UCIP’s Guide to Powergaming:  The Art of Being an Idiot!

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Instructor:  Q


Professor Q walks from the back of  the classroom to the front, and turns to face the class.


“Good Evening.  Apparently even UCIP can manage a few measly students for my illustrious course.  As a certified M.P., that’s Master of Powergaming to you – I am eminently qualified to… Hey! You in the back!  NO TALKING!”


Professor Q pulls out a phase pistol and obliterates the offending student with a single shot.


“Better.  Anyway, as I was saying, I am Professor Q, and you will pay me homage… I mean listen to me carefully.  This will be on the test.  Please note, when I say “he” anywhere in the following, I mean “he” “she” and all androgynous and hermaphroditic beings, but I am far too lazy to say all that.”


“Now, the first thing you need to do in order to be a successful powergamer is this:  Choose your character wisely!  I cannot stress this enough.  After all, what fun is there in playing an all powerful being that is as dumb your average Klingon?  Or playing a cunning Romulan who is physically inferior?  What about playing a Borg who is handicapped by his… humanity?” the last word is said, dripping with disdain, “Remember, people will be far more impressed if you play some one who can kill their character before they can blink.  Let me give some examples”


Professor Q continues speaking, words appearing on the board before he says them.


Good:     An Attractive and Intelligent Android

Better:   A Beautiful and Super-Humanly Intelligent Android

Perfect:  An Android Sex God, who no one can resist once they have seen him, that contains all knowledge of everything in the universe


Good:     A Klingon Warrior, Distant Descendent of Kahless

Better:   Kahless, resurrected, who no one can beat in battle

Perfect:  A Klingon Warrior, Master of all weapons, Klingon or otherwise, who whomps the heck out of Kahless, and even veQlargh (Klingon Devil) is in awe of


Good:     A Romulan Senator, who is really a Tal`Shiar Agent.

Better:   A Romulan Galae Officer, who is really a Big Tal'Shiar Agent

Perfect:  A Romulan Senator who has found the Sword of S`Task, and of whom everyone else, including the Federation, Klingons, Borg, etc. are in awe of


Good:     A Borg

Better:   The Borg Queen

Perfect:  The Borg Queen who has adapted to all weapons that any other paltry races might use against her


Good:     A Strong Telepath

Better:   The Strongest Telepath in history

Perfect:  The Strongest Telepath, Telekinetic, and Empath in the Universe, who is able to heal any being by laying his hands on it


“And last, but certainly not least… ME, Better than Perfect, A Q who all the other Q go to for lessons.”


An expression of pure rapture is on Q’s face, “I haven’t even gotten into playing young Federation Officers with their ships, who can destroy any number of enemy vessels with one well placed torpedo, but I’m sure you get the idea.


Other good alternatives are taking characters directly from any television series, like Star Trek, Star Wars, or Babylon 5, without even an attempt to make them fit the UCIP Universe or to make them original.  When you do this, always make sure to take them from the end of their respective series so they are at the peak of their power, influence, and abilities.  An alternative to this method is to resurrect a ‘bad guy’ from any television series, or game, and use them as your character, since they are primed and ready to powergame with!”


Combining traits makes for an even better character.  Can’t decide between a Borg, Klingon, or Q?  How about making a Borg-Klingon-Q cross breed?  With full Q powers of course.  And the ability to use any weapon and run any piece of technology.


See how easy this is?  And remember, don’t forget time travel!  That way he can go to the future and bring back technology with which to conquer the universe!  Don’t forget to have a massive army either, so that if, by some chance, you end up cornered, you can call in your army of sixteen thousand men, and have them deal with the situation without having to risk your character at all!!!  Now…”


Professor Q walks back to his podium, and looks over his notes for a few minutes, quelling any murmurs that arise by exploding the consoles of the offenders, frying them into black crisp corpses.  Eventually, he seems to remember why he’s there and looks up again at the class.


“Alright, how that you have a character, you can enter into a SIM of choice.  Now remember, the object of this is to win, so, now that you’re on the SIM and interacting with other people, you are to persue two main activities:


#1:  When there is something happening on the SIM, even if it’s the warp drive going into melt down, complain loudly that “there’s never any action around here”.


#2:  When something actually comes to your character’s attention, jump straight into it, using your intellect, genius, and Q-like powers to instantly and immediately fix the problem, before anyone else has a chance to respond.  This works even better on IRC if you know everyone else are slow typers.


“Remember that the other players will be thrilled that you fixed the problem so easily, and didn’t risk the ship, station, or colony in the process.  They will be so happy that you ended the plot quickly, you’ll probably get a ribbon or a promotion on the spot!  After all, the other members spent days, maybe weeks, thinking up the plot and fine-tuning what was going to happen, all so you could have the satisfaction of solving the problem in a few seconds.”


And that, class, is… oh, yes, you, you in the third row, wearing the “Vulcans Rule!” T-Shirt…


The student lowers his hand, eyes filled with fear as he asks “Um, yeah, that's like good and all, but, like, what about whenother people, like, cheat and attack you first?”


Professor Q’s eyes light up, “A VERY GOOD QUESTION!!”


The Professor waves his hand, and a Borg Cube appears out of nowhere, beaming nanoprobes into the student who asked the question.  The student gets up, and runs screaming from the classroom, the Borg Cube in hot pursuit.


Professor Q then turns to the ‘camera’, “You should see what I do to people who ask stupid questions.”


“Anyway, as our screaming friend who will soon be a Borg reminded me, defense is an important part of any Powergaming experience.  This takes two forms:  IC Defense, and OOC Defense.”


“The IC Defense is simple:  When some one manages to get something in that might affect what is going on, no matter what it is, simply proceed as if they had done nothing at all.  Ignore their log, (or actions in an IRC SIM) and you’ll of course still be vital to everyone being rescued or the problem being solved, or what have you.”


“The OOC defense is a little trickier, but all Master Powergamers, like myself, are specialists in this maneuver. The action itself is simple, but the gall required to pull it off gives you an extra-special feeling when it works. When some one else attempts to do something which would rob you the glory of fixing everything, solving the problems, and/or rescuing everyone and the ship/starbase/colony, accuse the other person of powergaming - I cannot stress this enough.  Obviously, if the other person isn't dying from you having eliminated them after their attempt at playing, and has the nerve to even talk back, then they are cheating, and you have every right to call them on it.  If you are SIMming on IRC, immediately kick/ban the person and then refuse to listen to explanations.”


“Please note the latter only applies to IRC SIMming, however, this can also be put to use  - most other forms of powergaming can be put to use in almost any environment.  A good powergamer will be able to improvise whenever necessary, however, in order to get what they want and get all the credit for it too.”


“Last, if you do decide that, for ‘dramatic reasons’ or whatever, that your character has died, fear not!  This is Star Trek, and there are a myriad of possibilities for bringing your character back!  Anyone can do it, from lowly toilet bowl scrubber to near-godlike Commanding Officers (although I do hope you've learned something by now, and you're not playing a toilet bowl scrubber). Simply wait a few days, or weeks, bring in your formerly-dead character, and claim something like “It was my evil twin that I didn’t know I had that was killed” , “The REAL me was caught in the Transporter buffer” or “That was a clone!”, and voila!  If you're feeling particularly creative, you may name the evil twin in the first example.”


“And that brings me to my last, and final, point, how to know when you have succeeded in becoming a Master Powergamer.  When you are alone in the channel and/or other players refuse to talk to you anymore, then you have truly managed to ascend to the illustrious title of “Master Powergamer”.  You may also know you have achieved this coveted title when you have been banned from a SIM for Powergaming… for a true powergamer will ban any other powergamers in order to avoid competition.”


Thank you for attending, class. Hope to see you in future lives.


Professor Q walks from the auditorium. Just after he leaves, and before anyone else can react, the gravitational constant of the universe changes, everyone is immediately sucked into a pancake by gravity, and the ceiling collapses down around the remaining students.



Adapted from:

DarkStorm’s Guide to Powergamig:  The Art of Being an Idiot

Copyright 1997 written by DarkStorm