Overpowered Characters
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Is it important to take all the skills?

Think about this question for a moment, and then consider real life. Do you, yourself, possess a "high score" in all the skills? Of course not. Most people are highly skilled in one or two things while possessing a basic knowledge or skill level in most everything else and being completely unskilled in some other things. This creates a necessity for teamwork and collaboration, am I right?

Think, now, about Superman. The classic Superman had absolutely no flaws. Of course, he had the weakness to Kryptonite, but what did that offer? Nothing. It was so rare that very few could actually stop him from turning into an evil asshole if he really wanted to. Why would he turn evil? Boredom.

Boredom is the result of having a high score in all attributes and skills. To put it another way, playing a "super" character becomes un-fun very quickly because of the following reasons:

  • No chance of failure.
  • No weaknesses.
  • Invincibility.
  • No challenge!

This also makes a game un-fun for your fellow players. Here's why. Any DM worth a damn will know that the challenge rating of a particular module, campaign, encounter, or whatever has to match the party's overall challenge rating. So, taking it from the Monstrous Manual, the CR of any adventuring party is equivalent to the average "level" of the party members. This CR is then adjusted up or down depending on the attributes and skills of the party members as a whole. A standard 6th level party will have a CR of 6, give or take .5 to adjust for skills.

Making a severely OP character can also make your DM hate you because now he/she has to adjust the entire game to match the revised CR, which he/she knows will kill the rest of the PCs and take all the fun out of creating balanced encounters.

Having a member of the party who has 18s in all base characteristics (STR, DEX, INT, etc.) with nearly maxed-out skills will do a funny thing to the party's CR. Taking a 6th level party into consideration, a DM will know that any matched-CR encounter he/she draws up will be decimated by the super character. However, if the super character fails the initiative roll, and the enemies go first, then the rest of the party is going to get completely wiped!

The way to prevent this is to balance everything. In our Point-Buy based gaming society, people are more tempted to max out what they can. Simple way around this: DON'T DO IT!

Balance of the characters' skills will balance the fun/challenge scale for the game. Your fellow players will appreciate it, and your DM will be relieved!

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