Poor Gunslinger. I don’t think he’s going to last long in Jeremy’s group. The second he has a misfire, the other dragons are going to get suspicious. Gotta give him points for trying though!

Fitting into a group dynamic can be hard work, but I happen to think it’s the mark of a good player. I’m not just talking about the social aspects of gaming either. You see, there’s another kind of fitting in that gamers have to contend with, and it’s one that experienced players tend to overlook. It’s the kind that has to do with optimization.

Here’s where I’m coming from. If you’re talented enough to optimize a build, you should also be self-aware enough to recognize when you’re outperforming the rest of the party. When you see raised eyebrows every time you announce your damage, and when your GM is pulling his hair out trying to balance encounters, it may be time to step back and tweak your build. Maybe you can choose a fun ability at level-up rather than a “correct” one. Maybe you ham up your character’s phobia in combat, or concentrate on buffing your allies rather than swinging for the fences yourself. I’m not saying to play an awful character, but I am saying to consider toning it down a little. If you notice that you’re way more optimized than the rest of table, then treat your power moves like a sometimes food rather than your basic attack. Try to align yourself with the rest of the party. Chances are it will be a more harmonious table if you do.

So what do you say? Have you ever tried a self-nerf? Have you ever seen a player with a wildly different power level than the rest of the table? How did your group handle it? Let’s hear all about your power level negotiations down in the comments!


THIS COMIC SUCKS! IT NEEDS MORE [INSERT OPINION HERE] Is your favorite class missing from the Handbook of Heroes? Maybe you want to see more dragonborn or aarakocra? Then check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. You’ll become part of the monthly vote to see which elements get featured in the comic next!