Combat Expertise


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Just to add an anecdote to the discussion, my fighter in out local group playing CC would have died last night if it weren't for CE. Twice. The +3 bonus (we're level 11) prevented two scorching rays from hitting me that would have likely killed me outright (single digit hp at the time). Plus the GM had a lot of describing me parrying the rays with my sword.

Luck? Heck yes. But I wouldn't have had that luck without CE.

I even bought the 13 Int with 15 point buy and I don't regret it.

Not everyone thinks it's a waste of a feat.


Just think if you had gotten your Con up to another +1 bonus--the +1 Fortitude/+22 HP would have saved you much better.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

How did you get 22 extra HP from a +1 Con boost at 11th Tom?


oh oh do they allow those in one of your games TOZ? can I play! I wanna play with rules like that :)

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

TriOmegaZero wrote:
How did you get 22 extra HP from a +1 Con boost at 11th Tom?

Uh-oh. Looks like someone's gone to war with math...


TriOmegaZero wrote:
How did you get 22 extra HP from a +1 Con boost at 11th Tom?

Good question.


Enchanter Tom wrote:
Just think if you had gotten your Con up to another +1 bonus--the +1 Fortitude/+22 HP would have saved you much better.

Would the 11 hit points have saved him? We don't know that for sure. What we do know is that the +3 AC did save him. The Fortitude save would have been pointless in that scenario.


Enchanter Tom wrote:
Just think if you had gotten your Con up to another +1 bonus--the +1 Fortitude/+22 HP would have saved you much better.

Two scorching rays dealing each 4d6 would have dealt a total of 28 damage on average.

The 11 hp would not have been much help there... heck, even the minimum damage for those two rays is already 8.

And combat expertise would still be there to ward against the next spell whereas the 11 hp would have been used up...


And still, just because another option might have been equal or better, such as higher con instead, does not mean that Combat Expertise wasn't useful.

Not optimal =/= useless.


+1 con bonus and toughness give 22 HP. Then he can still fight defensively.


Ashiel wrote:
Harrison wrote:
Another possible nit-pick of RD's setup is that Natural Armor doesn't stack with other sources of Natural Armor.
Actually, it does. That is to say, the natural armor bonus provided by Amulets and the like provide an enhancement bonus (as with Barkskin) which does stack with normal natural armor. A Lizardfolk (natural armor +5) wearing an +1 amulet will have +6 total.

Damn, that's pretty nifty.

Learn something new every day, I guess.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Combat Expertise helps with rays. And, you know, other attacks.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
GâtFromKI wrote:
+1 con bonus and toughness give 22 HP. Then he can still fight defensively.

Thanks, Tom was a little opaque.


GâtFromKI wrote:
+1 con bonus and toughness give 22 HP. Then he can still fight defensively.

As I mentioned before, the +1 Con bonus to Fortitude saves is irrelevant in this scenario. Fighting defensively would have given him a +2 AC at a -4 penalty to his attacks. Combat Expertise gave him a +3 AC with a -3 penalty to his attacks. Combat Expertise was superior in all ways to Fighting Defensively. The additional 11 hit points (not 22) would not have been enough to protect him. Combat Expertise reduced that minimum of 8 to a total of zero. I would also like to point out that increasing his Constitution could have had no bearing on his feat selection. We don't know what his Constitution was and how many points he would have gained by not having a 13 Intelligence (which did give him 11 skill points and an additional +1 bonus to any Intelligence skills he chose to put ranks in).

No matter how you try to argue this one, in the scenario given, combat expertise was the better choice. The only other option that would have been better would have been a miss chance.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
GâtFromKI wrote:
+1 con bonus and toughness give 22 HP. Then he can still fight defensively.

As I mentioned before, the +1 Con bonus to Fortitude saves is irrelevant in this scenario. Fighting defensively would have given him a +2 AC at a -4 penalty to his attacks. Combat Expertise gave him a +3 AC with a -3 penalty to his attacks. Combat Expertise was superior in all ways to Fighting Defensively. The additional 11 hit points (not 22) would not have been enough to protect him. Combat Expertise reduced that minimum of 8 to a total of zero. I would also like to point out that increasing his Constitution could have had no bearing on his feat selection. We don't know what his Constitution was and how many points he would have gained by not having a 13 Intelligence (which did give him 11 skill points and an additional +1 bonus to any Intelligence skills he chose to put ranks in).

No matter how you try to argue this one, in the scenario given, combat expertise was the better choice. The only other option that would have been better would have been a miss chance.

He's arguing that the character had to sack another stat in order to get the 13 int. Unless this character is an elvish fighter (ugh), he had to spend at least 3 points on int that could have better served him in more damage or survivability


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Um, can't someone using Combat Expertise STILL fight defensively?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
GâtFromKI wrote:
+1 con bonus and toughness give 22 HP. Then he can still fight defensively.
Thanks, Tom was a little opaque.

I don't know if Tom was thinking about toughness, or if he did a miscalculation; that's why I didn't quote your question (I wasn't answering to you specifically, I was just saying that even if Tom is wrong, a character can gain 22 HP for the same cost as CE).

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
The additional 11 hit points (not 22) would not have been enough to protect him.

The cost of combat expertise (13 Int and a feat) at his level is more something like 15-20 hit point (it's a rough estimate based on the fact that 10 -> 13 Int costs 3 character points and 14->16 Con costs 5; and you can also go for 14->15 Con and +1 Con at 4th level). Except if he needed Int for something else than CE (eg 13 Int isn't a cost for a magus).

At the cost of 3 skills point, fighting defensively is -4/+3, and those skill points can also have an effect when you're not attacking (with the total defense action). 3 skill points have the same cost as 3 HP.

Quote:
No matter how you try to argue this one, in the scenario given, combat expertise was the better choice. The only other option that would have been better would have been a miss chance.

If I use a resource which is more costly than a known spell (eg: a feat slot), I want it to come into play more often than a spell (or to be more decisive than a spell when it comes into play... But hey, we're talking about fighter's feats). The fact that in some rare circumstances, the feat has a 15% chance of saving my life, isn't very relevant in my final selection (it would be relevant if it had a 100% chance of saving my life under those circumstances).

Ashiel wrote:
Quote:
Well, to be fair, I think +6 AC for the cost of one feat, 13 Int and being required to attack is probably too much (especially for the non-core magus). But I may be wrong.
Magi only reach +15 BAB normally, which means your bonus from combat expertise doesn't even exceed +4

You got a point.


Ravingdork wrote:
Um, can't someone using Combat Expertise STILL fight defensively?

You can. you can also use a guardian weapon (which has the same effect as CE, except you can decide the amount of bonus/penalty) and a tower shield (which has the same effect as +2/-2 CE).

So, CE has a unique effect when it stack on top of a guardian weapon, a tower shield, and you're fighting defensively with 3 rank in acrobatics. if you're always fighting defensively with a guardian weapon and a tower shield, then you should consider CE. And monsters should consider totally ignore you, making your AC irrelevant.


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GâtFromKI wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Um, can't someone using Combat Expertise STILL fight defensively?

You can. you can also use a guardian weapon (which has the same effect as CE, except you can decide the amount of bonus/penalty) and a tower shield (which has the same effect as +2/-2 CE).

So, CE has a unique effect when it stack on top of a guardian weapon, a tower shield, and you're fighting defensively with 3 rank in acrobatics. if you're always fighting defensively with a guardian weapon and a tower shield, then you should consider CE. And monsters should consider totally ignore you, making your AC irrelevant.

Or making it entirely relevant. ;P

If your defenses deter people from harming you than your defenses are doing their job.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

And then they walk around you and murder your comrade.


Ravingdork wrote:

Or making it entirely relevant. ;P

If your defenses deter people from harming you than your defenses are doing their job.

and then you realize you're a 1 handed fighter with subobtimal strength or con who cannot shield bash and is now next to useless in combat unless its a 5 foot corridor.

Tanking is not about popping your defenses its about stopping your enemies from attacking your allies.

If you're not tanking why are you sacrificing dpr for defenses


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
And then they walk around you and murder your comrade.

IF they can.

That's something a lot of people tend to forget when making such statements. Your allies often have their own means of defending themselves, making their murder no sure thing. And that's only IF they can get around YOU, which again, is no sure thing depending on what else your tank might be capable of.

Something as simple as a tank with a reach weapon is going to be a pain to get past if he keeps tripping up people who try to slip past him.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
... and then you realize you're a 1 handed fighter with subobtimal strength or con who cannot shield bash and is now next to useless in combat unless its a 5 foot corridor...

Many creatures will not just ignore the guy with the sword. Until he has tried to hit for a few rounds and they have tried to hit him for a few rounds they really have know way of knowing they can't hurt him and he can't hurt them.

Besides, even with some penalties, the first itterative attack will often hit. So he still will be doing some damage.

Thomas Long 175 wrote:

...Tanking is not about popping your defenses its about stopping your enemies from attacking your allies.

If you're not tanking why are you sacrificing dpr for defenses

Occasionally it has just been about trying to stay alive.


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Occasionally? When adventuring, staying alive is often* the only thing that truly matters!

* I say "often" because sometimes, saving the kingdom or some such similar scenario is the point of the whole adventure and may require self-sacrifice.


GâtFromKI wrote:
... If I use a resource which is more costly than a known spell (eg: a feat slot), I want it to come into play more often than a spell (or to be more decisive than a spell when it comes into play... But hey, we're talking about fighter's feats). The fact that in some rare circumstances, the feat has a 15% chance of saving my life, isn't very relevant in my final selection (it would be relevant if it had a 100% chance of saving my life under those circumstances)...

People take feats that aren't used often and aren't always decisive all the time.

Ex: Last night our game was very combat heavy with zero RP. So there were a lot of encounters. I think I made 3 will saves the entire night. I made 2 and failed 1. The rolls and bonuses were such that taking or not taking iron will would have made no difference at all. However, iron will is still one of the most suggested feats on the list.

I would say combat expertise is even more extreme. It is used even less often. Since the AC bonus can be higher it could have an effect more often. But a single attack is usually not as dangerous as will save effects. So I would rate it normally less useful than iron will for a build.

But I would not rate it nearly as horrible as many of the people on this thread seem to do.


Ravingdork wrote:

Occasionally? When adventuring, staying alive is often* the only thing that truly matters!

* I say "often" because sometimes, saving the kingdom or some such similar scenario is the point of the whole adventure and may require self-sacrifice.

I always haded those unless they are the final for a long campaign.

I once had a GM who often put those in. So if you were really into the role/mission, you kept having to make new characters.


Ravingdork wrote:

Occasionally? When adventuring, staying alive is often* the only thing that truly matters!

* I say "often" because sometimes, saving the kingdom or some such similar scenario is the point of the whole adventure and may require self-sacrifice.

The point of a tank is protecting his allies. Honestly as the tank you should have a considerable amount of hp and maybe some DR.

We all seem to be under the assumption here that a high cr monster can be tripped by a fighter with at best a moderate strength. Frankly I look at this guy and the first thing that comes to mind is "an adult dragons just going to walk past him and start eating.

And yes your allies are going to have their own defenses. But if their own defenses are that great why are you even in the party. If they can survive the bbeg without you then you're pretty much as a tank a useless piece of meat and metal thats being dragged along by the party to soak exp and gold. AKA you'd be much better off building damage and being of more use to the party.

Quote:
Many creatures will not just ignore the guy with the sword. Until he has tried to hit for a few rounds and they have tried to hit him for a few rounds they really have know way of knowing they can't hurt him and he can't hurt them.

Yes who am I going to eat, the guy with the pointy thing, covered in tons of metal and carrying an enormous shield, or the person with nothing but cloth to protect him


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If the entire party is tanking than nobody is dying. That seems like a pretty effective party to me. If even one guy isn't tanking, then suddenly the other tanks have to divert resources to protect him. That doesn't seem so efficient to me.


Ravingdork wrote:
If the entire party is tanking than nobody is dying. That seems like a pretty effective party to me. If even one guy isn't tanking, then suddenly the other tanks have to divert resources to protect him. That doesn't seem so efficient to me.

Generally thats how it works. You have one meat shield to protect 3-5 huge chunks of raw dpr. It's been proven effective in almost every game type you come across because people who focus on a specific area (survivability, dpr, skills) to almost the exclusion of all others become exponentially stronger because their separate abilities work together to make them stronger.


Ravingdork wrote:
If your defenses deter people from harming you than your defenses are doing their job.

Your defenses are doing their job, but is the character himself doing his job? I don't think the guy who is fighting defensively with a guardian weapon, a tower shield and CE is doing much damages or succeeding many manoeuvres.

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Ex: Last night our game was very combat heavy with zero RP. So there were a lot of encounters. I think I made 3 will saves the entire night. I made 2 and failed 1. The rolls and bonuses were such that taking or not taking iron will would have made no difference at all. However, iron will is still one of the most suggested feats on the list.

There are far more situation in which you must make the save than situations in which you must not be hit. And you also have more way to improve AC than save.


GâtFromKI wrote:

...There are far more situation in which you must make the save than situations in which you must not be hit. And you also have more way to improve AC than save.

Agreed, that's why I said "... But a single attack is usually not as dangerous as will save effects. So I would rate it normally less useful than iron will for a build. But I would not rate it nearly as horrible as many of the people on this thread seem to do."

I was responding to the statement that it was irrelevant unless it came into play much more often than a spell or was 100% effective. There are a lot of very common feats that don't meet that criteria.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
I was responding to the statement that it was irrelevant unless it came into play much more often than a spell or was 100% effective. There are a lot of very common feats that don't meet that criteria.

Except Iron will comes into more often than many very useful spells; at least it comes into play each time someone casts some of those spells on you.


Yes the question is, is it relevant enough to be worth a feat?

I've never once gotten it on a single character and generally I do more than alright at the table

Personally I think its not worth the feat or the points you spend into int to get it. I'm not saying that it can't be useful, I'm saying what you spend on it isn't worth what you get


TOZ: I miscalculated, I was thinking of +2 points of Con and a +1 Con bonus, and I mixed them up in my head in doing HP calculations. However, my point still stands: bonus HP and another feat would do more to help the character survive than Combat Expertise.

Ravingdork wrote:
If the entire party is tanking than nobody is dying. That seems like a pretty effective party to me. If even one guy isn't tanking, then suddenly the other tanks have to divert resources to protect him. That doesn't seem so efficient to me.

If everyone is tanking, then the enemy isn't dying, either. And the enemy is probably going to be throwing out non-tankable effects (spells and supernatural abilities).


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Clearly, I'm a roleplayer in a room full of gamists. You're all about metagame strategy, party builds, and such. I'm thinking of it all from the perspective of the character. If he can protect his comrades in arms, he will, but he's got to protect himself first. A dead tank doesn't even make difficult terrain, much less help anyone else.

This is the way real world life guards think: if it comes to them or the person they are trying to save, they will put the drowning victim in harms way to protect themselves (such as a rescuer putting the victim in between himself and the jagged rocks in river rapids). After all, if the rescuer dies, the victim most certainly will too.

In our games, the party doesn't all stand around saying "we need a tank and trapfinder rogue for this quest" or "let's go to the nearby Goblin Wood and grind some easy XP by slaughtering a few tribes." They are usually hapless people who got thrown a strange lot and thus became adventurers. They deal with things as they come, and adapt when able. They don't kill monsters for loot and XP. That's what PC gamers do. Roleplaying characters have lives and goals. A gamist's character is all about the numbers, gear, and leveling up for bragging rights. Our party kills living creatures to save themselves, to save others, or as part of a fight for a cause, not because they can.

In short, gamist characters are all about the mindless grind towards the top. Roleplaying characters CAN be about that, but they have a story to tell too.

Grand Lodge

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Yeah, but the smart fighters (heh) realize that CE doesn't protect him and he's better off killing the doods before they kill anyone.


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It's saved my characters' lives plenty of times. I think smart fighters take CE and the everyone else either finds alternate means of surviving, or die.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think Combat Expertise is one of many viable tools from which a character can choose for himself. Some will use it, some won't, and that's that.


Ravingdork wrote:
Clearly, I'm a roleplayer in a room full of gamists. You're all about metagame strategy, party builds, and such. I'm thinking of it all from the perspective of the character. If he can protect his comrades in arms, he will, but he's got to protect himself first. A dead tank doesn't even make difficult terrain, much less help anyone else.

Yes I'm a gamer and so are you. You play a game. I won't lie I build my character first based on what the party needs and then build backstories around that. Generally I have no problem justifying even the most insane build with a backstory just because I write some in my spare time.

Quote:
This is the way real world life guards think: if it comes to them or the person they are trying to save, they will put the drowning victim in harms way to protect themselves (such as a rescuer putting the victim in between himself and the jagged rocks in river rapids). After all, if the rescuer dies, the victim most certainly will too.

I know real life marines. I've known people that have done the good old, helmet over a freaking grenade to protect their party. Not everyone else puts thier allies in harms way to protect themselves first. I won't say thats selfish but that doesn't approach lawful good by a long shot. I'd put it neutral with good tendencies at best so good luck playing a paladin like that.

Quote:
In our games, the party doesn't all stand around saying "we need a tank and trapfinder rogue for this quest" or "let's go to the nearby Goblin Wood and grind some easy XP by slaughtering a few tribes." They are usually hapless people who got thrown a strange lot and thus became adventurers. They deal with things as they come, and adapt when able. They don't kill monsters for loot and XP. That's what PC gamers do. Roleplaying characters have lives and goals. A gamist's character is all about the numbers, gear, and leveling up for bragging rights. Our party kills living creatures to save themselves, to save others, or as part of a fight for a cause, not because they can.

Ours don't either. That doesn't mean at character creation we don't make sure that we can handle a variety of situation and have the utility we need to survive. Thats not metagaming. Thats not being stupid. because frankly parties that don't have the necessary utility, healing, or combat prowress don't survive that long.

And I find it insulting you think we talk about grinding in game. We don't need to grind. we ADVENTURE. usually you get xp and items by adventuring. Just because I don't walk around town stopping to waste the entire parties time talking to my long lost aunt matilda doesn't make me a worse gamer. It makes me a considerate one, rather than an ass that's having a 1 on 1 session with an npc. As for backstories, anyone can write those.

And no, I'm a hardcore gamer, and one of my favorite things in game is neither gear nor levels. You're dead wrong there on so many levels. Its not about having power. It's about making the npc's recognize your power. One of my most dreamt of things is for one of my martial characters to earn himself a title on the battlefield that will become known by all the npc's.

Quote:
In short, gamist characters are all about the mindless grind towards the top. Roleplaying characters CAN be about that, but they have a story to tell too.

Gamer's can roleplay just like roleplayers can game. Your assumption otherwise makes me lose faith in humanity. Just because I build backstory around numbers instead of numbers around backstory doesn't mean I can't roleplay or that my character doesn't have a goal or a story.

It means that what the party needs comes before what I as a player desire. Thats just being a team player. It's called not being selfish


Ravingdork wrote:
Clearly, I'm a roleplayer in a room full of gamists.

If you say so.


That should be narrativist, not roleplayer. In the GNS theory none of the groups are more or less likely to roleplay.

Edit: Ok, I suppose I can't really say that a narrativist is less likely to roleplay than a gamist, but none of the categorizations prevent roleplay.


MagiMaster wrote:
In the GNS theory none of the groups are more or less likely to roleplay.

I think Forer's categorisation is more accurate.


Ravingdork wrote:
Clearly, I'm a roleplayer in a room full of gamists.

Stormwind fallacy. You've heard of it?

Quote:
You're all about metagame strategy, party builds, and such. I'm thinking of it all from the perspective of the character. If he can protect his comrades in arms, he will, but he's got to protect himself first. A dead tank doesn't even make difficult terrain, much less help anyone else.

I'm thinking of it from the perspective of your fellow party members. I'm wondering why they don't say, "Here's a guy who's first priority is protecting himself, at the expense of his ability to hurt the enemy. So the rest of the party does all the heavy lifting of defeating monsters, AND he takes less damage than everyone else because of his defenses (and the fact that they are less likely to attack him) AND everyone else in the party takes more damage as a result."

"So why do we have you around, exactly? You don't sound like a team player."


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Donovan Lynch wrote:

I'm thinking of it from the perspective of your fellow party members. I'm wondering why they don't say, "Here's a guy who's first priority is protecting himself, at the expense of his ability to hurt the enemy. So the rest of the party does all the heavy lifting of defeating monsters, AND he takes less damage than everyone else because of his defenses (and the fact that they are less likely to attack him) AND everyone else in the party takes more damage as a result."

"So why do we have you around, exactly? You don't sound like a team player."

We all do what we can. The example of thought you propose is completely foreign to our group, to the point of sounding like an absurd extreme.


Ravingdork wrote:
Donovan Lynch wrote:

I'm thinking of it from the perspective of your fellow party members. I'm wondering why they don't say, "Here's a guy who's first priority is protecting himself, at the expense of his ability to hurt the enemy. So the rest of the party does all the heavy lifting of defeating monsters, AND he takes less damage than everyone else because of his defenses (and the fact that they are less likely to attack him) AND everyone else in the party takes more damage as a result."

"So why do we have you around, exactly? You don't sound like a team player."

We all do what we can. The example of thought you propose is completely foreign to our group, to the point of sounding like an absurd extreme.

Having some of the other characters take issue with a character that they think is not really contributing in battle doesn't strike me as all that absurd. There is a general expectation that each character who wants an equal share of the treasure will do a more-or-less equal share of the work.


You guys are optimizing, you can't optimize and roleplay!!!


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Donovan Lynch wrote:

I'm thinking of it from the perspective of your fellow party members. I'm wondering why they don't say, "Here's a guy who's first priority is protecting himself, at the expense of his ability to hurt the enemy. So the rest of the party does all the heavy lifting of defeating monsters, AND he takes less damage than everyone else because of his defenses (and the fact that they are less likely to attack him) AND everyone else in the party takes more damage as a result."

"So why do we have you around, exactly? You don't sound like a team player."

We all do what we can. The example of thought you propose is completely foreign to our group, to the point of sounding like an absurd extreme.
Having some of the other characters take issue with a character that they think is not really contributing in battle doesn't strike me as all that absurd. There is a general expectation that each character who wants an equal share of the treasure will do a more-or-less equal share of the work.

Yes. You're right. Allow me to rephrase: My fellow roleplayers don't think that way, we've never had any problems, and we all do as much a fair share as we can during the adventure.

We are all there ultimately to have fun. Accusing one another of not "pulling one's weight" doe not contribute to that end. The idea that someone would be so sensitive as to risk the groups fun by bringing it up seems strange to me.

I wonder if such a person would do well with "new" roleplayers who didn't know exactly what they were doing--or if they'd just run them off with accusations of not being powerful enough, of not pulling their weight. That is the kind of gamist behavior that I try and stay away from.

It has nothing to do with optimization, and everything to do with how one confronts the game and treats the other players. Coming in here and essentially shouting down everyone who thinks that Combat Expertise might be halfway decent is a good example of the unproductive gamist behavior to which I am referring.


Quote:
It has nothing to do with optimization, and everything to do with how one confronts the game and treats the other players.

I hope the DM takes all that roleplaying into consideration when writing up encounters. Wouldn't want anyone's character to get hurt.


Ravingdork wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Donovan Lynch wrote:

I'm thinking of it from the perspective of your fellow party members. I'm wondering why they don't say, "Here's a guy who's first priority is protecting himself, at the expense of his ability to hurt the enemy. So the rest of the party does all the heavy lifting of defeating monsters, AND he takes less damage than everyone else because of his defenses (and the fact that they are less likely to attack him) AND everyone else in the party takes more damage as a result."

"So why do we have you around, exactly? You don't sound like a team player."

We all do what we can. The example of thought you propose is completely foreign to our group, to the point of sounding like an absurd extreme.
Having some of the other characters take issue with a character that they think is not really contributing in battle doesn't strike me as all that absurd. There is a general expectation that each character who wants an equal share of the treasure will do a more-or-less equal share of the work.

Yes. You're right. Allow me to rephrase: My fellow roleplayers don't think that way, we've never had any problems, and we all do as much a fair share as we can during the adventure.

We are all there ultimately to have fun. Accusing one another of not "pulling one's weight" doe not contribute to that end. The idea that someone would be so sensitive as to risk the groups fun by bringing it up seems strange to me.

I wonder if such a person would do well with "new" roleplayers who didn't know exactly what they were doing--or if they'd just run them off with accusations of not being powerful enough, of not pulling their weight. That is the kind of gamist behavior that I try and stay away from.

It has nothing to do with optimization, and everything to do with how one confronts the game and treats the other players. Coming in here and essentially shouting down everyone who thinks that Combat Expertise might be halfway decent is a good example...

I think there's a big difference between a character telling a character that they're not pulling their share of the weight, and a player telling a player that.


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That is an important distinction. Sadly, it can get real blurry where player's emotions are involved. Best to avoid it entirely.

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