It was the Sunday night Pathfinder game, and the BBEG had just assassinated our favorite NPC.

“Reincarnate!” we shouted at the top of our lungs.

“No dice,” said our GM. “Your adorable comic relief goblin is beyond such paltry magics. After a bit of arcane sleuthing, you determine that his soul is sealed away in a pocket dimension. You’ll either have to go there to bust it loose, or you’ll have to find a wish spell.”

As you might have guessed from today’s comic, we opted for the wish. We’d just done a level skip you see, and had broken through to 15th level. That gave us access to planar binding, which gave us access to efreeti, which gave us access to “1/day—grant up to 3 wishes (to non-genies only).” I won’t go into the way things broke down, but suffice it to say that we’ve yet to restore our comic relief goblin to the land of the living.

It’s the planar binding and the wishes that I wanted to talk about though. That’s because I was taken aback by my own reaction to the strategy. Speaking for myself, I’d always settled the question of power gaming by abstaining from it. If you trawl through forums and hunt long enough through the spell lists, high-level characters are capable of some truly ridiculous stunts. We’ve all heard of Pun-Pun and the songbird of doom and the locate city nuke. For me, these were always examples of goofy theorycrafting run amok: fun to think about but never intended for actual use. To see an “infinite wishes” strategy show up in-game was something I’d never experienced. I could feel the cold sneer of disdain begin to curl my lip. Munchkinry? At my table? Get thee behind me!

Let me be fair to that game’s arcanist: binding a genie isn’t exactly Pun-Pun levels of shenanigans. Homemage was only messing about with the strategy in the first place because we found ourselves in need of a wish for a specific purpose. He wasn’t actually trying to go for the infinite wishes thing. Yet despite the fact that so much can go wrong with this trick (e.g. losing control of the outsider; gaining the enmity of the City of Brass; getting monkey pawed), I still found myself overwhelmed by the sense that the whole thing was somehow dirty pool.

Don’t go roasting me yet guys. I’m self-aware enough to know that this is only an opinion. The GM didn’t have a problem with it, the other players didn’t have a problem with it, and (from my own internet researches) the rules don’t seem to have a problem with it. At worst, opinions on coercing wishes out of bound outsiders seem mixed. In other words, we’re getting our beloved goblin back one way or another, and I’m not going to clutch my pearls and object when we do.

That brings me to my question of the day. What is your personal tolerance level for power gaming? Do you ban such strats as they arise? Do you rule them on a case-by-case basis, relying on a gentlemen’s agreement to keep things in check? Or are you the kind of gamer that likes to dive face-first into the waters of crazy-pants super magic? Let’s hear it in the comments!