RogerBW's Blog

What Sort of Gamer Are You? 28 June 2021

When the GM asks "what day of the week was your character born on", do you respond:

  1. well, I know it was the 9th of January and he's 38 years old, so let me just check my calendar…
  2. astrologically she's heavily influenced by Kurtaêl so probably a Saturday.
  3. what's best for a fighter?
  4. hang on, I'll get my d7.
  5. er… Tuesday?

I suppose this correlates somewhat with various player types: the simulationist, the narrativist, the gamist, and two more who hadn't really thought about it.

I did recently take Captain Joy's implementation of a quiz to distinguish between Robin Laws' player types. Some of them are quite fiddly, though: "I would sacrifice my character if it made for a good story" is meant to distinguish between Storyteller and Power Gamer, and I'm a lot more towards the first of those, but I want to say "only if they're the sort of character who would be willing to sacrifice themselves in that situation". So I suppose that pushes me a little bit from Storyteller towards Method Actor.

Similarly, "I forget/don't bother properly role-playing my character if it annoys another player" distinguishes Casual Gamer from Method Actor, but that's not what I'd do in that situation; I'd talk with that player out of game, and see if there's a resolution we can find to stop the character from annoying the player. Maybe I'll downplay the specific thing that irks them, or change to a different character type. So I suppose that makes me more Casual Gamer and less Method Actor than the numbers would indicate.

  • Power Gamer: 29%
  • Butt-Kicker: 17%
  • Tactician: 50%
  • Specialist: 8%
  • Method Actor: 88%
  • Storyteller: 75%
  • Casual Gamer: 50%

Robin Laws (in Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering, which of course is where these categories come from originally) characterises the casual gamer as the friend who's just along for the socialising rather than caring about the game, may well be reading comics or whatnot rather than paying attention, and doesn't want to be any more involved. I don't think that's me, but I do care about the social angle, and I enjoy a group more when it's not suffering from interpersonal tensions. Everyone I game with is also someone I'm happy to socialise with; even when I play with strangers at conventions (ObCOVID: when conventions happen again) I like to think of them in that way rather than as merely fellow players of this particular game.

But as long as the game gives me some opportunity for role-playing as I understand it, what Laws calls Method Acting where what I say my character does is what I think my character would do rather than what gives the most plusses or advances the plot, I'm pretty flexible about the rest of it.

Tags: rpgs

  1. Posted by J Michael Cule at 12:14pm on 28 June 2021

    I too did the test while feeling ridiculous and thinking (as I always do) 'that's a bit of a meaningless question' about a third of the time.

    I didn't keep my whole result but I remember getting the same 75% Storyteller rating which I think anyone whose been a GM most of his time in the hobby will gravitate towards.

    (I hope you don't think I'm stalking you....)

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 12:22pm on 28 June 2021

    Well, you do know where I live.

  3. Posted by Dr Bob at 10:34pm on 29 June 2021

    My percentages are very high and add up to way more than 100%. Except on the pie chart version.

    So it says 79% storyteller on the list, but 21.5% storyteller on the pie chart.

    I got 46% (or 12.5%) casual gamer. Probably as I had to answer don't know/not applicable to quite a few. At least one was 'I don't know what you are on about' and a couple were 'I don't play in that type of game'.

    I don't feel at all like a casual gamer. RPG is the life! The RPGs must flow!

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 11:46am on 30 June 2021

    Yes, I think Captain Joy has modified the definition a bit for that quiz. After all, if I just wanted to socialise in a vaguely gamey sort of context, I'd be equally happy with board games, which are less faff to organise. But I wouldn't want to give up RPGs in return for the same time spent boardgaming, even if it were with the same people. (Nor the other way round. I get different things out of them.)

  5. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 01:05pm on 30 June 2021

    I went and did the thing, and my results:

    Power Gamer: 50%
    Butt-Kicker: 38%
    Tactician: 71%
    Specialist: 50%
    Method Actor: 54%
    Storyteller: 50%
    Casual Gamer: 42%

    I think when compared your results Roger that mine make no sense. Except that the pie chart does show a fairly balanced cross section with only Tactician being the standout.

    Makes me wonder WTF?

  6. Posted by Owen Smith at 02:17pm on 01 July 2021

    I'm not convinced of the value of this given the stupidity of some of the questions, and the repetitive nature of some of them. I also think some of it is GM and group dependent, the GM has more fight scenes then they're going to matter more. We do a lot of social interaction with NPCs (more than combat) on Fridays and I think that may have skewed the results.

    But anyway my results are:

    Power Gamer: 54% Butt-Kicker: 17% Tactician: 54% Specialist: 13% Method Actor: 75% Storyteller: 67% Casual Gamer: 38%

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