D&D General DM Says No Powergaming?

Zardnaar

Legend
Always funny how people rank things. Like monks being terrible. My way of mercy monk in our ToA campaign has been right up there with the rogue in damage, frequently surpassing them. Admittedly that's in part because we're using the new rules from Tasha's where I can use my warhammer and get D10 for most attacks. Add in that we get fairly frequent short rests.

But stunning strike? We've been facing so many brutes and constructs that I rarely use it. We're just about done and it's worked maybe twice? Meanwhile I've saved a few of my fellow PCs with my healing or physician's touch. Since I'm one of the two main front line fighters, along with the moon druid who transform into the biggest beast that will fit wherever we are. My being able to heal myself has been a huge benefit as well.

I'm not saying my experience is universal, but the DM cranked the difficulty up to 11 because we just tore through everything he threw at us, in large part because of a combination of how much damage my monk does in a round along with the moon druid being a great damage soak. The casters in the party almost play a supporting role. The casters are good at different things, but my monk still has plenty of chance to shine out of combat as well. For the most part though we work as a team both in and out of combat. It's not a competition.

Way if Mercy mini got a comparatively high ranking an A iirc.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Zardnaar

Legend
Monks and rangers are the hardest to rate, for two reasons. For both, it’s because there is such a power disparity between subclasses, as a gloomstalker ranger is at least one tier higher than the PHB Beastmaster ranger. (Same thing between the 4 Elements monk and some of the later monks).

The second issue applies only to rangers and has to do with the fact that 3 versions of the ranger have been printed. So power level varies depends on whether you are using the PHB ranger, the Revised Ranger or Tasha’s ranger (and which class you are using for them).

I’m hoping 1D&D settles on a single ranger chassis and a single power level for its subclass.
Tier lists usually rate stuff by subclasses so Gloomstalker ranger will generally get an S while PHB beastmaster is a D.

Bottom 3 classes generally Rogue, Artificer, Monk in no particular order.
 
Last edited:

MwaO

Adventurer
5E simply isn't a "rocket tag"-type game, even with a party full of highly-optimized PCs. How do I know this? I've played D&D with a party full of highly-optimized PCs. Like you might want to use more Hard and low-Deadly encounters than with a "normal" group of PCs, but not by much, not to the point that a "normal" group couldn't expect to handle it. There are games where "rocket tag" balancing can be a real issue, but 5E D&D isn't one. I can expand on this if you like.
Sure 5e is a rocket tag game. Most PCs/Monsters by default have 3-4 bad saving throws and at least 2 of the big 3. Casters have access to multi-targeting incapacitate early on and eventually, you get to the point where you can have very high odds of incapacitating an entire encounter with one spell. Unless the DM specifically starts choosing options to not let you do that. This isn't the optimized game. This is the base game. You're a Wizard or a Cleric with access to a huge range of PHB spells.

The optimized game is in part optimized because the players choose ways to reduce the rocket tag options on the DM side and then the DM is forced to choose ways to reduce rocket tag options on the players side. Or there's no game.
 

Sure 5e is a rocket tag game. Most PCs/Monsters by default have 3-4 bad saving throws and at least 2 of the big 3. Casters have access to multi-targeting incapacitate early on and eventually, you get to the point where you can have very high odds of incapacitating an entire encounter with one spell. Unless the DM specifically starts choosing options to not let you do that. This isn't the optimized game. This is the base game. You're a Wizard or a Cleric with access to a huge range of PHB spells.

The optimized game is in part optimized because the players choose ways to reduce the rocket tag options on the DM side and then the DM is forced to choose ways to reduce rocket tag options on the players side. Or there's no game.
That's not rocket tag by any definition of the term.



3.XE was arguably that because of all the save-or-die or save-or-suck spells, but there are fewer of those in 5E (especially monster-side), and they're not very reliable, and contrary to what you're suggesting, the players don't have great options for avoiding the stuff that there is. Nor is "optimizing your saving throws to prevent CC from monsters" typically how people see D&D as being optimized.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Sure 5e is a rocket tag game. Most PCs/Monsters by default have 3-4 bad saving throws and at least 2 of the big 3. Casters have access to multi-targeting incapacitate early on and eventually, you get to the point where you can have very high odds of incapacitating an entire encounter with one spell. Unless the DM specifically starts choosing options to not let you do that. This isn't the optimized game. This is the base game. You're a Wizard or a Cleric with access to a huge range of PHB spells.

The optimized game is in part optimized because the players choose ways to reduce the rocket tag options on the DM side and then the DM is forced to choose ways to reduce rocket tag options on the players side. Or there's no game.
You aren't using the term rocket tag quite right, that's just shooting fish in a barrel because you describe a situation where only one side is equipped with a rocket to tag with. Also it's not just casters. The math for the monster subsystem in general, and one off exceptions is designed to crumple like wet tissue to an unoptimized party until the GM is basically invoking rocks fall unless the GM starts homebrewing a whole new monster subsystem. The monsters are not capable of creating a rocket tag situation until they are powerful enough that the party is not capable of inconvieniencing the monsters.

3.x did have the ability to slide into rocket tag, but it also had various tools 5e stripped from the GM like this or this or even this by a different less quotable name plus this stuff & associated hooks spelled out on phb141 table8-2 but those too were torn from 5e. Using those tools the GM could finesse monsters to their group in ways that kept the battle appearing somewhat uncertain even when it was fixed the whole time.
 

For groups that regularly play together, it feels like social Commander can be regulated by seeing if you are "winning your fair share". If someone is winning more than half of the four player games (with other competent players they like to play with) they might be aiming too high for the group, and if they never win they might bea iming too low.

Is there something similar about dominating play in DnD too much?
The trouble is there are so many variables with D&D, and perceptions of "dominating" can vary wildly too. Like, a Moon Druid even played slightly competently without any real optimization beyond choosing to turn into sensible things is highly likely to "dominate" combat from 2-4, which could 6-12 sessions pretty easily, but at 5th, when people get 2nd attacks, 3rd level spells and so on, suddenly he's going to be somewhat "meh". And there are a huge number of such permutations.
 

nevin

Hero
Hypothetical here DM says that.

It's kinda clear what they mean what's not clear is where they draw the line.

For me I don't ban it atm only banned things are any race that flies and the Twilight cleric. Shepard druid might join that list.

In session 0 I do say Powergaming is not required. If you watch tier lists I prefer you don't use F or S tier stuff just don't abuse it.

I have vetoed one player with rolled stats and wanted a paladin/hexblade (with natural 20 stats).

So yeah if I see a Gloomstalker ranger rock on up with sharpshooter and wood elf I can more or less guess what's gonna happen but there's other ways to deal with it.
thing is there's nothing really wrong with someone maximizing thier character Dm should be able to adjust for it. And generally you maximize and there's something that is your kryptonite. Seperate em from the character that deals with that Kryptonite and they are generally screwed.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Please read what he actually wrote: "It's because I think power gaming is usually detrimental to running a game that is focused on character and story development, which is my whole thing."

(Bolding mine.)

THAT is a disproved statement. Powergaming is not contrary to running games focused on character or story development.

Sorry, making decisions based on stereotypes, that because someone is X they can not be Y or Z, is a harmful and incorrect opinion.
isn't part of the basic definition of a powergamer basically that they'll take a mechanically effective option over a weaker but thematic one? i don't see how that wouldn't conflict with a character focused game, either by undermining the character for power choices or just making an incredibly shallow character
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
isn't part of the basic definition of a powergamer basically that they'll take a mechanically effective option over a weaker but thematic one? i don't see how that wouldn't conflict with a character focused game, either by undermining the character for power choices or just making an incredibly shallow character
No that's more like basic charop. The degree to which a player does it & how they use the results are rather critical but can be rather nebulous & lack simple broad brush terms like "powergaming/powergamer".
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top