D&D General What Should Today's Archetypes Be

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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.)
So, first, not all media is going to influence a fantasy game. I’m an elder Millennial, I remember the shooter called Heretic.

beyond that, I think that it’s likely that older millenials would be open to anime influence, but IME my Gen takes more old and over the top anime a lot less seriously than newer or more serious anime. Probably in part because of how awful a lot of early dubs were.

But there isn’t any weird baggage of that type with something like The Last Unicorn. I’ve never seen anyone make excuses for it.

But yeah sure we can add fantasy anime, no worries.
 

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So, first, not all media is going to influence a fantasy game. I’m an elder Millennial, I remember the shooter called Heretic.

beyond that, I think that it’s likely that older millenials would be open to anime influence, but IME my Gen takes more old and over the top anime a lot less seriously than newer or more serious anime. Probably in part because of how awful a lot of early dubs were.

But there isn’t any weird baggage of that type with something like The Last Unicorn. I’ve never seen anyone make excuses for it.

But yeah sure we can add fantasy anime, no worries.
Well, that’s a take, certainly. I am Generation X, and I loved so much of the old stuff that was on TV or in the video store growing up, that I instilled in my own children a love for it that cost me a pretty penny in videos and associated manga so they knew what was coming up. Heck, I watched the Harlock CGI movie and praised it, and the Voltron remake, and my wife first saw Ninja Scroll with me when dating, and became enough of a fan that Jubei made her top five “cartoon characters I would have relations with” list (trying to maintain some decorum, as the words she uses for that list are not grandma-approved).

All of my friends, D&D players or not, loved “Japanimation”, and passed that love onto their kids.

I was a kid in the 80s, and cartoons of all stripes fed our imaginations and our play.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
If D&D were created today, the Monk class exist but not be called the monk.

Since it would be created by late Gen Xers and Early to mid Millennials

Within the D&D realm of play the inspirations for the nonclasical non-weapon focused warriors would be
  • Combat Anime popular in the late 80 to early 00s (Dragon Ball (not Z,) YYH, Kenshin)
  • Combat American PseudoAnime Cartoons of the early 00s (ATLA, Teen Titans)
  • 90s and Early 00s Martial Arts Blockbusters (Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chow Yun-Fat)
  • Lat 80s to early-mid 90s Ninja obsession.
All of this likely cumulating into 2 classes: A Martial Artist with special attacks and has a selection of "noncombat" passives and a Ninja that used shadows arts that range from trickery and poison lore to outright magic.

And the Ninja likely eats the rogue if the Swashbuckler/Duelist is a main Archetype that becomes a class.
 

Starfox

Adventurer
It is very hard to say - DnD has influenced the genre so very much that it is hard to say what would have happened had it not been there. But there are some ideas.
  • Going from anime, "Hero" would be a class - a similar to paladin but less magic, more fate.
  • Armor would be more of a fashion statement than an necessity.
  • Fighters would routinely leap dozens of meters. Funny how they do that in BG3...
  • Orlando Furioso might have been a model - it is more alive than you'd think, especially in Southern Europe. There we have female knights and magic is mostly enchantment and illusion. Knights have supernatural abilities like invulnerability ad you can ride a griffon to the moon. Orlando Furioso - Wikipedia
  • Magic would not be vancian.
  • Cleric would be priests/mystics like in WoW, not the pseudo-knights of the Roland epic. No divide between arcane and divine casters.
  • The entire idea of a class system, hp, AC, and such are very much DnD and would be different. Not sure how different tough.
 

Starfox

Adventurer
I feel that the whole "if no D&D..." aspect of this hypothetical is pretty pointless. I think it's sufficient to ask what a "from scratch" D&D would look like if it was created in today's environment, even if today's environment has been influenced by D&D.
The danger of this line of reasoning, a dager that is already present in the discussion as it is, is that each of us will present our own homebrew as the fantasy RPG of the age. I certainly feel that temptation. :)
 

Reynard

Legend
  • The entire idea of a class system, hp, AC, and such are very much DnD and would be different. Not sure how different tough.
It isn't so much that these "are D&D" as these things are "are wargaming" from the time D&D emerged out of that tradition. The question of what RPGs would look like not emerging from wargaming is a whole thread full of arguments all by itself.
 

Starfox

Adventurer
You could remove the flavor text of the warlock and I don't think that there really isn't too much about the warlock that really delivers on the fantasy IMHO though YMMV. The warlock in D&D basically started as a way for the mage to go "pew pew" with a magical attack every round more than anything else, and that has been a consistent part of its design since.
To me this is a feature, not a bug. I like opening up the warlock class to concepts outside the Faustian. To me classes are game devices, building blocks we build out characters from. I prefer them not having much built-in story. The One DnD warlock that had access to the entire arcane list was fine with me, especially considering the later patrons, like genie.

I am not in any shape or form saying you are wrong - different takes for different folks.
 

Aldarc

Legend
The danger of this line of reasoning, a dager that is already present in the discussion as it is, is that each of us will present our own homebrew as the fantasy RPG of the age. I certainly feel that temptation. :)
Most definitely. There is a reason why I said Point B in my original post in this thread:
IMHO, one reason that it's difficult for me to say is because (A) fantasy is arguably a lot more diverse in its tone, scope, and sources now than it was during the times of Gary Gygax (e.g., New Wave fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, LotR, etc.), and (B) it really depends on who is holding the knife and deciding the classes.


I would add to everything else that while people are welcome to talk about the influence of anime, I'm gonna say that video games would be a much larger influence by a wide margin. Forget the idea that video games were influenced by D&D because I do think that video games have a pretty good sense for the sort of archetypes that people in quantities far larger than D&D's audience respond well to.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It isn't so much that these "are D&D" as these things are "are wargaming" from the time D&D emerged out of that tradition. The question of what RPGs would look like not emerging from wargaming is a whole thread full of arguments all by itself.
Whether or not D&D is class-based, a skill tree, a class tree, or is freeform is mostly based on how different the various archetypes are.

D&D's archetypes are very dissimilar because they were based off of wargaming fantasy archetypes. if D&D follows the archetypes heavily from multiple sources it likely would also be class-based. And if it heavily grabs from video gaming it also would be class-based due to the limitations of technology and difficulty in translating the different archetypes or to paper

For the most part most RPGs that are not class-based or don't lock their skill trees behind heavy prerequisites have a smaller range of archetypes or a strong central theme like magipunk.
 


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