I've recently started playing DnD 5e with a group of friends, all of whom are very inexperienced - myself and the DM included. We all agreed at the start we were aiming for a very casual game initially in order to get a feel for the rules and then move in a direction we all agreed with.

Without going into too much detail the party consists of a Paladin, Rogue, Sorcerer, Bard, and my Ranger. We're all at level 3, and there's a couple of instances where planning (and fortune) have meant I am noticeably better in combat. My HP rolls have been very high (I have 35 HP) while the rest of the group have 24, 18, 17, and 14. In addition whilst I am not particularly aiming to create a particularly meta-gamed character I am trying to choose complimentary skills, and last session was using various skills/spells to deal far more damage than the others in combat (we also missed a rule which meant I should have done a couple of checks for concentration, but that's our inexperience and I've made a note to check that thoroughly in future).

Now at this point a couple of the guys got a bit put out because they weren't really able to do much, as I was typically able to go first in any combat due to high DEX, and dealt such insane damage that the guys going last did nothing. In addition the combats are quite short and fulfilling, and truth-be-told I'm not overly enjoying it either. One of the guys said the (dreaded) phrase - that I was meta-gaming my guy to be better than everyone else.

I pointed out that:

  1. The session started in a city where my low CHA, and my character having a somewhat introverted background, meant I didn't get much to do. I had basically accepted that session would be in the city with little combat and was completely fine with that.
  2. Everyone agreed (and I didn't press the issue) to leave the city very quickly because they were all anxious to fight stuff again. I was quite content exploring the city and wanted to find out more about a potential side quest I considered more interesting.
  3. Some of the party are not really set up for combat, and are more suited to the city RP, though I accept that doing literally nothing in a given combat is extremely frustrating I was basically giving my stuff to the bard to sell for me in the city.
  4. Any skills I have chosen were those I thought fitted what I thought the character would tend towards by himself in terms of background and ambitions - I'm not particularly leveling with any meta in mind.
  5. I have been incredibly lucky with HP rolls.

All-in-all I honestly don't want to be harming the game for others, so I've been talking to the DM about trying to adjust myself to being more in line with the others. I already offered to the DM after my last HP roll to do it again, and he has agreed if we feel it is needed, but we will come up with an in-game reason for that to happen. What else can I do in order to make the game better for the rest of the players?

EDIT: I can explain a few more things now:

It boiled down to the setup I had of:

Longbow with 17 DEX and Archery as a fighting style, then using Hunter's Mark and Colossus Slayer to get 3+D10+D8+D6 damage to the bosses, or using two Shortswords and doing something similar. The checks I mentioned were the concentration to keep the spell going after I took a hit.

To my mind, whilst yes I am aiming to make myself good at Combat, that doesn't seem like I'm deliberately trying to find niche rules to suit me, but just choosing things wisely (and appeared a fairly standard Ranger setup when I later checked. One of the guys and I played Warhammer Fantasy alot, so we're not unaccustomed to working out what is best to use, it's two of the other people who had the opinion I was somehow playing the system.

My suggestion to the DM was either I go for the Beast Master route and rejig a few things, as people have also pointed it is considered not as strong, but it doesn't fit the character well, or we find some reason to drop probably the HP, as at the moment with some guys being really fragile it's hard to up the difficulty in his opinion as we've nearly had people die to Goblins. I have pointed out (as other have here) that other classes will get better later, but people seem to hear none of it. I'm not particularly stung by criticism of what I am doing - I'm just trying to fit in with the team and play my role accordingly.

Also thank you to whoever added tags etc. Apologies as I am somewhat new to this site.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate: What to do when your character is just too good? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also related question about variations in player skill level \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 17:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ How did the characters all get their attributes? Dice, standard array, or point buy? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 21:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Comments are for requesting clarification and suggesting improvements. Discussion and semi-answers in comments aren't appropriate. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleVermont all stats were rolled, and equipment mostly taken as class/background standard. \$\endgroup\$
    – Folau
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 20:46

11 Answers 11



First, lets kill the metagaming ad hominem: "Metagaming is any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself."

Optimising a combat-oriented character to be good at combat within the rules is not and never can be metagaming. You can't even mount a game universe argument that it is: a person who has devoted his life to being a wilderness warrior (aka a Ranger) is going to learn to be good at fighting or die!


Hit Points

Your hit point edge is insignificant; an 11 hp advantage is, on average, 2 hits or 1-2 rounds more staying power in a combat (less if fighting multiple foes). When you consider that the Paladin has an ability to heal 15 hp with their Lay on Hands ability at the cost of an action, they effectively have more hp than you do. You do have a definite advantage if you are being hit by things like fireballs; on failed saves you are the only one left standing.

This is an edge but a small one.

Damage output

I will assume everyone has the same stat modifier on damage rolls.

If you are using your bow and choose to use a spell slot for Hunters Mark, you can do 3 + d8 (bow) + d6 (Hunters Mark) (avg 11) on the first hit and the same plus d8 (Colossus Slayer) (avg 15.5) on subsequent attacks. This is great if you are fighting a monster with lots of hit points; it is not so good against a dozen goblins since the first hit will drop them and your Colossus Slayer never kicks in.

Meanwhile the Paladin with a longsword and the dueling fighting style is doing 3 + 2 + d8 (longsword) + 2d8 (Divine Smite) (avg 18.5) (I haven't considered some of the really cool spells they have).

The Rogue is doing 3 + d8 (longbow) + 2d6 (sneak attack - a good rogue should almost always get this) (avg 14.5).

The Sorcerer has a plethora of options (Magic Missile, Burning Hands, and Cloud of Daggers spring to mind) or they can just fall back on a damaging cantrip for d10 (avg 5.5). If they are a gambler, Hold Person can end a combat with a single humanoid on one failed saving throw.

If the Bard wants to be handing out massive damage in combat then they chose the wrong class; that is not where their talents lie, they are an enabler - they enable others to do more damage.

The Ranger is not the best at handing out damage.

Overall, you are playing your character to his strengths; are the other players playing to theirs?

Pacing and Encounter structure

You say "I was typically able to go first in any combat due to high DEX, and dealt such insane damage that the guys going last did nothing".
I read "The encounters are underpowered".

Don't misunderstand me: it is the nature of RPG that the PCs will win (almost) every fight because they can only lose once. Most combats will be and should be cakewalks, they are there because combat is fun and they consume resources. That said, they shouldn't be so insignificant that they are over before the first round ends. A quick combat like this is great if the players have planned and executed a great ambush, its not great if it is just way underpowered.

If you have enough spells to use a spell in every combat then you are not having enough encounters between long rests. Burning through spell slots for a non-core spellcaster should be a tough decision: "Do I use it now or will I need it latter?" If you are not thinking this, at least briefly, all the time then your DM is being easy on you. Fights early in the day will usually be easy but this is due to everyone having lots of resources, as you burn through spell slots and hp the same encounter becomes much harder.

Also, the structure of encounters matters. 5 PCs on one monster is an easy fight (unless the monster's CR is extremely high for the party); the monster can only target 1 PC while copping damage from all 5. 5 PCs on 5 monsters is much harder; the tough PCs have to control the battlefield or the squishy PCs will get squished. 5 PCs on 15 monsters, even very weak monsters, is really hard; everyone is copping damage and the fight will last 4-5 rounds minimum.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1. Paragraph 2 is roughly how I felt, but I didn't have the right words in my head to say it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 2:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM: I would not say this is as dire. As a DM, it's really easy to switch gears and move on from attempting the PCs to capturing them instead. For the PCs, a near miss can be as frightening as a real death, and for the adventure, being captured and seeking to escape is a nice plot twist. And then, there's also the arrival of unexpected help (another party, a powerful PC, ...) which do the same. Or if it's a close thing the DM can just fudge the dices a bit. Or... there's a lot the DM can do to avoid PCs death if she wishes to. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 8:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM. But I don't wish to! evil chuckle Death stalks my table; over there ... Near the salt. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 12:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, I feel this is an in-game/DM issue rather than a player issue. The DM is making encounters that seemingly only suit the ranger \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 17:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ My money is on the last paragraph being the only one that matters. Single round combats are almost always from not enough enemies, not too weak of enemies. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 3:31

You have four basic options, beyond pointing out that Rangers aren't overpowered in 5e D&D. Low level combat is swingy in 5e, as are results of die rolls in the d20 system. The "you are hurting the game for others" is an unfounded charge at this level of play. (See Dale M's answer for better details).

Paladin, Rogue, Sorcerer, Bard, and my Ranger.

At third level, some classes are just getting their signature skills and benefits from their archetypes. For example, the Rogue at 3rd, fighting next to you will be do some more bursty damage with Sneak Attack -- but that's also swingy with the dice rolls.

At fifth level, the spell casters get a big boost in power when third level spells arrive.

Some Options

  1. Per your point 1, it is OK to tell them that they are wrong, politely, if they are your friends. Correcting the error on Concentration rules, which limits the power many spells, will mitigate some of what looks powerful now. Note: if you still had made all of the Con saves you needed to for Concentration checks, that's back to swingy dice. Tell your "friends" that die rolls are swingy, and that they can complain to the RNG.

we also missed a rule which meant I should have done a couple of checks for concentration, but that's our inexperience and I've made a note to check that thoroughly in future.

If you are all new to this system, there are a few quirks that will take some learning for the group.  Message to your fellow players: *patience is appreciated*, comparative power levels change as we go up in level. 
  1. If you feel that you have to modify your character -- IMO you should not, but I don't know what your group dynamics are -- a simple thing to do is discuss with your DM reassigning your HP as the average score per level (d10 (avg = 6) plus Con bonus for the second level and third level HP increases). But is that really a problem? The likely situation is that you are all getting used to your characters, and this system, and that your Ranger has had a couple of good fights.

  2. You can stop playing with them. While this is a serious suggestion, it is also a drastic move that completely depends on what your group dynamics and interpersonal relationships are. You have one old gaming friend and three "others." Based on the concerns expressed in your question, this is the least useful option since you want to make it work ... but you did ask for options.

I have pointed out (as other have here) that other classes will get better later, but people seem to hear none of it.

Can't help you with people who won't listen to reason.

(From your comment). I did make a comment that (from what I have read) classes such as the Sorcerer will get a lot better in later levels, but it appears that the people you are playing with want to be good now.

Character building/planning

I've looked through where I'm trying to take my guy a lot later but I'm not sure the others have - they pick what is good at the time.

It isn't your fault that the other players chose not to think ahead. Do all of you share the same definition of "casual game?" Did you all agree before the game started to not plan out your characters? I am not sure how that is a smart game strategy (see Dale M's answer), but I don't know the nuances of your group norms.

If your fellow players are going to whine at you this early in the game, you may have group dynamics problems that needs to be addressed.
How do your game expectations match up?

If they haven't figured out their characters as quickly as you did, is that your fault? No.
Certain kinds of battles are better settings for some characters than others.
Not all of your battles will be like the one where your bow was the star of the show (particularly when you have to start making Concentration saves!)

If the attitude persists that you are somehow wrong, the table may not be a good match for you. Since at least one player is a friend (per your revised question) you can probably ignore their complaints because the power differential should even out as you all level up. See how it works out in a few levels and re-evaulate.

The new character option

  1. You can roll up a completely different character, if that is what you think will keep the peace. Since you are the one facing this group dynamic, only you can assess if this is a suitable choice. If you are good with it, it is an option available to you.

Bottom line suggestion? Be a good team player.

Keep playing this Ranger as best you can to support the group in the team's quests, adventures, and goals. The perception of imbalance will ebb as class levels go up.

A last point that isn't a suggestion: the game was balanced, in design terms, for 2-3 short rests per adventure day, and about 6 encounters per adventure day. If your DM has a significantly lower encounter rate, then the characters' once-per-day, once-per-long-rest, and spell slot powers will tend to look more powerful than the intended design. This will benefit the sorcerer and any other spell caster as well.


One possibility would be to switch up your play style a bit until the other characters come into their own more.

For example, if you're usually first in the initiative order, instead of going for the boss right away, maybe you prepare an action to shoot the first enemy to move into melee range of your sorcerer or bard (assuming they prefer to stay out of melee range).

That way you (a) probably let some of the other party members get a turn in before you, and (b) provide a useful service in protecting your "squishy" guys so that they can concentrate on what they do best.

It's not fun always being outshined, but I think your party will realize that they will also have their moments to shine. You haven't really been playing long enough for them to see how it all balances out over the course of a longer campaign.


Seeing as your sessions seem to be an introduction to 5e, maybe you can work with your DM to specifically tailor encounters to showcase the strengths of the other PC's, or to give them more opportunities for action in other ways.

Now, I've never played (with) Bards, Paladins or Rangers so I only posses theoretical knowledge, but based on the general sense I've gotten by studying the PHB and playing/DM-ing I have a couple of suggestions:

Enemies with high AC and low Dex

Your super cool damage means nothing if you can't hit. You're very good at hitting, though, but each point of AC tips the scales more towards the non-martial damage types. It will impact the Paladin too, but he has some good spells to fall back on, and the Rogue should be able to remedy this by trying to Hide and get advantage. The Sorcerer, however, should have a blast! (literally)

Plenty of low-health creatures

Is anyone missing minions in 5e? If there's a whole lot of creatures to kill, everyone will have something to do, and even lower amounts of damage will be enough to kill. Your overkill won't mean much while you can hit only one creature per round (you get to hit two later on, but hopefully by that time your friends should get used to how things work). Hail of Thorns works well here, though, so unless you don't plan to have this prepared this option may not work the best. The creatures could spread out, but then the Sorcerer loses the advantage of his AoE spells.

Magical creatures scoff at your arrows

Many magical creatures resist non-magical attacks. Halving your damage this way will make you, well, half as effective. The Paladin will be especially happy if these creatures turn out to be Undead as well (evil begone!). The rogue's not gonna like it, but there are other opportunities for him to make his mark, and he might just get a magic dagger/rapier somewhere along the way to counteract this effect.

This guy looks dangerous, let's get him first

Doing a lot of damage in a round? Your enemies should take notice and try to take you down quickly. It might turn a boring "OMG he's just sitting back killing everything..." situation into an MMO-like "Protect our DPS!" sort of deal. You've got tools to survive, but a Paladin should have more AC to reliably tank, the Rogue shouldn't even be seen, and the others should feel safer to play risky while you have the attention of your enemies. It might also increase cohesion within your group. As your friends watch your HP plummet they should feel some compassion and be compelled to help you, and you would do well to plead for help yourself in a "I bit more than I can chew" kind of way. Remeber:

People are more inclined to like you after they do you a favor.

Being targeted by enemies works in role-play too. Is there an evil villain observing your party from the shadows? He might want to sabotage their ace to make the whole party weaker. It will make you dependent on your teammates to help you get back on your feet.

On that note:

Ooops, you're poisoned!

Be it rations that got bad, poisoned drink given by an evil nemesis, or a stealthy monster with a hunger for Ranger blood, getting poisoned means you have Disadvantage on all of your attack and ability rolls. While you'll generally be able to get rid of this outside of combat, finding out you're poisoned at the start of battle will definitely be a big hit. This shouldn't be done too often, though, as it gets obvious pretty quickly and you'll probably have a bad time (unless you relish in roleplaying stomach aches).

Inject roleplaying into battles

Why do battles have to be all about attacking? Perhaps a reluctant enemy could be swayed to switch to your side. Perhaps a fight could be avoided altogether through Charisma. Perhaps the area is riddled with traps that the players can try to find and use against your enemies for some epic one-time insta-kills. Perhaps the enemy knows one of the PC-s and demands a one-on-one duel of honour. There's a lot more to D&D encounters than "a wild Rattata appears" and a myriad of situations could be crafted where non-combat skills suddenly serve a combat purpose or where PC's that usually don't get to do much suddenly have the whole thing depend on them. Through the knowledge of what your friends have in their skill/spell arsenal the DM can make all sorts of puzzle-like encounters that showcase their usefulness.

These suggestions are just what comes from the top of my head, but your DM should be more familiar with how your group works and how to turn the disgruntled players into MVP-s of the day. The best method (imho) is to give each PC an encounter in which their particular set of skills trumps over simple things like damage output. It should get them used to thinking creatively, make them feel good about themselves, and give them something to talk about when "Remember that one time" conversations start. Also, since you're all new to the game, it will serve as tutorials for some of its specific aspects.

If your DM's inexperience makes this a difficult task on him, encourage him to come to this site and read/ask questions. I'm sure our senpai-s will be glad to help :)

As a final note, here's a good tool to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding how the game should flow (and that's been linked on this site many times). If there are any misunderstandings and disagreeances, this should help to remedy them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ One potential downside of the DM (with your knowledge/permission) having enemies single you out/target you especially is that the other players might feel even more annoyed... Not only are you the "star" of combat due to the damage you do, but even the enemies are singling you out as a uniquely dangerous threat. Obviously, how the players react to it depends on the way the DM sets it up, and on the players and their attitudes themselves, but it is something to keep in mind. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 8:22

Try a Mock-Level-Up Session

For the casters, before a game session you could try to spend spend an hour or so doing a 'mock-level' session, and have them build their characters up to level 7 with you. Since you seem to have a handle on how to make powerful characters, sit with each of them and offer suggestions. As mentioned in another comment, casters become EXTREMELY powerful in a few levels, and they'll begin to see just how amazing their characters can be.

(Note for the rogue: Because of bounded accuracy and relatively slow scaling damage, rogues just aren't ever going to be that powerful in 5e. Casters can do everything a rogue can do, and usually much more effectively. The rogue player won't necessarily be useless, but if they want to be a 'superhero' maybe suggest they choose another class).

In my experience with 5e, martial characters are really good from levels 1-4. After that, they very quickly become outclassed by casters, and by level 11 they're no longer even in the same ballpark. Your PCs probably just aren't looking forward enough to see how awesome their characters will become. I think if you spend some time doing a few 'what-if' levels with them, they'll get excited about what is coming up (rogue notwithstanding).


One of the things you can do to levelset everyone is to use the league rules for character attributes and hit points. In this way everyone has the same number of points, they just assign them as desired and not reliant on random chance for good or poor die rolls.

HP is somewhat similar. Because the HP are predetermined by class, then the number of HP is "fair" between two players.

If the problem go past this, then you are playing with a bunch of whingers. Since you are all "new" players, how would you or he or she know whether someone was out of balance or not? Well you wouldn't. As you gain more experience playing you'll intuitively develop a sense of who's OP and who's weak, and it will change with each adventure where different skills come to the front of play.

Addition: somehow I thought I said this but didn't. Using milestone rules for experience gain also helps keep people levelset and on par with one another. Yes sometimes a new ability, attribute increase, or feat can make someone more powerful at this level, but everyone will be advancing together at the same rate and as a party.


It sounds like everyone is new to 5e.

Once possible suggestion is to request that the DM consider allowing everyone to "fine tune" their character when everyone hits their next level.

They have had experience with the game now and can see if they like the abilities they have chosen or they think another choice would work better. Or perhaps they are now paying more attention to abilities at higher levels, and need to adjust early picks to allow them to pick the higher ones later.

This would likely come across better as a one time adjustment now that everyone has experience with the new rules.


One thing to consider:

Early games of any sort - RPGs, computer games, whatever - are almost always boring to some extent. That's because you're supposed to be learning the mechanics. In an RPG there's the added issue that your DM (even an experienced one) needs to learn how good the players are, their strengths and weaknesses, their preferences... all of that is easier with somewhat simpler gameplay to begin with. Especially a novice DM cannot risk throwing an encounter at you that will kill the party quickly at level 2 or 3 - that's not fun, either.

Instead, your friends (and you) should be using this time to learn. Learn the mechanics. You learned to remember Concentration checks - good! They'll learn how to use their characters, too.

If the encounters are a bit easy, how about spending your first turn of an obviously easy encounter making sure there's no more monsters? A real party like that wouldn't have the ranger spend valuable arrows shooting at a goblin that the sorcerer can kill with his fists, not to mention the paladin or rogue, after all. Instead, look around, scout a bit. Make sure your DM isn't planning a surprise. Position yourself appropriately. There are all sorts of in-universe - and in-game - ways to make sure everyone gets a chance to do some damage or get involved in the action, and more importantly to learn how their character works.

That's the really important thing for new players: if they're not learning the strengths and weaknesses of their character and class, then they're not going to be prepared for the level 5-7 encounters, which will get much harder (if the DM knows what he or she is doing). That's the real killer: a rogue who doesn't know how to sneak attack properly, or a sorcerer who doesn't know which spells to use.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the advice about spending your turn scouting for other enemies, or getting in a better position for an ambush (maybe to help the rogue with his sneak attacks), even in harder fights, is a good idea. If the players think your character is too powerful, use that power to make them feel stronger. \$\endgroup\$
    – Haegin
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 21:08

This is meant to be a fun co-operative game, no one should have their character "nerfed". Instead other characters should be built up, or given a chance to shine.

A Paladin with the Oath of vengance should be able to match your damage, infact they can cast the same spell to add D6 damage, or use a 2nd level spell to add 3d8.

Bards are harder to deal large damage with but heat metal can last multiple turns, and they can apply it with only a free action. Allowing them to cause damage twice per turn. This only applies to longer fights.

You can help them optimize their character, or ask the DM to create a scenario where they get a chance to shine. Perhaps there is a quest that requires a negotiation or to discover the prince is plotting to kill the king. Bards are better suited to finding that out.

NPC's could also be created to naturally get along with other members of your group. A church might prefer the paladin, A university with a problem might hire your team and prefer talking to the sorcerer.

Now those are DM things to get the others more involved. The DM can also lie to set up a scenario. Have him say he randomly rolled for treasure and it just happened to be something specifically for the rogue or sorcerer. Why not give a magic item which can only be used once to summon a fire ball. Let the sorcerer see that in a few levels yes... he will be potent.

Bards are great because they are never useless, but they are never the best. If he's gone valor then at 5th level he will get 2 attacks, and combined with spells that can be kept with a minor action that can be potent. Bards need to look for synergy and to keep using their bonus action. College of Lore can be amazing outside of combat, and at 6th level (I know its a wait) can access any spell from any class. Try to steer him towards a good spell, you can't go wrong with fireball, but there are many options. Later on polymorph is great to turn someone into a creature with free hp.One of the Bard's strengths is to always have the right tool. Just happen to have one, evoc spell, and healing spell, maybe invisibility or some other utility spell, Never the strongest, but in a few levels he should always have something.

The DM can always mix it up in many ways to favor the others, some great adventures are puzzle's. We had one which was a floor with squares, you step on the wrong one and you get zapped. There was a pattern but we all failed to figure it out (or record the dangerous ones). Our tank got frustrated and ran thru it and just took the damage, , enough damage to kill the rest of us. It was so tense, the point is combat isn't the only way to challenge characters. If your in a maze give riddles as to the right path, and make them hard. If you get it its awesome, and you feel good. If you don't well then your team gets ambushed or something. Also if you guys ever need to break into someplace, that will use the rogues skill set, shine the light on him so he feels good.

The goal should be to build up your team, or find a location that highlights their skills.


You can ask your DM about adding a flaw to your character. I've done that, as DM, to help balance the players out and they all seem to enjoy it. I have a flaws table that I work from, but allow requests if I think they will make the game entertaining for all. Such as a character that can fly but is afraid of heights, so they essentially levitate a few feet at most. One character was manic-depressive and randomly twice-a-day had to roll to determine if he was manic or depressed and then was expected to play his character under that condition.


Spotlight is not purely mechanical.

'Too powerful' is often used to describe a situation where players feel someone (even a NPC) is excelling too often - which is a matter both of narrative framing and mechanics.

If you have a strong table presence - if you are often leading roleplaying - if your plans and actions get the group's attention where others' don't - it could be having more effect on the game than others' even if you are weaker than other characters dicewise.

However, you are relatively optimized.

For a level 3 ranger (low levels are where mundanes shine - and often the only point) you are relatively 5e-optimized - you have stuff that helps you kill things, especially the kind of encounters most common to published adventures.

If your party members are not similarly optimized, they will feel mechanically weaker, especially as 'damage numbers' are often the thing used by individuals to measure balance - despite this being one of the weaker indications of optimization.

Adding to that, your GM is weak

Encounters such as the ones you are describing, where the focus is on alphastriking ('going first') and describing your damage as 'insane' indicates your foes are too weak. Your GM is not providing challenging fights, or ones interesting enough to present some kind of difficulty. Rolling nothing but twenties is great, but against a difficult encounter it will still not be over quickly enough that the other party members cannot have their own time to 'shine'.

Multiple foes, difficult terrain, waves of reinforcements, special attacks, intermixed monster and humanoid enemies, special abilities, crafting encounters that are not simply cakewalks but without killing the party is an art, and it sounds like your GM ('I've recently started playing DnD 5e with a group of friends, all of whom are very inexperienced - myself and the DM included.') hasn't mastered it yet. This is a weakness in a GM, one that should be addressed explicitly (by talking to him about it), but can also be fixed over time.

Some people have Diceluck

Some people consistently roll better. Or roll better in important points. Or roll 'runs' of either good or bad luck. This is partially perception bias - but it's also partially true. If you are one of those people there's little you can do about it - but it does exist and you should not discount it. Like if you are better at optimization than others - better at planning and targeting than others - or better at roleplaying than others, you may need to 'tone down' your mechanical abilities to compensate for that in terms of grabbing screen time - or, alternatively, play up to your screen time in a way that makes others happy to watch it - exchanging 'entertainment' for 'agency'.

My Fix: Cut your damage in Half

Lose the options, spell, or abilities that are granting you extra dice. Target weaker foes. Also talk to your GM about making the encounters tougher, but just lose some damage. Your character will still have hp and AC and whatever other advantages you have built onto him, but the lower damage output and less 'kills' he gets will make him seem much more staid and reasonable to the rest of the group.

Sure, it's not ideal. But all the alternatives (optimizing other people's characters for them, continuing to take the spotlight, having the GM build in stronger foes for you to fight off to the side while the party takes on the regular encounter) are likely to breed resentment - this won't. You're taking a hit for team, and people will, on some level, appreciate that.


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