Exploring the Archetype #1: Heroes

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lady B, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Roleplayers often strive to make their roleplays as far from archetypal and stereotypical as possible, some even avoid it like the plague. What people sometimes forget is that it's possible to make a perfectly enjoyable story out of archetypes, and that characters don't always have to have completely unique personalities and backgrounds to make them interesting. After all, there's a reason why archetypes exist in the first place!

    The purpose of this exercise is to explore the archetypes of various characters, setting, etc. Using archetypes can make it easier to understand our characters and know how they would act in a given situation, which makes them perfect for beginner roleplayers wanting to practice their writing, and experienced roleplayers can use them to expand on already extensive universes without having to worry too much about them acting up and messing with the plot.

    So, to kick things off, I want you (yes, you!) to write up a character based on the archetype of a hero! Use personality traits, back stories among other things that you typically associate with heroes. Depending on our upbringing and our experiences in life, our definition of an archetypal hero may differ greatly! It will be fun to see how different the characters that may come of this actually are in the end.

    Bellow follow some points which you can use as a character sheet, or a skeleton from which you can add and remove pieces of information. You can also ignore them completely and just go by your own accord.

    • What is the name of your hero?
    • How old is your hero?
    • What gender, if any, does your hero associate themselves with?
    • What type of universe does your hero live in? (Modern day, high fantasy, sci-fi etc.)
    • Does your hero have some sort of power or special equipment?
    • What does your hero look like?
    • Does your hero have any important relationships? Friends who help them on their journey, love interest?
    • What is your hero's goal? What motivates them to achieve that goal?
    • What kind of hardships may they face on the journey to their goal?
    • Is there someone who directly opposes themselves to the hero's goal? (Antagonist. Don't develop on this too much - more will come in the future!)
    #1 Lady B, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2015
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  2. When Johnny Haydn was a child living in modern day suburbia, he discovered quickly that he had uncanny ability to annoy others and quickly bring them to anger. The responses he received fueled his impish fire, positively reinforcing his role as a nuisance throughout his life, at home and at school. This role became hard set even when he received his first beating from the schoolyard bully. Haydn got to liking playing secret superhero, diverting aggression from bullies and acting as a scapegoat so others wouldn't have to suffer. He recognized that he would always play the foolish jerk that nobody liked, but he felt okay with his lot in life, getting all the satisfaction he needed from being the nuisance.

    This love for it did not change as he grew into adulthood, but didn't mature, forming no meaningful relationships and severing his familial bond by inaction. Haydn found employment difficult until he got into the programming sector, where his diligent college studies paid off, and the need for human interaction was very little. However, this work didn't hold the thrill of his younger mischievous years; everything was fading into bleak status quo, threatening Haydn with a life crisis.

    Haydn eventually regained his true calling in life, at the cost of getting stabbed in the chest when he prevented a larger fight in a bar. As he was carried away on a stretcher, he had calculated the numbers. Only one man stabbed, and one man thrown in prison. It was impossible to prevent conflict; that was the nature of man. All that mattered was preventing as much loss as possible, and focus aggression towards someone that can take it and still remain.

    Having been let go from his day job, he worked odd jobs on the side while scoping out for trouble, radically shifting between living places, names, and appearances periodically as his form of disguise. He was a nameless nobody, so no one could tell who he was even by seeing his true face, and made blending into a crowd very easy. He built up his skills in time, foiling low-time punks' plans and buying enough time for the police to arrive. Decoy Man became tough, though not particularly strong. Most of it was luck, though the thrill kept him going.

    As people were becoming more aware of the non-happenstance of the unknown daredevil, news media starting dubbing him the Decoy Man, relating to the cop role meant to do similar things. However, media reception remained generally negative when it came to Decoy Man, who attributed him as a fool and a child for sticking out his neck where it didn't belong. Cops took a slightly more balanced stance, reminding Decoy Man and any would be vigilante on television that they were breaking the law by interfering with due process.

    It was true that as a child it was okay that nobody liked him, but as Haydn grew older into his thirties, so did his perceptions change of all that he neglected, like romantic love. It conflicted him, for even if he could forget all his years of being unlikable, nothing could ever console a person that chose to wait for him coming home from his fatal addiction of casting himself into constant peril, instead of making a steady income and thinking more important things. Whether or not the city accepted him as an icon, he knew Decoy Man was the only man he could ever want to be.
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  3. I didn't want to name this one Batter because it reminds me of the guy from OFF, but "Homerun" just sounded...
    Ahem. Anyways:

    In a post-apocalyptic world, villains seem to be around every corner. There is always a want for necessities of life, and thus bandits prowl the shadows and ruins of cities, waiting for someone weaker but better supplied than themselves to come along. Suspicion and chaos run rampant.

    However, there's an urban legend...perhaps the last symbol of justice. People say that "they" appear when you find yourself threatened by marauders. Those who have allegedly laid eyes on this "hero" report that they're exceedingly average in both height and build-- so much so that under an oversized, neutral-coloured hoodie and baggy cargo pants it's impossible to discern what gender they are.

    "But can't you tell from their face?" inquire most skeptics.

    To which the storytellers obviously reply, "they wear a gas mask."

    The rumor goes that you can't even tell their hair colour because their hood is always up, and that the only verifiable fact is the pale skin of their hands. Another survivor you come across may tell you wild tales by the campfire about how this faceless rescuer swooped in, a metal baseball bat in hand and, should we say, took care of their problems. Others say its a wooden bat with nails driven through it, tips reddened by either rust or blood.

    In any case, that's why they call them the Batter.

    Nobody is quite sure why the Batter does what they do, but they do it well. They check their bandit victims for any valuables and vacate the scene, leaving only a bewildered and horrified survivor to stare after them.

    So in the end...are they a hero, or are they just using people as bandit lures to make their own lives easier? Doesn't this make them a bandit?
    *mysterious music* kehehe​
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