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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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 ...
30
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
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; ...
27
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 ...
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?
22
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
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
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
33k 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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
9answers
3k views

Make NPCs hard to interrogate

So my ~11th level party is going to be interrogating a prisoner (demon, if it makes any difference) to try to get them to reveal their master's evil plan. They'll be doing this in the prison where the ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the statistically superior character creation method, twelve 3d6 or six 4d6?

The D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook gives (among others) two preferred methods to roll ability scores for a new character: a) roll 3d6 twelve times and keep the preferred six results, or b) roll 4d6 and ...
15
votes
6answers
738 views

Would it be fair to ask the GM for benefits for self-imposed character limitations?

Is it fair to ask the DM for some kind of benefit if you give your character self-imposed weaknesses/downsides with definite consequences/mechanics behind them? For example, if I had a character with ...
15
votes
5answers
2k 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
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
9answers
2k views

What's the best class to choose with high Con and low Strength?

So, I have a problem. I have a warforged character who, the DM insisted, would be created with a class first and THEN have stats rolled, 3d6, in order and no re-ordering (i.e. STR first, then DEX, ...
14
votes
2answers
625 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
4answers
851 views

In what circumstances (if any) is Fighter 3 a good level to take?

I've heard a lot about how Fighter 3 is a bad level to take. However, are there ever any circumstances in 3.x where it is a good idea for optimisation purposes? I'd appreciate hearing the reasoning ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
6answers
29k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the largest possible melee critical range in Dungeons and Dragons 3rd or 3.5 edition?

I've been discussing critical strikes with a friend. He states that there is no way to get more than 11-20 range in any D&D version, but he refuses to explain how he gets there, and it's based on ...
11
votes
1answer
407 views

Are Lair Assaults treated as one long, unending encounter?

Specifically I'm asking about Lair Assault: Kill the Wizard, but would also like to know if this is an overall rule for Lair Assaults. It's my first Lair Assault and I want to build my potential PCs ...
11
votes
1answer
784 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
471 views

How to build a tank out of the fighter class

I need to build a tank for a party limited to the classic four: cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard. He should have following abilities: Prevent other party members from harm in direct martial ...
10
votes
3answers
500 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
911 views

Increasing cleric hitpoints

I'm running a Dwarf Cleric in a vanilla FR D&D 4e game. My character is intended to be somewhat of a defender as well as a leader. The problem I'm having is that I haven not found any ...
10
votes
2answers
640 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
4k 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. ...
10
votes
2answers
834 views

Exalted Land Speed Record Build

A while back, my group decided to see if we could come up with a way to get an Exalted Character, with unlimited XP and Personal Artifacts (those that can be worn for example), to run across creation ...
10
votes
3answers
419 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
1k 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
3answers
857 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
623 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
991 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
3k 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
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
1k 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
554 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
2answers
272 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
266 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
285 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
4answers
2k views

Is fireburst overpowered?

The party I DM for tries to play D&D 3.5 strictly by the rules as written. The wizard of the party came to me with the fireburst spell, from the D&D 3.5 book "Complete Arcane" (page 107). ...