Imagine unboxing your latest Fantasy Extravaganza. It’s got it all: 17-sided dice, Authentic Glod Coated Doubloons(tm), Faux-leather game map. And your choice of character: barbarian warrior, scantily clad female elven mage, halfling thief.
Yay! Pass the d17 and let the immersion commence.
Archetypes provide your players with instant packets of information. If you’ve got a pointy-eared archer then your players won’t raise any eyebrows if she starts talking to trees.
Unfortunately archetypes have a major drawback: in order to become archetypes they need to be widely integrated into the genre’s cultural baggage. Archetypes are boring. They’re old, stale, yesterday’s news. They’re accepted tropes seen a thousand times before.
So why do we keep using them? (more…)