In Defence of Power gamers

From: martin (
Date: Fri 16 Feb 1996 - 20:44:00 EET

Aden Steinke wrote most amusingly:

>In my experience the power gamer types can exploit any cultural construct...
>or as we put it in Wollongong, take the GMs intent and drive a truck through

Great analogy and one I'd heard before about my own playing style. This used to
baffle me because I could never understand how anyone playing couldn't and

wouldn't use everything in the world to their advantage if they could, after all
who doesn't in real life?

Anyway, for amusements sake more than anything, here is a list of different
powergamer types:.

Pam Carlson mentioned immaturity and I think there are a fair few players out
there who went through this stage. Basically a teenage terror is in the game
for self glorification rather than any pure roleplaying ideal. As teengers
they aren't powerful, the worlds against them, mum keeps telling them to tidy
their rooms, its a hard life. So when playing they play awesome warriors,
wizards etc. Usually with extremes of belief ie super evil or super good. And
why not, they are young and trying to have a good time. ( Doesn't stop you
wanting to clip them over the ear tho)

 I think I fall into this catagory. Here the individual functions on a level of
pure logic but sees the game (sub-consciously) as a contest to be won. They do
anything within the framework of the rules to win. Indeed such rules are merely
to be exploited to find a cunning loophole that your opponent hadn't though of
which will allow your panzers to smash his Third Shock Army (or in RQ terms gain
that extra 5% you need to be a Sword which of course will massively increase
your tactical options and is therefore a laudible goal in the pursuit of
victory). This doesn't mean that the Wargame minded person cannot roleplay but
the characters they roleplay will be usually more effective in gaining power
than the other less motivated players.

This poor chap is driven by a compulsion to see his numbers get bigger. Such
individuals are often game board players too. The sort of guy who leaves his
character on a gameboard with a automatic program which keeps him online and his
character earning experience points while they are out at work. They do this
even though it costs a couple of dollars an hour. You see when they get
back...their numbers have grown!! In RQ I only encountered this beast recently
and they are the most prone to cheating of all players. Its like drug
addiction, the desire to see bigger numbers overwhelms everything, even

This is a peculiar power gamer, one who gains power in game because they have no
will to power in the RW. Its an escape and so they go to extremes in game.

This guy is OBSESSED with his character to an insane degree, probably go to bed
with them if possible. They are so afraid of losing this character that they do
everything in their power to make sure he is invulnerable.

This smug bastard likes to show everyone he's best. He does this by having the
best characters all the time and usually this guy has a little following of
cronies to help reflect his glory. This is a rare character as people usually
mature out of this but I've seen thirty year olds like this. Weird.

This player lives for the thrill of combat. He sits in the corner giggling
insanely waiting for his chance to strike. Often they drool when they roll a 01
and cut off sixteen heads at once with their vorpal chainsaw. If there is not
enough action, these chaps START some by picking on anybody they can. They get
better at fighting so that they can find BIGGER fights!

This is the guy who sits in the group and never says a word, often he's thought
of as just an extra person to be hit on the GMs "who gets hit by the arbalest
roll" but really these quiet fellows are gaining power, spells and abilities
like mad but are so unassuming you don't even notice. These are the most
inoffensive of powergamers and are often not noticed as such.

If anyone can think of anymore, I'm thinking of writing a book on the subject.
The money raised will form the foundations of my bid for world power! (que evil

Martn Laurie


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #383

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