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Questions tagged [optimization]

Questions pertaining to the positive aspects of character optimization (CharOp). For problems with negative issues or player problems around optimization, use the [powergaming] tag.

62
votes
1answer
49k 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 ...
46
votes
13answers
102k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
38k 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 ...
35
votes
7answers
27k 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?
46
votes
2answers
21k views

Weapon attacks compared with damaging cantrips?

Cantrips scale automatically with character level. Weapon attacks only scale with ability score and any extra attack features you might get. How could the damage of weapon attacks keep up?
14
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
88k views

What tier are the Pathfinder classes?

I know what tiers are, but what tier are the various Pathfinder classes? This is about Pathfinder only, no 3.5 material is relevant. An ideal answer would cover all available (non-prestige) classes, ...
12
votes
1answer
19k 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 ...
41
votes
3answers
47k views

What Wizard schools are best to specialize in? Which schools are best to sacrifice? [closed]

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; ...
28
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
38
votes
11answers
157k views

What is the highest possible AC?

Assuming you are level 20, and have access to any magic item, how high can you get AC (permanently or for a set duration)? Constraints: Magic items are those on the tables in the D&D 5th ...
21
votes
2answers
60k views

Optimal Dragonborn Warlock for DPR/AC with Blade pact and Fiend patron

How can I get the highest Damage-Per-Round (both melee and ranged using pact weapon and Eldritch Blast) and AC possible (with DPR being more important than AC) with a Dragonborn Warlock taking the ...
28
votes
7answers
71k views

What is the Fastest a Character Can Move in One Turn? [closed]

At level 20 with any magic items in the DMG, and any spells, what is the fastest a DnD 5e character could move using their movement? (i.e., not including teleportation)
22
votes
5answers
14k views

Why is two-weapon fighting considered subpar for fighters?

I know this has been discussed before, but I've yet to find a mathematically sound explanation of why two-weapon is vastly inferior to two-handed. I could understand if there are ultimately negligible ...
15
votes
5answers
50k views

How can I get the most synergy out of this Paladin/Warlock multi-class combination?

I'm planning on playing a Paladin/Warlock in an upcoming game and I've picked the Oath of Vengeance, and Great Old One Patron/Pact of Tome. I've made my backstory (island home sunk when invaded by ...
22
votes
4answers
27k views

How many languages is it possible to learn?

If I want to roleplay an interpreter, is there a max number of languages I can learn? Standard human, plan to get 18 INT.
52
votes
8answers
20k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
13k views

When is an ASI better than the Dual Wielder feat?

Many people ask questions about dual wielding (even though two-weapon fighting is subpar for everyone after level four). Most of them seemingly can't wait to pick up the Dual Wielder feat (PHB, p. 165)...
15
votes
8answers
40k views

What is the most damage that can be done in a single melee attack?

So, I was attempting to theory-craft a character that could deliver a massive amount of damage in a single melee attack. I know that there are builds to deliver a massive amount of damage in a single ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Does The Amazing Lightspeed Horse work, RAW?

N Medium humanoids have gathered on an arbitrarily long field, standing in a line with each creature 120 feet away from each of its neighbors. The creature at one end of the line is mounted on a horse ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

Does the Ranger's Companion synergize with the Ranger?

The Ranger Beast Master subclass gets an animal companion under the ranger companion ability, which for free can move about the battle field, or using the Ranger's action can make an attack. Being a ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a “theurge” prestige class increase the level of a different “theurge” prestige class?

Consider a build something along these lines: Wizard (some levels) Cleric (some levels) Mystic Theurge (advancing Wizard and Cleric spellcasting) Binder (some levels) Anima Mage (advancing Binder and ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

To maximize a combo with True Strike, which is the most damaging spell with attack roll?

True strike says: You extend your hand and point a finger at a target in range. Your magic grants you a brief insight into the target's defenses. On your next turn, you gain advantage on your first ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
54
votes
1answer
33k 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
3answers
4k views

How to optimize a TWF Barbarian Elf

A little backstory: One of my earliest DnD characters was a Two-Weapon-Fighting Purple-haired Barbarian Elf. He was immensely popular due to his unorthadox nature as a war-loving elf that embraced ...
2
votes
1answer
23k views

Making an optimized Rage character for d&d 3.5 [closed]

Although there is a question for the 4.0 version, I want to ask it for 3.5. I would like some lvl 20 builds for a Rage focused character, official wotc books only except for Book of Exalted Deeds and ...
14
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
56
votes
4answers
39k views

Is Greatsword superior to Greataxe?

Greataxe 6.5 (1d12) slashing Heavy, Two-Handed Greatsword 7 (2d6) slashing Heavy, Two-Handed This is why I think Greatsword is superior to Greataxe: Slightly higher average damage Higher ...
24
votes
3answers
24k views

What is the most DPR possible at level 1?

My question is fairly straightforward: What is the combination of feats/race/class/etc that gives the most damage per round at level 1? I'd also be interested to see the maximum possible damage, but ...
21
votes
2answers
29k views

Twin hand crossbow Fighter: is this build valid?

The Sharpshooter feat includes an interesting feature: you can choose to take -5 penalty to hit with a ranged weapon attack to increase its damage by 10. Normally, I'd dismiss the trade-off as too ...
23
votes
5answers
58k views

Is knocking someone prone worth it?

In 4e, proning was a Defender's best friend. Easy to get with Flail Expertise or Polearm Momentum, and it provided a great reward: no shift+charge for the enemy. It improved your stickiness greatly. ...
22
votes
5answers
4k 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. ...
17
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
11k views

Most effective way of improving survivability for an Ancestral Guardian Barbarian?

The Path of the Ancestral Guardian Barbarian (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 9-10) is an extremely powerful barbarian. It pretty much makes your allies invulnerable against an enemy boss. But it ...
13
votes
6answers
22k views

How can I 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Darts are awesome? Seriously? Darts?

It's my understanding that the dart is the optimized fighter's weapon of choice. In a traditional Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition campaign that's run as much as it can be by the rules-as-...
8
votes
1answer
964 views

How can I most effectively use a Weapon of Legacy?

Weapons of Legacy are bad. But if a character does want to use one and still be effective (say, because you have a cool idea involving the Legacy Champion class), how should they do so? Specifically:...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Is this Dex/Int build viable for a PVP arena playing primarily vs glass-cannon casters?

I am trying to develop a character who will be able to compete on even footing with Spell-casters by focusing on a high TAC (and possibly Damage-Per-Round) to compete in an arena setting, while not ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

When is +2 Dex better than Crossbow Expert?

This answer to a previous question about crossbow builds without Crossbow Expert is relevant to me; my Rogue is about to reach 4th level. If you only hit on a 20, the Crossbow Expert feat (PHB, p. ...
16
votes
1answer
8k views

Reckless Attack + Sneak Attack synergy?

I'm trying to help out one of my players optimize his character. His desired path is the Unofficial Drizzt Do'Urden build but tweaked it a little according to his taste by going Fighter 1 > Barb 1 >...
15
votes
7answers
85k views

Is a character with the Polearm Master and Sentinel feats unbeatable in a duel?

One of the benefits of the Polearm Master feat (PHB, p. 168) is: While you are wielding a glaive, halberd, pike, or quarterstaff, other creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the biggest weapon wieldable with a Goliath + Wield Oversize Weapon?

I was looking at the Goliath race, and noticed the Powerful Build racial trait, which lets me wield a weapon one size category larger without penalty. I also saw the Wield Oversized Weapon feat, which ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Animal form with most grapple damage in wild shape form

I'm looking for the best wild shape form (or Elemental) for grappling damage. The conditions are as follow: No multi classing, just strictly a base human druid no specific archetype. My objective is ...
43
votes
12answers
7k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
6k views

How to optimize a character for the greatest number of skill proficiencies with the fewest number of levels?

I want to build a character with the maximum number of skill proficiencies, 18. 20 levels to work with, multi-classing, feats, all official published books, starting with standard point array. The ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it possible to achieve 9th level spells in 3 different progressions?

With just a little shenanigans, you can get 9th level in 2 progressions. I think Wizard 3 / Druid 3 / Mystic Theurge 10 / Arcane Hierophant 4 does the trick (If I am not mistaken - no books on me ...
20
votes
2answers
20k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
34k views

How does an Fighter (Eldritch Knight) 20 compare to a Fighter 10/Wizard 10 for both damage dealt and durability?

With the release of the PHB we have the Eldritch Knight fighter archetype as an innate, class-driven way for the fighter to compete with the wizard in the AoE department. This prompted a discussion ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What weapon should a halfling wizard get proficiency for?

I am a level 8 halfling wizard with Str 8 and Dex 18 (and no Weapon Finesse). I am planning to use my level 9 feat to get a martial weapon proficiency so that I can get into Abjurant Champion at level ...