Min-maxing, also min/maxing or minmaxing, refers to the activity of making optimal choices when creating or building a player character in Dungeons & Dragons. It is short for "minimizing/maximizing", meaning to minimize one's weaknesses and maximize one's strengths.
Min/maxing a character in this way is also called character optimization or charop, especially when a character's entire career of starting and level-up choices are chosen ahead of time to make use of exceptionally effective combinations. This mode of play appealed to many players of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, which allowed a high degree of customization.
AD&D 2nd edition
The term "min/maxing" appeared in the AD&D Dungeon Master Guide (2e revised) (1995), p.45, where it referred to choosing weapon proficiencies to deal the most damage. It advised DMs to counter such players by placing them in situations where their choices were sub-optimal to create dramatic tension.
Reception and influence
- "Gimmicks to start with more; when in the true ethos of this game, it's about the struggle to get there. Not prancing about in your shiny new armor, thumbing your nose at the rest of the population."
- Dungeon Master Guide (2e revised) (1995), p.45.
- Curmudgeon in the Cellar LIV, 7m35s. Youtube, 2018.