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The term dates back well before Usenet, it was a well known established term of art at the University of Sydney in the 1977-1978 timeframe when I was playing D&D there, and nobody ever needed to have it explained.
More citations: https://www.reddit.com/r/rational/comments/8uo6xb/what_exactly_is_munchkinry_and_the_best_examples/e1gxnpk/
Can we add back the Assassin's Creed II link in the page quote? I know it's not technicaly germane, but it made me laugh.
One, the page quote doesn't really describe munchkins; it sounds more like Mr. Welch.
Two, is there an equivalent trope for non-game examples? For example, and the reason I asked, Sun Wukong from Journey to the West went to impressive extremes to become one of the most powerful beings in the world, but he wasn't someone's PC.
Might want to ask in the Trope Finder.
it's a pretty late reply, but for anybody seeing the above and curious, examples are put on the Min Max page, citing mythological figures and even normal characters who display "how to get the most power" mentality.
anybody have any links to munchkin examples? a website that keeps track of such things?
I think I see something here that's lacking in this article that's VERY important to mention: why are they called Munchkins in the first place? How did that label get applied to this very specific kind of tabletop player? Anyone have some info on this?
Why exactly is Acquisitions Incorporated listed as munchkins? They were given pre-generated characters for the first podcast, so they didn't min/max. The lack of RP in the first podcast was due to the concept behind the first one being promoting the then-new 4th Edition rules and adventure Keep on the Shadowfell. The second, third, and fourth sessions all had a lot of RP. Let's break it down by character.
Jim Darkmagic is an awesome character. He's not especially powerful for a wizard, but Mike's lucky rolls made him overly confident and tall tales have grown around him ("You're not Jim Darkmagic! Jim Darkmagic is seven feet tall!")
Omindran is the Leader and acts like it more than any other cleric/warlord/shaman/bard I've seen. He actually plays his role as CEO and a lot of his powers are specifically designed around the concept of aiding his "employees" (the other party members) including blowing a feat to get multiclass training just to get an additional Encounter power heal.
Binwin Bronzebottom is the closest thing to a min/maxer in the game, especially in the 3rd podcast season and the special at PAX with the build made for bonuses to charging. However, in the 3rd podcast, he specifically stayed in character with his motivations. He asked the ghost "Where do I find Citrine Ambershard?", which fits the character as he wanted her dead in revenged for what she did to his father. He specifically did not ask "Where is all the treasure?" like the other characters told him to.
Aeofel is decidedly not min/maxed and is in fact a pretty crappy Avenger build in terms of optimization. In the 3rd podcast, he stayed very much in character rather than metagame to his detriment.
I was sorely tempted to edit the page with a "YMMV", but I thought I'd ask on here first what the reasoning was behind putting them as an example first because I flat-out don't see it.
I don't really see it either. They do occasionally strategize and metagame by sharing knowledge they shouldn't have, but they just as often choose to act on character motivation instead of what will actually benefit the party.
Could someone explain why it's called a Munchkin? Inquiring non-gamers might want to know.
Straight from Wikipedia:
In gaming, a Munchkin is a player who plays what is intended to be a non-competitive game (usually a role-playing game) in an aggressively competitive manner. A munchkin seeks within the context of the game to amass the greatest power, score the most "kills", and grab the most loot, no matter how deleterious their actions are to role-playing, the storyline, fairness, logic, or the other players' fun. The term is used almost exclusively as a pejorative and frequently is used in reference to powergamers.
The term was applied originally to young gamers by older players, presumably because the connotation of being short and ridiculous (like the Munchkins in the book and film The Wizard of Oz) made it an apt label for the childish gamers it was applied to. However, before long it came to refer to anyone who engaged in a juvenile gaming style no matter their height, age or experience.
Munchkins are often accused of twinking or roll-playing, a pun on 'role' that notes how munchkins are often more concerned with the numbers and die rolls than with the roles that they play.
A more neutral use of the term is in reference to novice players, who, not knowing yet how to roleplay, typically obsess about the statistical "power" of their characters rather than developing their characters' personalities.
A game master who constantly awards players large amounts of treasure or powerful magic items without proper backstory or justification can also be called a munchkin master.
In France, the munchkin is known as a Gros Bill (Fat Bill or Big Bill), from the nickname of a Parisian player who played with roleplaying game author François Marcela-Froideval. Marcela-Froideval later wrote an article about this type of player with colleagues Didier Guiserix and Daniel Duverneuil in the leading roleplaying game magazine Casus Belli, causing the widespread use of that nickname among French powerplayers.
Clarification on the Order Of The Stick entry: the half-ogre's tactic is illegal on several fronts:
1) While the Combat Reflexes feat does enable the character to make multiple attacks of opportunity per round, a character moving out of threatened squares never provokes more than a single attack of opportunity from each threatening character, regardless of how many threatened squares they leave during their action. So the half-ogre can't actually get any bonus attacks of opportunity against Roy.
2) The half-ogre's use of Spring Attack won't prevent Roy from making an attack of opportunity against it. A 5-foot step does not provoke attacks of opportunity, but a 5-foot step is a distinct action, taken in a turn where a character is taking no other movement (apart from move-equivalent action). So splitting 5 feet of a normal move off from the rest of the movement does not qualify as a 5-foot step, and Roy gets an attack of opportunity.
You know, This Troper has been thinking. This character type can be very annoying, but I think it's because, well...it's apparent that the munchkin doesn't care much about the other players.
They take all the fun bits (mostly the combat) away from them and disregard the other bits (the Roleplay) of the game, making everyone else feel bad and make the Game Master feel like his coming up with the story (which could very well be heavy on Rail Roading or not) feel like he's sort of pointless.
I think it'd be better for people who want to play like this to try to play more a long the lines of a more withdrawn character, who doesn't kill the other Players targets (unless they honestly need help)thus getting along better with The Real Man and not interacting with the story beyond the occasional Yay/Nay, thus ensuring that The Role Player has something to do.
The problem is that the entire point of this type of character is to show off and make sure the other players know their characters aren't as broken as the munchkin's character - sometimes through direct interference with their actions. The other players are meant to feel bad because they don't know every loophole in the rulebook and can't kill any monster the DM throws at them in one blow. I've played with plenty of munchkins, and the need to grandstand at the other players' expense lies at the heart of the player archetype. One munchkin I played with realized that other players were getting annoyed with him and started to play a bit more of a background role, as you suggested. Within three sessions, he was back in the limelight. No such thing as a withdrawn munchkin character, in my experience.
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