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Video Games Make Power Gamers


Gamer Talk

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Removed posts and the replies. Try to be respectful of your fellow posters.


Vendis wrote:
JrK wrote:
It's basically because of this.

Not to derail, but I want to respond:

** spoiler omitted **

We used to be able to play without mindless repetition. Few games of that kind around anymore.


If this was true then couldn't you make the argument that formula one racing caused powergamers or something similar with the egineers who design the cars wanting to get every last advantage out of the rules possible to make the car go faster. Or waht I belive is powergamer is a type of person that can show up in all sorts of situations.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber
doctor_wu wrote:
If this was true then couldn't you make the argument that formula one racing caused powergamers or something similar with the egineers who design the cars wanting to get every last advantage out of the rules possible to make the car go faster. Or waht I belive is powergamer is a type of person that can show up in all sorts of situations.

I love the analogy because it helps frame my objections to "power gaming" quite well.

Some people love Formula One racing, where engineers dedicate their lives to creating the fastest racing vehicles on the planet (that can still turn).

Some people did not care for this specialization, and introduced "stock car" racing -- the idea that you would go to a standard car dealer's lot, buy a car, and race it without modifications to see which car was the fastest, and who could drive it the best.

Unfortunately, 'stock car' racing very quickly degenerated -- some 'stock' cars were better than others, and people started asking, "What is 'stock', anyway? Can I make these modifications and still call it a 'stock' car?"

Very quickly, "Stock car" racing became virtually indistinguishable from Formula One racing. Yeah, the cars look different, but they're still heavily-modified cars custom-designed and 'built' to exacting specifications to stay at the bleeding edge of the rules of allowed modifications. When was the last time you saw a stock car that actually looked different from all the others?

Some of us are old and crotchety and would love to see a Yugo race a mid-80's Honda for 'crap supremacy'. So we complain that 'stock car racing' has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with 'stock' cars.

And that comes back to the original thread. You start at a table with some people fairly new to Pathfinder, and you see the Toyota Corolla, the Honda Civic, and the Ford Focus. Not exactly racing machines, but they have personality, at least in my mind. Then your fourth gamer shows up with a NASCAR special. It pretty much obliterates the game for the other three players.

Four Formula Ones? No problem. Four NASCAR racers? No problem. Mix the group, and you end up with dissatisfied gamers.

Since I get to choose my gamers, I don't have this particular problem, but every week it seems like there's another poster saying, "We took in four NASCAR cars and ran through the AP track designed for Yugos, and it was WAAAY too easy."

Hence the constant complaining about 'power gamers'. When I browse these boards, I see frequent complaints about how easy the APs are, when I've come close to TPKs twice in the first module of RotRL. They don't seem that easy to Yugos. (Yeah. I just love the name. Yugo Yugo Yugo...)


g0atsticks wrote:


Why can't people be happy playing just a generic PC anymore instead of being power gamers?

I'm really generic in real life. That's why I like playing interesting PC's.

Taldor

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Yugos...the car that my country is still full of, although most of them should be scrapped. My friends and i attended an all-yugo race once. Still call it a cripple fight. Some of the cars stalled mid race because of modifications. It was fun to watch...


I normally wouldn't post to a thread like this, but I feel like taking the opportunity while we're on the subject of video games vs RPGs. I admit to being a bit annoyed at the seeming perception expressed by some disgruntled gamers that tabletop games have been around forever and video games are these newfangled things that have changed how we look at tabletop games...

When actually, I believe both started becoming known and popular (even if only among geek circles) roughly around the same time (mid 70s).

For example, in 1975, there was this dungeon crawler video game called dnd... wonder where they got the name from?

And that's just it... yeah, there's crossover back and forth between TTRPGs and video games, has been since the 70s, probably always will be, since there's crossover between the kind of people who play and design such games. And as such, both have influenced each other in their development, certainly.

Number crunching and power building is amongst both of them, but as they more or less evolved side by side, I don't see one influencing one more than the other. Especially since as another poster noted, RPGs themselves were an evolution of wargames, which (depending on the specifics) can be about power building and little else.

And in fact, since wargames have power gamers, and wargames predate both video games and TTRPGs, then power gamers also predate both video games and TTRPGs.

In truth, there have been and always will be number crunchers and those who try to see patterns and make optimal builds, whether in a TTRPG or video game or wargame or even something wildly different like an engineering plan or something... neither video games nor TTRPGs saw their start nor likely will see their demise.

And as both types of games tend to reward build optimization, directly or indirectly, it is unlikely power gamers will go away in either medium any time soon. (And if anything, as there are some types of video games which do not require "builds" in which to succeed, video games actually have a leg up on TTRPGs in this regard.)

I get sometimes the need to shake one's cane and tell the kids to get off your yard, but it's kind of odd when the person one is shaking one's cane at is another doddering old codger. And when the actual yard ruining culprit is the even older fellow now napping peacefully on the porch and ignoring the whole fracas.

Perhaps it would be more edifying to look at the similarities and parallel evolution of video games and TTRPGs and see how they helped each other become better (choices and consequences becoming important in CRPGs for example). But maybe that's just me.

I realize I'm largely preaching to the choir here but I just felt like getting this out.


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See a thread about the nature of power gaming? I can't help but put a pin on the problem that gets me most about it and others, even if they haven't figured out it is this. So here it goes:

The problem I encounter with most "power-gamers" is that their actual character that they role-play is un-informed by their game mechanic choices and vice-versa.

That is to say, their characters abilities, feats, powers, spells, gear etc. are all chosen based on being powerful at a particular task and reflect nothing of the character presented outside of the statistics.

I cannot, and will not, say that all meta-choices are bad. If you like a spell pick it, if your character needs to be harder to hit then get a feat or an item to help with that. Certainly there is some level of the knowledge of the rules that influences the choices we make for the statistical side of our characters.

However, I have seen many power gamers disregard letting a single one of these choices actually be reflected in their role-playing. Even if the choices are oddly specific and miss-matched to one another, they were purely chosen out of an end result of a powerful character and never addressed or mentioned by the offending player's character.

This dual nature between what is role-played and what is on paper creates an inconsistent character who's seem out of place due to their lack of connection to the abilities they possess.

The equivalent is like watching a pacifist speed construct an m-16 and fire it, hitting a bulls-eye. It's like watching a professional skate-boarder trip over his own feet while simply walking.

What's most hurtful is the fact that these "power-characters" have flat static personalities that you could copy paste onto anyone you wanted. Rather than having a character in mind and then choosing statistics to create that character, they create a powerful combination of numbers and then slip the character over it like a mask or costume. And while that is not a crime in and of itself, it is a lost opportunity to run a truly unique and dynamic character who could have been just as memorable for who they were as well as what they could do.


I don't think video games make power gamers.

I do think that many players of video games are hamstrung when it comes to tabletop role-playing gaming, because there isn't a single damn AI ever made that ACTUALLY promotes role-playing.

At best, one gets a menu of possible responses/questions/comments available... with a set and limited group of possible results.

Many video gamers simply aren't equipped by their video-gaming to role-play well.

NOTE: This is NOT saying video-gamers can't RP, and RP well; it is an indictment of the programming problems that cannot include any meaningful RP elements in a video game, and noting that a player whose majority of experience is with video games has an adjustment to make when moving into a tabletop environment.

But video games are not the cause of power-gaming; that would be, human nature. People wanna excel, people wanna "win," people wanna be the best. I've been playing since 1980, starting with Basic Dungeons and Dragons, and then 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and Gamma World... I've dabbled in every system I could get my hands on, and there are people who play for fun and people who play to win in ALL of them. Long before the proliferation of video gaming platforms and games to play upon them...


Alitan wrote:

I don't think video games make power gamers.

I do think that many players of video games are hamstrung when it comes to tabletop role-playing gaming, because there isn't a single damn AI ever made that ACTUALLY promotes role-playing.

At best, one gets a menu of possible responses/questions/comments available... with a set and limited group of possible results.

Many video gamers simply aren't equipped by their video-gaming to role-play well.

NOTE: This is NOT saying video-gamers can't RP, and RP well; it is an indictment of the programming problems that cannot include any meaningful RP elements in a video game, and noting that a player whose majority of experience is with video games has an adjustment to make when moving into a tabletop environment.

But video games are not the cause of power-gaming; that would be, human nature. People wanna excel, people wanna "win," people wanna be the best. I've been playing since 1980, starting with Basic Dungeons and Dragons, and then 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and Gamma World... I've dabbled in every system I could get my hands on, and there are people who play for fun and people who play to win in ALL of them. Long before the proliferation of video gaming platforms and games to play upon them...

I admit I find it hard to actually role play in a video game.


Justin Ricobaldi wrote:


However, I have seen many power gamers disregard letting a single one of these choices actually be reflected in their role-playing. Even if the choices are oddly specific and miss-matched to one another, they were purely chosen out of an end result of a powerful character and never addressed or mentioned by the offending player's character.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean. Could you look over my "Ranger Archetype" post (on the first page of this thread) and tell me if that's the problem as you see it?

Justin Ricobaldi wrote:


What's most hurtful is the fact that these "power-characters" have flat static personalities that you could copy paste onto anyone you wanted. Rather than having a character in mind and then choosing statistics to create that character, they create a powerful combination of numbers and then slip the character over it like a mask or costume. And while that is not a crime in and of itself, it is a lost opportunity...

Guilty as charged. I HAVE been spending too much time at the table optimizing my choices instead of getting into the fun. But, on the other hand, stormwind fallacy. "Powergaming" does not require bad roleplaying. Making unoptimized (or sandbagged) characters does not automatically make you a good roleplayer either.


Alitan wrote:

I don't think video games make power gamers.

I do think that many players of video games are hamstrung when it comes to tabletop role-playing gaming, because there isn't a single damn AI ever made that ACTUALLY promotes role-playing.

At best, one gets a menu of possible responses/questions/comments available... with a set and limited group of possible results.

Many video gamers simply aren't equipped by their video-gaming to role-play well.

NOTE: This is NOT saying video-gamers can't RP, and RP well; it is an indictment of the programming problems that cannot include any meaningful RP elements in a video game, and noting that a player whose majority of experience is with video games has an adjustment to make when moving into a tabletop environment.

But video games are not the cause of power-gaming; that would be, human nature. People wanna excel, people wanna "win," people wanna be the best. I've been playing since 1980, starting with Basic Dungeons and Dragons, and then 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and Gamma World... I've dabbled in every system I could get my hands on, and there are people who play for fun and people who play to win in ALL of them. Long before the proliferation of video gaming platforms and games to play upon them...

Many chess players aren't equipped by their chess playing to roleplay well. Many Monopoly players aren't equipped by their Monopoly playing to roleplay well. Etc. etc. etc. But we aren't debating about how board games are ruining TTRPGs. What makes video games different and stand out? (As an aside and anecdotally, I've also seen board gamers be way more irritating at optimization--and are a lot more competitive--than video gamers coming into TTRPG, for the record.)

I would say that I also at least feel like I've had an opportunity to roleplay in some CRPGs. Very rarely, mind, and it's still the exception to the rule at this point, but I feel like at least that I've been able to act the way my character would in words or in deed--and importantly, not felt "punished" for doing that (i.e., not get a bad game result because I didn't pick the optimal "answer").

You note that video gamers can be good roleplayers and I would note that in my (limited and anecdotal) experience, people who are largely only video gamers who then come to TTRPGs grab onto the freedom they offer pretty quickly. In a demo I ran, the guy who was a WOW player and not into gaming otherwise started initiating more character interaction and doing stuff based on his character's motivations more than some of the veteran RPGers in the group. He was excited by something others took for granted.


DeathQuaker wrote:
Alitan wrote:

I don't think video games make power gamers.

I do think that many players of video games are hamstrung when it comes to tabletop role-playing gaming, because there isn't a single damn AI ever made that ACTUALLY promotes role-playing.

At best, one gets a menu of possible responses/questions/comments available... with a set and limited group of possible results.

Many video gamers simply aren't equipped by their video-gaming to role-play well.

NOTE: This is NOT saying video-gamers can't RP, and RP well; it is an indictment of the programming problems that cannot include any meaningful RP elements in a video game, and noting that a player whose majority of experience is with video games has an adjustment to make when moving into a tabletop environment.

But video games are not the cause of power-gaming; that would be, human nature. People wanna excel, people wanna "win," people wanna be the best. I've been playing since 1980, starting with Basic Dungeons and Dragons, and then 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and Gamma World... I've dabbled in every system I could get my hands on, and there are people who play for fun and people who play to win in ALL of them. Long before the proliferation of video gaming platforms and games to play upon them...

Many chess players aren't equipped by their chess playing to roleplay well. Many Monopoly players aren't equipped by their Monopoly playing to roleplay well. Etc. etc. etc. But we aren't debating about how board games are ruining TTRPGs. What makes video games different and stand out? (As an aside and anecdotally, I've also seen board gamers be way more irritating at optimization--and are a lot more competitive--than video gamers coming into TTRPG, for the record.)

I would say that I also at least feel like I've had an opportunity to roleplay in some CRPGs. Very rarely, mind, and it's still the exception to the rule at this point, but I feel like at least that I've been able to act the way my character would in words...

Oh perception, its all about perception. Zeddicus was right all along.


Rasmus Wagner wrote:
I'm not 100% sure what you mean. Could you look over my "Ranger Archetype" post (on the first page of this thread) and tell me if that's the problem as you see it?

The archetype of ranger that you choose, and the reasons you choose it for, are the opposite of the miss-matched character choices that I previously mentioned. I'm refering, more or less, to abilities chosen 100% out of what would be optimal for character character strength rather than character concept.

But here it gets tricky because, as I acknowledged, there will always be at least some meta choices in a character, optimized or not. I'm certainly not one for telling people what they want to play, and mechanics are just mechanics, and can thus be placed under new lighting to change their very fluff and feel when it comes to how they apply to and reinforce a character.

In the case of the ranger, you choose archetype that reinforced the idea of the character you wanted to play, and it just so happens to grant you abilities that are particularly helpful, then that's fine too.

Rasmus Wagner wrote:
"Powergaming" does not require bad roleplaying. Making unoptimized (or sandbagged) characters does not automatically make you a good roleplayer either.

That is very true. However, in my experience at any rate, poor role playing or even lack thereof always seems to accompany "power-gaming". And I for one feel that it is due impart to the mentality of the player who placed an extremely high value on having a "powerful" character, to the exclusion of what such statistical abilities could imply or really do for the character's well, character. It seems as so long as their character is powerful, it doesn't matter how they are, if they are, role played.

There may not be a right and wrong way to role play, but as I said before its an opportunity to role play that is lost.


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I really, really dislike video games getting the blame for the existence of "power gamers." I'm pretty sure the first iterations of Chainmail and eventually D&D predate the largest boom of available home consoles and PC games. Maybe they came about around the same itme in the 70's, I'm not sure.

I grew up in the 80's, playing the Atari 2600, and have played video games religiously ever since I was barely old enough to walk. My entire family plays video games.

I also enjoy playing deep, detailed characters in TTRPG's. When inspiration strikes, I can sit and write page after page detailing this character's upbringing, moral views, family lineage, education, etc etc.

Yet in the past 20+ years I've been playing TTRPG's, the worst offenders of "power gaming/min maxing" have been from players who rarely ever touch video games.

The desire to be successful, and "work the system" in favor of a higher "win" ratio, comes from the simple desire to play that way, not from video games. A player who min-maxes was going to do so, whether video games existed or not.

There is no connection between video games and power gamers. It's like blaming sandwiches for making people hungry.


doctor_wu wrote:
I admit I find it hard to actually role play in a video game.

I find it hard to roleplay in computer RPGs.

Grand Theft Auto is a cinch though.

For some reason, "RPG" in the video game world has come to mean "resource management".

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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People like to blame things that they see as being separate or unconnected to them.

It's because of those video games I don't play.

It's because of the music I don't like.

It's because of those foreigners in my country.

It's the other driver's fault.

It's because of religion.

It's because of the lack of religion.

It's because of the rich.

It's because of the poor.

It's because of anything that can't be connected to me, because then I might turn out to not have the moral high ground after all, and find out I'm as fallible as I'm always giving lipservice to being.


Having recently ended my last campaign due to rampant munchkinism. I have to say I think there is nothing wrong with optimizing to fit a concept. But those that game the system know who they are, they know they are doing it, and always excuse it with barest amount of roleplaying. That said if someone plays alot of MMO's thtas a red flag. It takes a certain mindset to "grind" that many hours of there life.
Also I got a great idea the Paizo staff should steal. A new book that you could call it "Ultimate Roleplaying". Put no game mechanics in it and charge $50. That way if see someone owns a copy then I would know I should let them play in my game.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You mean like the Inner Sea World Guide, from which I pulled a substantial bit of my tiefling cleric's backstory, but none of his mechanics? The same tiefling cleric who is shaping up to be exceptionally powerful and uses mechanical options from half a dozen sources?


Josh M. wrote:
...It's like blaming sandwiches for making people hungry...

But when i see a delisiously yummy samich i DO get hungry!!!


Sardonic Soul wrote:
Having recently ended my last campaign due to rampant munchkinism. I have to say I think there is nothing wrong with optimizing to fit a concept. But those that game the system know who they are, they know they are doing it, and always excuse it with barest amount of roleplaying.

Ker-Blam! That is exactly what I'm saying in my first reply to this thread on page 2. Only in many more words than this. I feel your pain.

Sardonic Soul wrote:


Also I got a great idea the Paizo staff should steal. A new book that you could call it "Ultimate Roleplaying". Put no game mechanics in it and charge $50. That way if see someone owns a copy then I would know I should let them play in my game.

Though, wouldn't all the people you want to play in your game actually have no need for this book as seeing they are already very role-play savy? Though now I just want to see this book, just to see what is in it!


Justin Ricobaldi wrote:
Sardonic Soul wrote:
Having recently ended my last campaign due to rampant munchkinism. I have to say I think there is nothing wrong with optimizing to fit a concept. But those that game the system know who they are, they know they are doing it, and always excuse it with barest amount of roleplaying.

Ker-Blam! That is exactly what I'm saying in my first reply to this thread on page 2. Only in many more words than this. I feel your pain.

Sardonic Soul wrote:


Also I got a great idea the Paizo staff should steal. A new book that you could call it "Ultimate Roleplaying". Put no game mechanics in it and charge $50. That way if see someone owns a copy then I would know I should let them play in my game.
Though, wouldn't all the people you want to play in your game actually have no need for this book as seeing they are already very role-play savy? Though now I just want to see this book, just to see what is in it!

well, when I start a new campaign in the future some of those same players won't be there. I'm ejecting the the munchkins but that leaves just two players that care about the actual adventure. Maybe I'll let them play two PC's each?

Either way I wouldn't bother trying to label what exactly makes a game breaking power gamer. They will always have an excuse wrapped up in "don't judge me bro" arguments. They know full well what they're doing and that they break your game to. Just ditch'em, it isn't worth trying to explain hat your "gut feelings" about what a game should be like to people that only comprehend +'s and the sum of numbers.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Sardonic Soul wrote:
Just ditch'em, it isn't worth trying to explain hat your "gut feelings" about what a game should be like to people that only comprehend +'s and the sum of numbers.

If you think Pathfinder "should" be a certain way and you're not one of its designers/developers, then you need to work on your inflated sense of self-importance.


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Sardonic Soul wrote:

...That said if someone plays alot of MMO's thtas a red flag. It takes a certain mindset to "grind" that many hours of there life.

On the contrary, as someone who's played numerous MMO's for over a decade, I can tell you that playing a TTRPG is a welcome break from the nerve-numbing grinding that MMO's require. "Grinding" is the last thing on my mind when I step away from the video game and sit down to the table.

Video games do not cause power gaming.


Jiggy wrote:
Sardonic Soul wrote:
Just ditch'em, it isn't worth trying to explain hat your "gut feelings" about what a game should be like to people that only comprehend +'s and the sum of numbers.
If you think Pathfinder "should" be a certain way and you're not one of its designers/developers, then you need to work on your inflated sense of self-importance.

Funny how you just proved my point. For the record I never said my way was the right way. It's just right for me and apparently a few others to. I was simply saying that the play styles have have two different mindsets. That those minsets aren't changable so it isn't worth your time trying to convert the other side.

But what would I know? I have a ego because I disagree. Maybe someday I can be a "RPG Superstar Top 32" like you.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Sardonic Soul wrote:
what a game should be like
Sardonic Soul wrote:
I never said my way was the right way.

*scratches head*


I said my way was right for me.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Sure, the second time. But the post I first replied to said no such thing. Don't talk sass just because I didn't take into account things you hadn't said yet.


But anyhow Mr. Jiggy, I have my play style and you are free to have yours. But if somebody's idea of fun ruins my enjoyment of the game then they not welcome at my table. That is all. If the munchkins want to run their table that way so be it and I'll sit that game out. I dont advocate debating playing other on there style of game because it's a waste of everyones time.
Also don't be so quick to make personal attacks about my ego unless you enjoy the the moderators stepping in after I refute that attack.
Anyhow I've said my piece on the matter and don't have all day to banter...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Sardonic Soul wrote:
But what would I know? I have a ego because I disagree. Maybe someday I can be a "RPG Superstar Top 32" like you.
Sardonic Soul wrote:
Also don't be so quick to make personal attacks

*scratches head*

Qadira

I believe Power Gamers are those who make choices to maximize any game mechanics without having a Role Playing "In character" Reason for the choice. Example Rogue back story" Simply farmer, left home head to the city fell in with the wrong group." Why would he take Kurkis for starting weapon? His character has never seen or hear of them. But they do have the 18-20/x2 (16-20/2 when Keen). For me that would be power gaming. Now if you made it fit your back story or wait till your character came across those that would work for me.

Now on topic of Video Games vs. Role Playing.
I believe that Video Games who have never sat at a gaming table, who come to the table as newbies usually do turn into power gamers. The reason for this is in a video game you know what the best weapon, armor powers etc are. Once they choice a character the try to get these things as they see it as a way to win the Game. Well unless someone knows of away to "win" a table top game you can't. It is about bringing your character to life and playing, and having fun. Which is what some of the video gamers don't get. Not that they are wrong i just feel they miss the point of a table top game. It is for fun with your friends, not to beat the game. etc.

Just my 2 cents on the subject.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Bardofcyberspace wrote:
It is about bringing your character to life and playing, and having fun. ... they miss the point of a table top game. It is for fun with your friends, not to beat the game.

Didn't Gary Gygax say that system mastery was the chief means of ensuring fun for the whole table?


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Jiggy wrote:
... Didn't Gary Gygax say that system mastery was the chief means of ensuring fun for the whole table?

While I agree with much of what you have posted, there are alot of Gygax sayings that do not necessarily concur with my idea of fun.

I have often had problems with people treating anything he said like it was the word from god.


As I said before, definition of terms is huge.

I don't think any two of the definitions of Power Gamer on this thread are entirely in agreement. But we still have people arguing about the causes/signs even when it is clearly in print that they don't mean the same thing to each other.

{sigh}

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
... Didn't Gary Gygax say that system mastery was the chief means of ensuring fun for the whole table?
While I agree with much of what you have posted, there are alot of Gygax sayings that do not necessarily concur with my idea of fun.

Oh, that's absolutely okay. Whatever makes the game fun for you, go for it. It's just when people try to talk objectively about what the game is "supposed to be about" or what the "point" of it is... Well, that's something that a person can actually be wrong about.

"I enjoy X in my Pathfinder games" is a subjective statement.

"The whole point of Pathfinder is X" is an objective statement, and is therefore capable of being factually wrong.


Jiggy wrote:

... Oh, that's absolutely okay. Whatever makes the game fun for you, go for it. It's just when people try to talk objectively about what the game is "supposed to be about" or what the "point" of it is... Well, that's something that a person can actually be wrong about.

"I enjoy X in my Pathfinder games" is a subjective statement.

"The whole point of Pathfinder is X" is an objective statement, and is therefore capable of being factually wrong.

Agreed.

But you appeared to be using a third person's objective statement to refute someone else's objective statment. =)


Jiggy wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
... Didn't Gary Gygax say that system mastery was the chief means of ensuring fun for the whole table?
While I agree with much of what you have posted, there are alot of Gygax sayings that do not necessarily concur with my idea of fun.

Oh, that's absolutely okay. Whatever makes the game fun for you, go for it. It's just when people try to talk objectively about what the game is "supposed to be about" or what the "point" of it is... Well, that's something that a person can actually be wrong about.

"I enjoy X in my Pathfinder games" is a subjective statement.

"The whole point of Pathfinder is X" is an objective statement, and is therefore capable of being factually wrong.

Really, the only source that can be quoted on "The whole point of Pathfinder is X" is the CRB. Anything else is just someone's opinion. I'm not saying this as a rules lawyer or something.

A game's intent is contained within the games text. If it isn't, it either has no intent or it was poorly written. Good games tell you how to play the game, I've found. I often find it really helpful to try and understand that as best as I can, because that understanding lets me drift the rules in a direction of my choosing much more easily.


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I fully expect any NPC who requires my assistance to have written down a summary of his request beforehand so I can just get it out of the way without wasting time talking to them!

Taldor

Jiggy wrote:
Bardofcyberspace wrote:
It is about bringing your character to life and playing, and having fun. ... they miss the point of a table top game. It is for fun with your friends, not to beat the game.
Didn't Gary Gygax say that system mastery was the chief means of ensuring fun for the whole table?

I believe that he meant to say that system mastery should mean that all players at the table should be very good at playing the system they were using. System mastery doesn't mean powergaming. It means knowing the system in and out. Powergaming is abuse of system mastery...


i have a multiclass human brawler/martial artist who has at 5th level (25 point buy)

18 Str 16 Dex, 14 Con, 12 int, 14 wis 7 cha.

she has the mizu ki hikari rebel trait from the dragon empires player companion

has the open minded feat from psionics unleashed

has enchanted unarmed strikes (DM allowed me to enchant my hands as weapons)

uses the dragon style line

has a few items from the APG

uses 2 archtypes from ultimate combat (Brawler and Martial Artist)

has a few feats from the core rulebook

psionics unleashed, core, ultimate combat, dragon empire primer, advanced player's guide. 5 whole books right there.

her backstory is she was a freakishly tall tian woman captured by slavers and sold to an abusive master. she was raised as if she were an attack dog, tearing people apart on her master's command with her bare hands. and treated more like a dog than a person. eventually one day, a man offered her a bribe to keep himself off of her master's extortionist ways, her master beat her for pocketing the bribe, and after years of being abused, she got fed up with it and tore her master to tiny pieces with her bare hands, and as a fugitive, she stowed away on various ships until she settled in the shackles and got press ganged into the wyrmwood's crew. she was happy with her physical duties until she felt a sudden inspiration to help captain Roargar of the Reaper, the squibbed ship once known as the man's promise. she was inspired when i watched Jet-Li's Unleashed.

she is played like a vicious savage who kills things with her sheer unarmed damage.

she doesn't look like a child (way too tall and rough/feral looking) doesn't have a doll or any child like tool (the stuffed dog was removed in the later drafts. instead, she just hears voices manifesting in her head and has hallucinations of a dog that speaks to her)

she still wears a dog collar, but it's a reminder of her former life. and of the reason she is wanted in the eastern lands.

she identifies as a beast more than a human. and praises Rovagug.

she causes as much bloody carnage as she can, not satisfied until her victims corpses are so mutilated that the voices in her head are satisfied. usually this means that the corpses are piles of red, chunky, viscous, liquid. (she hasn't hurt her allies yet and sees them as far more benevolent masters. even allowing her to blow off steam on the enemy crew)

Qadira

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
she just hears voices manifesting in her head and has hallucinations of a dog that speaks to her

Multi-Class into Oracle. NOW!!


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You may be posting in the wrong thread, Shuriken.


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I think there was something earlier in the thread about how people who take options from several books never have a good backstory for the character they build or something like that.

Maybe Shuriken is disproving that?


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I think Shuriken is trying very hard to prove that he's not creepy by posting a character that's not a fetish lolita (and in fact declaring that part outright). But it's just as creepy.

Shuriken, we don't need reminders of your posting history. If you want people to forgive and/or forget, stop mentioning it.


On topic, I don't think the actual number of books you use options from has any bearing on whether someone is a deep, story-influenced role-player versus being a power gamer. I've seen "Core Only" stuff that was OP and power gamed into Oblivion back in 3.5. Lots of splatbook material from back then was exponentially less powerful than the options present in just the PHB. Some of this got fixed in PF, but not all of it. The Wizard is still a Wizard, after all.

More options just means more choices for developing characters. This is not a bad thing.


In my opinion, people should stop blaming symptoms of power gaming and take their problems straight to the power gamers themselves. "Power Gaming" appeals to a certain mindset and playstyle, which draws more from the personality of the player, not caused by the game they are playing.

The power gamer players I've played with already had the mindset and personality of being a power gamer before we ever played D&D. Something about making the most optimal, mathematically superior choices in a game appeals to that certain personality type, and no amount of rules nerfing or red herring blame is going to change that.

Contrary to a popular old saying in this case; don't hate on the game, hate on the player.


There have always been power gamers, and excessive optimisers that fixate on making their char better and stronger with little concern for balance, ensuring that they fill all the item slots. The game has moved, and not always in a wonderful direction.

I think video games and the decline in difficulty, as well as the single player rpg experience (where you are fantastic, and great, and skilled at so much, and can pretty much do almost anything) has pushed the power gamer into our hobby. Some newcomers haven't played older dnd or older games, and come straight from computer/console games. They want to win, they don't like that they can't reload and win that way. Dms try to prevent cheating, and create real challenge. This can be highly annoying. Some video games help to make power gamers, but not all video games are the problem, or going to cause power gamers (spelunky, rpgs with no stats, tetris, balanced beat em ups).

Tired, but I did want to write this.


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Power gamers have been in this hobby longer than video games have been around. Period.


g0atsticks wrote:

i should've chosen my words more carefully, but i am at work posting on here so time is always limited as I am busy except for a few moments in time.

I just finished reading everyones postings and let me clear some things up.

Sorry about the video games, sure it does hurt role playing, not increae power gamers. That does not mean that they still aren't out there.

Using a ton of books to me seems silly;maybe its just me, but I've never felt the "urge"(if your addicted like i am to this game) to use more than two books(no matter the game). Usually Core and Class coordinated book.

PHb & Complete Cleric or CRB & UM-------just examples.

It drives me crazy when people read more than is there. "reading b/t the lines" to gain more than they should. Yeah it says that, but pay attention to grammer or the careful wording. It does work both ways sometimes.

I don't always trust rulings from the internet(here), sure reasearch it, gather your argument, but handle it at your table.

Someone also mentioned that there are a lot of the same builds going around. True, oh so true.

Whoever said that a competant DM is needed to keep this crap in check is totally correct. I just see it on here all the time.

Best build that, or best build this. Lose your creativity because of the ease of information now a days i.e the internet.

I'm not trying to argue with anyone, or ruffle anyones feathers. Just pointing out that the game is full of these people. AND you know what. When you try to point them out, they deny it. Perhaps you'd consider me a power gamer and visa versa. Either way.

Friendly Topic/conversation.

Errr, one moment please. You say you just use core (and class coordinated book), do you realise how many books are within core? Or how much has been borrowed over from 3.5 material and 3.5 books? Check the feats especially.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

There have always been power gamers, and excessive optimisers that fixate on making their char better and stronger with little concern for balance, ensuring that they fill all the item slots. The game has moved, and not always in a wonderful direction.

I think video games and the decline in difficulty, as well as the single player rpg experience (where you are fantastic, and great, and skilled at so much, and can pretty much do almost anything) has pushed the power gamer into our hobby. Some newcomers haven't played older dnd or older games, and come straight from computer/console games. They want to win, they don't like that they can't reload and win that way. Dms try to prevent cheating, and create real challenge. This can be highly annoying. Some video games help to make power gamers, but not all video games are the problem, or going to cause power gamers (spelunky, rpgs with no stats, tetris, balanced beat em ups).

Tired, but I did want to write this.

I see where you are coming from, and I can definitely see at least a distant connection between newer generation games being easier and easier to complete, with more emphasis on propping the player up and making them god-like (Elder Scrolls games for example), but these kinds of games simple cater to that mindset, not cause it.

Like in Skyrim, for exmaple, you can min/max the game and play the numbers and become god-like very quickly, and very easily, no modding or hacking required. The in-game tools make you an unstoppable juggernaut shortly after completing the tutorial... IF that's what you want to RP as. There are no penalties for playing the game on it's easiest setting, and every skill in the game has a trick you can do to easily grind it to 100. But, the developers aren't necessarily advocating power gaming or min/maxing, they simply leave those options in there for the players who happen to want that. If you want Skyrim to be a harsh, realistic, difficult game, you can easily do that too, all without mods or exploits. I believe it's one of the better examples of TTRPG freedom portrayed in a video game, bugs and glitches aside.

Just because the "best/optimal" options exist in a game, doesn't mean a play has to choose them. If a player only chooses the best/optimal choices, this speaks more for their mindset, not necessarily the game being played.

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