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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: I do not understand

    People who don't optimize also don't make threads about how much they don't do it... usually, since sometimes you get threads like this one. So the threads about optimization are much more visible.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by ijon View Post
    how are you going to know which options are best if you don't take time to look into it, keeping in mind that complex game mechanics can interact in weird ways, the idea of "trap options" exists, and that there can be a lot of options, many of which the guy in question might not even be aware of?

    (you can't)
    I can see this argument if the player in question is new to the game in which case i never expect them to have optimal builds. But if you've been playing d&d even just from the time 5e came out until now on any kind of regular basis you should know that certain options just aren't great.

    I also assume anyone who cares enough about the game to join a forum about gaming has invested at least a little bit of time into character ideas and options.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by dmteeter View Post
    I can see this argument if the player in question is new to the game in which case i never expect them to have optimal builds. But if you've been playing d&d even just from the time 5e came out until now on any kind of regular basis you should know that certain options just aren't great.

    I also assume anyone who cares enough about the game to join a forum about gaming has invested at least a little bit of time into character ideas and options.
    even knowing which options are great/good/okay/bad/terrible, oftentimes it's just easier and faster to go with "good enough". but sure, if you've got experience in making character builds it'll take a lot less time to get to "optimal".

    even then, I know there's at least one guy who's been in the hobby forever and still doesn't care about all this optimization hoohah *cough2D8HPcough*

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    I've played some weird concept characters who were not combat based at all. But they always have a role in the party and i always make sure that they are good at what they are supposed to be good at. If that makes sense. My biggest problem with this post is it seems like a guy whining about other people trying to be good at something they enjoy and that does not make any sense to me.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by ijon View Post
    ....even then, I know there's at least one guy who's been in the hobby forever and still doesn't care about all this optimization hoohah *cough2D8HPcough*

    *wipes cobwebs and dust out of eyes*

    What?

    Me not optimize?

    Of course I optimize!

    Most of my PC's have both a bow and a sword, and many have bags of flour, flasks of oil, and a tent.

    That's optimal!

    Though for me optimal is a PC that I can just tell the DM/GM what they try to do without my looking at a bunch abilities on character record sheet to remind myself of some "crunch" or another, because looking that up a lot is usually not fun for me!

    O.P. and, everybody, just make your characters for optimal fun for you and the others at the table, whether that's Dr. Strange or drooling begger Cleatus, and part of that is having the right co-players, and the right PC for the party, and sometimes you find they don't mesh well at first, so make do, or look some more.

    I'm doubtful that I'll ever have the mental agility to play a "god wizard" and I'm sure that annoys co-players who want to steam roll the foes, just as I'm annoyed by someone who insist that I play a more "optimal" PC with the stats I rolled.

    I like playing Fighters who pretty much just shoot arrows and Thieves who just sneak, but I still enjoy seeing the shenanigans that other players come up with that I would not have.

    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    *wipes cobwebs and dust out of eyes*

    What?

    Me not optimize?

    Of course I optimize!
    From what I've seen in threads where you requested character building advice, you optimize your characters to work best within your preferred play style.

    Your play style is fixed, and that's fine -- so you optimize the character to best work mechanically given that style.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    From what I've seen in threads where you requested character building advice, you optimize your characters to work best within your preferred play style.

    Your play style is fixed, and that's fine -- so you optimize the character to best work mechanically given that style.

    That sounds right.

    Optimize for fun.

    If having a challenge is the goal (like to OP says they want) go ahead (keeping in mind that we play with other people and this is a group game).

    If playing a PC that's extremely powerful for you is fun, go ahead (keeping in mind that we play with other people and this is a group game).

    I think that most of us, despite our differing preferences, could have a fun time with each other, even when we (me) insist that our preferences are OBJECTIVELY!!! the most bestest.

    Even if there's more people playing these games than in the past we're still a minority, of folks, so let's cut each other some slack.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Most of my PC's have both a bow and a sword, and many have bags of flour, flasks of oil, and a tent.

    That's optimal!
    I'm sorry, unless your average combat round plays out like a fight scene from dragon ball (including how long it takes), it's just not good enough.

    nah but seriously, you're just the first guy that came to mind when I was trying to think up an example of "I want something that Just Works".

    me, I'm still trying to figure out whether my dissatisfaction with simple characters is because I just need more options in general, or because I've just been playing boring encounters/scenes. I like the idea of a macho warrior with a giant sword and an unbreakable confidence (or the hotshot cop with a fully loaded shotgun and a dictionary full of one liners), but man is it boring doing the "I attack, I attack again, I attack again" routine over and over, and I dunno if that's just me not being creative or my GM making fights too static in general. it's definitely something I'm gonna pay attention to in whatever games I run.

    on the other hand, I really don't want to go back to a game where every round takes an hour because of people playing optimal builds they weren't really familiar with. I could make a plan after I finish my turn, then forget it by my next turn because of how long things took. that was awful.

    blogging aside, I guess all I'm trying to say here is that there's nothing wrong with not playing the most powerful dude you can, especially if it means you're more comfortable with your character and can keep the game flowing that much better. after all, faster combat means more time for dumb one liners, and that's what really matters.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    I don't need to ask GITP for advice on the best accent for my fighter.

    I do however, on occasion, need internet advice regarding the best ways to interpret, use, or modify game-rules to suit my purposes.
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2018-10-01 at 04:44 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    That sounds right.

    Optimize for fun.
    On a more serious note, all optimization is for a goal of some type.

    You're only "more optimized" towards some goal or other -- there is no such thing as better in isolation, there's just better at _____.

    Optimizing for a play-style is the same as optimizing for any other goal.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    d6 Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by dmteeter View Post
    I don't use anyone else's builds. Building an optimal character does not really take anymore time then building a sub-par one. Just don't waste resources on inferior options?
    Then all of your fighters end up with the exact same build?

    In 20 years I have not had two characters with same collection of feats.
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    The ability and desire to optimize has no relation to the ability and desire for roleplaying engagement of campaign story. I enjoy both, so I do both. I refuse to apologize for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    "Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition, where the DCs are made up and the rules don't matter."

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    The ability and desire to optimize has no relation to the ability and desire for roleplaying engagement of campaign story. I enjoy both, so I do both. I refuse to apologize for it.

    And I'll add that de-emphasizing "mechanical optimization" doesn't make you better at role-playing.

    You can be bad at both, as well as good at both, or good at just one.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.
    Permission to sig?
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    Permission to sig?

    Thanks, I would be flattered.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post

    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.
    We likely have different if not completely opposite play styles, but yeah, that is clever.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    "Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition, where the DCs are made up and the rules don't matter."

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    We likely have different if not completely opposite play styles, but yeah, that is clever.

    Thanks Pex!

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    I like knowing how it's done, mostly because sometimes I DM and you *always* have to watch out for players you don't know well. Knowing exactly how tricks work makes it possible to keep things in check.

    As a player, I like picking one or two weird tricks so I can throw them on a character who's otherwise on-par with the rest of the party. It's convenient having a trick up my sleeve for when things go sideways; these usually involve a creative way to run away or pause a fight.
    If it's not obvious, insert a after my post.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    BardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Then all of your fighters end up with the exact same build?

    In 20 years I have not had two characters with same collection of feats.

    In 15 years of playing i've probably only ever played 5 or so fighters. So i'm sure the 5 or so that i've built are probably pretty similar.

    And i'd like to congratulate you on how superior you are to the rest of us because of how many different characters you've made Woohoo congratulations you have unlocked the pretentious achievement.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    The ability and desire to optimize has no relation to the ability and desire for roleplaying engagement of campaign story. I enjoy both, so I do both. I refuse to apologize for it.
    Exactly!!

    I want to play a fantasy player who feels like a hero so i optimize my abilities but i also want to play a character that feels like a real person so i tend to give them layers of personality, backstory, and motivations

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    My reason for trying to optimize my character is pretty simple; "I want to see the story the GM has planned out."

    If my character can't pull his weight, the party could die, and I don't get to see the full story. TTRPG's are sort of a unique devil, in that unlike video games or other types of games, you don't usually get "do overs". I can do a joke build in a video game, because I'm allowed as many tries as needed to beat that video game, and eventually can get the dice to roll in my favor through sheer persistence.

    You don't get to do that in D&D. You don't get to say "Ah, well that was fun, to play my melee wizard that doesn't use magic, and had a poor strength score. Alright, now that the party got wiped because I was as useful as a bucket with a hole in the bottom, let me try a real character"-- while your mileage (and GM) may vary, most GM's I've worked with would simply tell me: "....Nnnoo.... the party got wiped, the campaign is over. You're welcome to try again in a different campaign, but this one is done."

    So if I want to get the actual payoff for this specific campaign, I owe it to the group to at LEAST make sure my character is going to pull their portion of the weight.

    Which requires at least a certain level of optimizing.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by dmteeter View Post
    Exactly!!

    I want to play a fantasy player who feels like a hero so i optimize my abilities but i also want to play a character that feels like a real person so i tend to give them layers of personality, backstory, and motivations
    Even if you just want to play a character who feels like a real person, that's sufficient to optimize for that person's desired job.

    I mean, in real life we practice doing the things which we want to do well, especially if those things are risky.

    Spending effort & resources to be good at your job is very much a real-person thing to do.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Even if you just want to play a character who feels like a real person, that's sufficient to optimize for that person's desired job.

    I mean, in real life we practice doing the things which we want to do well, especially if those things are risky.

    Spending effort & resources to be good at your job is very much a real-person thing to do.
    Absolutely that's why i never understood the argument against optimizing. People who are anti optimization always tend to think that being really really good at what you are supposed to be good at means that you can't have a fun fleshed out person to also play.

    Characters are more then numbers on a sheet. However i think everyone at the table benefits from a character who has the numbers in the right places ya know what i'm saying?

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chijinda View Post
    My reason for trying to optimize my character is pretty simple; "I want to see the story the GM has planned out."

    If my character can't pull his weight, the party could die, and I don't get to see the full story. TTRPG's are sort of a unique devil, in that unlike video games or other types of games, you don't usually get "do overs". I can do a joke build in a video game, because I'm allowed as many tries as needed to beat that video game, and eventually can get the dice to roll in my favor through sheer persistence.

    You don't get to do that in D&D. You don't get to say "Ah, well that was fun, to play my melee wizard that doesn't use magic, and had a poor strength score. Alright, now that the party got wiped because I was as useful as a bucket with a hole in the bottom, let me try a real character"-- while your mileage (and GM) may vary, most GM's I've worked with would simply tell me: "....Nnnoo.... the party got wiped, the campaign is over. You're welcome to try again in a different campaign, but this one is done."

    So if I want to get the actual payoff for this specific campaign, I owe it to the group to at LEAST make sure my character is going to pull their portion of the weight.

    Which requires at least a certain level of optimizing.
    Yeah, for me it's "I intend my character to fill group role X, can this character actually fill that role?"

    Sometimes that role is "taking out single targets at a distance," sometimes that role is "find the information without being spotted," sometimes that role is "do the talking, as the face of the party, ugh, I'm no good at talking to people, why did I pick this role," sometimes it's "make my friends smile."

    I don't generally need to post threads regarding that last one.

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by dmteeter View Post
    Absolutely that's why i never understood the argument against optimizing. People who are anti optimization always tend to think that being really really good at what you are supposed to be good at means that you can't have a fun fleshed out person to also play.

    Characters are more then numbers on a sheet. However i think everyone at the table benefits from a character who has the numbers in the right places ya know what i'm saying?
    To be fair, there's a bit of a paradox when you set up an "adventuring career."

    Most Adventures worthy of the title take protagonists out of their preferred element and force them to adapt to scenarios they did not expect or intend to find themselves in and were absolutely in every way unprepared for.

    It is possible to delve too greedily and too deep into the Wargame of TTRPGs, weaponizing your character to fill a role the game expects from the party. Some optimization tricks are so esoteric that it stretches suspension of disbelief that even the "exception to the rule" heroes just HAPPEN to have the one genius in the world that came up with the strategy. It gets worse when suspiciously *every* PC built along the same lines ends up using the trick because of how good it is (see also: SLT Barbarian Pouncers in 3.5) regardless their various backgrounds and the peculiarly unique facets of the Op Trick that don't lend much corroboration to the backstory.

    In the end, it's the Soldier problem. They devote so much of their lives and minds and souls to becoming what they need to be to succeed that they lose a great deal of individuality in the process. That can be an interesting arc to roleplay, but it can get tiresome and repetitive in TTRPGs. Just as much as there should be room to Roleplay as statistically exceptional geniuses and experts, there should also be room to be the odd man out who was in the wrong place at the right time.

    Unfortunately, many RPG mechanics punish characters who were ill-equipped and reward the optimized, skewing the ideals of heroism with ideals of tactics and strategy.

    As with so many things in this field, it's a loss of translation between Story Tellers and War Gamers trying to Role Play together.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    Quote Originally Posted by dmteeter View Post
    Absolutely that's why i never understood the argument against optimizing. People who are anti optimization always tend to think that being really really good at what you are supposed to be good at means that you can't have a fun fleshed out person to also play.
    I think some part of it undoubtedly comes from real gaming experience where they have come into conflict. Usually in terms of miscommunication on where the lines are supposed to be set. Say, for instance, where one play brings a swashbuckling pirate with character decisions based on filling that role, even though it isn't perfectly optimized and another player brings a god/batman wizard, bladesinger, hulking hurler, coffeelock, whatever-the-edition-in-question-has-as-ultimate-optimization-option.

    There ought not be a downside to one player being unbalanced compared to another (and thus the guy playing the for-flavor swashbuckler should just let differences in taste be just that), but if the DM scales the difficulty to the optimizer, then it really sucks for the first guy.

    Characters are more then numbers on a sheet. However i think everyone at the table benefits from a character who has the numbers in the right places ya know what i'm saying?
    It really depends on if it becomes an arms race.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    There ought not be a downside to one player being unbalanced compared to another (and thus the guy playing the for-flavor swashbuckler should just let differences in taste be just that), but if the DM scales the difficulty to the optimizer, then it really sucks for the first guy.
    And if they scale the difficulty to the for-flavor player, the optimizer has to "play down," always having their character pull their punches and never getting to let loose (like Gandalf, Superman, or One Punch Man) or they trivialize every challenge.

    Some optimizers don't mind this and are happy knowing they can win whenever they need to and get plenty of satisfaction just playing a supporting role most of the time. Other optimizers feel like it's too bland and easy if they never need half the power they built for.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    And if they scale the difficulty to the for-flavor player, the optimizer has to "play down," always having their character pull their punches and never getting to let loose (like Gandalf, Superman, or One Punch Man) or they trivialize every challenge.

    Some optimizers don't mind this and are happy knowing they can win whenever they need to and get plenty of satisfaction just playing a supporting role most of the time. Other optimizers feel like it's too bland and easy if they never need half the power they built for.
    Yes, but it's not about which of these two guys has it worst off. The situation as a whole is suboptimal for everyone. And I'm just describing the scenario that I think has happened where someone has gotten the impression that optimization is the cause of their not having fun.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    I think one of my favorite things about TTRPGs is that there's not truly a singular "correct" way to play. I DM for a group with no optimizers, who don't play for the challenge at all but for the opportunity to roleplay and experience the story. I think that's a fine way to play.

    So's playing just to optimize a character. Or deliberately playing with a suboptimal character just to court additional challenge.

    There are a whole bunch of different kinds of folks who play games as a hobby, and that is really cool.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: I do not understand

    People want optimised characters because they want to "win", which is, for me at least, not the point of the game. The same way that people buy premade WoW characters at level 90, when for me the fun part is getting there.
    Overcoming the challenges set by the DM isn't "winning" - its an achievement, as the next challenge is usually right round the corner. Doing so with un-optimised PCs is more fun.

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