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> Why the slew of Munchkins lately?
Critias
post Oct 22 2007, 02:03 AM
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Is there a particular reason folks have been posting threads full of horribly min/maxed characters lately, and then rationalizing/explaining away every clever little rules-abusing twist, then harvesting praise or suggestive criticisms for their efforts?

Did I miss some challenge thread somewhere daring people to make the most silly and broken characters they can, is this some means of protesting little rules loopholes that I missed out on, or what?
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Jaid
post Oct 22 2007, 02:07 AM
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QUOTE (Critias)
Did I miss some challenge thread somewhere daring people to make the most silly and broken characters they can, is this some means of protesting little rules loopholes that I missed out on, or what?

well, actually, apparently you did miss just such a thread ;)
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Starmage21
post Oct 22 2007, 02:16 AM
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Munckin threads, while initially can be perceived as wastes of time and/or board space, can be quite useful for the resourceful GM AND the player. They provide solid examples of when and where rules can be abused easily or not. Players can use the information to avoid said abuses, and GMs can know what to look for much easier.
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bibliophile20
post Oct 22 2007, 02:24 AM
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QUOTE (Starmage21)
Munckin threads, while initially can be perceived as wastes of time and/or board space, can be quite useful for the resourceful GM AND the player. They provide solid examples of when and where rules can be abused easily or not. Players can use the information to avoid said abuses, and GMs can know what to look for much easier.

Amen; that's why I've been reading them, so I know what to keep an eye out for.
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Glyph
post Oct 22 2007, 02:27 AM
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Those kind of threads pop up every now and then. Occasionally you have several pop up at once.

They're kind of useful, in a way, since other posters will point out the weaknesses and rules dodgery of the build. This can lead to house rules to close up loopholes, or ideas on how to challenge such characters. I like the mental challenge on both ends, both the "how many dice for this can you get?" end, and the "That can't be right! How could a GM shoot this down without resorting to GM fiat?" end.


At least they're not as annoying as all of those threads whining about how sammies, or mages, or spirits, or hackers, or just about damn well anything in the game is "broken", and how GMs should house rule like crazy to gimp them. And there are way more of those threads.
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toturi
post Oct 22 2007, 02:38 AM
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QUOTE (Critias)
Is there a particular reason folks have been posting threads full of horribly min/maxed characters lately, and then rationalizing/explaining away every clever little rules-abusing twist, then harvesting praise or suggestive criticisms for their efforts?

Did I miss some challenge thread somewhere daring people to make the most silly and broken characters they can, is this some means of protesting little rules loopholes that I missed out on, or what?

Shouldn't there be more of these? Why should PCs not be horribly min-maxed if they are viable in a game? BTW, munchkins are not min-maxed, they are maxed, but they certainly are not minned.

Players should read these threads to find out what exactly is within the RAW and what the house rules the GM is putting forth. GMs should read them to know how to counter them without the need to resort to GM fiat or house ruling.
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Big D
post Oct 22 2007, 03:10 AM
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Well, not necessarily. Min-max means you min the stuff that matters least to you in order to max the stuff that you really want. So, yeah, it's both a core component of charop, and a major tool of munchkinism.

I enjoy the thinking that goes into good charop. What I *don't* like is charop that breaks the spirit or gratuitously bends the letter of the rules, like Pun-Pun (or, to steal another example from D20, the silly but constant usage of Jade Phoenix Mage in builds).

For example, Invoked Allies are really a gray area to me, while I have no problem with Inhabited jarheads or cyberallies based on genetically optimized clones. Likewise, while I can't see a GM actually allowing Buster's All-Physical-1s voodoo monster on the basis that there might be one person like that *maybe* in a century, and they probably wouldn't be a runner, it is fun and educational to work through the math.
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Buster
post Oct 22 2007, 03:29 AM
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QUOTE (Big D @ Oct 21 2007, 10:10 PM)
Likewise, while I can't see a GM actually allowing Buster's All-Physical-1s voodoo monster on the basis that there might be one person like that *maybe* in a century, and they probably wouldn't be a runner, it is fun and educational to work through the math.

I call him "Mumm-Ra" and you don't have to worry about any other 1-physical-statted mages, because he hunts down and slays all other 1-physical-statted mages. Mumm-Ra keeps all the ancient spirits of evil for himself!
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toturi
post Oct 22 2007, 03:32 AM
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To me, Min-max means minimise weaknesses(of the things that matters least) and maximise strengths. Munchkins do not min-max, IMO, the max at the expense of their mins.
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Whipstitch
post Oct 22 2007, 03:33 AM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Oct 21 2007, 09:03 PM)
Is there a particular reason folks have been posting threads full of horribly min/maxed characters lately, and then rationalizing/explaining away every clever little rules-abusing twist, then harvesting praise or suggestive criticisms for their efforts?

Honestly? They probably just like playing around with numbers. I know that's why I do it. I don't even need a practical reason to do so either and on a message board it's perfectly harmless. Playing around with RPG systems is fun for me; they require light crunch at most since they're designed to be somewhat user friendly and in SR4 at least there's often multiple ways of accomplishing any given goal. It's like Sudoku with gyromounts.
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Buster
post Oct 22 2007, 04:10 AM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Oct 21 2007, 09:03 PM)
Is there a particular reason folks have been posting threads full of horribly min/maxed characters lately, and then rationalizing/explaining away every clever little rules-abusing twist, then harvesting praise or suggestive criticisms for their efforts?

Did I miss some challenge thread somewhere daring people to make the most silly and broken characters they can, is this some means of protesting little rules loopholes that I missed out on, or what?

I can't speak for anyone else, but I love to create characters, and it's fun to test my character against different situations and other builds. Shadowrun expects that you're going to play in a team of specialists, the rules are geared towards building specialists, and it's fun to see how far you can push your specialist's abilities. Sometimes it's just fun to see how many dice you can throw at a problem, regardless if you could actually stand to play that kind of character in a real game.

Also I keep hearing that one "class" of specialist or other is way overpowered in some way, but these threads and counter threads prove that it's nonsense. The authors have done a great job in the extremely difficult task of balancing all the rules for cybersams, hackers, riggers, faces, and mages.

However there are loopholes in the rules that need to be examined closely and possibly patched. The Bloodzilla problem was discussed on these forums and was easily fixed with a simple reinterpretation/tweak of the drain rules. The Agent Smith Army is definitely a problem without any official fixes, but we came up with all kinds of great ideas for fixing the problem. My possession mage shows that possession spirits are possibly a problem and may need to be patched. Or maybe not, maybe someone will post a valid argument about why it isn't as godlike as it first seems.

Besides what the hell are you doing with your life that's so much better than the rest of us, finding the cure for cancer?
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DTFarstar
post Oct 22 2007, 05:27 AM
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Boy, would your face be red if he really IS a doctor/chemist/whatever involved in cancer research. Gah, that would be hillarious.

Chris
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Kyoto Kid
post Oct 22 2007, 06:04 AM
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QUOTE (Whipstitch)
QUOTE (Critias @ Oct 21 2007, 09:03 PM)
Is there a particular reason folks have been posting threads full of horribly min/maxed characters lately, and then rationalizing/explaining away every clever little rules-abusing twist, then harvesting praise or suggestive criticisms for their efforts?

Honestly? They probably just like playing around with numbers. I know that's why I do it. I don't even need a practical reason to do so either and on a message board it's perfectly harmless. Playing around with RPG systems is fun for me; they require light crunch at most since they're designed to be somewhat user friendly and in SR4 at least there's often multiple ways of accomplishing any given goal. It's like Sudoku with gyromounts.

...nice :rotfl:

@Buster: I'm with you on enjoyment of creating characters. I have a fairly "healthy" stable of PCs in case the inevitable occurs. What's more, I can change afew things here and there and I have an Instant NPC with complete actual personality and fleshed out attributes/skills/abilities ready to go when I GM.
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Critias
post Oct 22 2007, 06:06 AM
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I wasn't challenging anyone for doing it, or insisting they stop, or trying to make people pay a toll for it or anything. I was just, y'know, asking why it seemed to be happening all of a sudden.

Most of the "rate this character" threads I recall seeing were ones people tended to post for (in theory) well rounded characters, maybe just asking for rules advice or help since they were knew to the system or a certain archetype or rules set ("is this a decent commlink, what else does my street sam need, am I understanding the magic rules right," etc).

The last few I've seen sometimes even have "munchkin" in the subject line, or are such gimmicky characters that, between the numbers themselves and the comments of the OP and those who reply, it's obviously an exercise in rules abuse rather than character creation. I was just wondering what the reason for the shift in focus was, or if it was just a shift in my perception instead.

*shrugs*

No challenge or anything. Just curious. So calm down there, sport. I was asking a question, and not one (I think) deserving of any sort of silly "what are you doing with your precious time, blah blah blah" nonsense. I know you've been here four whole months now, so your shit smells like strawberries, but trust me, you'll know when I'm out to actually insult people or otherwise show I disapprove of their posts.
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Narse
post Oct 22 2007, 06:10 AM
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I noticed the same trend (in fact I just caught some flak for posting about it in the wrong place, as I should have). So its definitely not just you.
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Fortune
post Oct 22 2007, 06:17 AM
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QUOTE (Narse)
... in fact I just caught some flak for posting about it in the wrong place ...

Wasn't really meant as 'flak'. ;) :)
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Narse
post Oct 22 2007, 06:18 AM
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Well, maybe it should have been. I could probably use some.
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fistandantilus4....
post Oct 22 2007, 06:21 AM
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I could lend you some of mine. I've got plenty. :)
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ElFenrir
post Oct 22 2007, 08:59 AM
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Yeah, i like these threads for the A. Entertainment value(they did WHAT?), B. GM resource(what to look for just in case), C. GM resource 2(my PCs are uber-twinked and i need opposition! :grinbig: ), and D. Player resource(ive actually made a few things that ended up sort of cheesy...without even meaning it. I just grabbed a bunch of stuff that looked cool, but it ended up being rather bloated and overpowered. So this lets me see the stuff ahead of time.)

And yeah, i admit, its fun to play with numbers and see just what can be done.
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Ryu
post Oct 22 2007, 09:05 AM
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I like these threads because they collect the "things to do for X" all in one place. One can then select how far he/she wants to go at chargen time.

The number of threads is certainly a mood thing, depending on who as enough time on his hands to build a "test char" and open a new discussion. Kinda like the holostreets threads, just with more prep work.
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eidolon
post Oct 22 2007, 02:08 PM
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I just figured that with the growing popularity and wider spread of SR4, we were getting a lot more people that are used to the d20 mindset.
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mfb
post Oct 22 2007, 02:25 PM
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not to mention the similarities between the two games. ooh! did i go there!? i think i did!
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Cain
post Oct 22 2007, 02:26 PM
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Naaah, major charop has been part of Shadowrun since the SR1 days.
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eidolon
post Oct 22 2007, 02:32 PM
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Yeah, to be fair, I think I notice it more right now because I wasn't on the boards during the "early days" of any of the other editions. I've been wondering if this kind of stuff is just due to the game still being "new(er)".

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Cain
post Oct 22 2007, 04:24 PM
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Well, the Pun-Pun/Bloodzilla thread had a ton of SR3 characters in it, so I wouldn't say edition has a lot to do with it. If anything, a newer edition gives us power players more untested rules to bend out of shape.

Seriously, I've seen playtest groups before. Their job is to test the system, to make sure it runs; they only report on glaring play issues. Nobody that I know of has a destruction-test squad, who's sole purpose is to find every loophole in a game system and exploit it until it breaks. This is the Microsoft model, where they now send every piece of software to a special team that tries anything and everything to break it. Even they miss a lot, but things have gotten a lot better since the destruction squad came into being. I think RPG's would benefit from the same sort of thing.
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