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D&D 3E
Playing Vs. Twinking. 
1st-Apr-2005 01:13 pm
I always hear people throwing out the “power gamer” or if your not careful with this someone will “twink out”. So where do you draw the line between using resources (feats, skills, spell and equipment) to there fullest or twinking?

The best way I think I can state my position is this: (using Eberron simply because that the campaign world I’m in now)

The player who buys the Mithral (sp?) full plate so he can use his dex and the higher AC from the armor, and additionally buys the material then forges it himself so he doesn’t have to pay as much is not twinking (power gaming).

The players whom A) Plays the Animantine (sp?) warforaged so he can sell parts of his body or so that when he dies his fellow players turn him into weapons, B) the player who tries to build a tank, and C) gets a dinosaur and a lot of wand and tries to pull over and steal from the lightning rail and doesn’t expect consequences and gets mad when he is hunted down by the police and house that owns it, are all power gamers.
1st-Apr-2005 07:20 pm (UTC)
Okay, power gaming IS using your character to the fullest. It is doing that without going over the edge into twinkhood/munchkinism.

There is nothing wrong with power gaming as long as the whole group, including the DM are power gamers
1st-Apr-2005 08:39 pm (UTC)
The way people always used power gaming and twinkhood I guess I thought it was the same. I should have noted that the above examples are theoretical; our DM would blast us if we ever, ever tried to do anything like rob a lightning rail or make weapons out of dead PCs. The armor example came from my character who is actually an artificer and smith by trade so I felt it made sense and the DM agreed.
1st-Apr-2005 08:47 pm (UTC)
I hate the labels.

The armor example is barely power-gaming. It's no worse than a Wizard who crafts his magic items to save money.

I think the distinction comes between low-roleplay Power Gaming (which 3e is structured to support well) and twinkery is that LRPPG the player uses the character as a game piece within the situations posed by the GM. Twinkery starts when the player uses the RP conceit of "controlling my character fully" to abuse the game.
1st-Apr-2005 10:30 pm (UTC)

what/who IS that?
1st-Apr-2005 10:57 pm (UTC)
The dancing elf? Well I really don’t know, a friend sent it to me. Originally the animation was quite long so I cut it down so I could use it but so that it still looked right. I think he got the original off the Blizzards web site but I’m not sure.
2nd-Apr-2005 04:25 am (UTC)
Heh. That would be the night elf male from World of Warcraft. Very distinctive dance. :P
1st-Apr-2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
D&D is a bit schizophrenic on this issue. The problem is that a bunch of us got used to playing D&D in the 80's and 90's, then this new 3E came out with a different, very "Gamist," philosophy. 3E encourages you to exploit combinations of rules to get the most bad-ass character. Role-playing is a pleasant diversion. It's really the game was designed.

Sure, a good group of players and the right DM can still role-play and stuff. The game just wasn't designed to do that. You're going against the grain and it's not fair to get pissed at the one guy in the group who is more interested in playing the game the way it was written. That is, it isn't fair unless you've all sat down and talked about the kind of game you want to play. If you do that, and he goes against the agreement, then he's being a choad. Talk to him, kick him out, find another group, whatever works.

There's nothing wrong with playing a "Gamist" game. Push the role-playing aside (mostly, not entirely), wrack up the XP, level up, and kick ass. It's fun.
1st-Apr-2005 10:11 pm (UTC)
You don't need rules to role-play. I roleplayed I was a valiant knight or a wizard in my backyard with sticks lots of times when I was a kid. In bed I roleplay that I'm the Dread Pirate Nottingboots(TMI). I'm having trouble seeing how a set of rules can hinder roleplay unless they explicitly tell you not to roleplay. It's not the game that roleplays, it's the players, the game just helps to adjudicate questions of skill or power.
1st-Apr-2005 11:49 pm (UTC)
A set of rules hinders role-play because it distracts action from role-play or interrupts it with silly dice rolling. Role-playing is more than just "acting like my character." It's performing actions that are in-character.

If rules didn't matter at all, then players interested primarily in role-playing wouldn't use any rules.

Rules do a lot more than adjudicate questions of skill or power. They determine how scenes are framed, they determine which player gets to talk when, which player gets to decide what his character can even attempt (and that's role-playing), and how a character reacts to certain things. If a D&D rule forces a player to be charmed by a villain, you don't think that influences role-play? Whether it hinders it or not is left to the opinion of the player whose character is charmed.

Though it doesn't specifically address why system applies role-playing, you might find System Does Matter interesting.
2nd-Apr-2005 01:26 am (UTC)
I agree that 3rd edition is all about exploiting. But then, power gamers are the people that spend three hours a day sitting on the toilet reading their books, then come back to game and take the unprepared DM off on a tangent with their new chink in the system they found, their new exploit.

And this takes away from having fun.

It's okay to play your character to their realistic, fullest extent, but the player that tries to best the other players and get "whoa, that's cool" from the other people at the table by completing screwing with the rules to become a god, that's an annoyance. A disturbance. And it's someone that gets no roleplaying experience typically either, because most power gamers are also metagamers.
2nd-Apr-2005 05:16 am (UTC)
It seems that if someone spends that much time powergaming their character, then they're having a LOT of fun.

So I assume you mean that it takes away from the fun of the other players. Why is this? It's only not fun for them if they don't like that style of play. If they're all into that, then it's fun. In fact, it might be the main focus of their play (building up godly characters, surprising each other with cool combos and the DM and players trying to one-up each other). In fact, the D&D rules encourage players to do this.

I don't think a player who is "metagaming" or "exploiting" the rules is necessarily trying to "best the other players." He may be cooperating entirely with the party's goals, helping them as much as he can. He's just way better at it than the others.

This isn't how I like to play, but it's a perfectly valid way to play the game, and it's the way D&D 3.x was designed to be played. Don't knock the play style. =) If it's not your cup of tea, that's fine, but some people really enjoy it.
2nd-Apr-2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
I'm a powergamer who doesn't metagame!

Exception to the rules!
1st-Apr-2005 09:35 pm (UTC)
nah, your examples sound more like idiots than power-gamers. The power-gamers would win the fight vs. the guards, for example. :)
1st-Apr-2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
I call it powergaming if you do something simply for the sake of doing more damage/being more powerful, not for the sake of the character.
2nd-Apr-2005 01:50 am (UTC)
What if the character wants to do more damage when fighting for her life, or wants to be more powerful?

By the way, every time I see your icon, it looks like the Awk (or whatever it is) is walking backwards. I'm always disconcerted.

1st-Apr-2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
Actually, I would allow the Warforged, so long as he realized that he could not be raised (right? Warforged can't?), and that those limbs he sold would be replaced with crappy crappy metal that gave him negative Hit and Defence and probably reduce his Reflex saves. And reduce his unarmed damage.

...and he had to pay for the new arms. And get lauged at by the other Warforged.
2nd-Apr-2005 02:27 am (UTC) - Allow selling of warforged parts?
This has been talked about over on the Wizards Eberron board. The story seems to be like this, the metal isn't worth much. It's making the weapon that costs the big bucks. Few people can work with the metal. If they could, why would they waste their time on some potentially poor quality used metal when the original stuff can be had fairly cheaply? Finally, it's not like the metal just sits on the skin. It's not easy taking that stuff out and seperating it from the wood or the blood or the whatever. You'd be better off skinning the dwarf when he dies and making hide armor out of him.
2nd-Apr-2005 02:53 am (UTC) - Re: Allow selling of warforged parts?
check. I have no clue how the Warforged work. All I know is that they lok cool.

I've never played Eberron.
2nd-Apr-2005 03:04 am (UTC) - Re: Allow selling of warforged parts?
Hah, sorry. I was trying to be helpful, I think. Lots of GMs on the boards complain of their players trying to chop up and sell every warforged they kill. The players think they are being all crafty, but they're really just being jackasses. Which gets back to our topic.

If they're being a jack ass about it, they're twinking.
2nd-Apr-2005 04:17 am (UTC) - Re: Allow selling of warforged parts?
crap, if I was a Warforged, I'd ask for my head to be stuck on a stick and made into a mace!


Generally, being a jackass about doing questionable things makes you a twink.
2nd-Apr-2005 01:17 am (UTC)
Mithril is the correct spelling.

Mithral is the bastardized D&D spelling.
2nd-Apr-2005 02:52 am (UTC)
Power Gaming, if you asked me, is stealing the show 100% of the time from the rest of the party. There's nothing wrong if your entire group is made up of power gamers, other than them stepping on each others toes and everybody for once getting a taste of their own medicine.

Power gaming is when you've effectively made yourself the only one in the group that matters.

Twinking is when you start invoking all sorts of strange bastard rules, and proving everything to your DM, and pulling shit out of your ass that you really had no right to be pulling in the first place. Certain things, even if there's no rule against it, stand against common sense and reason, and therefore shouldn't be allowed.

Twinking is really the fault of crappy GM's, not the player that pulls it.

As for players building tanks...there's nothing wrong with that. Selling off your Adamantine Warforged ally after he's dead/broken....ROFL. I like it. It's cold-hearted, sure, but if nobody cares, there's nothing wrong with it.

If somebody made an Adamantine Warforged character just to kill it and get a few tons of Adamantine, they'd be properly dealt with with a beatin' stick. Not in game.

A Warforged selling its own body parts...sure...and then when it breaks down for being incomplete, it has nobody to blame but its own greey interests. This is the same as any PC (non-Warforged) selling their organs on the black market. It's just that Warforged have much more useful organs. Less squishy.
2nd-Apr-2005 03:47 am (UTC)
powergaming = adding this template, with this race, having no class levels, having this weapon with no magical properties, and destroying a creature 5 above you in one round.

having a sword that does 2d8 in one hit, and having a crit/threat of x4/11-20.

cheesing something out just to be able to smash things efficiently with no concept as to the character, is powergaming.
I like cheese as much as the next guy, but having a concept is important too.
3rd-Apr-2005 07:41 am (UTC)
Lord Twinkie dislikes the term twinking
its deragatory.
4th-Apr-2005 04:10 pm (UTC)
I object to the idea that power gamers are all about them first, others later.

My view is that a powergamer will have an idea, direction and feel for his character and will not waste resources on anything that will ultimately weaken his character.

To me, a self proclaimed powergamer, playing a weak character because it makes me more of a role player is a load of shit. Each class has a focus, a feel and ultimately plenty of weaknesses that are covered by other players...

Powergaming imposes restrictions and benefits on any 'powergaming' character I play, but I don't ever remember taking away the spotlight from our rogue when my fighter is fighting, I don't ever remember taking the light away from our cleric when he's healing.

Take the following observations as you will, but some power gamers double as rules lawyers, and some just enjoy knowing their character is good at one specific area, so that they're party may benefit and focus on other areas.
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