D&D General What Should Today's Archetypes Be


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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Anecdotal support for this: My wife is a millennial, and five years younger than me. The only 80s properties that I to which she has no attachment are Thundarr and Thundercats. She actually gets excited when I put on my old Filmation He-Man episodes, if she isn’t asking me to put the on already,, and Labyrinth is her all-time favorite movie.

I experienced similar with a former colleague who’s 8 years younger than me.

One thing to remember is that, though cable usage increased in the 90s, there were still plenty of people without cable, and syndication was still big.
Exactly. Older siblings watching / playing things. Older friends and cousins. Parents watching things from their youth, etc. It’s not always 100% of what was new when you were young that you attach to growing up. Classic stuff like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal and Last Unicorn I could definitely see being touchstones for a fresh D&D. But I still think anime and manga would utterly dominate the list of influences.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Exactly. Older siblings watching / playing things. Older friends and cousins. Parents watching things from their youth, etc. It’s not always 100% of what was new when you were young that you attach to growing up. Classic stuff like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal and Last Unicorn I could definitely see being touchstones for a fresh D&D. But I still think anime and manga would utterly dominate the list of influences.
IMO they’d only dominate if the creators were under 30 right now. Older Gen Z. Maybe the youngest Gen Y.

I doubt very much that what the game would look like would be based all that much on what is popular with the youths right now, otherwise. It’d be what the creators were into as kids and early teens, with decreasing influence the further forward in time you go from there.
Anecdotal support for this: My wife is a millennial, and five years younger than me. The only 80s properties that I to which she has no attachment are Thundarr and Thundercats. She actually gets excited when I put on my old Filmation He-Man episodes, if she isn’t asking me to put the on already,, and Labyrinth is her all-time favorite movie.

I experienced similar with a former colleague who’s 8 years younger than me.

One thing to remember is that, though cable usage increased in the 90s, there were still plenty of people without cable, and syndication was still big.
Yep. Most of us were watching syndicated cartoons with no idea of when they first aired.

And Legend, Labyrinth, Princess Bride, Last Unicorn, Dark Crystal, are all still great fantasy films now, nevermind in the 90’s when they may as well have still been new. 🤷‍♂️

I think people forget that “old media” was like 15-20+ years old even in like 2000, much less the 90’s. How we consume media has changed dramatically.
 

Scribe

Legend
And Legend, Labyrinth, Princess Bride, Last Unicorn, Dark Crystal, are all still great fantasy films now, nevermind in the 90’s when they may as well have still been new. 🤷‍♂️

I think people forget that “old media” was like 15-20+ years old even in like 2000, much less the 90’s. How we consume media has changed dramatically.

Part of me wants to look up when those things were released, but then I'll just feel even more ancient. :D
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Another Thought

A lot of the fantasy and sci-fi from the 1908s on runs on ensemble casts of people with different roles so possibly...

  1. The Hero is the Empowered Warrior
    1. Heavy Armor Warrior
    2. Has Artifact Magic Sword or Shield or Bow
    3. Benefits from Charisma
    4. Might have Transformation
  2. The Lancer is the Duelist
    1. Light Armor Warrior
    2. Highly skilled
    3. Dexterity Based
    4. Ranged Option
    5. No Overt magic
    6. Benefits from Intelligence
  3. The Brain is the Wizard
    1. Spell Caster
    2. Rewards Preparation
    3. Intelligence Based
  4. The Brawn is the Berserker
    1. Medium Armor Warrior
    2. Toughest and Strongest with a Rage to increase
    3. Simplest Tactics
  5. The Heart is the Psychic
    1. Spell Caster
    2. Mind or Soul or Faith powers (likely or choice)
    3. Uses multiple Ability score
  6. The Sixth is the Warlock
    1. Basically the 5e Warlock
    2. is the Sterotypical Bad Guy who switched sides, Good Guy using Evil powers, or Mentor who can use Bad Guy power uncorrupted
    3. Hard mode
  7. The Pet is the Naturalist
    1. Shapeshifts or Controls Elements
    2. Can talk to animals and plants
    3. Least Equipment Reliant
  8. The Scientist is the Technician
    1. Has access to higher tech or nonartifact magic items
    2. Squishy
 

TwoSix

Uncomfortably diegetic
Another Thought

A lot of the fantasy and sci-fi from the 1908s on runs on ensemble casts of people with different roles so possibly...

  1. The Hero is the Empowered Warrior
    1. Heavy Armor Warrior
    2. Has Artifact Magic Sword or Shield or Bow
    3. Benefits from Charisma
    4. Might have Transformation
  2. The Lancer is the Duelist
    1. Light Armor Warrior
    2. Highly skilled
    3. Dexterity Based
    4. Ranged Option
    5. No Overt magic
    6. Benefits from Intelligence
  3. The Brain is the Wizard
    1. Spell Caster
    2. Rewards Preparation
    3. Intelligence Based
  4. The Brawn is the Berserker
    1. Medium Armor Warrior
    2. Toughest and Strongest with a Rage to increase
    3. Simplest Tactics
  5. The Heart is the Psychic
    1. Spell Caster
    2. Mind or Soul or Faith powers (likely or choice)
    3. Uses multiple Ability score
  6. The Sixth is the Warlock
    1. Basically the 5e Warlock
    2. is the Sterotypical Bad Guy who switched sides, Good Guy using Evil powers, or Mentor who can use Bad Guy power uncorrupted
    3. Hard mode
  7. The Pet is the Naturalist
    1. Shapeshifts or Controls Elements
    2. Can talk to animals and plants
    3. Least Equipment Reliant
  8. The Scientist is the Technician
    1. Has access to higher tech or nonartifact magic items
    2. Squishy
I do love this list.

The two current games I'm most interested in running, Fabula Ultima and Break!, are both based on JRPGs; interestingly, their class systems both have very strong correlates with the tropes you listed. Which makes sense, since the two big originators of JRPGs, Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, both pulled from that same well of '80s inspiration.
 

Aldarc

Legend
The one downside to creating lists around ensemble archetypes is that ensembles usually only feature one of each archetype. However, while some tables may try to diversify party composition, there will be tables where that is not the case, so you may have multiple characters playing the Muscle or the Leader or "the Chick" as its called in some ensemble groups.
 




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