I recently dropped in on a D&D 3.5 session. I had to create a 17th level character. (I’ve never played a 17th level character in any edition of D&D.) I created a halfling sorcerer, Emanon.
Yeah, I created a single-classed PC. Yeah, I just picked three skills and assumed he put one skill point in each each level. Just because you can agonize over a character build in 3e doesn’t mean you have to.
Although I knew the campaign was winding down, I’d probably only play this PC this one time, and that it was mostly going to be a big battle; I didn’t choose a lot of direct damage “blasting” spells. Sure, I took Magic Missile, Fireball, and Lightning Bolt; but that was about it. It was pointed out to me that that might have not been the wisest course. But I don’t want to play a blaster.
I ended up using Fly, Invisibility, Teleport, and Baleful Polymorph. It was a...um...blast.
Of the magic items I was granted, I only actively used the bag of tricks.
Anyway, that and a blog post by Trollsmyth got me to thinking about how I enjoy...the opposite of power gaming. Rather than create a blaster sorcerer for the upcoming battle, I enjoyed creating a sorcerer not designed for the battle and then doing my best with that. How am I going to take these spells—chosen, not strategically, but simply on what caught my attention and a vague character concept—and apply them in this situation?
Likewise, I’m happy to try a party without a cleric—although conventional wisdom says you must have one—figuring we’ll figure out how to manage and have fun doing so.