The Worst Munchkin

For any and all pen and paper RPG discussions and games.
Forum rules

1) This is a Christian site, respect our beliefs and we will respect yours.

2) This is a family friendly site, no swearing or posting offensive links, pictures, or signatures.

3) Please be respectful of others.

4) Trolls are not welcome and will be dealt with accordingly.

5) No racial comments, jokes or images

6) If you see a dead thread over 6 months old, let it rest in peace

7) No Duplicate posts
User avatar
fathom123
Master Gamer
Master Gamer
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:48 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: The mines of Moria (Aka, Atlanta, GA)

The Worst Munchkin

Postby fathom123 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:28 pm

Ok, for those who are unfamiliar or new to the Pen and Paper gaming, a munchkin is someone who creates a character so powerful by manipulating the rules (adding feats and rule variants from random source books) that they have a tendency to break the game.

This thread is dedicated to the stories of such individuals. Please feel free and share your munchkining experiences.

I'll be glad to start.

I used to run a gaming meetup that was open to the public. My D&D 3.5 group had a couple of munchkins in it.

One guy created a character and used a shadow variant template on him so that his hide check was an automatic 30 without rolling (meaning he could have as high as a 50!). A 30 is basically invisible. He could hide in plain sight without the feat basically and be literally invisible everywhere he went. As a thief, he broke the game.

My other team member built a druid. He was basically a party in one person and kind of killed the game. He could heal for something like 3d10 and could regenerate his spells. His damage was ridiculous and he could take tons of damage with little to no armor. After that, as a GM I began to limit source books.

It's easy to make one of these characters so as a GM be on the lookout lol.

Please feel free to share your experiences.
Jeremiah 20:9-But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3470
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:00 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:48 pm

I once had a player who did that same sort of thing... picking Prestige Classes in order to min/max his character for absolute advantage. The result became a character who could do more damage with his bare hands than any other character could using magical weapons. He also had such a ridiculously good Armor Class that he was harder to his wearing nothing but a pair of shorts than the party Paladin was in full plate +2. I will at least give him credit for being fully aware that he was breaking the game, and hadn't meant to, he just wanted to see how far he could go with the rules. He didn't play that character anymore.

Now, back in my high school days, we were playing the (at the time, current) 2nd Edition which had released sourcebooks for the various classes, giving "kits" for character customizing. It was essentially the prototype for the Prestige Classes that came in 3rd. One player chose the "Duelist" kit and applied it to his Fighter character. The result was a level 3 character that had 5 attacks per round, had something like +5 to hit (before applying any Strength or Magic bonuses) and bonus damage die rolls. Using the "Parry" ability, he had an effective Armor Class equivalent to Plate Mail Armor and a Shield. The character used the same, unmodified Fighter XP table, and the only "balancing factor" the character suffered was a reduced selection of weapons he could use. This led to the player frequently whining that I wouldn't modify the treasure tables to include magical Rapiers and Foils...
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
fathom123
Master Gamer
Master Gamer
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:48 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: The mines of Moria (Aka, Atlanta, GA)

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby fathom123 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:59 pm

Now, back in my high school days, we were playing the (at the time, current) 2nd Edition which had released sourcebooks for the various classes, giving "kits" for character customizing. It was essentially the prototype for the Prestige Classes that came in 3rd. One player chose the "Duelist" kit and applied it to his Fighter character. The result was a level 3 character that had 5 attacks per round, had something like +5 to hit (before applying any Strength or Magic bonuses) and bonus damage die rolls. Using the "Parry" ability, he had an effective Armor Class equivalent to Plate Mail Armor and a Shield. The character used the same, unmodified Fighter XP table, and the only "balancing factor" the character suffered was a reduced selection of weapons he could use. This led to the player frequently whining that I wouldn't modify the treasure tables to include magical Rapiers and Foils...
WOW! He actually whined that you didn't give him more equipment to make is already crazy powerful character more crazy powerful? LOL!
Jeremiah 20:9-But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3470
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:00 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:34 pm

Oh yeah.

But bear in mind this is the same guy who insisted that if the DM doesn't catch you making a rules "mistake" then it isn't cheating because it's the DM's responsibility to police this stuff. So I just decided that from that moment on, no rules from any sourcebook that I didn't personally own could be used in my games. Ever. And then I simply refused to go out and buy all those game accessories. :mrgreen:

"But... But... I bought the book. I should be able to use it!!!!!"
"I didn't tell you to go buy that book."
"But it's official rules! I'm entitled to use it."
"No, it's an official Game Accessory. Game Accessories are optional. The DM decided what Game Accessories will be in the campaign."
"That isn't fair."
"I heard Phil is running a game, you should see if he's got an opening..."
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
ArchAngel
CCGR addict
Posts: 3547
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 12:00 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:23 pm

Am I missing the point, or do munchkins seem like they're just optimizing their build?
Wouldn't this be more an issue with Game Design if they are overly powerful? (I get that you can't just nerf a build in pnp)

I guess I'll need more explanation on why it's bad and what's the difference between making an effective build and munchkin'ing.
Pew Pew Pew. Science.

RoA: Kratimos/Lycan
UnHuman: Tim

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3470
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:00 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:34 pm

I think the difference between a munchkin and someone simply trying to optimize a build is somewhat subjective, but I'll provide a few examples of the way I see it.

A reasonable player will roll up a character sheet.
A munchkin will keep rolling up character sheets until he gets one with all high stats.

A reasonable player will seek preserve game balance for the sake of sportsmanship.
A munchkin will completely dominate the game if he can.

A reasonable player will accept the DM's rulings.
A munchkin typically harbors a confrontational attitude toward the GM because he knows he's breaking the game.

A reasonable player will occasionally share amusing anecdotes from his gaming experience.
A munchkin's characters exist at the center of every story and the tale usually involves many instances of words or phrases like "one-shot," "critical hits," "not a scratch," and "The GM WAS TICKED!"

I guess the difference is in sportsmanship. To any given player, is their character an imaginary person whom they are roleplaying, or is he just a collection of numbers and combos meant to gain an overt advantage?
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
ArchAngel
CCGR addict
Posts: 3547
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 12:00 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:53 pm

Okay, well, sportsmanship I get, but would you guys frown on me trying to make the most effective build I can? I'm not talking about disregarding RP, or trying to get a leg up on everybody else.
Now, as much as I'd wish, I'm never the guy who can find the most creative build that puts him on top, but I try. :P

At if I'm trying to roll the most arrogant rootinest-tootinest archer in all the land, he should atleast be a bit over-effective. :P
Pew Pew Pew. Science.

RoA: Kratimos/Lycan
UnHuman: Tim

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3470
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:00 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:58 pm

LOL

Typically the really bad munchkins are the ones who go to alternate rules supplements that haven't been properly playtested (read: all of them) and start incorporating changes that alter game balance.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
ArchAngel
CCGR addict
Posts: 3547
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 12:00 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:13 pm

Cool, so if we don't allow supplemental source books, and I'm not a little brat about, I'm mostly safe from this?
Pew Pew Pew. Science.

RoA: Kratimos/Lycan
UnHuman: Tim

User avatar
fathom123
Master Gamer
Master Gamer
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:48 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: The mines of Moria (Aka, Atlanta, GA)

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby fathom123 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:27 pm

I like to optimize my builds when I can.

For instance, if I am a thief I will try to be the best thief possible. I will have a terrible armor class and next to no health but I can hide and pick locks like nobody else.

The thing is, being a munchkin is more about missing the point of the entire game. They want the focus to be them, not the group, having fun. It's all about "look what I can do," Not "look what we can do."

They usually have the lone wolf mentality and end up doing stupid stuff simply because they can do it based on stats. I love it when they roll a super high roll and I look at them and say that it doesn't work.

To clarify for the PBP, the only resources at your disposal are located in the D20 SRD. Anything outside of that will not be accepted (in our PBP game that is). So basically the player's handbook and a few other mild source books. Also no psionics. I don't have a handle on it that well so I wouldn't know what really know how to referee that.

The way I play is if I don't like something, I throw it out so if you are not sure please feel free to run it by me.
Jeremiah 20:9-But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3470
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:00 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:33 pm

I love it when they roll a super high roll and I look at them and say that it doesn't work.
Oh yeah that's awesome. They don't know how to handle it when their uber die rolls don't save the day for them (or their ridiculous stats.)

"The orc swings and hits you."
"But... I have an AC of -1!" (In 1st and 2nd Edition, the lower the AC, the better.)
"Imagine that. It still hits."
"but..."
"and since your AC is so over the top the only way it COULD hit you was to roll a natural 20, you're taking extra damage!"
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
ArchAngel
CCGR addict
Posts: 3547
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 12:00 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:35 pm

Cool. Anymore munchkin stories?
Pew Pew Pew. Science.

RoA: Kratimos/Lycan
UnHuman: Tim

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3470
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:00 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:38 pm

We used to play Palladium's Robotech RPG. Since all of Palladium games were using the same system, our GM allowed the use of other sourcebooks from other systems...

Things... rapidly got out of control.

"Well, using the HTH bonuses from these powers in this book, and then a couple I got from the Ninjas and SuperSpies book, I now have +13 to strike, +17 to dodge, +11 to Parry, and a damage bonus of +23!"
"Wow! What level are you?"
"1."
:?
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
fathom123
Master Gamer
Master Gamer
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:48 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: The mines of Moria (Aka, Atlanta, GA)

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby fathom123 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:50 pm

I had this guy build an awesome fighter. He was the absolute best. The only problem was he was cocky. So I set the party up with a nice little combat cocktail that basically shut them down. I had super modified goblins that had levels in Rogue doing range sneak attacks while large/giant rats were able to slip by them and flank them making the sneak attack damage stick. Then I had human fighters (again, deliciously modified) as my shield wall. I also had a super sweet spear-man. Spears have the reach ability which means that anyone that enters their threatened square takes an attack of opportunity. Reach doubles the distance to two squares.

This guy had his character so munchk'd that he basically had the ability to go all the way down to -10 hit points before dying (usually anything below 1 means you are unconscious and -1 and under implies you are bleeding out). So he got down to about -5 hit points and decided he wanted a piece of my spear man and forgot he had reach. I didn't warn him either (like batman, I'm not going to kill you, but I'm not going to save you either lol). He walked in and was clipped by the spear killing his character (where normally he would just be unconscious).

I think the spear-man was at 1 hit point to, so if he played it safe he could have won out in the end. Instead he had to roll another character.
Jeremiah 20:9-But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

User avatar
ArchAngel
CCGR addict
Posts: 3547
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 12:00 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: The Worst Munchkin

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:54 pm

You are a cruel and just GM, indeed...
Pew Pew Pew. Science.

RoA: Kratimos/Lycan
UnHuman: Tim


Return to “Table Top RPGs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest