I see the results posted in gamers' signatures on various forums pretty often, as a sort of identity badge, perhaps - 'I'm a Storyteller 100%, and I want everyone to know it!' I'd taken it before, but I couldn't remember when, so I took it again the other day. Here's what it spit out at me.
|You Scored as Tactician
You're probably a military buff who wants to have the chance to think through complex problems. You want the rules, and your GM's interpretation of them, to match up what happens in the real world or at least be consistant. You want challenging yet logical obstacles to overcome.
A couple of things jumped out at me. First, it's interesting to me that only one of the scores was above 50%, but not terribly surprising, considering the number of 'neither this nor that' answers I chose. In fact, very few of my answers reached either extreme at all; for me, most of the questions were simply too polarised to elicit strong agreement or disagreement.
Second, looking over my results, I'm pretty consistent. With a little searching, I found my answers to this quiz from not quite a year ago - in both cases, Tactician was my highest score and the only answer to break fifty percent, and while there was a bit of jockeying in the rest of the pack, the answers are more or less consistent between the two. The rough consistency between the results - one score breaking away from the field, the rest varying by fairly small margins - suggests the quiz does a reasonable job of sussing out the likes and dislikes of gamers.
Here's the thing, though: as a diagnostic of my own gaming style, the most important result is not the top score, but rather the clump of answers which follow. The quiz proclaims that I'm a Tactician, ". . . a military buff who wants to have the chance to think through complex problems," who wants " . . . the rules, and your GM's interpretation of them, to match up what happens in the real world or at least be consistant," and wants, ". . . challenging yet logical obstacles to overcome." There's a nugget of truth in this: I like thinking through complex problems, and I like overcoming challenging obstacles, especially ones which must be reasoned through. And yes, I do enjoy wargames as well, though calling me a "military buff" is a bit too specific.
The description of the Tactician provided in the quiz results is a paraphrase of the description provided by Mr Laws, however. Here's the full description, as quoted in the linked passages, with bold text highlighting some of the key differences between the quiz and the book.
The Tactician is probably a military buff, who wants chances to think his way through complex, realistic problems, usually those of the battlefield. He wants the rules, and your interpretation of them, to jibe with reality as he knows it, or at least to portray an internally consistent, logical world in which the quality of his choices is the biggest determining factor in his success or failure. He may view issues of characterization as a distraction. He becomes annoyed when other players do things which fit their PCs' personalities, but are tactically unsound. To satisfy him, you must provide challenging yet logical obstacles for his character to overcome.There's a quite a bit more here than the quiz results suggests, a much narrower interpretation of what a "Tactician" expects from the game, and, for me, the added specificity goes wildly wrong.
As far as "complex, realistic problems" go, I tend to think of 'battlefield complexity' as fun but perhaps the least interesting sort of complexity a roleplaying game may offer. Everything from traps and environmental hazards to mysteries and political intrigues interest me as problems to solve in roleplaying games, and those often far more than combat. I like the "quality" of my choices to skew the probabilities - for good or bad - of the dice, not be the "biggest determining factor" of success or failure.
And the idea that characterisation is a "distraction," or that "tactically unsound" in-character choices are annoying, isn't even in the ballpark.
So does "Tactician 67%" really come close to describing how I like to play a roleplaying game? Is Mr Laws' typology 'two-thirds' correct as it applies to me?
One of the very real problems of trying to divine players' interests, whether it's Mr Laws' game styles, or the Forge's 'Big Model(s),' or Fred Hicks' "secret language of character sheets", is that playstyle pigeonholes rarely provide even a useful fraction of the whole story. Looking at my quiz results, it's not the Tactician result which tells you most about my gaming style, but rather the bunch sprint between Method Actor, Butt-Kicker, Storyteller, and Power Gamer, all in roughly equal measure. I want action and system mastery and deepening characterisation and the opportunity to weave my character into the history of the game-world.
When I think about campaigns in which I've played, it's these qualities against which I judge how much I enjoyed the experience, not whether my character fought a duel on the deck of a burning galleon or if I adequately demonstrated my pike-and-shot tactical acumen. A referee who looks at my quiz score and tries to engage me with the equivalent of a minis skirmish game won't even be close.