Just this guy, you know?
- Feb 21, 2007
- Reaction score
- Pittsburgh, PA
Personally I think it's just a part of human nature. I doubt one has to have a wargamer mind to indulge in min-maxing. Certainly the same sort of behavior occurs in Live-Action Role-Playing, which tends to attract non-wargamers. My thinking is that it's more about power and self-esteem (by way of the character) than anything else.The only thing I can think of, is that A. rolegaming is actually historically an extension out of table top wargaming, and thus logically it can be argued that of course min maxing makes sense, as all wargamers strive to dominate the battlefield routinely through superior tactics and B. it therefore makes "sense" to use wargamer thinking in a rolegame.
Again, that's the group, not the game. And this is one of the things I like about 3.0... because it has better (IMO) rules for how to use Charisma to affect things. (Granted, I've never actually seen them used in practice!)I recently played in a game where I had to 18 stats. I gave one to Dex (I wanted an archer) and I gave one to Charisma (I wanted him to be likable). Sadly though, I found that the game was just going to be hack and slash. My 18 Charisma wasn't worth squat to the group. It didn't contribute to monsters getting dead. No one ever wanted to let me use my dude in a way that his Charisma could impact the situation.
3.0 was the first iteration of D&D where I actually thought about putting a relatively high score in CHA. In the earlier versions, one's character's Charisma was always essentially the player's own charisma. Hardly anyone I knew ever rolled for an NPC's reaction on the tables they gave us. All meaningful NPC interaction was handled by role-playing it, which had only as much relation to the character's CHA stat as the player chose. And Charisma wasn't good for much of anything else.
By actually including hard-coded rules for things like comparing one person's Bluff to another's Sense Motive, 3.0 made it possible to quite literally roll-play a social interaction. Granted, that's not the way I choose to do it in my D&D games, but at least it makes it hypothetically possible for an unskilled role-player to play someone extremely different from him- or herself just by having the right (or wrong!) stats.
Never tried it, although I think I remember reading the promotional stuff in Dragon mag. D&D has been fundamentally combat-oriented (i.e. as the primary solution to all problems) ever since it started, I'd say. Though that may depend quite a bit on the group...I like Alternity much better. It's the only game I will run as DM. It rewards a player built with a brain. It penalizes harshly any player that has a glaring deficient stat(s). And the game also makes it easy to observe early on, if you insist on a combat encounter several times every game session, you likely won't be around 10 sessions later without extreme good fortune hehe.
In short, the game requires something better than just resorting to violence.