Multiclassing and metagame constructs

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The evils of prestige and mutliclassing get brought up from time to time here, so I've decided I'm finally going to end them here.

1) The nature of classes as metagame constructs, or the separation of crunch and fluff:

Let's start with the most basic thing: Classes are metagame constructs. I have yet to encounter someone who runs a game in which the guard sergeant introduces himself as a sixth level fighter. It doesn't happen. Fluff and crunch are separated. This is fact. So, honestly, what's the difference between a fighter and a barbarian? Or a ranger and a barbarian? Or, allow me to put it this way: Fred was an orphan who was taken into the church of Annam, educated in doctrine, and is the head of an order of religious warriors and a high-ranking bishop. Do you know class Fred is? Monoclassed sorcerer with a focus on buff spells. George is the chief religious scholar of the church. He has a matchless knowledge of religious lore, is a fantastic orator, and has access to some powerful magics. What class is George? Factotum.

2) Multiclassing:

So, now that we've covered in minor detail the idea of classes as metagame concepts pretty much entirely divorced from crunch, let's move on to multiclassing.  Let's chance Fred from straight sorcerer to Paladin 2/Sorcerer 4/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5/Sacred Exorcist X. I want somone to explain to me how, exactly, he would be distinguishable from, say, a millitant cleric or straight paladin. The idea of a multiclassed or prestige classed character being fluff-wise any different from a monoclassed character is absurd at best.

3) "If I allow multiclassing, next thing you know I'll have punpun and the omnicificer in my group"

If you really have to keep your group on that short a leash, just get a new group and stop acting like your crappy, antisocial douchebags of friends are normal or relevant to anyone else.
 
4) "But roleplaying and optimizing are mutually exclusive, and knowing that Toughness is a bad feat means you're an evil neckbeard munchkin out to destroy all games in the universe."

I'mma let Tempest handle this one. 

So, basically, yeah. All claims about requiring monoclassing and the evils of dips and prestige classes is absurd, totally divorced from reality, and honestly laughable, and should be treated as such.

You're welcome. 
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Oddly enough I mostly agree with you.

To me the function of multiclassing and PrCs is to make the mechanics support character concepts that are otherwise not possible with the rigid D&D classes.

I will start with a Fred or George, and then try and figure out which combination of classes fits the concept I came up with.

Star Wars Saga Edition is by far the best RPG that Wizards of the Coast has ever published.

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Generally supporting all of this, and weeping that it needs to be said.

Related example: One of my first characters self-identified (and was known in-world) as a merchant. What class was she? This is an example of a perfectly legitimate character concept that is not linked to any class or class combination at all.

Two slight caveats. First, I think the gish example presented could be distinguished from a militant paladin or cleric - his spells are arcane, and arcane and divine magic are distinct fluffwise even when they share identical mechanics, and mechanically distinct where their lists don't overlap. Presumably, if he wanted to enhance someone's Strength, he'd say "klatu verata nicto" instead of "By the will of Kord", for instance. This does not negate the point, however. Second, there are some prestige classes which are quite tied to organizations - and I'm not talking about, say, the Starry Lyceum or something, I mean prestige classes that specifically reflect organizations in their mechanics (i.e. the Mage of the Arcane Order, although that's sufficiently generic as to almost be "default wizard"). These considerations are visible in the game world. That is not to say that all members of the organization belong to the prestige class, but it does mean that members of the prestige class should probably have fluff links to the organization. Of course, nothing stops that from being refluffed as well, but it's much harder to refluff mechanics than it is to refluff fluff.



In response to RogerWilco, there are times when I will start with a concept and build the mechanics to fit it, and times when I like how a particular mechanic would play at a table and write a story for it. There isn't a wrong way to do this - except, of course, if you claim that there is a wrong way to do it. Then you're just wrong.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

Generally supporting all of this, and weeping that it needs to be said.

I know, right? It really shouldn't need to, but 'slife. People can be... people, I guess.
Related example: One of my first characters self-identified (and was known in-world) as a merchant. What class was she? This is an example of a perfectly legitimate character concept that is not linked to any class or class combination at all.

Personally, I'd go with a Changeling Rogue, although Factotum or just regular feat rogue could do a decent job of capturing the essence of a polymath with the opportunities of the merchant class.
Two slight caveats. First, I think the gish example presented could be distinguished from a militant paladin or cleric - his spells are arcane, and arcane and divine magic are distinct fluffwise even when they share identical mechanics, and mechanically distinct where their lists don't overlap. Presumably, if he wanted to enhance someone's Strength, he'd say "klatu verata nicto" instead of "By the will of Kord", for instance. This does not negate the point, however.

Except Annam has, amongst other things, the Magic domain. I'm not seeing why a "cleric" of Baccob, or Mystra, or Annam couldn't be arcane.
Second, there are some prestige classes which are quite tied to organizations - and I'm not talking about, say, the Starry Lyceum or something, I mean prestige classes that specifically reflect organizations in their mechanics (i.e. the Mage of the Arcane Order, although that's sufficiently generic as to almost be "default wizard"). These considerations are visible in the game world. That is not to say that all members of the organization belong to the prestige class, but it does mean that members of the prestige class should probably have fluff links to the organization. Of course, nothing stops that from being refluffed as well, but it's much harder to refluff mechanics than it is to refluff fluff.

Ah, but the pool of spells could be something like the Divine Spellpool of the Raptoran PrC, they could be bonded to what's more or less a massive Planar Touchstone, there's all sorts of things you can do with MotAO. I'm also not remembering any organization-linked classes besides it outside of CC.
In response to RogerWilco, there are times when I will start with a concept and build the mechanics to fit it, and times when I like how a particular mechanic would play at a table and write a story for it. There isn't a wrong way to do this - except, of course, if you claim that there is a wrong way to do it. Then you're just wrong.

This is true. I've wound up statting up and tried to write stories around a dozen idiot crusaders, and I've never actually found the opportunity to bring one to a table.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Organization-linked PrCs? Knight of the Iron Glacier, Red Wizard of Thay, the Thayan bodyguard class, Radiant Servant of Pelor, Wayfarer Guide are all organization-specific to some degree.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Organization-linked PrCs? Knight of the Iron Glacier, Red Wizard of Thay, the Thayan bodyguard class, Radiant Servant of Pelor, Wayfarer Guide are all organization-specific to some degree.

Yes, but none of those are mechanically linked to an organization. 

Knight of the Iron Glacier may as well be "Moose Rancher" and it'd be the same.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
What about the Eberron PrCs? Dragonmark Heir, Heir of Siberys, Bone Knight, etc?

Oh, and Tempest: this thread is the perfect place for you "elemental experiment" example.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
What about the Eberron PrCs? Dragonmark Heir, Heir of Siberys, Bone Knight, etc? Oh, and Tempest: this thread is the perfect place for you "elemental experiment" example.

Don't remember the Heir of whatever, the Dragonmarks are feats , and the Bone Knight has no rules specifically tying it to the organization that I can remember.

Also, Eberron sucks.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Dragon mark Heir & Heir of Siberys are both in the ECS.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
There's only one part of this I don't really agree with:

3) "If I allow multiclassing, next thing you know I'll have punpun and the omnicificer in my group"

If you really have to keep your group on that short a leash, just get a new group and stop acting like your crappy, antisocial douchebags of friends are normal or relevant to anyone else.


I'll agree that the existance of those things is no excuse to ban multiclassing but the response isn't very good.  
Meh, part of it really is what your group dynamic is.  If someone bringing Pun Pun to your table is a real concern for you, that's a group problem - namely, that someone is probably a d-bag.  I don't know why people are so afraid to talk about this (I've actually been temped for saying 'don't play with roosters').  It's frustrating, really.  A lot of 'problems' brought to these boards could easily be solved by implementing Plan Don't Play with Roosters.  We should talk about it.

Oh yeah, the thread itself: I'm with EA on this 100%.  I'd only add that you can argue (successfully) that Optimization is Role Playing. 
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Two slight caveats. First, I think the gish example presented could be distinguished from a militant paladin or cleric - his spells are arcane, and arcane and divine magic are distinct fluffwise even when they share identical mechanics, and mechanically distinct where their lists don't overlap. Presumably, if he wanted to enhance someone's Strength, he'd say "klatu verata nicto" instead of "By the will of Kord", for instance. This does not negate the point, however.

Except Annam has, amongst other things, the Magic domain. I'm not seeing why a "cleric" of Baccob, or Mystra, or Annam couldn't be arcane.

I hadn't actually heard of Annam, but now that I know he's (she's?) a Magic deity, I withdraw that particular caveat.

Draco: Neither the Dragonmark Heir nor the Heir of Syberis is organizational. They're, at best, familial - and since dragonmarks can show up in people who have a link to the family's blood but don't know it, the families tend to come to find you if you level in them (especially if you've got a Syberis mark). Because that's all lore, if you're trying to port them over to non-Eberron worlds, they'll be adjusted in exactly the same way that you'll adjust the dragonmark feats. 

The best example of a PrC I can think of (without actually digging through my books) that includes several organizational benefits in its mechanics, again, is Mage of the Arcane Order - in part because it's got that awful plot-writing Regent ability at the end (a class feature that basically says "You take over a wizard college") - and the only other one I can think of right now is the god-awful Knight Protector (which, incidentally, forces a code of conduct on you that leads, logically, to imperialism and bigotry, so it's quite easy to argue that you're not a true protector, but an oppressor...). The overwhelming majority of "organizational" PrCs just have the organization as fluff - I hinted at that with the Starry Lyceum earlier (Sublime Chord - could you tell that was the class I was mentioning? If not, then the organization isn't significant enough to jump out) - but this is kind of the default for PrCs. Even the Bone Knight fits this bill - it technically gets some support from the Karrnathi military, but only if you're active in it, because most knights are considered on "detached duty". Red Wizard is closer - but even then almost nothing mechanically links it to its roots except the easily refluffed Tattoo Focus.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

Meh, part of it really is what your group dynamic is.  If someone bringing Pun Pun to your table is a real concern for you, that's a group problem - namely, that someone is probably a d-bag.  I don't know why people are so afraid to talk about this (I've actually been temped for saying 'don't play with roosters').  It's frustrating, really.  A lot of 'problems' brought to these boards could easily be solved by implementing Plan Don't Play with Roosters.  We should talk about it.

This. Do be honest, I've been considering making a thread on this for a while, but it felt like too much effort to bother with.

In my group, just for example, the only rule is "Don't be a douche," and honestly, it's completely unnecessary, because I play with a bunch of friends and so they're really not douchey and don't need to be told.
Oh yeah, the thread itself: I'm with EA on this 100%.  I'd only add that you can argue (successfully) that Optimization is Role Playing. 

Yeah. If you're playing a famous warrior that has prouble taking out mooks in a hit or two, it's gonna make playing him as a skilled and famous warrior kinda difficult.
I hadn't actually heard of Annam, but now that I know he's (she's?) a Magic deity, I withdraw that particular caveat.

Strictly speaking, he's not quite a magic deity per say, he's the Giant god of Magic, Knowledge, Philosphy, and fertility, and is the father of most of the Giant pantheon, but he does have the magic domain, and so Fred the Magic-Blooded Half-Giant can easily be a sorcerer and effective "paladin" of the church.

Re:MotAO: To be honest, my group's come to the agreement that the organization thing has the rules: "Yeah, this isn't gonna interfere with playing the game." It falls along the same lines a paladin code for us.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
This. Do be honest, I've been considering making a thread on this for a while, but it felt like too much effort to bother with.

In my group, just for example, the only rule is "Don't be a douche," and honestly, it's completely unnecessary, because I play with a bunch of friends and so they're really not douchey and don't need to be told.



Yeah, just don't make it on the 5e boards - they'll ban ya for it. 

We've only ever had the problem with a couple of people.  One was blatantly cheating (protip: don't make up rules when the people you play with know them a lot better than you do) and the other was always hardcore optimizing - which isn't always an issue.  When we decide to play something goofy, though, it is.  For example, we'd get bored and try to change things up by doing stuff 'wrong'.  We once ran a campaign that required everyone to play a race/class combo that's typically seen as a terrible idea.  I played a Half-Orc Bard, a friend played a Halfling Paladin, etc.  Just out of type characters.  In a game like that (luckily he didn't play in this particular campaign) he would have cheesed his way into something a lot more powerful than was intended for the game, yanno?  We'd all optimise to some degree most of the time.  He, though, always set his optimization to 11.  ;)

I can't recall anything more specific, unfortunately.  I do know that when he was with the group we were in an experimenting sort of phase.  A few of us would try to play something odd or try to make something that shouldn't work (Monk) work.  If (ok, most of the time it was when) our experiment died, we'd roll up a more optimized character.  He, though, was cheese from level one. 

For the record, neither of the roosters were with the group long.

Yeah. If you're playing a famous warrior that has prouble taking out mooks in a hit or two, it's gonna make playing him as a skilled and famous warrior kinda difficult.



Yup.  The way I see it is like this: A lot of adventuring parties are like Spec Ops teams.  You wouldn't see a Force Recon member tell his superior 'you know what?  I'mma gonna leave the M4 and ACOG at home with the night vision.  I think it'll add more flavah if I just take a knife and a speedo'. 

And - before anyone can whine about 'we don't play that way' or 'what about those forced into the role of the hero' - I'll say this: I love that trope.  I do.  But when you boil it down to the most basic element you find that said element is survival.  If you suck, you'll probably die.  If the difference in choices you make could lead to your or your group's demise, making the less optimal choice is not the correct RP move (barring, of course, specific character exceptions).  Deciding to learn how to speak Celestial, for example, when you're not gonna run into anything that does for the forseeable future is stupid.  Who would do that when they could instead learn how to do more damage with their weapon?  Lives depend on what you choose to learn (as your character) and therefore what you choose to write on your character sheet. 
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

The thing about "those forced into the role of hero" characters is that, eventually, they are in the role of hero. I can see very-low-level characters pulling off the trope well, but a 16th level character simply is too experienced to even attempt it, by definition. (A related trope, the reluctant hero, can still be done by an experienced character, and can be pulled off in a number of different ways, but that's not quite the same thing.) Could you imagine a coming-of-age story that didn't involve at least some increase in maturity or loss of innocence?

Here's one way I've explained it before:
I phrased it [TS: The Stormwind fallacy] the way I did because nearly every complaint that committed the fallacy was one from someone who had fun roleplaying and was complaining about an optimizer, so I needed to target it the way I did. These people still exist, and there's a second part to their argument which the fallacy does not address - "POWER MATTERS". Basically, if your character concept involves being good at your job, then your mechanics should back that up - otherwise, your amazing swordsman may just be a nonproficient commoner who happens to own a blade. In a game where you're supposed to be a hero, then having heroic abilities isn't necessarily powergaming - it's just playing the game. (There is, naturally, some grey area here: It's possible to play up the opposite trope - a character who is far more capable than he thinks he is - and this is in fact quite common in fantasy. However, there is a realistic limit on that - enough heroic victories should change his self-perception. Contrariwise, characters who are less competent than they think they are also exist, but tend to be blowhards - and there's a lower limit on their incompetence, as truly incompetent characters tend to die.)

 On a related note, you can also go to cherished sources to find compelling characters who are still mechanically optimized and focused on a particular skill. My favorite example is from the Princess Bride - the sentence immediately preceeding the oft-quoted "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." describes that Inigo "dedicated his life to the study of fencing". Ergo, it's logical to assume that, were he statted in D&D, all of his choices would work towards making him a better fencer. And he can back up his threats and taunts, so it's not all bluster.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

Yep, I'm right there with ya.  No matter how you slice it - hero saving the world or just some guy trying to make an 'easy' gold piece - people that adventure will naturally optimize themselves to be successful at adventuring.  Cuz if they don't, they'll die.  Other than a few very specific types of character (that would probably be fun to play but terrible to play with), most characters will not want to die.  In a lot of campaigns, death won't even be an option for them - can't save the world from a pine box, after all. 
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Yep, I'm right there with ya.  No matter how you slice it - hero saving the world or just some guy trying to make an 'easy' gold piece - people that adventure will naturally optimize themselves to be successful at adventuring.  Cuz if they don't, they'll die.  Other than a few very specific types of character (that would probably be fun to play but terrible to play with), most characters will not want to die.  In a lot of campaigns, death won't even be an option for them - can't save the world from a pine box, after all. 


In solidarity with your "play something goofy" note above, I once played a ghost that would disagree.

Interestingly, proto-D&D had an aspect of this that's missing from modern games, and I think it deserves mention. Character creation, from random-roll ability scores (3d6 six times, in order) to concept to class and weapon choices, was part of the game, as was (in extreme cases) always starting from level 1. Characters that rolled well (and, in addition to being rewarded with the higher scores, also had better access to specific classes) tended to survive, largely because they rolled well, but also because their players were smart and cunning (talk to any greybeard about the 10-foot pole.). Players that were unlucky or stupid (either during character creation or during gameplay) tended to die, forcing a new character to enter the game and try again (in extreme cases, as I said, this may involve trying again from level 1). This leads to a form of what I call "Gygaxian selection" (a pun off of the slightly-more-well-known "Gygaxian Naturalism"), reflected in a player's "evolution" over time to a more experienced adventurer (adapting to the environment set by the DM's dungeons, and limited by the random chance of ability score rolls, given a deliberate imbalance between gameplay elements - all of the requirements for an evolutionary system).

Of course, there's a drawback to this: Players are not given the incentive to come up with involved backstories until after they're confident the character's not going to die in the next room. The response was to make lower-level characters tougher, and philosophically adjust the game to the point where your character is a protagonist on the same footing as the other protagonists (hence the emphasis on balance and the shift to point-buy). Character death is still a possibility, but when you start, the assumption is that your character will survive their first few adventures. (Deaths still occur, and they still suck, but they are nowhere near as common as they were in earlier editions, especially if your players are as smart or cunning as they would be had they gone through the grinder of Gygaxian selection.) Players now have the incentive to create complex characters (in the narrative sense), but lack the selection pressure to make those characters as hardy as you'd expect an adventurer to be (because the game does that for you).

I'm more partial to the latter - it allows for a richer gameplay and narrative environment - but there's something to be said for emergent properties of the former.

...But now I'm drifting from the main thrust of this thread. 

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

(talk to any greybeard about the 10-foot pole.).

Heh.  Who needs a 10' pole when you have a 3' gnome?  Remeber, gnome-tossing is not illegal! 

Anyway, this thread made me think of a character you once mentioned, Tempest.
The most extreme reflavoring I've ever seen described an "elemental changeling", an arcane bio-engineering experiment gone wrong where the humanoid could shift its body partially into water (causing swords to pass through him if he could see them first, missing when they should have hit), air (to glide along walls and at high speeds), and even stone (to solidify his limbs right before striking). He had other abilities as well, mostly based around enhanced senses and other transmutations, such as liquifying his arms to wrap around things before solidifying them into stone to hold them, shifting his body to gas to let magic effects pass through him, and shifting to water, absorbing extra moisture from the air to reconstitute his wounds.[sblock]The 'elemental changeling' was a single-class Monk. These abilities were, respectively, his AC bonus, speed bonus / slow fall, DR, improved unarmed damage, high Wisdom / Still Mind, Improved Grapple, Evasion, and Wholeness of Body. He even described the Lawful requirement by suggesting that he'd been conditioned since birth to obey authority.

Reflavoring doesn't need to be that extreme, but that's just a memorable example. But I digress - nothing I'll suggest actually requires any real reflavoring anyway.[/spoiler]

"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
...I did a more recent version than that one, which included a few more details I'd forgotten:
The most extreme reflavoring I've ever seen described an "elemental changeling", an arcane bio-engineering experiment where the humanoid could shift its body partially into water (causing swords to pass through him if he could see them first, missing when they should have hit), air (to glide along walls and at high speeds), and even stone (to solidify his limbs right before striking). He had other abilities as well, mostly based around enhanced senses and other transmutations, such as liquifying his arms to wrap around things before solidifying them into stone to hold them, shifting his body to gas to let magic effects pass through him, and shifting to water, absorbing extra moisture from the air to reconstitute his wounds. Several of these were changes that had been so complete that they had been internalized, so they didn't even rely on magic to perform (in much the same way a fire elemental doesn't need magic to keep burning, even though basic physics would suggest he'd run out of fuel eventually), but a few of the more exotic abilities still relied upon it.

What was he, in the rules?
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The 'elemental changeling' was a single-class Monk. These abilities were, respectively, his AC bonus, speed bonus / slow fall, improved unarmed damage, high Wisdom / Still Mind, Improved Grapple, Evasion, and Wholeness of Body. (He had planned to pick up some psionic feats that would work in the same way. Up the Walls would have the same flavor as Slow Fall, just being slightly more magic dependent.) He even described the Lawful alignment requirement by suggesting that he'd been conditioned since birth by his arcane creators to obey authority, and these same wizards were the ones "renewing his magic" or "upgrading the enhancements" when he gained a level. The multiclass restriction was the penalty for disobeying these wizards' orders, essentially contaminating the experiment.

Quite a long way from the kung fu master thematically, but mechanically identical to the stock monk.

I only saw that character (and his player) for one session, and that was quite some time ago (probably around the release of the XPH). Some details (such as how some of those abilities are extraordinary, despite seeming supernatural - which was a bit of a handwave, but a plausible handwave nonetheless) I'd forgotten. Ironically, those are probably some of the stronger points of this illustration in the context of metagame constructs.


EDIT: And while I was digging that up, I also stumbled across THIS. Although I've refined it a lot since this preliminary stage, it's still the basis of my argument against the Fighting-Man/Priest/Magic-user/Thief distribution of class. If "class" is a metagame construct, i.e. one way of describing something in the game world, then there's nothing stopping this system from being used instead of class. In fact, I'd argue it's actually more grounded, because it's less removed from observable in-game qualities.
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In traditional D&D, pre-4th edition, there was an unspoken assumption in party composition: That each of the four (average party size) teammates corresponded to one of four pre-packaged roles. Right from the start, they were the four human classes in 1e: Fighting Man, Thief, Magic-User and Cleric. Second edition and similar added options, but they were usually just costly alternatives - reinforced by the "group" concept (fighters, paladins, and rangers were all in the Warrior group and were basically sub-classes of each other, for instance). The Characters With Class series by Skip Williams, written for Third Edition (well, 3.5, but...) dubbed these "Sturdy Brawler", "Stealthy Rascal", "Arcane Spellslinger" and "Divine Guardian", reflecting 3e's philosophy of distancing itself from single classes. For all its vaunted "break with traditions", all 4e did was jumble the 3e prefixes: you still have Defenders, Strikers, Controllers and Leaders (essentially the 3e roles with better names). Although now they can use other power sources (arcane defender, stealthy leader, etc), functionally this is purely aesthetic - in terms of gameplay, they're still the same old same old, and parties are still assumed to be conforming to this distribution.

This bugs me.

The "Big Four" party, as I call it - Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Cleric in some variation - has critical tactical flaws in it. The assumption is that, once combat breaks out, the fighter rushes forward and digs in, applying pressure and defending the squishier members, while the rogue moves opportunistically to flank and assassinate key targets. Meanwhile, the wizard uses this time and breathing space to wipe out or neutralize other targets, usually with area effects, while the cleric acts as rearguard, moving between the teammates to support and heal them. (You'll note this corresponds to MMO roles generally called "Tank", "DPS" (melee and ranged, respectively), and "Healing").

The problem is, any monster with mobility and even elementary tactical knowledge rips this to shreds - evade the fighter, strike down either the rogue or the wizard, and do so quickly enough that the cleric's overwhelmed. TPK.

The way WotC dealt with this issue was to make classes better suited to fitting these roles - the Crusader is a spectacular tank late in 3.5, while the 4e fighter and paladin have ways of directly controlling enemy behaviour to "focus aggro" on themselves, for instance. However, there was a better way to look at it, and it existed in 3.5 only to be removed in 4e: Ditch the "roles", and replace them with "responsibilities".

Here's what I mean. You do need "hold enemy attention", "healing", "killing power", "battlefield control" and so on. you don't need to attach them to the traditional character frames. 3.5 multiclassing let you do this. 4e took it away.

Big Four "Responsibilities", in order of importance:
Fighter: Mitigate damage, hold enemy attention, killing power.
Wizard: Battlefield Control, Killing Power, General Utility, Party Support
Rogue: Killing Power, General Utility, Sneaky scouting (includes mobility) / trapscouting, Social Negotiation
Cleric: Healing, damage mitigation, party support, social negotiation, general utility

There is some overlap, despite better performances, but you'll note that there's NO overlap between key abilities, despite them not necessarily being tied to a single class! This means that class characteristics are not, themselves, tied to these roles. Wizards are known for being fragile, but nothing says the fellow responsible for battlefield control has to be easy to kill. (Game balance dictates he'll be weaker in other areas the wizard is strong in, of course.)

Furthermore, these don't need to be done in the way you're thinking. Fighters "hold enemy attention" by being in-your-face (presumably), being hard to ignore if they're in range, and being able to last through whatever breaches their superior defenses. However, a Swordsage or properly-made *wizard* could do the same thing - by denying enemies actions. Consider the swordsage based on Setting Sun. If he's in reach, chances are the enemy in question is going to be moved somewhere else by the round's end. The enemy has to *waste actions* to return where he started, before he can continue working on his previous tactics - a critical delay in tactics, especially because the swordsage could just do it again (maneuvers allowing; there are balance concerns). A wizard that specializes in proper battlefield control spells can also dictate what actions are and aren't permissable (i.e. don't walk through the Black Tentacles) - but without relying on the forced "they must do X" wording suffusing 4e (allowing for the GM to pull this crap on the players without the players feeling gypped). 4e balanced this same capability by making the effects really small, so they may not feel significant (i.e. "Oh, I get to push him 1 square and he can't do a thing"); 3.5 allowed MUCH more significant, dramatic effects by *not* locking enemy behaviour (i.e. "Great, the GM just put down a big-ass lake of fire. Oh, well, I can still jump it.").

The most dramatic example of detachment is Ow4's epic guide to healing, demonstrating why you don't need a cleric to heal - not the same thing as saying you don't need healing. You just don't need a heavily armored, nearly immobile ally able to patch your wounds together. (The post also demonstrated the tactical superiority of spending that spell slot on Divine Might rather than Cure Critical Wounds - killing an enemy NOW prevents them from doing damage in subsequent rounds, meaning resources saved on healing.)

Thus, I would argue that a party needs to cover the following bases - ideally each through at least two different "methods", depending on play style - but exactly who does what is entirely up to the players.



  • 1 - Action Control (The single most important thing is to maximize your opportunties to act and deny your opponent the same.)

  • 2 - Battlefield Control (If they can act, limit their options on your terms. Example: Block enemy retreat, threaten areas...)

  • 3 - Killing Power (A type of action denial and action control, as dead men can't act and crippled men can't do everything.)

  • 4 - Damage Mitigation / Healing (lumped together. If you can't prevent damage, make sure it doesn't slow you down.)

  • 5 - Social Mastery (manipulating social problems to your advantage without resorting to violence or detection)

  • 6 - Party Support (buffs, debuffs, team tactics - basically anything that makes the team better at whatever they do in general)

  • 7 - General Utility (swiss army knife; While Party Support lets you do what you can, better, this lets you do what you couldn't.)

  • 8 - Information Management (scouting is the most obvious, but this includes divinations, Gather Information, and communication)

  • 9 - Trapscouting (detecting and avoiding environmental hazards, usually outside of combat. Generally goes from nasty to trivial.)

  • 10- Stealth (not just sneaking; this is anything to negate the enemy's information management, including counter-communication.)



(Above, I referred to "hold enemy attention": this is a specialized sort of battlefield control and action control, by forcing the enemy to deal with you rather than act freely.)

Transportation - be it mundane, acrobatic, vehicular, or magical - is also important, but isn't a true "responsibility" as it tends to be a means to an end. (Same justification for the Lightning Rail, and for skipping random encounters really) When it factors in to victory, it tends to be subsumed as Party Support, General Utility, or Trapscouting, plus good tactics on the grid (which, to its credit, 4e did very well).

The unspoken dimensions that all of these share is SPEED - being able to do any of these faster is a decisive advantage. This is not a technical hierarchy, although later ones tend to cover for when earlier ones either fail to work or aren't applicable (this characterization tends to break down the later in the list you go, as they become more and more situational).

Some of these can be completely class-independent, such as healing and some types of general utility (equipment can provide for a lot of that). But while every party needs Damage Mitigation / Healing, that job doesn't need to be done by a semi-mobile heavily armored guy who also does Party Support but doesn't do Stealth, for instance. (I played for ages in a game where the healer was a commando type who could drain enemies' life as well as throw them around - Stealth, Damage Mitigation, Action Control, Battlefield Control, Trapscouting. NONE of the roles, five of the responsibilities.)

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

Y'know, I was honestly expecting more disagreement. There are several people here who frequently cry about the evils of Fighter/Barbarians, much less things like prcs or ToB.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Me too, truth be told.  I'm not 100% on how peeps here feel but I do remember the glory days when neckbearded DMs everywhere just flat out banned the XPH (no sci-fi in my peanut butter fantasy) and the ToB (damn anime kids need to get off my lawn!).  There was certainly some open opposition to multiclassing and PrCs, too.  Like, I remember people talking about how it's best to just make them as rare as possible in the game world to discourage players from trying to get into them or sort of stringing the game along so they couldn't - you know, keep the campaign well away from civilization when PrCs required you meet someone and do it for a few levels past the earliest entry possibility.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Y'know, I was honestly expecting more disagreement. There are several people here who frequently cry about the evils of Fighter/Barbarians, much less things like prcs or ToB.

In my experience those tend to be newer posters, who see the error of their ways by post 300 or so. They also have a tendancy not to jump in and contradict someone who said something, usually only espousing the evils of multiclassing if no one has chimed in yet to say its not going to be broken, but might let melee guys compete for a bit.  

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

Y'know, I was honestly expecting more disagreement. There are several people here who frequently cry about the evils of Fighter/Barbarians, much less things like prcs or ToB.

I'd say that it's a shame that those things are generally seen as necessary in order to be effect, but it's not their fault if some of the base classes just don't work as well as they should.

The only extended options I'd really call to account for their design are the "no-brainer" prestige classes that are substantially better than their natural base classes for little to no cost (like many of the full-casting prestige classes).  You want either a benefit commensurate with the difficult of entry, or a meaningful choice between two possibilities of roughly equal value.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
I really don't see why. It's part of the game. Runescarred Berserker is and always will be better than any barbarian short of a Disciple of Far-Too-Many-Consonants. I don't see a need to nerf or otherwise "deal with it." To be honest, if flaws are on the table, I really check if I have a damned good reason not to throw a touch of Idiot Crusader in my build.

Now, as for equal choices, the only prestige class I've ever seen as completely unusable in its superiority that's something the PCs would actually use(No loltaintedscholar, of course) is Incantatrix(Or any that use Leadership, but that's a leadership problem). I view that if a PrC is not superior to a base class, well, what's the point? Plus, if you really have to say "no," then you're not playing with a good group.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
It isn't always about a nerf; for a lot of them, it's the fault of the base class.  For example, is the discrepancy with the Runescarred Berserker versus the core Barbarian due to the former being too good, or the latter simply not being good enough?

But the trouble with options that are obviously superior even within their own niche (and when all the costs are included, since prestige classes do pay fairly for something extra with their entry requirements) is that they tend to make the game less diverse and interesting by pushing players away from options that are less ideal and into very specific, and sometimes limiting, prestige roles.  Part of that problem is due to the prerequisites effectively forcing characters to pick certain skills and feats, though it's also due to the prestige class itself providing a predetermined set of abilities.

Yes, groups can adjust for it by self-moderating what and how they choose to play, but that's essentially a broader facet of the Oberoni Fallacy.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Now, as for equal choices, the only prestige class I've ever seen as completely unusable in its superiority that's something the PCs would actually use(No loltaintedscholar, of course) is Incantatrix(Or any that use Leadership, but that's a leadership problem). I view that if a PrC is not superior to a base class, well, what's the point? Plus, if you really have to say "no," then you're not playing with a good group.


I like PrC's that are different. That allow you to do things that the standard classes can not or allow you to focus on one aspect at the cost of the other abilities. Dragon Disciple, Green Star Adept, Master of Many Forms, Beast Master, Mystic Theurge, Geomancer, Master Transmorgifist, Spymaster, Master of the Unseen Hand, etc.

Star Wars Saga Edition is by far the best RPG that Wizards of the Coast has ever published.

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Except every single class you mentioned beyond Mystic Theurge and MoM(Which is only usable with a Mystic Wildshape Ranger) is trash and completely unusable.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Wrong, as usual, EA. MoMF is quite good for characters that meet the racial requirement, like changeling and shifter. Master of the Unseen Hand is good with psionics (even though 5th level should never, EVER be taken!), and then we add to the list of "PrCs that do things regular classes can't": the Daggerspells, Arcane Heirophant, Abjurant Champion, Revenant Blade, Bone Knight...

If you're always doing the same type of builds, urdoinitwrong.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Wrong, as usual, EA.

Wrong, I am correct.
MoMF is quite good for characters that meet the racial requirement, like changeling and shifter.

By "Racial requirement" you mean "Have Wildshape and aren't full casters," right?

Or, basically, I'm jealous that you got some seriously sweet stuff in your pipe.
Master of the Unseen Hand is good with psionics (even though 5th level should never, EVER be taken!),

No, it's trash.
and then we add to the list of "PrCs that do things regular classes can't": the Daggerspells,

Bad
Arcane Heirophant,

Requires too much investment, but otherwise okay.
Abjurant Champion,

Very good
Revenant Blade,

Trash. You want TWF? Play a ****ing Swordsage or Warblade
Bone Knight

Meh. Decent, although really only worth it to paladins.
... If you're always doing the same type of builds, urdoinitwrong.

And, by that same token, I could say using such trashy classes is just as wrong.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
By "racial requirement", I meant natural shapeshifters. And even specified a couple of examples. You should maybe pay more attention, brosef.
And, like I said, Revenant Blade can do something other classes can't. Besides, nothing says I can't TWF with both a Warblade and a Revenant Blade - in fact, I usually do.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
By "racial requirement", I meant natural shapeshifters. And even specified a couple of examples. You should maybe pay more attention, brosef.

You're thinking of Shifter, from Masters of the Wild. Which is decidedly busted. So, no. It is you who should pay more attention.
And, like I said, Revenant Blade can do something other classes can't. Besides, nothing says I can't TWF with both a Warblade and a Revenant Blade - in fact, I usually do.

Why? It gimps your IL for no gain.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
In general I find myself concurring with the general judgements you're making, EA, but it would be substantially more constructive if you explained to people why those judgements are what they are. Otherwise you fall short of the bar you set when you opened this thread.
And, like I said, Revenant Blade can do something other classes can't. Besides, nothing says I can't TWF with both a Warblade and a Revenant Blade - in fact, I usually do.

Why? It gimps your IL for no gain.


No gain? Three (or four with a dirt-cheap pendant) floating bonus feats that ignore prerequisites* and the ability to TWF with both sides of a double scimitar as two-handed weapons (something nobody else, not even the warblade or swordsage, can do) is no gain? Particularly when you can still get your IL high enough for Raging Mongoose and most of the 8th level maneuvers?

*The list does have a bunch of garbage on it, but so does the warblade bonus feat list. The RB's feats are effectively Power Attack (meaning if you don't plan on taking feats that require PA, you can retrain PA away in your main build and still benefit from it), Improved Critical, Combat Expertise, Blind-Fight, Improved Trip, Great Cleave, Spring Attack, and Weapon Specialization. Not all amazing, but you're getting them for free, can switch which of them you have every day, and ignore all of their prerequisites, ranger-style.

Since the skills to get in aren't warblade skills, the usual entry point is something like Barbarian 1 / Ranger 2 / Fighter 1 (to round out the early IL loss and help with the feat costs) / Warblade 1 / RB 5 / [IL class 10], which works out to IL 15.5, or the same basic build without the fighter level for one more Warblade level (IL 16). The usual abilities are Pounce, TWF combat style, the fighter bonus feat to cover for the Weapon Focus prereq (more useful if you're aiming for a specific feat chain), (Wolf Fang Strike / Sudden Leap / [Free maneuver, probably Wall of Blades or a DM counter] | Blood in the Water) going into Revenant Blade, which is pretty solid. Coming out of Revenant Blade depends on whether you're staying straight Warblade (for better Tiger Claw) or entering Eternal Blade; both probably benefit from White Raven charges given Pounce+TWF+Legendary Force. (If all you want is Raging Mongoose, you can get it through Tiger Claw bracers once your IL is high enough, though, so it's not out of reach even for Eternal Blades) However, unlike your typical Ubercharge build, this continues to work if you're not in a position to charge (you can Sudden Leap or use gear to move to a new position, which prevents you from charging this turn, but still full attack with an incredible number of two-handed power attacks.

It's NOT for every warrior, obviously. But it's not hard to make a very powerful martial Revenant Blade.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

You seem to be confusing "solid" and "functional." It's in, pretty much every way I can see, inferior to Warblade 20.

Also, if chargers can't charge, it really is their own damned fault. Bloodspikes, swift/immediate teleports, the ease of flying, I really tend to have very little sympathy for people who complain about being unable to charge.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Except the only one of those that will actually help with charging is the immediate teleport. The others are great for normal full attackers, but won't work with charging due to how it targets.

Whether or not you can charge depends on then clear, straight-line path to the nearest square to the target and line of sight to the target *at the beginning of your turn*. You can't , say, start around a corner, swift-move around it, then charge. (Twisted Charge would let you do a normal charge around the corner, but only if you could see the target at the start of your turn - anything that blocks Lin of sight when your initiative comes up also blocks your charge.)

Its common, yes, but by no means universal. You'd need unlimited teleports and the ability to ignore all cover and concealment (and possibly see through walls), and load up on twisty-charging abilities as mentioned , to make it universal.

Incidentally, how many different immediate-action teleports are available to chargers through gear?

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

The stupidly good cloak from DotU says hi. It's so good and cheap it really invalidates the need for any others, although they do exist.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
The stupidly good cloak from DotU says hi. It's so good and cheap it really invalidates the need for any others, although they do exist.


I'm curious about the others, since the Shadow Cloak only works if you're attacked (i.e. you can't freely use it right before your turn to reposition; lots can change between the last time you're attacked and the start of your turn) and only works 3/day. It's great for shutting down incoming full attacks. For repositioning right before your turn so you can charge when your turn starts? Not so much. 

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

I don't remember what the others are, to be honest. I had a list a while ago, but I don't remember where, and, to be honest, I've not seen a need to use any other recently, what with Chargers being so boring.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Except every single class you mentioned beyond Mystic Theurge and MoM(Which is only usable with a Mystic Wildshape Ranger) is trash and completely unusable.


Your definition of unusable is not my definition of unusable. for you something is only usable if it can go toe-to-toe with a well played Druid or better.

And my comment wasn't about what classes are powerful, I know very well a lot of the examples I stated are considered weak. but that's not what I was saying. I was saying that I like classes that do something differntly. That go outside the mold.

I know that if I want to "win" I should go full Tier 1, with maybe some powerful PrCs. Druid/Planar Sheperd, Cleric/Servant of Pelor, Wizard/Incantrix, things like that. An optimizer can come up with even more powerful builds. But an RPG isn't about "winning", at least not to me. Otherwise everyone would just play Pun-Pun and be done.

My comment was about which classes I like. Multiclassing and PrCs like that allow me to do things that can't be done with just the Tier 1 classes. I prefer the Master of Many Forms over Polymorph and Shapechange. It's not as powerful and in a lot of ways the 3.0 Shifter was better, but being able to walk around as a Dragon, Pixie or Centaur the whole day long is something I like for roleplaying reasons.

I'd be more interested in suggestions you might have. I know a lot of the classes I mentioned are mechanically suboptimal, maybe you have other suggestions?

Star Wars Saga Edition is by far the best RPG that Wizards of the Coast has ever published.

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Your definition of unusable is not my definition of unusable. for you something is only usable if it can go toe-to-toe with a well played Druid or better.

No, my definition of unusable is simply not worth the investment and is inferior to the base class. A MoMF is unusable without Wildshape Ranger because ten  more levels of druid are more worthwhile than ten levels of a crappy PrC with no casting.
And my comment wasn't about what classes are powerful, I know very well a lot of the examples I stated are considered weak. but that's not what I was saying. I was saying that I like classes that do something differntly. That go outside the mold.

No. "Weak" does not even begin to cover GSA. It's easily worse than Reaping Mauler, and that class makes you worse at its focus.
I know that if I want to "win" I should go full Tier 1, with maybe some powerful PrCs. Druid/Planar Sheperd, Cleric/Servant of Pelor, Wizard/Incantrix, things like that. An optimizer can come up with even more powerful builds. But an RPG isn't about "winning", at least not to me. Otherwise everyone would just play Pun-Pun and be done.

...And now we get into the "Optimization is evil" and the punpun slippery slope. I expected this to occur sooner.
My comment was about which classes I like. Multiclassing and PrCs like that allow me to do things that can't be done with just the Tier 1 classes.

No, they really don't.
I prefer the Master of Many Forms over Polymorph and Shapechange. It's not as powerful and in a lot of ways the 3.0 Shifter was better, but being able to walk around as a Dragon, Pixie or Centaur the whole day long is something I like for roleplaying reasons.

Which is doable with Polymorph.
I'd be more interested in suggestions you might have. I know a lot of the classes I mentioned are mechanically suboptimal, maybe you have other suggestions?

Gladly.

For the dragon disciple, a traditional sorcerer gish would work, just say it's about becoming more draconic or something. MoMF, just continue with Druid. Get some WS items, and use Shapechange when you get it, that's really all there is. Beast Master? Go with an ubermount, it'll work better for you. I especially like the Ubermoose of the Iron Glacier, but the amount of feats required make it difficult, and Ashworm Dragoon is probably the best non-standard pet. Geomancer is just a wannabe Mystic Theurge and Master Transmogrifist is a wannabe Focused/Master Transmuter, so just go all the way. Spymaster is just a rwannabe Chameleon, so see above. Master of the Unseen Hand works decently if you're a ghost, but if not just don't bother. You have better things to do with your actions.

As for GSA, be a warforged or don't bother. It's really, really, really not worth it to give up five caster levels to gain weaknesses and generally suck.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
#1: Multiclassing is evil. Each class represents a distinct range of training and has a specific and hard to divest fluff reason for its stats. While a character could "Get a haircut and join a mercenary company" to change what class they're leveling from Barbarian to Fighter, mixing 3 or more classes as many builds do is a poorly fits the games rules set into a setting. In the most convoluted builds, the likelihood of any character stumbling through them is so ridiculously unlikely as to be preposterous.

#2: 3.5 classes are dysfunctional. That any character in 3.X feels the need to have an excessive number of classes in order to participate meaningfully and to receive scaling class features is a sign of the poor system design. I can understand from a metagame aspect that no one would play a monoclassed warrior if fighter was available and why no one would play a monoclassed fighter if warblade was available. The dynamics created by multiclassing allow a player to better tailor a character to the challenges they face, allow them to be better combatants, and overall make them better characters.

#3: Reconciling the previous two points is a big hassle and nothing that should ever have had to be done in a well polished game. In most games though, I lean more toward dealing with #2 than pushing #1. I still push class distinctions as being distinct training sets, but have to put up with 3.5's dysfunctions and tolerate players who throw classes everywhere.

#3.5: Whenever I run a very complicated build, I tend to work with the DM as "I'm following in the training footsteps of a great hero" or attribute the whole of the build in a manner similar to prestige class organizations offering "special training".
#1: Multiclassing is evil. Each class represents a distinct range of training and has a specific and hard to divest fluff reason for its stats. While a character could "Get a haircut and join a mercenary company" to change what class they're leveling from Barbarian to Fighter, mixing 3 or more classes as many builds do is a poorly fits the games rules set into a setting. In the most convoluted builds, the likelihood of any character stumbling through them is so ridiculously unlikely as to be preposterous.

Because there's a practical reason for someone to be able tell the difference between a ranger and a fighter? What, do your PCs introcuce themselves as "Bob, the tenth-level fighter?"
#2: 3.5 classes are dysfunctional. That any character in 3.X feels the need to have an excessive number of classes in order to participate meaningfully and to receive scaling class features is a sign of the poor system design. I can understand from a metagame aspect that no one would play a monoclassed warrior if fighter was available and why no one would play a monoclassed fighter if warblade was available. The dynamics created by multiclassing allow a player to better tailor a character to the challenges they face, allow them to be better combatants, and overall make them better characters.

So because the system is modular, the fact that it's modular instantly means its terrible, horrible, no-good, and very bad? Really?
#3: Reconciling the previous two points is a big hassle and nothing that should ever have had to be done in a well polished game. In most games though, I lean more toward dealing with #2 than pushing #1. I still push class distinctions as being distinct training sets, but have to put up with 3.5's dysfunctions and tolerate players who throw classes everywhere.

You still haven't dealt with any of the points I made. Sorry, your deep intrenchment in illogical beliefs isn't holding up to the fact bombs.
#3.5: Whenever I run a very complicated build, I tend to work with the DM as "I'm following in the training footsteps of a great hero" or attribute the whole of the build in a manner similar to prestige class organizations offering "special training".

Part 2 Fred. Explain to me how that's different from any holy warrior of a magic god. A Jean D'Arc of Boccob could be the same.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
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