For the OP haters


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I just want put out my thoughts out on this subject matter.

I think a lot of people mistreat players who want to optimize their character's.

This is a game, and should be treated as such. Everyone comes together at the table to play, some people like it for the story, and some like it for the mechanics. There is no reason for people to judge other's based on personal preference or play style. There is no reason for people to think they have the right to demoralize a power gamer for wanting to make his own cool character or maybe even copy a build from the internet. There is no hierarchy when it comes to gaming. It's just people sitting at a table.

Now a lot of you might be thinking
"It ruins the game for everyone if one player can simply do everything and the other players are just looking to interact with the role playing aspect of it. People are there to have fun, not to cheat. Simple as that."

That is the most derogatory answer. People are there *to have fun*, just because the majority of the groups idea of fun doesn't correlate with the individual, doesn't mean they should cast him out, or try and "convert" them into a more "understanding" player.

In fact, you can learn a lot from them, because they actually have the patience to invest in the games principles, rather than narrative actions.
In another fact, power gamers are responsible for most of the errata, to balance the game even further. Power gamers are a developers best friend, because they get everyone's ideas flowing.

It's the GM's responsibility to create a game for everyone, not just for the story.

Some of you may be asking: "Well, what about the new GM's? What are they suppose to do against an experienced power gamer!?"

Simple. Compromise.
Nothing is true, everything is permitted.
Again, we come together for everyone to enjoy the imagination. GM's make up everything, including the probability of the games outcome. There is has no 100% random chance when you're telling the story. Don't be afraid to tell it a little differently.

"What about fighting monster's and CR??"

If you notice, all the monster's have about average hit points listed, but they have the total hit dice, max them out or suit it to your liking on how you think will fair against the party. Use the monster's feats that come with the monster. You'd be surprised to find that monster's are actually a lot stronger when used at their full potential.

Practice outside of game. One the smartest GM's I know pits our party against an enemy outside of the game before we start, and we have this unofficial players vs big bad monster battle, so he could challenge our character's survivability, then ends it prematurely and starts the game. I always have a blast at his games because he challenges his ideas with the players.

------

I say this because whenever I post something on the advice or rules board about my interests in optimization, there's always someone with a bag full of resentment looking to down me. And I think that's not right, and perhaps the people at paizo should take it a little more seriously in addressing this issue in their books and understand that it is a type of bullying.

People should understand that's it's not a one way world, and that respect goes a long way.


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I think a lot of people are used to playing a certain way and they assume that way is the correct way.

Not all people are compatible as players, but unless someone is being intentionally obtuse in order to bend the rules, which I don't think most people do, I don't think making powerful character makes them bad players. I do think it could mean that some people are better off not playing together.

It sounds good to say "just play together anyway", but for reasons many all over these boards it is not that simple.


wraithstrike wrote:

I think a lot of people are used to playing a certain way and they assume that way is the correct way.

Not all people are compatible as players, but unless someone is being intentionally obtuse in order to bend the rules, which I don't think most people do, I don't think making powerful character makes them bad players. I do think it could mean that some people are better off not playing together.

It sounds good to say "just play together anyway", but for reasons many all over these boards it is not that simple.

I think you're taking the game from something that people can enjoy publicly into a personal vendetta.


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I've seen snarky comments one way or another, but I've never seen anything that can truly be described as "demoralizing a power gamer". The Roleplaying vs Rollplaying argument is dumb from both sides.

Regardless, I think wraithstrike adds an important note - its not as easy to actually put a group of people together with conflicting ideas. Respect is one thing, but GMs/players aren't really obligated to include anyone that they don't want to. If your play style doesn't mesh with the rest of the group then you shouldn't be surprised if they ask you to leave/tone it down.

I think this is pretty much going to be a textbook example of "Your Mileage May Vary".


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As someone with zero interest in razor's edge optimization... I generally avoid weighing in on threads concerning it. I do lose patience with it when it's used to arbitrarily limit the character concepts of other players, but that's about all that compells me to wade in.

You're not being persecuted by evil anti-optimizers, any more than someone who picks a "suboptimal" trait/class combo and gets dogpiled with "why would you even play a fighter, fighters are trash!" is being persecuted by the vile, soulless armies of optimization.

You're both dealing with the same thing: People who aren't going to be sitting at your table presuming to dictate how your game is supposed to go.

Some tables can make a compromise like the one you suggest work.
Some cannot.
Some don't have to.
That's life.


Power-gaming is one thing, cheating is another. Most people find it very difficult to tolerate cheating and it kind of seems like you are criticizing them for this. More likely though, is that you want to use vague or convoluted rules to power your creations. If this is the case, you really should reasonably expect some push-back in the form of table variation, especially if you are clowning the game as a result of your "creativity".

It's true that everyone has the right to play the game they want to play but you have to consider the group you are playing with. Some players are just not compatible with some groups and tyranny of the majority dictates that the odd man out is the one that needs to move on or change his ways. It falls to you to find a group that appreciates your preferred play style; it is not up to everyone with a preferred play style different than yours to accomodate you.

This will end in tears. You are here pleading for tolerance while demonstrating intolerance for others. You'd be much better off just ignoring the people who "bully" or "disrespect" you than crying about how unfair it is that not everyone plays the way you like to. Do you really require validation from strangers on the internet so badly?


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Johnnycat93 wrote:
I've seen snarky comments one way or another, but I've never seen anything that can truly be described as "demoralizing a power gamer".

You clearly don't pay enough attention then, There's people on these boards who will out and out say things like people who optimize are automatically socially inept a+%!+**s.


It's ironic how people strive for acceptance, especially some of those who gather around a table, only to get shunned by fraternity reasoning.


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I always find it interesting that people draw a hard line between character optimization and deep roleplaying. It's very possible to have both, and I daresay is how the game is meant to be played, to a certain degree.

Remember, it is both a role-playing game, and a role-playing game. They're equal, not opposite.


Sundakan wrote:
Johnnycat93 wrote:
I've seen snarky comments one way or another, but I've never seen anything that can truly be described as "demoralizing a power gamer".
You clearly don't pay enough attention then, There's people on these boards who will out and out say things like people who optimize are automatically socially inept a&$#$~+s.

That falls under what I'd consider a snarky comment. Not saying that it's justified, I just don't put too much stock in it.

Wise Old Man wrote:
It's ironic how people strive for acceptance, especially some of those who gather around a table, only to get shunned by fraternity reasoning.

Considering this entire thing takes place in the context of a hobby, I don't find it particularly surprising. What's there to gain from telling people that they're enjoying themselves wrong? Of course you're going to get pushback. I even consider myself in favor of heavily optimized characters and I still don't really see where you're coming from.


Tyinyk wrote:

I always find it interesting that people draw a hard line between character optimization and deep roleplaying. It's very possible to have both, and I daresay is how the game is meant to be played, to a certain degree.

Remember, it is both a role-playing game, and a role-playing game. They're equal, not opposite.

This is an excellent point. Fixed it.


Johnnycat93 wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
Johnnycat93 wrote:
I've seen snarky comments one way or another, but I've never seen anything that can truly be described as "demoralizing a power gamer".
You clearly don't pay enough attention then, There's people on these boards who will out and out say things like people who optimize are automatically socially inept a&$#$~+s.

That falls under what I'd consider a snarky comment. Not saying that it's justified, I just don't put too much stock in it.

Wise Old Man wrote:
It's ironic how people strive for acceptance, especially some of those who gather around a table, only to get shunned by fraternity reasoning.
Considering this entire thing takes place in the context of a hobby, I don't find it particularly surprising. What's there to gain from telling people that they're enjoying themselves wrong? Of course you're going to get pushback. I even consider myself in favor of heavily optimized characters and I still don't really see where you're coming from.

I'm more than willing to create a bigger awareness. Change comes from people who speak, not from the absence of it.


I agree third with Tyinyk!


Wise Old Man wrote:
I'm more than willing to create a bigger awareness. Change comes from people who speak, not from the absence of it.

Ok, I'll frame my misunderstanding differently: what is your ideal outcome here? Maybe if I can understand your proposed solution, I'll see the problem you're trying to overcome.

Because I've been playing for a long time with a lot of games and with a lot of people, and I honestly have no means by which I can relate to what I think your message is.


Johnnycat93 wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
I'm more than willing to create a bigger awareness. Change comes from people who speak, not from the absence of it.

Ok, I'll frame my misunderstanding differently: what is your ideal outcome here? Maybe if I can understand your proposed solution, I'll see the problem you're trying to overcome.

Because I've been playing for a long time with a lot of games and with a lot of people, and I honestly have no means by which I can relate to what I think your message is.

Well, if you can't find any type of useful information that is correlating with any of your experiences, then it's probably not for you.

I'd like paizo to address anti-bullying in their books. I think this is a big issue that can't just be addressed in forums. And that people are obviously subjected to this form of negative behavior. I think it's inappropriate.


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As a guy who gets given s#~& for putting a 20 a stats fairly frequently (I keep telling them it's not even optimal by the math of the point buy, but they don't listen.) I can say with much certainty that this is not a bullying issue that Paizo needs to address, or a bullying issue at all. Sure, my group gives me crap, and the passive-aggression when I take a fantastic feat is annoying, but that's all it is. It's a game, I'll play my way, they can play their way, at the end of the day it's still fun. We also poke fun at the friend we have who only ever makes super un-optimized anti-sues, but we're not bullying them.

When all's said and done, it doesn't really matter what other people think of your play style. So long as they're letting you play with them, it's not a problem. And if they're not, then you probably wouldn't want to play with that kind of person anyways.


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Wise Old Man wrote:
I'd like paizo to address anti-bullying in their books. I think this is a big issue that can't just be addressed in forums. And that people are obviously subjected to this form of negative behavior. I think it's inappropriate.

While I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment, I'd first have to see that real, bonafide bullying exists in a way that is directly facilitated by the Pathfinder RPG before endorsing a statement from the designers (as I'm fairly confident that they don't support bullying of any kind based on their forum presence).

Given that that's the case, I don't support your claim and I've said my piece at this point.


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Anti-bullying? I'm not sure that is something that Paizo -- nor the RPG community in general -- is going to be able to handle in a PSA in their books.

A lot of people have different opinions regarding role playing, optimization, and more. Include in their regular bathing, annoying OOC commentary, touching other people's dice/minis, moving minis without permission, not having books, having too much electronics at the table, not paying attention, playing other people's characters and oh so much more.

At a certain point, it isn't about bullying, it is about finding a table or community that you can tolerate and that accepts you and any flaws you may have, and vice versa. That isn't something that Paizo or WOTC or anyone else can do more than make a passing comment about. People have to still be grown ups and talk with each other and/ore accept the fact that not every table accepts every person, nor should it.

Wise Old Man wrote:
That is the most derogatory answer. People are there *to have fun*, just because the majority of the groups idea of fun doesn't correlate with the individual, doesn't mean they should cast him out, or try and "convert" them into a more "understanding" player.

People are there to have fun. Your fun may not be my fun, nor should one person's fun be allowed to override the rest of the table. If the GM and other players are not having fun while the guy you call a power gamer is having the time of his life playing an edge case, then it may not be a matter of compromise but just the wrong table.


Optimization has never been a problem overall for my old group. We have done it and expected all of us as a group to do it. We also played a brutal version of first ed where optimization was absolutely needed to survive. While Pathfinder is gentler then first ed we still optimized more out of habit then anything.
We never were mean when other players joined our group and didn't. Our issue was some players design their characters focused only on RP without ever expecting combat to actually happen. To make matters worse they expected the rest of the party to carry their weight. Then when their characters were doing poorly b@@&&ed about how useless their characters were as if it was our fault.
Regarding bullying it is a problem and has been addressed in vague terms. The game is supposed to be fun, the rules are flexible, GMs should be fair, that sort of thing. I have run into it with another player in another system and it ruins the gaming experience for me in general. It got so bad I explained to the group I'd rather stay home and play Video RPGs then subject myself to bullying. Fortunately the group sided with me in this matter finding the other player a problem eventually booting him from our group. Joking with players is one thing. Out and out insulting and demeaning them is another


Sundakan wrote:
Johnnycat93 wrote:
I've seen snarky comments one way or another, but I've never seen anything that can truly be described as "demoralizing a power gamer".
You clearly don't pay enough attention then, There's people on these boards who will out and out say things like people who optimize are automatically socially inept a$~%~+%s.

And there are people who will say that the moon landings are a hoax.

What the OP is forgetting is that people who post on message boards aren't the standard representatives of any fan culture, they're generaly the most opinionated, egotistic, or chip on the shoulder segments of their culture.

Most people who just play without drama have no reason, nor the motivation to post on this venue.

IF the OP is posting because of personal issues, the people they need to talk to are the ones they game with.


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I can see the straw man starting to shake in the early breeze of a stormwind.


@Tyinyk: Yes, it's understandable when you're playing with your friends. But the community has a general conscious of treating power gamers badly because of what they've read online from others. One negative idea can snowball in everyone's minds, and influence them heavily in the atmosphere of their surroundings. It's important to address these types of issues beforehand, to make everyone as a whole understand that a negative approach to this particular subject matter is the wrong path, so that they may learn to treat people with more understanding and humility.


Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I think a lot of people are used to playing a certain way and they assume that way is the correct way.

Not all people are compatible as players, but unless someone is being intentionally obtuse in order to bend the rules, which I don't think most people do, I don't think making powerful character makes them bad players. I do think it could mean that some people are better off not playing together.

It sounds good to say "just play together anyway", but for reasons many all over these boards it is not that simple.

I think you're taking the game from something that people can enjoy publicly into a personal vendetta.

How so?


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Optimizing isn't what makes the game fun for me. Two things contribute to that.

1) A former GM who purposefully built encounters to optimally thwart PC builds.

2) While the rules of the game tend to reward optimal builds, the time it takes to fiddle all the options does not equal the reward of simply playing the game.


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Sundakan wrote:
Johnnycat93 wrote:
I've seen snarky comments one way or another, but I've never seen anything that can truly be described as "demoralizing a power gamer".
You clearly don't pay enough attention then, There's people on these boards who will out and out say things like people who optimize are automatically socially inept a!!@*$#s.

This is true. I see a lot of "rollplayer" comments said in a manner that it is obvious that the person is being negative about a different style of play.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Wise Old Man wrote:

It's the GM's responsibility to create a game for everyone, not just for the story.

I'd say that is the responsibility of everyone at the table, not just the GM.

That said, it would be nice if all players were compatible in their play styles and how much they mix their optimization vs concept vs role playing vs whatever. But practice shows that's harder than it looks and something for someone has to give to reach the point of compromise.


Wise Old Man wrote:
@Tyinyk: Yes, it's understandable when you're playing with your friends. But the community has a general conscious of treating power gamers badly...

Myself and other have called out those who come with the idea that building mechanically efficient character is wrong. I do agree that it still happens too much, but you are making it sounds like nobody speaks out against it, and I am someone who has been the subject of such comments.

I think it is very much incorrect to say that is the community consensus.


wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I think a lot of people are used to playing a certain way and they assume that way is the correct way.

Not all people are compatible as players, but unless someone is being intentionally obtuse in order to bend the rules, which I don't think most people do, I don't think making powerful character makes them bad players. I do think it could mean that some people are better off not playing together.

It sounds good to say "just play together anyway", but for reasons many all over these boards it is not that simple.

I think you're taking the game from something that people can enjoy publicly into a personal vendetta.
How so?

Because it's just not right to neglect people because of a game. Think about all those people that just wanted to play their badass creations and the group said "Nope. We don't make characters like that. Play something normal" and the OP is looking at the group like "Why would I play something normal when I want to play something badass?"

You know what I'm trying to say here?


Bill Dunn wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:

It's the GM's responsibility to create a game for everyone, not just for the story.

I'd say that is the responsibility of everyone at the table, not just the GM.

That said, it would be nice if all players were compatible in their play styles and how much they mix their optimization vs concept vs role playing vs whatever. But practice shows that's harder than it looks and something for someone has to give to reach the point of compromise.

I agree with this, and sometimes the GM does not have the time to do what everyone may like. In those cases it is best to include the players he can make a good game for. It doesn't mean that those who make really powerful or weak characters are doing it wrong. It could however mean that anyone at an extreme end of either spectrum may not have fun at that table so they may be better off playing somewhere else. <---another way to say what I was saying in my first post.

edit: It also means the other players and GM may have a better game without certain other people. Making the game fun for everyone at the table is not always an option.


Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I think a lot of people are used to playing a certain way and they assume that way is the correct way.

Not all people are compatible as players, but unless someone is being intentionally obtuse in order to bend the rules, which I don't think most people do, I don't think making powerful character makes them bad players. I do think it could mean that some people are better off not playing together.

It sounds good to say "just play together anyway", but for reasons many all over these boards it is not that simple.

I think you're taking the game from something that people can enjoy publicly into a personal vendetta.
How so?

Because it's just not right to neglect people because of a game. Think about all those people that just wanted to play their badass creations and the group said "Nope. We don't make characters like that. Play something normal" and the OP is looking at the group like "Why would I play something normal when I want to play something badass?"

You know what I'm trying to say here?

I know what you are trying to say, but making things work is not that easy. If you have super-character and you kill everything before someone has a chance, then the other player is not going to have fun.

On the other end of the spectrum if the GM enjoys running a difficult game, and so does the group, and you bring a weak character then it can affect other people because now their characters are more in danger of dying.

Other examples exist.

Now you might say the GM can do ____ and ____, but he may not have time to do something to accommodate everyone. I am sure people would like to be able to do something for every player, but the reality is that, it is not always an option.

edit:You still did not explain how it was a personal vendetta. What you are arguing for is something different. In theory your idea works. In practice, it is another story, and such decisions do not have to be personal.


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There's a degree of optimization and power gaming that turns a character into a mechanical (and therefor also a narrative) Mary Sue. I feel no shame in saying that I hate it and I'll have none of that at my table. If I wanted that, I'd read fan-fiction and bad sci-fi.

Wise Old Man wrote:
But the community has a general conscious of treating power gamers badly because of what they've read online from others.

Please define what you mean when you use the term "power gamers". More specifically: to what degree?

There are lots of popular optimization guides, they each have a discussion thread and plenty of them are some of the longest threads on this forum. And they're not filled with people bashing on the writers for encouraging power gaming.


Rub-Eta wrote:
There's a degree of optimization and power gaming that turns a character into a mechanical (and therefore also a narrative) Mary Sue.

That degree varies by table though. I have seen people want +5 weapons at level 5, because that is what they were used to having. I have also seen people make below standard characters*, and they be called OP.

They were objectively weaker than NPC classes 3 levels below them such as a warrior with 15 strength.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wise Old Man wrote:

Because it's just not right to neglect people because of a game. Think about all those people that just wanted to play their badass creations and the group said "Nope. We don't make characters like that. Play something normal" and the OP is looking at the group like "Why would I play something normal when I want to play something badass?"

You know what I'm trying to say here?

Yes... but it sounds like you're demanding that groups accommodate what might be termed a "special snowflake" build when they have an established way of doing things that they enjoy.

Or put it another way, what if you want to run a halfling fighter, the toughest in his village, out in the world of bigger people and finding he isn't all that tough in the grand scheme of things, but the group just goes, "Nope. We don't make characters like that. Play something badass" and the OP is looking at the group like "Why would I play something badass when my character concept is all about discovering how my guy's not as tough as he thought he was?"

It's the same problem, regardless of which (overstated, stereotypical for the sake of this post) way it goes, and the solution, painful as it sounds, is the same:

1. Adjust your playstyle to not disrupt the group
2. Find a group whose playstyle matches yours.
3. Stick to your guns and have less fun.

Groups should certainly try to accommodate their players, but players need to be willing to meet them halfway or find someone else to play with. Leaving a group that isn't playing a way you enjoy is often the best option.

They have no business telling you you don't have fun correctly, and you have no business telling them the same.


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Rub-Eta wrote:

There's a degree of optimization and power gaming that turns a character into a mechanical (and therefor also a narrative) Mary Sue. I feel no shame in saying that I hate it and I'll have none of that at my table. If I wanted that, I'd read fan-fiction and bad sci-fi.

Wise Old Man wrote:
But the community has a general conscious of treating power gamers badly because of what they've read online from others.

Please define what you mean when you use the term "power gamers". More specifically: to what degree?

There are lots of popular optimization guides, they each have a discussion thread and plenty of them are some of the longest threads on this forum. And they're not filled with people bashing on the writers for encouraging power gaming.

This is only true in certain cases. Otherwise it is a gross overgeneralization of the sort this thread is about. It'd be nice if people could have more consideration for a person's individual interests on the forum. Clarification and alternative suggestions are fine; but judgmental comments on the forum generalizing about very individual choices.


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Wise Old Man wrote:
People are there *to have fun*, just because the majority of the groups idea of fun doesn't correlate with the individual, doesn't mean they should cast him out, or try and "convert" them into a more "understanding" player.

This is simply an impossibility. If two or more players' ideas of "fun" can't coexist and make everyone happy, someone has to be converted or excluded from the group. You can not run a game where people are not having fun.


wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I think a lot of people are used to playing a certain way and they assume that way is the correct way.

Not all people are compatible as players, but unless someone is being intentionally obtuse in order to bend the rules, which I don't think most people do, I don't think making powerful character makes them bad players. I do think it could mean that some people are better off not playing together.

It sounds good to say "just play together anyway", but for reasons many all over these boards it is not that simple.

I think you're taking the game from something that people can enjoy publicly into a personal vendetta.
How so?

Because it's just not right to neglect people because of a game. Think about all those people that just wanted to play their badass creations and the group said "Nope. We don't make characters like that. Play something normal" and the OP is looking at the group like "Why would I play something normal when I want to play something badass?"

You know what I'm trying to say here?

I know what you are trying to say, but making things work is not that easy. If you have super-character and you kill everything before someone has a chance, then the other player is not going to have fun.

On the other end of the spectrum if the GM enjoys running a difficult game, and so does the group, and you bring a weak character then it can affect other people because now their characters are more in danger of dying.

Other examples exist.

Now you might say the GM can do ____ and ____, but he may not have time to do something to accommodate everyone. I am sure people would like to be able to do something for every player, but the reality is that, it is not always an option.

edit:You still did not explain how it was a personal vendetta. What you are arguing for is something different. In theory your idea works. In practice, it is another story, and such...

Well then there should be a book on how to deal with OP's, I'm sure paizo has algorithms and class analytics on how to deal with powerful characters.

Like I've said, my friend, everyone has the right to sit at any table. Making it a personal problem because the OP's numbers don't add up with the groups ideals is nonsense.


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Wise Old Man wrote:

Well then there should be a book on how to deal with OP's, I'm sure paizo has algorithms and class analytics on how to deal with powerful characters.

Like I've said, my friend, everyone has the right to sit at any table. Making it a personal problem because the OP's numbers don't add up with the groups ideals is nonsense.

No one has the right to sit at any table. It's an access that's provided by invitation.

And the book you're talking about isn't needed because the problem isn't the game, it's people.


"Wise Old Man"Like I've said, my friend, everyone has the right to sit at any table. Making it a personal problem because the OP's numbers don't add up with the groups ideals is nonsense.[/QUOTE wrote:

er .. no, no everyone doesn't have a right to sit at any table. You might have a chance, given personalities, time, game play and so on to play with a group, but there is no right to do any such thing.

It isn't a personal problem. It is a play style problem. Not every table plays the same way, and every table certainly has the right and obligation to edit the table as they see fit. Individual house rules, personality quirks, questionable habits and more can be cause to be asked to leave a table or to choose not to play at a table.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:

Well then there should be a book on how to deal with OP's, I'm sure paizo has algorithms and class analytics on how to deal with powerful characters.

Like I've said, my friend, everyone has the right to sit at any table. Making it a personal problem because the OP's numbers don't add up with the groups ideals is nonsense.

No one has the right to sit at any table. It's an access that's provided by invitation.

And the book you're talking about isn't needed because the problem isn't the game, it's people.

People run the game.

Edit: Please don't take my interpretation of people as random people walking in your house.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:
There's a degree of optimization and power gaming that turns a character into a mechanical (and therefore also a narrative) Mary Sue.

That degree varies by table though. I have seen people want +5 weapons at level 5, because that is what they were used to having. I have also seen people make below standard characters*, and they be called OP.

They were objectively weaker than NPC classes 3 levels below them such as a warrior with 15 strength.

Indeed. It's very relative to what game you play in. And everyone should probably bring an appropriate character for their game (mechanics, alignment, flavor, etc).

Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:

There's a degree of optimization and power gaming that turns a character into a mechanical (and therefor also a narrative) Mary Sue. I feel no shame in saying that I hate it and I'll have none of that at my table. If I wanted that, I'd read fan-fiction and bad sci-fi.

Wise Old Man wrote:
But the community has a general conscious of treating power gamers badly because of what they've read online from others.

Please define what you mean when you use the term "power gamers". More specifically: to what degree?

There are lots of popular optimization guides, they each have a discussion thread and plenty of them are some of the longest threads on this forum. And they're not filled with people bashing on the writers for encouraging power gaming.
This is only true in certain cases. Otherwise it is a gross overgeneralization of the sort this thread is about. It'd be nice if people could have more consideration for a person's individual interests on the forum. Clarification and alternative suggestions are fine; but judgmental comments on the forum generalizing about very individual choices.

And that's why I'm asking what he actually means. I'm assuming that he's not trying to defend the Mary Sue writers.


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Rub-Eta wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
People are there *to have fun*, just because the majority of the groups idea of fun doesn't correlate with the individual, doesn't mean they should cast him out, or try and "convert" them into a more "understanding" player.
This is simply an impossibility. If two or more players' ideas of "fun" can't coexist and make everyone happy, someone has to be converted or excluded from the group. You can not run a game where people are not having fun.

I would say there are very few times where player's can't coexist. There are certainly plenty of times where they won't want to, but I'd say that's the time a GM should sit them both down and have them talk it out like big boys.

A Minmaxed character and a under-optimized character can coexist just fine in the same party, the minmaxed character can pull the eight of the weaker characters where needed, and the more 'Roleplay focused' characters can help ground the minmaxed characters in the narrative.

If the players see it as an 'us vs them' scenario, they're not going to even attempt to get along. If you outline how the two can be a beautiful partnership, they should at least TRY to put aside their differences so everyone can have fun.


Tyinyk wrote:
I would say there are very few times where player's can't coexist. There are certainly plenty of times where they won't want to, but I'd say that's the time a GM should sit them both down and have them talk it out like big boys.

And when you're treating them like big boys, you're attempting to "convert" at least one of them.

Tyinyk wrote:
A Minmaxed character and a under-optimized character can coexist just fine in the same party, the minmaxed character can pull the eight of the weaker characters where needed, and the more 'Roleplay focused' characters can help ground the minmaxed characters in the narrative.

If this is within their idea of "fun", then yes, this totally works.

Tyinyk wrote:
If the players see it as an 'us vs them' scenario, they're not going to even attempt to get along. If you outline how the two can be a beautiful partnership, they should at least TRY to put aside their differences so everyone can have fun.

You mean, "convert" them?


No. Trying to "Convert" a player would be trying to make someone who likes playing under-optimized character (For example) into someone who likes, or at least WILL play an optimized character.

What I'm saying is to get two players who like playing a certain kind of character to stop trying to impose their playstyle on the other. Neither of them need to change the way they play.


Wise Old Man wrote:

Well then there should be a book on how to deal with OP's, I'm sure paizo has algorithms and class analytics on how to deal with powerful characters.

Like I've said, my friend, everyone has the right to sit at any table. Making it a personal problem because the OP's numbers don't add up with the groups ideals is nonsense.

Not everything is solved with numbers. As an example the teleport spell can trump several encounters, and it has no math involved, and no book is going to solve a lot of problems.

Paizo also has no special info on this. They make the rules, but even some board members more rules memorized and are better at optimization than staff members.

Telling me "everyone has the right to sit at a table" does nothing to solve the problems that may come up.

So far you keep repeating yourself, but not offering a better solution, and I only named 2 problems out of all the others that cause incompatibility that I have seen listed over the years.

Also as a player if I am not having fun I would rather leave. I don't see it as me being victimized. Things just didn't work out.

Sometimes it is not even about the numbers with regard to playing. It is about how someone plays, such as killing random NPC's.

What you want to happen is something we all would like to happen. What we are saying is that in reality it is not going to happen, and it doesn't make anyone the bad guy.

Compatibility or lack of it is always a factor in any relationship.


I have another real life example:

A player made a rogue, but he didnt max perception. I had a druid who maxed perception.

He was visibly annoyed that I kept finding traps and hidden enemies he could not find.

He was also worse at combat than me without my animal companion, even when I was not even wild-shaped.

He didn't leave the table, and my druid was not over the top or even good at combat. His rogue was just poorly made.

This is a case where one player is not having fun because of what someone else is doing, even though that someone else did not do anything wrong.

In other groups a similar situation could have led to him leaving the table or me being kicked away due to my druid being "OP". I know your topic was about protecting the OP player, but what it boils down to is just you saying people just get along. We are saying it just isn't that easy.

In other games I have been the damage dealer, and another people wanted to be "THE" damage dealer. What happens in those cases? I can't make the dice roll less damage, and if I don't fight at all, it becomes obvious that I am just stepping aside which is more likely to hurt someone's pride, and it puts the group in danger.

These examples can on all day long.


wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:

Well then there should be a book on how to deal with OP's, I'm sure paizo has algorithms and class analytics on how to deal with powerful characters.

Like I've said, my friend, everyone has the right to sit at any table. Making it a personal problem because the OP's numbers don't add up with the groups ideals is nonsense.

Not everything is solved with numbers. As an example the teleport spell can trump several encounters, and it has no math involved, and no book is going to solve a lot of problems.

Paizo also has no special info on this. They make the rules, but even some board members more rules memorized and are better at optimization than staff members.

Telling me "everyone has the right to sit at a table" does nothing to solve the problems that may come up.

So far you keep repeating yourself, but not offering a better solution, and I only named 2 problems out of all the others that cause incompatibility that I have seen listed over the years.

Also as a player if I am not having fun I would rather leave. I don't see it as me being victimized. Things just didn't work out.

Sometimes it is not even about the numbers with regard to playing. It is about how someone plays, such as killing random NPC's.

What you want to happen is something we all would like to happen. What we are saying is that in reality it is not going to happen, and it doesn't make anyone the bad guy.

Compatibility or lack of it is always a factor in any relationship.

Actually I've come up with two potential solutions.

I'm glad you realize your incompatibility with others, you made it your choice to leave. But not everyone wants to leave, or has the privilege of staying.

People say that there will always be world hunger, but it's only 450 billion to end it. Governments can do it. So everything possible.


Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:

Well then there should be a book on how to deal with OP's, I'm sure paizo has algorithms and class analytics on how to deal with powerful characters.

Like I've said, my friend, everyone has the right to sit at any table. Making it a personal problem because the OP's numbers don't add up with the groups ideals is nonsense.

Not everything is solved with numbers. As an example the teleport spell can trump several encounters, and it has no math involved, and no book is going to solve a lot of problems.

Paizo also has no special info on this. They make the rules, but even some board members more rules memorized and are better at optimization than staff members.

Telling me "everyone has the right to sit at a table" does nothing to solve the problems that may come up.

So far you keep repeating yourself, but not offering a better solution, and I only named 2 problems out of all the others that cause incompatibility that I have seen listed over the years.

Also as a player if I am not having fun I would rather leave. I don't see it as me being victimized. Things just didn't work out.

Sometimes it is not even about the numbers with regard to playing. It is about how someone plays, such as killing random NPC's.

What you want to happen is something we all would like to happen. What we are saying is that in reality it is not going to happen, and it doesn't make anyone the bad guy.

Compatibility or lack of it is always a factor in any relationship.

Actually I've come up with two potential solutions.

I'm glad you realize your incompatibility with others, you made it your choice to leave. But not everyone wants to leave, or has the privilege of staying.

People say that there will always be world hunger, but it's only 450 billion to end it. Governments can do it. So everything possible.

Well those who have asked people to leave do not seem to have solutions. When this happens it is not due to malice on most occassion, but incompatibility.

If you have solutions present them, but accusing people of being wrong or taking things personally, without offering how to fix the problem is pointless.

PS: Most people have internet access so gaming online is an option, even if it is not a first choice, just like playing with people someone may not be compatible with is not a first choice.

The Exchange

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I would never claim that P.O.O.C (players of optimized characters) "never" receive criticism, but I think you're championing a non-issue for the most part. As a GM I get to generate role-playing adventures for a group of buddies, and that's sometimes a burden but always a privilege. Playing alongside a POOC, I usually avoid 'stepping into his limelight' but that's not because I know I can't optimize as well for the role as he can: it's the same courtesy I extend to anyone else. I even listen (with, I'll admit, some impatience) to his recommendations for my next feat or whatever. Unless he's actually shoving me out of my chair and commandeering my character "to play it right," it's not over the line.

Mind you, I tend to build my character fairly laxly ("What fits his background?") and save my rules-fu until we're in play - the details of cover, flanking, etc.


wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:

Well then there should be a book on how to deal with OP's, I'm sure paizo has algorithms and class analytics on how to deal with powerful characters.

Like I've said, my friend, everyone has the right to sit at any table. Making it a personal problem because the OP's numbers don't add up with the groups ideals is nonsense.

Not everything is solved with numbers. As an example the teleport spell can trump several encounters, and it has no math involved, and no book is going to solve a lot of problems.

Paizo also has no special info on this. They make the rules, but even some board members more rules memorized and are better at optimization than staff members.

Telling me "everyone has the right to sit at a table" does nothing to solve the problems that may come up.

So far you keep repeating yourself, but not offering a better solution, and I only named 2 problems out of all the others that cause incompatibility that I have seen listed over the years.

Also as a player if I am not having fun I would rather leave. I don't see it as me being victimized. Things just didn't work out.

Sometimes it is not even about the numbers with regard to playing. It is about how someone plays, such as killing random NPC's.

What you want to happen is something we all would like to happen. What we are saying is that in reality it is not going to happen, and it doesn't make anyone the bad guy.

Compatibility or lack of it is always a factor in any relationship.

Actually I've come up with two potential solutions.

I'm glad you realize your incompatibility with others, you made it your choice to leave. But not everyone wants to leave, or has the privilege of staying.

People say that there will always be world hunger, but it's only 450 billion to end it. Governments can do it. So everything possible.

Well those who have asked people to leave do not seem to have solutions. When this happens it is not due to...

I think the people who choose to open up a thread to talk about fixing a very large negative behavioral issues in a community is because they take moral behavior personally. And you tell me, is that something that should be continued until resolved or attempt to hush?

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