Character Archetypes

There are a number of varied basic adventurer-type-characters to choose from if you’re looking for ideas, and most of them have a number of more-specialized “profession-oriented” concepts that would work well in the setting. The basic types tend to fall into one of the groups listed below.

There is no reason why a “generic” character of any of the base types can’t be played either, or a concept that doesn’t fit neatly (or at all) into one of these groupings, for that matter. If you have an idea, and want to give it a try, contact me and let’s talk about it!

Likewise, there is no reason why a character cannot have skills and abilities from many of the archetypes listed below — many (stereotypical fantasy-style Rangers, for example) may have a broad skill-base from many other areas of expertise that a more generic archetype might not have at all.

Entertainer

Frequently wanderers, since few places outside on the various Enclaves have the resources to dedicate space to troupes of actors or musicians, and within the Enclaves, entertainment is rarely a high priority outside of what remains of the various sports franchises. Nevertheless, they frequently serve as both entertainment and bearers of news in a world where broadcast media is all but extinct, and printing (and thus newspapers and other paper-based news-media) are not common.

Common specialties for Entertainers include (but are not limited to):

  • Actors and
  • Musicians
Bards also exist, frequently as a combination Musician and other, knowledge-oriented type of character — they often have expertise in specific fields of knowledge, some relevant in the current day and age, others… less so, until or unless the change in the world is undone.

Healer

Healers, as might be expected, are concerned first and foremost with the easing of woulds and disease in their fellows. The knowledge base of what we think of today as modern medicine has not been completely lost, but much of it has been rendered moot for lack of available high-technology production facilities — many pharamceuticals common in the modern world rely on processes that cannot be started or sustained in the face of the loss of certain technologies. At the same time, stitching a would, setting a broken bone, and dealing with many illnesses do not require computers, X-ray machines, and the like, it’s just (sometimes) more difficult wihout them.

Common specialties (or types) of Healers include (but are not limited to):

  • Faith Healers (the ones that are actually successful may be tapping unconsciously into some sort of magical power)
  • Herbalists
  • Physicians (modern medicine exists, though outside of an Enclave, access to safe medical technology is extremely dicey)
Typically (though not always), Healers are recognized as non-combatants, and are not attacked. That depends, obviously, on the recognition of a healer being a healer, and all bets may be off even then if a healer takes part in combat.

Magician

The number of variations of magicians is huge, and will not be listed in any great detail here. Since the change in the world, most any form of magic that exists in myth, history or story has proven to be available, from ancient alchemical traditions through magics that could only have originated in the minds of pre-change fantasy authors. While these magics definitely exist, their practise varies (sometimes drastically) from one individual to another. There are few common denominators (see the Magic section for those).

Priest

Like the Magician type, there as many different types of Priest classifications as there are belief-systems for them to belong to. Some have the ability to cast “spells,” others do not. Some are combative, others are pacifistic.

Some of the more well-known variations include:

  • Hermits
  • Holy Warriors (a.k.a. Paladins, Templars)
  • Monks
  • Shamans (Witch Doctors, perhaps some Witches, others as they might arise)
  • Vested Clergy (pretty much priests as we think of them today – whatever denomination, with or without the ability to “cast spells”)
The primary variations tend to be in how social and/or combative the individual is, and what divinity they pay heed to.

Rogue

Characters whose livelihood lies on the shady side of legality are all classified as Rogues of some sort. Some of the more common variations include:

  • Assassin
  • Burglar
  • Con Artist
  • Cutpurse/Pickpocket
  • Gambler
  • Robber/Thug/Mugger
  • Smuggler
  • Spy

Scientist

Scientists are the flip side of the magic/science coin to Magicians, above. Like magicians, they are (frequently) specialized by discipline, but (unlike magicians) they often know much about a slew of other/different disciplines as well.

In the steampunk-flavored context of the campaign setting, there are a few archetypes (or perhaps a few variations of the same concept) that are not uncommon:

  • Gadgeteers
  • Inventors
  • Mad Scientists

Warrior

Warriors are about as straightforward a character-type as there is – live to fight, fight to live, or somewhere in between. Some of the more common variations include:

  • Barbarian
  • Berserker
  • Brigand
  • Cavalry
  • Foot Soldier
  • Guard
  • Gunslinger
  • Hunter
  • Knight
  • Marine
  • Martial Artist
  • Mercenary
  • Pirate
  • Ranger
  • Sailor
  • Sharpshooter
  • Soldier
  • Watchman

Character Archetypes

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