December 3rd, 2003


(no subject)

X-posted in gmworkshop:

I'm currently GMing a tabletop World of Darkness crossover game (Changeling/Werewolf, for the curious).

There's one person who is very interested in playing, but has yet to make an appearance at the game for various IRL reasons. She's been nice about it, and has always e-mailed me as to why she can't come, but it seems Real Life® is determined to throw a stumbling block into her path every time she wants to come to the game (she's not feeling well, she has to work, she's out of town that weekend, etc.).

In order to hook her character (a sluagh) in with the rest of the group, I've given her some clues dealing with the game's plot OOC. The problem is, I'm beginning to despair of this player ever being able to show up. Would it be OK to give the players some of the clues I've given her before she makes an appearance (assuming she ever does, which, as stated, seems, unfortunately, more doubtful with each passing week), or should I keep them secret in the hopes that she *might* be able to show up? The clues will lead the group to discover more of the "big picture" of my game's plot, so I'd hate to have to waste them, but on the other hand I don't want to leave her without any hooks for the rest of the PCs to invite her to join them (assuming, of course, she *is* somehow able to come).
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  • rollick

Fun with power gamers

In an unrelated thread from a few weeks back (the "mean GM stories" post), clawfoot mentioned a player who, after being cornered by a villain he knew was bribable, said "Oh, by the way, my character always carries ten thousand dollars in small, unmarked bills hidden about his person."

I imagine players like that drive everyone nuts, but the stories are almost always fun after the fact. My favorite story of this type involved a player who came to our small, student-run Vampire LARP as an American ninja Assamite who'd joined and then left the Sabbat. (How many warning bells does that one sentence set off?) He was sitting around a table with a couple of other players, and one of the Brujah, who'd had martial-arts training in Japan, asked to see the guy's katana. The Assamite smirked and handed it over, then said "You take a point of aggravated damage." "Why?" "It's covered in my blood. It's toxic." "And I didn't notice this sword was covered in blood?" "Uh…"

Five minutes later, when the guy pissed everyone off, they tried to eject him, and he pointed out that anyone who touched him also took aggravated damage, because his clothes, hair, backpack, weapons, hands, face, etc. were also all drenched in poisonous Assamite blood. Somehow, none of the other characters had noticed that this guy was a walking bloodclot. And naturally, he hadn't actually informed the STs of any of this. When they informed him that he was not actually a great big ball of agg, he said that the game was bullshit and the storytellers were idiots, and he stalked out, never to return.

There are tons of stories like this out there — every game has its powergamers and munchkins and people who just don't get it. I'd love to hear your worst powergamer stories. What's the most unlikely thing one of your players (or co-players) has ever tried to get away with?
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Character Deaths

I'm really enjoying the below thread about power gamers, and I love hearing everyone's anecdotes. So I thought another thing that a lot of you must have good stories about is character deaths. Either really great, dramatic deaths, or stupid, Darwin-award-worthy deaths. Any that are worthy of telling?

I've actually had very few of my characters die, and usually they do so because their story is Finished, rather than by some fluke of a die roll. Usually.

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(no subject)

As per rollick's suggestion, I've moved a comment from a previous post to here for discussion's sake. We all like net discussions when it's finals time. It's something other than 60 pages of papers to do, right?

On to the juicy bits.

The way I see it, there's a distinction that must be made between bad players, munchkins and power gamers.

After all, you can be a good roleplayer and a power gamer. Power gamers are after power, which is different from munchkins, who are after domination. Bad roleplayers are out to win, and are usually munchkins (and vice versa).

Let me begin by accusing you, yes you, dear reader (not any one of you specifically, but all of you), of being a power gamer. Maybe even a munchkin sometimes. Yes. I said it. Now, don't get defensive. I know every gamer loves to rant on about "those twinks." Ever wonder who they are? They're you on your bad days!

That's right.

Now, of course, there are some worse than others, and you're probably one of the better ones, right? But that doesn't mean you're always perfect! So read with an open mind... Or else defend your supposed perfection and bare your soul and gaming history in the cleansing light of criticism.

Hell, aren't those terms "power gamer" and "munchkin" just ways of engaging in OOC social combat (symbolic violence) with those from whom you would like to distinguish yourself? "I'm better than you, ya munchkin, because you took Celerity 4 and I put my XP into Academics and Occult" or "I'm better than you, ya power gamer, because I once played a modest sidekick character" right?

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