After listening to some podcasts recently on the topic of Min-Maxing and Powergaming, I’ve come to a bit of a revelation as to what I, personally, believe to be the underlying cause of Min-Maxing, and, perhaps, why it’s not such a terrible thing.
Essentially, I believe that the Min-Maxer is really a response to and an defense against a much more insidious, disruptive playstyle. A playstyle I call “Mr. Do-Everything.”
…Don’t talk about Adventurer’s League. Apparently. I’m being harsh. Everyone know’s it’s Wednesday Nights, which is at least good branding, if nothing else. Also, it being a bigger deal than I thought it was is probably… good?
Let me start from the top. I recently had a Dungeons & Dragons 5E game I was playing in go on hiatus, and with no other gaming in site, I decided to check out 5E’s organized play option, “Adventurer’s League.” My original plan had been to DM at a local hobbyist store, but the organizer never got in touch with me so… I did the somewhat shitty thing and decided to go and play at another FLGS. Hey, if it comes around to it, I can always go back to Plan A.
Top image taken from “Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set”
I’m beginning to notice that basically every nerd has the same basic story about the first time they tried a roleplaying game. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Someone bought the books, they all rolled up characters, and then… well, then they just kind of screwed around for a bit. No epic adventure, no grand quest.
It seems like in the mid 2000’s, there was an epidemic of this going around. I think it’s gotten a bit better since then, and I have a couple ideas why. Let’s break this down a bit.
Top Image: Concrete and Chains by Mark Molnar, 2013 © Fantasy Flight Games
Shortly after we arrived in the city, the word went out that we were to meet up with our new boss at a boathouse out by the riverside early the next morning.
There was six of us there that morning. Our new boss, Gregory Bamonte sat behind his desk, looking a little more under the squeeze than his slick reputation would’a previously indicated. See, Bamonte had a reputation for not lookin’ too close at folks. If you could do a job, he’d give it to ya’, no matter your race, color or creed.
I recently started playing in a game of FATE, best summed up as “Chthulu vs. the Mob.” The name of this little campaign is “Guys and Dohls”, and I figured it was worth blogging about a little. For our first session, we put together a skills list, built our city, ramped up through character creation, and played a short “tutorial fight” to get the rules down. So, without further ado, I give you our city, Oubliette d’Ivoire.
A while ago I sat down with a few friends to play a round of “Community Radio,” an improv game by Quinn Murphy heavily inspired by the “Welcome to Nightvale” podcast. It was originally brought to my attention by bankuei, and in the interest of full disclosure, my friends and I are pretty big fans of all-things Nightvale related.
When people talk about roleplaying games, they’re talking about a pretty wide swathe of playstyles and genres that are pretty fundamentally different. I’m not going to re-tread all of it, but suffice to say that I’m pretty sure “Community Radio” is a narrativist game.
I had a ton of fun at LUGCon this year, but the cherry on top of the whole experience was the chainmail dice bag I won.
When I was younger, I had a friend that was SUPER into chainmail. He made some of it, mostly small projects and sheets of the stuff, but I was always amazed by the way he subtly bent and wove the metal into cloth. I was filled with the same amazement and nerdy giddiness as my dice bag arrived via post Friday morning. Continue reading