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What is Munchkin?


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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

Well, it varies by person, but my definition of munchkin truly requires only two words:

 

A cheater.

 

Munchkinism, to me, is breaking the rules, like combining a Focus and Hero ID, or taking a limitation that isn't a limitation or a Disad that isn't a Disad at full value (No Legs for 20pts when you can fly), or things like trying to get more points for 'No hands' by taking it 'per finger'.

 

NOT synonymous with powergamer or min/maxxer.

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

Well, it varies by person, but my definition of munchkin truly requires only two words:

 

...

 

NOT synonymous with powergamer or min/maxxer.

 

I would agree with CC that it varies by person. I would also agree that it is not necessarily synonymous with power game. However, many (if not most) powergamers and min/maxers are also munchkins.

 

I would define a munchkin as someone that takes various rules and powers that are individually appropriate and combining them in ways that does violence to the resource allocation inherent in a point based system (i.e. ending up with a 24 DC power for 60AP). Combined with a focus on trying to make the most efficient powers was a lack of focus on the underlying story aspect of hte character.

 

Another way to say this is that, IMHO, if there is a legitimate strong story reason for a power or build it is not a munchkin build.

 

YMMV

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

I'd say something similar.

 

I am, on many accounts, a powergamer. I will always try to create the most efficient character I can pointswise - depending on the build, that may mean very different things. I'm very mathematically inclined, so I tend to look at character creation itself as something of an interesting/challenging excercise unto itself. I'll look at a character afterwards and say to myself - "Cool! Look what I managed to do with X many points and not feel like a cheater!"

 

At the same time, I try not to step on anyone else's toes, and try not to hog too much of the spotlight in a game - which can be very hard, considering I'm much more assertive than many of my roleplayer friends. I usually end up being team leader by default, And I try to keep everyone involved when I do as best I can.

 

If I were to cross the line towards munchkinism, I'd say I would have to do one or most of these things:

 

1) Carry my love of point management to the point that I am looking to make the most powerful character possible, to the point of breaking the laws of good taste and fair play. Eg. creating five different EC's with weak premises to save points.

 

2) In said quest to achieve power, I'd totally overrun at least one other character's niche/shtick, and be a total attention hog.

 

3) Said power trip would be characterized by a constant desire to bend the rules to my own benefit.

 

As a counterpoint, some munchkins aren't particularly greedy, and are reasonable people, but still manage to be groan-inducing.

 

 

So, in 100 words or less:

 

Munchkin: A player who, by any means necessary, attempts to accquire power and prestige; and in doing so, will stop at nothing. Munchkins will often ignore inconvenient rules, hog attention and in-game rewards, and often have little regard for other player's needs. Munchkinism is relative to the other players as well - actions that may feel perfectly reasonable in one game may be totally "over the line" in another. The stereotypical munchkin is also characterized by a lack of taste (subjective, as well) and distaste for the socila aspects of gaming. Powergamers are similar in some ways, in that they place great importance on the acquisition of power for its own sake.

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

The important things to remember is that Munchkin is a derogatory term. Always. Powergamer. Romantic. Roleplayer. Even Rules Lawyer. These can be complementary. Having some of those in a game can be good. Munchkins ruin games. The contribute nothing, and take as much as they can. Some are skilled with rules, some just whine successfully. Its more of a Me-First play style than knack or gift for one aspect of gaming.

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

I think this is one of those cases where a term has a classical and colloquial usage. It used to be this term meant a shifty-eyed number-cruncher who created unbalancing characters and thereby disrupted play. It seems, of late, its become synonymous with "bad roleplayer" in the much more general sense, and representitive of a wider swath of bad roleplaying habits. Personally, I think that usage is a touch too broad to be useful because useful language is inherently precise. I get the point people are making, but when a term becomes diffuse enough that it cannot be defined in a few brief lines, we have to consider whether or not there are better terms for what we are trying to say.

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

Hmm... so far, the Munchkin card game has made fun of:

 

Dungeons and Dragons

Kung-Fu Movies

Superheros

Science Fiction movies

Vampire: The Masquerade (and sequelae)

 

I wonder what genre they'll skewer next? :)

 

Spies. Next up ...

 

Munchkin: Impossible

 

Followed by Munchkin C'thulhu (ironic, since C'thulhu is already in Star Munchkin).

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

To me it represents a player who is concerned only with the acquisition of power coupled with a complete lack of concern for character development. The type of person who would describe their character from a D&D game by listing class and equipment, and then when asked to describe the personality of the character goes "Um, well..." because that's not a detail that occured to them as important.

 

I was at one point a munchkin, but I was 16 at the time.

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

I've always considered a munchkin to be a player who is more concerned with having an "awesome" character who always wins fights than one which involves actual roleplaying. He builds incredibly convoluted powersets with stacks of Advantages so he can defeat any conceivable foe, but can't even name his DNPCs or provide anything resembling a character background and/or personality. His PC fights great, but when there's no combat the character can't do anything but scratch his butt. He turns Champions into a wargame in spandex. ("This Power would be really useful in combat, so I'll just cram it into my Multipower despite the fact it has no plausible relation to my special effects. The fact it would be useful is sufficient justification to have the Power.")

 

IOW, munchkins are the polar opposite of good role-players. As others have correctly noted, thus is not the same as being a powergamer or min-maxxer. Those can often be very good roleplayers.

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

My impression of munchkinism has been that a munchkin is someone who's focused on the "game" part of "RPG" (i.e. it has "winners" and "losers") and works toward "winning" the game at all costs. Powergaming or min/maxing are just ways to "win" the game, from his point of view.

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

I think we should all have a reading from Bloodstone 3:16

 

And there came a time when the Players would ask of their GM, "What is that which is munchkin?"

 

And The GM, in his wisdom did reply "Thy shall know it when thy sees it, my children."

 

And lo, the players did turn their gaze to the end of the table.

 

And Bloodstone did look up from his Doritos and Dew and multiply erased character sheets wit overly complex power builds and multiform abuse and questionably legal point saving tax shelters and said "What?"

 

But his brothers and sisters merely nodded and turned their backs, for they had seen the glory and the wisdom that was GM.

 

ok, I need clearly need sleep... :P

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Re: What is Munchkin?

 

"Munchkin" as a perjorative term in the gaming community probably owes its universality to the [in]famous "Real Men, Real Roleplayers, Loonies, and Munchkins" list, satirically describing four archetypes of person who plays RPGs. The list is now over 20 years old and exists in multiple forms; one of them is here. Reading that document is probably the fastest way to grasp the concept ... unless you're a Munchkin yourself.

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