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mrken
05-21-2008, 09:29 AM
Please forgive me for asking a first grader question, but what defines a min maxer and a power gamer. I have always sort of thought they were pretty much the same person.

As for both players, I think they are people who will design a character with abilities, skills, weapons, armor, spells and all that to gain maximum damage in combat regardless to playability or in game circumstances. Using every word in every printed game supplement to gain greatest advantage over every PC and NPC in the game.

The reason I ask is after reading the comments of this board I sometimes wonder if I actually know the meaning of these oft tossed words. Same goes for Munchkin. I have always thought they were the kids just beginning to play after watching mommy and daddy play. Now I am beginning to think they are a type of gamer. I still think I understand a rules lawyer though.

Riftwalker
05-21-2008, 10:08 AM
I'll take a stab at it. At the least it'll provide fodder for the rest of the thread.

Min-Maxer: A player who strives to maximize their character's strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Typically these sorts of characters end up being very good at one thing and not so good at everything else.

Power-Gamer: A player that is motivated by making their character more powerful, rather than for the point of advancing the plot or the story. Attempts to have their character move in whatever direction that is most likely going to improve them the fastest.

Munchkin: A player that is a min-maxer to such a degree that it eclipses (virtually) all other aspects of role-playing.

Some people will argue that it is possible to have a min-maxed (or optimized) character and still role-play that character. However, munchkin players are so far gone that a background story that supports them is often laughable.

Technically, none of these are inherently bad things. Problems arise when each of the players and the DM cannot mostly agree on their preferences for these things. For example, a min-maxed player might overshadow the rest of the party therefore making the game less fun for them. A DM might find that a power-gamer isn't interested in the story he's come up with and grow wary of him.

A group of munchkins with a munchkin-friendly DM might in fact be happy together.

cplmac
05-21-2008, 10:43 AM
I agree with Riftwalker. I also think that all gamers may have some or all those traits to some degree, although most would be a very low degree.

boulet
05-21-2008, 11:15 AM
Well it may be my experience in France talking but to me a munchkin (Gros Bill in French) is a player who on top of min-maxing outrageously will also cheat flat out and whose character sheets "mysteriously" improve between sessions... I remember some GMs keeping the sheets of such players just to avoid that.

Dimthar
05-21-2008, 12:45 PM
Well it may be my experience in France talking but to me a munchkin (Gros Bill in French) is a player who on top of min-maxing outrageously will also cheat flat out and whose character sheets "mysteriously" improve between sessions... I remember some GMs keeping the sheets of such players just to avoid that.

In all the groups I played, the GM keeping the sheets of all players is a standard practice. I don't believe it was ever related to the "belief" that the players will cheat. I kept the sheets myself when I was the DM, mostly to keep all records together, I peek at the players strengths and weaknesses from time to time to increase a "a little" the challanges in the next session.

In our group back in Mexico we had our own resident Munchkin, I still remember when he DMed "the one and only" night, he almost set the table on-fire when "in the game one of the bad guys throwed an important document into the bonfire", he put on fire a Document he prepared for the ocasion and set it on the table for us to rescue.

.

nijineko
05-21-2008, 08:15 PM
i like to keep the sheets, just because i had players who tended to lose them somewhere.

i think it is possible (if very rare and unlikely) for a power gamer or munchkin to roleplay the character well. i say this because i've known one (and only one) munchkin who does so on a consistant basis. he typically plays a fighter or rouge, btw. however, the vast majority of munchkins just are out to be the best at everything if at all possible.

generally speaking i would rate them (in order of severity) as power gamer, min/maxer, munchkin, and cheater.

power gamer likes to optimize the character to be good at one or a few things.

min/maxer crunches it down and optimizes to the decimal points.

munchkins are about being the all-powerful somebody, or basically the i-can-do-whatever-i-want-and-you-can't-touch-me guy. you recall them from the playground days, they always got you, but you always missed them? they will bend rules to the point just short of critical stress, but generally not outright break them.

and finally you have the cheaters-those who have to win and/or be the best at any cost.

my two cp.

tesral
05-21-2008, 11:38 PM
Munchkins started as kiddie gamers. I.E. "This con is over run with Munchkins." Somewhere in the 80s it morphed to it's current meaning of the win at everyone else's expense power cheater.

Min'maxer and power gamer are nearly interchangeable. Different flavors of the same urge to get the most out of the character. "Twink" I have always understood to be a master min/maxer. Someone that can twist a game's rules until they scream, but never break them.

We need a term for the guy that can build the worst possible waste of stats character in any system and do it every time. Oh and excuses his anti power gaming to the point of impediment as "I'm a role player" as if you need a bad character to role play.

Malruhn
05-22-2008, 12:09 AM
I've always used the terms interchangeably.

Tell them they have an XX point-buy and to create a (insert character class here) of YY'th level, and you get a character.

Then tell them they have the same point-buy and to create another of the same class and level...

And you get a character sheet that is totally identical to the first, outside of the name.

I consider myself a role-player, but I can guarantee that while I don't purposely create gimped characters, every one of my character is different... even if you asked me to create 15 characters with the same point-buy, class and level. For me, I consider having the same character with different names the equivalent of playing a video game.

agoraderek
05-22-2008, 10:42 PM
I've always used the terms interchangeably.

Tell them they have an XX point-buy and to create a (insert character class here) of YY'th level, and you get a character.

Then tell them they have the same point-buy and to create another of the same class and level...

And you get a character sheet that is totally identical to the first, outside of the name.

I consider myself a role-player, but I can guarantee that while I don't purposely create gimped characters, every one of my character is different... even if you asked me to create 15 characters with the same point-buy, class and level. For me, I consider having the same character with different names the equivalent of playing a video game.

i actually think the munchkin, power gamer phenomenon has gotten WORSE with the advent of mmorps and more advanced computer rpgs.

Tesral, we just call them "drama class geeks"... (sorry dont know how to do "multi-quotes", not much of a computer person)

tesral
05-22-2008, 10:49 PM
Tesral, we just call them "drama class geeks"... (sorry dont know how to do "multi-quotes", not much of a computer person)

It's to the immediate right of the "quote" button. The quotes will be in the order you hit the multi-quote first to last.

"Dramatist" sounds good.

I gotta get one of those little buttons that says "</drama>"

MooseAlmighty
05-22-2008, 11:00 PM
generally speaking i would rate them (in order of severity) as power gamer, min/maxer, munchkin, and cheater.

power gamer likes to optimize the character to be good at one or a few things.

min/maxer crunches it down and optimizes to the decimal points.

munchkins are about being the all-powerful somebody, or basically the i-can-do-whatever-i-want-and-you-can't-touch-me guy. you recall them from the playground days, they always got you, but you always missed them? they will bend rules to the point just short of critical stress, but generally not outright break them.

and finally you have the cheaters-those who have to win and/or be the best at any cost.

my two cp.

That looks perfect from my experience. In fact, one of my players went straight through those stages over the course of seven or so years of gaming

nijineko
05-23-2008, 08:44 PM
We need a term for the guy that can build the worst possible waste of stats character in any system and do it every time. Oh and excuses his anti power gaming to the point of impediment as "I'm a role player" as if you need a bad character to role play.

may i suggest 'emo'.

'emo-gamer', if you want to be more specific.

tesral
05-23-2008, 09:08 PM
may i suggest 'emo'.

'emo-gamer', if you want to be more specific.

More concise. I like it.

mrken
05-24-2008, 10:02 AM
Sounds like all these terms are pretty derogatory. Maybe I will hold my tongue a bit better when I feel like using one of them. Some of my favorite people would be proud of the terms though.

tesral
05-24-2008, 06:56 PM
Sounds like all these terms are pretty derogatory. Maybe I will hold my tongue a bit better when I feel like using one of them. Some of my favorite people would be proud of the terms though.

I've never considered min/max, power gamer or twink to be derogatory, any more than a "blue-faced role-player". Munchkin is, but being one isn't an asset.

mrken
05-24-2008, 11:32 PM
Twink??? Ah, looks like I missed one, err, two. Blue faced role player? :laugh:

tesral
05-25-2008, 12:13 AM
Twink??? Ah, looks like I missed one, err, two. Blue faced role player? :laugh:


Guys like me that can turn "Sorry" into a role playing game.

mrken
05-25-2008, 11:17 AM
:lol:

agoraderek
05-25-2008, 04:08 PM
Guys like me that can turn "Sorry" into a role playing game.

"i banish thee back to the realm of 'start'. begone foul green demon, and molest this realm no more!!!"

tesral
05-25-2008, 08:50 PM
"i banish thee back to the realm of 'start'. begone foul green demon, and molest this realm no more!!!"

I never said I was the only one. :biggrin:

cplmac
05-26-2008, 10:12 AM
I never said I was the only one. :biggrin:

Maybe not the only one, but most likely the first and the best. A term has to have someone to give it a starting point, so I guess you can say,"been there, done that."

Valdar
05-31-2008, 01:29 PM
If you haven't seen "Munchkin's Guide to Power Gaming", I'd see if you could track it down. It's the best book I've seen on describing munchkinism, including listing all the various semi-cheating and full-on cheating methods that are common.

I've had both powergamers and min-maxers in the same game before- the min-maxer is the Wizard that complains that his arrows do no damage, after he's taken the lowest starting strength my system would allow... The power-gamer is (in D&D 3.5) usually in my experience a half-orc Fighter or Barbarian, and has fun chopping down lots of stuff, without a real regard to if they're doing it as efficiently as possible. Neither will typically have a deep regard for the plot, and won't roleplay beyond "hulk smash".

Munchkins are the ones who cheat as much as they can get away with, and get whiny when they get caught (I've actually heard "Hey, I almost DIED because you wouldn't let my armor bonuses stack!", after the guy -a bard, with a chain shirt and Mage Armor up - charges into the fray, leaving the rest of the party behind...)

Valdar
05-31-2008, 01:32 PM
And, I've never heard of "Twink" applied to table-top- just the MMOG meaning and the young gay boy meaning:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=twink

mrken
05-31-2008, 02:08 PM
Munchkins are the ones who cheat as much as they can get away with, and get whiny when they get caught (I've actually heard "Hey, I almost DIED because you wouldn't let my armor bonuses stack!", after the guy -a bard, with a chain shirt and Mage Armor up - charges into the fray, leaving the rest of the party behind...)

Generally I donít have a problem with a ten year old munchkin, but when the munchkin is a thirty or forty year old I get annoyed. We have two local gaming conventions here in the Denver area and I generally run three to five game sessions. Invariably I have a few, and am getting to know them on sight. Sometimes I can funnel them along with everyone else, but every now and again there is that one.

Power gamers, min-maxers, and munchkins are not really gamers, they really are just spoiled kids that wonít grow up. They sit at my table I take away the comfortable feeling they crave. They play nice and fair, I let them stay. Itís just so hard to tell a thirty year old they play like a thirteen-year old.

tesral
05-31-2008, 03:43 PM
Power gamers, min-maxers, and munchkins are not really gamers, they really are just spoiled kids that wonít grow up. They sit at my table I take away the comfortable feeling they crave. They play nice and fair, I let them stay. Itís just so hard to tell a thirty year old they play like a thirteen-year old.

I don't find is so. But I'm no respecter of persons, unless you earn that respect. Act five at my table I'll call you on it.

Valdar
06-01-2008, 12:45 PM
Itís just so hard to tell a thirty year old they play like a thirteen-year old.

The guy I quoted above will be 50 soon. And he doesn't act 13 just at the table, either.

mrken
06-01-2008, 12:52 PM
That is a shame. :sad:

agoraderek
06-01-2008, 04:57 PM
The guy I quoted above will be 50 soon. And he doesn't act 13 just at the table, either.

well, powergaming and "munchkin" gaming have been around since the beginning. i remember the discussions on the topic in the pages of dragon magazine in the early days, but they were called "monty haulers" then. gaming has a strange effect on some people, turning otherwise cool cats into power hungry disrupters who care nothing for the game beyond the numbers on their character sheet and the magic items on their equipment list.

tesral
06-02-2008, 12:10 AM
The guy I quoted above will be 50 soon. And he doesn't act 13 just at the table, either.

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.



well, powergaming and "munchkin" gaming have been around since the beginning. i remember the discussions on the topic in the pages of dragon magazine in the early days, but they were called "monty haulers" then. gaming has a strange effect on some people, turning otherwise cool cats into power hungry disrupters who care nothing for the game beyond the numbers on their character sheet and the magic items on their equipment list.

Usually the "Monty Haul" comment was about DMs that piled treasure on the PCs. A referecne to the old game show "Let's Make a Deal" and its host Monty Hall.

nijineko
06-08-2008, 03:42 PM
More concise. I like it.

thank you. and i'll take this moment and opportunity to mention that i value your opinions and insights in these threads immensely! even when i don't agree with your particular point on something or another, i value your views and that i get to see and think from another perspective through them. thank you, again! =D

tesral
06-08-2008, 07:47 PM
If you haven't seen "Munchkin's Guide to Power Gaming", I'd see if you could track it down. It's the best book I've seen on describing munchkinism, including listing all the various semi-cheating and full-on cheating methods that are common.

It's a hoot, except to the people that it fits. But comedy comes from pain and in spite of the entertainment value if you have not encountered the beast before it is a excellent field guide.



And, I've never heard of "Twink" applied to table-top.

"Twink" as being someone that can squeeze the most out of any character build. If you want a one legged pirate magician with a parrot familiar a twink will build the most awesome one legged pirate with a parrot that can be had in the game. A good Twink never violates the concept and never violates the rules. However the latter might be whimpering for its mommy when he's done.



thank you. and i'll take this moment and opportunity to mention that i value your opinions and insights in these threads immensely! even when i don't agree with your particular point on something or another, i value your views and that i get to see and think from another perspective through them. thank you, again! =D

Why thank you.