Return to Powergaming – Ep157

Return to Powergaming – Ep157

Here we are again. We talk about one of the most divisive topics in gaming, powergaming. We touch on some things we’ve talked about before and expound on some concepts.

If you have some input on this, leave a comment here, via email or on our Facebook page.

Cast – Eric, Mike, Dan, Shannon, Jayson and Shawn

Items Mentioned:
Legend of the Five Rings, Warhammer, Star Trek, Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun, Vampire the Masquerade, Mutants & Masterminds, World of Warcraft, Dungeon World

10 thoughts on “Return to Powergaming – Ep157

  1. If your character is within the rule set, how is that power gaming? When I make a character I make the best one I can. He should be able to kick butt and talk his way out of trouble.

    1. Having an effective character is not powergaming. Powergaming is manipulating a rule set to minimize failure. Building a social character that kicks butt, or vice versa, is not the issue. What is would be a warrior that has so many stacked bonuses that he virtually never misses, or a thief that can steal the pants off of a standing foe, or a death machine that is also a silver-tongued hustler and a Rhodes scholar.

      1. In D&D v1 a bard, with the juggling feat pointed high enough, could catch bolts out if the air and throw them back at the shooter. Compleatly within the rules. I understand what your saying, but if a player finds a way to use the rules to their advantage and make a kick ass dude, what’s wrong with that?

          1. I apologize then. I’ve heard the term “power gaming d-bag” on the show and took that to mean that anyone who power games is a d-bag. I power game as much as I can, but try not to be a d-bag about it. One last question, is multi classing a form of power gaming? If you think about it a Palidin/Cleric could bless his own weapons or a Wizard/Thief could enchant his own tools. I could argue that it’s power gaming.

          2. You can powergame to the point that it breaks the game and makes it no longer fun. I believe its referred to as “munchkining” and has a very negative connotation. Sometimes people can find rules loopholes that break the spirit of the game. Its when you have gone beyond some point you know is acceptable but you do it anyway. There was a concept in 3.5 DnD that created a scenario where you could literally have infinite stats. [see Pun-Pun The Mighty Kobold: http://community.wizards.com/forum/previous-editions-character-optimization/threads/1013486%5D

            Thats a prime example of true powergaming douchbaggery, right there.

  2. Generations of video games have encouraged us all to lean into min/max specializations in order to succeed. People want to be good at something and have their moment to shine, but in Tabletop we can have far more fun options.
    Many people want to be something cooler then their typical lives generally allow them to be. The fun of RPGs though is getting to make that cool not just about who’s stronger or faster or more powerful. Most of my best characters were cool despite lackluster stats because they were just interesting and fun characters. Sometimes the fun gets lost if you are 100% certain of your results anyway.

    Hell, going outside the box of expectations is the greatest advantage of tabletop. Don’t box yourself in. Instead of yet another assassin, try playing a lawyer who cleans up after them. Try playing a baker, or someone with mundane aspirations who gets swept into things. Try being the ultimate best in stat guy for something like forging documents instead of swordplay.

    You’d be amazed how much more rewarding a crit is when you aren’t doing them every other roll.

    1. The most fun I ever had was with a 23 level theif in 2.5. I could hide any where or find and disarm any trap. Short fall was he was a drunk so at the onset of any activity I had to make a save vs wine/beer/whiskey ect. Every member of my party has died at some point due to a failed save. I maxed him out at generation and stole every magic item I could to get him there. He was still a blast to play

  3. Oh wow!
    I didn’t know that bit about where “Mary Sue” originated!
    When I was younger i had characters with maxed stats which was my version of powergaming before I found myself preferring keeping it straight and when I declared a character to have the best rolls I have ever seen I was immediately accused of cheating!
    Anyway my one try at Traveller d20 resulted in a character I had to change to match the job the character was covering in that game, another PC’s character well he did offer to drop one attribute down from the average of 18 in all of them but it was never assumed they had cheated even if another PC apparently thought their character automatically was telepathis without expending the Feats necessary to actually be telepathic…
    Good game regardless didn’t last long unfortunately there was times in games I played in when I got the impression not being a powergamer was a problem… but maybe that was just me!
    Great episode!

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