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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:29 am
  

Hero

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:36 am
Posts: 1193
This is bothering me a bit. There seems to be a much larger power gamer (sometimes referred to as a twink) percentage than there are in other games.

In most RPGs being a power gamer is frowned on, if not outright discouraged. In Rifts people seem to consider it the norm, with non-power gamers being the far outlier.

So, what gives?


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:40 am
  

Adventurer

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:08 am
Posts: 738
Comment: They/Them
Some of the previous threads you've started with the same premise:
Trying to adjust to high powered play...
Power Creep and Effects Thereof
When, and how, to say, "No."
Best way to vet players...
No Love For Base Classes...


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:50 am
  

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Comment: For the White Rose!!!
If there are power gamers in your game, then it's the fault of your GM for allowing it. If there are power gamers in your group, well that's just human nature.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:01 pm
  

Knight

Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:57 am
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It isn't that power gamers are more common in Rifts, it is just that they are more overt. That is a biproduct of Palladium not caring about balance. The lack of balance creates a much bigger disparity between those that don't care about power and those that do.
The reality is though that what they are doing isn't any different than choosing for your Fighter to be a Half-Orc in DnD because you want the strength bonus. The effects are just much more pronounced in a less balanced system.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:41 pm
  

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Because they might not particularly be technically "Power Gamers" and something else.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:49 pm
  

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Comment: Yeah yeah yeah just give me my damn XP already :)
It's rifts. That's it.

The other PB games don't facilitate such anywhere near is readily or easily.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:40 pm
  

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Comment: If I could go back in time, I would join the cast of "The Thrilling Adventure Hour"
The more over-the-top the setting, the more prone players are to thinking in over-the-top terms for characters.
The more deadly the setting, the more players will seek to maximize damage output and minimize damage taken.
Rifts is over-the-top-gonzo-deadly-plus-the-kitchen-sink, so it's not unreasonable to expect a certain amount of "go big or go home" from the players. And as Captain Malcolm Reynolds says, "if someone tries to kill you, you try to kill them right back!"

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:56 pm
  

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after so many sourcebooks adding stuff to the game, rifts is by nature a setting that is very friendly to high powered games. compared to most RPG settings it's normal level starts on the higher power end, and when you start minmaxing without restraint you can very quickly reach extreme levels.
it takes a fair bit of effort by the GM to rein in the power levels to meet the needs of the story they wish to tell, rather more than other games tend to need, due to how palladium places group and encounter balance onto the GM's shoulders as a storytelling issue, rather than building it into the system itself. plus much of the more powerful combinations possible in rifts are situational, and can appear relatively harmless until you reason out the ramifications and potential effects. thus many inexperianced GM's do not always know when they need to say 'no' and get blindsided.

it also does to help that due to this, the game has gained a reputation in some gaming circles as being only for powergamers and munchkins, which means that it has a tendency to attract gamers that desire high powered play.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:24 am
  

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Hero

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Comment: Hey, relaaaax. Pretend it's a game. Maybe it'll even be fun
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Firstly I'm not 100% sure I believe the premise. I know I've not played in a overtly high powered game in any of the palladium open houses, but I have played in several low powered "sidekick" style games, and moderate powered "augmented human" style games.

However, If I were a betting man I'd say it is mostly an illusion caused by a number of factors.


A) The phrase "Mega-Damage". In most contexts that sounds almost a parody or satire of power gaming itself.

B) Open Power levels. If someone who never played Rifts before asked you "What is the most powerful character class" and you told them some of the optional or overtly cosmic/godly options, it could create the illusion that "everyone plays something like that". After all if someone who never played street fighter before would likely think everyone plays their highest tier character.

C) Lack of Min-Max. This one is counter intuitive, but in both the video game and several other RPGs the assumption is that your "base character" should/will be improved via Feats/Advantages/Flaws/Race-Class-Combinations/Skill Trees/Ever Improving Equipment/Multiclassing/Ect. So when someone asks how can I optimize this if you tell them you usually end up with something that was never intended, because that kind of optimization wasn't an intended feature of the game. (see the number of threads we have on multiclassing, it's an afterthought in Rifts instead of a main feature). Instead of min-maxing to make your juicer more powerful, you simply play a Mega-Juicer, you don't have to hide it behind "well rules as written..."

D) Front loaded. In the vein of lack of Min-Maxing, your Rifts characters are [for a reasonable majority] supposed to start out at a general power level, and then increase [slowly] in skill and ability. You start out as a "Special Forces" instead of beginning as a level 1 Grunt. From that perspective it is easy to see how one could denounce a Rifts player as a power gamer because he didn't "Earn that" level.

So when you get someone looking in from the outside looking at the game and you get the standard questions. "What is the best class", "How do I optimize that", "I get all this at level 1!", You get the illusion of a power gamer's paradise.

There are definitely 'munchkins' that embrace that and are loud enough to make it look like that is the real community. Then there are 'True Roleplayers' who declare themselves too enlightened to play such a game [Despite it being a game that believes 'Rogue Scholar' is a perfectly legitimate class].

Ultimately I think the stigma is mostly untrue and that a Rifts gamer is little different than any other gamer.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:52 am
  

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palladium's system makes powergaming relatively easy to figure out and involve much less twisiting the intent of things in the system so there's less of a negative stigma in this system.

honestly i think very few rifts powergamers see what they're doing AS powergaming- they're just playing the game as intended from how they read things.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:29 am
  

Palladin

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personally, I'm not convinced there is particularly an excessive amount of power gamers in rifts. I've spent time in a lot of forums for a lot of games, and frankly, every single one of them has people that gripe and moan about people who are having badwrongfun in just about every way imaginable, if you spend enough time on them, including people complaining about power gamers.

most likely, it is much like most of the other problems in *any* game; poor communication. it might, as noted, become a bit more obvious in rifts because if one person shows up expecting a game where a group of plucky street rats are constantly dealing with persecution from a corrupt CS officer who happens to be the ex-significant other of either a PC or someone the PCs are close to while another person could show up expecting to be facing down the mechanoids in an epic battle, with both of those being absolutely viable game concepts in rifts that use the exact same rules from the exact same books with little distinction being made between the two while having wildly different expectations about how powerful the PCs should be, but ultimately, it isn't really any different from the person who expects a dungeon crawl in D&D grouped with someone while another player is expecting political intrigue.

if we look at the most balanced game in the world, and spend some time in a group that discusses them a lot, it is almost certain you will eventually hear someone gripe about other people being power gamers, and frankly, I am not at all convinced the accusation will come up a noteworthy amount less frequently than it will in rifts.

if you want "fewer power gamers", do a better job of explaining what you expect from your group. you could still occasionally *actually* run across someone who is legitimately a problem, but I can't help suspecting that if you're running into "too many power gamers", the problem has more to do with the fact that you haven't done as good of a job at communicating exactly what kind of game you expect them to be playing before they show up. if you just invite them to a game of rifts with no further context, well, yeah you're going to have people showing up with stuff you didn't want. the game has a very long list of stuff you can play, and not all of it is designed to be equally good at everything, or even equally "good" in general.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:10 am
  

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:41 am
  

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Knight

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Most effective PC i ever had in one of my games; someone playing equivalent of a Vagabond ('Normal' person from BTS / Ninja's & superspies) who was ex MI-6 turned butler (his idea not mine). Saved the POWER-gamers from total disaster when they were trapped in a badly compromised fortress surrounded by an Infernal strike force.
How you say?
Simple; quick thinking and fancy dyce-bawt work using jurry rig to get the automated defense turret up and running, and ability to duck and cover to snipe at key devils when required.
The PC survived.
The PC was only Level 2.

Two of the "Power gamers" nearly got their PC's killed off because
A) One player was pig ignorant stupid and decided to "cast fist" instead of taking cover.
B) The other thought superior firepower would save the day. Missed all but one shot per turn and was out in the open, subject to counter attack in all sorts of (pun intended) diabolic ways.

Yes I have had problems with "power gamers" in the past and still occasionaly do. The secret? RIDE THEM HARD when they try and pull any loop holes. AUDIT the numbers on their PC sheets at all stages of Char-gen.
..and most importantly, learn how to say "F*** NO!" to really outrageous requests / numbers.
If you are GM, you have ultimate Veto.
Period.
Full stop.
End of Line.

i have had some idiots on these forums say "oh you're a power tripping tyrant."
After 37 years of being GM / DM I have been there, seen that... I think I have the right to dictate an ultimate ceiling for power scale.
Anyone doesn't like that... they can go play Exalted or Call of Duty.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:29 am
  

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Hero

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Well what is a 'Power Gamer'?

Classically the answer to that question is some-one whose goal is seemingly to make the most powerful character ever, and will exploit the rules to do so. I would contend the first of these qualities is actually not necessarily a bad thing, but tends to lead to 'un-fun' for others for a few reasons.

You have to ask, like with all players; what does the Power Gamer want, what do they get out of the game? Expressing a power fantasy isn't itself 'bad', hell that's what 90% of the Marvel movies are for example, but it can become bad in a RPG when done at the expense of the other players or the other players fun. This is where the later part comes in; and it's not just about exploiting the rules(and lets be fare, here Rifts is a highly exploitable game in that regards) it's about doing so to the detriment of the other players. It's not realizing that "Oh yeah, by the rules I can make my Demi-God Power-Armour Pilot also a better Ninja than the actual Ninja Character" and potentially not realizing that "My System Mastery may make me happy, but my failure ot share this with others is me being a collosal [insert explitive here]".

I'm not convinced Rifts necisarily has a surplus of these players; on-line the type in it's worst incarnations to me seems to frolick around Pathfinder at the moment, but of course there is nothing Empirical about either of those statements.

But Rifts has some pretty explicit Power Fantasies, a complete lack of mechanical balance in plenty of ways that aren't obvious unless you have what I'll mockingly call 'system mastery' here, and is basically the "Heavy Metal Van" of RPG's. It's going to attract people with certain mindsets and that can become perpetuating.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:31 am
  

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Rifts is a great setting. Play what you think will be fun.
Most of the people who whinge about power gamers do so because you decided to play something that you think is fun, and they don't
Note, there is also a big difference between a power gamer and a munchkin.
When I run, I set up reasonable limits... No full Cosmo-Knights, and some super-power combinations aren't allowed (though the powers are... just not the combinations). If everyone at the table is playing either a Mega-damage being of some kind or and SDC being with a robot or the like, and you come in with a Vagabond and get vaped in the first session, you may wish to rethink either your play style or character choice... maybe both.
If you decide to play a CS character infiltrating the party in order to betray them, and someone's playing a psychic who picks up on those thoughts because the party all just met for the first time (and as a telepath or the like, (I'd certainly use my abilities on strangers, wouldn't you?) it's no-one's fault but your own.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:21 am
  

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Knight

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It's two factors imo. Some GMs not being more strict in what they allow at the table and PB habit of adding something in simply because "would it be cool...". Which leads to many elements just too powerful allow in most campaigns. I am not saying balance everything yet in some cases PB never even attempted to. So some OCCs will contribute less because they are simply less powerful than some other character options.

It is what sets Palladium books rpgs apart from others some like it some don't. It's easy to powergame in other rpgs too. I play Pathfinder 1E and the gun rules are broken. They ignored player feedback during playtesting and made one ranged weapon better than the others as it targets Touch aC. Let just say it's much easier to hit Touch AC then regular.

In the end the GM has the final say and unlike some other rpgs where they give a warning on something that is really unbalancing PB just tosses it into a product and well hopefully as a GM ones vetoes it.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:21 am
  

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Powergamers in Rifts? That is pretty standard...I mean it is a setting where cosmo-knights and vagabonds are both legit choices. Even in the core book, just look at a full conversion cyborg...or a dragon. In most games, those class choices would be end game goals, not starting choices.
One of the things I like about PB is that the game gives choices, it is up to the GM and PCs to make those choices. Game balance takes a distant back seat to both choice and fun. I mean, if the PCs are going that far afield in terms of game ruining fun, just hit them with a Great Old One or a division of Coalition troops and problem solved.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:31 pm
  

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Comment: Yeah yeah yeah just give me my damn XP already :)
slade the sniper wrote:
Powergamers in Rifts? That is pretty standard...I mean it is a setting where cosmo-knights and vagabonds are both legit choices. Even in the core book, just look at a full conversion cyborg...or a dragon. In most games, those class choices would be end game goals, not starting choices.
One of the things I like about PB is that the game gives choices, it is up to the GM and PCs to make those choices. Game balance takes a distant back seat to both choice and fun. I mean, if the PCs are going that far afield in terms of game ruining fun, just hit them with a Great Old One or a division of Coalition troops and problem solved.

-STS



Focus fire from a 10 man cs squad will put a hurt on you REAL fast.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:58 am
  

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jaymz wrote:
slade the sniper wrote:
Powergamers in Rifts? That is pretty standard...I mean it is a setting where cosmo-knights and vagabonds are both legit choices. Even in the core book, just look at a full conversion cyborg...or a dragon. In most games, those class choices would be end game goals, not starting choices.
One of the things I like about PB is that the game gives choices, it is up to the GM and PCs to make those choices. Game balance takes a distant back seat to both choice and fun. I mean, if the PCs are going that far afield in terms of game ruining fun, just hit them with a Great Old One or a division of Coalition troops and problem solved.

-STS



Focus fire from a 10 man cs squad will put a hurt on you REAL fast.



While that's true, a lot of (bad) GMs gift NPCs with omniscience.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:20 am
  

D-Bee

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I want to chime in here and defend the power gamers for a second. Theres a lot of people claiming Rifts isnt very balanced. I disagree 100% for the most part. There are some exceptions that I can think of that are classes/characters that are pretty unbalanced but those are truthfully, not very common imo. These usually include the ability to do alot of damage, with methods that are cheap to spam, with a large selection of skills, very easy to do and not very many if any drawbacks.

Lets take a look at the mind melter. This is a class that has some very useful abilities in a socially manipulative setting. Consider the mind melter the perfect person to infiltrate a base or guild or town and accomplish xyz difficult task. You go in, get all uncle touchy on the right persons mind and you get the job accomplished. In that setting, the mind melter could be viewed as pretty powerful. Lets take that mind melter and throw him into the wilderness and tell him to survive. Check out his skill selections. The lore says they spend most their time exploring and expanding their mental powers so they dont worry about things like skills and book learning. They have learned to survive using their psychic powers and believe them to be superior to technology, magic and skill selections.

Rifts is a balanced game in that regard. Not every character is going to shine and be powerful/useful in every situation. True that battlefury blade wielding mystic knight is pretty powerful in combat, he even has some handy utility in eclip recharging, various spells, etc but he isnt going to do well in a technological environment where the goal is to infiltrate the blackmarket and find their source of xyz contraband weapons & armor thats fueling the pecos bandits in their lonestar pillaging of too small for the CS to care to protect settlements. You might want to hire a city rat or head hunter or something.

Thats another thing about magic too, theres so many spells that are simply cheat codes to overcome normally common obstacles in other RPG games. I was trying to find some inspiration for classic type fantasy dungeon crawl adventures so i could convert them to a technology rich setting like rifts and realized that so many common things completely negate otherwise difficult obstacles in dungeons. A lot of things can levitate and fly or climb or jump up a sheer cliff face our out of a pitt trap, or become invisible to sneak passed the guards, etc. Magic and psionics can literally make the everyday person just trying to survive in rifts infinitely easier on a day to day aspect. In those situation a level one ley line walker could seem overpowered.

Its up to the GM to present equal opportunities for all characters to have their moment to shine and look/feel like a power gamer. If people get excited about a robot, heavy combat 'borg, magic sword blending bad guys then yes, they are obviously going to look very powerful in combat settings. The psychics are going to walk through a city/social/manipulative/investigation based encounter or adventure. The practitioners of magic have a cookbook of cheat codes to bypass/nullify/mitigate a host of challenges & obstacles when progressing through a dungeon/ruins/base/etc. That operator is going to look overpowered when they are out leveling everyone over skill checks, coming up with a multitude of bad ideas and a few good ones. That cultural anthropologist that can tell you the strengths and weaknesses of every demon and monster you encounter before you even encounter them, every tribe of indians in north america, the psychics of psyscape, where to find dweomer and what exactly the god the shifter made a pact with is all about will seem powerful in his own right.

A GM who only cares about combat rich encounters will facilitate the power gaming OP is talking about. A glitterboy with a one track mind on combat will start to understand how one dimensional their character is when they fail to contribute to the investigation of this vampire infestation thats spreading. Deliver everything in moderation. Variety is the spice of life. Get spicy. Give everyone their opportunity to do what their character does well.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:20 pm
  

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Rifts® Trivia Master

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Wise_Owl wrote:
Well what is a 'Power Gamer'?

Classically the answer to that question is some-one whose goal is seemingly to make the most powerful character ever, and will exploit the rules to do so. I would contend the first of these qualities is actually not necessarily a bad thing, but tends to lead to 'un-fun' for others for a few reasons.


most people i know define them as "someone who's goal is to make the most powerful character ever and will exploit the rules to do so.. at the expense of the enjoyment of the rest of the player group"

in this sense they are similar to munchkins, which also try to make the most powerful characters at the expense of the enjoyment of the rest of the player,s but munchkins will outright break or ignore the rules to do so.

this is why they are such an issue.. power gamers tend to seek their power fantasy with no consideration for the fun of the other players, or for the GM's campaign. this is obviously disruptive and ruins much of the fun for the other players.

a player who works with the group to ensure the group and GM still has fun is usually called a high powered gamer or something of that kind, and high powered games where everyone tries to create the most powerful character they can and take on powerful enemies is a perfectly valid play style. but the key there is that the players and the GM are all involved in ensuring that everyone still has fun, it isn't one player having their fun at the expense of the others.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:30 am
  

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Champion

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There's an important distinction to make here between "power gaming" and "power gamer." All power gamers do power gaming. However, not all those who do power gaming are power gamers.

"The graveyards are full of middling swordsmen. Best not to be a swordsman at all than a middling swordsman." - Gaius Octavian Caesar, Rome (HBO)

If you want to play a fighter, then you'll generally want to be an elite fighter. There are a lot of fighting classes in Rifts. Human augmentation is a major theme of the game and setting, and much of that augmentation focuses on combat abilities. As a kitchen sink setting, there are many different sources of power in the game, and it can be interesting and fun to explore ways in which one might combine and synergize these sources and optimize a character for a particular role.

That optimization is the major appeal of power gaming in Rifts, and I don't consider power gaming, in this sense, to be a bad thing. In fact, an optimized character can also be a fantastic character to roleplay.

Eight minutes before HWalsh started this topic, he stated "I stopped reading once the words "power gaming sense" were uttered" in a thread I made about a Psyscape-native Psi-Stalker Cyber-Knight. I think it's reasonable to infer that that his objection to my idea spurred this topic. So let's consider it:

This specific combination allows me to create a potent supernatural-hunting melee fighter. His psi-sword is the most powerful form of the Cyber-Knight psi-sword possible under the rules as written, as far as I know. While nothing in the setting prevents this character from existing, the combination is both unconventional and unlikely. In my opinion, this is a clear example of power gaming.

However, there's a lot more to this character than how much damage he can do when he swings a psi-sword. His instincts, senses and abilities as a psi-stalker enable him to find supernatural prey, and his PPE feeding abilities are both a liability (dude needs to eat) and an asset (can de-power psychics/magic users). His skills as a cyber-knight are useful for combat, understanding his foes (demon/monster lore), and understanding the locals he's trying to help (anthropology). His Psyscape upbringing doubles his Psi-Sword damage, but it also broadcasts his emotions, requiring him to find ways to control his passions while hunting his foes (a difficult challenge for a psi-stalker). As a combination of three communities, he has more people he can talk to, but he's not truly a member of any of them. This hard fact drives him to wander, perpetually seeking a place or a people with whom he can belong, and deep down, he knows he will probably never find what he seeks.

I find the premise of this character intriguing, and I haven't written a thing about his backstory yet; everything interesting about this character started with my interest in making an optimized anti-supernatural melee fighter. I think most people/groups I've played with would welcome this kind of approach.

Where power gaming can go astray is when people focus solely on building a combat advantage to the point that it detracts from the character and the game, turning the character's abilities into an "I win" button, often by using the same ability/trick over and over. This is what I suspect you mean in the context of this thread. I think this is the power gamer HWalsh is talking about. I've played with that guy, I've GM'd that guy... hell, I'll admit that I've even been that guy (like 25 years ago), and frankly, it wasn't much fun for anyone involved.

Rifts offers a lot of appeal for power gamers. There are many ways in which you can create an overpowered character who can defeat, bypass, or nullify foes. It also offers a lot of appeal for roleplayers. I think it's quite possible to have fun while both role-playing and power-gaming, and I certainly encourage folks to do so in the games I play.

Thus, while I discourage players from being power gamers, I do not reject all power gaming outright, and I question the wisdom of doing so.

_________________
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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:44 pm
  

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Monk

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1. Rules Lawyer: A person who will only play the game with the RAW not the RAI. Playing anything other than RAW will delay the game
2. Power Gamer: MMO: A person who levels up quickly as a goal. RPG: A person who will make there character as powerful as possible.
3. Munchkin: A Power Gamer who plays the game competitively as if it can be won to the detriment of other players as they are competition.
4. Twink: Offensive term for a "weak" gay bottom. Migrated into MMO as a "Power Gamer" that requires the help of someone stronger. Migrated into RPG as a Munchkin. OPINION: It should maintain its derogatory note, in that it should be a Power Gamer or Munchkin that requires the assistance of a stronger Role-Player.
5. LARPER: LARPING when playing a LARP is fine. Someone who comes to the table and habitually acts out their actions with a foam sword... not cool.

Being a power gamer doesn't preclude being a role-player. Once someone's power gaming becomes detrimental to the rest of the group they are munchkin. The worst munchkin is one who isn't a rules lawyer and constantly breaks the rules. The most annoying, I think would be a munchkin, LARPER, rules-lawyer as everyone's game suffers as they play to beat them, they're constantly arguing the rules and swinging their foam weapons.

Every game lends itself to power gaming and I'd argue that most people power game in that you are looking for any advantage your character can get. Rifts, Nightbane, Heroes Unlimited, TMNT/AtB and Splicers are power games because they allow power characters to be built. Just because Splicers is point based for most of the construction doesn't eliminate power playing. The very act of building your stuff so it best suits your play style and character is power playing. You are building the best possible suit... unless your an imbecile and doing the reverse of a munchkin (which isn't a normal player). The "reverse munchkin" does stuff detrimental to the party just because they like screwing with people.
Like: (My bio-armor, which is a "rare" commodity given to warrior to battle the machine... yeah it is designed for heavy lifting... it is a cargo unit and I'm going to play the whole game just moving stuff. What? No, No weapons, just strength and transportation and things that would help in cargo transportation. Oh but we also came to the arctic from a jungle and my bio-armor operates poorly in cold weather. So...)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:45 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
There's an important distinction to make here between "power gaming" and "power gamer." All power gamers do power gaming. However, not all those who do power gaming are power gamers.

"The graveyards are full of middling swordsmen. Best not to be a swordsman at all than a middling swordsman." - Gaius Octavian Caesar, Rome (HBO)

If you want to play a fighter, then you'll generally want to be an elite fighter. There are a lot of fighting classes in Rifts. Human augmentation is a major theme of the game and setting, and much of that augmentation focuses on combat abilities. As a kitchen sink setting, there are many different sources of power in the game, and it can be interesting and fun to explore ways in which one might combine and synergize these sources and optimize a character for a particular role.

That optimization is the major appeal of power gaming in Rifts, and I don't consider power gaming, in this sense, to be a bad thing. In fact, an optimized character can also be a fantastic character to roleplay.

Eight minutes before HWalsh started this topic, he stated "I stopped reading once the words "power gaming sense" were uttered" in a thread I made about a Psyscape-native Psi-Stalker Cyber-Knight. I think it's reasonable to infer that that his objection to my idea spurred this topic. So let's consider it:

This specific combination allows me to create a potent supernatural-hunting melee fighter. His psi-sword is the most powerful form of the Cyber-Knight psi-sword possible under the rules as written, as far as I know. While nothing in the setting prevents this character from existing, the combination is both unconventional and unlikely. In my opinion, this is a clear example of power gaming.

However, there's a lot more to this character than how much damage he can do when he swings a psi-sword. His instincts, senses and abilities as a psi-stalker enable him to find supernatural prey, and his PPE feeding abilities are both a liability (dude needs to eat) and an asset (can de-power psychics/magic users). His skills as a cyber-knight are useful for combat, understanding his foes (demon/monster lore), and understanding the locals he's trying to help (anthropology). His Psyscape upbringing doubles his Psi-Sword damage, but it also broadcasts his emotions, requiring him to find ways to control his passions while hunting his foes (a difficult challenge for a psi-stalker). As a combination of three communities, he has more people he can talk to, but he's not truly a member of any of them. This hard fact drives him to wander, perpetually seeking a place or a people with whom he can belong, and deep down, he knows he will probably never find what he seeks.

I find the premise of this character intriguing, and I haven't written a thing about his backstory yet; everything interesting about this character started with my interest in making an optimized anti-supernatural melee fighter. I think most people/groups I've played with would welcome this kind of approach.

Where power gaming can go astray is when people focus solely on building a combat advantage to the point that it detracts from the character and the game, turning the character's abilities into an "I win" button, often by using the same ability/trick over and over. This is what I suspect you mean in the context of this thread. I think this is the power gamer HWalsh is talking about. I've played with that guy, I've GM'd that guy... hell, I'll admit that I've even been that guy (like 25 years ago), and frankly, it wasn't much fun for anyone involved.

Rifts offers a lot of appeal for power gamers. There are many ways in which you can create an overpowered character who can defeat, bypass, or nullify foes. It also offers a lot of appeal for roleplayers. I think it's quite possible to have fun while both role-playing and power-gaming, and I certainly encourage folks to do so in the games I play.

Thus, while I discourage players from being power gamers, I do not reject all power gaming outright, and I question the wisdom of doing so.


So... it is bad when power gamers become munchkins.

_________________
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BEST IDEA EVER!!! -- The Galactus Kid

Holy crapy, you're Zer0 Kay?! --TriaxTech

Zer0 Kay is my hero. --Atramentus

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:59 am
  

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Comment: Token Right Wing Fascist Totalitarian
"Never hit a man while he's down. Kick them, it's easier" - The Hunt
I always liked how Aaron Allston summed up the different types of players from his book: Strike Force (Champions Game)

Here is a summary of the types of gamers:
    The Pro From Dover (has to be best at what they do),
    The Builder (wants to make a permanent impact and fix the world),
    The Buddy (only there because friends are, not much commitment to the game),
    The Combat Monster (only there to fight, thinks RPGs are just fighting side scrollers),
    The Genre Fiend (only interested in the genre and getting all the bits just right)
    The Copier (has a favorite character they want to play and be)
    The Mad Thinker (Only interested in solving puzzles, finds conspiracies and puzzles where there aren't any)
    The Plumber (builds a character and then wants to play out all its personality and depths)
    The Romantic (only interested in romantic subplots and interaction)
    The Rules Rapist (figures out the loopholes and perfect combos in character building)
    The Showoff (must dominate the game and be center stage)
    The Tragedian (wants to play miserable conflict, be angsty and emo)

When you decide on the terminology everyone is comfortable with... that's when you can have a true debate on how to deal with certain types of characters.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:17 am
  

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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 11:04 pm
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I feel that Rifts happens to the one of the easier ways for a full gaming group to simultaneously engage in a power fantasy. When EVERYBODY is a freak of nature, its balanced.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:29 am
  

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Comment: They Saved Sureshot's Brain!
jaymz wrote:
Focus fire from a 10 man cs squad will put a hurt on you REAL fast.


A sound tactic except that it only works so often before ut starts coming off as NPC metagaming. It's the same way the opponents in D&D game target the casters always bypassing dangerous foes. Such tactics can be used though in moderation.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:40 am
  

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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
There's an important distinction to make here between "power gaming" and "power gamer." All power gamers do power gaming. However, not all those who do power gaming are power gamers.

"The graveyards are full of middling swordsmen. Best not to be a swordsman at all than a middling swordsman." - Gaius Octavian Caesar, Rome (HBO)

If you want to play a fighter, then you'll generally want to be an elite fighter. There are a lot of fighting classes in Rifts. Human augmentation is a major theme of the game and setting, and much of that augmentation focuses on combat abilities. As a kitchen sink setting, there are many different sources of power in the game, and it can be interesting and fun to explore ways in which one might combine and synergize these sources and optimize a character for a particular role.

That optimization is the major appeal of power gaming in Rifts, and I don't consider power gaming, in this sense, to be a bad thing. In fact, an optimized character can also be a fantastic character to roleplay.

Eight minutes before HWalsh started this topic, he stated "I stopped reading once the words "power gaming sense" were uttered" in a thread I made about a Psyscape-native Psi-Stalker Cyber-Knight. I think it's reasonable to infer that that his objection to my idea spurred this topic. So let's consider it:

This specific combination allows me to create a potent supernatural-hunting melee fighter. His psi-sword is the most powerful form of the Cyber-Knight psi-sword possible under the rules as written, as far as I know. While nothing in the setting prevents this character from existing, the combination is both unconventional and unlikely. In my opinion, this is a clear example of power gaming.

However, there's a lot more to this character than how much damage he can do when he swings a psi-sword. His instincts, senses and abilities as a psi-stalker enable him to find supernatural prey, and his PPE feeding abilities are both a liability (dude needs to eat) and an asset (can de-power psychics/magic users). His skills as a cyber-knight are useful for combat, understanding his foes (demon/monster lore), and understanding the locals he's trying to help (anthropology). His Psyscape upbringing doubles his Psi-Sword damage, but it also broadcasts his emotions, requiring him to find ways to control his passions while hunting his foes (a difficult challenge for a psi-stalker). As a combination of three communities, he has more people he can talk to, but he's not truly a member of any of them. This hard fact drives him to wander, perpetually seeking a place or a people with whom he can belong, and deep down, he knows he will probably never find what he seeks.

I find the premise of this character intriguing, and I haven't written a thing about his backstory yet; everything interesting about this character started with my interest in making an optimized anti-supernatural melee fighter. I think most people/groups I've played with would welcome this kind of approach.

Where power gaming can go astray is when people focus solely on building a combat advantage to the point that it detracts from the character and the game, turning the character's abilities into an "I win" button, often by using the same ability/trick over and over. This is what I suspect you mean in the context of this thread. I think this is the power gamer HWalsh is talking about. I've played with that guy, I've GM'd that guy... hell, I'll admit that I've even been that guy (like 25 years ago), and frankly, it wasn't much fun for anyone involved.

Rifts offers a lot of appeal for power gamers. There are many ways in which you can create an overpowered character who can defeat, bypass, or nullify foes. It also offers a lot of appeal for roleplayers. I think it's quite possible to have fun while both role-playing and power-gaming, and I certainly encourage folks to do so in the games I play.

Thus, while I discourage players from being power gamers, I do not reject all power gaming outright, and I question the wisdom of doing so.


So... it is bad when power gamers become munchkins.


Not quite.

Power gaming is an attempt to optimize some quantifiable aspect of your character for an advantage (usually in combat).

A power gamer is someone who power games to the point that it detracts from the game: key encounters become trivial, a single tactic beats everything the GM can throw at the character, and other player characters become irrelevant.

A munchkin is a little different. A munchkin is a power gamer who blatantly violates rules, principles of the setting, and common sense, all to create a ludicrously overpowered character.

Let's consider a player with a techno-wizard character who wants to make TW modifications to a Glitter Boy to make it effective in melee combat. He buys a large vibro-sword and goes to work.


A power gaming player might look up the rules for TW modifications and enhance the sword with the Lightblade spell to do more damage. To this, the player adds the Power Weapon, Speed Weapon, and Magical Adrenal Rush. The player also adds a P.P.E. battery capable of activating all these abilities at once. The player would run all these modification ideas by the GM before and during the creation process, work out how they would combine, and what the difficulty/cost of adding these modifications would be. The result is a GB that can, for 10 glorious melees, at the cost of depleting the PPE battery and exhausting the pilot thereafter, become slightly more devastating in melee than the pilot/suit is at a distance.

A power gamer might do all that and then flip through a bunch of other books and find some symbiotes from Atlantis, Triax juicer-lite drugs, magic tattoos, and cybernetic enhancements he can build into the suit, as well as some magic enhancements that make the suit invulnerable. The power gamer might also take some extra training from Heroes of Humanity to upgrade his hand-to-hand skill to Martial Arts or Commando. The power gamer might also get a dwarf smith to create the sword with bonuses to strike/parry due to superior balance, and might make the sword from some special materials to up the damage even more. The power gamer might get an 600 P.P.E. battery, allowing the character to engage all the magic enhancements four times without recharging. The power gamer would present all this to the GM after he's put it all together and get miffed if the GM said no to any of it.

A munchkin will have his rune smith Asgardian Dwarf alternate character whip up a new hammer that's mightier than Mjolnir, import a Ninjas & Superspies hand-to-hand skill for the techno-wizard with no justification, give the techno-wizard super powers and super-psionics, and make every armor plate on the armor a rune weapon so that the whole suit is invincible. The munchkin would run none of this by the GM and just show up with the character and expect to play.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:58 pm
  

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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 11:04 pm
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In the above example, the power gamer's failing (from a 'I want this to be a thing' perspective, which is not necessarily the same as anybody else at the table) was that he tried to rush it all at once instead of building it up over time with plausible explanations and in-session justification for how he got his hands on it. To really pile on the ********, you need to work the GM into normalizing parts of it over time. This makes the final culmination of the reveal much harder to argue against.

The munchkin just wants to live a power fantasy, and if he thinks overshadowing the rest of the group is part of the experience that there's simply no hope for him.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:34 pm
  

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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:19 pm
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Location: Somewhere between Heaven, Hell, and New England
Power gaming: Did the Time, Did the Work, Have the Scars to Show for it. Stand aside, punk.

Munchkin: I start out with the Best of EVERYTHING! Worship ME!

_________________
-------------
"Trouble rather the Tiger in his Lair,
Than the Sage among his Books,
For all the Empires and Kingdoms,
The Armies and Works that you hold Dear,
Are to him but the Playthings of the Moment,
To be turned over with the Flick of a Finger,
And the Turning of a Page"

--------Rudyard Kipling
------------


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:55 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Omegasgundam wrote:
In the above example, the power gamer's failing (from a 'I want this to be a thing' perspective, which is not necessarily the same as anybody else at the table) was that he tried to rush it all at once instead of building it up over time with plausible explanations and in-session justification for how he got his hands on it. To really pile on the ********, you need to work the GM into normalizing parts of it over time. This makes the final culmination of the reveal much harder to argue against.

The munchkin just wants to live a power fantasy, and if he thinks overshadowing the rest of the group is part of the experience that there's simply no hope for him.


I'd say that the power gamer makes two missteps. The first is in pulling in anything that gives bonuses from wildly disparate sources without giving thought to how and why the character might incorporate them. The second is the power gamer's approach to the GM. As for the munchkin, I agree that such a player's head is in the wrong place, but I wouldn't consider such a player beyond hope.

If I were GMing the person who was powergaming, I'd allow the player to make those modifications to the GB depending on the overall power level and make-up of the group, the skill/experience of the character, and the available funds of that character.

If I were GMing the power gamer, I'd ask the player to pick a single source of bonuses appropriate to where the player is at the moment, make sure that the character's resources were sufficient to acquire it, and let the player know that I would be fine with the character adding further capabilities as the campaign goes on.

If I were GMing the munchkin, I'd probably suggest a different activity like watch some movies/shows that could challenge the character's views on what makes a character interesting.

_________________
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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:20 pm
  

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Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:25 pm
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Hotrod wrote:
Omegasgundam wrote:
In the above example, the power gamer's failing (from a 'I want this to be a thing' perspective, which is not necessarily the same as anybody else at the table) was that he tried to rush it all at once instead of building it up over time with plausible explanations and in-session justification for how he got his hands on it. To really pile on the ********, you need to work the GM into normalizing parts of it over time. This makes the final culmination of the reveal much harder to argue against.

The munchkin just wants to live a power fantasy, and if he thinks overshadowing the rest of the group is part of the experience that there's simply no hope for him.


I'd say that the power gamer makes two missteps. The first is in pulling in anything that gives bonuses from wildly disparate sources without giving thought to how and why the character might incorporate them. The second is the power gamer's approach to the GM. As for the munchkin, I agree that such a player's head is in the wrong place, but I wouldn't consider such a player beyond hope.

If I were GMing the person who was powergaming, I'd allow the player to make those modifications to the GB depending on the overall power level and make-up of the group, the skill/experience of the character, and the available funds of that character.

If I were GMing the power gamer, I'd ask the player to pick a single source of bonuses appropriate to where the player is at the moment, make sure that the character's resources were sufficient to acquire it, and let the player know that I would be fine with the character adding further capabilities as the campaign goes on.

If I were GMing the munchkin, I'd probably suggest a different activity like watch some movies/shows that could challenge the character's views on what makes a character interesting.



:lol: :lol:
One of the best responses I've ever read to a gaming thread.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:20 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:13 pm
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Hotrod wrote:
A power gamer is someone who power games to the point that it detracts from the game: key encounters become trivial, a single tactic beats everything the GM can throw at the character, and other player characters become irrelevant.

Seems a bit one-sided though. Firstly "what is distracting" is subjective, and also GMs can hypothetically throw ANYTHING at at a player (and a single tactic can't beat all threats) and the gamer might still care about other players and their characters.

Hotrod wrote:
A munchkin is a little different. A munchkin is a power gamer who blatantly violates rules, principles of the setting, and common sense, all to create a ludicrously overpowered character.

That fits the earlier 80s/90s definitions from usenet, but over time I think applications of it have broadened. By 2001 for example it was getting called just -someone who's chiefly concerned with "playing to win"-


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:23 am
  

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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Axelmania wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
A power gamer is someone who power games to the point that it detracts from the game: key encounters become trivial, a single tactic beats everything the GM can throw at the character, and other player characters become irrelevant.

Seems a bit one-sided though. Firstly "what is distracting" is subjective, and also GMs can hypothetically throw ANYTHING at at a player (and a single tactic can't beat all threats) and the gamer might still care about other players and their characters.

True, it's quite possible for a power gamer to care about the other players and characters while being so powerful that the other characters become irrelevant in an adventure. There's an absolutely asenine quote in the movie "American Sniper" that goes:
Quote:
There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn't exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn't know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep.

Then you've got predators who use violence to prey on the weak. They're the wolves.

And then there are those blessed with the gift of aggression, an overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdog.

The movie implies that the sniper character is the sheepdog, and everyone else (including all non-sniper soldiers) are sheep. The writers of that quote/scene/movie can get bent, as far as I'm concerned. What wins fights and wars is teamwork, not some lone dude with delusions of grandeur.

However, this quote illustrates the perspective of a power gamer who cares about other players and characters. He/she will protect them in a paternalistic way. The power gamer might step back and let others take down a foe, but even such an act tends to come across as condescension.

Sure, a GM can throw enemies that might overwhelm the power gamer's character, but then the other player characters have to deal with a foe that is far beyond their own ability to defeat. At best, a GM might throw a scenario at the party that requires a non-combat solution outside the power gamer's skillset but within someone else's. That kind of approach gets hokey and lame really fast. It's like a "this looks like a job for Aquaman" moment in the Superfriends comics: the RPG equivalent of pity sex.



Axelmania wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
A munchkin is a little different. A munchkin is a power gamer who blatantly violates rules, principles of the setting, and common sense, all to create a ludicrously overpowered character.

That fits the earlier 80s/90s definitions from usenet, but over time I think applications of it have broadened. By 2001 for example it was getting called just -someone who's chiefly concerned with "playing to win"-


I guess I'm an old fart, then. Get off my lawn! 8)

The specific definitions of most of the terms in this thread vary considerably depending on the community/context. There are folks on this thread who use "power gamer" to describe "one who does power gaming" which describes just about everyone I've played with. Your definition of "munchkin" could apply to a majority of players who care about the outcome of an adventure being some sort of "win" rather than just roleplaying their character and letting the chips fall where they may.

All these definitions are totally legitimate, and I have no issue with you questioning my definitions. I think it's useful to have definitions that define how much players focus on building their characters' advantages, what boundaries they have, and what boundaries they ignore. That helps me explore the nuance between different peoples' approaches to RPGs. Defining "munchkin" as "someone who's mostly concerned with playing to win" could include every term I tried to differentiate above, which makes the term less useful in this discussion.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:06 pm
  

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Omegasgundam wrote:
I feel that Rifts happens to the one of the easier ways for a full gaming group to simultaneously engage in a power fantasy. When EVERYBODY is a freak of nature, its balanced.


Amen

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BEST IDEA EVER!!! -- The Galactus Kid

Holy crapy, you're Zer0 Kay?! --TriaxTech

Zer0 Kay is my hero. --Atramentus

The Zer0 of Kay, who started this fray,
Kept us laughing until the end. -The Fifth Business (In loving Memory of the teleport thread)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:15 pm
  

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Sureshot wrote:
jaymz wrote:
Focus fire from a 10 man cs squad will put a hurt on you REAL fast.


A sound tactic except that it only works so often before ut starts coming off as NPC metagaming. It's the same way the opponents in D&D game target the casters always bypassing dangerous foes. Such tactics can be used though in moderation.


Don't see how it is meta gaming in D&D. Mages have a specific known style of dressing and for many of their spells they're going to search through a bag for something start chanting and gesticulating. If the enemy are familiar with mages they're going to, most likely recognize them on site, before they start preparing a spell. Sure those combat classes up front may hit hard but that is why we have armor. That guy wearing the dress in the back with the big pointy hat and the big stick... he can blow us all up at once, make our armor melt or other horrible things and where is that going to leave us? Worse off than getting struck once or twice by their fighter. How is that meta gaming? Sounds like sound tactics. A better tactic for a caster would be to somehow look like a fighter or a thief... maybe an some sort of archer and then have a tank dress up as a mage with the armor underneath the robes... sure he'd look like a rather broad mage and could only pull it off with extra padding to look fat, but hey... it'd confuse the heck out of the opposition.

Same usually goes for Rifts. If you don't want to be the focus of focus fire then don't be the biggest baddest mofo or the obvious nuke.

_________________
:thwak: you some might think you're a :clown: but you're cool in book :ok: :thwak:--Mecha-Viper

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:33 pm
  

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Monk

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:59 pm
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Location: Snoqualmie, WA
Hotrod wrote:
Omegasgundam wrote:
In the above example, the power gamer's failing (from a 'I want this to be a thing' perspective, which is not necessarily the same as anybody else at the table) was that he tried to rush it all at once instead of building it up over time with plausible explanations and in-session justification for how he got his hands on it. To really pile on the ********, you need to work the GM into normalizing parts of it over time. This makes the final culmination of the reveal much harder to argue against.

The munchkin just wants to live a power fantasy, and if he thinks overshadowing the rest of the group is part of the experience that there's simply no hope for him.


I'd say that the power gamer makes two missteps. The first is in pulling in anything that gives bonuses from wildly disparate sources without giving thought to how and why the character might incorporate them. The second is the power gamer's approach to the GM. As for the munchkin, I agree that such a player's head is in the wrong place, but I wouldn't consider such a player beyond hope.

If I were GMing the person who was powergaming, I'd allow the player to make those modifications to the GB depending on the overall power level and make-up of the group, the skill/experience of the character, and the available funds of that character.
Agreed

If I were GMing the power gamer, I'd ask the player to pick a single source of bonuses appropriate to where the player is at the moment, make sure that the character's resources were sufficient to acquire it, and let the player know that I would be fine with the character adding further capabilities as the campaign goes on.
Agreed

If I were GMing the munchkin, I'd probably suggest a different activity like watch some movies/shows that could challenge the character's views on what makes a character interesting.
Agree somewhat. Before your steps, I would make sure that the characters disposition, or worse an insanity, isn't "competitive", as properly RPing that would present as have many of the characteristics that would be recognized as a Munchkin by people who didn't know what was being RP'd. If not that, I'd then find out if the player has played any other RPG's, not computer/console based RPS's and inquire if they know that there is no winning per se, especially when it comes to the other players.

_________________
:thwak: you some might think you're a :clown: but you're cool in book :ok: :thwak:--Mecha-Viper

BEST IDEA EVER!!! -- The Galactus Kid

Holy crapy, you're Zer0 Kay?! --TriaxTech

Zer0 Kay is my hero. --Atramentus

The Zer0 of Kay, who started this fray,
Kept us laughing until the end. -The Fifth Business (In loving Memory of the teleport thread)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:42 pm
  

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Monk

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:59 pm
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Location: Snoqualmie, WA
Hotrod wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
A power gamer is someone who power games to the point that it detracts from the game: key encounters become trivial, a single tactic beats everything the GM can throw at the character, and other player characters become irrelevant.

Seems a bit one-sided though. Firstly "what is distracting" is subjective, and also GMs can hypothetically throw ANYTHING at at a player (and a single tactic can't beat all threats) and the gamer might still care about other players and their characters.

True, it's quite possible for a power gamer to care about the other players and characters while being so powerful that the other characters become irrelevant in an adventure. There's an absolutely asenine quote in the movie "American Sniper" that goes:
Quote:
There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn't exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn't know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep.

Then you've got predators who use violence to prey on the weak. They're the wolves.

And then there are those blessed with the gift of aggression, an overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdog.

The movie implies that the sniper character is the sheepdog, and everyone else (including all non-sniper soldiers) are sheep. The writers of that quote/scene/movie can get bent, as far as I'm concerned. What wins fights and wars is teamwork, not some lone dude with delusions of grandeur.

However, this quote illustrates the perspective of a power gamer who cares about other players and characters. He/she will protect them in a paternalistic way. The power gamer might step back and let others take down a foe, but even such an act tends to come across as condescension.

Sure, a GM can throw enemies that might overwhelm the power gamer's character, but then the other player characters have to deal with a foe that is far beyond their own ability to defeat. At best, a GM might throw a scenario at the party that requires a non-combat solution outside the power gamer's skillset but within someone else's. That kind of approach gets hokey and lame really fast. It's like a "this looks like a job for Aquaman" moment in the Superfriends comics: the RPG equivalent of pity sex.



Axelmania wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
A munchkin is a little different. A munchkin is a power gamer who blatantly violates rules, principles of the setting, and common sense, all to create a ludicrously overpowered character.

That fits the earlier 80s/90s definitions from usenet, but over time I think applications of it have broadened. By 2001 for example it was getting called just -someone who's chiefly concerned with "playing to win"-


I guess I'm an old fart, then. Get off my lawn! 8)

The specific definitions of most of the terms in this thread vary considerably depending on the community/context. There are folks on this thread who use "power gamer" to describe "one who does power gaming" which describes just about everyone I've played with. Your definition of "munchkin" could apply to a majority of players who care about the outcome of an adventure being some sort of "win" rather than just roleplaying their character and letting the chips fall where they may.

All these definitions are totally legitimate, and I have no issue with you questioning my definitions. I think it's useful to have definitions that define how much players focus on building their characters' advantages, what boundaries they have, and what boundaries they ignore. That helps me explore the nuance between different peoples' approaches to RPGs. Defining "munchkin" as "someone who's mostly concerned with playing to win" could include every term I tried to differentiate above, which makes the term less useful in this discussion.


What I can't stand is people broadening a definition it doesn't make it more useful it make it weak. We used to know that we didn't want munchkins at the table but now if someone is labeling someone a munchkin it could mean that they are playing for a positive outcome, a "win" instead of being fine with their cohorts being killed? I mean that kind of munchkin I wan't on my team... I'll buy all his lollipops and join his guild. Heck by that definition that is every player who confronted a killer GM.

_________________
:thwak: you some might think you're a :clown: but you're cool in book :ok: :thwak:--Mecha-Viper

BEST IDEA EVER!!! -- The Galactus Kid

Holy crapy, you're Zer0 Kay?! --TriaxTech

Zer0 Kay is my hero. --Atramentus

The Zer0 of Kay, who started this fray,
Kept us laughing until the end. -The Fifth Business (In loving Memory of the teleport thread)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:19 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:46 am
Posts: 3294
Location: SDF-1, Macross Island
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Sureshot wrote:
jaymz wrote:
Focus fire from a 10 man cs squad will put a hurt on you REAL fast.


A sound tactic except that it only works so often before ut starts coming off as NPC metagaming. It's the same way the opponents in D&D game target the casters always bypassing dangerous foes. Such tactics can be used though in moderation.


Don't see how it is meta gaming in D&D. Mages have a specific known style of dressing and for many of their spells they're going to search through a bag for something start chanting and gesticulating. If the enemy are familiar with mages they're going to, most likely recognize them on site, before they start preparing a spell. Sure those combat classes up front may hit hard but that is why we have armor. That guy wearing the dress in the back with the big pointy hat and the big stick... he can blow us all up at once, make our armor melt or other horrible things and where is that going to leave us? Worse off than getting struck once or twice by their fighter. How is that meta gaming? Sounds like sound tactics. A better tactic for a caster would be to somehow look like a fighter or a thief... maybe an some sort of archer and then have a tank dress up as a mage with the armor underneath the robes... sure he'd look like a rather broad mage and could only pull it off with extra padding to look fat, but hey... it'd confuse the heck out of the opposition.

Same usually goes for Rifts. If you don't want to be the focus of focus fire then don't be the biggest baddest mofo or the obvious nuke.

Yeah, focus fire is just good tactics...like that is something that works in real life. Having your NPCs be stupid all the time is GM lazy-gaming. Real tactics work. Tuckers Kobolds man. I mean, seriously. Use suppressive fire, use cover and concealment, the more enemy troops, the more enemy actions, the more attacks, the more the PCs have to dodge or take more damage.

-STS

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