[RPG] How to justify the thematic spell selections to other players saying they’re underpowered


I'm fairly new to D&D and tabletop RPGs in general, but recently I started an extremely charismatic and hardy (high constitution) Tiefling Sorcerer. I took primarily fighting cantrips, but all my other spells so far are (as my group puts it) "peace spells" like charm, shield, and suggestion. My DM agrees with my choice (as in I got Inspiration points).

But all the other players keep trying to convince me I'm playing an under-powered character. Is this a true statement? Is it valid criticism I should heed? Or should I resort to a squick of "this is what my guy would do" (which I would like to avoid)?

Some people were asking for details so here we go:

  • There was no discussion of roles beforehand. I had 3 characters prepped and choose one based on the rest of the party (we had no face).
  • My character is a draconic bloodline sorc lvl 2.
  • We are playing Out of the Abyss using Adventurers League rules.
  • My character's whole idea of a fight is to break an enemy's mind then kill him (not her where avoidable, he is a dragon/demon cross) at his leisure.
  • I would love to take the feat Spell Sniper mainly for the fact that it allows me to charm the "back liners" (read: commanders) easier.
  • My team is fine with the general idea but wants me to take more damage to supplement our wizard. (We're locked up in a Drow prison with no items.)

Best Answer

"I am having fun this way and I'm not a liability to the party so there is no problem."

From what I can tell you're going with a character who's more about support spells rather than outright damage spells. Which, given your good charisma might actually be a very good choice. But there's two sides to playing D&D: the combat and the roleplaying. So you need to ask yourself this:

  • What do I do in combat? Your build is not one of setting everything on fire, but you still have to do something to not be a liability to the party. If you have considered this, and thought about what you do if the monsters no-sell all your Suggestions and Charms, you should be fine. This is important for all characters by the way: what happens if your main thing does nothing against the enemy.
  • What do I do out of combat? As a character more geared towards roleplaying you should have a leg up in non-combat encounters. Make sure to point this out to the party and ask them how they deal with non-combat situations. Do they have spells that can do this? Do they have skills and high charisma to smooth-talk their way around? If not, well there you have it. If they do, selling your character is a bit more difficult but still managable.

Just remind them of the fact that if you're having fun and not a load to the party, they don't have a leg to stand on when critiquing your choice of character.