Power gaming, the lost art.


EDIT: The terminology in the below has caused quite a bit of confusion among those leaving comments on Facebook. The proper term for what I am talking about is “Munchkin” not power gamer. There is a marked difference between the two. Power gamers, while still quite unnerving to me, are nowhere near the level that muchkins are. Hopefully this clears up any misunderstandings in the future.

This is one of them post, you know the ones that the blogger really hates. I despise power gamers. I mean, really despise them. Not the ones that claim they are “power gaming”. I am talking the dude who takes 100 points of flaws in GURPS because he thinks he can fit in more skills.Those people make me want to choke on my rage. Here are my tips from the other side of the screen from them. Or better yet, how I deal with them:

1. Houserules: This is the first and foremost thing I pull out when a power gamer hits my table. House rules keep them from being able to exploit the loopholes that they have found. Well, that is the idea anyhow.

2. Control what happens at creation: Limit the options at creation. It makes it hard to power game if those options are off the table from the start. 3.x was a great example of a game where you had to do that, or else pay the price.

3. Be strong with your players: Tell them you won’t tolerate their breaking of the game. Putting your foot down will typically drive them away from the table.

4. Ask them to leave: Another time that I will drive a player off. I will ask, beg, plead and even restrict before I do this, but if the power gamer won’t stop, then das boot!

5. Work with the player: Sometimes the player doesn’t realize he is being a dick. Talk to him and work with him or her to fix the problem.

So, how do you deal with the problems that power gamers bring? As always, don’t be a dick!


4 thoughts on “Power gaming, the lost art.

  1. Trolling them.

    I used to kill power players or in general players that was causing problems to my table with silly ways. Sometimes I was luring them to kill or cripple themselves, dropping a cursed magic item or something that was actually their doom 😛

  2. More than control you should make sure it is clear what you want from your players and what kind of game it is going to be.

    Recently I was in a game and without asking me they ended the current campaign and started a new game based on a property all the other players were familiar with called “space station 13” which I had never played or even heard of and which finding explanations of is difficult. They refused to explain what we would be doing beyond that we would be in the property so, since we were using wild talents, I proceeded to just make the best character possible so I wouldn’t be left out. In wild talents the best character possible is one who is the best at everything but doesn’t have any specific powers.

    • I don’t always put things in the order I would do them. I, most of the time, put them in the order they come to me. In this case, yes I would do number 5 first, before I hit any other measures.

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