Powergamer or roleplayer: which are you?

OK so the NWN2 thread has way too much detail about my current dilemma in NWN2. Part of me wants to be a roleplayey elven egomaniac with a sword and light armor and quite a lot of sorcery. But part of me wants to be a powergamey wizard burning my way up to as many level 9 spells as I can squeeze out of the game. And dammit I don’t know which to choose. (I don’t have enough time to play the game through twice, hell I probably won’t even finish it once!)

So. Who else has this problem of choosing between powergaming and roleplaying? Which is the most fun for you? Why? Let’s hear it!

Kill all the NPCs.

I think that’s the last poll option, then.

I sort of want to care about my race and class choices but end up leaning more towards the min-max side of things. I made some crazy thief/assassin/ranger mix in the last NWN module that hit for insane amounts of damage. I also had a Dragon Disciple that kicked all sorts of ass. Being powerful is fun.

I like to sit on hilltops and looks at pretty sunsets. In fact I think I’ve done this in every single sandbox game with a day/night cycle I’ve ever owned.

Also, I like to go get into barfights in such games.

Is that roleplaying or a dating site ad? I enjoy sunset walks and barfights.

What about none of the above?

I am an explorer. I like playing with the game mechanics as well as seeing eveyrhting and trying to find ways into areas I am not supposed to go.

What I don’t like about D&D and “initial stats” type games is that I can end up penalized for not knowing the rules. That’s kind of crappy. I focus on roleplaying but ultimately I will make sure I don’t roleplay myself in to a corner.

It depends on the game: Oblivion, Diablo, and Baldur’s Gate are very different experiences, despite being slapped with the same “RPG” label.

In NWN 2’s case, I’m hoping to find a nice balance between being a powerful badass in combat and getting to make interesting choices as the story progresses. Based on KOTOR 2 and what Desslock has said about NWN 2, I’m hopeful that Obsidian came through on NWN 2.

Oh crap. I thought this poll was about pen & paper gaming. I change my vote, then. In computer games, I powergame to the max. I only make character design choices based on roleplay in pen & paper games.

I’m a classic compulsive powergamer. Back in the EQ days, I was the guy who proved that stats didn’t do anything through weeks of exhaustive testing, logging, and parsing.

Yeah… I’m better now. Thanks for asking.

OK fuck it. This thread is helping. I’m realizing that I’m gonna play a drow sorc / rogue / arcane trickster combo. Insanely high charisma, ability to use a sword and wear light armor, a pompous fop obsessed with being a swordslinging master of metamagic. He’ll never get to level 9 spells, but he’ll have enough metamagical flexibility that he’ll be ready for anything at any time. I can taste the fun already!

Actually, Roger, I didn’t really distinguish which this thread is about, it didn’t occur to me that people would make different choices in each medium :-) Interesting!

Is a powergamer Lawful Evil or Chaotic Good?

  • Alan

Roleplayer here, though admittedly I approach most RPGs with the mindset that it’s me personally in that situation and act accordingly.

The closest I come to powergaming is wanting to know the correct conversation path to acquire the UBER ITEM that will make a future bullshit boss fight easier to overcome. Other than that though, RPGing by numbers bores me.

I like to min/max, though mostly to ensure I can survive well enough to make it through the story, see as many options as possible, etc.

That, and a fear that if I don’t, I’ll get smacked around by the first kobold whelp I see and the rest of the paladins will laugh at me and even the woodland sprites will beat me up for my lunch money.

In WoW I’m both. I’m a pretty hardcore min/maxer, and will go to great lengths to maximize the effectiveness of my character. OTOH, though I don’t actively play the game in character, and I almost never read quest text or other lore related stuff, I like to think that each of my characters has a somewhat distinct personality, and I like rivalries and revenge and hating the Horde and all that fun stuff. I’d say I’m probably 70% catass/30% roleplayer.

It has been said that open-ended character development sytems, like D&D or Oblivion, give you lots and lots of ways to create crappy characters…

I would say neither. I’m no powergamer (though an MMO, through sheer force of peer pressure, drives me further in that direction than normal) but I don’t generally play RPGs in order to “role play.” Only occasionally do I try to play an RPG character with something like a consistent personality, and that’s often when dialogue trees winnow me into clear paths a la the Bioware good/evil style.

I’m the anti-Bartle. Screw that noise. I do things my own way, baby.

Seriously though, I’m mostly roleplay but I’m not a masochist. I’ll try to find some unique angle that works in the setting, amuses me and can find a hook in the game system to have a measure of success.

Pure RP works better in very small groups with minimal rules systems. Once you have a rules heavy setting, like a computer game, you really need to try and find some compromise solution. Otherwise you’re not even playing the game anymore.

Roleplayer here, which caused me no end of problems with my non-optimized PCs on a few NWN PWs (and I know better than try a powergame game like I’ve heard WoW to be)