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How do you think about MinMaxing?
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How do you think about MinMaxing?

>Does it create unnecessary arms race between DM and Player?
>Is it ok because it does not always harm RPing?
>Or it can be bad because of imbalance between minmaxed players and non-minmaxed players?
>Maybe minmaxing is a must because it harms other players when you become a burden?
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>>45024716
A must if my group wants me to run a meat grinder.

Forbidden if they wanted to play a relaxed game or want to try out a module.
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>>45024716
Minmaxing is fine if all the player are experienced with an experienced DM and that is how they enjoy the game by demonstrating mastery of the system.

If there are many inexperienced players in the party, especially if the DM is inexperienced, then it should be kept to a minimum. Minmaxed players can easily take over a game.
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>>45024716
First, OP, there is a difference between min-maxing and optimizing.
When you know the difference between the 2 and how they are different from video games, you will have answered your own question.
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Depends on the party, depends on the game style, depends on the GM, depends on the system, depends on the intent.

And now that I've used more depends than a Shoji Tabuchi show, my take:

In my experience there are usually two reasons to minmax - pulling ahead and keeping stride. As the 'titles' suggest, one is for the intent of outperforming all your party members - the other is for keeping up, for example you wanted to try an unusual multiclass for a character concept and you've fallen behind.

The former is generally a red flag for a shit player, assuming the campaign isn't GM vs Players Gygax-style.

The latter is fine - if someone's crunchwise crippled themselves with a concept, compensating for this by being strictly utilitarian in their build choices is fair.

But like I say, this all relies on a lotta stuff.
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>>45024716
>Does it create unnecessary arms race between DM and Player?

No. Well, maybe. Sort of. Yes. I guess.

It can create an arms race, but it's never an arms race that a player can win. One of the (many) things a DM generally needs to do is find ways to challenge the player characters, and no amount of min-maxing is ever going to make that not be the case. I'm not going to run a game for player characters that doesn't challenge them, or run a game that has every situation turn into a TPK unless the players have brought the most optimised stuff to the table and play it as a tactical wargame rather than a roleplaying game.

If your DM is just running through pre-written modules, and is sticking to them slavishly, then you might be ale to get one over on your DM by min-maxing, I guess.
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>>45025029

This.

There's nothing wrong with building a mechanically functional character and ensuring the whole group is at roughly the same level. Everyone being able to mechanically interact with the system with equal potency is a good thing, and requires a degree of mutual agreement in a group.

Minmaxing with the intent of being more powerful than other players is just being a dick.

That being said? I know some people who find it hard to not optimize. Because of one trait or another, they find themselves automatically building high end characters and accidentally overpowering others, even if they're mostly thinking about the RP. However, they're mostly apologetic and willing to tone down their ridiculous BS if and when it starts to cause issues. If they aren't, that's when it becomes a more severe problem.
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If it's possible. through standard character creation rules, to create a character who heavily overshadows the other player characters, and steamrolls most opposition...

then you're playing a shit game that needed more playtesting. Why didn't you research the game before buying it?
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As a GM, imbalance between player and setting is fucking fine. Literally just means you turn the difficulty up.

What's not fine is big imbalance within the party.

So long as either everyone is doing it, nobody is doing it, or only the people playing gimped character concepts are doing it, it's fine.
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>>45024940
>>45025029
These.
>>45024716
Never okay when it makes one player useless.
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>>45025127
>locked-down class-based games are the only games that exist
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>>45025127

It depends. Some imbalance exists in all games, but how great the difference is and how easy it is to end up with it in play is a better measure of the system, IMO.

Contrast 3.5, which breaks in two with ease, with 4e, where most characters are decently functional and the upper and lower bounds aren't astronomically far apart.
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>>45025155
You know that there are non-class games that still have decent balance, right?

Reign and Fate Core, to list just two examples.
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>>45025275
Fate is balanced because it's barely a fucking system.

Any universal system is going to be breakable, that's just how this shit goes. The key is not to be the kind of player who's first instinct is to break the system.
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>>45025297
>Fate is balanced because it's barely a fucking system
You've never actually read the book, have you? Even though it's free?
It's a pretty traditional system, dude. You have an obstacle, you roll your skill to overcome it.
If your roll isn't enough, spend a Fate Point, justify it somehow (Aspects), get a +2.
Justify more things, get more +2s - you only have a limited supply of points anyway.

I don't know where this 'not a system' meme comes from, it's not like it's a hard game to understand.
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>>45025317

Because people are afraid of anything they don't understand, and a system that manages to be broadly applicable wlithout needing page after page of detailed nitty gritty rules is a relatively recent thing.

That isn't to say FATE is without flaws. Combat in FATE sucks, and the actual mechanical depth of the system is kinda lacking. I love the ideas of it, the focus on narrative and so on, but the crunch it has is kinda uninspired. Even if I think Aspects are one of the best mechanics ever created.
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It's all or nothing. Everyone minmaxes to their class' fullest extent and I throw difficult encounters at them with thought out, complex enemy layouts, or no one minmaxes, everyone plays something fluffy and we have a less combat focused campaign.
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>>45025317
I've read through the book, even considered running it.

It's one step up from freeform with a d6.

Hence 'barely a system' and balance is not an issue.
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>>45025127
Because it generally takes several years for things like that to turn up publicly?
Do you know how long it took for the CoDzilla idea to formulate, compared to when 3.5 was released?
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>>45025127
Because even in those games, minmaxing implies you are good at the thing you are supposed to be good at, and just that alone.
Only in 3.pf did being good at "Magic" mean you were good at everything.
I can make a total combat beast in Dark Heresy, but if I had to infiltrate into a gang, I'd be fucked.
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Its all in the players intent.

IF they are making a concept for a character, THEN going over the numbers and it make it fit and work in they system, then its optimization, and its fine.

IF they are going to the numbers first, THEN deriving their concept from that, or making the concept work with then numbers, then its minmaxing and you should bean the offender in the head with a potato
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>>45025429

There's nothing wrong with building a concept from the mechanics. I tend to be a very character and RP focused player, but sometimes when I'm looking at a new system I'll notice a particular power or option, think 'Ooh, that's cool', and look at building a character around that and supporting it. They're no less a fully developed character than if they came from a different source.
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I hate minmaxing in all of its forms, and I only take thematically appropriate feats etc.
My latest character was a turnip farmer in 3.5 and I rolled 3d6 in order down across the board.
Only stat above 9 was a DEX of 12,
Anyhow, I decided that even with a strength of 5 and a constitution of 3, he should be a tough guy, so I took Toughness as both my 1st level feat and my human bonus feat.
I am superior to you.
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>>45025429
>IF they are going to the numbers first, THEN deriving their concept from that, or making the concept work with then numbers, then its minmaxing and you should bean the offender in the head with a potato
So you intend to tell people how to make characters, rather than judging the end product when it's actually presented and in play?
Naw, yousa faggot.
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>>45025473

Oh hey there Strawman. Still looking for a brain?
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>>45025493
You call me a strawman, but I've encountered people with this exact fucking mindset.
It's uncanny, like being stuck in a Chick Tract on LSD.
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>>45025466
Eh, alright, as long as you didn't look at all the other powers or options to see which one would be wholesale better mechanics wise and then change to that, that is also acceptable.
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>>45025482
Well, I mean yes, if I was a Gm I would have some guildlines for how characters should be made. Its not an uncommon thing.

Anyway, thought putting mechanics and power over concept was the definition of minmaxing. Does minmaxing have a definition? is it even a thing?
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>>45025521

Nope. I feel like you're really struggling to make a bad definition work.

There is nothing wrong with looking through mechanics for character inspiration, and there's nothing wrong with choosing the 'best' option. What matters is the execution- Are they a full, properly fleshed out character, and are they optimizing beyond the ordinary scope of the game? If neither of those are true, then it isn't a problem.
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>>45025549
No, what you are doing is Stormwind.
I generally look at a game and think, hey, this chap does this.
Why does he do this? How did he learn it? Who did he learn it from?
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>>45025551
Ok, so I guess it just comes down to straight intent. Are they here to make a character, or are they here to make a power fantasy.
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>>45025367
CoDzilla is obvious the instant the Druid is two bears, and one of those bears is spellcasting, and summoning more bears.
Just by playing a class as intended.

3e had the advantage of the internet boom and more people looking and communicating, that's all.
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>>45024716

Minmaxing and optimization signal poor roleplay and inadequate management by the GM.
People will argue that the mechanics do not affect their ability to roleplay, but they seldom consider how mechanical ability affects their actions.

The main argument for this practice is a tacit admission the GM can't handle the game, namely that a mechanically powerful character has more potential to affect the world than a weaker one. Failure should not be a stopping point beyond which there can be no progression without success on a dice roll.

A reason table top RPGs have GMs is to mitigate systemic flaws, not to maintain some meaningless power equivalence.
If a character is fantastic at combat, their enemies would, logically, pursue other avenues of hostility. If the group is actually role playing instead of acting out power fantasies, then the issues optimization and minmaxing claim to alleviate do not become readily apparent, or are an important part of the social dynamic.

This isn't meant to be a defense of Ivory Tower design, it's more of a dismissal. If you want perfect balance, play a game with less diverse mechanics and complexity, sprinkling in as much role play as you feel is appropriate. Or play some game where you don't understand the mechanics enough to see it's shortcomings. Logically, there will always prove to be an optimal course of action, usually not apparent until too late in the game, as well as the opposite. It's the nature of complex systems.
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>have no idea how to play game
>other party members also have no idea how to play game
>skim through rulebook, find a cool combo that fits my character, start building around it
>have never actually tested the combo to see if it's any good, everyone is purely theoretical
>show GM my build
>he gets extremely annoyed and thinks I've broken the game
>the other players haven't even bothered to TRY making optimized characters or learn the rules, they just picked the most basic bitch builds they could without putting in any effort
>GM is perfectly fine with this
Why are people so afraid of making good builds?
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>>45024716
In Mutants and Masterminds, character approval is always left to the GM, so there usually aren't a lot of problems regarding that, if the GM knows what he's doing.

All in all, minmaxers should be avoided because of their usual tendencies to wank on their big numbers, meaning they care less about the important aspect of roleplaying.
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>>45024716
>Currently running a game as DM.
>Three players
>Two of them have their classes, and are mostly going with the flow, they don't really aim for anything too high, just developing as the story goes on, planning to pick a prestige class later, when their characters are more experienced, and they have a good feel as to what their characters would want to become.
>The third guy as I just found out, was basically handed something of a munchkin build plan by a friend of his

You have one guess, as to out of these three, which player is the one whose character was practically impossible to incorporate any story hooks for, even before I found out that he's building a broken character.


People who build min-maxed characters tend to concentrate so much on what their characters will eventually become, that they neglect who their characters are, and are left with bland, substances characters who have no reason to be in the story.
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>>45026221
So much this...

Although in their defense, especially with a system like Pathfinder, you start out with so much NOTHING that it's almost impossible to make the character you want to make at a low level. I'm not saying all characters should have a novel's worth of backstory before the story even begins, but if I'm playing a character who's supposed to be a reclusive old wizard-inventor and go into the game only knowing a single spell, that's pretty lame. Hell, if I'm playing a 19-year-old graduate of a city magic academy and only know a single spell, that's still lame as fuck.

So yes, it's a flaw to focus entirely on what your character will become, but at the same time, I can understand why that holds so much appeal when the early-game levels in systems like 3.pf are so damn dull and barren of stuff for you to actually define your character with.
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>>45026280
>Although in their defense, especially with a system like Pathfinder, you start out with so much NOTHING that it's almost impossible to make the character you want to make at a low level.
Heroes of Legend.

Started out my campaign by having everyone roll up a complete character history, with friends and family and everything, and making them down where they're from on the map of the custom setting I built. (The whole thing is roughly the size of Ireland, so they're about a month or two's foot travel from everywhere at any time).
Once that's done, hand out some special bonuses/penalties based on what they rolled.
From then, a player who's willing to engage in lore, will have a character worth playing, because while he may not kick ass left and right, he has something to talk about with NPCs, he has something to plan for (missing sibling to find, sick parents to visit/find healer for, etc).

This is the one reason my campaign is still running, even with the min-maxed character, because even if the character is not really building anything new, I still have a lot of history to work with, that can keep the character involved.

It's just kind of disappointing to see how both other characters have managed to have small impacts on the world, make friends in taverns they can meet again, gave advice to NPCs who can return in the future, this one guy is kind of just there, saying a one liner or two out of combat, and making jokes, instead of setting goals, and getting involved with the story.
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>>45026280
Also in addition:
THANK YOU so freaking much for posting that picture.
I've been beating my head for a while, wanting a nice bardic song for an old, legendary group of companions who play something of a lore role in the ongoing campaign.
Only looking at that, did I realize how well that song actually fits their story. The fact that in my setting halflings and in turn all bards already have a tendency to play russian/russian gypsy music also helps a lot.
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>>45026158

This is such a strange post, because while some of the points and statements are valid, the conclusions you draw from them are patently ridiculous.

The system matters, and part of why it matters is supporting the GM. A good system takes weight off a GMs back and makes their job easier, letting them focus on keeping the game fun and flowing rather than getting bogged down in mechanics or solving problems. Game balance keys into that. An unbalanced party is not a problem because of an incompetent GM. An unbalanced party is a system problem which makes a GMs job harder and detracts from his ability to run the game.
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>>45024716
Minmaxing is only a problem when it's one minmaxer in a group of normal roleplayers. In that case it's a pain to deal with, because upping the power level on enemies to deal with the one guy screws the rest, while otherwise he's cleaning everything out while the rest are cheerleaders. They're usually piss-poor roleplayers, though.

In my experience a lot of minmaxers enjoy doing it because they can lord their relative power over others. And that's basically That Guy behaviour. Of course, a literal minmaxer can easily be screwed in some other way, because they will have an area where they are extremely weak. Very likely an area they think of as unimportant, such as social or survival skills because "I'll just kill everything anyway, bro". For this reason the DM shouldn't feel shy about exploiting those weaknesses, especially if he flaunts them (such as insulting the king, because he can kill everyone in the room).

Generally speaking I hate the minmax attitude. To place a build or relative power before the character and the campaign. Sure, playing a powerful character is a lot of fun. But if that's your entire gimmick, it gets old fast.
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Minmaxing is good unto itself. Sometimes its the only way you can function at all. Often it helps speed up combats, which can become ultra tiresome. Becoming a burden is bad.

It also depends on how borked the rules are...
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>>45025029
I thought minmaxing is extreme form of optimization.
Whats the difference you think?
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>>45024716
>>Does it create unnecessary arms race between DM and Player?
Yes but then I slap down "Nope, that's enough for you".

>Is it ok because it does not always harm RPing?
If a guy is brainless hackyslashy he'll do it equally bad regardless of whether he's straight pure fighter or a five classes madmix. Hell the latter will probably be at least somewhat more involved.

>Or it can be bad because of imbalance between minmaxed players and non-minmaxed players?
Yes that's bad, but then I shove some advice on how to optimize down their throats or set up a small concession houserule for the character.

>Maybe minmaxing is a must because it harms other players when you become a burden?
I will also shut down characters that are totally shit due to either mechanical or conceptual choices. Although they have a chance to convince me otherwise.
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>>45024716
Minmaxarz are treating ttrpgs like vidya and trying to "win" they should knock it off.
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Is it just me or is minmaxing only a serious issue in d20 system games?
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>>45025473
>I am superior to you.
Yeah, except an unoptimized wizard or Fighter makes your entire character mechanically irrelevant, unless you abuse loophole rules like chicken-spam or defender.

You aren't superior, you're just some idiot whose stuck in believing the Stormwind Fallacy and uses it as a way to hide his inability to understand how the poorly balanced system you're playing functions.
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>>45027174
It's part of the brain damage that D&D causes in players.
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>>45027174

A lot of games can be min-maxed.

It's just that 90% of games are d20 games so 90% of all complaints about min-maxing occur in d20 games.
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>>45026949
Optimizing is "taking the character idea/concept and just making sure its a functional character that can actually perform its job in an adequate way without being useless.

Minmaxing is done with the intent of taking as many flaws as possible to grab as many boons and upgrades as possible, to build a character with the sole purpose of abusing a certain type of powerful combo and become a glorified one-trick-pony.
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>>45027264
I see now I understand.
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>>45027341
>>45027264

The tricky part is that some THAT GUYs will know of a particularly powerful combo and will try to pitch a character based around that not because they actually have a concept but because they know that one-trick-pony combo is stupidly broken.

Or worse: the system is so improperly balanced that if you pick a certain class/archetype then you HAVE to become a one-trick pony in order to even be moderately noteworthy in comparison.
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I generally see my players minmaxing as bad. It does lead to some fun things happening. Like a Beholder dying in a single turn to a party of five level 9s. Didn't even get his turn.
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>>45027367
If it dies in one turn, unplanned. Why not just make it pop back up with 150% HP and maybe 2-3+ bonus on damage / pierce.

Otherwise they'll think they've won.
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>>45027438
Because it killed a player due to a series of unlucky for him, lucky for me rolls. Legendary actions and the disintegrate eye beam are a bitch.
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It's boring, I tend to do horrible characters that just somehow roleplay my way trough it. Like dumb wizards and charismatic people who have shitty stats in everything else. If there's such a thing as luck or something you bet your ass I'll max it.
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There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting your character to be effective at what they do.
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I also enjoy accidentally creating a broken character. Once had a level 13 Cleric so strong we had to retire him. He outlived 34 other party members. He also strangled a Lich to death with a holy sling I found on the ground.
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>>45027358
>system is so improperly balanced that if you pick a certain class/archetype then you HAVE to become a one-trick pony in order to even be moderately noteworthy in comparison.
I hate this the most. The worse I've seen in the Kineticist from Pathfinder. If you don't choose the Air or Earth elemental chain and grab the movement options asap, then you are basically worse than a Fighter
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>>45024716
Oh for fuck sake.

>Does it create unnecessary arms race between DM and Player?
Only for shitty GMs.

>Is it ok because it does not always harm RPing?
It doesn't harm RPing, you tit.

>Or it can be bad because of imbalance between minmaxed players and non-minmaxed players?
If some idiot wants to be a jack of all trades, master of none, then I won't shed a single tear when the master of x trade shits all over him when they compete at x activity.
And I will laugh my arse off when that guy comes into threads like this and act like his mechanically inferior character is good because tacking on arbitrary restrictions makes him somehow a well-written character, when it's a huge fucking crutch, and completely misconstrue a minmaxed character as some kind of mary sue, or whatever other shit they say to make themselves feel better about their shitty do-nothing characters.

>Maybe minmaxing is a must because it harms other players when you become a burden?
Only when the GM doesn't allow me to hire an NPC specialist who can do the job you can't do for the party.
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>>45027224
Before you reply to a post that seems very stupid, you should read through it again to make sure it isn't sarcasm.
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>>45027870
This
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