Author Topic: Homebrew Optimization Contest -- Brainstorm thread  (Read 12340 times)

Offline oslecamo

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I'm no part of this council, but I vote against pregame crafting, retraining and custom items, because it can easily degenerate into seeing who can abuse the gear rules the most, when the main purpose it's to test the class, not your WBL abusing skillz.

That and most DMs I know would throw you the DMG if you try to cheese your gear by claiming you took the stuff to craft (like those feats that reduce crafting costs), then retrained it all just before the adventure starts so you get free extra WBl whitout sacrificing anything else from your build at all.

Just glad my chosen class isn't an actual caster, but it would be somewhat demoralizing if the winning entry ends up being Scholar 7/caster 13 using and abusing gear crafting.

Really, stop WBL abusing tricks from the begginning, and I bet you'll actualy get more people interested, instead of people giving up from the start just because they don't feel like having to do spreadhseets just to abuse the most of their gear, which will be the decisive factor above all others if those sugested rules are allowed.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 09:41:04 AM by oslecamo »

Offline sirpercival

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Well, custom items other than staves/wands (which are supposed to be custom) have already been axed.

I see what you're saying about the retraining... my original purpose for including retraining was to increase the number of viable levels, allowing feat choices for early viability to be swapped out late-game for high-level viability.

I think the kind of WBL abuse you're talking about is certainly against the spirit of the competition... what do we want to do about it?

Also, oslecamo, all input is welcome :)
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Offline oslecamo

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Well, custom items other than staves/wands (which are supposed to be custom) have already been axed.
Staffs aren't suposed to be custom. From the srd:

"Unlike wands, which can contain a wide variety of spells, each staff is of a certain kind and holds specific spells"


That's why staffs have their own unique types. You're not allowed by default to mix whatever combination you want.

I see what you're saying about the retraining... my original purpose for including retraining was to increase the number of viable levels, allowing feat choices for early viability to be swapped out late-game for high-level viability.

I think the kind of WBL abuse you're talking about is certainly against the spirit of the competition... what do we want to do about it?

Simply put a clause that pregame crafting isn't allowed, unless the class is specifically built around an ability of that kind. That also solves part of the retraining problem, since now players don't need to worry about picking item creation feats if they can't swap them later.

Offline littha

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I am not a fan of retraining myself, i find it makes builds overly complex and hard to adjudicate.

However crafting should be fine so long as you devote the feats and spells required into it, especially if you are paying for the xp (as was suggested earlier)

Offline Garryl

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Also, the suggested 5:1 rate is more expensive than normal crafting (which is 12.5:1 before cost reducers).

I don't mind crafting at all. I do mind when the crafting is a greater part of the build than the main ingredient (in this case, the piece of homebrew).

Offline DavidWL

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I'm no part of this council

I would argue that you're the most important part ;)

Quote
    Allowed other content -- Anything published by WotC.  No Dragon mag, or non-WotC "official" content like spelljammer or athas.
    Build guidelines -- 32 point buy, 1 trait, 1 flaw.  No LA buyoff.  Must use at least 7 levels of the class (PrC or Base), more points for more levels. 

Note that the most obvious build is Plain Scholar 20.  And that because there aren't _that_ many maneuvers, and the Plain Scholar's are very good, if you look at any 2 plain scholar's, they will have 2/3rds of their maneuvers in common.

Really what will differentiate any 2 plain scholar builds:
1)  The "extra school" choosen
2)  The 1/3rd maneuvers that are different
3)  Feat choice
4)  if any are choosen:  Prestige classes, races, templates
5)  Gear
... ?

There are fewer dimensions to differentiation--> choose rules which will encourage more variety


LA Buyoff allowed
2 flaws
Any number of levels in the Plain Scholar Class / any number of maneuvers from Plain History, as long as this is clearly a very important part of the build

Quote
Retraining & rebuilding allowed, but no DCFS.

I disagree.  Part of the "point" of a ToB build is the maneuver choice, and which manuevers you choose to retrain at even levels, starting at 4th.  If we allow retraining, then we make this class feature less important.

Or, if we allow retraining/psychic reformation/etc., it not apply to maneuver selection, which is a core class-mechanic.

What do you think?

Quote
    Entry guidelines -- Present a 20-level build, including explanations of viability at various levels, indicating retraining where appropriate.  The more viable levels for the build (especially early levels), the more points.  Each entry must also include an explanation/justification of build choices (to give the author an idea of why things work together or don't).

I like the above.  +1

Judging Criteria

What do you think of this?

Home brew is a large and substantial part of build
* Note:  I want to encourage builds that are also creative in the use of the homebrew ...

Optimization of Build to Target
* In other words:  An amazing lockdown build is more optimal than an average wizard build, even though less powerful
* Look at the whole horizon of optimality (not just at one or two points in the build)

Creativeness & Mechanical Flavor
*  Have you done interesting stuff with cool abilities?

Best,
David

EDIT:  Also, no infinite loops, etc.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 01:55:35 PM by DavidWL »

Offline veekie

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Alright, to keep things going, shall we pick a deadline?
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Offline DavidWL

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Alright, to keep things going, shall we pick a deadline?

Well, I think what needs to happen next is a few people chime in with thoughts, and Sirpercival should probably summarize and say something like "Ok, then let's do this", and summarize.  Give a few more rounds to settle down and then start the competition.

I'd imagine:
- figure out 1st draft base-line rules ~ 3 days
- time to edit ~ 2 days
- Extra time for someone (Sirpercival or who ever volunteers) time to write a "real" draft and ask for any final minor feedback 2 days
- post and start competition

So I'd say Jan 1, 2011.  :)

Just my 2 cents
David

P.S.  I'd like to join the competition and submit, actually, as I quite like the class, but, once again, if there is more of a need for judges, I'm fine with that too.  I think once we post the competition thread, we can see how much interest there is.


Offline DavidWL

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Bump.  Do people agree?  Disagree?  Do we have any semblance of consensus?

Best,
David

Offline Vasja

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Those criteria look good to me.

I've got a fun 6th level build lined up - would this thread be the place to post it, or should I start a new one?

Offline oslecamo

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The rules sound good to me as well. Would I be allowed to present a build also despite being the creator?

Offline DavidWL

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Those criteria look good to me.

I've got a fun 6th level build lined up - would this thread be the place to post it, or should I start a new one?

Just wait a few days, and the "official" competition thread will start. 

I imagine people will PM their builds to the judges, and then all builds will be added to the thread on a deadline day.

I'd say, update your build for 20 levels, hold it for a couple of days, then PM to the judges.

The rules sound good to me as well. Would I be allowed to present a build also despite being the creator?

I'd say sure!  :)

That said, I think you have to be either a judge or a participant, but obviously not both ... ;)  Just let people know which you'd prefer.  (And while your material is undeniably awesome, I find it amusing that you might not win your own competition!).

In the absence of other direction

I will wait 2 days, then post a competition thread with the rules above.

Best,
David

Offline Garryl

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The above suggested criteria sound reasonable.

Have we decided who will be doing the actual judging?

Offline sirpercival

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I agree with the criteria.  I'd be happy to judge, I don't know if I'm up to optimizing at the moment.

DavidWL, do you want to judge, or enter?  If you want to enter I can post the contest.
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Offline littha

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I'm up for judging too.

Offline DavidWL

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I agree with the criteria.  I'd be happy to judge, I don't know if I'm up to optimizing at the moment.

DavidWL, do you want to judge, or enter?  If you want to enter I can post the contest.

I'd prefer to participate, as long as we have enough judges ... so ... please do post the contest! :)

Best,
David

Offline DavidWL

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Also, some more thoughts about what should be in the post for the competition:

1)  Who the judges are / who to contact in case of rules questions
2)  What needs to be included in entries (I would propose something like the below)
  • Build + Feats + Manuevers
  • Any important skills, equipment or spells (but don't need to list everything!)
  • Brief commentary to each point of the judging criteria
    • Why homebrew is a core part (if not obvious)
    • Optimality across levels
    • What are the key abilities / what makes it cool and different from other probable builds

Best,
David

EDIT:  Also, what about Exp?  (LA Buyoff, Crafting, Necropolitan, etc.).  Is experience a river?  Do people start with enough experience to place them in the middle of 20th?  (10K extra)?  (Note:  I'm fine with any answer - don't really care much).
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 06:32:18 PM by DavidWL »

Offline sirpercival

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I thought we were doing the 1 xp = 5 gp conversion, and crafting comes out of WBL?

I like your criteria, that's pretty good.  I'll write up something neat for the contest.
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Offline Garryl

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The only issue I have with 5 gp to 1 xp conversion is that normal item crafting is actually 12.5 gp saved per 1 xp spent. But that's just settling on the numbers.

Offline DavidWL

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The only issue I have with 5 gp to 1 xp conversion is that normal item crafting is actually 12.5 gp saved per 1 xp spent. But that's just settling on the numbers.

Hmm.

1 exp = 5gp
  • is like wish (5K exp or 25K gold)
  • favors spending exp, since it is cheap ... encourages crafting, etc.

12.5gp = 1 exp
  • is like crafting
  • favors not spending, since it is more expensive ... no benefit to crafting

I don't really care either way.

Best,
David