[Guide] What kind of character am I? - A guide to Character Archetypes

StormbowStormbow USA
edited July 2016 in Roleplaying Discussion
This work is taken from multiple sources, including pieces by Tami Cowden and Jody Wallace.

In the interest of promoting a roleplaying atmosphere, I present to you, the Sixteen Master Archetypes for male and female characters.

Disclaimer: All of the text below is directly from the original authors. The language is entirely theirs and presented as they wrote it.

(Don't kill me!)


The word "archetype" was coined by Carl Jung, who theorized that humans have a collective unconscious, "deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity.... a kind of readiness to reproduce over and over again the same or similar mythical ideas...." This shared memory of experiences has resulted in a resonance of the concepts of hero and heroine that transcends time, place and culture. Jung called these recurring personalities archetypes, from the Greek word archetypos, meaning "first of its kind."

The observations my coauthors and I made are that there are recurring character types who have starred in story after story, entertaining and informing the human experience for millennia. Review of myths, legends, fairy tales, epic poems, novels and film reveals that the protagonist types who recur in these stories fall into sixteen distinctive categories, eight each for the heroes and heroines. These archetypes are not the inventions of my coauthors and me - they have existed for millennia. All we did was name and describe them, and then gather examples from an assortment of cultural media.

At his or her core, every well-defined hero or heroine is one of the respective archetypes. The archetype tells the writer about the most basic instincts of the hero: how he thinks, how he feels, what drives him and why he chooses both his goals and his methods. The skillful writer, in turn, conveys these instincts to the readers or audience, who, knowing at a glance the character of this hero, settles down to watch the tale retold anew.

But beware when trying to decide what archetypal family to which a character belongs.


I am serious - what the character does is not the defining element. The defining element is WHY the character does what he does.

Any archetype can do anything, but the question will always be, "why?".

Repeat that a thousand times. Tape it to your computer screen. If you have the book, deface the cover by writing those words across it!

What that means is that I don’t want you thinking you have to have four different archetypes because your character does four things that are what those four archetypes do.

Uh-uh. Not the way it works. WHY, WHY, WHY - always look for the answer to that question to determine an archetype.

The existence of these archetypes, by the way, does not mean that in all of literature, there are only eight heroes. Members of the same archetypal family are not photocopies of each other. Heroes within a single archetypes share a similar psyche, but they are not and should not be clones of each other.

For example, Captain Kirk of Star Trek is a CHIEF. He gives his orders, never doubting his loyal crew will jump to follow him. His work - his ship - is his mistress, his one and only true love. He does, indeed, boldly go forth into the universe, and presents the very picture of a leader. But Henry Higgins, of My Fair Lady is also a CHIEF. He, too, blithely announces his will, knowing his commands will be obeyed. He has no doubt that his opinion is correct, and anything he wishes to be done, is, in fact, the correct thing to do. But Star Trek would have been a very different program had Henry Higgins sat in the Enterprise’s captain’s chair. Eliza Doolittle would not have brought Captain Kirk his slippers.

Archetypes are not stereotypes; they are not cookie cutters. They can be considered a framework, or even better, a lump of clay of a particular color and consistency. Use the archetype as raw material to create a full bodied character.


General Hero Archetypes:

     ♦ 8 Hero Archetypes
     ♦ 8 Heroine Archetypes
     ♦ The Dark Side of the Archetypes (Male)
     ♦ The Dark Side of the Archetypes (Female, Part 1)
     ♦ The Dark Side of the Archetypes (Female, Part 2)

Additional Archetypes:

     ♦ Chinese Zodiac Archetypes
     ♦ World of Darkness Archetypes

And just for kicks and completeness-

     ♦ 16 Villain Archetypes (Because not everyone wants to be the good guy...)


  • StormbowStormbow USA
    edited July 2016
    8 Hero Archetypes

    The Chief: a dynamic leader, he has time for nothing but work. He might have been born to lead, or perhaps he conquered his way to the top, but either way, he’s tough, decisive, goal-oriented. That means he is also a bit overbearing and inflexible. Think William Shatner in Star Trek; Harrison Ford in Sabrina, or Marlon Brando in The Godfather.

    The BAD BOY: dangerous to know, he walks on the wild side. This is the rebel, or the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s bitter and volatile, a crushed idealist, but he's also charismatic and street smart. Think James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.

    The BEST FRIEND: sweet and safe, he never lets anyone down. He's kind, responsible, decent, a regular Mr. Nice Guy. This man doesn't enjoy confrontation and can sometimes be unassertive because he doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But he'll always be there. Think Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life, Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer, Hugh Grant in Four Weddings & a Funeral, Kevin Spacey in American Beauty.

    The CHARMER: more than a gigolo, he creates fantasies. He’s fun, irresistible, a smooth operator, yet not too responsible or dependable. He might be a playboy or a rogue, but he's doesn’t commit to a woman easily. Think Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, James Garner/Mel Gibson in Maverick, Don Johnson in Nash Bridges, Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy.

    The LOST SOUL: a sensitive being, he understands. Tortured, secretive, brooding, and unforgiving. That’s this man. But he's also vulnerable. He might be a wanderer or an outcast. In work he's creative, but probably also a loner. Think Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, David Duchovny in The X-Files, Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Shrek.

    The PROFESSOR: coolly analytical, he knows every answer. He’s logical, introverted, and inflexible, but genuine about his feelings. At work, he likes cold, hard facts, thank you very much, but he's also honest and faithful, and won’t let you down. Think Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek, Robin Williams in Flubber, Kelsey Gramner in Frasier, Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind.

    The SWASHBUCKLER: Mr. Excitement, he’s an adventure. This guy is action, action, and more action. He's physical and daring. Fearless, he’s a daredevil, or an explorer. He needs thrills and chills to keep him happy. Think Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro, Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone, Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    The WARRIOR: a noble champion, he acts with honor. This man is the reluctant rescuer or the knight in shining armor. He's noble, tenacious, relentless, and he always sticks up for the underdog. If you need a protector, he’s your guy. He doesn’t buckle under to rules, or and he doesn’t go along just to get along. Think Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, Russell Crowe in Gladiator, Mel Gibson in Braveheart.
  • StormbowStormbow USA
    edited July 2016
    8 Heroine Archetypes

    The BOSS: a real go-getter, she climbs the ladder of success. This is a "take charge" female, who accepts nothing but respect. Reaching her goal post the most important thing in life to her, and she isn’t bothered by a few ruffled feathers along the way. Think Annette Bening in American Beauty, Candice Bergen in Murphy Brown, Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth.

    The SEDUCTRESS: an enchantress, she gets her way. This is a lady who is long accustomed to sizing up everyone in a room the minute she enters. Mysterious and manipulative, she hides a streak of distrust a mile wide and ten miles deep. Cynicism guides her every action, and her tough sense of survival gives her the means to do whatever is necessary to come out ahead. Think Liz Taylor in Cleopatra, Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Win. Madonna in Evita.

    The SPUNKY KID: gutsy and true, she is loyal to the end. She is a favorite of many writers, and for good reason. You can’t help but root for her. She’s the girl with moxie. She’s not looking to be at the top of the heap; she just wants to be in her own little niche. She’s the team player, the one who is always ready to lend a hand. Think Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, Mary Tyler Moore in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act, Fiona in Shrek.

    The FREE SPIRIT: eternal optimist, she dances to unheard tunes. Playful and fun-loving, she travels through life with a hop, skip and a jump, always stopping to smell the flowers and admire the pretty colors. She acts on a whim and follows her heart, not her head. Think Jenna Elfman in Dharma & Greg, Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy, Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.

    The WAIF: a distressed damsel, she bends with the wind. She’s the original damsel in distress. Her child-like innocence evokes a protective urge in the beastliest of heroes. But don’t be fooled, because the WAIF has tremendous strength of will. She won’t fight back; she’ll endure. Think Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits, Peta Wilson in La Femme Nikita, Demi Moore in Ghost, Halle Barry in Monster’s Ball.

    The LIBRARIAN: controlled and clever, she holds back. She’s prim and proper, but underneath that tight bun lurks a passionate woman. Dressed to repress, she might be the know-it-all whose hand is always up in class, or maybe she is the shy mouse hiding in the library. Think Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone, Ellen Barkin in The Big Easy, Shelley Long in Cheers, Gillian Anderson in The X-Files.

    The CRUSADER: a dedicated fighter, she meets her commitments. No shrinking violet, no distressed damsel, here. This lady is on a mission, and she marches right over anyone in her way. Tenacious and headstrong, she brushes off any opposition to her goal. Think Diana Rigg in The Avengers, Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Lucy Lawless in Xena, Warrior Princess.

    The NURTURER: serene and capable, she nourishes the spirit. Not always Suzy Homemaker, this lady takes care of everyone. She is a wonderful listener, and a joy to have around, this heroine takes care of everyone. She’s serene, capable and optimistic. Think Michelle Pfeiffer in Ladyhawke, Alicia Nash in A Beautiful Mind, Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins.
  • StormbowStormbow USA
    edited July 2016
    The Dark Side of the Archetypes (Male)

    The Jerk-Off (aka the Chief): I would have called this guy something that starts with an "a", but I don’t know how much cussing you let people do in your club. Jerk-Off’s got to be the boss of everybody, he knows everything, and he ain’t never wrong. If he’s your man, you better hope you don’t gain no weight and you never make him wait, or you’ll hear about it. If he even comes home nights. He’ll mostly work late. Luckily, he really is working, and not working his secretary. And he’s got money and a nice car, so that’s a bonus. However, if this guy ain’t in charge cuz some other Jerk-Off is, he’ll be real hateful, so step easy, girlfriend.

    The Horndog (aka the Bad Boy): The one your mother warned you about and the one she was seeing on the side when your Daddy was at work. He needs a haircut and he’s probably got himself a little record. The trick to understanding the Horndog is that he cops this attitude because he knows it’ll get him more women and it’ll rile the JerkOffs of the world, whom he hates with a red hot passion because they put him in jail or repo’d his Harley or whatever. You can’t trust him around your girlfriends, especially not if he swears up and down he loves only you. Even when this guy ticks off the police, he don’t care cuz he’s always got some old gal dumb enough to come bail him out. Use him for sex when your ******* forgets you exist, but use about three condoms.

    The Wuss (aka the Best Friend): Aww, you know this softie! He’ll go see the latest chick flick with you if you can’t get your girlfriend to go because she’s chasing after some Horndog or Jock-Itch. He ain’t a real achiever at work and his car’s not impressive. You’ll be lucky if it don’t break down when he’s carrying you to the mall. Poor guy never dates, though, and he’s chubby. Just like a teddy bear. He actually wears that sweater his Granny knitted him and has several cats. On purpose, not ones some girl left when she took off. If you ever get drunk and give him some, he’ll be yours for life. Just be sure you want that life because he might turn into a stalker if you dump him, and all your friends will be mean to you for hurting him. Not that they’d go out with him.

    The Slimeball (aka the Charmer): This one's real good looking, but watch out. He’ll sell you the shirt on your own back and leave you naked. He might seem like a Horndog, because he’s always flirting, but he’s smooth as Exlax from his facial to his pedicure. He’s down with the cops, too, unlike the Horndog, and anyway, he can talk them out of arresting him if he crosses the line. His big objective is getting away with stuff, not getting women. Though he don’t turn women down, let me tell you, especially if they can bring the bling. The key to the Slimeball is he’s ******* lazy and don’t want to do any honest work for what he’s got. If this one’s late at the office, you might as well call your lawyer, honey, because whatever he’s up to, you ain’t gonna like it.

    The Poser (aka the Lost Soul): What can you say about this guy? He’s always gloomy, always in a rotten mood. Sure, he’s romantic at first, but then he decides - not because of anything you did - that you’re gonna leave him. Most of the time he won’t take you out, he just wants to sit home and brood. If there’s any clothes in his closet that ain’t black, it’s because it’s yours, or the red dress from some other hoochie that he can’t throw out because it inspires him. He writes or plays guitar or whatever, and he’s practically broke. He has some dead-end job at a convenience store while he’s waiting for his big break. Truth is he’s ticked because he ain’t as rich or important as Jerk-Off, so he decides the world is out to get him.

    The Geek (aka the Professor): This guy will make you feel dumb as a bottle of peroxide. He works for Jerk-Off in a tiny cubicle and never sees the light of day. He’s real pale and wears glasses. People get rich off this man, though he’s not all that wealthy himself. The Geek don’t even care - he’s too busy being smarter than everybody else. He actually enjoys working. He’s like that guy on Star Trek with the pointy ears. He thinks taking you out is illogical if you’re already dating, but let him tell himself that when you ain’t around to take out. The good thing is, he won’t never cheat and he’s pretty good in bed if you get him to read a bunch of them sex books first.

    The Jock-Itch (aka the Swashbuckler): Used to be, Jocks just played football or basketball and stuck close to home, but this new breed spends all their time doing extreme sports or mouthing off about extreme sports. What’s wrong with football, I ask you? Who wants to be all obsessed with something you gotta go to Colorado for, anyway? And rock climbing. How boring is that? This guy can nail a girl, sure, but he’s also Mr. Commitmentphobe. I would have called him that except for the reason he is that way. He thinks women and any other possessions cramp his extreme lifestyle. He never sticks around anyplace long enough to have somebody cook for him, so he’s skinny as **** and sometimes kind of smells.

    The Thug (aka the Warrior): This guy loves to fight. He wants to bust somebody’s onion on a regular basis. If he can’t get somebody to pay him to do it, he’ll drum up a crusade, like save the air, so he’ll have an excuse to kick ***. Most Thugs is pure physical, but there’s a few too scrawny or weak so they find other ways to fight, with their so-called brains. He’s one of the only archetypes happy to mess with Jerk-Off. The difference is the Thug don’t care if his butt gets kissed, and after he wins a fight, he takes off to find another one. If you’re dating a Thug, sure, he’s probably built, but every time you go out, he’ll raise some ruckus with the guy in the truck next to you, and you’ll spend the evening listening to him B***H about it, if you ain’t at the station. Again. He won’t fight much with you, though, cuz he’s kind of a sucker for sex.


    Okay, that’s the men. As we all know, women are more complex than men, and smarter to boot. It’s just that we have to let men think they run things or they’ll all turn into Posers or Jock-Itches and we won’t have nobody left we can talk into doing the dirty work. The day we get a woman president is the day all the men’s weenies will probably shrivel up. At least for a while. They’ll get over it.

    Anyway, here are Maybelle’s Archetypes for Women. Maybe you’ll recognize more of these than you did the pretend folks in the Heroes & Heroines book. And let me tell you, if you write stories about these characters, Oprah will probably start her real book club back up. Only please give them a happy ending. Or a bad one if they deserve it. And if you want to write a great book that’s sure to be a best seller, you can contact me about the rights to my biography. You would not believe the things that have happened to me.
  • StormbowStormbow USA
    edited July 2016
    The Dark Side of the Archetypes (Female; Part 1)

    The B***H (aka the Boss): I noticed on Tami Cowden’s Web site she’s got the B***H up as her number one Villainess. I thought about changing this one to the Maneater to avoid looking like a copycat, but the B***H only eats men who’s in her way. Y’all know this woman. Tight power suit, no sense of humor, only cooks gourmet stuff nobody wants to eat anyway. She’s climbed her way up whatever ladder she decides is worth climbing by using everybody’s heads as rungs. She works long hours and she’s rich as all get out - without alimony. In a group, she talks more than anybody else and she’s bossy as ****. And is this woman ever critical! It’s a wonder she has any friends, but her friends plus her man is all too scared to leave her. She takes time out from her upward mobility to wreak vengeance every now and then.
    Note: The significant thing is lots of women have an inner B***H. They keep her tucked away because she’d probably refuse to go back if they let her out. She’s hardheaded that way. And then they’d just be a B***H all the time, which ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    The Ho (aka the Seductress): Maybe deep inside, the Ho hates men and wishes she could settle down, but we all got choices, right? And she chooses to use sex as a weapon, as a bribe, and as entertainment. She don’t want to boss everyone around like the B***H, but she loves nothing more than taking the B***H’s man and turning him into a pretzel. She’s got no use for other women except as an avenue to their men. Only make friends with this woman when you’re single and don’t ever tell her who you’re crushing on, or she’s sure to addict him to her coochie. She cannot be trusted. Why does she do you that way? Because she can.
    Note: Do women have an inner Ho? No, just an inner B***H whose goal happens to be getting laid. They keep her locked up even more tight than the regular B***H because then they’ll get a bad rep for being a ****. That gets even more tiring than being a B***H, let me tell you. I could relay plenty of stories.

    The Nobody (aka the Spunky Kid): She sits around making sarcastic comments and eating ice cream, which don’t get her no attention and no men. It only gets her a bigger butt. She wishes she could be more like the B***H or the Ho, but the Nobody don’t have the guts it takes to be that way. Plus she just ain’t that coldhearted. She’s no threat to your man or your place in society, and she sure ain’t any competition for your job. She will even let you take credit for her ideas without speaking up. She’s good with kids and animals, too, so get her to babysit for you while you go out with the guy she’s been crushing on - probably a Slimeball since girlfriend has horrible taste in men. However, that will make you a B***H or a Ho, so you decide if you wanna go there before you play her that way.

    The Space Cadet (aka the Free Spirit): Do not ever go to dinner at this woman’s house or she’ll have you eating grass and tofu and stuff like that. This chick is a real nutcase, and she’d lose her head if it weren’t attached to her neck. She’s a sweet girl, if totally airy fairy. She can’t ever finish nothing, not even a movie with that Brad Pitt in it. Not even when he’s supposed to appear buck naked near the end of the film. She seems like she’s not from this planet most of the time, and she can’t drive worth crap. If you come to her with a man problem, she’ll toss your runes or play Tarot cards instead of settle in for a good dish and carton of Rocky Road. She won’t even let you call him when you’re drunk and mad. Her advice is always to feng sooey your life because your spiritual is cluttered. The fact is, girlfriend is dumb as a rock, poor thing.
  • StormbowStormbow USA
    edited July 2016
    The Dark Side of the Archetypes (Female; Part 2)

    The Whiner (aka the Waif): Whatever bad happened to you, worse stuff happened to her. Whatever is going on in your life, her life is more mixed up. She can’t do nothing for herself but complain and snivel, and everything is somebody else’s fault. At the same time, she thinks everybody’s got it better than she does and can’t see that most of her mess is self-made. She will not tell you if your butt looks big in your new jeans because she’s too busy worrying about her own butt. It’s enough to send her to Rosie, your Space Cadet girlfriend, and have Rosie tell her to feng her life. The Whiner’s got a spine like cooked spaghetti when it comes to men - though not women. Women she knows how to use, leaning on that "sister power" thing. She is constantly broke and will mooch the shoes off your feet if you ain’t careful. And then lose them.
    Note: Alongside the inner B***H is the inner Whiner, and she’s in every single woman, not just a lot of them. She gets out a lot more, too. Seems kind of funny to think of all these people living inside you, but I did tell you women were more complex than men, right? It’s because us and Whitney and Chaka, we’re every woman.

    The Control Freak (aka the Librarian): You may think a Control Freak tries to organize the world, but not this one. She ain’t a B***H because she’s got no use for other people as long as they stay out of her hair. Her stuff has to be just so, and she’s got her nose in some book or at the computer most of the time. If she says she’s going to do something, she does it in triplicate and she expects other people to be exactly like she is. When we turn out to be human beings instead of robots, she’s confused and withdraws even further. Girlfriend never has any excitement, so do her a favor. Get her drunk, call up your cousin the Horndog, and sic him on her. She sure ain’t gonna get a man herself. She uses too many big words when she talks so hardly anybody can understand her when she's sober.

    The Treehugger (the Crusader): About as much fun as cleaning prison toilets. This chick has got the weight of the world on her natural unbleached cotton clad shoulders, or she thinks she does. She actually writes letters to congressmen and editors. Just mention the upcoming elections, like whether or not you should cancel your spa day to vote, and she’ll get so mad she spits. Which is kind of funny, unless you’re in public and people start staring at you. Her interest in men only extends to men who think the same way she does. She’s pretty narrow minded when it comes down to it. Worse, she don’t shave and she’s a horrible shopping buddy. Take a nice little Nobody instead - or a B***H if you want to get your shoes half price.

    The Baby Momma (aka the Nurturer): Girlfriend just wants to get her hooks in some man and start popping out babies. This chick can cook like your grandmother, and her big butt proves it. ****, she can probably even sew, and somehow she always manages to hold down a job. She makes a great friend but she can’t say no to anybody, not even other women. She’s got no self-respect and she’s sick a lot. The only time you’ll see her scream and yell is if somebody hurts one of her kids or one of the people she considers family. Then she releases her inner B***H and scares the patooey out of everyone. If you love her, fix her up with a Wuss and keep the Horndogs and Slimeballs far, far away. Offer up your own body as a sacrifice if you simply must.


    Well, that’s it. Now don’t tell them ladies who wrote Heroes & Heroines that I pointed out the flaws in their system, because I think they’re probably Control Freaks and it would rattle their cages they didn’t consider these things. Since they do so many useful things for you writers, you don’t want them withdrawing and refusing to write more books. I mean, it would take a Control Freak to be enough of a genius to think up all that stuff. I couldn’t have come up with it to start with, but I have a knack for turning silk purses into something more useful. It’s come in handy during my short but colorful life. Which would really make a good book, when you think about it.

  • StormbowStormbow USA
    edited July 2016
    Note from Stormbow regarding the above article: All of the above is directly from the original authors, credited at the top of this thread. The language is entirely theirs and presented as they wrote it.

    (Don't kill me!)
  • The Chinese Zodiac

    Note from Stormbow: While the following are not exactly what I personally consider "archetypes" in the sense that I have been posting so far, they probably actually are, so, I have included them here for reference and inspirational reasons.

    I have often turned to the Chinese Zodiac for creating gypsy-like or druidic, nature-loving characters.


    RAT: Essentially charming. Compassionate. Renowned for thrift and love of family, at times rather superficial.

    OX: Calm, patient, studied character. Takes things slow, steady pace. At times rather dictatorial. Always industrious.

    TIGER: Very warm, loving. Independent minded. Pays scant regard for other's feelings while pursuing fun and freedom.

    RABBIT: Also know as the Cat or Hare. Very sensitive soul. Loves spending time at home. Although quiet and discreet, still ambitious. Self-indulgent.

    DRAGON: Charismatic and colorful. Wants to be center of attention. Very arrogant.

    SNAKE: High moral principles, mostly when applied to other. Sophisticated and charming. More than meets the eye.

    HORSE: Confident and proud. Prone to erratic behavior. Heart is in right place. Scatty.

    GOAT: Sensitive, creative and multitalented. Eccentric. Much Fortitude. Loves to be loved, hates to be pushed.

    MONKEY: Wily and cunning. Ignores regimented rules. Free spirit.

    ROOSTER: Brave and enthusiastic. Notoriously picky. Highly intelligent. Rarely has wool pulled over its eyes.

    DOG: Honest, loyal, sincere. Believes in justice for all. Fights for principles. Sometimes bad tempered, self-righteous.

    BOAR: Will do anything for anybody. Model of sincerity and honor. Occasionally prone to fits of rage. Self-sacrificing and altruistic.
  • World of Darkness Character Archetypes

    While some of the following may seem redundant, or mislabeled, please keep in mind it was taken from the World of Darkness game setting, as presented by Death Quaker's Big List of Character Archetypes.


    ANALYST: Anything can be explained rationally, and you will explain it.

    ARCHITECT (aka Maker and Builder): You desire to leave a legacy, tangible or intangible. This could be anything from an artistic masterpiece to a successful organization you founded to a new tradition you started.

    AUTIST: You live inside your shell. Revealing the 'real' you could be the worst thing that could ever happen.

    AUTOCRAT: You must be in control in all times of all situations.

    AVANT-GARDE: You must be the first to know everything. Nothing is established, no gossip is spread without you having known it first.

    BENEFACTOR: You have a bounty of riches or some other resources which you feel compelled to share.

    BON VIVANT (aka Hedonist and Reveler): Live for today, 'cos buddy, tomorrow may never happen.

    BRAVO: You have little tolerance for weakness, especially in yourself. You could be a proud warrior or a just plain bully.

    BUREAUCRAT: You follow the rules no matter what.

    CAREGIVER: You desire to take care of others, ease their pain, and heal them.

    CAVALIER: You are the hero, the gallant defender of truth, justice, and all that is good.

    CHILD (aka Cub): Whether you are one or not age-wise, you haven't grown up emotionally and prefer to let someone else take care of you.

    COMPETITOR: There is no greater thrill than the thrill of victory, and you'll do anything to feel it.

    CONFIDANT: You like and understand people and like to give advice-and you're usually good at it too.

    CONNIVER: You like to manipulate your way through the sticky bits of life, preferring to let some sucker do the dirty work for you.

    CRACKERJACK: Whatever it is you do, you're the best, and people can't help but be impressed.

    CRITIC: Everything has a fault and you will find it.

    CURMUDGEON: You're irascible and cynical and vocally so. Joy and laughter? Bah, humbug!

    DECODER: You thrive on puzzles and riddles, be they the obvious sort, found in books and games, or hidden within seemingly benign texts or even a person's face.

    DEVIANT: Whether it's because of your ethics, beliefs, or general view of people and society, you just plain don't fit in.

    DIRECTOR (aka Leader): You always know the best way to go about doing something, and it only makes sense that persons follow your lead.

    EXPLORER: The world is full of wonder, and you've got to see it all.

    FANATIC: You have a cause, or maybe the cause has you... You live, eat, breathe this cause (of course, if you pick this one, you have to define what that cause is).

    FOLLOWER: You're happy to help the leaders accomplish their goals, and stabilize the group with your support.

    GALLANT: You are flamboyant as ****, and love to be the center of attention.

    GUARDIAN: You have the strength, be it inner, physical, or both, to handle this hostile world, and desire to use that strength to protect the weaker folk around you.

    HONEST ABE: Honesty is the best policy; integrity is the greatest virtue. You are true to your values and to everyone around you- all the time.

    JESTER: You are the fool, the comic, the smartass, always looking for the humor in a situation.

    JOBSWORTH: A bit similar to bureaucrat, you always stick to your routine. Routine is safe and efficient.

    JUDGE (aka Mediator): You are an arbitrator and peacemaker, acting as a fair voice in conflictual situations.

    LONER (aka Lone Wolf): You have your own path and no desire to share it with anyone else.

    MANIPULATOR: People fascinate you, and you love to see the many ways they react to the situation you've so carefully set up for them.

    MARTYR: You would rather suffer or even die than sacrifice your values or your friends' needs.

    MASOCHIST: You're always trying to see just how much more trauma you can take before you collapse.

    MASQUERADER: You enjoy pretending what you're not, and may be doing so to hide from others-or yourself. Particularly, you try to hide your true supernatural identity.

    MONSTER: You are depraved, villainous scum.

    OPTIMIST: You can always see that silver lining despite that icky dark cloud looming in front of it.

    PEDAGOGUE: You are the ultimate teacher, living to pass on your knowledge so everyone might benefit from the wisdom of your experiences.

    PENITENT: What ever it was you did, it was bad, and you devote all your energy to atoning for your sin.

    PERFECTIONIST: Everything you do, say, are... must be without flaw.

    PLOTTER: Everything you do must be planned out to the last detail.

    POLTROON: Running away may be cowardly, but you're alive, aren't you? Why deal with something potentially unpleasant and possibly fatal when you can just avoid it?

    PRAISE-SEEKER: You absolutely crave the approval of your comrades.

    PREDATOR: The fittest survive, and you're pretty damn fit.

    REBEL: You will do as you will, and ultimately desire freedom from unpleasant societal bonds.

    RECOGNITION SEEKER: The opposite of the MASQUERADER, you love being the supernatural being you are, and despite the danger, long to let other people know about it.

    RELUCTANT SUPERNATURAL: Garou, vampire, mage, whatever strange thing you are-you don't want to be it. You long for your "normal" life, before whatever changed you into this thing you can't understand.

    RENUNCIATE: For some reason, you want to leave your past far, far behind you; though as hard as you try to forget it, the past will forever haunt you.

    REVOLUTIONARY: You hold freedom dearly and desire justice, and will do whatever is necessary to hold on to these precious liberties. Unlike the Rebel, your urge is not to resist ALL authority, but rather to fight corruption in the system where you find it.

    ROGUE: Screw the world! You do what you need to look out for yourself and get done what has to get done. If someone else suffers in the process, that's just too bad.

    SAGE: Knowledge is your treasure and your joy, and you enjoy both learning as well as teaching others your wisdom.

    SENSUALIST: Sensation is your addiction, and you'll do anything to experience a new one.

    SHOW-OFF: You need approval and praise and will do anything to get it.

    SUPPLICANT: Whatever you do, it is in the service of the Divine Being which you honor, fear, and/or love.

    SUVIVOR: No matter what happens, you'll pull through it somehow. You're one tough cookie, and don't understand it when others give up so easily.

    SYCOPHANT: You're the perfect yes-man, doing whatever you can to please the more powerful forces that be so they'll protect you. That silly Arab guy from The Mummy is a good example.

    THEORIST: The world around you is something to try and explain, and your theories drive your purpose for being.

    THRILLSEEKER: The stakes are just never high enough. More adrenaline, please!

    TRADITIONALIST: Why change what's worked for ages? You're the ultimate conservative.

    TRICKSTER: Your antics do more than amuse; your pranks and tricks have a point of teaching someone a lesson, or humorously but deftly reveal some wisdom.

    VISIONARY: You have the drive and imagination to keep aiming for the sky and beyond.

    WAIF: Whether you are or not, you have the appearance of being innocent and weak, and you haven't quite learned to act on your own without relying on others' pity.

    WANDERER: Settling down just is not your thing-whether you're running away from something or simply longing to see new places, the road is your home.

  • 16 Villain Archetypes

    The TYRANT: the bullying despot, he wants power at any price. He ruthlessly conquers all he surveys, crushing his enemies beneath his feet. People are but pawns to him, and he holds all the power pieces. Hesitate before getting in this man’s way – he’ll think nothing of destroying you.

    The B*****D: the dispossessed son, he burns with resentment. He can’t have what he wants, so he lashes out to hurt those around him. His deeds are often for effect – he wants to provoke action in others. He proudly announces his rebellious dealings. Don’t be fooled by his boyish demeanor – he’s a bundle of hate.

    The DEVIL: the charming fiend, he gives people what he thinks they deserve. Charisma allows him to lure his victims to their own destruction. His ability to discover the moral weaknesses in others serves him well. Close your ears to his cajolery – he’ll tempt you to disaster.

    The TRAITOR: the double agent, he betrays those who trust him most. No one suspects the evil that lurks in his heart. Despite supportive smiles and sympathetic ears, he plots the destruction of his friends. Never turn your back on him -- he means you harm.

    The OUTCAST: the lonely outsider, he wants desperately to belong. Tortured and unforgiving, he has been set off from others, and usually for good cause. He craves redemption, but is willing to gain it by sacrificing others. Waste no sympathy on him - he’ll have none for you.

    The EVIL GENIUS: the malevolent mastermind, he loves to show off his superior intelligence. Intellectual inferiors are contemptible to him and that includes just about everyone. Elaborate puzzles and experiments are his trademark. Don’t let him pull your strings – the game is always rigged in his favor.

    The SADIST: the savage predator, he enjoys cruelty for its own sake. Violence and psychological brutality are games to this man; and he plays those games with daring and skill. Run, don’t walk, away from this man – he’ll tear out your heart, and laugh while doing it.

    The TERRORIST: the dark knight, he serves a warped code of honor. Self-righteous, he believes in his own virtue, and judges all around him by a strict set of laws. The end will always justify his nefarious means, and no conventional morality will give him pause. Don’t try to appeal to his sense of justice – his does not resemble yours.

    The B***H: the abusive autocrat, she lies, cheats, and steals her way to the top. Her climb to success has left many a heel mark on the backs of others. She doesn’t care about the peons around her – only the achievement of her dreams matters. Forget expecting a helping hand from her – she doesn’t help anyone but herself.

    The BLACK WIDOW: the beguiling siren, she lures victims into her web. She goes after anyone who has something she wants, and she wants a lot. But she does her best to make the victim want to be deceived. An expert at seduction of every variety, she uses her charms to get her way. Don’t be fooled by her claims of love – it’s all a lie.

    The BACKSTABBER: the two-faced friend, she delights in duping the unsuspecting. Her sympathetic smiles enable her to learn her victims’ secrets, which she then uses to feather her nest. Her seemingly helpful advice is just the thing to hinder. Put no faith in her – she’ll betray you every time.

    The LUNATIC: the unbalanced madwoman, she draws others into her crazy
    environment. The drum to which she marches misses many a beat, but to her, it is the rest of the world that is out of step. Don’t even try to understand her logic – she is unfathomable.

    The PARASITE: the poisonous vine, she collaborates for her own comfort. She goes along with any atrocity, so long as her own security is assured. She sees herself as a victim who had no choice, and blames others for her crimes. Expect no mercy from her – she won’t lift a finger to save anyone but herself.

    The SCHEMER: the lethal plotter, she devises the ruin of others. Like a cat with a mouse, she plays with lives. Elaborate plans, intricate schemes; nothing pleases her more than to trap the unwary. Watch out for her complex designs – she means you no good.

    The FANATIC: the uncompromising extremist, she does wrong in the name of good. She justifies hers action by her intent, and merely shrugs her shoulders at collateral damage. Anyone not an ally is an enemy, and therefore, fair game. Give up any hope of showing her the error of her ways – she firmly believes you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

    The MATRIARCH: the motherly oppressor, she smothers her loved ones. She knows what’s best and will do all in her power to controls the lives of those who surround her – all for their own good. A classic enabler, she sees no fault with her darlings, unless they don’t follow her dictates. Don’t be lured into her family nest – you’ll never get out alive.
  • The Myers-Briggs Personality Types is also an excellent tool for PC and NPC design.

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