Most of us here have played a lot of RPGs. That means a lot of player characters. And if you look back at all the PCs you've played over the years, you'll probably begin to notice some reoccurring themes and archetypes. So the question for this week is:
What are your favorite archetypes to play as?
Example: I look back at the PCs I've played and I notice that a lot of them have been visionaries or some sort or other. Ghost (this unembodied character I played in a D&D campaign long ago) was looking for patterns that would explain the existence of the multiverse. Yang Chen (a scholar I played in a Weapons of the Gods campaign) was looking for a way to power outside of both the gods and demons. Wyatt (a character in an odd modern GURPS campaign) was looking for a way to transcend humanity (through a deal with an alien parasite that he believed implanted itself in his stomach at a Pink Floyd concern in the 80's).
Edited beholdsa (January 04, 2015 13:53:04)
I was actually thinking about some of my past characters the other day, particularly Gell (the orc barbarian from that long running Trystell game who was dumb as a box of rocks). One of the things that occurs to me as I think about what archetypes are common across my characters, it seems like it's actually two opposite types- The Guy With the Plan, and The Guy Without a Plan. It partially works out to high Int/Wis or dump stat Int/Wis, but really I think the difference is whether the character has a long term plan I've played the elf paladin in a D&D game who was making a stand for the demihuman races, or my gnome in the “rogue council” campaign who was going to finish his father's dream of a gnome mecha. Even my Werewolf the Apocalypse Ragabash who has a bit of a reputation for impatience and ridiculous plans is scouting things and playing things out several steps ahead. He's impatient because he's already thought ahead, and now he's waiting for everyone to catch up so he can find out if it will actually work.
The opposite of those characters was The Guy With No Plan, those characters that just take each new piece of information, lump it in with everything else, and then act on instinct. That one crazy Tinker Gnome whos battle cry was “disassemble!” My new gnome, who was maybe a liiiiiitle too accepting of “Voice in my head? Not blatantly evil? Must be Eos talking to me more than most gnomes!” Barbarians seem to be the perfect class for this kind of “cleave first ask questions later” ethic, since I've had two characters that rushed into things that way- one was a bugbear that was cross classed barbarian/bard (he had monkey grip and an enormous warhammer and was inspired by Animal from the Muppets) and the other was Gell- I think his intelligence wound up at about a 3, and so I typically made decisions by oversimplifying things as much as I possibly could and then saying the first thing that came to mind.
Jack-of-all-trades: Starting with one of my first rpg characters, Malachi, I have played flexible jack-of-all-trades utility characters. Generally, they are low on damage output, but high on utility. Because of this, they tend to be team players, needing others to survive but rounding out the group. Examples: Cabot, Kahler, Justin, Franklin, Djinn, Jacob, Jeb, Alwith
Trickster/Troublemaker: I have noticed that most of my criminal characters tend to be sarcastic and devious and cause more trouble than they solve. Pranks, petty crime, and other vices are fairly common, and their only saving grace is generally loyalty to the group. Examples: Dexter, Midas, Xerxes, Jonah, Little Jimmy.
Micah: That's so cool! I especially like that Cheshire works for both categories.
I often wonder how much of the “Archetypes” I wind up with is dictated by design and how much by execution. Nonetheless, I have a few:
The Conscience: This is the party member whose job it is to prevent atrocities. Depending on how amoral/violent the rest of the party is, this can range from being a Really Good Guy (Januk, Joseph, Pathik) to just being the Responsible Adult (Cal, Caspar, William Dixon, Jr.).
The Big Mouth: This is a “hey lookit me” kind of character; the one who says or does ridiculous things and thrives as the center of attention. Some of them crave attention and go out of their way to get it (Chanticleer, Jay, Dale) and others are just so weird that you can't help but pay attention to whatever it is they're doing (Pradeep, Phork).
I really like being the Lance of the 5 Man Band (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheLancer). I like being the one who challenges or balances the perceived leader of the team or perhaps just strongly contests another member. I enjoy that dynamic, especially when it can be maintained without turning hostile. Some examples: Skylar/Olivia Gray, Yvonna, Alayne)
The Agent of Chaos: Someone who exists to push the big red button when the PCs are stalling. Who pushes plot forward at their own expense (and perhaps the party's as well sometimes). The PC who won't hesitate. Who will Do The Thing. (Examples: Mylia, Poulette, Kaliska, Alice, although to varying degrees)
The One who will Make the Hard Choice: This is different for each character who embodies it that I've played, but I tend to enjoy them all. They all tend to have some level of resolve and sense of self sacrifice. They also all had a similar feeling of tired to them that's hard to explain. Most had some level of leadership, as frequently those are traits that I associate going together. (Examples: Ayana, Yvonna, Saralynn)