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Joined: Oct 2020
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A lot of people like to design their characters as "builds", meaning that the mechanical elements are prioritized, and put together according to what will be the most powerful, or the most survivable, or the best at accomplishing certain specific tasks. For these players, the mechanical FUNCTION of their character is the most important thing, taking primacy over any other considerations. Whether or not they "like" gnomes is irrelevant - if gnomes have the best bonus to X, then they're picking gnome. For these players, there is definitely such a thing as a "best" character build, and often times, it makes no sense to them at all why anyone would choose mechanically subpar character options.

On the other hand, there are the people who focus on the thematic or narrative elements of their characters above all else. They don't concern themselves much with whether or not the build they put together is powerful or "best" or most optimal mechanically, they just want the STORY of their character to be cool, unique, or exploring certain themes that they are interested in. They will choose a race with no bonuses their their class' main stats, just because they like the IDEA of being a half-orc wizard, or whatever.

Sometimes the first group are called "powergamers" and sometimes the second group are called "roleplayers", but those labels do not always apply.

Now, you may be saying, "I do a mix of both of these things!" And of course, the two groups described above make a Venn diagram with plenty of overlapping space, so there are lots of players who are somewhere in the middle. But I've found that most RPG players tend to lean, at least a little bit, toward one side or the other. I, for one, am definitely a mix of both, and sometimes prioritize build over narrative theme, and sometimes vice versa.

I like to make characters who are FAIRLY strong in their mechanical role, but which also have role-playing elements that appeal to me and that make for a good story. I won't always use the most powerful thing (class, spell, feat, equipment, whatever), if I don't feel like that thing fits the character concept that I have in my head. But I do try to choose things that complement each other, most of the time.

What about you?

Joined: Oct 2020
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I tend to make "my" character first, then roleplay a few times, after which I move to builds.
Trying this for example looks really fun.

Joined: Oct 2020
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I never saw why there needs to be a distinction.

The distinction often comes down to two styles of people not liking the other style of player. The "role player" want's to focus more on the acting and engagement, where as the "power gamer" tends to like the combat and mechanical aspect. But I don't see there's any reason why you shouldn't make the best possible character with a fun personality?

So yeah, I always consider my build, but it has to fit within a character idea. Sometimes I write my character from a build idea, other times I have the idea in mind.
I don't only play "the best builds", and find it fun to explore concepts and trying to maximize them.

Joined: Oct 2020
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At thiz point its just tryin new builds for me. Full release though ill do a self insert sorcerer though

Joined: Sep 2015
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I make builds in EA. I will make characters at full release.

Joined: Oct 2020
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I always prioritize characters and RP and don't really whether my characters are effective or not. This extends beyond character creation, with the armor they wear and weapons they will or won't wield or feats I'll take.

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This is a heavy combat oriented game, I feel like RP character "builds" will suffer. My first character was a "character" and I chose RP skills to match a story, and as I continued it left me weaker as I choose thematic skills and spells instead of what was optimal.

Just recently I tried to make a poison only mage based mostly on RP but I am finding he can't land reliable damage and I'm better off casting different spells as the two poison spells seem to be all or none type dmg.

Joined: Oct 2020
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I've always been of the mindset "If it sounds fun to play, play it", so it really depends on what I'm in the mood for.
For tabletop D&D I'm always down for an interesting roleplay opportunity, so I usually don't give a damn about what's stat appropriate, but sometimes I just really want to try out a class/subclass I've never played before and then it could be more fun to play with a more optimized character build. But even then, the first time I ever played a barbarian I did it as a high elf... so I don't know lol.
When playing video games I pretty much always go for rogues for my first playthrough, and I usually don't have a specific character in mind. I want to try out the gameplay first and foremost, and then build a character's personality and backstory on top of that.

Joined: Jul 2019
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Solo speed runs and Iron Man mode have never appealed to me. With that part out of the way, "powergaming" has never been necessary for me. In a solo game, I'll tend to play a reasonably balanced character. In party themed games, I'll build my party around my main character. With the Divinity limit of four characters, a well balanced party might be difficult to pull off here. I'm a completist, too, so I tend to make and develop my characters around experiencing as much as the game as possible.

Joined: Oct 2020
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Right now I'm not exactly making character nor build-eccentric characters. I'm testing. The game isn't finished -too buggy, too unfinished for me to immerse into storytelling and characters building. I've restarted too many times to get invested in roleplaying and I don't care about builds. If it was a complete game that I could play through, I'd focus most on character and story over build.

Joined: Jan 2018
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I always go pretty deep on imagining my character’s backstory (or characters’ backstories if I’m making a full party), and ascribing them character traits and specific personalities that are all largely irrelevant to the gameplay but only for my own internal enjoyment. I’ll also make non-optimal choices, such as I won’t play a character with less than 12 Int even if their class doesn’t need it, just because I like to role-play clever characters.

Even still, within those role-playing parameters I will powergame the hell out of my characters. I enjoy researching a game’s mechanics to find synergies that will maximize my character’s efficiency and battle performance. For example, I’m currently playing a sorcerer who has the magic initiate: warlock feat in my table top game because 3d6 scorching rays (thanks to hex) make me smile. I really hope Hexblades are in BG3, so I can live out my Vengeance Paladin / Hexblade Warlock power trips in BG3.

Joined: Nov 2020
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Race and background doesn't matter that much currently. Well, githyanki and drows get some more interesting lines but world doesn't react much (except goblin camp for drow) or react inconsistently (camp vs grove). My half-drow folk hero rogue roleplaying corrupted Robin Hood or what? There is no sense for roleplaying in current state of the game.

Joined: Sep 2020
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I kind of do both depending on mood. In games with no clear starting character concept like Bethesda games, I usually let the characters develop themselves, sometimes they are powerful, sometimes not but the ones I can come up with a story for will be played the most. Sometimes I play just to test out build ideas but these characters do not last long since there is no attachment. For multiplayer type video games I tend to build more around function but as long as it is a build I can find fun to play. For this game I have started with some DnD actual and planned characters to see what will happen. One is in no way optimized in DnD, stats all over the place, but is fun to play and forces me to be creative. Another was created here and will be a rather strange multiclass Ranger/Sorc but is actually my strongest character right now. I can't play some races or classes even if they might be the "best" because I just can't relate to them or have some silly reason. For games where I like to try soloing high level content I use something more optimized but still fun.

Joined: Oct 2020
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Short version - if I don't have a character idea for it, I won't play the build.

That said, I like testing builds that are outside the "main sequence" to see what they can really do. Unfortunately, game devs seem to have a habit of forcing people back to the main sequence, either by granting OP capstones to "pure" builds, or by nerfing anything that strays off the beaten path. Hoping that doesn't happen here.

Joined: Oct 2020
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Definitely characters for me. I'm not a huge RPer but I'm playing a game for fun. I don't care about having every last detail min/maxed for efficiency when there is no reward for me doing so. If I were playing a pvp game, I would view it differently but in a single player RPG, I build my character around what I find fun or interesting.

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I am drawn to certain playstyles, which is usually a nimble character with a powerful ranged option, that can also deal damage fast in melee range. So I played the blade a lot in BG2 as a dualwielding caster and then switched to Kensai/Mage. The last playthrough was an Inquisitor though. I always wanted to play an archer type character as well, but the restrictions on attributes always put me off a bit.

I do that right now as well, I play a ranged rogue with a heavy melee component at the moment. I would have liked to try arcane trickster to get a ranged spellcasting component into this, but thief is just so much better with the added bonus action. Those characters just are usually a representation of what I wanted to be in a world like this, so I am very set here.

Issue is, BG3 right now is pretty hard for someone who does not know how D&D works, what the character will and can develop into and what certain changes actually mean and how they transfer into gameplay. So I might find myself with a suboptimally skilled and suboptimally played character, a problem that I never really ran into in BG2, although I knew way less back then.

Joined: Mar 2020
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Depends how I feel.

I usually make "characters" with thematic and concept in mind, but sometimes I just want to try stuff and make "builds" too.

But I have more fun with the "characters".

Joined: Oct 2020
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Min-max or nothing. smile If my character knows the truth about existence itself ( max wisdom) but has no way to figure out 1+1 = 2 it's fine by me.


Alt+ left click in the inventory on an item while the camp stash is opened transfers the item there. Make it a reality.
Joined: Oct 2020
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I am min-maxing also. But it really depends on what number I am min-maxing. The ordinary powergames are too much fixed just on damage numbers itselves. I enjoy min-maxing number of minutes to finish the game (speed runs), the number of kills (pacifist, murder-hobo), the wealth (bare-hands, empty inventory), number or reloads (no-reloads, iron-mans), number of finished quests (completionist, and also any% speed runs) and many more. Funny note: my latest tabletop DnD character has min-maxed backstory. I re-flavored and nerfed his spells and abilities to best match the given narrative. It was very fun to create that build and it was very rewarding to play him due to constant need to be creative.


Joined: Oct 2020
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I always enjoyed making long, elaborate stories for my characters - no matter which game I play - just for fun. But in many games, especially the online kind, min-maxing is required to stay relevant - and so, I put class-fantasy and the roleplaying aspect aside to prioritize performance.

But, when I play solo RPGs, I tailor EVERYTHING for my specific character. Class fantasy, character design, roleplaying - call it what you will - games like BG3 is where I actually wanna focus on my character and their story rather than staring at number sheets to figure out how to best min-max my builds. If I feel motivated enough, I'll even write my own short scribbles or short-novels for my character (writing and reading is another hobby of mine).

The exception would be if I find the game extraordinary enough to actually replay it over and over and feel like challenging the higher/highest level difficulties. THEN I'll obviously put some work and thought into the build-designs and in-game choices, rather than doing "just another" round of roleplaying.

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