Your favourite character 'type'

edited April 2012 in Story Games
Hi, I am looking to generate a list of character types. Im hoping to crowdsource to finish the list - think of a type of character you have got a lot of mileage out of during play. The list I have already generated is below, but I would be looking to double it:

the purpose of the list is so players can use as inspiration for their own characters.

To clarify what a type is, its the characters dominant personality trait. The difference between a type and just a simple trait is how much mileage you can get out of it during play, and also how much the player can explore the reasons behind it.

i.e. Lets say a perfectly reasonable trait is 'forgetful' - during play you can.... forget stuff - thats not really a lot of mileage out of that one trait. Also, what is the reason behind the forgetfulness that the player can expore? uh, he doesnt have a good memory. Again, in general, not much to explore there. So I would say thats not a 'type' its just a 'trait'

Whereas an 'arrogant' character, for instance - you could get a lot of stuff happening during play from your character being an arrogant type. And why is the character arrogant? Again much more there to explore in the characters history and psychology for their arrogance and perhaps opportunities to either affirm or moderate their arrogance due to stuff that happens during play.

Any and all help appreciated - give me your fun character 'types' you have played and loved!




  • edited April 2012
    This well never runs dry; just pick a new dogma for each character. Just make sure it's relevant to the sorts of situations that come up in play.

    I've also gotten mileage out of a
    in games where the GM would let me join their side.

    In an otherwise earnest party, I've sometimes carved out a great niche by playing a

    More often, though, I'll do the opposite, and meet my friends' experienced and worldly characters with a

    In the right setting with the right support, I've also gotten mileage out of the
    but you've really gotta pick your spots with that one.

    I play a lot of impulsive, overconfident, clever optimists. Guys who get just the faintest hunch and say, "I know! Let's do this now!" Is there a single word for that? Impetuous? Exuberant? Foolhardy? Heedless? "Jumping to conclusions" is pretty close...
  • I'm thinking that combining two types to help form a character concept is probably my sweet spot.
  • HELPFUL is easily my most-played type.
  • Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but I made a list of "tropes" for a Starfighter Pilot game I wanted to create. The game is on the back-burner right now, but the tropes looked pretty cool. Maybe you can find something in them...

    1.) Leader: The "leader" is just that - a pilot with a knack for command. His comrades trust him, and he is usually in a position of some power (usually a squad commander or subcommander). Ultimately, his quick thinking and resolve keep the squadron alive and victorious.

    2.) Engineer: An "engineer" in the squad is a hybrid between a mechanical mastermind and a mad scientist. She can fix just about anything, and definitely has a modification to make everything "better" (sometimes this means it is on the verge of breaking mid-flight)

    3.) Rake: While he is an okay pilot, the "rake" certainly wouldn't let the locals think he's anything less than a hero. He can stretch the truth far, far beyond its boundaries, but somehow, even those who fly with him sometimes believe his stories.

    4.) Rookie: Inexperienced, but ready to learn, the "rookie" is young, naive, and easily molded by her squad-mates and the combat she will be thrust into. However, her desire [resolve] to prove herself might send her to the top of the squad or down in ashes.

    5.) Knight: The "knight" is an honorable pilot who fights bravely and defends his comrades without a second thought. He often plays by the rules, but with a diligence that gets the mission completed.

    6.) Hotshot: A "hotshot" is a talented ace pilot, and she knows damned well that she can down an enemy fighter in the blink of an eye. She may be a bit overconfident, but she has a kill list to secure her reputation.

    7.) Nihilist: A bitter, but rabid fighter, the "nihilist" has seen it all. He's crashed a few times, killed more than he wants, and has definitely lost a friend or two in the breach. Still, that fatalism fuels a tough operator who might just find a new reason to keep going.

    8.) Veteran: The "veteran," like the nihilist, has seen it all too. However, she is not going to let it get to her, and her optimism and willingness to share her experience makes her a valuable asset to the squadron.
  • I don't know that a single adjective really makes a type, but ok!

    I always enjoy playing a GOOD-NATURED, DOUR, FATALISTIC type. Ideally a security guard. Aim for an Eeyore-like vocal affect and talk about how nothing can be done, everything is as it must be, etc. But don't complain or whine about it - act like it's actually kind of a cheerful or comforting thought, and people who think otherwise are confusing.

    I also like MYSTICAL, OBSESSIVE, NAIVE characters. Pile on the obsessions and filter them all through an overwhelming desire for transcendance, so that everything that falls under the obsession is Alive With Hidden Meaning. Then add on a layer of social isolation and cluelessness concerning the motives of others -- primarily the expectation that everyone else sees things through the same idiosyncratic, mystical lens as you.

    Another good one is a DISHONEST, WELL-MEANING EGOTIST, who lies and misleads everyone for their own good -- but his understanding of 'their own good' is fundamentally warped by his egotism. Lie mostly to get people to tell you their troubles, or put their faith in your abilities, so you can fix everything for them in one misguided swoop.
  • It doesnt have to be a single adjective in use, but its a start to combat blank-page-syndrome. The plan is to have 4 questions the player answers for each single 'type'. Nothing wrong with mixing and matching! You could answer questions from a bunch of types if you want, its just to provide a seed to kickstart the imagination.

    Thanks for the list so far!, keep em coming.
  • I have a tendency to play CHARISMATIC types but it's usually played as an innate talent than something relating to their history and viewpoint.

    I'd suggest:

    STOIC CHARACTER (by which I mean a character that refuses to show their emotions; lot's of opportunity for drama)
    THEATRIC CHARACTER (I love this one)
  • NORMAL CHARACTER (possibly also with a normally distributed midsection)
    PRIMED CHARACTER (by this I mean someone who is normal but you're setting them up to snap)
  • AMBITIOUS is a good one. So is GREEDY or GRASPING (usually MANIPULATIVE or SELFISH as well).

    NEEDY characters sometimes work, if you can find another character to team up with/fixate on.

    DARING is pretty great.

    REDEEMED can be fun if the game's going to involve a lot of backstory/history; old grudges to settle, old partners turned enemies, old mistakes to correct.

    I'll also throw in PHONY, both on its own and as an adjunct to something else.
  • Ooh, and how could I forget ADVENTUROUS!
  • Whenever possible, I enjoy playing DWARVES.
  • I'm basically always a cleric. Tied to a greater power, beholden to mysteries, empowered by his or her slave relationship.
  • Here's something I did for an earlier thread, might help:

    The Hot-Shot: Can do it himself, I don't need anyone's help, the best on the team, sometimes very effective, but often overmatched due to picking a bigger fight. Basically, kind of a big deal.

    The Psycho: Charges right in and sows confusion and mayhem, often thinks they are in charge. Sun Tzu said that.

    The Drunk: It might not be drink, but he's been so scarred by the jobs he's done, he can't go in without a filthy bottle of cheap scrumpy in his belly. They've got more *bleep bleep bleep* than they have the likes of me.

    The Big Dummy: Maybe you can outsmart him. Maybe. But you can't outsmart boolet.

    The Gadgeteer: A planner, the sort of person with 10 smaller cases inside their suitcase, and the right tool for every situation. Even if it's just more gun.

    The Professional: Blokes who bludgeon their wives to death with golf trophies have feelings - by contrast, professionals have standards.

    The Cheat: He turns the other side against each other rather than fighting them directly. The second worst thing that will happen to you today.

    And new since the last time I posted:

    The Healer: He might not actually be that compassionate for the sick, but plenty of healing helps him satisfy his morbid curiosity and stay around the violence. Why is he healing you? I have no idea.
  • These are all friggin awesome.

    Someone asked why most seem to be 'negative' qualities.

    My answer is happy, satisfied characters are boring and passive -- anyone agree?

    You could start out with a happy character and do horrible stuff to them to see what happens, but that is more of something that is situation-dependent for the game youre playing rather than something intrinsic about the character. Unless its just already happened I suppose - the STRESSED CHARACTER perhaps?
  • Posted By: stefoidMy answer is happy, satisfied characters are boring and passive -- anyone agree?
    Satisfied, sure. Happy? Not really. Misery is not the only reason someone might be striving for something.
  • I guess I usually play DRIVEN and SYSTEMATIC characters.
  • Posted By: Ice Cream EmperorPosted By: stefoidMy answer is happy, satisfied characters are boring and passive -- anyone agree?
    Satisfied, sure. Happy? Not really. Misery is not the only reason someone might be striving for something.

    True, but as far as internal motivation goes, they are few and far between. I can think of ALTRUISTIC and DUTIFUL.
  • RESPONSIBLE CHARACTER - this person is here because it's their responsibility (alternately DUTIFUL CHARACTER)
  • My go-to is MANIPULATIVE with a side order of IMPULSIVE. The kind that likes to slowly spin a web, then shreds it in a fit of pique.
  • No doubt most or all of these have been covered elsewhere.
  • Oh yeah, doing NPCs, I abuse the Five Man Band like hella woah.
  • YOUR MOM - no, seriously.
  • Posted By: BenhimselfOh yeah, doing NPCs, I abuse the Five Man Band like hella woah.
    I never heard of this before, but then I checked and - duh, I Implicitly, subconciously made the 5 characters in a scenario recently based exactly on this pattern.

    There must be math in there somewhere.
  • That's only the beginning, though. There's also the Power Trio, Red oni Blue oni, Four Temperament Ensemble, comedic duo, and that's just off the top of my head.

    Looking into specific characters, the siteranges from heroes to anti-heroes (they have a classification system for the latter), supers (and the Power-Weight scale to compare them), non-supers, wizards, squishy wizards, quadratic wizards, knight wizards, tsunderes, yanderes, yangires, idiot protagonists, genius bruisers, and variations of undead reaching into the dozens (they have a classifcation system for those too).

    They also have a page for damn near every work of fiction and other art forms in the english language, and many that are not.

    It's a really valuable source of inspiration, if you know how to use it.
  • The main thing I am going for with my 'types' is the characters dominant or base personality trait that drives and/or complicates things. Im not sure if the tropes are 'roles', 'traits' or whatever. A mix really - some of the tropes are described in terms of domiannt personality trait, others arent.
  • edited April 2012

    This is a pretty good listing, though there are some other pages on tvtropes, if you scroll to the bottom of the page it has more links.

    i.e. for supers.

    :) Snake_Eyes
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