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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28
votes
13answers
42k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
8k 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?
22
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

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

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
353 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

How do multiple attacks with natural weapons work?

I'm planning a character that has 2 claw attacks and a tail attack as natural weapons, but now I'm a little confused about the mechanics of using them all. 1: Can both claws be used at once as a ...
33
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
15k 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; ...
6
votes
1answer
728 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
297 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 ...
30
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 ...
21
votes
5answers
1k 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. ...
20
votes
2answers
34k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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.)
23
votes
1answer
3k 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?
12
votes
9answers
5k 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
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]
7
votes
2answers
184 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
584 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
392 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?
3
votes
1answer
205 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
1answer
240 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
6answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
648 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
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
864 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
919 views

Druid: how to obtain rage?

I'm building a druid character for an upcoming E6 game, and I'm wondering if I can get myself rage along with 6 levels of shapeshift variant druid. Unfortunately, shapeshift is obligatory, which ...
6
votes
1answer
676 views

Would a free hand from gauntlet axe let me attack two handed with a bastard sword?

I'm building a Ranger(Scout) for an upcoming campaign and I was wondering if, while using gauntlet-axe, I would be able to Make two handed attacks using versatile weapons (such as the bastard sword)? ...
5
votes
3answers
656 views

Are the elf races really so bad?

Every popular charop class handbook I read seems to indicate that Elf is a terrible race choice, or at best "okay" (but sub-optimal) for some of the sub-types of elf. It seems to me that they actually ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Optimizing a rogue as an assassin

I'm in the process of building a character who works as a hired assassin of the ranged flavor. My idea of the perfect assassin is one that can be undetected and unload a massive amount of damage ...
4
votes
2answers
475 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
511 views

What typed-damage builds (item & feat) exist for ki-focus implements in 4e?

The problem at hand I'm fairly proficient with the usual pathways for getting frost or fire or radiant damage combos/optimization going with regular weapons or using holy symbols, but I am new at ...
4
votes
1answer
569 views

Is there a way to advance both Wizard and Assassin casting?

I'm creating a character for a challenge ("How would you help this village defend against an orcish army?") and in the interests of doing something wacky I decided to try and mix Wizard and Assassin ...
4
votes
1answer
531 views

Ways to add the [Good] Descriptor to Spells for Arcane Spellcaster

The 'Consecrate Spell' feat from Book of Exalted Deeds adds the [Good] descriptor to spells cast. Is there another way to achieve this for arcane spellcasters, e.g. as a prestige class feature? The ...
3
votes
2answers
204 views

What bloodline should I choose for a character I want to turn into an arcane trickster?

I've just started playing Pathfinder, and I have a 1st level gnome rogue. I decided early on that I wanted to eventually go the route of an arcane trickster, so my good attributes are DEX and CHA, ...
2
votes
2answers
184 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
366 views

Is there a way to mix Unarmed Strike Damage with Natural Attack Damage or vice versa?

I want to maximize my damage output on my character by Finding a way to add his Unarmed Strike Damage to his Natural Attacks. If there are ways to do this I would also Like to know at what levels it ...