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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.

63
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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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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; ...
39
votes
3answers
3k views

How many characters using PHB rules does it take to be able to have access to any PHB spell at the start of an adventuring day?

I originally read this related question as wanting to find out how to have a party with access to every spell during an adventuring day with as few members as possible. It turned out that the linked ...
38
votes
11answers
158k 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 ...
38
votes
6answers
19k views

Is Dexterity overpowered compared to Strength?

Finesse weapons allow you to use Dex for attack and damage rolls. This allows most of classes, including even some first-line fighters, to dump Str for Dex - you do not lose in attack rolls, only a ...
37
votes
6answers
4k views

Do I have to worry about players making “bad” choices on level up?

When I came back to RPGs (after 20 years) I discarded pathfinder after reading about the complexities of the systems and the fact that there was a real chance of getting “bad characters” if you made ...
35
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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?
32
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14answers
3k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
9k views

Can an 18th level hastened mobile wood-elf monk move at over 100 mph?

One of my players wants to say his monk can kill a T-Rex in a single blow, by simply ramming it. The pitch goes like this: As a wood elf he has a base speed of 35 feet. The Mobile feat increases ...
31
votes
10answers
19k views

One PC is too powerful. What should I do?

I am currently playing DnD 3.5 with three friends of mine. I am Game Master and I let my players create 4th level characters in the beginning of the campaign. One of them chose Forsaker as his ...
31
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
8k views

How high can a PC's initiative bonus get?

Usually, most PCs rely solely on their Dexterity ability score modifier for their initiative; however, there are ways to get bonuses to initiative. How high can this bonus get? For example, there's ...
28
votes
10answers
24k views

What is the maximum number of attacks a single character can make themselves during their turn?

In a recent D&D game, I believe a member of the party was able to make six attacks during his turn (I actually lost count, so it might have been 5-7). Other characters seemed able to consistently ...
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 ...
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)
27
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I optimize Chicken Infested?

I'm soon going to be a guest player in a Pathfinder game where silliness is the theme. (The party has been drawn into the Demiplane of Dinosaurs, which is reportedly a lot like Ravenloft, except with ...
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)...
27
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3answers
2k views

What rules or guidelines are there about when to allow a party to acquire plate mail?

I have heard it said that 5e does not balance its encounters with respect to magic items; in other words it does not consider possession of magic items when defining appropriately challenging ...
25
votes
3answers
22k views

How to challenge optimized player with Sharpshooter feat

I recently ran Cloud Giant's Bargain in an AL setting. One of the players had a heavily optimized fighter with the Sharpshooter feat, and was dealing an average of 20 HP of damage with every ...
25
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the maximum PC carrying weight?

My fellow purveyors of fine cheese, I require some assistance in importing some expensive aged cheeses from my home lands. While I would normally call on my Barbarian associate to bring my cheeses ...
25
votes
3answers
11k views

What is the maximum number of Cantrips you can get by 20th level?

This originally started out as a concept to get a lot of the utility cantrips for an entertainer build: control flames, gust, shape water, mold earth, mage hand, dancing lights, minor illusion, ...
25
votes
8answers
30k views

What is the highest AC possible for a sorcerer?

What is the highest Armor Class achievable for a Sorcerer with the Sorcerous Origin of Draconic Bloodline? Player's Handbook Chapter 6 variant rules included. (Multiclassing, Feats, etc.)
24
votes
11answers
2k views

Flaws that aren't flaws [closed]

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 ...
24
votes
7answers
32k views

What is the best race for a barbarian?

In Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, what is the best race for a character that is a barbarian? "Best" would be defined as the following: bonuses to a barbarian's primary/secondary stats race ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
23
votes
7answers
43k views

Is there any way to see through Darkness without removing it?

Simply put, the Shadow Monk gains the ability to cast Darkness, but I'm struggling to see a use for it except as concealment during an escape. Way of the Shadow monk receives Darkness (among a few ...
23
votes
5answers
19k views

Does the Resilient (Con) feat or the War Caster feat most improve the chances of maintaining concentration?

The Resilient feat (PHB, p. 168) allows you to increase one ability score by 1 and gain proficiency in saving throws using the corresponding ability. In essence, taking the Resilient feat and picking ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a disadvantage I'm missing to starting outside my “main” class?

I am planning a character as a level 1 Rogue / 19 Wizard. If I take the Rogue level first, I get a bunch of skill, weapon, tool, and armour proficiencies I wouldn't get if I started Wizard and multi-...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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. ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

In this absurd multi-class, is there any other benefit to having a specific starting class?

I'm building the character Abserd, who has 1-level of all classes. He really is a useless character, got kicked out of every guild he ever joined. There are some specific benefits to starting with ...
22
votes
1answer
11k views

Hand Crossbow as Warlock Pact Weapon?

I have an idea for a DnD 5e (PHB-only) Warlock that takes a hand crossbow as his pact weapon. Here are my clarifications and assumptions: Race: Drow Elf (proficient in hand crossbows) Class: Warlock,...
22
votes
2answers
70k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
31k views

Optimizing Pact of the Blade’s ability to conjure any weapon

At level 3, warlocks gain the Pact Boon feature, and one of the options is Pact of the Blade. One of the benefits of the warlock’s Pact of the Blade is the ability to conjure any melee weapon the ...
21
votes
4answers
17k views

Is there a way to make the Elven Accuracy feat work with the second benefit of Great Weapon Master?

Is there a way to make the Elven Accuracy feat work with the second benefit of Great Weapon Master? Elven Accuracy (XGtE, p. 74) says: Whenever you have advantage on an attack roll using Dexterity,...
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 ...
21
votes
2answers
7k views

How does a damage dealing Wizard use higher level spell slots optimally?

In D&D 5e, one of the neat features for spell casting is the ability to cast spells at higher levels than the spell is originally set at. For Clerics, this makes it handy such that Cure Wounds, ...
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 ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Which classes are needed to have access to every spell in the PHB?

If a party wanted access to every spell in the PHB, what is the minimum number of PCs needed and which classes would those PCs need to be? To clarify, I mean the potential to choose from all spells ...
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 ...