Your Favorite Archetype, Class, Clan, Lifepath, Etc.

edited June 2008 in Story Games
Time for some old-school Story Games mojo!

Talk about your favorite character class (and class/race combo), archetype, clan, order, career, template, life path, profession, etc. from your gaming experience. Geek out and tell us about your guy if you want, too.


  • edited June 2008
    Right now, I am seriously digging my D&D4e character: Koroth Var, chosen of the Raven Queen.

    He's a Longtooth Shifter (that's his race) Ranger (the Two-Blade variety).
    Shifters are cool because they look like wolf-men, are strong and wise, and are animalistic and passionate. Rangers are cool because they can fight with two weapons (which is actually fun now in 4e), sneak around, say cool things about nature and monsters, and run around the battlefield doing crazy acrobatic stunts.

    (In last night's game, Koroth wrestled a flying monster out of mid-air and pinned it to the ground, then jumped onto the back of another one -- while it was flying -- cut off its wings, and flipped back to safety while the foul thing crashed to its death. Good times.)
  • edited June 2008
    My favourite Perfect character has the Romantic/Vandal archetypes. Second favourite would be the pairing of Anarchist/Judge.

    My favourite D&D class (in 3.5) was Bard. I produced character after character of drunken, gambling Bards.

    My favourite Burning Wheel Lifepath is hands down Midwife. My favourite character that was burned-and-never-played was a sorcerous midwife who would read the fates of unborn children, and alter them as she deemed fit.
  • edited June 2008
    I play characters in need of redemption over and over. Ones with secrets, ones that fell sinfully short of their potential, ones that did something horrible that they are trying to make right, or that are in denial and who may or many not begin to make things right.

    Sometimes this is The Fool archetype. They may have high intelligence, but they have a fatal blind spot. In D&D or similar systems this has often been a Rogue or Scholar/Mage type. A recent example was my Maester Oswyn from an A Game of Thrones campaign. He was a milk-of-the-poppy addict as well.

    Maybe as much as a quarter of my characters are beset by prophetic dreams or are reluctant oracles. I think I fell into this early on as a spotlight-on-my-own-terms device, but have stayed with it as a mode of a character's true self coming though and forcing change on an otherwise impenetrable conscience.

    I also like austere, brooding men of the North, be they Vikings, Cimmerians, or other. These have done hard things, wield cold steel, and have no mercy for their enemies. They stay in denial and/or find justification in their environment. They had no choice but to be what they are. Do not question them. Their sword is their only answer for you.
  • I play sleazy chumps, assholes and slimeballs and nobody, including myself, is ever quite sure if I think they're great, if I know they're idiots, or occupy some bizarre middle realm.
  • I play lovable, reckless Han Solo types, or cold, professional, soldier types.

    In A Wicked Age... has really gotten me out of my rut.
  • I really like playing good-hearted people with ill-executed plans. The blind will to help others combined with a lack of depth usually ends up being very funny while being a little sad, which is my favorite emotion ever.

    I am all about my D&D 4 character, the halfling paladin Sterling Justus Cranwinkle. He wears plate mail, has a scimitar, and is like a little tin can. He can walk up in the midst of combat and have 5 guys pummel on him without being hurt. He loves being a halfling and wants to give everyone a second chance, except liars. He just set free some goblin guards and told them to go form their own tribe somewhere far away. I am very much looking forward to some paragon-level goblin warlords coming back someday to whoop on him.
  • I have a few preferred archetypes. In order of preference:

    The trickster
    The militaristic, rigid prick
    The big, strong, stupid, friendly guy prone to awful violence
    The social monster
  • Up the peace, Cranwinkle clan! We're playing three halfling brothers. My guy, Ratclip Cranwinkle, started out as a warlock but is now a rogue. I suspect he will be a violent sociopath in the best D&D tradition. He was not really in favor of releasing our goblin prisoners.
  • To talk about Sterling more: I think my favorite thing about D&D 4 is that I can play a paladin with Charisma 18 who kicks unholy amounts of ass. Every ability I have uses Charisma as its base ability. My basic attack is kind of crappy (12 Str), but all my powers start at +4. And I shoot bright ribbons out of my hands as a daily power. Seriously - paladins are great.

    (Also, the cosmology shift in paladins and clerics, in that their powers are bestowed by ceremony, and what they do with them is their business is boss.)
  • My favorite stuff is either to combine a known good/holy race/class with a bad/unholy race/class, with the bad or unholy solely seen in my mind as dealing with the shadows or shadow planes.

    So, take a shadow plane being and make her a paladin or take, for instance, an aasimar and make him a shadowcaster.

    I love the duality, the cliche against type character who struggles with his or her own powers with his or her desires and goals.

    That's where it's at for me.
  • edited June 2008
    Back when I played Rifts, the best class was definitely the Apok, which was a divine champion of Wormwood, the living planet. Apok were former criminals redeemed by Wormwood, who gained their powers largely from the symbiotic mask that attached directly to their face, which made them as strong and durable as a tank, though they still fought with hand-to-hand weapons like swords. They're basically symbiotic ex-con samurai with medieval Catholic crusader color, serving the planet they live on and depend on for their every need. Man, it really makes me wanna run Wormwood 4e.

  • One character I'm constantly itching to play some day is the one I created for a third edition game-that-never-happened: The Changeling Spy/Airship Captain.

    Rules-wise, this guy was a monster, made possible only by various houserules and HOURS spent browsing through various supplements (I think in the end he was a Rogue/Warlock/Warshaper/Chameleon/a whole bunch of other stuff I don't really remember anymore.), but damn, would he have been fun to play. Empowered by dark magic, changing shapes like other people change clothes, charged with a duty to do the dirty work for other people, all the while doubting if this is really what he's meant to do and trying to protect the people of his crew.

    Damn. I really have to bully the GM into actually running this, just so I can play that character.
  • I seem to favor characters with a touch of madness, to whit:
    * A battle mage in BW who's primary Belief is "I will be a famed and feared battle mage" and who is (was0 well on his way, with Rain of Fire in frequent use. One time, when we were fleeing enemy cavalry, he circled back to KABOOM them one last time, cackling madly and screaming "Mage-Lord Gyric has widowed your whore wives and orphaned your brats!" before going Falcon Form and catching up with the others in the group. My "swing thought" while playing him was Richard from Looking For Group, leavened with some Mako Wizard (from Conan movie) gesticulations and exhortations.

    * Storm Surge, a elemental master (water) in Aberrant, whose taint was so high that he was down-right terrifying to mundanes--a man-shaped, walking, clear-water hulk. Didn't help that he would often "fill" himself with tropical fish, who would disconcertingly swim across his face or jump out of the top of his head to snare flies and such. He wasn't averse to drowning someone with a bear hug, either. His famous line, used when the party (of, like, 10 or so!) would get into a big "what do we do now" debate: "I am a weapon; aim me."

    * Does a Dog with the traits "Violence is never the solution" and "I will not use a weapon on a human" count as a nutter? The other Dogs thought I was, as I took bullets from Sorcerers with a smile (well, grimacing smile) and continued to preach peace.

    * A street bum with amnesia in a Hero game, who believed he was an itinerant knight in a high fantasy setting (the real setting was modern day Earth). Thing is... he had a 1d6 penetrating, always-on, area-of-effect Transform power which would, in fact, MAKE the world into high fantasy around him, if he stayed in one place too long. Wouldn't change anything's capabilities or powers, just recolor them--an airplane he was on slowly transformed into a dragon with a bowdah on its back (for passengers). He was very paladin-esque, and he had a dependent NPC (a disad) that was a little girl street urchin who tried to keep him moving and out of trouble. Otherwise, he'd end up having to get out his "sword"--once a baseball bat, now an Excalibur-esque vorpal blade.

    As should be obvious, I like to get wild with PC concepts, as my work day is so dull and rational (tech writing).
  • I have been (rightly) said to play an inordinate number of unctuous creepy characters, although they are usually basically good. Basically think of Brad Dourif, Steve Buscemi, or Jeffrey Combs mistakenly cast in the role of the hero and you've got it.

    I will occasionally play the "suave sophisticated" type, usually when the group is crazy enough to elect me team leader in games where we have such things.

    I played a lot of Bards and a lot of Mage/Thieves in my D&D days. I really liked the Lasombra clan in Vampire, although I only played one once. I don't think we've really stuck with any other game long enough for me to have a favorite archetype from the text.
  • I tend to alternate between the Karsa Orlong-esque outcast barbarians and Trickster archetypes. And I usually pick an animal totem of one sort or another, sometimes just to get the basic flavor of their personality, but more often something obvious, like shapeshifting.
  • My fall back types are the rebel, the visionary, and the stolid boring fellow who is in over his head.

    The third works remarkably well for D&D, btw.
  • Ooh.

    My primarily chosen archetype is the paladin. Good and noble, caring and compassionate, frequently more than a little self-righteous and usually formal. Behind this is usually a bridled passion for life, seeking some means of escape. Occasionally there is a darker side, strictly kept in check, which is the reason for the formality. He cares, but he can't allow himself to care too much, because that would make him vulnerable. Usually has "archaic" ideas about honor and chivalry. Always at least competent martially, frequently prodigiously skilled. If the character concept includes magic (which isn't necessary for the paladin, IMO) he specializes in healing and benevolent magic. This character type has shown up in Supers games as Jonathan Black, a.k.a. Ebon, and in fantasy games as Darius Wolfe, Adrien Locke and once a Trystan. He has also been a Dog named Thaddeus Jonah Gentry, nicknamed "Dove".

    I also have a fondness for an archetype that I call "Nikki", though the first incarnation was christened with the blatantly stolen name "Tyris Flare". Nikki is a strong-willed, self-reliant, very competent female warrior. She's usually got a feminist streak of varying widths, though she doesn't hate men; she just tends to like to show them up in areas they are typically stronger than women. She's also exceedingly flirtatious, which conceals inexperience in sexual matters, and frequently a history of emotional or physical/sexual abuse. She's hard-nosed and cynical and doesn't always stick to the most righteous way of handling things, but she's got an unbending sense of honor all her own. She most frequently appears as Nikki Steiner, which originated in a home-brew Battletech game I made when I was a pre-teen.

    Another type that has shown up a few times is the overtly hostile, foul-mouthed punk. He's a good guy, but he wouldn't want you to think so. He spews vitriol at the drop of a hat, has a temper shorter than an ellipsis... which he uses to hide (are you getting a common theme here?) his severe insecurities about everything; His own basic self-worth most of all. The first time I can recall actualizing this character is in City of Heroes, with Ebonclaw, a regen/claws scrapper.

    I also like the undersized wise-cracking sort. Small and thus frequently underestimated, this guy is a survivor. He's got an unshakeable belief in his own ability to always come out ahead, and more often than not, he does. He's friendly and pleasant to be around, and always has a joke or wise-crack ready for any situation. He talks smack, but there's never any malice in it. He views himself as a generally likeable guy, and as such, usually is seen as such by others as well. He has shown up most notably in City of Heroes as Dyne Midas, a.k.a. TNT, a pint-sized Invulnerability/Super Strength Tank, and in Dungeons and Dragons Online as Ebo Lightfoot, a halfling rogue.
  • I like the trainwrecked burnout of a veteran archetype, often with substance abuse issues, or (as I've grown older) the tragic father-figure.

    Example of the latter:
    Had an Exalted Dawn Caste human Dynast who Exalted when his Dragon-Blooded daughter returned from the Threshold with a dagger that turned out to be his previous Solar incarnation's possession. In the delirium of Exaltation, he inadvertently killed her betrothed, then cast himself into the sea afterward as penance. He woke on a ship, plucked from the waters by the GM's Sidereal mastermind. His grieving daughter, believing her father's soul devoured by the Anathema spirit, joined the Wyld Hunt and pledged herself to his destruction.

    For a lark, I once generated a character in a GURPS game that loaded up the disads, producing a lecherous, greedy, overconfident, alcoholic hunchback rounded off with a few odious personal habits. *I* had fun, but I retired him after a handful of sessions out of mercy to my fellow players.

    I'm also fond of the underpowered trickster--the guy with minor, non-splashy abilities who through clever, opportunistic use ends up kicking ass.

    Had a Vampire character once who went from scholarly, non-combatant grad student to tattooed badass psychopath in a delicious and dizzying descent as I gleefully pissed away my Humanity. I'd taken Dark Fate, which the text in the book says is peculiarly liberating--and it was. I leaned this guy into the blade big-time, no regrets. I leveraged low-level Dominate, Auspex, and Thaumaturgy (Caitiff who the GM arbitrarily turned into a Tremere in the prelude). The rest of the party were Gangrel, Toreador, and Brujah combat monsters. They had nothing on this Tremere cast-off. What was cool was that I had excellent story reasons for the Humanity-losing stuff I did. And I made a few Conscience rolls along the way, so...*ahem* yeah. The only character I've ever played with a real endgame.
  • I'm oddly attracted to playing small flying things - pseudodragons, sprites, pixies, and so on. They invariably hit vastly harder with weapons than they have any right to. They're usually happy and upbeat, if for no other reason than to contrast against seeing something the size of a housecat smash through a brick wall.
  • edited June 2008
    Posted By: Jonathan WaltonBack when I played Rifts, the best class was definitely the Apok, which was a divine champion of Wormwood, the living planet. Apok were former criminals redeemed by Wormwood, who gained their powers largely from the symbiotic mask that attached directly to their face, which made them as strong and durable as a tank, though they still fought with hand-to-hand weapons like swords. They're basically symbiotic ex-con samurai with medieval Catholic crusader color, serving the planet they live on and depend on for their every need. Man, it really makes me wanna run Wormwood 4e.

    I must agree. Those guys freakin' rocked!

  • Wormwood is far too cool for RIFTS. I am paging through my copy right now, dreaming dreams.
  • My favorite race from Wormwood are the Holy Terrors. There's something about a walking talking suit of armor that stands out as being cool in my mind.
  • Sweet, we should start an I <3 Wormwood Society. We can file the serial numbers off, make a 20-page micro-game of it, and hire <a href="">Tim Truman or Henry Flint (the original creators) to do the cover.

    P.S. Only slightly joking.
  • edited June 2008
    Posted By: Jonathan Walton

    P.S. Only slightly joking.
    Jonathan, I hope that the only joke is that it's only twenty pages long. I want this so badly that I can taste it.

    As for me, in those rare times when I play and not take on the gm-like role, I play broken people. My most recent characters have included:

    Carmen Navarro, a woman road warden character in a zombie apocalypse future version of our own world. She was the daughter of the town whore who died while trying to save her during the original zombie outbreak. The campaign started with Carmen being drummed out of the local militia after she had been bitten by a zombie. She had tied off the wound with a belt so that only her left arm was zombified, a terrible, hulking mass of atrophied flesh and twining muscle. She was bitter, resentful, and trying to come to grips with a humanity inside of her that didn't fit into the terrible world that had fostered in the ashes of the old.

    Jasper, my replacement character in the same campaign that I played Carmen in. She had ridden off into the sunset so I introduced a new character. Jasper had been a sheriff on a native american reservation that had holed up after the zombie outbreak. He was the son of the town's previous sheriff who had been a heavy-weight boxer in his younger days, and a Christian missionary worker. He tried to keep the peace while carpet-baggers moved in from the big city and tried to take the town over, promising the townspeople supplies and jobs. They were let in by the tribal council, along with their own policing force. When one of those cops got a little too friendly with a local girl Jasper shot the man dead and went on the run.

    And Marco Orcavi in the Reign campaign I'm in. Marco is the cousin of Anton Orcini, the inheritor of the throne of a family of assassins. Marco was born to a splinter of the family that had been master healers. After a terrible mishap in his younger years had seen his family killed, Marco was taken in by his aunt and uncle in the Orcini clan. To carry his own weight, a young and angry Marco joined the navy, where he saw hundreds of men die in terrible ways. This experience tempered Marco, creating a morality within him that revered life and saw murder as an abomination. He became conflicted when his beloved cousin, the only real family that Marco had, wanted to take over the family business. In helping his cousin rise to power Marco became a shell of a man, slivering his morality away until he was ordering hits on enemies to the family and murdering foes with his own bare hands. If that campaign is a fantasy version of the Godfather, I was playing Michael Corleone.

    Oh, and then I played Malcolm Neeland, the Investigator in a game of Dirty Secrets. He had been an intelligent man but relegated to bruiser status in the criminal underworld because of his size and intimidating demeanor. He was sent to prison after a score had gone bad and while there read tons of books on criminal investigations and mystery novels. He found himself useful to the crooks in the prison because of his blossoming deductive skills, able to figure out who had really shivved who and so forth. By the time he had gotten out Mal had found himself in a new line of work, a private detective for the criminal underworld.

    So yeah, broken people. Characters with explosive personalities and complicated moralities. Hell, even when I play in a "relaxing" game I tend to play drunkards, womanizers, or do-gooders with terrible pasts. Basically, all of my dudes are crazy.
  • Is there really anything more interesting to roleplay (or at least try to) than a Gloranthan Dragonewt?
  • My favorite class was always Thief.

  • i'm with ben. since my two best friends in high school were always into thieves as well,
    all the thief adventures i ran in were super great. scaling walls, makin' out with princesses...
    seriously. how fuckin' good can it get?

    i think i seriously made out with three different princesses in three different games...
    between two different DMs.

    in heros unlimited i was always an experiment, because that means super powers.
    and my tribe of choice was always silent striders. and i was usually gangrel or toreador in the way of clan.
    in bliss stage i usually pick ANIMa Pilot. (this is extra funny because i literally got it in the mail today, so "usually" is pretty damn ambitious) in Sea Dracula i'm always the Dancing Anthropomorphic Animal Lawyer...
    in that way i guess Bliss Stage and Sea Dracula are pretty similar.


    fun facts (other things that Bliss Stage and Sea Dracula share)

    1. Both have Limited Print Runs currently in hardcopy and slightly different Unlimited Print Runs in PDF.
    2. Both have a version with illustrations exclusively by jake richmond.
    3. i got my hands on both of them in the last two days.
    4. Both have emotionally turbulent teenagers dancing to save the earth by accruing lawyer points. In a dreamworld.
  • It always turns to be a variant of a Swashbuckler/Warrior with questionable moral and ethics mixed with a used cars salesman.

    Some examples :

    Reverend Algernon Blackwood in Deadlands : 5D12 in Soul for the believers, 6D10 in Pistol for the wicked.

    Eldrum the Fox in Ironclaw : part Robin Hood, part Don Juan (or so he thinks)

    A Slapotherapist in Discworld : equiped with a permit to Slap, founder of the Slapotherapy.

    Let's just stay Charisma is no longer a dump stat for me.
  • Telepathy, focusing on mind control, in the (card-based) Marvel Saga game from a few years back.

  • My first Dogs in the Vineyard character had the Trait "Violence solves problems".

    My Dragon Blooded Exalted was a writer of erotic novels.

    My Shock: tagonist was a genderless 1st person shooter champion who often appeared in the guise of two elderly Japanese cowboys riding a snake.

    My Panty Explosion student was terrified that her classmates would find out that she was actually a boy.
    My Animal Lawyer was Sea Dracula.

    I try hard to steer myself toward a different character and concept each time I play. No favorite class. No path traveled twice. But I've come to realize that this just isn't completely possible. I repeat themes. My characters are always liars. They wear masks. They keep secrets. When I start a new game I think I subconsciously search for Jobs/Skills/Traits/plot Hooks that will facilitate this. I like to be deceptive and unpredictable, even when I pretend to be straightforward and honest.
  • When I played AD&D it was the ranger always for me. But in recent years its been the gunslinger, with money and style. I played one Ranger character for over a decade till the game ended.
  • I like Dwarves, direct and brutal, but still into making beautiful (and mighty) things.

    And I like characters with leadership and strong ethics combined. In a standard adventure-group that is always challenging.
  • I love wuxia swordswomen.

    I like flying, swords, and princesses, and it combines all three into one.
  • In Burning Wheel, my favorite classes were the Torturer and the Bartender. Not sure what that says about me.

    In Vampire, it was the Brujah. I beat you, but you really like me for it.

    And if there is a I <3 Wormwood Society, count me in x10. I'd even talk about it on Echoes.
  • Posted By: commondialogIn Burning Wheel, my favorite classes were the Torturer and the Bartender. Not sure what that says about me.
    I'd hazard a guess:
    Tarantino Fan.
Sign In or Register to comment.