Previously Gwazi Magnum
Basically, what D&D Edition do you prefer the best?
Having been the sole optimizer in my group I've ran into this before.This brings me to my next point. Because there are different players out there, that means that people are going to focus on things differently! Take me, I am what you'd call an "Optimizer" or even the dreaded title... POWERGAMER!!! But, the reason why is because I like do the best at anything I do, and I've always taken gaming seriously, and DnD is no different. I think up a character with a certain story or personality, then I ask, "How could I do THIS the best?" So, I am not trying to make the best class in the game to break the game, I am just trying to make the best class for the theme of my character. BUT!! If someone is more passive about their character building/optimization, combat isn't fun for THAT person. Now, if 3/4 or 5/6 are those kinds of players then combat isn't fun for anyone.
Great comments. And you're right, there are lots of ways to make better of the "power gamer" situation. I feel that 5e doesn't have too much problems with over optimization yet but it will once more books come out. And, support classes are in my perspective usually MORE powerful than your pure dpser. If you a bard or a transmutation wizard in 3.5/PF, you're the most damage in the whole party. You're either buffing one person A TON or you're singing and giving the whole parties buffs/damage/haste... And if you're supporting by disabling, you're basically making the DM roll save or dies on their best baddies, which pretty much wins the fight also.Having been the sole optimizer in my group I've ran into this before.
Though me and the Giant in the Playground Forum community found a rather good solution to the problem.
Optimize for the character, not the system.
Or if you do optimize the character, optimize support.
Essentially what this means is don't go into it thinking "How can I maximize my Damage?" or "How can I maximize the power of my Planar Shepard's Greenbound Summoning?" or even more crazy "How can I cheese Epic Feat rules with a Dragon Kobold with Chaos Shuffling for infinite ability scores and feats at level 1?". Because when you do that you're gaming the system, you're screwing over what little semblance of balance D&D has and forcing the DM to use nothing but optimized encounters, thus turning D&D not only into a numbers game only but also completely alienates any non-optimizers.
However, if you go into it thinking "This is my concept, how can I best represent this?" that's where Optimizing becomes a ton of fun. Because now you're not breaking the game, you're just tweaking classes to best represent a character without relying on DM lenience or re-fluffing. And Pathfinder helps with this a ton with Class Variants. But even then there are some concepts which aren't that do-able without some form of optimizing.
Ex: A Drunken Oaf
For this I ended up using Barbarian and Fighter. Grabbing every feat and trait I could for improvised weapons, which only improved them to the point to being on par with typical weapons when unenchanted.
And then I took a feat where when I drank any kind of poison and passed the fortitude save (alcohol counts as poison) I would heal HP equal to my CON modifier.
However, you could still optimize the character itself, as long as you do support. Say a Cleric who focuses on heals and buffs. Because now your optimize directly translates into the group as a whole being stronger, players no longer go "Man, he's doing better than me!" but rather "I love you! You make me awesome!". With this though you'd still want a DM with decent experience with the system, otherwise all that will happen is your party steam rolls the campaign.
+As a side note.
For the purposes of expanding character concepts/ideas I love implementing the Gestalt rule in campaigns.
And @Esper how does the Automatic Bonus Progression make players think outside of the box? Doesn't this just limit them or railroad them more than allowing them to select the magic items they want with the gold they earn? (Honest question!! Not trying to question your option choice just really interested in why you enjoy this option!! ^.^)
Yes, but in cases of buffs that's divided among the part so everyone benefits.Great comments. And you're right, there are lots of ways to make better of the "power gamer" situation. I feel that 5e doesn't have too much problems with over optimization yet but it will once more books come out. And, support classes are in my perspective usually MORE powerful than your pure dpser. If you a bard or a transmutation wizard in 3.5/PF, you're the most damage in the whole party. You're either buffing one person A TON or you're singing and giving the whole parties buffs/damage/haste... And if you're supporting by disabling, you're basically making the DM roll save or dies on their best baddies, which pretty much wins the fight also.
If that's what you're looking for I'd also suggest E6.By having a severely limited magic item list they are less likely to be loot mongers and try and steal everything that isn't nailed down. Allies become more of a commodity in the sense that they are in example:
The magic items they do find are precious, but also likely to bring trouble if they are flashing it around (and plot hooks).
Enlisting the services of mercenaries when something more powerful comes along.
Building their own mercenary company with their hard earned loot (not to mention giving me plot hooks).
Role playing instead of stabbing things to death (which opens up new options for them.)
And they are still bad-ass heroes/villains who are superior in many ways to the common folk. They become legends for what they have done under their own power.