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  • I just want to vent for a minute...

    Finding a good M&M game is hard.

    I play almost exclusively on Roll20 these days and I'm just ready to throw in the towel. Why is it so... Blasted... Hard?

    Every time I look nobody does old school game types. It is always Hero High, which was fun, the first 10 times I played a game as an awkward teenage character... I am tired of playing awkward teenagers. I want to play Superman, (referring to the current DC Comics which are AWESOME) not another reboot of Spider-Man. I'm old. I don't get into that mindset so easily anymore. I am not a hep cat. I don't care about the tribulations of youth. You could cut my age in half and I'd barely be a teenager.

    Then there is the other spectrum. The ultra kill gore-fest. Usually PL 6 and almost always with buckets of blood and grey matter. No... I mean... Those are fun. I have those. That is Rifts or Shadowrun.

    To find a straight up superheroic PL 10 game? Its like finding the Holy Grail. Heck finding a straight up PL 10 DC Universe game is like finding a magical pink unicorn that poops rainbows.

    So you finally found your magical pink unicorn and are setting up and you are all excited, you made a character, you wrote a decent backstory, you found/made/or in some cases purchased art. You are all ready to go. You're prepared to kick it into high gear when suddenly...

    "These are the proper ratios for the absolute most effective attack to effect based on a foolproof mathematical metric. Anything that falls outside of these parameters will be deemed sub-par and will not be tolerated as you are bringing the group down."

    or

    Someone says, "I am playing (I am not kidding, this happened) Danny DeVito from Always Sunny in Philadelphia but if all of his crazy stories were absolutely true and I have a combination of powers that is the ultimate power gamer's dream date to the prom. I am playing such a disruptive character that in any normal situation I'd be kicked out because I don't need a team to function. However, I am the GM's real life best friend so I will get away with total and complete murder and be completely shameless about it."

    When did it get so hard?

    I know normal games exist. I know they do because I run them. Why are they so hard to find though when I am looking to play for once?

    Thank you all for listening to me vent... If this venting was annoying... Meh. It helped me blow off steam and it was in the title so... Just gah this is frustrating.

    At least I feel better now.

  • #2
    Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

    wow.

    this makes me never want to try Roll20.. like its the weird ChatRoulette of RPG gaming..

    I hear your frustrations.. and can only kinda sympathize because i have no experience in the latter, so i actually have no experience in what you describe, but it does sound truly awful.
    "Oh poop!" (inexact translation) Author Unknown, Pompeii circa 79 A.D.

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    • #3
      Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

      Roll20's problem may be (correct me if I'm wrong) that it deletes games after a period of inactivity. When there is no comprehensive, public, searchable record of a player's conduct in games both IC and OOC, people will show their baser natures. It's why I stick with play-by-post over things like Skype and face-to-face games.

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      • #4
        Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

        Originally posted by hypervirtue View Post
        "These are the proper ratios for the absolute most effective attack to effect based on a foolproof mathematical metric. Anything that falls outside of these parameters will be deemed sub-par and will not be tolerated as you are bringing the group down."
        I absolutely loathe min-maxers. They do nothing but destroy any game they are in.

        I'm a "concept first" type of gamer. Meaning that a compelling concept for a character is the most important thing for me. And that the game mechanics and efficiency of them are not even an afterthought for me.

        I think the most important thing in building a character is: Capturing and inspiring the imaginations of not just the player who makes the character. But the whole group.

        The character has to inspire the GM to make challenges for it. And it has to inspire the other players to be enthusiastic about playing along-side it.

        Someone says, "I am playing (I am not kidding, this happened) Danny DeVito from Always Sunny in Philadelphia but if all of his crazy stories were absolutely true and I have a combination of powers that is the ultimate power gamer's dream date to the prom. I am playing such a disruptive character that in any normal situation I'd be kicked out because I don't need a team to function. However, I am the GM's real life best friend so I will get away with total and complete murder and be completely shameless about it."
        Life is too short for bad gaming.

        You never should be afraid to walk away from any toxic situation.
        Last edited by Darrin Kelley; 30th March 2017, 10:04 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

          I think some min-maxers, especially among newer or more inexperienced gamers may not even realize what they are doing; or that it's not the intended way to actually roleplay.

          These are people who are video-gamers.. or even avid board gamers.. thats simply how they are going to approach something called a role-playing game.

          I try to show them a better way.. and sometimes they catch on, and other times they haven't a clue, sometimes going so far as to chide me for what they feel was "a mistake";

          Case-in-Point: We recently had a D&D session where our characters came across a feast; and i had my character take a pint of beer from the feast and quaff his thirst. The feast was, of course, cursed.. and my character fell ill. Our resident min-maxer scoffed at me, but then the DM gave me an action point for roleplay, just so the group knew he was encouraging such concept-driven roleplay.

          Of course, i'm sure you get some people who just want to min-max to "win"; and are fully aware they won't RP, even to go so far as to NOT roleplay as much as possible. Yeah, thats toxic, like Darrin says.. walk away. (we actually dumped a guy from our group who was like that)
          "Oh poop!" (inexact translation) Author Unknown, Pompeii circa 79 A.D.

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          • #6
            Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

            Years ago I hosted a weekly D&D 3.0 game at my house. We had a player we recruited from a local game store. He was okay as a roleplayer but we ended up booting him from the game when we discovered he was cheating on his dice rolls. We were suspicious when he almost never failed a save or an attack roll. A couple of us started watching his rolls so he started scooping up the dice almost as soon as they stopped rolling. We tried to talk to him about it but he denied any wrongdoing. It's too bad that some players have that mentality. Sometimes something interesting happens when you fail a saving throw like when my Gold Elf sorcerer character got magically transformed into a Dwarf.

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            • #7
              Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

              @OP: Maybe Roll20 is where a lot of overflow from people who aren't getting those two kinds of games go.
              Originally posted by savijmuhdrox View Post
              These are people who are video-gamers.. or even avid board gamers.. thats simply how they are going to approach something called a role-playing game.
              I'm skeptical that is has much to do with their background: people desperate to win come from everywhere. It's why gaming addiction is a thing.
              Originally posted by Darrin Kelley View Post
              I absolutely loathe min-maxers. They do nothing but destroy any game they are in.

              I'm a "concept first" type of gamer. Meaning that a compelling concept for a character is the most important thing for me. And that the game mechanics and efficiency of them are not even an afterthought for me.

              I think the most important thing in building a character is: Capturing and inspiring the imaginations of not just the player who makes the character. But the whole group.

              The character has to inspire the GM to make challenges for it. And it has to inspire the other players to be enthusiastic about playing along-side it.
              Um, what if someone was able to min-max their character, then presented them alongside a compelling backstory and Complications list that made logical sense concerning the build? Are the two mutually exclusive?

              I mean I once played in a game with a character who's power set was in some ways OP -- they're former Champions player, so they got good at using Array-like stuff -- but the character was still fun to be in a game with and didn't make anyone feel useless (heck, I felt useless because my character wasn't living up to the concept I had, which probably would have been helped by a little min-maxing).

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              • #8
                Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                Originally posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
                @OP: Maybe Roll20 is where a lot of overflow from people who aren't getting those two kinds of games go.

                I'm skeptical that is has much to do with their background: people desperate to win come from everywhere. It's why gaming addiction is a thing.

                Um, what if someone was able to min-max their character, then presented them alongside a compelling backstory and Complications list that made logical sense concerning the build? Are the two mutually exclusive?

                I mean I once played in a game with a character who's power set was in some ways OP -- they're former Champions player, so they got good at using Array-like stuff -- but the character was still fun to be in a game with and didn't make anyone feel useless (heck, I felt useless because my character wasn't living up to the concept I had, which probably would have been helped by a little min-maxing).
                If its only "in some ways" OP then they aren't min-maxing.

                Min-maxing is a character who is statistically perfect. Every benchmark hit in every way. A range of attacks to deal with any and every scenario. Often times alts that don't make sense. The M&M min-maxer will have one array, usually costing around 30 points before alts, that can deal with any enemy regardless of their saves, immunity powers, or anything else that can be a defense. They are fond of "extreme" adjustable shifts as well. Often having one attack with a +0 attack and +Max effect, a balance/balance, and a high attack and low damage with the ability to jump between them to get the "perfect" attack/damage ratio. The M&M min-maxer brings statistical variance charts out to learn what the best ratio is for any given attack, be it damage or be it an affliction.

                Sure, they can have a compelling backstory and realistic complications... They are absolutely not fun to GM for and unless you care able to mix-max just as well your character will quickly be demoted to sidekick. The min-maxer doesn't need you. He or she is a one man army equipped with every possible tool and contingency. If they have some kind of legitimate weakness, expect them to already have another power/ability to negate it.

                There is no point to running a "game" with a min-maxer. They win. Period. Short of extremely overpowered enemies nothing can stand up to them and woe be it for a non-maxed character to face an enemy capable of threatening the min-maxer because they will get absolutely destroyed. Your best bet is to simply begin all fights with, "And you win." That is the ultimate outcome of any confrontation.

                The min-maxer trivializes encounters... Effectively.

                I've had a number of min-maxers join games on Roll20. Usually after 1-2 sessions another player wants to quit because of the min-maxer. Usually I pull the min-maxer aside, talk to them, explain to them the situation, and about 1/2 the time that works and they rebuild without being so min-maxy. The other 1/2 the time they respond with a comment about how other players should "get good" and then they are promptly ejected from the game.

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                • #9
                  Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                  The hallmark of the min-maxer is the "Variable Hyperbeam Ray"

                  Named by the player, as I mentioned elsewhere on these forums, who brought it into one of my games.

                  Railgun 3pp/rank +10pp
                  Damage (1pp/Rank)
                  Increased Range (+1pp/Rank)
                  Multi-Attack
                  Affects Incorporeal 2
                  Persistant
                  Alternate powers: Energy Beam, Bio-Phaser, Psionic Disruptor, Disintegration Ray, Stun Setting, Wide Area Beam, Smart Laser

                  Energy Beam was the same as Rail Gun, only was energy over physical.
                  Bio-Phaser was Damage, Increased Range, but instead of multiattack it had Alt. Save Fortitude.
                  Psionic Disruptor was Bio-Phaser only Alt. Save Will.
                  Disintegration Ray was Bio-Phaser with Alt. Save Dodge.
                  Stun Setting was Affliction, Increased Range, Multi-Attack, Affects Incorporeal 2
                  Wide Area Beam was Damage, Area Cone 2
                  Smart Laser was Energy Beam, but instead of Multi-Attack it had Increased Range 2 for perception.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                    Originally posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
                    Um, what if someone was able to min-max their character, then presented them alongside a compelling backstory and Complications list that made logical sense concerning the build? Are the two mutually exclusive?
                    Not at all. Unfair play (I prefer this to terms like 'optimizing' and 'min-maxing', since it accurately describes what is wrong with this playstyle) absolutely can co-exist with good, even stellar roleplaying. Conversely, someone can have a character that is not an outlier in game mechanical power or versatility, but be disruptive in other ways (spotlight hogging, cliquishness, passive-aggressive behavior, rudeness, cheating etc.). Which is why I'm perplexed by GM's that put emphasis on choosing "good roleplayers" for their game, as if good roleplaying rules out bad behavior. I really think people would be better served just playing with decent human beings -- the roleplaying will take care of itself.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                      Originally posted by CaptainChaos View Post
                      Years ago I hosted a weekly D&D 3.0 game at my house. We had a player we recruited from a local game store. He was okay as a roleplayer but we ended up booting him from the game when we discovered he was cheating on his dice rolls. We were suspicious when he almost never failed a save or an attack roll. A couple of us started watching his rolls so he started scooping up the dice almost as soon as they stopped rolling. We tried to talk to him about it but he denied any wrongdoing. It's too bad that some players have that mentality. Sometimes something interesting happens when you fail a saving throw like when my Gold Elf sorcerer character got magically transformed into a Dwarf.
                      I agree with your sentiment; this is why I'm very wary of players who refuse to suffer any setback whatsoever (including, but not limited to, defeat in combat), and always consider it a major red flag. If someone wants zero risk of setback or defeat, why even play a game where die rolls determine the outcome?

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                      • #12
                        Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                        Originally posted by Ysariel View Post
                        I agree with your sentiment; this is why I'm very wary of players who refuse to suffer any setback whatsoever (including, but not limited to, defeat in combat), and always consider it a major red flag. If someone wants zero risk of setback or defeat, why even play a game where die rolls determine the outcome?
                        exactly.. it builds character..

                        i may never get a Star Wars rpg off the ground; but i absolutely LOVE their complication/weakness mechanics.. so much that i may attempt the same thing in my other games.

                        the gist of it is all characters 'weaknesses' are put in a table and rolled for prior to each session; if your number comes up.. you are pretty much required to incorporate your weakness into the game.. and for this session, your character suffers an ongoing penalty.. people might complain, but come on, you just declared the whole session is ABOUT THEM... a little ego-stroke for some much needed roleplay? not a bad tradeoff, methinks
                        "Oh poop!" (inexact translation) Author Unknown, Pompeii circa 79 A.D.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                          I suspect that some of the fear of losing is from video games, some of it from old-school D&D, namely the idea that the system will not cheat to save you and that in truth, the system is playing against you. Plus, even when you know that the GM isn't going to just let your character die because they failed their save, it can be no fun being the guy sitting on the sidelines, waiting for everyone else to finish mopping up the opposition. I know that I've had a few moments like that in various systems, including Mutants and Masterminds.
                          [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

                          [b]Current games:[/b]
                          [url=http://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=839]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]

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                          • #14
                            Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                            We had a player like that once.

                            He hated any setback. If his character wasn't the absolute best he'd pout. He tried to play "the wolverine" (aka the loner) in a team game and got annoyed when the GM wouldn't let him. By wouldn't let him, it was literally, the guy would ditch the team and then pester the GM, "So whats going on with my character."

                            The GM responded with things like, "You're patrolling. You haven't found anything. Maybe the team might be up to something."

                            He never got it.

                            I finally had it with him when I was running a game, we had long suspected that he cheated on dice rolls, and I, and another player, saw him blatantly tilt a die off of a 7 and onto an 18. It was a pretty tense moment when he declared that he rolled a 28 and I looked at him and said, very clearly, "You rolled a 17. I saw you move the die."

                            Which resulted in:
                            "What? No I didn't."

                            The other player chiming in:
                            "Dude, I saw you do it too. I've seen you do this before also."

                            Him:
                            "Whatever."

                            Me:
                            "No, not whatever. This wasn't even an important roll. This wasn't life or death. This was to see if you could convince a waiter to upgrade your table at a restaurant. The sad thing is the 17 would have passed. It was a DC 15. However now it fails and for the rest of the night your rolls will be made clearly, in the center of the table."

                            He grumbled, we continued playing, combat happens and he does one of his famous, "close to the body" rolls and declares that he rolled a natural 19. To which I had to reiterate, "No. You have to roll in the open. Nobody could see what your result was and there have been too many accusations of you cheating and one attempt where we caught you in the fact."

                            He rolled, and failed, then literally flipped the map.

                            We had to banish him from the group after that.

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                            • #15
                              Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                              thats hilarious.

                              though i do like the fact you had session where rolling to upgrade your table at a restaurant was a thing.. i think my players would lose their shit if there weren't punching people in the face 24/7
                              "Oh poop!" (inexact translation) Author Unknown, Pompeii circa 79 A.D.

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