D&D General What Should Today's Archetypes Be

fuindordm

Adventurer
I think it's also pretty unlikely that this alternate-universe first TTRPG would attempt to be generic fantasy. Like AD&D, it would have an implied setting based on what tropes the authors wanted to simulate.

For example, we could have a more productive debate around the question "What if the first TTRPG ever published were trying to simulate a medieval fantasy setting inspired by Robin Hobb, GRR Martin, and Arthurian legends?"
 

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payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
You're being extremely silly. There's no chance it would make it AS A CLASS into D&D after the 1970s.

As an subclass or something? Quite possibly.

Notable that Big Trouble in Little China doesn't feature any Monk archetype martial-artists. And HK movies in the 1980s and 1990s increasingly featured martial artists who weren't monks, quickly reaching the point were none were.

Re: 1980s late night TV - let's be clear - all it takes is a significant proportion of martial artists to NOT be Monks to mean Monk is out. Ninjas, karatekas and so on would mean no Monk class as we know it would be made. A martial artist class, one of the options of which allowed you to have a Shaolin-esque character? Sure. But what Monk is right now, in 2023, is a purely 1970s-originated archetype, preserved like a living fossil.
What the hell is a karatekas?
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
think a more mythical Monk, based on Avatar: the Last Airbender, is still quite possible.
Avatar and lots of other mystical warriors who are Masters of a style, weapon, element, etc, in a tradition that gives mystical significance to those things, yeah.

The old man ogre swordmaster from That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime, is a great example, as are Sufi Dervishes (noting that not all were warriors), Sikh Khalsa, Spanish Diestros, and if we don’t have a Paladin class perhaps European saint-knights, though I think the world right now views them less fondly than we used to.
 

fuindordm

Adventurer
Notable that Big Trouble in Little China doesn't feature any Monk archetype martial-artists. And HK movies in the 1980s and 1990s increasingly featured martial artists who weren't monks, quickly reaching the point were none were.

I think the people in this discussion are using the word "monk" in different ways. A monastic martial artist (monk) may not be a strong enough trope to merit a character class, but an adventurer who fights effectively without weapons and has semi-magical abilities gained through exemplary training and some version of "inner strength" is a trope that has stood the test of time. The 5e monk class is reasonably close to the latter.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
A karateka is someone who does karate.

Ahhhh....

1693332593711.jpeg
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
The ninja influence would be significant, but that wouldn't necessarily keep out the monk archetype. Late night kung fu action was still HUGE throughout the 1980s with Shaw Brothers movies, huge enough to spark Big Trouble in Little China in 1986. The 1990s brought a lot of wire-fu as well as Jet Li films.
Honestly, there's no reason for a Shaolin temple archetype or monk to not make it into D&D.
I feel like the martial artist would be a thing, but not the martial artist paired with spiritualism and 'everything is ultra discipline' and not other martial artists really exist was not inevitable.
 

Reynard

Legend
Given the influence Manga and anime would likely have, I doubt there would be a singular martial artist class. Instead, fighting styles would probably be a big thing, with lots of "powers" both mundane and magical.

Another potentially strong influence given the age ranges of potential creators and customers would,I think, be the era of big Disney animated films from Little Mermaid to Aladin. This itself would suggest a more early modern feel than medieval, with more swashbucklers than armored knights.
 

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