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Post Reply Table-top Min Maxing
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Posted 12/27/15 , edited 12/27/15
I have a question - How is min maxing viewed in table-top RPGs?

Apparently, it seems to be frowned upon, from the limited experience I have.

I was accused of doing so a couple times by my GM. The second time was because I said I wasn't going to purchase things with XP that I wasn't going to use, after he told me it wasn't going to work the way I interpreted. I asked in advance, because I know things get shifted and changed, due to it being a homebrew. (He also seems oddly bothered by being asked too many questions, for someone who is supposed to be GMing.... especially a homebrew of all things.)

I got the response "Gasp, you mean real people don't have skills that are only useful!"

However, I disagree about this. At the end of the day, it is a game. Sure, I will, and HAVE bought things with XP that I cannot/will not use in combat, or things I simply want to have for the sake of it (like a useless craft specialty - lets say basket -weaving).... but I'm not going to spend XP on something I will never use.... in or out of combat.

Does that make me a bad table-top RPG player?


We had words.

He says its due to a player in another game min maxing, but I keep getting the shitty end of it.
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Posted 12/27/15 , edited 12/27/15
Depends on your group. If everyone else is role playing and focusing more on the story and not their stats, then you look like a jackass. If people are just playing the game to slay dragons, then go for it.

That said - Talk to your GM and your group outside of a session to see what their opinions on the matter are and so you can voice your own.
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Posted 12/27/15

cenie wrote:

Depends on your group. If everyone else is role playing and focusing more on the story and not their stats, then you look like a jackass. If people are just playing the game to slay dragons, then go for it.

That said - Talk to your GM and your group outside of a session to see what their opinions on the matter are and so you can voice your own.


I have.... like I said, I keep getting this "No its just this other guy frustrating me, not you." Both times it has happened. Because, I'm really not min maxing. I have tons of useless stuff, or things I haven't bought that could have made my character WAY stronger, but I'm waiting on for storyline. But, guaranteed, I'll be accused of it again before it is over.

It is shitty to be treated a certain way when you aren't guilty, but they're frustrated over someone else.

But, really, I'm not min maxing. I could be twice as strong (quite literally) if I had chose to spend XP differently at pretty much any point in the last 5 sessions. *shrug*
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Posted 12/27/15

HolyDrumstick wrote:

I have a question - How is min maxing viewed in table-top RPGs?

EDIT: I put this in the wrong damned place, can a mod move it for me, please?


Done!

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Posted 12/27/15 , edited 12/27/15

lorreen wrote:


HolyDrumstick wrote:

I have a question - How is min maxing viewed in table-top RPGs?

EDIT: I put this in the wrong damned place, can a mod move it for me, please?


Done!


Appreciated, as always, Lorreen.
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Posted 12/27/15
Do you tell them everything you're saying here? If you aren't fully voicing your concerns, such as being the target of his/her frustrations than you aren't going to solve anything. I'll be honest with you - I don't believe or sympathize with pussy footing around. If it's a big enough deal to make a topic asking for advice, you need to take them aside either; before, after, or on a different day and talk about it. To me, it sounds like you've brought it up and taken whatever bullshit answer they gave you. Do not do this, unless you want to feel like a used doormat then by all means go for it.

Now when I say talk about it I mean you have to have a REAL talk, a discussion if you will. Lay out all your concerns; past, current, and future. I mean literally bring up anything and everything you have said here. Allow them to get their own frustrations off their chest and keep talking until you two ( or more, if it's a groupwide problem ) are on the same page. Unless they're a shitty person you should see progress with your issue. I know people don't like to give it to other people straight or are afraid of hurting someone's feelings, but nothing will get done otherwise.

TL;DR version - Man up and talk to them directly to settle it.

It should go without saying, but do this in a civil manner.
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Posted 12/27/15 , edited 12/27/15

cenie wrote:

Do you tell them everything you're saying here? If you aren't fully voicing your concerns, such as being the target of his/her frustrations than you aren't going to solve anything. I'll be honest with you - I don't believe or sympathize with pussy footing around. If it's a big enough deal to make a topic asking for advice, you need to take them aside either; before, after, or on a different day and talk about it. To me, it sounds like you've brought it up and taken whatever bullshit answer they gave you. Do not do this, unless you want to feel like a used doormat then by all means go for it.

Now when I say talk about it I mean you have to have a REAL talk, a discussion if you will. Lay out all your concerns; past, current, and future. I mean literally bring up anything and everything you have said here. Allow them to get their own frustrations off their chest and keep talking until you two ( or more, if it's a groupwide problem ) are on the same page. Unless they're a shitty person you should see progress with your issue. I know people don't like to give it to other people straight or are afraid of hurting someone's feelings, but nothing will get done otherwise.

TL;DR version - Man up and talk to them directly to settle it.

It should go without saying, but do this in a civil manner.


I already did talk to the GM, and said everything I said here. I usually take conversations to private, but I said it in common chat for everyone.... because I didn't want to be kicked for BS or be made out to be the asshole. I also do not pussyfoot around.

Was more or less concerned that I was being unreasonable, so was asking for the thoughts of people outside the group.


Also, the problem is that when I call him on it, it's always because of this "other guy," supposedly.... which seems like half BS, to me.
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Posted 12/27/15

HolyDrumstick wrote:


cenie wrote:

Do you tell them everything you're saying here? If you aren't fully voicing your concerns, such as being the target of his/her frustrations than you aren't going to solve anything. I'll be honest with you - I don't believe or sympathize with pussy footing around. If it's a big enough deal to make a topic asking for advice, you need to take them aside either; before, after, or on a different day and talk about it. To me, it sounds like you've brought it up and taken whatever bullshit answer they gave you. Do not do this, unless you want to feel like a used doormat then by all means go for it.

Now when I say talk about it I mean you have to have a REAL talk, a discussion if you will. Lay out all your concerns; past, current, and future. I mean literally bring up anything and everything you have said here. Allow them to get their own frustrations off their chest and keep talking until you two ( or more, if it's a groupwide problem ) are on the same page. Unless they're a shitty person you should see progress with your issue. I know people don't like to give it to other people straight or are afraid of hurting someone's feelings, but nothing will get done otherwise.

TL;DR version - Man up and talk to them directly to settle it.

It should go without saying, but do this in a civil manner.


I already did talk to the GM, and said everything I said here. I usually take conversations to private, but I said it in common chat for everyone.... because I didn't want to be kicked for BS or be made out to be the asshole. I also do not pussyfoot around.

Was more or less concerned that I was being unreasonable, so was asking for the thoughts of people outside the group.


Then your GM probably has his/her head too far up their own ass to understand your concerns and it would be best to move on. This is, of course, how I view it without actually knowing the situation in its entirety. I would be interested in seeing someone else's view(s).
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Posted 12/27/15
I feel like you're doing it wrong, if you're trying to break the game-mechanics. The main goal of tabletop is to make that powerful (or weak..?) character that fits your personal fantasy - or at least this is the way how I feel like it should be.

I don't actively try to break the table-top by doing min maxing, though I generally look up for good stuff. But after I have a fantasy set for a character, I don't deviate from that. I think it is wrong that the GM says you need to get stuff 'x' because it is your character. I know some GM's that have real issues with this thing and still get it wrong. But essentially the tabletop shouldn't have the word 'game' into it. Those solely doing it for min-max do it wrong and should look for like ... video games? Breaking a story with broke stat-combos wouldn't really make anyways life any easier.

Then again, a lot of GMs actually give me treats for following my character fantasies. For example me suddenly has a demon (should not be playable) cleric with a player-made cult of an already previously evil cult... And suddenly my skills do not come from player-sources but from GM... Good bye balance... >__>

Or another fantasy is by going with a fighter coming from north, that suddenly does not suck. And goes in an archetype between somewhat a warrior and barbarian. Still there is a strong personality and fantasy that also fitted that character, so I ended up getting some crappy stuff that really fitted the character for free without any cost of XP... :DDD
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Posted 12/27/15

conikettu wrote:

I feel like you're doing it wrong, if you're trying to break the game-mechanics. The main goal of tabletop is to make that powerful (or weak..?) character that fits your personal fantasy - or at least this is the way how I feel like it should be.

I don't actively try to break the table-top by doing min maxing, though I generally look up for good stuff. But after I have a fantasy set for a character, I don't deviate from that. I think it is wrong that the GM says you need to get stuff 'x' because it is your character. I know some GM's that have real issues with this thing and still get it wrong. But essentially the tabletop shouldn't have the word 'game' into it. Those solely doing it for min-max do it wrong and should look for like ... video games? Breaking a story with broke stat-combos wouldn't really make anyways life any easier.

Then again, a lot of GMs actually give me treats for following my character fantasies. For example me suddenly has a demon (should not be playable) cleric with a player-made cult of an already previously evil cult... And suddenly my skills do not come from player-sources but from GM... Good bye balance... >__>

Or another fantasy is by going with a fighter coming from north, that suddenly does not suck. And goes in an archetype between somewhat a warrior and barbarian. Still there is a strong personality and fantasy that also fitted that character, so I ended up getting some crappy stuff that really fitted the character for free without any cost of XP... :DDD


I get what you are saying. But, again, I'm not min-maxing. I have a specialty in brewing because my character is an alcoholic, but I never actually use it. I have a specialty in hunting I never use. I have high-ish stats in firearms due to backstory, but don't use guns for other reasons. It isn't that I am trying to break mechanics, it is literally that I am not going to purchase a skill I'm not going to use (and I even consider RP a use). That's all. If I need it for RP, like my brewing or hunting, I'll take it. I don't think it would make sense for my character to take combat skills he'll never use, though.
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Posted 12/27/15

HolyDrumstick wrote:

I get what you are saying. But, again, I'm not min-maxing. I have a specialty in brewing because my character is an alcoholic, but I never actually use it. I have a specialty in hunting I never use. I have high-ish stats in firearms due to backstory, but don't use guns for other reasons. It isn't that I am trying to break mechanics, it is literally that I am not going to purchase a skill I'm not going to use (and I even consider RP a use). That's all. If I need it for RP, like my brewing or hunting, I'll take it. I don't think it would make sense for my character to take combat skills he'll never use, though.


If put like that, can't you like go on GMs face and just say that, exactly when did my character manage to develop the skill to use a RPG missile-launcher? (extrapolated example but still.. :D)

Really sounds strange, if your character would learn how to do jousting on a mechanical boar while brewing booze. It sounds like the GM is trying to play the game for you and not the other way around... Which is really really really bad.
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Posted 12/27/15

conikettu wrote:


HolyDrumstick wrote:

I get what you are saying. But, again, I'm not min-maxing. I have a specialty in brewing because my character is an alcoholic, but I never actually use it. I have a specialty in hunting I never use. I have high-ish stats in firearms due to backstory, but don't use guns for other reasons. It isn't that I am trying to break mechanics, it is literally that I am not going to purchase a skill I'm not going to use (and I even consider RP a use). That's all. If I need it for RP, like my brewing or hunting, I'll take it. I don't think it would make sense for my character to take combat skills he'll never use, though.

It sounds like the GM is trying to play the game for you and not the other way around... Which is really really really bad.


This is exactly how I feel.

He asked me what the character's goal was and I said: To become an unmovable mountain who can crush people into dust.

He told me to stop viewing my character as a paper doll and instead as a person. So I explained to him what kind of person my character is and that his goal is to: become an unmovable mountain who can crush people into dust. Completely viable for any fictional character to want to become a better fighter simply for the sake of it, but apparently not there.

Also, the theme is that we're people from this world sent to another world. My character hates this world and was glad to be gone, so he doesn't want to get back to this world. Explain to me how a person would have any other goals than coming back to our world if they were suddenly dropped into another world? Right?
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Posted 12/27/15

HolyDrumstick wrote:


conikettu wrote:


HolyDrumstick wrote:

I get what you are saying. But, again, I'm not min-maxing. I have a specialty in brewing because my character is an alcoholic, but I never actually use it. I have a specialty in hunting I never use. I have high-ish stats in firearms due to backstory, but don't use guns for other reasons. It isn't that I am trying to break mechanics, it is literally that I am not going to purchase a skill I'm not going to use (and I even consider RP a use). That's all. If I need it for RP, like my brewing or hunting, I'll take it. I don't think it would make sense for my character to take combat skills he'll never use, though.

It sounds like the GM is trying to play the game for you and not the other way around... Which is really really really bad.


This is exactly how I feel.

He asked me what the character's goal was and I said: To become an unmovable mountain who can crush people into dust.

He told me to stop viewing my character as a paper doll and instead as a person. So I explained to him what kind of person my character is and that his goal is to: become an unmovable mountain who can crush people into dust. Completely viable for any fictional character to want to become a better fighter simply for the sake of it, but apparently not there.

Also, the theme is that we're people from this world sent to another world. My character hates this world and was glad to be gone, so he doesn't want to get back to this world. Explain to me how a person would have any other goals than coming back to our world if they were suddenly dropped into another world? Right?


HxH 2011 Ugovin from phantom troupe. As a character he has a lot of depth and feels like a person. Nothing like a paper doll. His goal is to just be the 'best'. Or unmovable mountain who can crush people into dust.


Well there are a lot of fictional characters whose motivation can be even less than that... Either way goal is like a motivational goal. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best and so strong that nobody can break you. I mean especially, if you look into small kids fantasies with their goals being that I want to be a hero. I don't really know what the hell is wrong with that GM, but there is no logic to that. And I don't know what the hell your GM is thinking but for example, if you're a bounty hunter, your goal is to be better at that stuff. If you're an athlete you want to be the best and the list goes on... There should be nothing wrong with simple desires. When it is a four page long analysis describing how your character is motivated, then there is something wrong with the person who is putting up the rules. Just like in real life, goals are usually simplistic. If you think what are your goals, it won't be a ten pages long list. In a world where it is hard to survive, the list should be even shorter than in real life.
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Posted 12/27/15 , edited 12/27/15

I think the reason there are issues is because:
A.) He's mixing mechanics from like 4-5 books for a homebrew. I get that kinks will pop up, but at least be okay with people asking questions in advance...I mean, at the very fucking least, you should expect a lot of constant questions.
B.) He places our opponents on maps and expects the fight to go a certain way. When they don't, or when the enemies get handled easily, he frets over it and tries to manage our characters rather than planning our enemies into the future better.
C.) At least with my character, I'm basically the only melee, most of the time, and I'm straight melee, and I'm always buffed to hell by the mages. I may not even do any damage, but I'm able to dance toe to toe with creatures twice my size and keep them busy, due to all of this. It creates the illusion that my character is OP, but that isn't the case. However, rather than adjusting buffing mechanics, he tries to manage my character... which will NEVER solve anything.

So, he's suddenly questioning everything I do, all my skills, and my motivations and justifications for purchasing certain things. He told me I'd have to purchase intelligence (I'm the intelligence of an average adult) to justify taking the final dot in brawl. He said this would simulate me developing a new fighting style. NO, you just want me to spread my XP around more, and get better slower, so you pulled that out of your ass.

Anyway.... sorry, at this point I'm just venting.
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Posted 12/27/15
These:

http://www.uptofourplayers.com/comic/26-lose-lose-situation/ (This is kinda how you do not set your goals as a GM!)
http://www.uptofourplayers.com/comic/27-time-to-get-role-ing/
http://www.uptofourplayers.com/comic/28-dramatis-personae/
http://www.uptofourplayers.com/comic/29-a-meticulous-system-revisited/

Also the basic idea of ultra-hard challenge based tabletops was that the players had to somehow cleverly turn a bad situation upside down. A GM should encourage with clever ideas and not stomp them. If anything it is sound more like that he'd make a good player but not a good GM.
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