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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:51 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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I used to have a player that would take offense when someone called him a min/maxxer.

He would hold out his character sheet and shout, "You show me where I minned!"


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:01 pm 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
GnomeBoy wrote:
Sure, a fighter could aspire to be the best fighter possible -- but there are other goals, too. 8)

Between this and your statement regarding "balanced encounters", I am starting to think you might be a runaway clone of me.

Ah, but it's a clone of a clone of a clone... More of a clong, really. And, wait -- are we agreeing that the balanced encounters thing is a cliched, false criticism? It's totally bogus.

finarvyn wrote:
GnomeBoy wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
...I'm glad that the conversation has stayed civil rather than argumentative. Nice! 8)
No one brought up the supposed 3e insistence on 'balanced encounters', so I didn't have to strangle anyone.

Dammit! I just brought it up!

*strangles self*
Dammit, Jon. I was taking a sip of juice when I read this and you made me spit juice on my keyboard I laughed so hard. Now all of my posts will be slightly sticky. :lol:

I'd say "I'll be here all week, folks!" -- but I know I won't be here Thursday... :wink:

Gizrond wrote:
"You show me where I minned!"

Classic. :mrgreen:

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Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be DCC Monsters

PbP Purple Planeteers!

Havarth • Cleric/Zikcub • Animal trainr • L
S11 A11 S9 P15 I9 L7 • AC10, HP12, R0 F1 W2
Glaive+0 1-10
Club+0 1-4
X' chain, sack
Bless, Dtct Ev, Prot fm Evil, Word oCmmnd

Lucius • Cleric/Verlore • Slave • N
S13 A11 S8 P15 I11 L11 • AC10+, HP6, R0 F0 W2
Sword+1 _
Club+1 2-5
Hide armor, flint/steel, green stone, oil 1
Crit table +1
Dark, Holy Sanct, Resist Cold/Heat, Word o Cmmnd

Toby • Squire
S13 A10 S14 P15 I16 L9 • AC10+, hp3, R0 F1 W1
Lg swrd+1 2-9
Scale armor, sack, helm, L’ rope, torch • Com, Chaos, Hobgob

Kelven • Smuggler
S14 A8 S11 P12 I7 L10 • AC9+, hp2(4), In-1, R-1 F0 W0
Sword+1 _
Staff+1 or Sling -1 2-5
Scale armr, waterprf sack, L’ rope, torch, 39cp

RIP
Stinky Pete, Ostler — Spine snapped by tackling Kith


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:27 pm 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
wait -- are we agreeing that the balanced encounters thing is a cliched, false criticism? It's totally bogus.
All it took was to hear a player genuinely say "no guys, it's okay... that red dragon is an illusion. It has to be because we aren't high enough level to fight a dragon that big," and I was convinced that the invention of such a thing as a "balanced encounter" was whole sale detriment to the very idea of adventure.

Well... unless your idea of adventure is to get summarily devoured by a cranky red dragon you should not have woken up by smacking in the face with your mace because you thought that would be enough interaction to dispel the illusion you were having trouble disbelieving.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:42 am 
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I agree that the "balanced encounter" is a somewhat modern creation in RPGs, but I have mixed feelings about its value.

On one hand, lots of old TSR modules were published with suggested level ranges on them. That implies a certain degree of game balance in the system, since clearly some one had determined how powerful the monsters and/or tricky the challenges. If characters are constantly thrown into situations that they are unequipped to handle, I can see where some of the fun of the game is diminished.

On the other hand, from the genesis of the original RPG folks have had to learn when to fight and when to run. And when running is taken away as an option I think the game loses some of its spark. Players learn which monsters are easy and which are hard, and they have to learn to gauge their own resources and realize when it's time to withdraw from battle. Saying "well, if the DM put it there I am supposed to beat it" is shallow role playing because it shows a lack of judgement.

I once saw a player with one hit point charge a demon, then whine when his character got killed. This was in the late 70's or early 80's, so this feeling of entitlement for players to be given a fair chance has been around for a while.

Anyway, I'm not opposed to methods that allow me as GM to balance encounters if I want to, and in fact I like to have such tools at my disposal. What I dislike is when players demand that I use them.

Just my two coppers...

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:07 am 
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[begin IRREVOCABLE THREAD DERAILMENT]

The criticism that 3e asked for all encounters to be 'balanced' to the party is bogus. I'll admit I don't have many WotC adventures/modules, but those I do feature a variety of ELs. The DMG suggests that about half of the encounters you throw at players are at their party level, and that the rest are variable, lower than party level, or (for 5% of them) in excess of 4 higher with no suggested upper limit.

That they give you the tools to recognize a 'balanced encounter' is not them saying that's all there should be -- but somehow conventional wisdom* says that's what the game is all about. I haven't found a rule that says all encounters should be party-level appropriate, and I have read rules that say they shouldn't be, so I say that cliched complaint of 3e by D&D fandom is bogus.

I've certainly never run it that way. I have played with guys that thought every fershlugginer fight should be as by-the-skin-of-your-teeth as possible, and that gets old quick. So I believe in the wisdom of mixing it up, and having most-ish in a manageable range., with opportunities for some fights to go south or become easier, circumstantially.


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* Interestingly, I started mistyping that as 'contentional wisdom'. :mrgreen:

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Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be DCC Monsters

PbP Purple Planeteers!

Havarth • Cleric/Zikcub • Animal trainr • L
S11 A11 S9 P15 I9 L7 • AC10, HP12, R0 F1 W2
Glaive+0 1-10
Club+0 1-4
X' chain, sack
Bless, Dtct Ev, Prot fm Evil, Word oCmmnd

Lucius • Cleric/Verlore • Slave • N
S13 A11 S8 P15 I11 L11 • AC10+, HP6, R0 F0 W2
Sword+1 _
Club+1 2-5
Hide armor, flint/steel, green stone, oil 1
Crit table +1
Dark, Holy Sanct, Resist Cold/Heat, Word o Cmmnd

Toby • Squire
S13 A10 S14 P15 I16 L9 • AC10+, hp3, R0 F1 W1
Lg swrd+1 2-9
Scale armor, sack, helm, L’ rope, torch • Com, Chaos, Hobgob

Kelven • Smuggler
S14 A8 S11 P12 I7 L10 • AC9+, hp2(4), In-1, R-1 F0 W0
Sword+1 _
Staff+1 or Sling -1 2-5
Scale armr, waterprf sack, L’ rope, torch, 39cp

RIP
Stinky Pete, Ostler — Spine snapped by tackling Kith


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:46 am 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
[begin IRREVOCABLE THREAD DERAILMENT]


Too late.

Quote:
The criticism that 3e asked for all encounters to be 'balanced' to the party is bogus. I'll admit I don't have many WotC adventures/modules, but those I do feature a variety of ELs. The DMG suggests that about half of the encounters you throw at players are at their party level, and that the rest are variable, lower than party level, or (for 5% of them) in excess of 4 higher with no suggested upper limit.


I will agree that WotC did not intend to create the secondary effects of the system paradigm that WotC-D&D created. But I do think that it is a logical outgrowth of the system that they created,

I discussed it at some length here:

http://ravencrowking.blogspot.ca/2011/1 ... ystem.html
http://ravencrowking.blogspot.ca/2011/1 ... em_17.html
http://ravencrowking.blogspot.ca/2011/1 ... em_27.html

From what I've seen of 5e, it appears that WotC came to a roughly similar understanding.

RC

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:14 pm 
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I suspect that WotC is trying to cater to a percieved audience. They must think that most gamers would like to have a "balanced" game, since they offer suggestions and guidlines as to how to accomplish this. The nice thing is that there are no "game police" (that we will admit to, anyway) who might step in and stop someone from designing any type of encounter they choose.

As long as GM and players are all thinking of the same style of adventure, all should run smoothly. The problem is when the players are expecting X and the GM provides Y...

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:25 pm 
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I perceive a very different approach to balance from the 3e -> 3.5e -> 4e vector. YMMV.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
I perceive a very different approach to balance from the 3e -> 3.5e -> 4e vector. YMMV.

I think it all comes down to how detailed the advice on encounter building is - 3rd edition era games listed encounter difficult tables (ranging from Easy = CR less than party level to Overpowering = CR 5+ higher than party level) and also a percentage of encounters over the course of an adventure that should fall within each difficulty (10% Easy, 5% Overpowering, for example). 4th edition took it even further and had a more specific spread of encounter levels related to party level (basically the difficulty chart topping out rather than having an implied "or higher") and assumption of number of encounters of each difficulty within the span of a single level of play.

AD&D wasn't without encounter building and balancing advice - it was just more vague. There were 10 "dungeon levels" that monsters fell into that were represented by experience value ranges (ranges which got wider and wider at each level, starting with 1-20 XP for level 1 and going through 5,501-10,000 for level 9 and 10,001+ for level 10). Further, a monster of higher "dungeon level" was still usable at the DM's option by adjusting the rarity by one step for each level of difference.

To translate for folks that might not be familiar or have clear memories: Goblins were a common monster that fell within the XP range for dungeon level 1, so they were good to be used in a 1st level dungeon (or the 1st level of a multi-level dungeon). Orcs were worth more XP, but still fit in the dungeon level 1 range. Green slime fell into the XP range for dungeon level 3, and was a rare monster - so you could encounter it in a 1st level dungeon (or on dungeon level 1, you get the picture) but its rarity would increase two steps (from rare to very rare, then to unique) so you would only see it once.

And while AD&D encouraged a mixture of rarity of monsters, it did not insist in its suggestions that you include challenges which fell outside the appropriate dungeon level range - nor did it forbid a dungeon level 10 monster being placed in a level 1 dungeon area, it just encouraged that you not have unique monster encounters (whether with a unique monster of appropriate level or a monster of high enough relative level to be treated as unique) as the result of randomly rolled encounters... despite Zuggtmoy appearing on the random encounter tables of the Temple of Elemental Evil.

There is a significant difference, especially in player perception, between a monster stat block saying "this monster is worth 650 XP," and the stat block saying "this monster is appropriate for four 5th level characters to fight," - even when/if a quick reference to the DMG in either case basically gives the other value (a "level" for cross-referenced XP value, and an XP value for cross-referenced CR).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Spot on, TND.

In addition, the 1e PHB had a section on advice for players that strongly implied that the players were responsible for deciding what they could take on. The DMG guidelines helped the DM to create a consistent environment wherein the dungeon level would furnish a strong clue helping players make this determination. Many divination spells likewise.

It also makes a difference that, with 3e, the designers wanted to make levelling more important, so that there was something new when you gained a level. This steepened the power curve, making it harder to judge appropriate encounters, and hence leading to more stringent guidelines. The steeper the power curve, the less "give" there is between an easy victory and a TPK, and, as the "sweet spot" lies in the area where that give resides, the narrower the sweet spot becomes. The harbinger of WotC-D&D's particular type of balance was the power curve far more than the advice.

Combat run-time is another problem, because the longer it takes to run an encounter, the fewer encounters per session, and the more the "weight" of having a good session falls on each encounter. A fast-moving game can afford more "minor" encounters than a slower-moving game, which eventually led to the advice on the WotC website to eschew random encounters. Fewer encounters per "game day" means that more resources can be used per encounter, which again steepens the power curve.

I, for one, am happy that WotC is getting off that treadmill.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:36 pm 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
I, for one, am happy that WotC is getting off that treadmill.

Me too, not that I even ever use random encounters (I use planned encounters that occur "randomly" to the character's perception instead).

In AD&D, DCC, or any of the OSR clone-games I've tried out, my play group can sit down for a 4 hour session and get swarmed by bats, find a sword hidden in a bunch of broken furniture in an otherwise empty room, battle an anaconda whose nest they accidentally disturbed, manage to get a chest free from a precarious position under some rubble without causing a deadly collapse, head downstairs to further explore and get "slimed" by a growth of green slime, battle a dozen zombies that used to be their neighbors, and take on an ogre to free a few prisoners it intended to eat later... all while taking time to role-play their characters, explore a few rooms where nothing significant happened, and still have a "laid back" demeanor about the game where no one is getting frustrated that they have to wait a minute or two for the guy that went to the bathroom right before his turn in the combat.

...In 3.5 we have to double the session length to get half of that done... and when I ran 4th edition for them it became a challenge just to get through 2 battles in a 4 hours session while we were all stressing out on hurrying through and not getting distracted (my main motive for stepping away from that game - someone out there deciding that every combat should take at least X rounds, where X is a number greater than 1)

We participated in the 5e playtest a bit - enough to try out the idea of it - and it was back to the fast-paced adventure with laid-back demeanor that we enjoy. It just didn't really having anything going on for it that made us think "we should keep playing this game," rather than "that was cool... lets borrow that rule for DCC (ability score modifiers by race and class, though we modified the exact bonuses) and get back to playing that."

5e is, so far, looking like a game that I wouldn't mind having sit on my shelf once it comes out... which is something that genuinely surprised me.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:44 am 
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jozxyqk wrote:
Your second paragraph is interesting, but I have to disagree. I don't think whether you are min-maxing depends on your group. If you play in a group of people who all mechanically optimize to a high degree, I think it would be accurate to call them all min-maxers. I don't think it makes a difference whether a single person is even more obsessed than his compatriots.

I'm sure you'll agree with me when the cold passes --- ;)


Now that I have something approaching a clear head back, I can answer.

It's cool we agree on what min-maxing is (deliberately manipulation of numbers, etc.) even if we don't necessarily agree on why people do it (the end result is still a pain in the arse regardless).

I actually agree with you on the paragraph above, mostly because I'm not sure what the hell I meant or was thinking before. Go painkillers go! :)

See, sometimes on the internet, people don't always get utterly entrenched. ;)

Colin


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:55 am 
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Colin wrote:
I'm not sure what the hell I meant or was thinking before. Go painkillers go! :)
Sometimes the same thing happens to me ... without painkillers. I'll post something, someone will object, I'll re-read what I wrote and say "Huh? I don't agree with this, either!" Good thing that folks on gaming boards are generally forgiving people.... :lol:

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:57 pm 
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This reminds me unfortunately of the Pathfinder game I'm currently playing in.

I know a lot of min/max players that essentially build to do their one thing as well as possible, and let the stats fall where they may. Then they mumble something about Stormwind Fallacy and say that they can always roleplaying their character however they want, no matter how they arrange the stats, but seem to completely lack any drive to actually roleplay after making that argument.

I have known one person in my gaming career that seems to actually be able to build a character towards doing his "thing" really well, but will actually come up with roleplaying hooks for all of those weaknesses that should be detrimental, and often actually makes them detrimental. If he's got a lot intelligence, by golly, he will make life interesting by doing dumb things, and probably almost get himself killed in the process. He seems to be the exception that proves the rule.

Our current game has a fun premise, in that we are all the children of gods, trying to "fix" the world after a demonic invasion/zombie apocalypse. His hopes were that we would all play up our heritage and if we were embracing or running from out parents goals, and he basically told us to go wild. Thus far, we get bogged down by players worried about how they can mechanically justify this or that, and even worse, by people worrying about how "valid" other characters are in the group.

I know my half-vampire anti-paladin son of the goddess of undead is just full of potentially dangerous pitfalls, but with a setup like the campaign has, why not embrace the gonzo?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:12 pm 
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KnightErrantJR wrote:
Then they mumble something about Stormwind Fallacy and say that they can always roleplaying their character however they want, no matter how they arrange the stats

...that is not what that fallacy covers.

The fallacy pointed out by stormwind is that one cannot optimize/min-max/otherwise build a character with a heavy focus on being mechanically super-competent and also role-play (and even role-play well).

It is a false dichotomy of play-style - not a defense to role-play your character in a way not represented by the mechanics of the character.

Example: dumping your Charisma to afford a higher Strength for your fighter is fine, and does not prevent you from role-playing your character... it does, however, still have bearing on how you can role-play the character - such that you could not dump your intelligence and still role-play your character as a font of knowledge.

Your players are misapplying that fallacy - which a lot of people do - by making the fallacious assertion that a player's ability to role-play should over-ride, rather than enhance, the character's mechanical advantages (known to me as the "My character doesn't need ranks in Diplomacy or a high Charisma because I am can just be awesome in person and never have to roll" fallacy).


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:01 pm 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
KnightErrantJR wrote:
Then they mumble something about Stormwind Fallacy and say that they can always roleplaying their character however they want, no matter how they arrange the stats

...that is not what that fallacy covers.

The fallacy pointed out by stormwind is that one cannot optimize/min-max/otherwise build a character with a heavy focus on being mechanically super-competent and also role-play (and even role-play well).

It is a false dichotomy of play-style - not a defense to role-play your character in a way not represented by the mechanics of the character.

Example: dumping your Charisma to afford a higher Strength for your fighter is fine, and does not prevent you from role-playing your character... it does, however, still have bearing on how you can role-play the character - such that you could not dump your intelligence and still role-play your character as a font of knowledge.

Your players are misapplying that fallacy - which a lot of people do - by making the fallacious assertion that a player's ability to role-play should over-ride, rather than enhance, the character's mechanical advantages (known to me as the "My character doesn't need ranks in Diplomacy or a high Charisma because I am can just be awesome in person and never have to roll" fallacy).



Eh, I more or less get the point of the "fallacy," but rarely do I see someone cite the "fallacy" and then not end up "proving" it by being more worried about what they are mechanically good at then actually getting into their character's head.

I don't actually see many people cite this in person. It's much more likely to come up online. And for some reason, whenever someone tries to cite it to me, I read their text as sounding like Vizzini from the Princess Bride. Citing the "Stormwind Fallacy" is like trying to make it sound like you have some kind of incontrovertible scientific research on your side instead of just stating, "I can min/max a character and still roleplay well."


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:42 pm 
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My favorite min-max character ever was in a 3.0 Epic-Level game. I think the DM gave us 20 or 25 levels to work with, and instead of building a level 20 base-race character, I built a level 2 Paragon human rogue. The Paragon racial characteristics gave him absolutely absurd bonuses to hit, to armor class, to saves...to everything, really. But because he was only level 2, I played him as completely naive and lacking any real understanding of how the high-level adventuring world worked. The first several times he got injured, I had him scream in pain and complain to the other characters that they should have warned him how much it was going to hurt. Nobody else knew he was a Paragon, so they just assumed he was lying or possibly crazy when he claimed to have no real adventuring experience. When he hid in the back and avoided melee combat, they figured he was just cowardly or, like many rogues, selfishly willing to let others do the hard work in combat. I had a blast playing this wide-eyed, constantly amazed character who genuinely hadn't a clue about most of what was going on, and laughing to myself as everyone else accused him of being a total fake.

There was also a huge payoff moment when I finally did step into melee, and the DM rolled to hit me and missed with a 67. As much fun as it was to role-play the character, it was equally gratifying to watch the eyes pop out of the heads of a table-full of veteran gamers when they realized just how crazily min-maxed my guy was.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:33 am 
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Bilgewriggler wrote:
There was also a huge payoff moment when I finally did step into melee, and the DM rolled to hit me and missed with a 67. As much fun as it was to role-play the character, it was equally gratifying to watch the eyes pop out of the heads of a table-full of veteran gamers when they realized just how crazily min-maxed my guy was.
That's a great story, and it reminds me of one of my own. Does anyone find that once you really min/max a system and learn how to bend the rules that the system is no longer fun to play? That happened to me in the Champions RPG.

Champions is a superhero RPG from the 1980's with a point-build system. Our GM decided to have half of us be the good guys, half the bad guys. (My group was the bad guys.) He gave us a rulebook and a week and said that we'd slug it out next time.

I totally abused the rules. I created a villian who wore power armor (and could get extra stuff because the powers were in an external item rather than in the hero) and set it up so that I was a quadriplegic whose life was being sustained by the armor so that if the good guys tried to take it from me they would kill me. My other "bad guy" colleagues did much the same thing.

The GM took one look at our character sheets and those of the heroes and called off the adventure. He said it wouldn't be a real battle, that the good guys would get creamed. We never played Champions again.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:06 am 
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I had a similar Champions experience. In fact, I've had that experience with nearly every point buy system, even (especially?) games like 3x and Savage Worlds. And that perfectly sums up why I don't like games with point buy systems: inevitably they trend towards optimization, system mastery and abuse, instead of just sitting down and playing "lets pretend". That certainly works for some people - and more power to them - but I dislike where that sets the focus.

Once upon a time I recall being asked - politely at first, then later pretty rudely - to modify a 3x character because it was "suboptimal". It was a fun concept but didn't push any limits of the system, and the other players got increasingly hostile with me because my choices were based on flavor and background, and not on mechanical optimization. I'd like to just say, "well, it was that group", but nearly all the groups I tested out at that point (early 2000s) were far more focused on the mechanics than the flavor. Bleah.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:20 am 
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finarvyn wrote:

I totally abused the rules. I created a villian who wore power armor (and could get extra stuff because the powers were in an external item rather than in the hero) and set it up so that I was a quadriplegic whose life was being sustained by the armor so that if the good guys tried to take it from me they would kill me. My other "bad guy" colleagues did much the same thing.

The GM took one look at our character sheets and those of the heroes and called off the adventure. He said it wouldn't be a real battle, that the good guys would get creamed. We never played Champions again.


This wouldn't have been that much of a problem in our Champions games, because very few of our heroes took code versus killing. Although oddly enough, a guy named "Tank" did, and his character was basically an exo-suit with machine guns. The very first time he used them, he violated his code and freaked out.

Point-buy systems do have a particular tendency to encourage min-maxing. The only time I've seen one completely work was when we played All Flesh Must Be Eaten and the GM required us to build ourselves as characters. Everybody worked together around the table, and we all had to more or less agree with the stat values and skill levels we were picking. This more or less guaranteed that most of us were pretty crappy characters and made things pretty terrifying when the zombies came after us.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:13 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
...The GM took one look at our character sheets and those of the heroes and called off the adventure...

The problem was the GM's plan.

If I were running that -- and I ran and played Champions pretty heavily from '87 to about '92, with occasional games trailing off to nothing by about 10 years ago -- I'd have planned a week for you guys to make your characters and then a week for me to plan the 'third party' in the slugfest. Maybe a third group, maybe environmental factors... But something that would make things unexpected for both sides.

You can't just stack character vs. character particularly well in plenty of games. But believe me, your character would've had it rough. Iron Man isn't invulnerable to everything -- his armor can be compromised. If your GM was ignoring how you built what you built, that was his error. If you define something as a 'thing' in Champions, such things inherently can and will get taken away from you, or neutralized in other ways... I imagine you having a few scenes/turns/whatever to stomp around, and then getting to know the exigencies of life without the armor in a hurry...

I will agree that many people playing Champions tend toward power-gaming, and that can include min/maxing -- but if you actually apply the penalties of certain builds (i.e., if you build it as an external item, you simply won't have it all the time), it balances out pretty well, IME. At least the edition I played did. But most people I ever met outside our group didn't apply Disadvantages and Limitations as strictly as the rules call for...


wow, i miss champions...!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:47 am 
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Bilgewriggler wrote:
This more or less guaranteed that most of us were pretty crappy characters and made things pretty terrifying when the zombies came after us.
I'll bet this game was a blast to play! Any time you have a zombie attack, the characters should at least start out pretty crappy.

Say ... maybe you guys are the ones who first discovered the "funnel" approach... :P

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
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-- Dave Arneson


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:18 pm 
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Intelligent discussion here, that had my brain dust out this rerun topic :)

I think that min-maxing is like pornography: you know it when you see it, as the saying goes.

It comes down to the general feel of the game and how much you stray away from it IMO.

Table-top RPGs are mostly games where you have part role-play with no rules, and part rules with dice and outcome-influencing modifiers. If any character creation allows you to influence those modifiers, players are likely to pick stuff that will help them accomplish what they hope their PCs will accomplish. In games where combat is important, such as in D&D, influencing combat modifiers is a probable outcome of character creation. However, I don't feel that because you pick something that will improve your combat effectiveness, you are a min-maxer. It can probably include spell selection which might be something else than character creation itself.

As for the "intent of the game", well that's something that is part inherent and part related to the group IMO. Again, it's somethign we can feel. From reading these boards, I think many here have retrieved an intent for DCC and how it can be played, after having sifted the game rules. And then, specific groups will adapt that to their particular preferences and playstyles and this "intent of the game" is likely to be different from one table to the next, at least partly.

In the end, the game you play with your friends has a general feel to it, and min-maxing will become obvious IMO when one player goes "overboard" relative to the intent of the game.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:23 pm 
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The only "Balance" I care about in a game is intra-party. I don't want min-maxing to make one Player Character wildly outshine another, but otherwise, I don't much give a sh*t.

My usual policy in any game with a pretty involved character creation engine is to tell everyone to make a PC they would like to play, then go over it with Theo (our resident rules Guru since the departure of our legendary friend Piers) so that everyone's character is in the same ballpark.

As the GM, I can handle whatever comes after that.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:56 pm 
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Everyone should have a Theo at his table :)

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