Originally Posted by Foryn Gilnith
I'd call powergaming the antithesis of good storytelling, actually. You have good storytelling (thesis), then powergaming comes along (antithesis). Their common ground combines and forms great storytelling (synthesis).
Powergaming is doing whatever you need to achieve your goal. You want to have humanity stand up for itself? Get there the fastest way possible. That may have entailed collapsing the ceiling on the Balrog. But, given the power boost Gandalf the Grey got when he turned White, he did indeed take the most powergamey route.
Um, no, that does not make any sense. If powergaming is the antithesis of good storytelling, then combining the two does not make better storytelling.
Of course, a character can be expected to seek the most effective way to acheive a goal within his range of competence and within the parameters of his objectives and personality. In that sense, his going the most effective route would be expected (and in that case would not
be the antithesis of good storytelling), but that doesn't mean that powergaming per se is a neccessary ingredient in great storytelling.
Powergaming is (IMHO) by definition when you are playing to win as opposed to creating a story - specifically when you the player
are attempting to win the game
as opposed to creating a story about the character
attempting to acheive his
goals, as viewed from an in-universe meta-free perspective. This may or may not be consistent with what would be done by a character if the goal was good storytelling, depending on the situation. These are two seperate objectives which may well coincide, but often do not.
I guess the issue is partially whether you are out to create a character with believable goals and personality and with complex desires and aspirations beyond "kill all the monsters in the dungeon in the most efficient manner possible". That, and whether your character's profile reads like the description of a Mary Sue or of a plausible person with both strengths and weaknesses that the player acknowledges and honors during play.