Atlas Games is hosting “Reverb Gamers 2012“ with 31 question prompts about gaming and gamers and games.  I’m going to answer all 31 questions for good or for ill.  You can do it, too!  And check out @ReverbGamers on Twitter or Facebook.

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #3: What kind of gamer are you? Rules Lawyer, Munchkin/Power Gamer, Lurker, Storyteller/Method Actor, or something else? (Search “types of gamer” for more ideas!) 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.


A highly-placed well-informed anonymous source claims I play RPGs to win. This is most likely true, although I would classify it a bit more diplomatically as a “Narrative-based Goal-Oriented Explorer/Achiever.”  Who likes to win.

I’m not a PvP gamer.  I do not like to pw0n n00bs.  Halo holds no interest for me.  I’m an obsessive Civilization player who carefully opens the entire map with packs of scouts, takes all the goodies, and then aggressively expands until reaching a turtled civilization I can only cap with a stomp stack.  I’m that guy who looks at big lists of achievements in Steam games and has to open them all no matter how stupid because they are there to be opened.  I like to have little DINGs on computers when I reach some sort of new apex of awesome.  

I enjoy leveling up.

In traditional RPGs, I like to consume all information possible (strange tomes, source material, in-game references, bits of hallucination pulled from my feeble mind) and, once I have exhausted all resources and attained a bit of mastery, find a way to achieve, achieve, achieve. If my character has no mountain to climb, no challenge to overcome, no power-up to get and no foozle to defeat, I’m done and wandered off.

I am, what you might call, a Call of Cthulhu player.

Nothing gets the molars a-grindin’ faster than being cheerfully told “the role playing is the reward!”  I will run in tiny circles of madness being told there’s ultimately no goal and I should enjoy the character interactions.  I am not a killer — again, I don’t want to simply roll dice and cap orcs — but to me, stories have dramatic structure, they have a climax, and cultists should maim someone in the end.  We win, we all get advancement and we’re set up for a sequel.

To get a better feel for me as a gamer, here are Games I Feel are AWESOME (for me):

o Leverage RPG

o Shadowrun

o Trail of Cthulhu/Esoterrists/GUMSHOE-based games

o D&D 3rd Edition

And equally, Games I Feel are NOT SO AWESOME (for me):

o World of Darkness*

I am currently reading nWoD and this opinion may change.  I have discovered a bizarre fondness for Vampire: the Requiem I lacked in all earlier versions of Vampire.  Introspective moping did nothing for me.

o Smallville RPG**

Great game, great relationship mechanics. I need to be able to shoot Lex Luthor, not hug him.

o D&D 4th Edition

I am flat-out not 4th ed’s audience.  It’s the other direction — too much munch, not enough narrative.  Crazy!  I like 4th ed more when I stop thinking of it as an RPG and as a tactical board game with no hope of story.

The best games for me are those that can be run episodically.  Tiny highs and lows with a season finale. Encapsulated stories, a super cool setting with lots of information to explore, and seriously hated bad guys who get away.  Trail of Cthulhu-like games with research, mystery, exploration and sudden action are my apex, my all, my perfect game.