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View Full Version : Powergaming, Point of View



Death Rattle
08-03-2010, 05:33 PM
Okay, lets say you see a character with a similar job to yours, say you're a rogue, you sneak around, scout, and disarm traps. Lets say you come across a monk, that can do the same thing, aside from disarming traps he can do everything you can just a bit better. Is he power gaming?

A barbarian with an 18 strength and Intelect 8 with a vibrant background at level 5, does it matter that he wrote the background after you came up with the build?

Is this really power gaming?

Sascha
08-03-2010, 06:27 PM
First thought: Depends on the definition of 'power gaming.'

Second thought: Different folks want different things from the game, which means there probably isn't going to be a universal response. Even if the answers to both are "yes, that's power gaming," it's not always going to be something to avoid, which is the tone I'm getting from the questions (though I could certainly be misreading the intent).

Without more context, I'm not sure I can give a clearer answer, on either the mechanical effectiveness angle of the first question or the delayed background generation of the second.

Death Rattle
08-03-2010, 07:58 PM
I'm just saying, it gets really frustrating when you're just playing your character, regardless of how you built him and someone calls you a powergamer.

Malruhn
08-04-2010, 06:20 PM
If you like to powergame, then it isn't a bad thing for others to do it as well. If you don't - then you'd better find and stick with like-minded people to round out your group.

What exactly does the backstory have to do with powergaming? I've built backstories and then established characters - and I've established characters and then I built the backstories... what's that got to do with powergaming?

Death Rattle, one thing I have found, after 30 years of gaming (will you give me credit for two months?), is that powergamers tend to have identical characters - whether they be warriors, rogues, wizards or lumps of jelly... the personalities are all identical. It's kinda like putting robes or armor on a mannequin... it's all the same underneath. Put me in a room with a group of players, and in five minutes I can point to the powergamers (if any)... and they don't even need to be gaming at the time.

In 30 years of gaming, I've had uber-powerful characters, and total dizassters (so bad, they couldn't even spell "disaster" correctly!) - and never once have I been called a powergamer.

Death Rattle
08-04-2010, 10:12 PM
Well I was frustrated when I made that post. At the time, I was being called a powergamer, obviously im not going to build a character to be bad, but Im not going to min max. I was being called a powergamer by a guy that perfectly fits your description. He has the same attitude, build, and classes with minor tweaks each time and up to this point, I didn't really care, but after he called me a powergamer because I had an 18 str on a barbarian at level 5? that just crossed the line for me.

templeorder
08-05-2010, 09:35 AM
"power gamer" is a term thats [mostly] subjective from within the group itself. Being that by someone elses standards - who cares? Your game is tailored to your style. But if the other PC's or GM sees you that way, then listen to what they are saying. The group is a collaborative effort - if you capable of doing everything, why are you with them? If each person does not have an emphasis as to where they fit in, where the others depend on them, then a lot of times that player feels like they are just along for the ride and any chance they get to shine is "second string" material.

Valar
08-27-2010, 08:30 AM
You're not power gaming at all. A Barbarian with an 18 str at 5th lvl... not unheard of nor out of the game system's prevue. Just sounds like "Sour Grapes" to me

tesral
08-30-2010, 04:53 PM
I
Death Rattle, one thing I have found, after 30 years of gaming (will you give me credit for two months?), is that powergamers tend to have identical characters - whether they be warriors, rogues, wizards or lumps of jelly... the personalities are all identical. It's kinda like putting robes or armor on a mannequin... it's all the same underneath. Put me in a room with a group of players, and in five minutes I can point to the powergamers (if any)... and they don't even need to be gaming at the time.


I'll second that. The makers of soulless killbots. They are not hard to spot at all.

Really, one needs to let things like that just roll off. Also keep this in mind. You will learn more about what a person will do themselves by what they expect others to do that what they say they will do. You mention the player tossing "powergamer" around was one himself? Not surprised at all. How does the old saw go? It takes one to know one.

Best defense is such circumstances I have found is to look the SOB right in the eyes and say "Yes I am. What's your problem?" You will find the flummox is on the other foot.

Joekak
09-09-2010, 09:23 PM
Okay this might sound dumb to a few of you, but this topic has me a little confused. I'm trying to get into tabletop gaming after years and years of MMO's, so when I hear "power gamer," I am thinking something completely different. Would some of you mind sharing your own definition of what a power gamer is?

Some of your references I understand, like someone who makes and fills out there character sheet, and then writes their background, might be a power gamer.
Or someone who goes a min/max route of trying to make the perfect character might be a power gamer.

So is a power gamer just someone who puts their numbers in front of the story and the role they are supposed to be playing(as it is an RPG)?

Can it also go the other way, though? If a person putting numbers in front of a story is a power gamer; then, is someone who goes all-out roleplaying and doesn't pay attention to numbers also a different form of power-(role-playing)-gamer?

tesral
09-09-2010, 10:04 PM
It doesn't have an exact definition, like "obscene". Ergo my advice to ignore it.

That said I consider power gaming to be twinking a character to use the system to the maximum effect, no role-playing considerations considered. I do twink minimally, I'll arrange characters to best use what they have for what I want to do. Development might be organic, but I see no point in starting useless. Building an ineffectual character is not good role-playing any more than building "soulless kill-bots".

Frankly if it is the way Joe power gamer gets his jollies and it does not step on the other players fun, don't fight it. It's not hurting anyone.

I have a Twink. He is also a damn fine role-player. He makes sure the other players' character are effective as well.