View Full Version : Interesting Build Challenge?

2008-03-19, 09:55 AM
I had an idea to get the players at my game together on an off week and make an arena type challenge with a twist.

Everyone builds a character... but then passes that sheet to the person on their left.

So do you over optimize or do you purposefully cripple? I think it would make for interesting builds.

2008-03-19, 10:00 AM
Personally, I'd still try to optimize quite a bit, because it's what I do, but, in this instance, I think I'd modify it a bit.

Ideally, I'd leave one weakness; something not immediately obvious to the person who receives the sheet but which I know how to exploit. Then you hope you get a sheet that's at all capable of exploiting that weakness and that you're fairly fair apart in the arena brackets. If he wins, your build looks good. If you both make it to the end, you know how to defeat him and you look good, or at least clever. But that's me way overthinking the scenario.

2008-03-19, 10:09 AM

I wonder how many Fighters and Monks you'll get. Or, Wizards with 9 Int.

If it's point buy, I'd choose a human caster and decide not to put any points into the casting stat. They'd instead have a DIFFERENT mental stat absolutely maxed. Also dump CON and DEX. And, grab Weapon Focus for like 4 different weapons for feats. All skills will be cross-class.

What's the level on this?

2008-03-19, 10:13 AM
First, as the DM, you put down the rule that the class has to be viable. IE: Casters have to be able to at least cast their spells.

Not saying you couldn't make a wizard with 9 int and then give him an item that bumps it up, but yeah.

Hmm, monk with nothing but Weapon Focus: Non monk weapons would be fun. With int maxed and the rest dumped as well as possible.

2008-03-19, 10:15 AM
Telling them about it in advance is likely to end up with an absolutely horrid band of incompetents.

Ideally, they wouldn't know about the 'pass to the left' business until it actually happens, at which point they have a short amount of time to figure out what combos their character might be based on. It changes the skill involved from optimization to versatile thinking.

2008-03-19, 10:16 AM
I haven't come up with the exact rules yet... but im thinking somewhere between level 10 and 15. If you cast spells, you must be able to at least cast your highest level spell, wealth by level, no one item more than half your WBL.

100' radius arena, everyone starts behind a wall (no direct LoS for long range attacks)...

Kurald Galain
2008-03-19, 10:59 AM
So, what's to prevent me from building e.g.

* A weird mixture like Wizard 2 / Sorcerer 2 / Beguiler 2 / Warmage 2 / Shugenja 2 / Bard 2 / Wu jen 2
* Something that can't use most of his powers any more, like a paladin 14 / Barbarian 1
* Fifteen levels in a near-useless class like commoner, healer, samurai or monk

2008-03-19, 12:34 PM
I tend to build characters based on some concept, nor crippling nor overpowering it. Most players don't like when their characters can't kill things in one round, so my friends tends to dislike my character sheets anyway :smalltongue:

I like this idea. I may use it for a one-shot story to see what happens.

Kurald Galain: If you know in advance, you'll purposedly make a crippled build? That can bite you in the ass when you need more manpower, and your hope of survival falls in the hand of some useless idiot that *you* helped make :smallamused: Yes, as a DM, I'd make these kind of situation. A lot.

Kurald Galain
2008-03-19, 01:06 PM
Kurald Galain: If you know in advance, you'll purposedly make a crippled build?
I was under the impression that this was an arena match, not an adventure situation.

That is not to say that I would do that in practice; rather, I was looking for ways to break this (novel) ruleset, because such suggestions might serve in improving the ruleset.

2008-03-19, 01:12 PM
Yeah, I need to find a way to prevent completely unplayable characters.

2008-03-19, 01:40 PM
Yeah, I need to find a way to prevent completely unplayable characters.

Zincorium had it right, don't tell them they're switching. Or, if they already know that they're supposed to switch, don't tell them that its a competition. And if they know the whole deal.. then well you might be a bit screwed.

2008-03-19, 02:50 PM
I'm going to third this... don't tell them they're switching characters. Let them optimize the heck out of their character sheets, then tell 'em to pass 'em on down the line.

Though, even if I knew the conditions in advance, I would do what playswithfire suggested... give them a good-but-flawed build... and I'd roleplay it to the hilt with repeated "Only I am allowed to defeat you!" sort of rival remarks.

I'd also run it at lower level and in teams, but mix up the team members as well as the character sheets. Bob, Joe, and Frank signed up for a team and made character sheets as a team, but right before the tourney begins you hand Bob Hank's character sheet and stick him in a team with Sue and Beth. They have... say... seven minutes to familiarize themselves with the new character and the new teammates.

That'll practically kill all your powergaming right there. It'll come down to off-the-cuff teamwork and last minute improvisation.

2008-03-19, 02:53 PM
Why not tell them that character assignment is random. They might get their own char back.

2008-03-19, 07:25 PM
Why not tell them that character assignment is random. They might get their own char back.If that were the case, the optimized build would probably be an ostensibly weak character who has some well-hidden combo.

Duke of URL
2008-03-20, 07:08 AM
If you are going to tell them about it, make it clear that there are two "winners" -- the one who played the winning build, and the one who came up with it. The overall winner would be the player who had the best combined finish of the character he played and the character he created.