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Gaming etiquette?

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Chalkarts

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« on: (11:58:28/09-11-18) »
I am involved in a convo on Twitter.
https://twitter.com/evaoddveig/status/1038835739444703232?s=21
Is asking about a Characters level rude?
It never occurred to me that it was an offensive
Gatekeepy thing.
How many people over the years have I unwittingly been a rude elitist to?
My god....am I a monster? 😔
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #1 on: (02:27:48/09-12-18) »
It's about the tone. If a woman says she plays DnD and the first response is 'oh yeah, what's your level?' that's an inane question. Her level doesn't matter, especially since you can start at whatever level the campaign starts at anyway.

Now if she were to say she played Shadowrun Missions and you'd ask 'oh nice, how much karma are you at?', that makes more sense.
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Streetsam_Crunch

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« Reply #2 on: (05:31:15/09-12-18) »
This is one of those weird categories to me, because... to me... that depends on a lot of factors. At the end, asking "What Level" is almost moot, and can be considered offensive, because it doesn't really mean anything depending on the group running it.

If it is a genuine question of interest, then it's a launching point for some great stories as to how they got there. If not, it can imply that 'gatekeeper' mentality, because if you haven't gotten to X point, you really don't understand the game... (at the same time, they should probably ask what you mean as well, for just that reason- getting instantly offended leads to less bridges than it builds, for sure...)

I've had D&D games that ended or *capped* at level 5, or 10, and that was some world-altering drek to the ones that played it. At the same time, I can make a level 20 character in pretty much any system with the rules in front of me and join a game off the bat for the fun of it.

Even Michael Chandra's question of "how much karma are you at" in SRM isn't telling, really if you ask me. So far, I've played SRM's pretty much exclusively at GenCon (which means I was playing with 20-30 karma under my belt by the end of the last season in Chicago, when other players were sitting pretty with over 100 or more) and my character's Knowledge Skills meant more than my combat skills at the end, because my character was native and I personally knew the lore (again, during the last few seasons with Chicago) so I knew what a native Chicago squatter would know about, and the questions to ask.

I won't lie, I was... less than optimal in a lot of the fights (being a relatively newbie combat mage vs. a background count of -4 in some cases can really hurt!) so I leaned a lot less on my character's stats, and what I actually *knew* about the world (which was reflected in my Knowledge Skills) to help my teammates succeed by making rolls that allowed me to tell them life-saving information... and when you're about to face off with what could be a group of friendly ghouls in what would be a misunderstanding, or in the bowls of an insect hive with a vampiric insect shaman trying to do terrible things with an immortal creature... all I have to say is knowledge is power, my friend...

I've also been playing D&D since it was called "Chainmail" and my current GenCon Pathfinder "Societies" character is a level 2 Dwarven "Treasure Hunter" (Rogue, but he'd never admit that) that my dice have rolled horribly for the past two years at GenCon, but had fun with nonetheless (and rarely hampered the team with those rolls, while they've enjoyed me playing him, so I guess there's that...)

This isn't bragging about what *I* personally knew, but how I applied it. Which is a roundabout way of saying 'It's not about power, but how you play it'. Me? I'm more interested in what do you play, how do you play it, what's the most fun to you?

Plus, it's how it is perceived versus how it's intended. Gaming (tabletop and video) has evolved over the years, and the definitions have grown (and that's not a bad thing in the long run- it only increases the survival of it, and the ideas that drive it)

So if you are inclined, instead of opening with 'what level are you?' roll with "what's your favorite part?" or "Tell me about your character!" You'll likely get the same information you wanted in that question, but also a view of what part of the game is important to them. ;)

Also note, if you haven't intended it, you've never been rude or elitist to anyone. If they read that into your question, that's at least partially on them.

Just my 2 nuyen.

Crunch~

Marcus

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« Reply #3 on: (09:18:16/09-12-18) »
Its an intentions thing if your meaning to be rude then sure it can be rude but if your just trying to understand the tier in play then it just a simple question. As has been pointed out level really means nothing.

The elitist gamer is so the past. It’s like female characters having different attributes then male characters. A concept that was hot issue in the gaming in 1970. Such things have no meaning now and elitist gaming will go the same way. Just another tragic and embarrassing anicdote of days of gaming past.
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Sphinx

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« Reply #4 on: (13:38:24/09-12-18) »
I wouldn't say "What's your level?" is rude, exactly, but it's the sort of question a novice player might misinterpret. Also, it's sort of beside the point. "What kind of character are you playing?" might be a better prompt. Or in a broader context, "Tell me about your favorite character."

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #5 on: (14:16:15/09-12-18) »
I wouldn't say "What's your level?" is rude, exactly, but it's the sort of question a novice player might misinterpret. Also, it's sort of beside the point. "What kind of character are you playing?" might be a better prompt. Or in a broader context, "Tell me about your favorite character."
Given the phrasing in the tweet, I consider it extremely likely that this was said in person at a tone that was unmistakably condescending without any misinterpretation whatsoever.
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« Reply #6 on: (16:51:12/09-12-18) »
I like to use page-sized table tents to tell players and GMs the gist of my character.

One thing I saw at a con once that I thought was amazing was a guy's table tent had a Legwork chart on his own PC's background.  Depending on how many hits you got on whatever skill, you know this about my PC...