Re: Real Life Power Gamers

From: Eric G. Scharf (
Date: Fri 23 Feb 1996 - 17:14:04 EET

On Thu, 22 Feb 1996, Sandy Petersen wrote:

> The more complex and "realistic" a game world is, the more a
> minimaxer is thwarted. Or rather, the more he is forced to _play_,
> rather than just follow his formulae.

        How do you come to this conclusion? Wouldn't the minimaxer
simply come up with a more complex formula? In your examples, you show a
"Mindless Minimaxer" caught in a system/world more complex than the one
which rewards his simple algorithms. I don't see why such a player
shouldn't just observe his environment and construct a more rewarding
calculus for behavior.

> If your campaign includes family members ("Please don't get drunk at
> the feast tonight, you'll embarrass me."), _trusted_ religious leaders
> as opposed to cardboard spellteaching NPCs, and bad guys with their
> own culture, motivations, families, and friends, then more and more PC
> activities become value decisions, rather than being simple calculations.

        I don't see a distinction here, other than in complexity.

> A minimaxer who refrains from attacking the caravan does so
> because he has concluded that the odds of being beaten by the
> caravan guards exceeds the potential rewards. Once the PCs pass into
> the realm of thinking about what they do, instead of totting up
> chances, you can achieve true roleplaying.

        And just what does "thinking about what they do" result in other
than assigning costs and benefits to actions?

- --
Eric G. Scharf
"Have you noticed that the Godtime is a lot like an Itchy & Scratchy
 cartoon?" -- Martin Crim


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