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43

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 ...


42

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 ...


39

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. ...


37

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 ...


34

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 ...


32

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 ...


27

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 ...


27

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 ...


27

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 ...


25

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 ...


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

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, ...


24

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, ...


24

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 ...


23

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. ...


22

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 ...


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 ...


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

Constitution is everyone’s second-most-important ability That’s it, that’s all it comes down to. Even if Dexterity is your most-coveted ability score, you can get +2 Dexterity without taking a −2 penalty to Constitution, and since that is an option, you will want to do so because even if Dexterity is more important, Constitution ...


21

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 ...


21

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 ...


20

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 ...


20

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. ...


19

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 ...


19

Constantly-disabled-or-dying Wizard Elf Wizard 10 with 8 base Constitution: −2 brings you to 6 total, for a −2 modifier. Then take the Frail flaw: Frail You are thin and weak of frame. Effect Subtract 1 from the number of hit points you gain at each level. This flaw can reduce the number of hit points you gain to 0 (but not ...


19

Be an Incarnate or Totemist Looking at the incarnum handbook, your stats line up perfectly with their priorities, it can synergize well with a dip into swordsage (lucky you), and is an interesting and flavourful route. The only trick is that the book doesn't explain itself well, so an amount of research reading the explanations in the handbooks (incarnate ...


18

The rules that are available help convey the theme and tone of the game. If I'm using D&D to run a pirate game, I'm probably not going to allow Oriental Adventures. That's a pretty simple thematic decision and I would hope the players understand why I don't want a ninja on the pirate ship. Theme aside, the rules can also inform the players about what ...


18

Yes, it is absolutely fair. In the games I play in, GMs are always welcome to allow or disallow rules options in whole or in part, at their exclusive discretion. Naturally that's part of the general buy-in of campaign framing - "Do you want to play a pirate campaign? Using Pathfinder? Core/APG only with other stuff by explicit GM permission only?" This ...


18

Don't pretend you're a rogue, because Ardents don't look good in leather. You require some real (and exotic) metals between you and the enemy. The thicker, the better. Ask for some mirrored or hydra layered plate platemail +5, as it's in a similar theme to your original gambit armor. Item materials are also important and scale by half-tier1, but your main ...


17

In general, two-handing with Power Attack is the best start to DPS. Now with the APG there's the "Two-Handed Fighter" fighter variant that helps it even more. At level 10, you should be able to easily have a 22 STR (start with 18 +2 racial +2 levels) plus magical strength enhancement of +4. Of course you have to dump a bunch of other stuff but you want ...



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