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Dog
The way I see it, there's basically three types of gratification for a player:

The one I prefer is the "I'm a good role-player." kind. This is really what I strive for, I try to play an interesting character, an unusual character, and even if the character does not do well in the game world, I can do well playing his failure.

The second category includes guys who play more task-oriented games, who measure success by how smart they plan and execute the run with the resources (ie. the character) they have. I'm not really about this myself, but I respect it a lot.

The third category would be those players who seem to believe that if the character does well, the player has done well. "I'm good at Shadowrun because I just became an eighth-grade initiate."

I can say with confidence that most DSers are from the first or second category, but who's had to deal with the third group? These guys strike me as rather immature and frustrating. Usually, they have GM's who heap high rewards on them for relatively easy runs. In the end, the success of any character is rather fabricated, (By that I mean that the game is by nature fabricated and contrived.) so what difference does it make if your character does something cool? If the player didn't use their own smarts or wit to make it fun, all they did was roll some dice. There's some weird arbitrary ego-gratification thing going on there.

Do you guys see this difference as well? Do others have the same problem with this as I do? How do you deal with it? Does anybody see themselves as being in the third category and want to explain their side of it?

(Edited because I proof read after I post. Bad Dog.)
Glyph
Personally, I think most people would fall partly into the third group at times. Quantifiable character improvement paid for by karma points is a major part of the game design, and nearly every roleplaying game has a similar mechanic. There's nothing immature about wanting to improve your sorcery skill from 6 to 7, or thinking that it's cool that you can sling umpteen dice for shooting your Ares Alpha.

The problem doesn't come from wanting to have well-designed characters, or to improve them. The problem comes from players who have a munchkin attitude. That's where you get the dark side of ego gratification - cheating, spouting off character stats as if it were a contest measuring their manhood, bullying the other PCs, pouting when their character suffers the slightest setback, and so on.
Dog
Exactly. It seems to me that the coolness about having the karma is knowing you've earned it. Saying you had all them dice to throw should indicate that you prepared well and planned well. Throwing them dice and seeing all them sixes is the reward, not the accomplishment.

You're right though, we all get juvenile sometimes. For me, it's shortly after midnight on the Friday after a crappy work week.
Angelone
I had a nice long post written up about this featuring my take on each of the categories and which games the playstyle was most common, which included a paladin turning a dragon into julienne fries with his twisted lotus decapitation strike, while his mount did the Superbowl shuffle, then my computer crashed.

So, I'm just going to say you forgot the loonies.

Edit- Clarity
Ryu
Im clearly a member of the third category if Ive got to choose one. This is not based on some munchy dream of deltaware and thunderbirds, but on the advancement my character can achive step by step by reaching his goals. Im not about playing the highly ineffective comedy characters of a loonie or extremist roleplayer.

If you play a runner with professional attitude, option 1 and 3 will often be one and the same thing.

Note however that a char wont care if he has the most dice but only about his chances of success. My hacker will rather shore up several weak spots than get even better at electronics. The advancement is there, and I will one day pride myself of having made a secondary samurai out of him.


That is a long-term perspective however. Advancement is not what I care for in a single session. In the short term most players just care about having a fun time - as it should be. Its only that the differences in char development style will over the long term drive the power of the characters so far apart that having fun will be hard for the non-munchkins. And that again puts me in the third category. I do not care about having the most powerful char, but being outclassed in everything is no fun at all. Where I a category-A-player, I would not care.
Firewall
I know a pure type-3 and I think that, while all of us might have a bit of it, you can tell a type-3 by their ability to fire two panthers at once (with full dice pool for each, thanks to some custom cyberware that cost 0.1 essence), shrug off bullets (thanks to a focus that his NPC mage friend, a level 1 contact, made that makes him immune to bullets) and they are immune to magic thanks to their tin-foil hat...

Personally, I play flawed heroes. I like the idea of a character who is not perfect. I would rather be the decker curled up in a corner from his combat phobia and popping stims to feed his addiction than the Sammie mopping up the opposition and watching bullets bounce off his chrome. The character so buzzed that his gun-hand shakes is more interesting than the Conan phys-ad without any flaws. Or perhaps I just like trying to keep characters alive more than making other characters (even mooks) dead.
Dog
QUOTE (Ryu)
...and I will one day pride myself of having made a secondary samurai out of him.



Ryu, this suggests to me that you are more of the second category than third. Your pride comes from have accomplished something with the character, using your ideas and your smarts. If you had bragged "I play a hacker/samurai who once stole Lofwyr's letters to santa and singlehandedly fought off a dozen Red Samurai." then I'd say you were the third category. Instead, you're taking pride in what you did with the character.

I should clarify further. I don't neccessarily mean munchkins who have to have the biggest, baddest characters. (Although there's a huge overlap there.) What I mean are players who take pride in what the character has accomplished, even if the player had done nothing to earn it.

For example, Ryu, say I'm your GM, and you're playing the hacker you mentioned. If your character steals half a million nuyen in one session by beating up on a single stock humanis goon and hacking an out-of-date Stuffer Shack, are you gonna take much pride in that? I doubt it. You might even feel ripped off because you and your character weren't challenged.
Firewall
In my experience, the type-3 players have bad GMs. They have things handed to them, normally 2x or 3x the karma rewards that you would usually expect, mil-spec weapons from level one contacts and a rate of pay for a run that looks more like a small nation's GNP than any sensible reward for a job well done.

Thanks to the bad GM, they also have a Highlander Complex. They must be 'the only one' in at least three separate fields; the only half-elf in the world, the only man ever to have had the new 'Alabama Blacksnake' edition of Mr. Studd installed without it killing him, the only person in History ever to have been a UCAS president and then given it up to become a 'runner, the first person to beat Chuck Norris in a wrestling match...

They just want to point to a stat and tell the GM not to even bother asking them to roll; they pass just because they are awsome.

When given a sattellite photo of the area, courtesy of the decker's quick thinking and improvisation skills, and the key-code to shut off the security system, thanks to the face's player remembering the CEO's sexual kinks and pandering to them, the type-3 points at his small-unit tactics and announces to the GM that he gets a +5 bonus to all his dice-pools because that is how his other GM always played it. Forget telling them what possible tactical insights they glean from looking over the map, forget even telling them you are not their old GM, they just want to roll a dice and be told how macho they are.

Of course, YMMV...
Wounded Ronin
I feel like I am gleefully immune to becoming #3 because I don't really care whether my character's live or die. It's all about playing the character in an entertaining manner (a little bit of #1, except all my RP is silly and not serious) and about doing the best you can with the resources you have available (#2). #3 doesn't happen if you enjoy trying out different new characters rather than sticking with one for a long time and consequently don't care if something bad happens to the character.

In my experience as a GM #3s get upset and potentially leave if bad things keep happening to their character due to poor strategy/planning. This is especially likely to happen if a #3 player has a sniper character who is always trying to be cool by wandering off on his own and trying to snipe out bad guys. This tends to result in all the bad guys present focusing their firepower on him and him alone which results in his death and/or capture.

So, what does this mean? I think that it means as a GM you don't need to react any particular way if a #3 is in your midst. Just let the dice fall where they may. Things will take care of themselves then.
ChicagosFinest
I agree, If your a number 3 then you been living in a fantacy world. The Average Karma per adventure I think is 3 to 5, 4 being the most common. if you have a super character you should have great stories to tell about your many differant runs with you partners. Karma = expeirance not 3 adventures to become superman and firing 2 pathercannons at a panzer because thats the only way your character can be challeged, or worse yet killing a great dragon because you can!

I'm not the best roleplayer but I try and I'm deinfeately starting to theme them a little bit better (I like quicky TM's or support chacters)

overall if your an exerianced gamer (playing for over 5 years at least) you should not be a 3 anymore... gorw up right?!
lorechaser
I think the distinction between who your character is and what your character has done is the key there.

For instance. I have recently joined an online, large community RPG type of message board.

There are several hundred players. The number of them that have backstories which suggest that they are The One True something or other is astounding. I read the bios, and see the rightful heir of the country, the amazingly badass knight who no one knows his name, the 17 people with the RPG combination of schizophrenia and mpd (basically a 2nd character in their head", the mage that is so much cooler than every other mage, etc.

And then I notice that the majority of them are 1st level, and just starting out.

90% of the people there seem to be #3.
Warmaster Lah
I could see where youd have to be a three sometimes in terms of money or new gear. Thats just how a runner is I guess. After a while he is going to need money to live and food in his stomach so...

But in character advancement I dont know if Id crave it. Or make it my reason for playing Shadowrun. Now if it was my characters motivation for being in the shadows then well thats part of the character. Still seems like a frustrating way to play all the time though.

Otherwise it would should really be seamless. One and Three would come together actually. If my character works out everyday, I guess sooner or later his body is going to improve. Or my slinger loves studying his books and theorizing about spells into the wee hours of the night so sure his magic skills will have to improve. Maybe your Hacker buddy decided to teach you basic technigues of hacking. Or you decide to pick up a new skill to help the team with one of its weak spots since you are kind of a J.O.A.Ts and secondary to all the others. But those kinds of things are just mundane life sidetracks that our characters do while livig their lives. Having fun with the character would be why I played, not to amass a fortune or turn into Hubis the dragonkilling mage. Its amusing to me when my character fails or succeeds with his noobiness.

I think Id be more susceptible to being a Three if I played an Adept though, more so than any other class. Because you just want to develop those new and delicious powers. (^_^) [And it helps keep you up to date with the SOTA Street Sam]. Mage not so much. TM most definitely. Still its not like I wouldnt be having fun RPing them in the meantime.
nezumi
Angelone's right, you forgot the most important group! The people who, like WR, really don't care if they live or die. The people who view succeeding at the mission as ultimately secondary. The loonies! Lots of fun if everyone has a sense of humor. Nothing discourages group #3 like a loonie GM.
knasser

I'd say that when I play Shadowrun, I tend towards type III. I'm (I hope) a very good role-player (Type I) and I enjoy formulating plans and achieving goals (type II), but I get a real kick out of spending my karma and making my character more powerful.

There's nothing wrong with that. I think you've actually rolled two groups into one category with Type III. You've said that it's those who get a kick out of their character becoming more powerful, but your example ( "woo - my character just became an 8th grade initiate" ) implies someone who doesn't have any grasp of realism and consequences. That's a separate attribute and doesn't necessarily have to fall into Type III. I'm a type III who does have a realistic scale, but is still very pleased with himself when he gets his initiate grade and quickens his first Deflection spell.
Firewall
QUOTE (knasser)
I'm a type III who does have a realistic scale, but is still very pleased with himself when he gets his initiate grade and quickens his first Deflection spell.

So, rather than being a type-3.5 or some kind of hybrid, you choose to identify yourself as a metagaming attention-whore?

Almost nobody could honestly say that they derive no satisfaction from character advancement but we are talking about people who define themselves by their character. They are the sad losers who cannot get a girl in real life but buy tailored pheromones and gloat about the 'hot girl' they seduced when in fact, they simply rolled a lot of sixes. They get beaten up by real geeks for being such a waste of space but they love to talk about how they killed a dragon, which was in fact just their character finding a dying dragon and performing a coup de gras instead of leaving it to bleed out.

Trust me, if you have ever has sex or kissed a girl, you are probably not a type-3...
knasser
QUOTE (Firewall)
So, rather than being a type-3.5 or some kind of hybrid, you choose to identify yourself as a metagaming attention-whore?

Almost nobody could honestly say that they derive no satisfaction from character advancement but we are talking about people who define themselves by their character. They are the sad losers who cannot get a girl in real life but buy tailored pheromones and gloat about the 'hot girl' they seduced when in fact, they simply rolled a lot of sixes. They get beaten up by real geeks for being such a waste of space but they love to talk about how they killed a dragon, which was in fact just their character finding a dying dragon and performing a coup de gras instead of leaving it to bleed out.

Trust me, if you have ever has sex or kissed a girl, you are probably not a type-3...


Woah - easy there. Issues much?

The definition of Type III at the start of this post says they derive satisfaction from the character doing well, and the example given is of getting your 8th initiate grade. Now I do derive satisfaction from that, although as I pointed out I have a more realistic scale. When my character gets his first initiate grade or quickens Increase Logic + 2, then I get a kick out of that. I personally don't subscribe to your philosophy that having sex with girls equates to success in life, but yes, I do do that, and yet somehow still enjoy my character's achievements.

I really don't think it's very useful to define types of people, as we're all individual, but in so far as we have done in this thread, I think Type III is actually two that have been unfairly rolled into one. I don't "choose to identify myself a metagaming attention whore". I say that I meet the definition for Type III and am not one.
Firewall
QUOTE (knasser)
Woah - easy there. Issues much?

I only take issue with the idea that the initial definitions cannot be changed. You are describing a whole new paradigm and refusing to call it a new type of player. You would rather campaign for the rights of a type-3 player than admit that you are not the type of person we are talking about.

If I have issues, it is only because I know someone who fits the profile to a T... He is a joke among all his friends and yet we pretend to his face that we have any respect left for him. And yet... I watch people pander to him.

So perhaps I do have issues, seeing as how he is not a very nice person. As such, I will withdraw from this discussion.
Ryu
Im a self-defined type III-recategorised type II and have a type I girl-friend... love.gif

QUOTE (Dog)
I should clarify further. I don't neccessarily mean munchkins who have to have the biggest, baddest characters. (Although there's a huge overlap there.) What I mean are players who take pride in what the character has accomplished, even if the player had done nothing to earn it.
knasser
QUOTE (Firewall)
QUOTE (knasser @ Oct 26 2006, 10:11 AM)
Woah - easy there. Issues much?

I only take issue with the idea that the initial definitions cannot be changed. You are describing a whole new paradigm and refusing to call it a new type of player. You would rather campaign for the rights of a type-3 player than admit that you are not the type of person we are talking about.

If I have issues, it is only because I know someone who fits the profile to a T... He is a joke among all his friends and yet we pretend to his face that we have any respect left for him. And yet... I watch people pander to him.

So perhaps I do have issues, seeing as how he is not a very nice person. As such, I will withdraw from this discussion.


Okay. Sorry. We are probably talking at cross-purposes. Going back to what I originally said, I think that Type III as defined is too loose a definition and what I was saying was that definitions should be amended, so I think we more or less agree, with the sole difference being that you would keep Type III and create a Type III.V, whilst I would separate it out.

My proposal would be:

Type III : Derives satisfaction from character achievement. E.g. good rolls, increasing power or abilities. Examples: "Woo - I just got Initiate Grade 2 and Centering." "Yes - eight successes. 13P for the drone, it's going down!"

Type IV : Derives satisfaction from lack of consequences, limitations; or what most people would call 'reality'. Examples: "Okay - more police, I take them out with my rocket launcher." "I shoot the girl's boyfriend and roll Charisma + Negotiation to impress her."

Type V : Derives satisfaction from being better than others. Examples: "My character is a Grade 8 Initiate." "Your samurai wouldn't stand a chance against my Griffon Shaman"

I think there are very fine distinctions between type IV and V, and a larger distinction between Type III and the latter two. I guess the distinction between Type III and these latter is what you'd call maturity. The pure Type III, not polluted by the other two will accept consequences, will accept reality and being beaten. But frequently, you get all of these rolled in together and get what I call a wah-wah player who sulks or throws tantrums if they don't get to play out their superiority fantasies.

I'd say from the sounds of it, your bad player is closer to one of these than to me (I hope! ).

Apologies if I came off a little harsh. On the Internet, it's a little hard to judge tone sometimes.

smile.gif

-K.
Blade
As a lot of people here I'm not really fond of players who keep boasting about their characters, especially when the characters didn't deserve that but only had a munchkin GM. But I rather enjoy those who boast in character (if that's the spirit of the character).

I totally understand that a player likes to see his character succeed. If I survive a very difficult situation during a run, I'll be happy and I may want to tell that story to other players because it was thrilling and exciting.
I also totally understand that a player likes to see his character shine from time to time. If my character tries to become the best street fighter, I'd like to see him defeat an opponent using only one arm and as a GM, I'll let such a player have some fun this way.
PirateChef
I, for one, often enjoy telling stories about how my (and other peoples, but that's a different story) character failed spectacularly as I do telling stories where he succeeded. I don't see a type up there for someone who is truly interested in creating stories...
Warmaster Lah
I wouldn't really associate being a type 3 with anything negative. Unless the player is actually hampering the other players of the group with annoyances. It would just be a frustrating way to play for me.

I do like the type 4. Like in KOTOR, my brother refused to play darkside for so long, but I loved being able to cut loose and do what you want. The chaos was its own reward.
warrior_allanon
I'm definately a mixture of type 2 and type 3, when i play my characters, i'm all about building a character's power and abilities to as high a point as possible. But then again i'm also all about pulling off a good caper, only problem is my GM has made us all proffesional paranioacs. We start having a job go off strictly by the numbers, our paranoia level starts ratcheting through the roof. We always go in expecting things to drop in the pot, but it was getting to the point that with all our prior planning that was getting to a minimum.
Dog
Actually what I was thinking of was exactly the type of player Firewall was describing when he mentioned the "seducer". I was probably just being too polite and watering it down.

Sometimes guys forget that their character is just numbers on a paper. If you outthink the challenges your GM gives you, come up with some good lines and create such an engaging and fun character that you play him until the karma builds and you have some high numbers on your sheet, you've accomplished something. On the other hand, if all you've done is put all your build points into a couple of skills so that your troll can deliver a 15D punch, then assume that makes you good at anything, you're a pest. (I use 'you' non-specifically here. No Dumpshockers in mind.)

It's like... I dunno, getting a nice car as a gift and assuming that makes you a better driver. Or like getting cast as a hero in the high-school play and figuring that makes you the better actor than the guy he defeats.

Now, looking at the way my earlier comments were interpreted by most of you guys; yeah, I wouldn't have an issue with that stuff, but I was thinking in a different direction. Being obtuse in an attempt to be polite, I suppose.
Wounded Ronin
Remember Beverly Hills Ninja?

"Master, my ninja intuition..."

"Haru, you do not HAVE ninja intuition! You do not even have NORMAL intuition!"

Makes me think of what happens in some of these games with ego players.
Draconis
QUOTE (Dog)
Actually what I was thinking of was exactly the type of player Firewall was describing when he mentioned the "seducer". I was probably just being too polite and watering it down.

Sometimes guys forget that their character is just numbers on a paper. If you outthink the challenges your GM gives you, come up with some good lines and create such an engaging and fun character that you play him until the karma builds and you have some high numbers on your sheet, you've accomplished something. On the other hand, if all you've done is put all your build points into a couple of skills so that your troll can deliver a 15D punch, then assume that makes you good at anything, you're a pest. (I use 'you' non-specifically here. No Dumpshockers in mind.)

It's like... I dunno, getting a nice car as a gift and assuming that makes you a better driver. Or like getting cast as a hero in the high-school play and figuring that makes you the better actor than the guy he defeats.

Now, looking at the way my earlier comments were interpreted by most of you guys; yeah, I wouldn't have an issue with that stuff, but I was thinking in a different direction. Being obtuse in an attempt to be polite, I suppose.

Ah you sir are a wise man. Echos my sentiments exactly. It's nice to see some people have a head on their shoulders.

Now if I can only convince some people just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD.
warrior_allanon
hey ronin, at least the Ego players are better than the EMO players....gods help us
X-Kalibur
QUOTE (warrior_allanon)
hey ronin, at least the Ego players are better than the EMO players....gods help us

They are all too busy playing White Wolf for us to be worried about them nyahnyah.gif
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