Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fantasy Character Archetypes: Purpose

I should probably explain my purpose behind creating a list of character archetypes.

The purpose is not necessarily to pidgeonhole those archetypes into a static prime attribute, although some of those archetypes may make the most sense being that narrowly defined, such as "Fighter". Other archetypes might use one of several prime attributes (for example, the "Captain" might use Strength or Wisdom as a prime attribute).

This exercize is mostly to provide new Players with a source of inspiration. For example, if a new Player has a character with a high dexerity, they might look at the list for some ideas of what kind of archetype she could play. And sometimes a single word can be inspiration for the development of a character. In my previous post, The Rusty Battle Axe mentioned "Blackguard" in his comments ... the term Blackguard might inspire someone to play a mercenary, perhaps on the run from his former comrades.

Of course, during the game, the character will evolve and come alive, becoming less of a fantasy trope, but this initial list will give PLayers a reference point when first starting out.


Rusty said...

The other way that this could be useful is in campaign setting creation. It seems to me that the most fundamental way that a player experiences a campaign setting or world is through their character (just stating the obvious). The range of classes (or class flavors) available (or not available) creates an immediate sense of what the campaign is about (I read this on someone's blog a few months ago). I think that this is a very helpful exercise, not only for players but also for the DM.

Aaron E. Steele said...

I read this too. For some reason your blog comes to mind, did you not post something related to this recently?

I agree, what classes or professions are available helps ground the campaign.

For example, in the games I recently played with some new players, one of the professions available was that of the "Knights Imperious", (a military order recently disbanded by order of the local Duke).

A not so subtle nod to the Musketeers / Knights Templar, but it gave the fighters an immediate hook and established the setting.

Rusty said...

Yes. I did post something about this a few weeks ago. I had read a passing reference to that idea in someone else's blog, but was unable to locate it.