Questions pertaining to character optimization (CharOp).

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33
votes
7answers
5k views

Can characters reach Mach 1 and higher in D&D 3(.5)?

A few years back our group tried to come up with the fastest possible D&D character. If I remember correctly we could build a character that could go faster than the speed of sound, but I can't ...
29
votes
14answers
2k views

Repercussions to DM-mandated limit on books allowable for characters?

When running a campaign, especially one with newer players mixed with optimizers, is it a fair call to limit the variety of books available for play? For feats, classes, prestige classes, magic items ...
23
votes
13answers
33k views

Optimizing a D&D 3.5 Monk

I have complaints from someone in one of my groups that the 3.5 monk isn't good for anything offensive, only for defense and disarming (defenestration wasn't mentioned). My experience has only been ...
23
votes
3answers
11k views

What Wizard schools are best to specialize in? Which schools are best to sacrifice?

The Wizard gains the ability to specialize in a school of spells, gaining a bonus spell slot per level that must be used to prepare spells of that school. In exchange, he must ban two other schools; ...
20
votes
10answers
1k views

Flaws that aren't flaws

What do you do when a system gives points at character creation for flaws/disadvantages when a player can permanently remove the effects of that flaw by buying something or spending other points to ...
20
votes
2answers
29k views

Optimal Focused Fighter Builds in Pathfinder

Using just the core rulebook and the advanced player's guide, what would be an optimal build for a fighter using 25 points for point-buy character generation? Assume it's a level 10 fighter intended ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the Stormwind Fallacy?

In the context of another Question here, the Stormwind Fallacy was brought up. What exactly is the Stormwind Fallacy and how is connected to optimization?
17
votes
6answers
6k views

Are 3.5 Bards mechanically weak?

People frequently seem to think that Bards are mechanically weaker than other classes, and I was wondering if this was true?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I play monsters and NPCs up to their potential?

In many cases discussions about balance in 3.5 will, inevitably, involve one side or another invoking an anecdote of the time they fought this monster, or a member of that class, and they didn't ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

The fastest Elf in the West (at initiative anyway)

They called him Ernie, the fastest Elf in the West. Ahem. I'm trying to improve the initiative of an Elf Wizard. At the moment it's at a respectable: +15 +4 Dex (Base) +4 Improved Initiative ...
15
votes
6answers
923 views

How do I represent a warlock with a background in thievery?

I'm developing a Dwarven Warlock (Hrafnhildur "Fin" Arnarsdottir) for the next 4E campaign I get the chance to join. She left home to join a gang in a city, and after reading a book they were going to ...
14
votes
2answers
307 views

How can I play an Artificer predictively?

Of the various classes held to be Tier One, the Artificer is perhaps the absolute trickiest to play. Though their potential power - especially with access to downtime - is immense, they more than any ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Can a Revenant Assassin be used where a high-damage striker is needed?

The Revenant racials, as a whole, seem to be focused on survivability/durability, granting the ability to stay in the fight even at zero HP. The Assassin class, while technically a Striker, seems to ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I optimize a factotum?

I'm playing a level 3 factotum (class from Dungeonscape) in a Midnight game. The race provides an extra bonus feat and an extra 4 ranks in skills per level. The skills are taken from pathfinder, but ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Reasons to multiclass in 3.5

I have been playing AD&D (and some other systems) for a long time, but I am new to 3.5/Pathfinder. I have just started looking at the optimization material, and it seems that multiclassing with ...
11
votes
6answers
25k views

What is the most effective healing class in D&D 4e?

There are many Leader role classes in D&D4.0 these days. Cleric Warlord Bard Shaman etc Which one makes the most effective healer by the numbers? Numbers to be evaluated Hit points healed ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I get a character with the lowest hit points possible?

A friend of mine has asked me to help him create an escort mission for his April Fool's game (actually held this weekend, because, you know, scheduling). The players will be escorting a tenth-level ...
11
votes
1answer
622 views

About to start first campaign. Question re: Treantmonk's Guide to Rangers

I decided to select the Ranger class for my first campaign. I used Treantmonk's Guide to Rangers (switch hitter) for my first build. I added Beastmaster and Skirmisher to supplement my expected play ...
10
votes
3answers
387 views

How can I add higher level prayers to my prayerbook?

Given: A half-elf Archivist/5 (from 3.5 Heroes of Horror) with no required feats. Archivist 5 can cast 3rd level spells. The desired spell is a 5th level spell. All Pathfinder/3.5 books allowed. ...
9
votes
4answers
698 views

What should I do if I have one PC that has optimized his character and is throwing off the party's CR?

Tonight out group just finished up our second session into our latest campaign. Everyone is enjoying it and it has been running rather smooth. I have realized, though, that one PC in particular is way ...
9
votes
2answers
852 views

How to improve AC when it's so low that enemies hit on 3–5?

The AC of my character is falling far behind her other defenses, and I'm wondering if I have missed out on something basic and important. I am going to post some of her stats as an example to this ...
9
votes
3answers
510 views

How can I acquire Charm Person/Charm Monster as an SLA for my NPC?

So, I'm creating the overarching villain for a campaign I intend to run - an Osyluth with class levels known as Molkor the Quartermaster - and I want to get him into the Fiend of Corruption prestige ...
9
votes
3answers
771 views

What Resources Are Available For Poison?

I find myself stopped up short in my efforts to create a major...well, not antagonist, but let us call him a very shady ally, for my PCs. The individual in question, Mykael the Grinner, is the master ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

How would I build a master magic item crafter/blacksmith type character?

So I had this idea for a character who is basically obsessed with magic items, making, collecting, using, having, any and every magic item he can get his hands on: effectively a batman type character. ...
9
votes
3answers
382 views

Using mechanics optimization to design a game at a desired power level

I want to learn how to optimize. I am aware of optimization and have seen examples of optimized characters, I have found many 'guides' on optimization but in reality all of these are simply lists of ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there any way for a player character to get Threatening Reach?

Is there anyway for a player character to get the Threatening Reach or equivalent ability with a reach weapon? Apart for one-off's like artifacts such as the Spear of Urrok the Brave [ddi]
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What benefit does a fighter with a high wisdom score have?

In the Players hand book it mentions in a list called "Melee weapon groups and associated Statistics" (Pg. 77) and says ...the list below notes the melee weapon group and the ability score that ...
9
votes
3answers
784 views

Do Powerful Build and Monkey Grip Stack?

The Character in question is a Large half-Minotaur Goliath who is using monkey grip. Normally a Large Goliath could wield a Huge weapon with no penalty. Monkey Grip allows you to wield a weapon 1 ...
9
votes
1answer
474 views

Most levels of Cleric recommended?

There are classes in 3.5 that, in the view of the optimization community, simply fail to continue to deliver value after a certain point. For example, the monk class: the first two levels have a lot ...
9
votes
1answer
347 views

Are Lair Assaults treated as one long, unending encounter?

I am specifically speaking about Lair Assault: Kill the Wizard. It's going to be my first lair assault and I want to build as best I possibly can within the confines of the structure. I know long and ...
9
votes
2answers
265 views

What options in the Laundry system might make a character significantly more powerful than his group?

What skills sets are a game breaker and would make one PC much more powerful than the rest? Or How would you optimise a character so that they were incredibly more powerful than a "standard" ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Pathfinder: Arcane Duelist melee build

I've finally decided to make an Arcane Duelist (bard archetype). It'd like to enhance my own melee part as well the party ones. I can use the "Core Rulebook" and the "Advanced Player's Guide" only. ...
9
votes
1answer
241 views

What major non-hermetic virtue would be appropriate for an ex-Ex Misc who wants to be Flambeau?

One of my PCs is creating a character that has left her (probably mystery cult) in Ex Misc, and tried (and failed) to join House Flambeau as part of her backstory. I cannot find a major non-hermetic ...
8
votes
4answers
232 views

Optimizing 2e High Int, Low Str Fighter

I am trying to design a character who will be wildly suboptimal at his desired profession, but hopefully will be able to keep up with the rest of the group in terms of usefulness. The campaign is ...
8
votes
3answers
725 views

How important is charisma for a 3.X bard?

I've just started a DnD 3.5 campaign that will probably run through the summer, taking us from level three (where we start) to around level eight or nine. It's a small party (four players) and two of ...
8
votes
6answers
940 views

Character good for underwater environments?

What would be the best character to make for sub-sea and island-hopping adventuring? This would be a newly-rolled level 5 Pathfinder character.
8
votes
2answers
455 views

How can a monk control a battlefield?

My group has decided to switch from 4e (which had very mixed reactions) to Pathfinder, since we all seem to like 3.5 well enough. However, one of the few things everyone enjoyed in 4e was the ability ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What's an optimum build for a set-up character for Pathfinder Society character?

My wife plays a barbarian in Pathfinder Society that does massive amounts of damage when she is able to use Cleave. I decided to build a character that would reposition foes for her to cleave. What's ...
8
votes
1answer
486 views

What are the best uses of a Factotum's Cunning Brilliance (Ex)?

At 19th level, you become the ultimate jack of all trades. Your sharp mind and keen sense of your surroundings allow you to duplicate almost any ability you witness. At the start of each day, ...
8
votes
1answer
776 views

How can I increase AC for a Wilden Shaman|Runepriest?

My son has a hybrid Wilden Shaman|Runepriest and his AC is awful. How can I get it higher? He's taken no feats related to AC/defense and is level 4. Rebuilds are possible.
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Can a DM disallow the Candle of Invocation exploit using RAW?

The Candle of Invocation exploit is pretty cheesy. Basically, a player uses a candle to gate in an extra-planar being that grants more than one wish per summoning. One wish is used to get another ...
7
votes
1answer
6k views

How do I handle Arcane Spell Failure?

Recently, we’ve seen several questions related to the topic of Arcane Spell Failure, and how to get around it. I have answered these (here and here), but neither question is directly about ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Domains for a Sorcerer with Domain Access

Domain Access from Complete Champion p52 allows a sorcerer to take a cleric domain for the price of forever losing one L1 and one L2 spell known. The sorcerer gets the domain power, but can cast the ...
7
votes
1answer
262 views

How can a battlefield control character be built?

In Pathfinder, there isn't much in the way of battlefield control like there is in 4e. How can a character be built focusing on things like forced movement, zones, or generally making the enemies be ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How to optimize a bard's ability with a bow in Pathfinder?

Specifically, the question would be for a halfling bard whose main combat role I want to have is ranged with the bow—as no one else seems to be taking any interest there. More interested in accuracy ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I make the most of Use the Force?

So I have a Force wizard character I'm making for a Star Wars Saga Edition game, who has specialised in the Use the Force skill. There are various ways to use the Use the Force skill in place of other ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Optimize at will dpr

I always hear about insane nova builds that can drop Orcus in a round (at least before errata), but it seems these builds rely on encounter and daily powers. How could you get stupid damage from ...
7
votes
1answer
293 views

Within 6 levels is there any way to change your save DC from Wisdom to Charisma for a Cleric?

I'm playing in an E6 game (caps out at level 6) and with the stats I rolled and templates I'd like to apply, I end up with a downright amazing Charisma score. Unfortunately, I'm playing a cleric and ...
7
votes
2answers
897 views

What is the optimal build for AC for a fighter at Level 13?

I like to take my characters to extremes when I can. In this instance I am building a fighter (weapon master) that will be the team's tank. I am interested in maximixing his AC, and secondly his ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Most effective lightsabre dual-wielder at low levels?

It's been implied that my current Jedi character in SWSE might die/be handed in by the party, whilst the GM plays him as an NPC. In that eventuality I'd like to bring out another Jedi but focus on ...