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I understand that character optimization questions are on topic, but what details must I provide in order for it to be a good answerable question that results in a useful answer to me?

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List your goals or requirements for the build

Always be as specific as you can about what you're trying to do. It would be difficult for you to be too detailed in outlining these details; the points below are a minimum.

Please also be clear about what is a requirement (must-have) and a preference (optional but preferable).

  • What goal are you seeking to achieve with your character? What do you want them to be good at, or what kind of role do you want them to play effectively in the group?
  • What research have you done so far? What options are you aware of that you think you'd like to pick up, and which ones would you like to avoid?
  • What level(s) are you building the character for?
    • If you're optimising for something: When do you want your character to peak and be the strongest? (Your character won't be at their peak for the full 1–20 level range.)
  • If you're pursuing or allowing multiclassing, what are your requirements (if any) for the multiclass level composition? For example, if you want an optimized fighter build, how many levels of fighter would you require that build to have?

List your group and campaign situation

  • Who are the other members of your party? Their rough level, class, and party role will help us understand your circumstances so we can ensure our advice will help you make a build that works well in the group, instead of clashing or being somehow redundant.
  • Are you playing in a custom setting with any custom restrictions? For example, your campaign could be low magic or certain classes/races might not exist.
  • Are you restricted in what sourcebooks you are allowed to use? Is Unearthed Arcana material allowed?
  • Are you playing in Adventurers League? If so, please mention that and also use the tag.
  • If you are creating a brand new character from scratch, are you using point-buy or rolling for stats on character creation? If you're rolling, what's the roll method?
  • What optional rules are you playing with? Some of the most commonly applicable optional rules are: Feats, Multiclassing, and Flanking.
  • What kind of equipment can we include? Is your build allowed to include magic items? Is there any limit to the magic items that can be included?

If your build is focused on damage as a goal:

  • Are you optimizing for nova damage or consistent damage throughout an entire adventuring day?

    • Nova damage means that you are optimizing for doing the largest burst of damage in one go no matter how many resources it burns. You are likely only able to do this once per day or some small number of times. If there's some minimum number of times you need to use this nova damage, mention that.

    • If optimizing for an entire adventuring day of damage, how many encounters per day should be assumed?

  • Should it be assumed that the character is acting alone, or can we assume that there are some members of the party that can provide buffs/support? If there are other party members, what are their classes and levels? If we can make up some or the rest of the party for this exercise (i.e. the party members aren't defined or don't exist yet), let us know that as well.

  • For damage calculations, should we assume all attacks hit, or should we approach based off of a miss chance based off some given AC? If the latter, what AC should we assume for hit chance calculations?

  • Should we assume average damage rolls or maximum damage rolls?

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