Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-12-2006, 06:01 PM   #261
Irish Wolf
Irish Wolf's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Earth, mostly
Default Re: Whats a Munchkin?

A friend of mine is in the process of being guided away from the Dark Side. The only system he has any experience with yet is d20 D&D (hey, we're both too broke to buy any new books right now!), which he used to play with some of his Navy shipmates on long deployments. He got some bad munchkin habits there, the worst of which was insisting on playing barbarian warriors - not because he liked pretending to be a barbarian warrior, but because they got more powerful combat-oriented gimmicks than anyone else.

I started curing him of that by running a series of adventures that started off in a magically-protected tower (only elves or half-elves could pass through the barrier unassisted - it dated from the Midsummer Massacre, when the ruler of a large human empire went crazy and tried to eliminate all the nonhumans - which meant his human barbarian needed some friends), then went through a city's primitive sewers (the ancient dungeon, built over 3000 years before, had long since been forgotten, and one of the biggest cities in the entire Outmarches region was built right over it). All that crap about "hiding in the trees for an ambush" and "crazed combat charges" and "leaping vast crevasses" didn't come up much in there... :-)
Irish Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 10:15 PM   #262
BeUrgaust's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: OKC,OK, USA, Earth Omicron circa early 21st century
Default Re: Whats a Munchkin?

Okay I got to page 11 of this thread before I decided to post, so If I am repeating anything on the pages after that I do appologise. Before I get into what a muchikin is let me qoute my favorite GM's resource.
Originally Posted by Robin's Laws of ...
The Power Gamer wants to make his character bigger, tougher, buffer, and richer. However success is defined by the rules system youre using, this player wants more of it. He tends to see his PC as an abstraction, as a collection of super powers optimized for the acquisition of still more super powers. He pays close attention to the rules, with a special eye to finding quirks and breakpoints he can exploit to get large benefits at comparatively low costs. He wants you to put the game back in the term roleplaying game, and to give him good opportunities to add shiny new abilities to his character sheet.

The Butt-Kicker wants to let off steam with a little old-fashioned vicarious mayhem. He picks a simple, combat-ready character, whether or not that is the best route to power and success in the system. After a long day in the office or classroom, he wants his character to clobber foes and once more prove his superiority over all who would challenge him. He may care enough about the rules to make his PC an optimal engine of destruction, or may be indifferent to them, so long as he gets to hit things. He expects you
to provide his character plenty of chances to engage in the aforementioned clobbering and superiority.

The Tactician is probably a military buff, who wants chances to think his way through complex, realistic problems, usually those of the battlefield. He wants the rules, and your interpretations of them, to jibe with reality as he knows it, or at least to portray an internally consistent, logical world in which the quality of his choices is the biggest determining factor in his success or failure. He may view issues of characterization as a distraction. He becomes annoyed when other players do things which fit their PCs personalities,
but are tactically unsound. To satisfy him, you must provide challenging yet logical obstacles for his character to overcome.

The Specialist favors a particular character type, which he plays in every campaign and in every setting. The most common sub-type of specialist is the player who wants to be a ninja every time. Other specialists
might favor knights, cat-people, mischief-makers, flying characters, or wistful druid maidens who spend a lot of time hanging about sylvan glades with faeries and unicorns. The specialist wants the rules to support his favored character type, but is otherwise indifferent to them. To make a specialist happy, you have to create scenes in which his character can do the cool
things for which the archetype is known.

The Method Actor believes that roleplaying is a medium for personal expression, strongly identifying with the characters he plays. He may believe that it is creatively important to establish a radically different character each time out. The method actor bases his decisions on his understanding of his character's psychology, and may become obstructive if other group members expect him to contradict it for rules reasons, or in pursuit of a broader goal. He may view rules as, at best, a necessary evil, preferring sessions in
which the dice never come out of their bags. Situations that test or deepen his personality traits are your key to entertaining the method actor.

The Storyteller like the method actor, is more inclined to the roleplaying side of the equation and less interested in numbers and experience points. On
the other hand, he is more interested in taking part in a fun narrative that feels like a book or a movie than in strict identification with his character. He is quick to compromise if it moves the story forward, and may get bored
when the game slows down for a long planning session. You can please him by introducing and developing plot threads, and by keeping the action moving,
as would any skilled novelist or film director.

The Casual Gamer is often forgotten in discussions of this sort, but almost every group has one. Casual gamers tend to be low key folks who are
uncomfortable taking center stage even in a small group. Often, they are present to hang out with the group, and game just because it happens to be
the activity everyone else has chosen. Though they are elusive creatures, casual gamers can be vitally important to a gaming group's survival. They fill out the ranks, which is especially important in games that spread vital PC abilities across a wide number of character types or classes. Especially if they are present mostly for social reasons, they may fill an important role in the group's interpersonal dynamic. Often they are the mellow, moderating types who keep the more assertive personalities from each other's throats in or out of character. I mention the casual player because the thing he most fervently
wants is to remain in the background. He doesn't want to have to learn rules or come up with a plot hook for his character or engage in detailed planning. You may think it is a bad thing that he sits there for much of the session thumbing through your latest purchases from the comic book store, but hey, that is what he wants. The last thing you want to do is to force him into a
greater degree of participation than he is comfortable with. (Of course, if everybody in the group is sitting there reading your comic books, you've definitely got a problem . . .)
All of these are play styles, and acceptable if you know how to work it.
The nuber one rule in gaming is that everyone envolved is having fun and it is a collaberative work to ensure that. Munchkins break that rule. Now let me introduce you to my labels for the Munchkin versions of each of these playstyles.

The Playtester( Munchkin Power Gamer ) tries to break the system. He finds and uses obscure rules, he tries every interpretation of a questionable rule until he finds one that benefits him most, if he doesn't like a rule he will substitute his own. His number one target is the rules, shortly there after the GM's interpretation of them. All of these are notably great qualities if he is assisting a Gaming Company with puting out great products, but at a table with friends and a finished product this cannot go on. He is firstly a detriment to the GM's fun, and then to the other players when they find themselves in the shadow of his flashy toys.

The Machiene ( Munchkin Butt-kicker ) thinks that there is nothing else to the game besides combat. He does optimize his characters for combat, and does so with every intention of turning the entire game into one long bloodbath. He will frequently attempt to kill off anything that stands in his way to combat including the other players' characters and may participate in real world arguments if anyone complains. He is a detriment to the fun of anyone at the table with him.

The Dictator ( Munchkin Tactition ) wants to be the sole person planning in game. He comes up with plans and will bully the other players into going along with them. He uses out of character knowledge in instances his character is not present and wispers across the table at those who are. He is never satisfied with a situation where things did not go along with his plan and will yell at anyone who caused that including the GM. He is mostly a detriment to the players fun, but if the players aren't happy the GM will not be.

The Man of One Face ( Munchkin Specialist ) not only wants to play the same kind of character in every campaign he wants to play the same exact character every time. preferably as a progression from the last. This way his character has emassed not only all of his gaming experinces but also is far ahead of the other characters in progression. If not allowed to follow this progression he will find ways to disguise his old character as a new one. He not only is a detriment to fun if allowed to progress his old character but adds a sense of tedium and redundancy to the game, especially if he is the veriant that insists that every campaign be exactly the same as the first one his character paricipated in.

The Spotlight Hog ( Munchkin Method Actor ) upstages everyone in the game. He shows up with a character history more detailed than most real world biographies. He dramatizes every situation and steps on the toes of the others to do so. This isn't a game to him its a personal improve preformance and the group and GM are the attendies. He becomes a detriment to the fun of the players when they fall outside of his spotlight and to the GM when she interupts the third act of his play with dice rolls.

The Author ( Munchkin Storyteller ) dictates what is going on in the world to the GM, and thinks he should actually be running this game instead. He writes his own plot and everyone else gets in his way. This effect worsens when playing a licensed property game or an adaptation of a fictional world he knows. Sure he keeps the plot going but the GM's hands are tied during this. He is a detriment to the fun of the GM that has a story going and the other players as he railroads them along a plot he likes.

The Recuiter of Slack ( Munchkin Casual Gamer ) not only doesn't want to play but he tries to interupt play or persuade others also not to play. He often turns on the television or radio while gaming or distracts others with out of character chatter. He is the easiest to deal with because the solution of asking him not to come is actually what he wants to hear. He is a detriment to all at the table until he leaves or they stop playing.
Death and dice level all distinction. -- Samuel Foote, The Minor
BeUrgaust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2007, 10:07 AM   #263
Jerniox's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Default Re: Whats a Munchkin?

I didn't read the rest of the thread, so I may be restating something.
Munchkin: (Munch.KIN) n.
1. A player in role-playing games who does not role-play, and instead focuses on killing everything that the player finds in his or her best interest, whether or not it furthers the plot.
The munchkin of the group was a complete jackhole, because of his character, that fit in to the plot in no way whatsoever.
2. A player in role-playing games who treats the game as a competition between the fellow players, and not an advancing plot line.
The munchkin killed his partner just as they were about to save the world, and took over to gain extra experience points.
All your potatoes are belong to us.

Join my PBP campaign!
Jerniox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2007, 02:11 PM   #264
Michael Cule
Join Date: Jul 2005
Default Re: Whats a Munchkin?

I should probably say that though I was the one (I think) who posted it on, the "Florentine ninja" line belongs to Andrew Rilstone to whom should go the credit.
Michael Cule,
Genius for Hire,
Gaming Dinosaur Second Class
Michael Cule is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.