Personality Archetypes: Nature and Demeanor
Here are some basic characters Archetypes, suitable for beginning play.
The Architect has a sense of purpose even greater than herself. She is truly happy only when creating something of lasting value for others. People will always need things, and the Architect strives to provide at least one necessacity. Inventors, pioneers, town founders, entrepreneurs and the like are all Architect Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you establish something of importance or value.
The Autocrat wants to be in charge. He seeks prominence for it’s own sake, not because he has the operation’s best interests at heart or because he has the best ideas (though he may certainly think so). He may genuinely believe others are incompetent, but ultimately he craves power and control. Dictators, gang leaders, bullies, corporate raiders and their ilk are Autocrat Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower when you achieve control over a group or organization involving other individuals.
The Bon Vivant knows life is shallow and meaningless. As such, the Bon Vivant decides to enjoy her time on earth. The Bon Vivant is not necessarily irresponsible. Rather, she is simply predisposed to having a good time along the way. Most Bon Vivants have low Self-Control scores, as they are so given to excess. Hedonists, sybarites, and dilettantes are examples of the Bon Vivant Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you truly enjoy yourself and can fully express your exultation. At the Storyteller’s option, a particularly fabulous revelry may yield multiple Willpower points.
The Bravo is tough and a bully, and often takes perverse pleasure in tormenting the weak. To the Bravo’s mind, might makes right; power is what matters, and only those with power should be respected. Naturally, physical power is the best kind, but any kind will do. The Bravo sees overt threats as a perfectly reasonable means of gaining cooperation. The Bravo is not incapable of pity or kindness; he just prefers to do things his way. Robbers, bigots, thus and the insecure are all Bravo Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower any time you achieve your agenda through brutishness or intimidation. This need not be physical, as many Bravos verbally or socially cow their victims.
Why give it away for free when you can sell it? You are the ultimate mercenary, realizing that there is always a market to be developed – anything can be a commodity. You have a keen understanding of how to manipulate other mortals into thinking they need specific goods or services. Appearance and influence are everything when it comes to the big sale, though you’ll use anything to your advantage. Salesmen, soldiers of fortune and bootlickers all adhere to the Capitalist Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you make a successful “sale” or barter of any commodity. Commodities need not be physical items; they may be bits of information, favors or other such intangibles.
Everyone needs comfort, a shoulder to cry on. A Caregiver takes her comfort in consoling others, and people often come to her with their problems. Nurses, doctors and psychiatrists are examples of potential Caregivers.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you successfully protect or nurture someone else.
The Celebrant takes joy in her cause. Whether the character’s passion is battle, religious fervor, foiling her rivals or reading fine literature, it gives the Celebrant the strength to withstand adversity. Given the chance, the Celebrant will indulge in her passion as deeply as possible. Unlike the Fanatic, the Celebrant pursues her passion not out of duty, but out of enthusiasm. Crusaders, hippies, political activists and art enthusiasts are Celebrant Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you pursue your cause or convert another character to the same passion. Conversely, lose a point of temporary Willpower whenever you are denied your passion or it is badly lost to you.
Independent and self-reliant, you manage to blend into any situation. You carefully study behavior and mannerisms of everyone you come in contact with so you can pass yourself off as someone else later. You spend so much time altering your mannerisms and appearance that your own parents may not even recognize you. Spies, con artists, drag queens and impostors best represent the Chameleon.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you fool someone into thinking you’re someone else for your own benefit.
The Child is still immature in personality and temperament. He wants what he wants now, and often prefers someone to give it to him. Although he can typically care for himself, he would rather have a caretaker-type cater to his bratty desires. Some Child Archetypes are actually innocent rather than immature, ignorant of the cold ways of the real world. Children, spoiled individuals and some drug abusers are Child Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you manage to convince someone to help you with no gain to herself, or nurture you.
The Competitor takes great excitement in the pursuit of victory. To the Competitor, every task is new challenge to meet and a new contest to win. Indeed, the Competitor sees all interactions as some sort of opportunity for her to be the best – the best leader, the most productive, the most valuable or whatever. Corporate raiders, professional athletes and impassioned researchers are all examples of Competitor Archetypes.
-Regain one point of Willpower whenever you succeed at a test or challenge. Especially difficult victories, may at the Storyteller’s discretion, allow you to regain multiple Willpower points.
The Conformist is a follower, taking another’s lead and finding security in the decisions of others. She prefers not to take charge, instead seeking to throw in with the rest of the group and lend her own unique aid. The Conformist is drawn to the most dynamic personality or individual she perceives to be the “best.” Being a Conformist is not necessarily a bad thing – every group needs followers to lend stability to their causes. Groupies, party voters and “the masses” are Conformist Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever the group achieves one of its goals due to your support.
Why work for something when you can trick somebody else into getting it for you? The Conniver always tries to find the easy way, the fast track to success and wealth. Some people call him a thief, a swindler or less pleasant terms, but he knows the everybody in the would do unto him if they could. He just does it first, and better. Criminals, con artists, salespeople, urchins and entrepreneurs might be Connivers.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you trick someone into doing something for you.
You strive to shock and disgust those around you with gratuitous acts and ostentatiously “evil” mannerisms. You realize, of course, that it’s all show and merely a way to intimidate and control others. Outsiders, on the other hand, think you are the devil incarnate, and you revel in this image. Shock-rockers, rebellious teenagers and the attention-starved exemplify the Creep Show Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever someone recoils from you in horror or otherwise reacts in fear.
A Curmudgeon is bitter and cynical, finding flaws in everything and seeing little humor in life. He is often fatalistic or pessimistic, and has very little esteem for others. To the Curmudgeon, the glass is always half-full, though it may be damn near empty when other people are involved. Many Generation Xer’s are Curmudgeons.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever someone does something stupid, just like you said they would. You must predict this failure aloud.
The Dabbler is interested in everything but focuses on nothing. He flits from idea to idea, passion to passion and project to project without actually finishing anything. Others may get swept up in the Dabbler’s enthusiasm, and be left high and dry as a result when he moves onto something else, without warning.
-Regain Willpower whenever you find a new enthusiasm and drop your old one completely.
The Deviant is a freak, ostracized from society by unique tastes that place her outside the mainstream. Deviants are not indolent rebels or shiftless “unrecognized geniuses”; rather, they are independent thinkers who don’t quite fit in the status quo. Deviant Archetypes often feel that the world stands against them, and as such reject traditional mortality. Some have bizarre tastes, preferences and ideologies. Extremists, eccentric celebrities and straight-out weirdoes are Deviant Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower any time you are able to flout social mores without retribution.
To the Director, nothing is worse then chaos and disorder. The Director seeks to be in charge, adopting a “my way or the highway” attitude on matters of decision-making. The Director is more concerned with bringing order out of strife, however, and need not be truly “in control” of a group to guide it. Coaches, teachers and many political figures exemplify the Director Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower when you influence a group in the completion of a difficult task.
Your actions are bizarre, puzzling and inexplicable to everyone but yourself. To the rest of the world, however, your erratic actions suggest that you’re eccentric if not completely crazy. Conspiracy theorists and deep cover agents all live up to the Enigma Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever someone is completely perplexed or baffled by one of your actions that later turns out to be a fruitful endeavor.
Eye of the Storm
Despite your calm subtle appearance, chaos and havoc seems to follow you. From burning cities to emotional upheaval, death and destruction circle you like albatrosses. For you, life is a never-ending trial with uncertainty around every corner. Gang leaders, political figures and other influential individuals exemplify the Eye of the Storm Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever a ruckus, riot or less violent phenomenon occurs around you.
The Fanatic has a purpose, and that purpose consumes his existence. The Fanatic pours himself into his cause; indeed, he may feel guilty for undertaking any objective that deviates for his higher goal. To the Fanatic, the end justifies the means – the cause is more important then those who serve it. Players who choose Fanatic Archetypes must select a cause for their characters to further. Revolutionaries, zealots and sincere firebrands are all examples of Fanatic Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you accomplish some task that directly relates to your cause.
Gallants are flamboyant souls, always seeking attention and the chance to be the brightest stars. Gallants seek the company of others, if only to earn their adoration. Attention drives the Gallant, and the chase is often as important as fulfilling that pursuit. Nothing excites the Gallant so much as a new audience to woo and win. Performers, children and those with low self-esteem are often Gallant Archetypes.
-Regain a point whenever you successfully impress another person.
Your enlightenment draws others to you. You may be a mentor, a priest with the Church or merely an idealist. Whatever the case, your presence motivates and moves others to engage in spiritual or ideological pursuits. Your peers view you as calm, centered and “with it” even when you are preaching about violence as a means to an end. Cult leaders, Zen masters and some priests are examples of Gurus.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever someone seeks out your help in spiritual matters and your guidance moves that individual to an enlightened action that he normally would not have taken. Also, regain a point of Willpower whenever you achieve an epiphany that relates to your personal philosophy.
The Idealist believes – truly, madly, deeply – in some higher goal or morality. The object of his idealism maybe pragmatic or amorphous, but the belief is there.
-Regain a point of Willpower anytime an action in the pursuit of your ideals furthers your goals and brings your ideal closer to fruition.
The Judge perpetually seeks to improve the system. A Judge takes pleasure in her rational nature and ability to draw the right conclusion when presented with the facts. The Judge respects justice, as it is the most efficient model for resolving issues. Judges, while they pursue the “streamlining” of problems, are rarely visionary, as they prefer proven models to insight. Engineers, lawyers and doctors are often Judge Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you correctly deduce a mystery by assembling the clues presented, or when one of your arguments unites dissenting parties.
Even in the crowd, the Loner sticks out, because he so obviously does not belong. Others view Loners as pariahs, remote and isolated, but in truth, the Loner prefers his own company to that of others. For whatever reason, the Loner simply disdains others, and this feeling is often reciprocated. Criminals, radicals and free thinkers are all Loner Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower when you accomplish something by yourself, yet which still benefits the coterie in some way. For truly impressive success, or achievement in spite of strong opposition, the Storyteller may choose to let you regain two Willpower points.
The Martyr suffers for his cause, enduring his trials out of the belief that his discomfort will ultimately improve others’ lot. Some Martyrs simply want the attention or sympathy their ordeals engender, while others are sincere in their cause, greeting their opposition with unfaltering faith in their own beliefs. Many Inquisitors, staunch idealists and outcasts are Martyr Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower when you sacrifice yourself or your comfort for your ideals or another’s immediate gain.
The Masochist exists to test his limits, to see how much pain he can tolerate before he collapses. He gains satisfaction in humiliations, suffering, denial and even physical pain. The Masochist defines who he is by his capacity to feel discomfort – he rises each day only to greet new pain. Certain extreme athletes, urban tribalists and the clinically depressed exemplify the Masochist Archetype.
-Regain two points of Willpower whenever you experience pain in a way you never have before.
The Monster knows she is a creature of evil and acts like it. Evil and Suffering are the Monster’s tools, and she uses them wherever she goes. No villainy is below her; no hurt goes uninflected and no lies remain untold. The Monster does not commit evil for its own sake, but rather as a means to understand what she has become. Unstable individuals display characteristics of the Monster Archetype.
-Malignant deeds reinforce the Monster’s sense of purpose. Monster characters should pick a specific atrocity, regaining Willpower whenever they indulge that urge. For example, a tempter regains Willpower for luring someone into wickedness, while an apostate earns back Willpower for causing another to doubt her faith. Pick a destiny and fulfill it.
The Pedagogue knows it all, and desperately wants to inform others. Whether through a sense of purposes or a genuine desire to help others, the Pedagogue makes sure his message is heard – at length if necessary. Pedagogue Archetypes may range from well-meaning mentors to verbose blowhards who love to hear themselves talk. Instructors, the overeducated and “veterans of their field” are all examples of Pedagogue Archetypes.
-Regain one point of Willpower whenever you see or learn of someone who has benefited from the wisdom you shared with them.
The Penitent exists to atone for the grave sin she commits simply by being who she is. Penitents have either low self-esteem or legitimate, traumatic past experiences, and feel compelled to “make up” for inflicting themselves upon the world. Penitent Archetypes are not always religious in outlook; some truly want to scourge the world of the grief they bring to it. Repentant sinners, persons with low self-esteem and remorseful criminals are all examples of the Penitent Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you feel that you have achieved absolution for a given grievance. This redemption should be of the same magnitude as the transgression – the greater the crime, the greater the penance. The Storyteller is the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes a reasonable act of reparation.
Perfectionist Archetypes simply demand the best. A half-hearted job gives the Perfectionist no satisfaction, and she expects the same degree of commitment and attention to detail from others that she demands from herself. Although the Perfectionist may be strict and exacting, the achievement of the end goal drives her – and often those for whom she is responsible. Prima donnas, artists and conceptual designers exemplify the Perfectionist Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you accomplish your goal without any demonstrable flaw or impediment.
The Rebel is a malcontent, never satisfied with the status quo or the system as it is. He hates authority and does everything in his power to challenge and undermine it. Perhaps the Rebel truly believes in his ideals, but it is just as likely that he bears authority figures some ill will over a misunderstanding or “wrong” done to him in the past. Teenagers, insurrectionists and non-conformists all exemplify the Rebel Archetype.
-Regain a point Willpower whenever your actions adversely affect your chosen oppositions. Rebels may oppose the government, the Church, whatever. The player should choose whom or what his character rebels against when he adopts this Archetype.
Only one thing matters to the Rogue: herself. To each his own, and if others cannot protect their claims, they have no right to them. The Rogue is not necessarily a thug or bully however. She simply refuses to succumb to the whims of others. Rogues almost universally possess a sense of self-sufficiency. They have their own best interests in mind at all times. Prostitutes, capitalists and criminals all embody the Rogue Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower when your self-centered disposition leads you to profit, materially or otherwise. At the Storyteller’s discretion, accumulating gain without exposing your own weakness may let you gain two points of Willpower.
You exist to inflict pain and suffering upon others. Killing is too easy – torture is the best way to truly harm a person, and you seek the slowest, most painful means to push others to the ultimate limits. Pain – others’ pain – gives you immense pleasure. Drill Sergeants, jilted ex-lovers and some of the terminally deranged may all display Sadist Archetypes at one time or another; sadism is rare enough to appear only in aberrant cases, rather then reliably in one type of person or another.
-Regain a point of Willpower whenever you inflict pain upon someone for no other reason than your own pleasure.
To a Scientist, existence is a puzzle which she can help assemble. A Scientist logically and methodically examines her every situation and maneuver, looking for logical outcomes and patterns. This is not to say that the Scientist is always looking for scientific or rational explanation, but rather, that she examines her surroundings rigorously and with a critical eye. The system a Scientist attempts to impose on the world may be completely ludicrous, but it is a system, and she sticks by it.
-Regain Willpower any time a logical, systematic approach to a problem helps you solve it, or information gather logically is of use in another similar situation.
All inferior beings should be exterminated in order to bring about a harmonious existence. You likely feel no remorse when you kill. On the contrary, you are doing a glorious deed for society. Those that know what you do are very critical of you, but sometimes you sway them with arguments like “Darwin would agree that I’m only helping nature along!”
-Regain Willpower whenever you are the greatest contributor to a body count after everything has settled down. This count includes times when you are the only killer, and it needs not result from massive combat – like killing every member of a movie audience or gunning down defenseless patrons in a bank robbery.
The Solider is not a blindly loyal follower. While she exists for orders, she does not adhere to them unquestioningly. More independent than a Conformist but too tied into the idea of command to be a Loner, the Solider applies her own techniques to others goals. While she may seek command herself someday, her ambitions lie within the established hierarchy and structure. The Solider has no compunctions about using whatever means necessary to do what needs to be done, so long as the orders to do so came from the right place.
-Regain a point of Willpower when you achieve your orders’ objectives. The more difficult the orders are to fulfill, the better it feels to accomplish them. At Storyteller’s discretion, pulling off a spectacular success or fulfilling a lengthy mission may well be worth additional Willpower points.
No matter what happens, no matter the odds or opposition, the Survivor always manages to pull through. Whether alone or with a group, the Survivor’s utter refusal to accept defeat often makes the difference between success and failure. Survivors are frustrated by others’ acceptance of “what fate has in store” or willingness to withstand less than what they can achieve. Outcasts, street folk, and idealists may well be Survivor Archetypes.
-Regain one point of Willpower whenever you survive a threatening situation through tenacity, or when another persists in spite of opposition due to your counsel.
The Thrill-Seeker lives for the rush brought on by danger. Unlike those of arguably saner disposition, the Thrill-Seeker actively pursues hazardous and possibly deadly situations. The Thrill-Seeker is not consciously suicidal or self-destructive – he simply seeks the stimulation of imminent disaster. Gang bangers, petty thieves, and exhibitionists are all examples of the Thrill-Seeker Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower anytime you succeed at a dangerous task that you have deliberately undertaken. Thrill-Seekers are not stupid, however, and the Storyteller may choose not to reward a player who heedlessly sends her character into danger for the sole intent of harvesting Willpower.
The orthodox ways satisfy the Traditionalist, who prefers to accomplish her goals with time-tested methods. Why vary your course when what has worked in the past is good enough? The Traditionalists finds the status quo acceptable, even preferable, to a change that might yield unpredictable results. Conservatives, judges, and authority figures are all examples of Traditionalist Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower any time the proven ways turn out to be the best. Also, regain a point of Willpower any time you successfully resist change for it’s own sake.
The Trickster finds the absurd in everything. No matter how grim life may become, the Trickster always uncovers a kernel of humor within it. Tricksters cannot abide sorrow or pain, and so they strive to lighten the spirits of those around them. Some Tricksters even have higher ideals, challenging static dogma by exposing its failures in humorous ways. Comedians, satirists and social critics are examples of Trickster Archetype.
-Regain a point of Willpower any time you manage to lift other’s spirits, especially if you are able to deny your own pain in the process.
The Visionary is strong enough to look beyond the mundane and perceive the truly wondrous. Visionaries test accepted societal limits, and seek what few others have the courage to imagine. The Visionary rarely takes satisfaction in what society has to offer; she prefers to encourage society to offer what it could instead of what it does. Typically, society responds poorly to Visionaries, though it is they who are responsible for bringing about progress and change. Philosophers, inventors and the most inspired artists often have Visionary Archetypes.
-Regain a point of Willpower each time you are able to convince others to have faith in your dreams and follow the course of action dictated by your vision.