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51

The Monk class is one of the weakest in the game. It has extremely few powerful or useful features, and those that are useful tend to have extremely tight limits on how often they can be used. The only major exceptions, namely their Unarmed Strikes, AC Bonus, Flurry of Blows, Evasion, and their bonus feats, all happen in the first two levels. There is almost ...


47

Specialization and Related Options The extra spell slots are the intrinsic benefit of specializing, but they are not the only benefits: a number of Wizard alternate class features only work for those specializing in a particular school. Focused Specialization Complete Mage gives an option to ban another spell school and give up a regular spell slot per ...


40

A properly optimized character can break the speed of light. The build "Chuck E. Cheese" asserts that it can break c: Round 1: Activate Belt of Battle to cast Footsteps of the Divine(Fharlaghn) as a Swift Action, expending 7 Turn Undead attempts to Persist the spell via Divine Metamagic and then Extending it via Lesser Metamagic Rod of Extend. ...


40

Study, Study, Study Information is really the only way to overcome this problem, and it comes in a few varieties: Know Your Players - This one is the most important. You should familiarize yourself with the capabilities of the PCs and with the tactics they tend to favor. Do they search a room when they walk into it before they do anything else? Does the ...


38

Alright, as the only one to agree on banning books; The core rules of most games are the ones that get playtested the most. No matter how well or badly the stuff that follows it is, the core rules have the most eyes on them. When you leave the core rules you head into material that hasn't been playtested nearly as extensively. Additionally with each book ...


36

What are tiers? Tiers are a ranking of how "powerful" the various 3.5 base classes, with low numbered tiers being considered more capable than high numbered tiers. It's important to remember that certain caveats apply to the rankings: Tiers assume similar levels of optimization. Someone playing an optimized "weak" class (like a fighter) and using its ...


33

I appears that bySwarm is right. Here are the results: along the X axis is the total bonus over the six ability scores. Along the Y axis, the probability, obtained from 1 million runs. Results below a total bonus of +3 have been purged from the count, so the grand total of runs is less than the original 1 million. It appears that the twelve 3d6 ...


33

Not at all; Bards are a very flexible and potent class At least not if you allow an admittedly-large number of supplements. Even in straight Core, Bards are fairly middle-of-the-road (decidedly better than Fighter, Monk, or Paladin, decidedly worse than Cleric, Druid, or Wizard), though they are quite limited. But if you have a lot of books available, then ...


32

This is an important part of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, and by extension, Pathfinder, history and community, and this site should include a copy of it. The fallacy, in short, is that optimizing prevents roleplaying, or that roleplaying prevents optimization. It is called the Stormwind Fallacy after Tempest Stormwind, the WotC forum poster who first wrote ...


32

There is only one thing scarier than a farmer with her flock of chickens... a sainted farmer, worshiper of the colonel with a flock of undead, flesh-eating chickens, here to sell you delicious chicken flesh. This idead inspired from this thread where: ... you are going to be playing a very different character than the cleric of a death god who has to ...


29

It depends on intention and synergy from feats. Looking at only the weapons themselves, the Execution Axe has a .075 DPR increase over the Mordenkrad. That's not much. Considering common magical items and feats, the Gouge is best from a whole-character point of view. First, let's look at the superior weapons available to us that are two-handed and ...


28

Abbreviations I’ll be referring to Arcane Spell Failure as ASF frequently. I’ll also use ACP for Armor Check Penalty when discussing armors. Arcane Spell Failure rules First, the official rules on Arcane Spell Failure, just so we’re all on the same page: Arcane Spell Failure Armor interferes with the gestures that a spellcaster ...


26

Essentially, sixth level is the end of Monk as an independent class. Monk's biggest and most pervasive problem is that it can't play well with itself. More than any other class in the game, a Monk's features demand exclusivity of use, even to the point where you can't use other Monk features if you want to use certain ones. Looking at the SRD entry for Monk ...


26

Constitution is everyone’s second-most-important ability That’s it, that’s all it comes down to. There are elf subraces without a Constitution penalty; those are fine. But for “Elf” race, and most elven subraces, you get −2 Constitution, and that’s just terrible. Even if Dexterity is your most-coveted ability score, you can get +2 ...


25

There is absolutely no reason to take exactly 3 levels of Fighter. Strictly Superior Alternatives Assuming you go by non-fractional saves/BAB – which I refuse to do personally, but it is the base rule – the level gives you ~5.5 HP, +1 BAB, +1 Ref, +1 Will, and 2+Int skill points. Taking Barbarian 1 at that point instead would get you ~6.5 HP, ...


25

Just ban it or change it The Candle of Invocation is a broken item. It should not exist, at least not at that price. The rules as written make it the single fastest way to break a campaign into itty bitty pieces. So in short, no, the Candle of Invocation cannot be allowed to work as written without becoming an exploit. I don't like the retribution angle, ...


25

I do. I'm so competitive I managed to win a game of Fiasco (a very non-competitive game). Luckily, I know why you feel this way and where the source of the problem is. Unfortunately, D&D 3.X is more often than not the cause of this dicothomy. There's a thing game designers call reward cycle: encouraging the players to behave in a certain manner by ...


24

As of December 2010, here is a list of leaders. Thinking about the Art of Leading, or the art of healing, there is a third category "damage directly prevented." Therefore, the following list will assess how much damage has been ameliorated over the course of an encounter, looking at every leader class, but only the "best" damage ameliorator of the class. ...


23

These are bascially listed in order from “smallest and easiest” to “biggest and hardest.” Step One: Eliminate the lost spellcasting level at 3rd There’s literally no reason for it. At the time, it may have been believed that there were advantages to spontaneous casting that demanded it as a balancing factor, or, as rumored, Monte Cook may have just hated ...


23

Not necessarily I've run about a dozen games in the last four years, and in each of them the roleplayers come out on top. Some of them happen to do a little min-maxing on the side (like the troll in Shadowrun who lived up to his race's namesake), but the truth of the matter is that it doesn't really matter. The rules encourage it D&D is one of those ...


22

Caveat the First: I Am Making Broad Generalizations There are cases where you might want to break these. Caveat the Second: I Am Not Overly Familiar With Pathfinder I have read the Core rule book, but none of the supplemental material, including the archetypes (alternate class features in 3.5 lingo), and Paizo did make it a goal to counter, at the very ...


22

From looking at your group I would put my chips on the problem just being that the psychic warrior is optimized while the rest are not. In a brute force manner you could do the following, but I do not recommend any of these: Increase the CR of encounters. Doing so would make it more challenging for the Psychic Warrior, but would run the risk of making it ...


22

Fireburst from Complete Arcane is not an overpowered spell. It is not even a good spell. It is so bad that the 3.5 designers decided to change it when the spell was re-printed in the Spell Compendium. There, they increased its radius from 5' to 10', leaving the rest of the spell identical. However, the "improved" Spell Compendium version is also not a good ...


22

First, ask your DM if you can qualify for abjurant champion with an exotic weapon; you don’t need proficiency in any martial weapons to take Exotic Weapon Proficiency, and there are some better options for exotic weapons. If exotic weapons are not allowed: Longbow There’s not a whole lot of point to getting any martial weapon; any situation where attacking ...


21

In that case, there are a couple of things you can do. The first, and best, IMO, is to look at the player and explain to them that while you appreciate their cleverness is doing so, that it is a really, really cheesy move and not one that you appreciate them doing, as it completely negates the point of taking the disadvantage. The second is in-game. ...


21

D&D 3.5 actually has rules for this sort of thing: Unearthed Arcana's character traits and character flaws systems. Traits give you a small bonus for a small penalty. For example, for a fey who can't lie, you might use the Honest trait: +1 Diplomacy, -1 Bluff and Sense Motive. Flaws give you a bonus feat in exchange for a significant non-story penalty. ...


21

Easy: 9-20. Let's start by disproving that 11-20 is the highest threat range possible in D&D 3.0/3.5. Take the Improved Critical feat, which doubles your threat range. Also take Disciple of Dispater (Book of Vile Darkness, 3.0) up to 8th level, which triples it. These abilities explicitly stack. D&D multiplication rules turn this into a quadruple ...


21

Generally better? Yes. Strictly better? No. As Scott mentions in his answer, Disguise Self can not only alter your appearance (via illusion), but your clothing as well. It's important to note the inverse of this: Alter Self does not specify that it modifies your clothing or equipment. This means that, depending on how severe your alterations are, you ...


20

Become a Diviner. They get a blanket +1 per 2 levels bonus to initiative. They also ALWAYS act in a surprise round so your biggest weakness of not going first (getting surprised) NEVER happens!!! You're already a wizard, and pride yourself in going first, so why don't you just start saying, "I saw that coming." This might be what you're looking for. We ...


20

“There is no point in doing this [from a game mechanic perspective].” The sorcerer is just the stronger class, and even the feature-heavy first level of bard does not compare to simply having better spells sooner (see 1. Spellcasters should not multiclass in this answer for more details). Thus, the best mix of nine levels for bard or sorcerer is Sorcerer 9. ...



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