D&D General What Should Today's Archetypes Be


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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
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.
What's the problem with that?

Everyone playing Muscle/Brawn/Hitter is just a Standard Orc Ork PARTY Krumpin'
 

Aldarc

Legend
The cast of Leverage, or Ocean's Eleven, or the Dirty Dozen...
I don't understand. Is this meant to rebuke my point? From the best of my recollection, the characters in these ensembles were often recruited for their specialities. Even a game where everyone is a spy, like Spycraft, distinguished characters between classes. There is a Leverage RPG, but I believe that it's classless since it uses a variation of Cortex.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I don't understand. Is this meant to rebuke my point? From the best of my recollection, the characters in these ensembles were often recruited for their specialities. Even a game where everyone is a spy, like Spycraft, distinguished characters between classes. There is a Leverage RPG, but I believe that it's classless since it uses a variation of Cortex.
The party doesn't have to be an even amount in the ensemble.

The classic Power Ranger/Sentai is all destined heroes.

Even if a party has 2 Hearts or 2 Brains, they can focus on different things or just double up on that strength in the group
 

Aldarc

Legend
The party doesn't have to be an even amount in the ensemble.

The classic Power Ranger/Sentai is all destined heroes.

Even if a party has 2 Hearts or 2 Brains, they can focus on different things or just double up on that strength in the group
I would probably use a game like Fate Accelerated or Cortex if I was playing something like a classic Sentai/Power Rangers show or even something like playing Toa heroes in Bionicle, which is fairly Sentai-inspired. Cortex and Fate are classless systems. Fate Accelerated is particularly good if your characters mostly have a similar training type or level of competence. I could even imagine in playing a Sentai game in Cortex, players could rank their "role" for their character: e.g., d6 Muscle, d8 Brain, d8 Heart, d10 Shadow, etc.

I understand your idea Minigiant, but you have not sold me on its worth. I think that there are roleplaying systems out there that better handle the ensemble type setups that you are imagining for the "fresh take" on archetypes in D&D. 🤷‍♂️
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I would probably use a game like Fate Accelerated or Cortex if I was playing something like a classic Sentai/Power Rangers show or even something like playing Toa heroes in Bionicle, which is fairly Sentai-inspired. Cortex and Fate are classless systems. Fate Accelerated is particularly good if your characters mostly have a similar training type or level of competence. I could even imagine in playing a Sentai game in Cortex, players could rank their "role" for their character: e.g., d6 Muscle, d8 Brain, d8 Heart, d10 Shadow, etc.

I understand your idea Minigiant, but you have not sold me on its worth. I think that there are roleplaying systems out there that better handle the ensemble type setups that you are imagining for the "fresh take" on archetypes in D&D. 🤷‍♂️

The point is that you are not trying to make the ensemble . You areonly designing the classes around what they are.

For Example.

I was going to design a quick and dirty Old School meet New School RPG. One classes was the Knight. The Knight is based on the Archetypical Knight and the ensemble concept of the Hero

At level 5, the Knight gets to name their weapon or shield. Reality recognizes their greatness. the weapon or shield becomes magical and +1.
As a knight's levels, their nobility, fame, confidence, and leadership shows giving them a paladin-like aura of a item if they say its name. It could grant +Cha to saves or damage or AC or healing etc

The Duelist, running off the Foil and the Dexterous warrior, dismises all tha and hones their own skills. Some become rapier duelist, pistol gunslingers, or dual dagger sneaks. And they can focus on different types of lore: medicine, history, magic...

So you could have a party of Sir George and the Bastard Miguel as Knghts with Lily and Froggg as Dueltst in the same party. Dr Xon rounding them out as the Wizard. 2 Heroes, 2 Foils, and a Smart Guy. They just have to make it work. George Persudes, Miguel Intimidates. Lily IDs words, Frog sews up wounds.
 

Lycurgon

Adventurer
There is so much influence of D&D within the fantasy genre that it is impossible to separate out what would exist if D&D had never existed, short of visiting a parallel universe. But looking at modern popular fantasy media and concepts that aren't obviouy heavily influenced by D&D, here are my thoughts...

Beast/Monster Companion Class - a monster tamer or some such that allows for dragon riders, battle cats, bear companions, Golem master etc. As you level up choose if you want to power up yourself or your Companion so you can be week with a powerful protector or you can be equal partners that fight side by side.

Were-folk/Shapeshifters - a popular concept especially within paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

Ninja assassin type - a shadow magic using rogue.

Telekinetic Soul Blade - jedi style warriors but with mind created blades to avoid copyright issues.

Magitech/Alchemy/magic tinkerer that makes magic items; and Potions or Runes that give temp bonuses.

Witcher style monster hunter - enhanced/mutated, become the monster to fight the monster concept without being a full shapeshifter.

Elementalist - Elemental magic is very common. Could vary from bending martial artists to pyromantic sorcerer/spellcaster types.

Wizard/witch/learned spellcaster - Harry Potter style, lots of examples. May require inborn ability but requires study to control /use it. Don't think a spell book would be, required.

Empowered champions/holy Warrior - paladin like warriors that take inspiration from holy knights, or the Heralds of Valdemar

Spirit summoner/channeller - a shamanistic spiritualist/medium. Could also incorporate priest and cultist concepts by summoning/channelling power from angels or Demons.

Berserkers - viking style raging warriors

Weaponmasters - mundane/skilled warriors for those that want to avoid magic, ranging from swift duelist/swashbuckers to more heavily Armoured types.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I don't understand. Is this meant to rebuke my point? From the best of my recollection, the characters in these ensembles were often recruited for their specialities. Even a game where everyone is a spy, like Spycraft, distinguished characters between classes. There is a Leverage RPG, but I believe that it's classless since it uses a variation of Cortex.
I didn't engage with your point at all. I was merely responding (albeit obliquely) to the OP:

What do you think the core archetypes would be if D&D were invented today? What inspirational media make you think those particular ones would be foundational?
 

Peter BOSCO'S

Adventurer
I think that we would have some kind of sidekick class who, like Sam Gamgee, would be defined primarily by their relationship to one of the other characters and less by what they can do. This would also work for Jeeves & Wooster type characters where the game mechanics sidekick is the social and financial superior.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
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.

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.
Why only the youngest millennials? Many of them grew up watching Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Yu Yu Hakusho, Inuyasha, etc. Often, when they grew up, they added more adult things like Akira and Ghost in the Shell to the list. Millennials are the "Adult Swim"/"Toonami" generation.

While I wouldn't consider anime to be exclusively dominant, it's going to be way, way up there. You'd also have influences from major video games of the period where they were growing up: shooters (DOOM, Unreal, TF, HL), action-adventure (Zelda, Dragon Quest), platformer (Mario, Portal), "Metroidvania" (exactly what it says on the tin), single-player RPGs (Mario again, Golden Sun, Final Fantasy, Planescape: Torment, Deus Ex), and last but not least, early-generation MMOs (UO, EQ, WoW, SWG, FFXI, etc.)

Hell, I'd even argue that much more recent things like Minecraft should be thrown in there as well, but those are new enough that they might not be considered "formative" for even young millennials (who were generally adults when Minecraft finally, officially launched.)
 

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