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(TFT) I knew this guy (mechanic)

I knew this guy.

     I knew this guy.  He is a type of player That I call a mechanic.  Always
trying to rig the rules to do something completely new.

     He designed a cluster bomb of molotovs.  Six molotov cocktails lashed
around a central gas bomb.  He had sketches of it, along with a side view,
total cost, ingredients required and time to produce.  He brought all of this
to the game and wanted to locate a chemist to start producing them.

     He designed a river boat.  The source of propulsion is a tiny aperture on
the back of the rudder.  The other end of the gate being at the bottom of a
waterfall.  I immediately thought to myself hes invented the jet ski, what
happens if he does this with wind and makes a jet engine.

     He designed a castle.  Every megahex of the outer wall is to be inscribed
with a permanent pentagram.  To protect the defenders form the spells and to
prevent any being from teleporting inside the walls.  He even told me how many
years it would take to finish.

     Some other stuff he tried I have mentioned before.

     He developed the technique of feeding reptile poison to sheep, then
leaving the sheep on an island of dragons, so he could collect dung, skin, and
hearts safely.

     He wanted to shapeshift cows into Halflings with DX 21, kill the
Halflings, and then raise them as ST 16 zombies with 19 DX and great swords.
DX 16 after chainmail armor.

     Now, for some reason I am not too clear on this type of roleplaying has
gotten a bad name.  People refer to it dismissively with terms like, munchkin,
min/maxing, cheep, chincy, and lame.  But why is that?

     Dont get me wrong.  I ruled against many of them, or toned them down a
little.  But this is a really creative guy.  And after being challenged by his
ideas I have come up with some rulings I really liked.  Like when you kill a
shape shifted being it reverts to its original form.

     But this type of creativity and original thinking is on of the better
things about role playing.  What is so frightening about this type of player
that they are dismissed out of hand, slapped with a slanderous label, or worse
outright ignored.

     My experience with human nature tells me that no one who is reading this
right now wants to stand up on a soap box and shout I am proud of all the
creativity I have stifled.  Yet if we are honest with ourselves we may
remember that many of us have used the word munchkin in a derisive and
disparaging way.

     So before reading this, what would your normal reaction be to someone who
wants to use their prod type crossbow to launch summoning gems to long range
be?  Or a scroll of telekinesis to light, move, and place a petard.  Instead
of asking how do you rule I will go first and tell you how I ruled.

     Cluster bomb of molotovs:  I let him spend as much money as he wanted on
them.  I made an encumberance/transport issue out of them, as they could no
longer be clipped to the belt.

     Jet propelled boats:  Gates can not move.

     Wall of pentigrams:  His enemies attacked before the circle was closed,
but otherwise approved as is.

     Feeding reptile poison to sheep:  Approved of.

     Shooting summoning gems:  Approved for line of sight only.   Over a wall
where you cant see the summoning hex  no.

     Telekinesis delivered petard:  The person sent the petard into a great
hall and killed all the occupants inside.  I approved, and awarded him the
full 3500 experience points for the kills.   I seem to remember he got four or
five character points out of the deal.

David Michael Grouchy II

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