*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 25, 2019, 10:12:51 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: What are the most archetypic elements of generic Fantasy?  (Read 2758 times)
Chris Flood
Member

Posts: 35


« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2009, 11:05:37 AM »

I'm totally with you about the bard and the 4 D&D classes. But what about the different classes of Cleric and Healer? A Healer heals (and can brew poisons and healing potions). A Cleric is pretty much cast in the role of  a AD&D 2nd Ed Priest: he doesn't heal (unless he serves a god of healing; but than he needs levels in the Healer class, too), but a Cleric gets "Miracles" from his deity. Seems to me both are equally represented in literature, and both are equally different from each other yet important enough to standard Fantasy gaming that they should belong in the basic ("core") classes. However, if I had to drop either the Cleric or the Healer, I'd probably ditch the Cleric, since "Healing" is an archetypical element of both literature and gaming. More important than unleashing fireballs in the service of a fire god. What's your view of it?

I would also drop Cleric. Whenever I played D&D, I always thought "Healer" when a Cleric was in play; we never played up the religious aspects much. I don't think religious elements are as prevalent in fantasy as the Healer character type, and, when "religion" is present, it's frequently synonymous with "magic." I think it's better to use a classic "Healer" class, and then graft religion on depending on the setting, possibly creating "religious" versions of each class (Paladins, Clerics, etc.).
Logged
chronoplasm
Member

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito


« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2009, 11:26:35 AM »

I would also drop Cleric. Whenever I played D&D, I always thought "Healer" when a Cleric was in play; we never played up the religious aspects much. I don't think religious elements are as prevalent in fantasy as the Healer character type, and, when "religion" is present, it's frequently synonymous with "magic." I think it's better to use a classic "Healer" class, and then graft religion on depending on the setting, possibly creating "religious" versions of each class (Paladins, Clerics, etc.).

I agree.
I think something like the 'Warlord' from 4E D&D is the way to go actually. You can apply herbs and apply other techniques to heal allies, but you can also shout war-cries that help your allies to get up and find the strength within to keep on fighting.
Logged
Zebediah
Registree

Posts: 2


« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2009, 08:09:46 PM »

If you're looking for solid archetypes that appear in a lot of fantasy and folklore, here's three that get almost no effective representation in D&D:

The Wise Elder.  Gandalf certainly fills this role, as would yoda, and most mentors and a moderate number of questionable adversaries and guides in folklore.

The wise elder does little directly.  He (or she) advises and aids the other characters, often letting them struggle through things with only a few clues.  The wise elder often has a trick or two he can play, at great cost (gandalf stopping the balrog), which explains why they aren't stepping up with their massive wisdom and tricks more often.  Abilities tend toward lots of "lore" skills, plenty of aid through advice (or old war stories), and better aid through forcing people through odd sidequests, or hinder themselves for a time in some way.  Especially heavy in eastern settings, where the infuriating martial arts master is basically always a Wise Elder.

Although often NPCs, there are plenty that travel with the party as well.


The Guide.  The guide is the person who can get himself, and you if you'll just follow his damn directions, in and out of places noone should be able to.  They may have a particular area they understand well (the slums, the forest) or just be generally capable.  Vehicle optional.  I picked the term "the guide" instead of "the infiltrator" because, really, if you're doing this with a party, you want to bring your friends along.  NOTE: as often, a guide's tremendous skill is social as well as physical, knowing how to call on favors or talk their way through barriers.  Aragorn was a guide, although the D&D class reflects little of the skill he used to move the party.  Jack Sparrow has a few levels in this, although he's mostly a Blessed Fool.  Han Solo, although in a "scifi" setting, is an excellent example of a Guide.


The Blessed Fool.  These characters are ALL OVER in folklore.  They tend to have some central conceit, whether its innocence, bravery, fearlessness, kindness, or whatever.  By adhering to this, they Attract Friends and Influence People.  Woo do they.  Monsters play games with them rather than fighting, old ladies and strange little men grant them wishes, birds pick their lentles out of the ashes, and lions come to their rescue, remembering that thorn removed from their paw.  Note that there's a flipside that works the same: the silly trickster, like Crow or Anansi or Loki (before he got too christianized): their "foolishness" is instead some sort of vice (usually laziness, gluttony, or avarice) and instead of people helping them out of goodwill, they bamboozle them but always seem to be forgiven -- and believed again -- later.  Some Blessed Fools play both sides at the same time, although those are usually depicted as being excessively childlike.

The "tourist and their luggage" is often a Blessed Fool, when they're not some kind of "jack of all trades" finding their spot as they settle down into their world.  They move through the world, but aren't really touched by it in the same way as everyone else.



If you're looking for good models of game-useful archetypes, and you don't want to dig through tomes and tomes of folklore motif indexes, I recommend Deliria.  They do a good job of putting together a lot of solid fantasy, urban fantasy, and folkloric archetypes, although probably at a slightly finer level than you're looking for -- they, for example, very clearly distinguish the Beast from the Knight, and the fey-touched musician from the bard.


Logged
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!