You, as a gaming aficionado, have probably heard of the term Powergamer: the stereotypical roleplayer who min-maxes their character to become the most effective violence machine. But, dear reader, there is another type of powergamer. The in-character powergamer. These are the people who roleplay a specific type of character in every game. Whether satisfying a inner need or simply for a challenge, they derive some satisfaction from occupying these specific roles. Here I have identified 5 types of Powergamers.
Sometimes confused with the stereotypical powergamer, the Brutalist is a slightly different animal. While they will have a higher concern for their stats then most Role players, this character brings about most of their violent behavior in dialogue. Instead of standing back during role playing sessions waiting for combat to start, they will use their skills to intimidate, provoke, or just plain insult others at every opportunity. They are the barbarians always challenging knights because they don’t like his look, the mercenaries willing to fight a king for not paying him fairly, or the space Gorillas who gets fidgety when a debate takes too long.
The Wordsmithâ€™s weapons are, unsurprisingly, their words. They can be powerful negotiators, fervent peacekeepers, or lying scoundrels, but they all use dialogue as their weapon. They find as much satisfaction in debate as any other characters would during combat. They can be found mediating between differing houses, debating an AI on the nature of existence, or trying to convince an ancient being that maybe destroying humanity isn’t that necessary.
Sometimes combined with the Wordsmith, the Casanova focuses on using their talents to seduce various beings across the roleplaying realms. These characters will look upon a barmaid, a king and a demonic multi phallic seductress with the same inner thought…. “can I f^$k it?” They can be found in bars, asking the GM if it’s also attached to the local whorehouse, in space games trying to have sex with various alien species or in an urban fantasy trying to hit it off with a Fae queen.
The Chaotician loves going in the wrong direction in a funny way. His actions can be contrary to the rest of the groupâ€™s will and can bring about chaotic but amusing consequences. They are the Malkavians trying to buy someone’s head while it is still attached, the mad scientist creating a violent giant robot with no off switch, or the mage who might have mistakenly turned his teammates into chickens during a very important mission. But, the Chaotician must ride a fine line between amusing and perplexing. For he can go down a road that will confuse the players and drag the story in a weird and not initially funny direction. Like trying to make glasses out of horse poop. I mean, who does that. Really…
No! Get out! Get the F$^k out! What the F$^k is wrong with you. No, I don’t care if that’s what you think your character would do. The fact you did that makes me question why I even invited you. Marcy still wont come out of the bathroom and Bob is puking his chicken sandwich all over my floor. You need help! Get out and if I see you again, I will burn your character sheet, put the ash into a rocket and fly it into space. GOD!
Are you guilty of powergaming? What other types have you seen at your table? Tell us below!
Fandible.Com is now on Patreon! If you enjoy our weekly blog posts and actual play podcasts, please consider supporting us.
6 comments on “The 5 Types of Powergamers”
I am, without a doubt, 100% the Wordsmith. I think it’s because I’m actually meant to be a GM (and most of the time that is what I am) and not actually a player. If I only have one role to play I’m gonna play a seriously mouthy one because dialogue and voices and stuff is what I was brought into this universe to do, probably.
I’ve been a Wordsmith & Chaotician, you really should be on good terms with your GM & party before delving into the Chaos. I played a gnome “chaos” mage named Ungnome and we home-brewed a chaos magic field for him where his ultimate spell was a d20 roll for random effects (kinda like the 5th ED chart) my favorite session was where my allies had to break me out of a government facility where I proceeded to,
-Transmute a group of guards into chickens
-Eat said chicken guard
-Laugh as party member in game vomited
-Create a blackhole so our ship was sucked in
-Discover a teleportation suit that I unlocked with a my foot being scanned with a hand scanner
-Teleporting the party and myself to an Aztecian troll temple
-Finally creating aztecian female troll strippers to distract the trolls long enough for us to escape
Our group has never laughed so hard in our lives…
I’m definitly not a wordsmith, can’t talk to save my life i’m probably closer to a chaotician than anything else. I don’t try and make the game go in weird places but it seems to just happen.
We played an Interface Zero game where my character a sixty year old doctor become the head of a gang because he was literally the only person alive at the end of a session, then owed his ass to 3 different people, had a corporate deal where a ccamera was instilled in his eyes so everyone saw what was going on in his life 24/7 (it was a hit tv show) and became the boogeyman whose name was synonymous to Hitler’s all due to blind luck.
Then there was the DnD game where we had been captured, stripped of our gear and managed to break out. We jumped down a hole, only clad in our loin clothes and found 3 evil priests. trying my best to act calm I walked up to one of the priests nonchalantly and used pickpocket or something to steal his sword. Rolled a 1. I gropped him. The priest liked it. One thing led to another and my character took the sword hilt up the rear then killed the main, evil priest with it.
So yeah that’s a few of my weird stories.
Don’t talk about Winston that way! They shouldn’t have been holding out on his peanut butter, that’s all. D:
I don’t really consider myself an in character power gamer as much as I try and min/max the system, because I too suffer from terrible, terrible dice rolls. I just want my character to be competent.
Not content with abusing the system to get their own way (min/maxing), playahs abuse the world: the gm and the other players goodwill. They develop ‘but surely’ characters.
‘but surely I have [this] because I am [this]’ – they try to abuse things outside of the system and will use browbeating, coercion, and debate to the point of irritation. They try to bypass the gm. They labour their points, they sulk when they don’t get their own way.
They annoy strong willed gms and the players of weakwilled gms.
I am, without a doubt, 100% the Wordsmith. I think it’s because I’m actually meant to be a GM (and most of the time that is what I am) and not actually a player.