Questions pertaining to the positive aspects of character optimization (CharOp). For problems with negative issues or player problems around optimization, use the [powergaming] tag.

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36
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13answers
57k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
16k 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 ...
25
votes
1answer
5k views

What are “tiers”, and what tier is each class?

I tend to play Wizards, almost exclusively, though I have branched out and played Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and, at some point each other core class. I would like to play something different for my ...
7
votes
1answer
6k views

How to optimize a Gishy [Fighter/Mage] Character?

What is the best class or classes in 3.5e to build a character that uses both a sword and either arcane magic or psionics which can be fluffed as arcane magic and focuses on fighting powerful ...
24
votes
6answers
13k 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?
11
votes
2answers
11k views

Optimal Dragonborn Warlock for DPR/AC with Blade pact and Fiend patron

How can I get the highest Damage-Per-Round (both melee and ranged using pact weapon and Eldritch Blast) and AC possible (with DPR being more important than AC) with a Dragonborn Warlock taking the ...
23
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Which Fighter (TWF Fighter vs. Great Weapon Fighter) is better optimized for Dealing Damage?

With Basic's release the Fighter is given six different Fighting Styles to choose from at level 1. Each fighting style offers a solid mechanical benefit to the fighter, but both Great Weapon Fighting ...
33
votes
3answers
25k 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; ...
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the Ranger's Companion synergize with the Ranger?

The Ranger Beast Master subclass gets an animal companion under the ranger companion ability, which for free can move about the battle field, or using the Ranger's action can make an attack. Being a ...
37
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
32
votes
1answer
7k 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?
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What weapon should a halfling wizard get proficiency for?

I am a level 8 halfling wizard with Str 8 and Dex 18 (and no Weapon Finesse). I am planning to use my level 9 feat to get a martial weapon proficiency so that I can get into Abjurant Champion at level ...
20
votes
3answers
45k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there anyway to see through Darkness without removing it?

Simply put, the Shadow Monk gains the ability to cast Darkness, but I'm struggling to see a use for it except to help escaping. Way of the Shadow monk receives Darkness (among a few other spells) and ...
4
votes
7answers
6k views

What is the fastest way to earn money without adventuring?

What is the fastest way to earn money outside of adventuring? Our DM is putting us into a war and we have to prepare for said war. We have X amount of time (not known) to make money and then we make ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Is knocking someone prone worth it?

In 4e, proning was a Defender's best friend. Easy to get with Flail Expertise or Polearm Momentum, and it provided a great reward: no shift+charge for the enemy. It improved your stickiness greatly. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I get the most synergy out of this Paladin/Warlock multi-class combination?

I'm planning on playing a Paladin/Warlock in an upcoming game and I've picked the Oath of Vengeance, and Great Old One Patron/Pact of Tome. I've made my backstory (island home sunk when invaded by ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Off Hand optimization

I am asking on a general base since I think answers might be useful for several types of characters, but if you want the details, I am currently playing a swashbuckler/duellist and I am not allowed to ...
2
votes
3answers
389 views

How should I make my low-strength cleric more effective at being a close-range tank?

I have a cleric who's currently focused on range combat, but is in a position where she'd probably pull her weight better by playing in a melee gish or close-range fighter role. She's been forced into ...
10
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I best make use of a high charisma?

I usually build characters designed to fill a role the party needs. My group is trying Savage Worlds for the first time, and once everyone else had made characters I realized we didn't have a ...
6
votes
1answer
922 views

What is the maximum (air speed) velocity of a pixie?

Following on from Can a pixie fly higher than their altitude of one? Using a combination of feats and powers what is the maximum movement rate (and thus altitude) a pixie can reach in a single round ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Optimal Blade Pact Warlock with Fiend Patron for DPR/AC without Multiclassing

This great question contains a guide on how to best build an amazing melee Warlock. However, it depends on Multiclassing, which is not allow in the campaign I plan to play in. The requirements are: ...
2
votes
2answers
420 views

Best way to get Guidance of the Avatar on a Factotum?

I currently have a level 5 factotum with Knowledge Devotion and a bunch of skill points in Iajutsu Focus, and have just become aware of the spell Guidance of the Avatar. This looks like the perfect ...
33
votes
10answers
5k views

Does roleplaying inherently put you at a disadvantage?

My friend is going to be DMing DnD 3.5 with me and 4 other new players. I want to be the best player I can be. One thing I have always struggled with is roleplaying. I am an analytical, competitive ...
13
votes
5answers
6k views

Highest AC possible for Sorcerer?

What is the highest Armor Class achievable for a Sorcerer with the Sorcerous Origin of Dragon Bloodline? Player's Handbook Chapter 6 variant rules included. (Multiclassing, Feats, etc.)
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to raise the largest possible zombie (undead) army

Okay, it's time for the Zombie Apocalypse. Or at least, the raising of a rather unpleasant Zombie Army. Well, zombies are nice, but hey, other undead are welcome as well. So... an let's make it an ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Balancing Spellcasters; Spontaneous Casters versus Prepared Casters

So ask any optimizer and they'll almost always tell you the same thing: in 3.5 classes that prepare spells are better than spontaneous spellcasters. It's generally not thought of as even a contest. ...
21
votes
5answers
906 views

How can I optimize Chicken Infested?

I'm soon going to be a guest player in a Pathfinder game where silliness is the theme. (The party has been drawn into the Demiplane of Dinosaurs, which is reportedly a lot like Ravenloft, except with ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer: Elemental Affinity Optimization

PHB Page 102, Sorcerer, Sorcerous Origins, Draconic Bloodline, Elemental Affinity: Starting at 6th level, when you cast a spell that deals damage of the type associated with your draconic ...
2
votes
1answer
9k views

Making an optimized Rage character for d&d 3.5 [closed]

Although there is a question for the 4.0 version, I want to ask it for 3.5. I would like some lvl 20 builds for a Rage focused character, official wotc books only except for Book of Exalted Deeds and ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a disadvantage I'm missing to starting outside my “main” class?

I am planning a character as a level 1 Rogue / 19 Wizard. If I take the Rogue level first, I get a bunch of skill, weapon, tool, and armour proficiencies I wouldn't get if I started Wizard and ...
15
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
6k views

How do you optimize in 1st Edition AD&D?

1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons gives its players a few strategic options during character creation, many of which are restricted by randomly generated attributes. With this in mind, what are some ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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]
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How does a damage dealing Wizard use higher level spell slots optimally?

In D&D 5e, one of the neat features for spell casting is the ability to cast spells at higher levels than the spell is originally set at. For Clerics, this makes it handy such that Cure Wounds, ...
7
votes
2answers
237 views

Is there a directory of optimisation handbooks for D&D 3.5?

On the eve of 5th edition, there has been a great deal of bit rot since the dark days of 2003-2004. Forums have lived and died, and many of the trivial searches on google show ancient threads. ...
5
votes
3answers
529 views

How do I turn a daily into an encounter?

I'm looking for something that shifts a daily power into an encounter power. I want to take the Demigod Epic Path so I can use Blade Cascade whenever I want. Ideas?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Help me optimize a Great Old One Tome Warlock for 5e

I really like the Awakened Mind ability and the aberrant outer planes connection and would like to build an optimized Warlock. House rules: We do get both a feat and ability bonus at level four, at ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Pros & Cons: Sorcerer & Cleric cross-class

I'm toying with the idea of cross-classing a Sorcerer with one level in Cleric (Life domain for the bonuses to heals and heavy armor). At 2nd level, 1st level Cleric & 1st level Sorcerer, what ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

Is there any way to eliminate the material component cost for Glyph of Warding?

Glyph of Warding is a great spell. I may wish to invest substantial resources in it to avoid the 200 gp cost per casting. I am aware that this can be done via the custom magic item system for an ...
3
votes
1answer
336 views

How to capitalise on high Charisma in a melee build?

I'm building a Knight Commander. I want him to be a melee support character, passively improving the performance of his party by auras, a fair deal of tankiness and a reasonable damage dealing ...
3
votes
1answer
476 views

Does this armor set work RAW?

Haramaki is a light armor that gives +1 ac at 0 % casting failure chance. Same thing works with Ceremonial silk armor, but it's heavier and costs more. -- now if you combine that with an armored kilt, ...
1
vote
2answers
271 views

Is there any reason not to put the +1 level of existing class features from Uncanny Trickster into Uncanny Trickster?

The members of our group always take infinite effective levels of Uncanny Trickster when they take the second level of the class, in addition to the +1 to whatever other class they're exceeding the ...
15
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...