for trolls, power gamers, and asshatary. That said, I'm against them. If you need a thread about optimizing the fighter, make one. Same with any other class. You don't need a forum or sections of forums, it's a waste of forum space, one more thing for many to minimize and not look at, and a waste of Paizo's web budget for bandwidth.

Don't feed the trolls.


For me every single forum that has one..well that area is a blight. It's cut off in it's own getto or it's corruption taints the rest of the forums. It brings in a type of poster that frankly I would rather not see here. We had some and they were rude, over bearing and down right insulting. I for one and dame glade they are gone

Co forums are like a drug to such folks, they come from miles around to feed at the pit that is the co forums. They then mock anyone who is not super optimized and tell you how your super fail and should just stop playing as your chars are full of fail

I have seen this on 5 forums...five. It never fails and it NEVER changes. We do not need that and Paizo does not have the staff needed to monitor such an area

If ya have a rules question there is a forum for that. And it works fine.

Anyhow my 2 copper YMMV

The Exchange

seekerofshadowlight wrote:

For me every single forum that has one..well that area is a blight. It's cut off in it's own getto or it's corruption taints the rest of the forums. It brings in a type of poster that frankly I would rather not see here. We had some and they were rude, over bearing and down right insulting. I for one and dame glade they are gone

Co forums are like a drug to such folks, they come from miles around to feed at the pit that is the co forums. They then mock anyone who is not super optimized and tell you how your super fail and should just stop playing as your chars are full of fail

I have seen this on 5 forums...five. It never fails and it NEVER changes. We do not need that and Paizo does not have the staff needed to monitor such an area

If ya have a rules question there is a forum for that. And it works fine.

Anyhow my 2 copper YMMV

+1.


SirUrza wrote:

CO forums are the breeding grounds for trolls, power gamers, and asshatary. That said, I'm against them. If you need a thread about optimizing the fighter, make one. Same with any other class. You don't need a forum or sections of forums, it's a waste of forum space, one more thing for many to minimize and not look at, and a waste of Paizo's web budget for bandwidth.

Don't feed the trolls.

Your first sentence could be applied to any discussion forum. The term "Troll" wasn't created for a phenomina that only occurs on optimization forums.

If you think it happens "more" at CO, I would recommend you go to the Wizards CO boards for 3.5 right now (http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75882/136042/d20_Character_Opti mization) and then show me the increased occurrances. I'll wager I find more occurances here than you can find there.

The forum being dedicated to Optimization is irrelevant. Individuals can be jerks, or they can be decent people interested in discussion, whether they are optimizers or not doesn't really seem to be a factor IMHO.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
For me every single forum that has one..well that area is a blight. It's cut off in it's own getto or it's corruption taints the rest of the forums. It brings in a type of poster that frankly I would rather not see here. We had some and they were rude, over bearing and down right insulting. I for one and dame glade they are gone

What an interesting statement. You have labelled me a blight and an undesireable element (because I enjoy discussing character build advice), then stereotyped me as rude, overbearing, and insulting.

I don't remember ever participating in any of that behavior, on these forums or others.

More interestingly, you were immediately "+1"'d by another poster.

Did either of you read Skeld's story regarding his bad experience visiting CO? Can either of you see a parallel?

There are certainly individuals who hang out on Optimization forums who engage in poor behavior, but it is unfair to label us all by their example, just as I refuse to label non-optimizers by yours.

Sovereign Court

Treantmonk wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
For me every single forum that has one..well that area is a blight. It's cut off in it's own getto or it's corruption taints the rest of the forums. It brings in a type of poster that frankly I would rather not see here. We had some and they were rude, over bearing and down right insulting. I for one and dame glade they are gone

What an interesting statement. You have labelled me a blight and an undesireable element (because I enjoy discussing character build advice), then stereotyped me as rude, overbearing, and insulting.

I don't remember ever participating in any of that behavior, on these forums or others.

More interestingly, you were immediately "+1"'d by another poster.

Did either of you read Skeld's story regarding his bad experience visiting CO? Can either of you see a parallel?

There are certainly individuals who hang out on Optimization forums who engage in poor behavior, but it is unfair to label us all by their example, just as I refuse to label non-optimizers by yours.

Your best course of action is to just put up your handbooks and solicit feedback. Don't get bogged down here. The last 'CO boards' discussion ended in tears :)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

seekerofshadowlight wrote:

For me every single forum that has one ... well, that area is a blight. It's cut off in its own ghetto, or its corruption taints the rest of the forums....

C.O. fora are like a drug to such folks, they come from miles around to feed at the pit. They then mock anyone who is not super optimized and tell you how your super fail and should just stop playing as your chars are full of fail.

Psst. Seeker, you forgot to use the words "filth", "shrieking", "bilious", "scabrous", "maleficent", and "putrescence."


Robert Hawkshaw wrote:


Your best course of action is to just put up your handbooks and solicit feedback. Don't get bogged down here. The last 'CO boards' discussion ended in tears :)

Good advice Hawkshaw!

However, I'm thick skinned - no worries. (I'm bawling right now like a baby, so glad you can't see me...)

I will likely simply post on the General forums. If the demand is great enough, CO boards will come on their own.


Treantmonk wrote:


What an interesting statement. You have labelled me a blight and an undesireable element (because I enjoy discussing character build advice), then stereotyped me as rude, overbearing, and insulting.

I did not. I said the forum of the type you want brings them like crows to a rotten corpse. It breeds nothing but negativity, loophole hunting and all around corruption. Something We do not need here.

What I do find interesting is you think that is does not go on and my statement about the kind of folks it would bring in as an attack on you.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Treantmonk wrote:
If you think it happens "more" at CO, I would recommend you go to the Wizards CO boards for 3.5 right now (http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75882/136042/d20_Character_Opti mization) and then show me the increased occurrances. I'll wager I find more occurances here than you can find there.

I would but since I don't go to the wizards forums anymore because wizards outlawed all discussion of forgotten realms novels I'll just take your word for the now defunct section of their forums have become civil. After all, it was wizards that campaigned about how bad 3.x was and it is all the wizards fanboys that keep buying 4.x books so it'd be little surprised to me if any forums related to 3.x were nothing compared to say 5 years ago.

Anyway, this is the second time this has been brought up by a fan of CO, the second time forum goers have been against it, and so far the second time Paizo hasn't responded to it... guess they're still not interested.

Why don't you start a thread in the right forum to CO the fighter or whatever class you like. Prove your point that discussion for each class can be civil. Maybe the thread will become a sticky. Maybe after that you'll get your own forum. But until then, I don't see it happening.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:


What an interesting statement. You have labelled me a blight and an undesireable element (because I enjoy discussing character build advice), then stereotyped me as rude, overbearing, and insulting.

I did not. I said the forum of the type you want brings them like crows to a rotten corpse. It breeds nothing but negativity, loophole hunting and all around corruption. Something We do not need here.

What I do find interesting is you think that is does not go on and my statement about the kind of folks it would bring in as an attack on you.

I assumed when you said, "We had some and they were rude...etc." you were speaking about optimizers, since if you were speaking about CO boards, that doesn't really make any sense.

When you stereotype optimizers, you stereotype me, since I am an optimizer.

Not that I think you attacked me, you just made an unfair stereotype about who I happen to be. I'm not offended, just thought I would point out what you did.


It's an easy mis-assumption to make Treantmonk, we're so used to the "You can't roleplay and optimize because optimizers are fun ruining munchkins" crowd attacking all optimizers equally, while Seeker was discussing a sub-group (A smaller sub-group than you realize Seeker, its just the loud obnoxious ones are easier to notice, and with the quick and solid moderation around here that kind of behavior would not last long I assure you)

Also, the idea of a handbook board isn't a full out and out CO board, because the handbook concept is a sub-set of optimization. Where a CO board would include Theoretical Optimization exercises, threads pushing the limits and trying to break them etc, a Handbook, by it's very nature, is intended to teach people how to best 'trick out' a character of a given class mechanically, give them all the tools available to help them build the custom, effective character they are looking for.

Perhaps a link to your Conjurer guide would be useful TM? Or maybe the Evocation one, that guide was really enlightening on some points of Evo I'd never even considerred.

The reason I suggest it, is that reading a practical optimization handbook might help show people exactly what we're referring to.

(Then again, we might have to link them to the 10 commandments of practical optimization as well unless you've got that in your handbooks, can't remember anymore.)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

First of all, treantmonk, welcome.

Second, the Paizo fanbase is a big tent. You'll find people here who are enthusiastic about most any aspect of Dungeons and Dragons (3rd Edition, 4th Edition) and spin-off systems (Monte Cook's Experimental Might, and, of course, Pathfinder), as well as critics of those aspects.

We have our careful analyzers, our prosteletyzers, or class clowns, and those who skip about in between these on any given subject.

My advice is three-fold:

  • Start a thread and see where it leads. Asking questions is usually a better rhetorical tack than presenting a fait accompli.
  • Get involved in other aspects of the messageboards as well, and get to know the community here.
  • When Lilith comes by and offers a plate of cookies, go for the oatmeal-raisin ones. They're fantastic.


Optimize the engine of your racecar. Optimize your PDA. How do you optimize a fictional character? That's what your PC is, not a machine or software. She has strong points and weak points. He knows some things and not others, likes this or dislikes that. If you need to "optimize" your character, you and I are not playing the same game.(Nor, I suspect, from the same generation.)


orcface999 wrote:
Optimize the engine of your racecar. Optimize your PDA. How do you optimize a fictional character? That's what your PC is, not a machine or software. She has strong points and weak points. He knows some things and not others, likes this or dislikes that. If you need to "optimize" your character, you and I are not playing the same game.(Nor, I suspect, from the same generation.)

Actually, from what I remember, Treantmonk's been playing upwards of 20 years (correct me if I'm wrong TM)

That being said, you aren't optimizing the 'character', your optimizing their mechanical specs. Your fine-tuning the engine that runs underneath the storyline. Optimization doesn't interfere with roleplaying whatsoever, just like fine-tuning a race-car's engine doesn't change the body or the paintjob.


Treantmonk wrote:

As for posters who moved here to get away from Optimization at WOTC, well, to me that stinks of prejudice and intolerance, so I can't really bring myself to feel sorry for them. It's like feeling sorry for a guy who left his old country club because it was mixed-race only to find out his new club is no longer going to be exclusive.

We all bought this product and have a right to discuss it on these boards. If they aren't interested in what I have to say, they can ignore it. If they are truly repugnant, they may complain how it isn't enough to ignore it, you must instead belittle others who don't. So be it, I'm thick skinned enough to deal with intolerance in all its ugliness.

Oh please. Waving the Intolerance cudgel around? With your THIRD post? How about you make a name for yourself here first? People will be much more likely to take you serious, though I would suggest leaving the Drama Queen antics out of it in any case.

Treantmonk wrote:
As for Paizo's decision, I disagree, we are the consumers, and although the employees of Paizo run the company, we are responsible for its very existence, and our needs deserve and demand to be their highest priority. Companies that ignore the needs of their customer cease to exist very quickly.

I think you'll find the VAST majority of posters here are perfectly fine without a CharOp forum. Paizo's in no danger of losing their proverbial shirt over this perceived necessity.

(For the record, I enjoyed WotC's CharOp boards and would enjoy one here, but I ain't losing any sleep over it. Though even if I was you're approach is, shall we say, sub-optimal...)


Darkwolf wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:

As for posters who moved here to get away from Optimization at WOTC, well, to me that stinks of prejudice and intolerance, so I can't really bring myself to feel sorry for them. It's like feeling sorry for a guy who left his old country club because it was mixed-race only to find out his new club is no longer going to be exclusive.

We all bought this product and have a right to discuss it on these boards. If they aren't interested in what I have to say, they can ignore it. If they are truly repugnant, they may complain how it isn't enough to ignore it, you must instead belittle others who don't. So be it, I'm thick skinned enough to deal with intolerance in all its ugliness.

Oh please. Waving the Intolerance cudgel around? With your THIRD post? How about you make a name for yourself here first? People will be much more likely to take you serious, though I would suggest leaving the Drama Queen antics out of it in any case.

Or... you know... you could try taking him serious because he's a human being and a roleplayer just like the rest of us.

Also, he's not playing Drama Queen antics, he's sincere. This kind of prejudice is extremely rampant on these boards, though it tends to be mild and subtle and seldom turns onto outright flamewars.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Welcome to the boards, Treantmonk.


orcface999 wrote:
Optimize the engine of your racecar. Optimize your PDA. How do you optimize a fictional character? That's what your PC is, not a machine or software. She has strong points and weak points. He knows some things and not others, likes this or dislikes that. If you need to "optimize" your character, you and I are not playing the same game.(Nor, I suspect, from the same generation.)

Optimization is the tool to make your character function mechanically the way you envision.

I speak of course of Practical Optimization as opposed to Theoretical Optimization.

Theoretical Optimization is thought exercise only, but Practical Optimization is a way to make your character function the way you want it to. (It was recommended I link the 10 commandments of Practical Optimization - OK - http://community.wizards.com//go/thread/view/75882/19860738/The_Ten_Command ments_of_Practical_Optimization)

We all build our characters. The Build process is not roleplaying, and if anyone convinces you that taking weak mechanical options is good roleplaying, then yes, they likely play a different game than me.

For me, roleplaying begins after the character creation process and you actually play. Having a rich and flavourful character well acted is roleplaying. At that point, the stats on the page are irrelevant. However, the game also includes a mechanical aspect, there are combats, skill challenges, obsticles.

Having your character be effective in at least one aspect mechanically does not make the character uninteresting. Many of the most interesting characters in Fantasy literature are powerful characters as well.

As it happens, in addition to roleplaying, I also enjoy the build process, and I enjoy sharing the process with others. What spells work nicely, what feats are good for which classes, etc. I've never figured out a rule loophole, or worked a way to break the rules, and I have no interest in doing so.

Inglorious Bastard: Not sure why I need to make a name for myself here before I have the right to point out intolerance. Or why pointing it out is "swinging a cudgel". If you want to pick my point apart then do that, I'm always open for debate, but don't tell me I don't have the right to make it because I haven't built the reputation, that's weak.


Ah, treantmonk. Must say I've enjoyed your handbooks. haha. Though as it turns out we have different ideologies when it comes to optimization. In any case, optimization is a very charged word around here, as I've come to notice. Use it wisely, because people will have their own opinions and definitions of the word.

Hope to see your work around the boards.

Liberty's Edge

Treantmonk wrote:

Optimization is the tool to make your character function mechanically the way you envision.

I speak of course of Practical Optimization as opposed to Theoretical Optimization...

... We all build our characters. The Build process is not roleplaying, and if anyone convinces you that taking weak mechanical options is good roleplaying, then yes, they likely play a different game than me.

For me, roleplaying begins after the character creation process and you actually play. Having a rich and flavourful character well acted is roleplaying. At that point, the stats on the page are irrelevant. However, the game also includes a mechanical aspect, there are combats, skill challenges, obsticles.

Having your character be effective in at least one aspect mechanically does not make the character uninteresting. Many of the most interesting characters in Fantasy literature are powerful characters as well.

As it happens, in addition to roleplaying, I also enjoy the build process, and I enjoy sharing the process with others. What spells work nicely, what feats are good for which classes, etc. I've never figured out a rule loophole, or worked a way to break the rules, and I have no interest in doing so.

+7. Bold is my emphasis.

As an aside: I just played an optimized rogue in pathfinder society. Nobody complained that I was really good at climb checks, stealth, or disabling devices. They did like the quirky personality of Aziz the Great, though.

Want to know what made him great? He was Aziz, and he was Great. It had nothing to do with the maximum amount of skillpoints he had or the synergy between his choice of feats, traits, and equipment. He was great because when I sat down, I sat down ready to play a little D&D (Pathfinder?) and was willing to invest a little personality into my character. To hear it told, though, I'm a scumbag who wants to eat the marrow of the "honest, pure, uncorrupted" role players (sic); I fail to see exactly how anything a board designed to collect handbooks and threads discussing optimal mechanical choices has anything to do with "corruption." And on that note, that's such a harsh term, it should be reserved for White-Collar and Political ne'er-do-wells, not people who want to make a rogue who happens to be really good at jumping and opening locked doors; God forbid I take weapon focus and follow it up with weapon specialization, that's obviously a sign of moral degradation, and a clear example of wrongbadfun.

I know its only been said 100 times before now, but, you know that the beauty of a board wherein all optimization and handbooks are held is that you, the reader and participant, reserve the right to NOT read or participate in it, or interact with anyone who so chooses to. Of course, you could just consider me a snide creep with ill intentions and a strong desire to bring about the destruction of Paizo's forums. Whatever works.


Hi Treantmonk.

First, I must admit that I personally have no interest in CO. Our group prefers to let the campaign and the player's personal interests drive their PC decisions rather than the best game mechanics combos. Sure, my players "optimize" to varying degrees, but it's rare that it is purely mechanics driven, which the few times I've been on a CO board, that's what it seems to be to me.

Second, I'll echo the advice of other posters hear. You seemed to have gotten bogged down justifying your views and taking the posts of others a little too personally. Just post one and see where it leads. I do like the handbook idea. That actually sounds like it would be good reading, especially for beginning players.


Chris Mortika wrote:
Good-stuff

Welcome on board tm.

I am interested in Concept Construction - for example using the core classes how would I make a Mongol warrior, Peltast or a Ninja and so on.

I would be happy to look at a thread (I am mostly to lazy to post :-))for how-to handbooks.

Often I have tried to build a concept character as I went along with no clear outline of what I wanted to do only to discover that I have chosen the wrong feats. For example I was trying to build a peltast (an ancient Greek javelin-man)and hamstrung my character with some very poor feat and class selection. So a thread discussing how to go about making a character type would great.

I disagree that people should be discouraged from starting up a thread on a topic that they are interested in.

I do not believe in censoring people just because it doesn't fit your view of role playing. The more discussion about a topic the greater the chance for us to learn.

If it is popular enough you could push of a separate board.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

There's always Brilliant Gameologists, worst-case. I've been batting around doing a Druid Handbook version for PF. It'd probably be easier, since a lot of the optimization is easy due to the lack of splat material to dumpster dive and due to some of the streamlining. For example, the WS section would go from multiple pages of ideal forms to "Use dire tiger and giant squid for everything."


anthony Valente wrote:

Hi Treantmonk.

First, I must admit that I personally have no interest in CO. Our group prefers to let the campaign and the player's personal interests drive their PC decisions rather than the best game mechanics combos. Sure, my players "optimize" to varying degrees, but it's rare that it is purely mechanics driven, which the few times I've been on a CO board, that's what it seems to be to me.

Second, I'll echo the advice of other posters hear. You seemed to have gotten bogged down justifying your views and taking the posts of others a little too personally. Just post one and see where it leads. I do like the handbook idea. That actually sounds like it would be good reading, especially for beginning players.

The thread has become a "justification of optimization" thread. That's OK, I don't mind justifying optimization, nor am I taking anything personally. Intolerant speech doesn't hurt my feelings. You won't see me use intolerant speech or insults, but when someone else does, I will point it out as unacceptable.

As for your first paragraph, a CO board will be mechanics driven. That is the purpose of discussing CO. However, that doesn't mean that the game needs to be mechanics driven. For me, CO is a way I can make my character work the way I envisioned it to, it is a tool, not the purpose of playing.

You speak of letting players personal interests drive their PC development. However, if a player decides that their interest is in making a character similar to one they've read in a book or saw on a show, or simply has enivisioned a character that is good at something, then optimization is a tool which will achieve a PC that matches that players interest.

My point is that you speak of optimization like it is opposed to making a character driven by the player imagination, while I would suggest that there is no opposition between the two.


The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
Good-stuff

Welcome on board tm.

I am interested in Concept Construction - for example using the core classes how would I make a Mongol warrior, Peltast or a Ninja and so on.

I would be happy to look at a thread (I am mostly to lazy to post :-))for how-to handbooks.

Often I have tried to build a concept character as I went along with no clear outline of what I wanted to do only to discover that I have chosen the wrong feats. For example I was trying to build a peltast (an ancient Greek javelin-man)and hamstrung my character with some very poor feat and class selection. So a thread discussing how to go about making a character type would great.

I disagree that people should be discouraged from starting up a thread on a topic that they are interested in.

I do not believe in censoring people just because it doesn't fit your view of role playing. The more discussion about a topic the greater the chance for us to learn.

If it is popular enough you could push of a separate board.

Personally, I'm not too big into fleshing out a characters concept on a class handbook. That kind of thing can lead to concept pigeonholing, which is never my intent.

However, with a CO community, you can start a thread where you reveal the character concept, and then ask for suggestions for feats and skills to make the character work as you envisioned. Many posts on WOTC CO boards are exactly that. Then you get some brainstorming with others to find the build that best maintains your view of the character while making the character mechanically capable as it was meant to be.

D&D (sorry for the outdated name, but to me Pathfinder is now D&D, while 4.0 is something else) should allow you to make a character with ANY concept (and it does!)

My recommendation would be that you must forget "flavor text" with base classes. D&D should consist of more than gleaming knights on white horses, wild haired savages with greataxes, and prancing lute players. If the mechanics behind the Bard class help flesh out and make your Greek Javelin thrower work the way you intended for example, it shouldn't mean your Greek Javelin thrower needs to carry a lute and wear tights ;)

Liberty's Edge

Why shouldn't my javelin thower wear tights? They are my recreational pants.

Liberty's Edge

While I may not see a need for a separate forum for CO threads, it does surprise me the amount of disapproval the mere suggestion brings. If people don't want to look at CO threads, don't. It is on the internet, we must all navigate our way around in it. There is utterly vile pornography on the internet, if you don't want to see it, don't go to those sites. I am really not sure why CO is such a polarizing issue. Hell, everybody does it to some degree, some just go farther. Roleplaying is the same way. If you don't want it in your game, don't have it. MOst of us make optimizing decisions and conceptual decisions. If the Pathfinder system was anti-optimization, many feats and abilities would not exist. While a campaign of NPC class characters may be fun, most of us do not do that. Why be a fighter with all those extra feats, when you can acheive the same character concept with a warrior? Why the need for all the rogue traits and special abilities when most of the conceptual aspects of a rogue are skill and RP based? Play an expert instead. There is enough room on the boards for folks who would like to speak in character and for those who would like to build the uber-character. I do not understand why any mention of CO brings out folks to crush the very idea, and to belittle those who would like to see it. Can't we all just get along, in our own posts where we can talk about what we are interested in and not feel like we are somehow betraying other board posters by our simple existence?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

CharOp boards are troll breeding grounds. The last time we had a bunch of hardcore optimizers they all ended up banned for violating the "don't be a jerk rule". I can understand that nobody wants more of that.


orcface999 wrote:
Optimize the engine of your racecar. Optimize your PDA. How do you optimize a fictional character? That's what your PC is, not a machine or software. She has strong points and weak points. He knows some things and not others, likes this or dislikes that. If you need to "optimize" your character, you and I are not playing the same game.(Nor, I suspect, from the same generation.)

I thought I'd interject here a bit. I realize I'm quoting a few posts back, but this part really stuck out to me. I thought maybe I'd try to help out TreantMonk in explaining "optimizing" a character.

----
Optimization, Types Of
Character optimization comes in many different forms. As discussed previously, there is a "theoretical optimization", which is a for-fun aspect of exploring what is technically 'possible' in the game rules. Such ideas probably won't ever see the light of play; but it is fun for people who are mutually interested to talk about how you COULD get a monk 300mph across a slick surface while tumbling within the rules. :P

However, the more common (I believe) form is "practical optimization", and is the form I practice with my gaming group. Practical optimization, to me, means tweaking your character on a mechanical level to more accurate represent what you want from them in your "character concept". As a GM, I tend to help my players with this aspect. They often ask for advise on feats, spells, classes, and so forth. Common questions of this kind often sound like this - "I want to make an elven ninja-themed character; what class combinations and feats would help with this?", or "What are some good spells for my generalist wizard to use?".

Optimization and You
Everyone optimizes. Everyone on this board who reads this, if they play D&D, Pathfinder, or any other RPG will at some point optimize there characters. I optimize, you optimize. If you do not believe me, take note of this.

If you roll up an Elven Enchanter, and you take Spell Focus (Enchantment), then you just optimized. You just made a mechanical decision that improves on the mechanical aspect of your character (in this case, you made the spells you use most harder to resist). In the same light, if you had instead taken Toughness to help alleviate your enchanter's low constitution score ('cause you'd like to roleplay him past the first encounter with goblins), you just optimized.

If you ever rolled a dwarven fighter, and decided to put your highest ability scores in strength and constitution, 'cause you wanted to hit stuff with axes, wear heavy armor, carry a shield, and take a hit, then again you just optimized.

Understanding Optimization
There are several reasons people usually optimize their characters when playing RPGs.

For some players, optimization is the art of being prepared. You build your character mechanically sound, so that your character is more likely to succeed at what he or she does. If you can represent your character with a slightly better saving throw, attack modifier, or a few more hit points, without ruining your concept, then that character may live longer in the harsh monster filled environments of your typically D&D game (and thus you get to roleplay 'em more).

For some players, optimization is about responsibility. I optimize my characters because of my fellow players. Playing a wizard with a 14 strength, and an 8 intelligence might be funny and interesting, but I'd be doing my party no favors. Most would consider D&D to be about teamwork, and optimizers like myself want to make sure we do our part. Optimization helps do this, and also allows us to play normally sub-par concepts and be at least of average strength (stuff like melee wizards spring to mind).

Some players enjoy making their characters the best they can absolutely be, mechanically speaking, because they enjoy that aspect of the game (remember the G in RPG?).

Examples of Optimization
A real game example: Recently a friend of mine wanted to make a halfling rogue who was a stage performer, and a master knife thrower. He asked for help in allocating ability scores, feats, skills, and a few tips on possible multiclass options for the future (such as fighter, bard, or monk) based on how his character was progressing. He was excited to find that two weapon fighting and rapid shot stack, and that combing sneak attack and point blank shot made lots of sense, and that a pair of +1 returning distance daggers combined with farshot could be a lot of fun for such a character.

Another real game example: The brother of the same friend decided he wanted to play a bard. Later on, he decided he wanted to make the bard a quick-witted dashing duelist, who made use of his bardic skills to be an awesome warrior. I helped him understand that he could offset his light armor and hit points with his spells like Mirror Image, Blur, and Haste. Or that he could combine his bard song, cross class to fighter with weapon specialization, and two weapon fighting to great effect. He ended the campaign as a bard 10 / fighter 4. We called him a Skald. :D

A third example, but not the way you're expecting: Another friend of mine specifically tries to add flavor to his characters by making them sub-optimal. In one game, he was playing a rat-folk from the oriental adventure's handbook (Nezumi) rogue 3/cleric 1/wizard 1 in a 5th level game. By the end of the game he was a rogue 5/cleric 1/wizard 1/ranger 3/assassin 4. During the mid levels, he actually became agitated that his character couldn't seem to do anything special. He had a lot of flavor, but didn't really do much noteworthy. He felt outclassed by the other members of the party at most levels, and eventually didn't feel that he was very effective when dealing with obstacles in the game either.

In his case, I advised that he take advantage of his abilities with Use Magic Device, cleric and wizard dip, and helped him optimize his assassination skills. By showing him that he can use spell-trigger items like wands for both cleric and wizard, as well as Use Magic Device with a holy avenger the party found, he could make it all work together. As such he become a wild card in later adventures, and had a trick for everything. He was quite the memorable character, but managed to pull his weight by understanding the rules and how he could use them to describe this off the wall character in a meaningful way.
----

Bonus FAQ
Q 1: Does optimizing your character make you a bad roleplayer, or detract from roleplaying?

A 1: No. Optimizing is the act of finding effective mechanical representations for your characters, in a way as to keep them effective in the gameplay portion of your RPG - or to greater represent an aspect of that character. It isn't tied to good or bad roleplaying.

Q 2: Does playing sub-optimal characters make you a better roleplayer?

A 2: Probably not. A good roleplayer could probably make a paper bag interesting; but that doesn't he should. While it can be fun to roleplay a character's weaknesses, it doesn't have to be mechanical. Personality flaws such as poor manners in a social situation are generally more suitable for roleplaying character weaknesses; especially compared to attempting to roleplay that you're a "physically weak fighter that doesn't give up on trying to swing his sword harder".

Q 3: Can I PM you with questions about character concepts, stories, or questions concerning optimization?

A 3: Go for it. ^_^

===

PS - Welcome to the boards Treantmonk. ^_^


Welcome, treantmonk. Take Chris' advice, the oatmeal-raisin cookies.

The Exchange

Robert Hawkshaw wrote:
Your best course of action is to just put up your handbooks and solicit feedback. Don't get bogged down here. The last 'CO boards' discussion ended in tears :)

+1. I really suggest everyone try to give up justifying CharOp - positions here are fairly fixed and it can quickly degenerate into flame bait. If TM has something to add, like a handbook, he should add it and the whole stuff about "intolerance" should be put on on side. There is one way to make the intolerance go away - and that is by being constructive and putting your ideas up for scrutiny, not by attempting to justify CharOp in the abstract.

For those unaware of the history, most of the dislike of CharOp is not the actual optimisation, but SOME of the people who do it and their posting style. These people may well be unrepresentative - I've no idea, I have never had any interest in CharOp myself and so have never frequented such boards - but they make a lot of noise and made a lot of noise here re the Pathfinder open testing until they went away. Going on about Stormwind and whatever is beside the point for most opponents of CharOp here - it is the people, not the idea of optimisation, which they (and I) dislike.

Like I say, this may be unfair (frankly, it probably is) to the vast majority of optimisers, but I for one would be reluctant to set up a board that might attract more of such people in. On the other hand, lots of people also have a legitimate interest in optimisation. As was mentioned in a fairly recent, earlier thread, post up your stuff and if after a while critical mass is such that the board is crying out for a CharOp section, job done. Just posting that you would like one won't do it, and will just rehash the old pro- and anti-optimisation arguments every time.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Robert Hawkshaw wrote:
Your best course of action is to just put up your handbooks and solicit feedback. Don't get bogged down here. The last 'CO boards' discussion ended in tears :)

+1. I really suggest everyone try to give up justifying CharOp - positions here are fairly fixed and it can quickly degenerate into flame bait. If TM has something to add, like a handbook, he should add it and the whole stuff about "intolerance" should be put on on side. There is one way to make the intolerance go away - and that is by being constructive and putting your ideas up for scrutiny, not by attempting to justify CharOp in the abstract.

...

On the other hand, lots of people also have a legitimate interest in optimisation. As was mentioned in a fairly recent, earlier thread, post up your stuff and if after a while critical mass is such that the board is crying out for a CharOp section, job done. Just posting that you would like one won't do it, and will just rehash the old pro- and anti-optimisation arguments every time.

+2

Sovereign Court

Now I've perused the CO boards at wizards enough to know that not every poster there is a scumbag, power-gaming, super munchkin HOWEVER the boards do serve to start an "arms race" that quite easily leads to a certain type of player. Now in any Gaming group there will be those who optimize and those who don't. Because of that I feel it's not a great idea to encourage Optimization. As a DM of 15+ years I've seen that a power gamer and a casual gamers characters don't mesh well in a given campaign.

The Optimized power gamer requires a different style of gaming than the less intensely driven casual gamers or story gamers. It really does throw the campaign out of balance. As a DM you have to challenge your group, but if the monster or encounter in question isn't strong enough to threaten your power gamer they end up slaughtering it with little fuss and little to no expenditure of resources which is the whole point of encounters. OTOH if you tweak and tune the encounter for the power gamer the less optimized PC's are likely to get murdered. It's really a PAIN in the perpendicular for the DM most of all.

Of course this is purely my opinion and my experience so YMMV, but I advocate for purely organic gaming. You can plan your build all you want, but if you're not observing the needs of the campaign you're doing your group a disservice. You can only plan so much outside of the realities of what your DM's giving you. If x feat or y PrC is not available in their world you're SOL... Now I'm a fairly open DM and have allowed almost everything in our library of 3.5 books, but other DM's in my group have been less open seeing the damage our resident PG/CO and our Rules Lawyer can cause by running formula one cars in our chariot races...

--Like a Vrock!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

+.. how many was it now?

Treantmonk - nice to see you here, welcome to the boards. I have read many of your handbooks and found them helpful and fascinating. I have shelvesd full of books that I haven't read cover to cover, and it's nice if someone can point out that there is in fact an existing feat for the concept I just thought of.

The best way to prove your point is to go ahead and post some interesting stuff, rather than discussing the possibilty that you could have some interesting stuff to post in the theoretical future.

I look forward to you posting some of your handbooks so we can discuss the various mechanical options.

Shadow Lodge

I love the handbooks. Still have a few bookmarked, and look forward to seeing and participating in ones here, should it come to fruition.


Jerald Schrimsher: I officially declare your javelin thrower to be silly.

Gorbacz: Unfortunately, I likely am aware of some of the "personalities" you refer to, and although I'm not going to name names (though initials might be "FT" or "SF"?) you may find those personalities also got banned from the WOTC boards. I assure you however, most optimizers are not jerks, and the worst of the bunch have already been through here in the BETA playtest days and have written off Pathfinder, to largely all of our benifits.

Ashiel: Nothing to say but "Perfect Post" *claps* Also, you showed me how to BOLD on these boards (I'm used to a cheat bar for formatting) ;) Much thanks!

therealthom: Sorry, I don't like raisins. Got oatmeal walnut?

Aubrey the Malformed: I agree with your post, I have given up on pushing for a seperate board, I will follow the suggestion given very early to just post my work under "General Discussion" and see where things lead. That said, the conversation is interesting here, and I enjoy friendly debate, which this for the most part has been, so I'll continue the discussion as long as people want to have it, even if it isn't accomplishing anything but some communication.

King of Vrock: I'm not sure I agree that "Optimizer" and "Power Gamer" are synonomous (I think you were suggesting they were...correct me if I'm wrong). An Optimizer isn't necessarily looking for power up and beyond the other party members, while, at least in my view, a Power-gamers goal is to be a "one man show". I suspect some optimizers are Power-Gamers, but the two terms, at least in my view (and I can back with evidence if you want, let me know), are not inter-dependant.

And to all whom have wished me welcome (too many to name), thank you!

P.S.: Back to the subject of formatting. I now now how to BOLD, is there also a way to format SIZE, COLOUR, and/or FONT? Can images be inserted? Are any emoticons available? I also tried a link which just lead to the homepage, are we not allowed to link outside the site, or did I just mess up?

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

Treantmonk wrote:
Back to the subject of formatting. I now now how to BOLD, is there also a way to format SIZE, COLOUR, and/or FONT? Can images be inserted? Are any emoticons available? I also tried a link which just lead to the homepage, are we not allowed to link...

Click the "Show" button next to "BBCode tags you can use" underneath the post box to see which BBCode tags we support. Linking is OK, there's a bigger tag for making larger text. Colors (apart from "ooc"), fonts and emoticons aren't supported.


Gary Teter wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
Back to the subject of formatting. I now now how to BOLD, is there also a way to format SIZE, COLOUR, and/or FONT? Can images be inserted? Are any emoticons available? I also tried a link which just lead to the homepage, are we not allowed to link...
Click the "Show" button next to "BBCode tags you can use" underneath the post box to see which BBCode tags we support. Linking is OK, there's a bigger tag for making larger text. Colors (apart from "ooc"), fonts and emoticons aren't supported.

Thanks! Never thought to hit the bolded button that was pretty obvious at the bottom of the post. Much appreciated!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Folks,

Generally, we're not going to add new subforums merely on request. We need to see evidence that a new subforum is warranted. That means that many different people are engaged in substantially different threads on a related topic, and those threads have distinct enough content from other threads that a new forum makes sense.

Until then, no amount of arguing for or against is going to help. Find the place that makes the most sense for your discussion, and let it evolve naturally.


Treantmonk wrote:


therealthom: Sorry, I don't like raisins. Got oatmeal walnut?

Lilith is the Paizo cookie provider. She provides many differnet and yummy flavors. I'm surprised she hasn't been by already to welcome you, but perhaps she is busy today.


Treantmonk Belated welcome, sorry we have derailed your thread it happens, do enjoy the cookies. If I were you I think maybe your handbooks should go in the community content forum perhaps

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