Archetypes are the professions that characters can pursue. In very broad terms, archetypes describe how the character solves problems, earns a living, and works to eradicate evil in the world. As discussed on the character concept page, these are broad “umbrella” categories for character professions.
The Warrior Archetype
Warriors excel in physical combat. The knight in shining armor, the raging barbarian, the gladiator, and the soldier are all examples of the warrior archetype. All warriors get the following primary skill:
Battle Master: The character knows all weapon fighting styles, and can use any armor and shields. Characters with this skill get a +2 bonus to all martial attack and martial defense rolls.
Additionally, players can choose any three of the following skills:
Berserker Rage: Once per day/Level: +5 Attack, 2x Damage, for 10 rounds (or one combat, whichever is shorter).
Paralyzing Strike: A Critical Strike can be used to cause paralysis which lasts 1d4 rounds instead of double damage.
Anatomy Training: Critical Strike damage increased to 3x.
Fighting Withdrawal: Negates the free attack that is normally incurred while trying to retreat from battle.
War Cry: The character shouts before entering battle, granting one of the following effects to themselves and all of their allies for the duration of the battle: +2 to all attack rolls, +2 to all defense rolls, or +2 to damage. Can also be used to cause fear in all enemy combatants, requiring them to make successful social influence checks before attacking the character or any of the character’s allies.
Valor: The character gets a +5 bonus to all Willpower tests to overcome the effects of Fear.
The Mage Archetype
Mages use magic to solve their problems. They tap into the raw magical energy of the universe, known as akasha, and channel it through their mind to cast magical spells and enchant magical items. Warlocks, sorcerers, priests, and druids are different examples of the mage archetype. All mages get the following skill:
Spellcasting: The character can generate magical energy, called akasha, to cast spells, enchant magical items, and dispel magical effects. Characters who cannot generate akasha cannot work with magic. Characters with this skill get a +2 bonus to all mystic attack and mystic defense rolls.
In addition, all mages choose two of the following skills:
Enchantment: Allows the character to create potions, scrolls, and other magical items. Requires akasha generation.
Drain Magic: Allows the character to drain the magical power from magical items and other mages. Requires akasha generation and a mystic attack roll.
Decipher Languages: Allows the character to understand languages and secret codes they cannot speak. Requires an Intelligence check.
Lay on Hands: Heal or cause 1d6 points of damage per level. Requires touch (martial attack roll to harm).
Furthermore, all mages must choose two of the following elemental spheres. Additional spheres can be learned later.
Earth: Transformation Magic
Air: Illusion Magic
Fire: Damaging Magic
Water: Healing Magic
Spirit: Mind Control Magic
Finally, all mage characters learn one of the following fighting styles, and one type of armor.
Fighting Style: Staves and polearms or dual wielding.
Armor: Unarmored defense or light armor.
The Thief Archetype
Thieves make their living off of the the hard work that others do. They like to hide in the shadowy areas of the world, strike by surprise, take the belongings of their victims, and then meld back into the shadows before the city guard arrives. Burglars, cutpurses, pirates, thieves, and assassins all fall under the thief archetype. All thieves receive the following skill:
Assassination: Whenever the character attacks from stealth, concealment, or by surprise, they quadruple (4x) the damage roll total. Only one assassination attempt can be made per target. Characters with this skill get a +2 bonus to all stealth and perception rolls.
In addition, thieves begin play with two of the following skills. Other skills may be learned later in the game.
Blind Fighting: The character can fight opponents they can’t see. Removes the -5 penalty for doing so.
Concealment: The character can move silently and hide in dimly-lit or shadowy areas. Requires a stealth check.
Climb Walls: The character can climb walls without using ropes or climbing tools. Requires a strength check.
Open Locks/Disarm Traps: The character can open mechanical locks or disarm mechanical traps with a successful stealth check.
Steal: Stealth check to pick pockets or shoplift from merchants.
Ghost Walk: The character never leaves a trail for others to follow.
Finally, thieves can pick one of the following melee fighting styles, one of the following ranged styles, and one of the following armor skills.
Fighting Styles: Pick one: Unarmed Strikes, Dual Wielding, or sword and shield; and pick one: Archery or Throwing Weapons.
Armor: Pick one: Unarmored Defense, Light Armor, or Medium Armor.
The Conjurer Archetype
Conjurers are masters of manipulation and deception. Like mages, they tap into the magical fiber of the universe. However, instead of using it to cast spells, they use it to summon and control spirits from the other planes of existence. These spirits fight for the conjurer, carry out tasks for the conjurer, and serve faithfully for a short period of time.
This is all done through charisma and the force of personality. As a side effect, this means that conjurers are unusually adept at dealing with living people, too. Conjurers usually fall into two broad categories. On one hand, there are dark personalities that live in seclusion, and use a combination of fear and manipulation to persuade other people. On the other hand, there are (seemingly) sweet and cheerful dilettantes who move through society with a smile and a wink, using charm and grace to make people fall in love with them. Regardless of how their gifts manifest, all conjurers get the following skill:
Conjuring: Allows the character to summon, control, and banish elemental and nature spirits. Characters with this skill get a +2 bonus to all social influence and social defense rolls.
In addition, all conjurers start play with two of the following skills:
Persuasion: Once per combat, the character can attempt to get one enemy to fight for them instead of against them. Requires a Social Influence Roll.
Harness Ethos: The character can create simple items and weapons from elemental light, dark, or shadow. They can also fire force bolts and explosions using the guidelines in the magic section.
Fearless: The character gets a +5 bonus to willpower checks to overcome fear.
Fear Aura: Opponents must make a successful Social Influence test against the character in order to attack them.
Finally, all conjurers pick one of the following fighting styles, and one of the following armor skills.
Fighting styles: Staves and Polearms or dual wielding.
Armor skills: Unarmored defense or Light armor.
Sometimes, a player or DM will want to merge two existing archetypes into something new. This is easy enough to do by following these guidelines.
- Decide what conflict the archetype excels at: Martial, Mystic, Stealth, or Social. The archetype gets the primary skill of that area (Spellcasting, Battle Master, Assassination, or Conjuring) as well as the corresponding +2 to the attack and defense die codes.
- Pick five to seven secondary skills for the archetype, paying attention to restrictions (a character cannot cast spells unless they have the spellcasting primary skill, for example). Beginning characters start play knowing two or three of these secondary skills (player’s choice). Alternatively, pick a second primary skill.
- Assign weapon fighting styles, and armor skills, unless the Battle Master primary skill is chosen.
That’s really all there is to it. That’s how players can build assassins who cast spells, mages or conjurers who can wear armor and use weapons, warriors who can sneak around in the dark, paladins who can fight and cast spells, or just about any other character you can imagine.
Armor provides extra protection to characters in the form of armor points. Whenever a character takes physical damage (but not mental damage), the player can choose to deduct the damage from either their armor points, or their health points. Once armor reaches zero armor points, it is destroyed and must be repaired before being used again.
Use Heavy Armor: The character can use heavy armor, which provides 50 armor points.
Use Medium Armor: The character can use medium armor, which provides 30 armor points.
Use Light Armor: The character can use light armor, which provides 20 armor points.
Unarmored Defense: The character gets 20 armor points if not wearing any armor.
Fighting styles describe how the character uses weapons in martial combat. Warriors start play knowing all of the following styles, while everyone else picks one or two styles to start with. Other styles may be learned later in the game by spending karma points. Characters who attempt to fight using a style they do not know suffer a -5 penalty to all martial attack, martial defense, and damage rolls while using the style.
Unarmed Strikes: The character is proficient in martial arts, giving them two attacks per round without penalty as long as they are not using weapons of any type. Martial arts strikes do (strength die code) points of damage.
Dual Wielding: The character can wield a small weapon in both hands, granting them 1 extra attack each round at a -2 penalty to attack and damage rolls. All small weapons do (agility die code) +1 points of damage.
Sword and Shield: The character can use a weapon in one hand and a shield in the other hand. Using round shields requires a strength of 40 or above, and grants a +2 bonus to martial defense rolls. Using tower shields requires a strength of 80 or above, and grants a +4 bonus to all martial defense rolls. All one-handed weapons do (strength or agility die code) +2 points of damage.
Staves and Polearms: The character can use weapons that grant reach attacks in melee combat. These weapons do (strength die code) +2 points of damage.
Two-Handed Weapon Fighting: The character can use large, deadly two-handed weapons. Two-handed weapons do (strength die code) + 4 points of damage.
Archery: The character can use bows and crossbows to attack enemies from a distance of up to 500 feet. These weapons do (agility die code) +2 points of damage.
Throwing Weapons: The character can throw knives, daggers, and other projectiles to attack enemies from a distance of up to 50 feet. These weapons do (strength or agility die code) +1 points of damage.
Restrictions are optional conditions that players can choose for their characters. Up to two restrictions can be chosen, and each one allows the character to choose an additional secondary skill for their character. Restrictions can be removed later in the game by spending karma points.
Taboo: The character suffers a Taboo. A full listing of taboos is given below.
Elemental Vulnerability: The character suffers double damage from attacks using one of: Heat, Cold, Shock, Acid, Poison, Light, Dark, or Shadow.
Severe Allergy: The character suffers 1d6 points of damage per round from contact with Fire, Sunlight, Silver, or Holy Water.
Fragility: The character suffers an additional +5 points of damage every time he takes damage.
Banishment: The character is Astral in nature, and may be banished back to the Astral plane.
Code of Conduct: The character is bound by a personal code of honor that he may never violate.
Taboos are special restrictions that affect the environment around the character in some small way. Although they do not cause damage, anyone who is suspected of having a taboo is seen as being a Servant of Exterminis, and is therefore likely to be killed on sight.
- Flame: All normal fires extinguish themselves within 10’ of the character
- Frost: The skin of the character is unnaturally cold, causing discomfort but no actual damage
- Invitation: The character cannot enter a house or sanctuary without being invited.
- Holy Ground: The character cannot enter Holy Ground of any Ethos not his own. For example, Good characters cannot enter neutral or evil holy ground.
- Mirrors: The character’s reflection cracks mirrors.
- Rot: Food spoils when touched by the character.
- Voice: The voice of the character is incongruent with his appearance. For example, a large fighter may speak like a woman or young child.
- Water: Crossing running water of any kind causes 1d6 points of damage per round.
- Gender Switching: The character is male by day and female by night, or vice versa.
- Beauty: The character is beautiful by day and hideous by night, or vice versa
- Shadow: The character’s shadow moves independently of the character.
- Reflection: The character has no reflection in mirrors, water, etc.