I should clarify that the sort of power gamers and gotcha DMs that people on D&D forums tend to wring their hands about are boogeymen. Actual people who like to play optimized characters, or run the world and NPCs in a way that is hostile to the PCs? They’re generally fine people, and fun to play with so long as your expectations are not mismatched.Really? Powergamers are bogeyman for you? Gotcha DMs are bogeyman too?
Too late for what? To keep them from playing powerful characters?And powergamers are more devious than you think. They will subtely (more or less depending on the DM) do their stuff without you noticing before it is too late.
Tomao, tomahto. My point is, I don’t think the game should be designed around power gamers. Power gamers gonna power game, the only thing that designing around them really accomplishes is making the game more restrictive for non-power gamers.The goal is not to thwart them, that is a last chance response. It is to not to tempt them do it first.
There are some assumptions here that I think would need to be unpacked for this discussion to be productive, but I’m not sure if it’d be all that worthwhile to get into here.And for the record, I am a power gamer, I don't mind power gamer because I can manage them. But I spend so much time coaching young DMs about their "out of control" games that whenever I see a potential abuse of the rules, I think of those that do not have the experience that I have and that will fall into the "trap".
Sorry, that was a little flippant of me. A more nuanced take would be that if someone’s power gaming is harming your gameplay experience, it is best to resolve that by out of game means, up to potentially deciding not to play together, if your preferences prove incompatible. My broader point was simply that what problems can arise from power gaming (or rather, having a mix of power gamers and non power gamers at the table) are better solved with real-world social skills than with game design.As for not playing with power gamers. Why would I restrain myself from playing with some of my best friends? It is better to reach an understanding and a mutual agreement that to stop seeing them at the gaming table.