I would classify myself as a powergamer. Most of the characters that I make are carefully optimized and crafted. However, the most "Fun" I ever had in a game was when my character was not optimized and was pretty average accross the board. What are some good methods to go from a powergamer to a more roleplaying type role? I know I could just make my characters differently, outside of that is there anything I could do to make my characters more interesting to me? I already write backstories and character histories... Any help would be appreciated.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For the layman (like me, who had to look this up), the Stormwind Fallacy, as related to this question, is that optimizing a character is not mutually exclusive of roleplaying a character well. Optimizing is governed by the rules of the game. Roleplaying is not. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11, 2013 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Take a look at generating characters to narrative requirements. Treating the narrative as a goal of design, and looking at how to incorporate specific tropes into your character and your portrayal of that character are a good way to increase your interest in that side of things. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11, 2013 at 21:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey @Popo join me in chat. I want to get this question edited and reopened. You just have to unpack your requirements a little more - see my similar question rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/6212/… \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Mar 11, 2013 at 22:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Matt The problem with using the Stormwind Fallacy that way is that it falls afoul of a much more established one, the fallacy of the excluded middle. Just because they are not mutually exclusive doesn't mean that they don't alter each other. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11, 2013 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think there is a good question here. I strongly encourage you to get past the "Closed" tag and try to get either this question re-open or create a new one. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 12, 2013 at 8:24

1 Answer 1


1. Try to identify what, exactly, causes you to have more fun with not-optimized characters.

I respectfully disagree with those saying there isn't a question here, but I do think some introspection will go a long way here.

If you have more fun with non-optimized characters because you spend so much time and effort optimizing that it feels like work that is slightly different than if the optimization seems to get in the way of roleplaying which is slightly different than if your characters are outclassing the others.

2. Try putting story first.

As others have said in the comments, its a fallacy to think you can't both optimize and role play well. But the reason that fallacy exists is that it is easy to let optimizing get in the way of the story. Some people are fine with that, and there isn't anything inherently wrong with it. But it sounds like you aren't one of them or you wouldn't be asking this.

So, if you fit in that category(and I do), then try to make sure you prioritize story first, your own preferences a very close second, and then optimizing third (I didn't say leave it out...). Personally, I tend to like gishy characters (fighter/Mages and things along those lines). I tend to play them even in systems when I know that a straight up Mage is more powerful. But, I make sure my concept fits in the story first, and then I do optimize to the extent I can.

Lots of people can put optimization first and still roleplay well developped characters with good backstory, but (at least for me) that is harder and less fun. But I personally also don't entirely skip optimizing...after all being ineffective isn't fun either.

3. If all else fails, have someone else make the character for you.

If all else fails, have someone else make the mechanical portion of the character for you. Then you don't have to worry about optimizing.

You may want to write the backstory and let them read make a mechanical character that generally fits that, or you can write in the backstory around the character sheet they give you. Either way, you are focusing on the backstory, they are worrying about how (or if) to optimize.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the explaination of why role+roll is not impossible but is harder. I wish I could give you multiple +1s because the overall answer and the 1. point are awesome. Good job. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Mar 12, 2013 at 12:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ These were the kind of suggestions I was looking for, Thank you for sifting though my question to answer it with this. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Popo
    Mar 14, 2013 at 15:49

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