Different player types in QuestWorlds

Different roleplaying systems enforce different play styles. Similarly, players are different and certain aspects of a game give the kicks to different individuals. Now, the principal work of this theory is Robin’s Laws of Good Gamemastering, by Robin D. Laws. In his book, Robin defines seven different player types. Now, this book is written in 2002 and there might be more modern ways of viewing these theories but I am going now to analyze what aspects of QuestWorlds would work for these six archetypes listed by Robin.

The Power Gamer

The power gamer wants to game the system. They read the rules and try to find ways to get the most out of them. I don’t know if it’s fair to say but power gamers might want to win in the game.

This is probably, of these seven, the most unsuitable one for QuestWorlds. QuestWorlds is quite rules-light and as such does not offer too much “gotcha” moments for the players to use. Even if the player tries to min-max their character and acquires an all-encompassing ability the game master always has the final say in the resistance number. On top of that QuestWorlds embraces losing some of the contests. This can be hard for a player that tries to march from victory to victory, even if the victories would be costly.

Dwarf Rhinox by gilanthegrey (CC-BY-3.0)

The Butt-Kicker

The butt-kicker is looking for a good fight after a boring day at their job. They probably concentrate on the combat seeing all other play as just something that leads to the next bashing.

QuestWorlds does not have combat rules, which can be a good or a bad thing for the butt-kicker. Of course, the number of combats is adjustable just by presenting them to the story. You can play dungeon-delving monster hunts with QuestWorlds, hands down. You might even get more monster bashing as every combat is just one roll! The one roll also lets the player to describe as much detail as they want and different ways to kill the monster. But is the one roll combat enough for the butt-kicker? Do they feel that their character really did the deeds if it doesn’t even include a single parry roll?

The Tactician

The tactician gets their kicks from thinking and planning their way through realistic problems. They should get to solve the obstacles with cunning plans and not so much with dice. They might get annoyed with other players “playing their characters” and being tactically unsound.

QuestWorlds, in a sense, should answer this player type quite well. The GM will present the players with the problem or the story obstacle. The GM doesn’t have the correct answer to how the obstacle should be resolved. Now, the tactician can devise a solution as complicated or simple they want preferably using the abilities listed in their character sheet. And then dice are rolled to see if they succeed or not. Now, the dice rolling might be the issue here but every plan should have the possibility of going wrong. The GM might also shift the framing according to the tactician’s ideas so that the GM acknowledges the work the tactician did.

The Specialist

The specialist picks the same character type every time and knows all the ins and outs of it. They want the rules to support their choice.

Well, this is a pickle. QuestWorlds does not have character classes, per se. If someone wants to be a ninja then they will take the keyword ninja and play with it. Robin’s instructions are that the GM should create scenes in which the specialist’s character can look and do cool things. But that should apply to all the other player characters, too. And making your character look cool is as much of the player’s responsibility when they tell how their character resolves the story obstacles.

The Method Actor

The method actor bases their decisions on their character’s psychology and personality traits. Deviating from these, be it a rules reason or other group member needs, may cause stress. They are the most in their character when playing. Dice are seen as a necessary evil and are better left in the bag.

The ability system of QuestWorlds should give the method actor enough juice about their character. One sentence ability descriptions might work as the driving force when they think what their character might think or do in the situations. On the other hand, the abilities do not restrict how the method actor might interpret them. Rolling for the story obstacle is quickly done and the result is something that can be, again, used to build up the character’s personality.

Campfire Storyteller by Lagunis (CC-BY-NC-ND-3.0)

The Storyteller

The storyteller (this is my type, btw) is there for the story. Long dice-rolling combat or the story pace slowing down might annoy them. They are more after a story arc that might be from a book or a movie than playing their character.

Aren’t they for a treat then with QuestWorlds? There are none of these long combat sequences bogging down the story. Every dice roll is at an interesting story obstacle that will spin the story arc in some unexpected direction generating the story further. I could even argue that you tend to get more story forward during a QuestWorlds session than other systems. Some of the slower moments can be fast-forwarded by creative contest framing, possibly causing teeth-grinding amongst the other player types.

The Casual Gamer

The casual gamer is there for the company and usually taking the back seat. They don’t want to take the spotlight and jump in only when asked to. Even though it might look like they are not participating this is what they like to do.

Robin wrote that these players might be still important as they fill in some role in the group. And then they might be asked to chip in at that moment when their character is needed. In QuestWorlds there really isn’t that kind of party dynamic where the members fill in certain roles. That’s why you should be especially careful to include these casual gamers. Luckily, it is easy as they can be asked to roll for the current story obstacle now with that certain ability after briefly recapping what the group was trying to achieve.

2 thoughts on “Different player types in QuestWorlds

  1. I wish I could remember who to credit for this: in a game like QuestWorlds, with a sophisticated discussion of stake setting, someone who’s into both the role-play and/or storytelling and tactics can have a lot of fun applying a kind of tactical optimization to stake setting, working to guide the challenge toward maximal coolness. 🙂

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