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Who are you? – RPG Player Types

By Andrew “Rannos” Moran

There are many types of gamer in the world. To some roleplaying is their life, to others it’s just a casual hobby. So who are you?

The Mad Gamer

The Mad Gamer is one of the rarest player types but can be one of the most fun.  The Mad Gamer loves serious roleplaying. He takes props to games, such as a matchbox to fiddle with if his character is nervous; he selects world appropriate names, sometimes searching for hours and enveloping himself in the game’s genre, defiantly not creating something off the top of his head.

The Mad Gamer creates “concept” characters and will do idiotic things in character, even if it means certain death to everyone. You’re a Mad Gamer if you decide that your meddling kid character will pull every lever in sight, and you stick to it even if it is the lever to start the nuclear reactor’s self destruct.

The Mad Gamer doesn’t Min-Max, preferring to have experience left over rather than creating a stronger character, if that stronger character doesn’t fit his concept. But he expects his GM to return in kind with challenges of a tailored nature; if he creates a sneaky rogue he expects Stealth, Mystery and Heists and without these challenges for his character he will soon get bored. If the GM is running a combat heavy game, if his “concept” doesn’t  mesh with the game at hand he will most likely find another game.

This type of player is always asking “What would my character do and why?”

The Munchkin (Powergamer – Min/Maxer)

Munchkins design powerful characters. Munchkins try and bleed every last point of Armour, Health and Bonus available in the system. If there is a way to gain an edge within the game she’ll find it. The Munchkin creates characters that generally don’t follow a concept rather a design to be the “best”, and her character really shines in its chosen field. If she is a Ranged specialist, she will be able to bullseye a target 5 miles away (but not do much else).

If one class seems to most powerful she will select it (*cough* Druid) and if the game uses a points based system the character will be reworked to be optimised, (finding that ridiculously rare race to give you the +2 Wisdom Bonus for your Druid, even if only 10 exist in a population of 1 Billion).

The Munchkin does enjoy roleplaying, but she is locked into beating the game rather than immersing herself within it. A few problems with the Munchkin are that she can quickly become a “Rules Lawyer” especially when the GM puts a foot down to prevent ridiculous choices; another being that when her character dies she simply remakes a similar character, because it’s the best choice to beat the Game.

Mr Anderson

The Average Gamer, There is nothing extraordinary about Mr Anderson in either a good or bad way. He likes Roleplaying but hasn’t figured out his characters are meant to be different to each other; usually they are all essentially him. They act like him, think like him. Mr Anderson tends to go along with plans, but back him into a corner all alone and his decisions will be based on external influences including what other player characters will do rather than him thinking “what will my character do or think.”

Mr Anderson doesn’t take games too seriously and if another player begins to talk about Stargate Universe, Mr Anderson is most likely going to join in.

(My Advice to the Mr Anderson is to take the Red Pill)

The Copycat

The Copycat enjoys roleplaying but has a favourite movie or comic and when it comes time to choose a character concept she has to roleplay a hero from it. If allowed to she will quite happily act as her chosen hero.

Unfortunately, in game systems with random attributes and skill points it can be impossible for the Copycat to roll luckily enough to generate a character as epic as the one she is attempting to emulate, or she may not have enough starting points to complete her creation. Problems can also occur when the GM knows the character in question and can use his knowledge of the character’s weaknesses against her

The Copycat never understands why she can’t be exactly the same as the character she wants.

Mr Psycho

Mr Psycho likes roleplaying but only when the ball is in his court. Mr Psycho is the boss and anyone getting in his way is killed. If he doesn’t get his own way, the gravedigger will be working overtime. Mr Psycho believes his character to be the penultimate thing in the universe and if he doesn’t get a good price on his new weapon the shop keeper is not going to live long.

You are a Mr Psycho if after an hour of play you can’t remember how many NPC’s you’ve killed.

The Mr Psycho doesn’t play well with others (except maybe other Mr Psychos and combat monsters) and hates realistic settings when the cops are sent after mass murderers. Usually most Mr Psychos melt down into a Mr Anderson or …

The Combat Monster

Orcs! Orcs! Orcs!

The Combat Monster lives for one thing Fighting! Happiest when she is rolling dice and in the middle of battle, she will melt into the background and trundle along until another fight occurs. In combat heavy games The Combat Monster thrives, but those that reward good roleplaying and thinking are not the combat monster’s style.

Other types of Gamer exist such as the Boring Roomate who will only be at your game if nothing else is going on, he loves to be around his friends and will use every pause in the game to socialise. Mr Boring does not roleplay, that is when he does turn up. Another player you may encounter is the Boy/Girl Friend who is only there because they want to see what roleplaying is all about, sometimes joining in and sometimes being herded along by that player’s “other half”. They can be annoying but occasionally they can be converted to another player type. Finally there exists a sspecial layer of hell for the the following type of player:

Special Mention: The Rules Lawyer !

Try not to be a Rules Lawyer, it is a plague that can affect any type of player, though in my experience Munchkins are most susceptible. The Rules lawyer has read every book every published and could tell you what the Weaknesses of a Xorn was and, if they have munchkin tendencies, bring you up on it when you don’t apply the double damage bonus.

This isn’t to say a player can’t inquire about a rule she is unsure of, and all good GM’s will explain houserules before the game begins, but if a rules situation occurs during the game bring it up after the game! The GM may have been fudging the rules or did make a mistake, but arguing about such things during play slows the game to a crawl as even the most sane GM’s can be defensive when challenged.

Rules Lawyers also can’t separate Game knowledge from Character knowledge, If the player knows that another player is hiding from him in the well, he will do everything to jump in the well, from proclaiming it is too hot to swearing it was a family tradition when encountering wells to jump in them.

In short – always remember – Layer of Hell ^__^

So which Type are you?
Which Type am I?
Are there any I’ve missed out?

7 Comments

  1. avatar

    Skimble says:

    I think you missed my gamer type. I fit quite well into the Mad Gamer you describe except that I will usually place the continuation of the game and the fun of the other players above the portrayal of my characters. For that reason I would usually find a reason /not/ to pull the nuclear destruct lever you mentioned.

  2. avatar

    Rannos says:

    Suprisingly I’ve never seen you play as a PC in all the long(ish) time I’ve known you Richard – Kinda Odd that…

  3. avatar

    Ian Warner says:

    There’s a few more.

    The Dandy
    The guy who insists on playing ladies’ men though his personal seduction skills are VERY suspect.

    The Dedicated Crossplayer
    The player who insists on always playing the opposite gender even in games where this is a serious disadvantage.

    The AWESOME Nuke
    A player who in some way always grabs the spotlight with the sheer power of AWESOME!

    The FAIL Nuke
    A player who in some way always grabs the spotlight with the sheer power of FAIL!

    Jonah
    The player who’s dice seem cursed to the extent when they actually succeed everyone cheers.

  4. avatar

    darklightuk says:

    I think I’m a good 70% FAIL Nuke 30% Jonah

  5. avatar

    gaignen says:

    Like to think of myself as a Mad Gamer. The number of combat-useless characters I have built by design…

    Reality: Probably a Mr Anderson.

  6. avatar

    lillozenge says:

    I appear to be a mad gamer… All my characters have a flaw that I work around, some worse than others. I used to be a Mr Anderson, but got over it. :)

  7. avatar

    LinguisticSniper says:

    I’d consider myself a Mad Munchkin, a cross between the first two types :) I try to make a character as effective as possible, but I’m not bound to a best-build-only mentality; they need a good backstory and a clear-ish personality to become too :)

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