Reverb Gamers: What Kind of Gamer Are You?

Question #3: What kind of gamer are you? Rules Lawyer, Munchkin/Power Gamer, Lurker, Storyteller/Method Actor, or something else? How does this affect the kinds of games you play? For example, maybe you prefer crunchy rules-heavy systems to more theatrical rules-light ones.

I run games a lot more than I play them. A lot more. I fall squarely into the Method Actor slot when I'm playing, although I've only got to play in very rules-light systems in the last few years. Given a crunchier system, I think I would probably head in a direction not really specified above, where I'd use the rules a lot to do interesting stuff with the character. In my teens, I tended to explore the extra options for a character a lot - strongholds, sidekicks, creating magical items, that kind of thing.

GMing, it's a different story.

I have two different preferences for GMing, and they stem to a fair degree from the players. If I have a set of players who know the rules of the game well, then I like a good solid amount of crunch. D&D 3.5 was about ideal for this, I think; the rules didn't get in the way of stuff we wanted to do, and all my players knew the system well. And this is also good for shorter-term games, where the world isn't going to be an ongoing interest. I have to admit that I like sitting down and working out encounters for 4th Edition D&D; there's a low-level puzzle-solving aspect to it alongside the creativity.

For longer-term games, where the players are more interested in the world than the game rules, then a lighter system is better. Legends of Anglerre seems to suit well for this area, although we've had a number of areas where the rules just don't seem to be all that comprehensible - or at least, they're very difficult to explain. I find that enormously frustrating; I want to get on with the game, and having to spend time going back and forth over a rule until everyone understands it impedes that. So the lighter - and clearer - the rules are, the better.

My game notes for my long-term campaigns contain less and less in the way of game stats as time goes by - the stats for NPCs are usually either well-established or not important, and there's a lot more interest in the events in the world. And the group I play these games with favours negotiation over combat, by a very long measure, so once I take diplomatic skills into account, there's often little enough dice-rolling to be done.

So... I don't really have a clear player type, and I don't have a clear preference for system types.

Posted by Drew Shiel at January 11, 2012 11:55 AM

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