Has anyone got any flak for buildung a character that wasnt optimized?

macd21

Adventurer
I’ve seen it, though never been subject to it myself (I’m usually the GM). Most notably in a few DnD 3.X games. In one game I joined briefly one of the other players created what he thought was a funny character concept, but which resulted in his character being absolutely useless at the table. Most of the other players didn’t care, but some were very irritated - including the GM. The character didn’t last very long, and the player didn’t come back.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Trying to play an Int 8 Wizard isn't going to be fun or funny unless you derive enjoyment from trolling your fellow players, because an Int 8 Wizard in 3rd edition cannot cast spells, and thus has exactly one functional class feature, a familiar.
It just occurred to me that there one possible workaround…of sorts. With a single level of Sorcerer, he qualifies for and takes one of those sorcerous feat chains that lets you channel spell energy into magical effects- a lance of celestial energy, a fiendish howl, a draconic breath weapon, etc.

The caster doesn’t have to be able to cast the spells, just have the energy of the available slots.

(Now, if the DM rules the less intelligent character can’t even memorize spells, it’s iffier.)

IF the caster survives to sufficient level, then Reserve feats become an option. A really, really crappy option for a wannabe caster type, but…🤷🏾
 

Rules lawyers, optimizers, Min-Maxers, etc are all poor players. Older editions were built to make to make you role play not roll play. Somewhere people wanted to 'win' and that has been the sad state of the hobby ever since. If they want to play that way, more power too them, as for me, they can leave my table and feel free to do as they please. I'd rather have 3 imaginative role players than a room full of 'winners'.
 

aramis erak

Legend
@innerdude
STar Wars fans often have some idea beyond the sketch in the rulebook.
Plus, most aliens are 1 stat bumped, and another depressed...
Plus a skill level or a talent rank
Plus a special ability.

THe special abilities give a lot more texture in play than your overview implies.
Examples:
Wookie Rage: +1 unarmed damage when wounded. Brawling 1. Str 3, Willpower 1
Trandoshans: Regeneration, claws, and Perception 1. Str3, Ag 1, rest 2.

For many, that's enough to adjust playstyle. You don't generally take a wookie if you want to play a strong leader; you don't play a transoshan acrobat, either.
 

innerdude

Legend
@innerdude
STar Wars fans often have some idea beyond the sketch in the rulebook.
Plus, most aliens are 1 stat bumped, and another depressed...
Plus a skill level or a talent rank
Plus a special ability.

THe special abilities give a lot more texture in play than your overview implies.
Examples:
Wookie Rage: +1 unarmed damage when wounded. Brawling 1. Str 3, Willpower 1
Trandoshans: Regeneration, claws, and Perception 1. Str3, Ag 1, rest 2.

For many, that's enough to adjust playstyle. You don't generally take a wookie if you want to play a strong leader; you don't play a transoshan acrobat, either.

Yeah, I get what you're saying, the racial heritages do generally point to a preferred play style, but in the context of this thread, it's more about, what can a player do to distinctively play a trandoshan or rodian or ithorian, or whatever, that doesn't just fall back on existing tropes?

Because playing the aggressive, snake-hissing trandoshan warrior is just as much a trope as playing the beer swilling, faux-Scottish accent dwarf in D&D.

One of the questions being asked in the OP is, does it require purposefully trying to run a suboptimal trandoshan just to avoid being the trandoshan "cliche character"? (Insert whatever heritage from whatever system you like here.)

Obviously whoever the OP is quoting strongly believes that creating a suboptimal character as a way of being "unique" is unnecessary and badwrong fun.

I completely agree that it's unnecessary to create a unique character. I utterly disagree that it's badwrong fun, with the caveat that the GM and players generally agree to it in principle.
 

One of the questions being asked in the OP is, does it require purposefully trying to run a suboptimal trandoshan just to avoid being the trandoshan "cliche character"? (Insert whatever heritage from whatever system you like here.)

I would say that for any element of character creation, a choice made can either be better suited for some styles of play than others, or it's insubstantial and exists only as flavor text. If choosing to play a trandoshan or choosing to play an ewok leaves you with the exact same effectiveness at all options, then species is effectively just something you list at the top of your character sheet. This may or may not be desirable, depending on your outlook. For example, there aren't too many people still insisting that your choice of sex or gender should hold mechanical weight.

But in the case where options such as species do hold mechanical weight, there will always be optimal and suboptimal synergies, and that's perfectly fine. If someone wants to play the most mechanically optimal character they can, that's their choice, and the price is limited options. If someone wants to play a specific character build (either for novelty, thematic or role play reasons), that's fine too, and the price is that you may not be playing the best character on paper that you could.
 

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