Gradnardia was musing on optional character creation methods (or the cheating methods) in AD&D. And their use in avoiding sub-optimal characters. Use of such characters is discouraged because of their low survivability. Without the maximum hit points and full bonuses for combat its felt that they would fair poorly. This probably stems from the fact that combat is almost always lethal. Lose all your HP and you're dead. But it doesn't have to be. The losing side can flee, surrender or negotiate. This can occur before all hit points are lost or the point when they run out (zero or below). Sub-optimal characters might have this happen more often but it is survivable. But in world where combat isn't always the end in death it does make them more optimal.
And something about a flawed character just appeals to me.