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Humour: Player Archetypes in the WoD

I found this a while back while going through some old documents on my hard drive. I thought it was worth a chuckle.


Player Natures & Demeanors

Many moons ago, a great and wonderful text file crossed my desktop; it was entitled "21 Types of Players," and in general made the gaming world ever so much clearer, explaining as it did how only a very few types of players existed--the Munchkin, the Loony, and so forth--endlessly repeating, endlessly changeless. I can only hope to vapulate the gaming world so.

Theslin Wanders-Through-Bramble, 9/19/96 (theslin@mail.utexas.edu)

ARCHETYPES: Player Natures and Demeanors for the World of Darkness.

(Not characters. Players.)


From: kemowery@freenet.columbus.oh.us (Kevin Mowery)

You've played some other system all your life--likely the one with the short guys who look an awful lot like Hobbits but aren't. Maybe you're playing the Storyteller system because all your friends started, or you wanted to play a monster--it's not important why. You're having trouble thinking in terms of the Storyteller setting: you loot dead bodies constantly, you carry fifty feet of rope (just in case), you spend all your starting points on cyberware (sometimes you're even playing something that would have cyberware).

Sometimes you stock up on equipment from the right time period but not very appropriate to the character: your Pooka street mime owns five guns of varying sizes, several bladed weapons, and a headset radio to communicate with other members of the party--even though none of them have headset radios. You carry everything at all times. You often call the group a "party".

Your greatest strength is your ~Preparedness~. Regain a Willpower when the party really does need the iron spikes you've been carrying around for months or when you've collected enough money off of corpses to buy something the party really needs, like a house or an airplane.

Your greatest weakness is your ~Shortsightedness~. Frequently you forget that you're in the 20th Century rather than the 9th and get foiled by villains who communicate via telephone and cops who can identify you via the videotapes of you killing someone and can hunt you down with helicopters, radios, and wiretaps.


Creation and innovation are your greatest joys. The rule books are constraining; who wants to play a Toreador or Gangrel when you can write your own bloodline? Every character you create must be unique and experimental, even if this means writing six pages of background
text to describe the must basic aspects of your new Tribe/Tradition/Kith.

Your strength is in your endless ~Creativity.~ Regain Willpower if your Storyteller actually screams when you hand her a ream of paper.

Your Achilles' heel is in your ~Artistic Temperment.~ If one of your creations is rejected it is absolutely obligatory for you to suffer a three-day depression.

The Artist

From: richa902@harrier.csrv.uidaho.edu (Stephen Richards)

The Artist believes that the character is all. That the point of roleplaying is to breathe life into his or her character, her Creation. The story is merely a vehicle to express the character. The plot merely builds the character's current history.

Much like the Creator, the Artist focuses on creating the character he or she is striving for with an admirable, and sometimes frightening passion. Everything has to be just right, and the Artist will often pull every trick to get the character on paper to match the "concept". Unlike the Creator, however, the Artist builds new and often bizarrely new characters that rarely mimic any television or comic book persona.

But the Artist's true love is in roleplaying that character. As such, the Artist's characters are usually full and intricate. The down side is that the Artist is rarely willing to give where the "concept" of the character is concerned. He or she will not have the character act against the personality created for that character, no matter how convenient it might be for the story. He or she will fight ferociously to be allowed that "crucial" merit. And any change to the character caused by the story that "damages" the "concept" rather than "progressing" it will be cause to abandon the character for a totally new one.

Get a willpower point any time the Storyteller allows you to play the character you really want to play. Get a willpower point every time you engage in roleplaying that allows you to explore a new depth or intricacy in your character and builds the concept.

Loose a willpower whenever something "crucial" to that character is lost. This includes losing a willpower when the chronicle that brought your creation to life ends.

The Creator

From: thanatos@psycfrnd.interaccess.com (Timothy Toner)

Moreso than playing, the fun of gaming is in the process of creating an entirely new persona. Books must be scoured through to get just the right disciplines, merits and flaws to _perfectly_ emulate the "feel" of the character. Often these characters are drawn from a television show you recently watched or a book you read. However, your slavish devotion
to the act of creation is an awe inspiring thing, as you seldom create a half-baked character.

Gain a point of willpower whenever someone ooo's at your innovative mix of stats, even if it means taking that One-eyed Quadriplegic to emulate a Columbo-Ironsides clone. Also, all this work leaves you with quite a stable of characters. Gain a point of willpower whenever the ST needs to use one of yours for an NPC, or puts it in the hands of a newbie (god help them).

Lose a point when your character hits its "shelf life." These concepts seldom hold your interest for long, and oftentimes you're rolling dice on the next one before the ink has dried on the first. The ST has become increasingly resistant to these sudden changes in characters to suit
your whims, so you've taken to installing time bombs, flaws that can be activated to kill off your character whenever it's convenient, so you can move onto the next.


Like the Newbie, your current gaming troupe is a fresh experience. Unlike the Newbie, you are already exposed to, perhaps even jaded by, the gaming environment. You can always fall back on your previous gaming experience in a crisis: Got a problem? There's an answer in your
old TSR supplement, or perhaps your previous storyteller always solved it -this- way.

Your strength, if it can be called that, lies in your wide ~Frame of Reference.~ Regain Willpower if a statement beginning with "Well, in my old campaign" yields positive results.

Your weakness lies in your ~Confusion.~ Jumping between worlds plays havoc with the psyche, and the issue of "What happened when and with whom," central to your style, can physically wound you (or your Storyteller could...)

The Forever Man

From: thanatos@psycfrnd.interaccess.com (Timothy Toner)

You created one great character. You loved your tenth generation Ravnos with Dominate. Then the dice rolled, and *sniff* he was taken from you. You sat in stunned silence for an hour, and then it happened. The epiphany. You knew no one could take away a character if you didn't want it to happen, so you reached for the books, but only pretended to look at them. The next session, you introduced your next character, a ninth generation Ravnos with Dominate and a driving goal to avenge the death of the previous character. People were wondering for a time whether or not you were playing the exact same character, but to you, it didn't matter.

Months later, Mark II passed on, and the ST issued his fiat against Ravnos with Dominate. The bastard. You agreed, and diablerized the first Ventrue you met, to speed your transition. Many shells later, the ST has grown increasingly savvy at your attempts at recreation. He shudders when you pull out a female Tremere who just so happens to be 1/16th Rom. You hear the group will try out Mage, and you're always smiling.

You're always moving toward that point when the characters blur into that ubercharacter. Gain a point of willpower whenever the players actually forget you're playing a new character.

You can't forgive those bastards who would kill your precious, your PRECIOUS! Every character your create is linked ever tenuously to your previous character, so that your characters will always be linked by acts of vengeance.


Like the Artist, you see the arbitrary and ossified character concepts as terribly incomplete. However, this is not due to a lack of creativity on the part of White Wolf--far from it! --but is due instead to a strange reluctance to fully exploit the possibilities of the gaming system. Your Embraced Mokole' Unseelie master of Do stands as a monument to this fundamental truth.

Your ~Unique Style~ is your strong suit. You regain Willpower whenever your Storyteller has to look at your character sheet to figure out what the hell you're talking about.

Your frailty lies in ~Game Balance.~ So few understand the majesty of your creations. They obviously just aren't ready yet.


From: count@io.com (Guardian)

Like the Lawyer, you have an iron-clad grasp of the rules and game mechanics. This rivals the Storyteller and especially the poor players who are subject to the Storyteller's machinations. It is yourbounden duty to help the players any time they are in trouble. After all, that Brujah with 4 points in Potence either might not know how to handle the Lasombra coming at it or maybe the player's obvious limited knowledge of exactly how combat works will be an obvious hindrance.

Your strength is your ~Compassion~ Regain Willpower when the person you are helping does what you tell them to do, even though they were planning to do it anyway.

Your weakness comes in two forms

1. ~Limited Life Span~ When the player you are helping has to put up with your help one more time, she will go postal on you.

2. ~Temperment~ - If the player or Storyteller rejects your help, you must pout for the rest of the gaming session.

HIT Mark

You are the heir to the Munchkin. However, while your predecessors overcame their opposition using the technique of overwhelming force and basic "twinking," the World of Darkness is more complex, and you must specialize. The Uktena Lupus Theurge (Gnosis 9) was one of yours; so was the Brujah deathmonger (physical stats all five, ungodly levels of Celerity) and the Sidhe duchess (Title 4, Sovereign 5, Appearance 7), but your best character was the Technocratic mummy--some times the old ways are the best.

Your greatest strength and your greatest weakness is your ~Specialization.~ You gain Willpower when your character absolutely obliterates a challenge through his godlike mastery of the situation.

However, while you may have a Charisma + Manipulation dice pool exceeding 12 (with difficulty modifiers adding up to -7) you really, really suck at those pesky "perception" rolls.

The ICE COOL vengeance seeker

From: GEN4BDR@leeds.ac.uk (B.D. Redmond)

A player who loves to fight, but can't stand to loose control. The characters created by this player nearly always have some sort of driving goal, vengeance or true love... a force that drives them on in their quest. They always are nearly all combat based (usually Gangrel or Assamite in
Vampire) so that they can fulfill their goal with pain causing pleasure. Self
control is a priority - at least 5 on a starting character. A tough character that is constantly running towards a goal

They will regain will power if they can beat someone up without frenzying or taking more than 3 health levels of damage, or if they get the chance to beat up someone even slightly related to their goal.

Their downfall is that people think of them as either "combat wombles" (British term) or forever men and never really take their character as seriously as it deserves.


From: kemowery@freenet.columbus.oh.us (Kevin Mowery)

Gaming is a social activity for you. Maybe the only time you see your friends is over the gaming table, or maybe you just lack focus, but you start woefully off-topic conversations and cannot take subtle hints (like the Storyteller wandering off to watch his tapes of “Kindred: the Embraced”) that Warcraft II or Dale Brown novels aren't what everyone came to hear about.

Your greatest strength is ~Stalling~. In a tense situation, you regain a Willpower when you can start a side conversation which gives everyone plenty of time to think about their next action.

Your greatest weakness is your ~Inertia~. Sometimes you stall the game so badly that the Storyteller packs up his books and leaves.


With an iron-clad grasp of the rules and game mechanics, you understand that the greatest challenge of the World of Darkness lies in its interpretation. While creativity and enthusiasm have their places, true power goes to the manipulator. You know when to speak, when to keep
silent, and when to make it up.

Obviously, your strength lies in your ~Knowledge of Mechanics~. You regain Willpower whenever your character achieves through your godlike understanding of the rules.

Your flaw is ~Inflexibility.~ Sudden and unannounced changes upset your equilibrium, and an unexpected "house rule" can seriously cramp your style.


You are the keeper of lore, the holder of the sacred tomes, the learned scholar. Your selection of archaic and arcane game supplements is unrivaled; perhaps you actually own every single book White Wolf has published, or perhaps you keep a more specialized collection of gaming resources -- whichever, food and lodging are secondary concerns when you could make your friends really jealous with the latest Mage supplement.

Your strength is in your ~Resources;~ You gain Willpower whenever your Storyteller asks to borrow your books.

Inevitably, you will be confronted by ~Information Overload.~ A superabundance of knowledge is a stumbling block as well as an asset; what will you do when all five major rule books disagree on a common point?

Lone Gunman

From: kemowery@freenet.columbus.oh.us (Kevin Mowery)

Your character concept is perfect--so what if you're a Red Talon and everyone else is a Wraith? For whatever reason, you consistently create characters who can't work with the group. Often these characters are from different Storyteller games (you have to play your Inquisitor even though every one else is a Changeling), but not always. Sometimes you go out of your way to make your character incompatible--you like a roleplaying challenge, and you'll give everyone else a challenge if they want to play with you.

Your greatest strength is your ~Self-reliance~. Regain a Willpower when some people from your group can't make it, but you get to play anyway, because your character wasn't doing anything with them anyway.

Your greatest weakness is that you're an ~Outsider~. After weeks of running from other player-characters and saying "I don't know them, so why should I help them?" you shouldn't be surprised when you get in a tight spot and the other player-characters ignore you.


Perverse antics are your lifeblood. Wackiness is just as applicable as sound logic, and often yields better results--didn't you think of using a filet mignon as a semiconductor in a fusion reactor? And didn't it work? Mostly. And as long as the other players think it's a riot, the Storyteller will go along with the joke. Won't she? Sure she will.

Your strength is in your ~Extreme Originality.~ Regain Willpower whenever you use fish, hamsters or dairy products to enhance or completely derail the plot.

Your weakness, and inevitable downfall, comes in the form of ~Crossing Limits.~ You can't help it, and some day will step way over the line and into something unpleasant.


"Silence is golden." You often sit through an entire session without uttering a word. Evidently your silence is meaningful, because no-one would doubt that you participated! Strangely, you are the best-beloved of the group, unless you are playing against a Thespian. If a good conversationalist is one who does not speak, a team player is one who does not act.

You are graced with ~Goodwill.~ Everybody thinks only the best of you--Regain Willpower whenever somebody assumes you are in some advantageous situation, even though you haven't said a word.

However, when you do speak, it sometimes falls on ~Deaf Ears.~ The Troupe may be so used to your silences that your words go unheard...


While you have a very good grasp of the fundamentals of gaming, many of the subtleties elude you. It's possible that your character sheets were left blank down near the part about "physical description;" Perhaps you suffered writer's block in the area around "History," or maybe you were just too enthusiastic to flesh out your new Sidhe duke--regardless, there's an awful lot of "white space" in your character creation.

Your strongest point, if it can be called that, lies in your ~Ambiguity.~ Regain Willpower whenever you can utter the phrase "Oh, he's just your basic Son of Ether."

Your weakness lies in your ~Lack of Foresight.~ In all probability, you didn't fill in your equipment list.


The gaming environment is a strange and confusing place for you. Perhaps you are a recent convert to role-playing, recently saved from a life of mundanity. Perhaps you finally made the transition from an older, simpler rule system, and have to go through a period of adjustment to regain your bearings. OR maybe you really are a mundane, dragged into a frightening and chaotic swirl of dice by your best friend.

Whatever your background, your friends are charmed by your ~Naivete~. ~ Your simple questions and hopeful silences lead people to your aid. Regain Willpower whenever someone spends an hour or more clarifying the rules for you.

Every Newbie has a limited term of existence. Eventually you will discover your ~Half-life,~ and realize that you must grow up and find a new identity.


They obviously call it the World of Darkness for a reason. Your last three characters were a Spectre, a Black Spiral Dancer and a Celestial Chorus Barabbi.- You love to express your inner dark by playing characters which reflect the pain and hypocrisy of the world around you--like your Childling Pooka Dauntain.

Your strength is in your ~Grasp of Entropy.~ Regain Willpower whenever your Storyteller lets you play a Dauntain, Spectre, Barabbi, etc. in an otherwise normal campaign (you do it so well!)

Your weakness is in your ~Fatalism.~ Your characters will never learn to live if they are doomed to die.

The Non-Roleplayer

From: Carrie A Schutrick <caos+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Despite the name, you really do want to play the game. The problem is that "I can't act." This leads to a creative solution. Sort of.

You play yourself, and always yourself. Your character reacts like you, talks like you, dresses like you, and is of course of the same gender as you are. There's a very high correlation between the Clan, Tribe, or Tradition you say you would belong to and that your character is in. If challenged, you say that of course it can't be you; you can't fly/cast spells/turn into a wolf/regenerate/whatever.

Your strength is your ~Surety~. Since the character is you, you always know exactly how s/he will react in any situation. Regain a Willpower when a fellow player calls you by your character's name or vice versa.

Your weakness is your ~Predictability~. Beside the fact that your friends can predict your character's actions based on your own, after awhile they'll want to see something different. Eventually you must try something new.


You know what you like, and that is, essentially, all that you will deal with. You wanted to play a Kindred (or a Garou, or mage) in the Changeling game--when that failed, you tried to create a ghoul-sluagh (or a Kinfolk wolf-pooka, or a Hermetic boggan...) Nine tenths of your character concepts are at least distantly related to your object of obsession, and the other players are all well aware of your discriminating palate.

Your strongest point is your ~Persistence.~ Gain a point of Willpower whenever your Storyteller works the object of your obsession into a completely unrelated plotline.

Unfortunately, you are best-known for your ~Predictability.~ It is extremely difficult to surprise your troupe when all of your inspiration revolves around, say, gargoyles.


From: kemowery@freenet.columbus.oh.us (Kevin Mowery)

While the Jabberjaw has trouble keeping his mouth shut out of character, you can't keep your mouth shut in character. You are perpetually making puns, coming up with stupid suggestions for how to proceed (which sometimes you think are very good suggestions), and making smart-ass comments to Storyteller characters, and finding ways to do hilarious (to you) things in character.

Your greatest strength is your ~Humor~. Regain a Willpower when everyone (or at least you) leaves the table having had a helluva good time. Frequently your jaws hurt from laughing so much, even if no-one else got the joke.

Your weakness is your ~Lack of Common Sense~. Often you end up getting the party into worse trouble than they would have been before with ill-timed remarks, and more serious players frequently shake their heads in disgust when your gun is loaded with a BANG flag rather than bullets.

The Realist

From: gbrent@rsc.anu.edu.au

Gaming is fun, but it _irks_ you when people do things that couldn't possibly happen in real life. You're willing to suspend disbelief and allow vampires and werewolves, that's no problem. It's a game, after all. But when people get things wrong because they don't know any better, that spoils the game.

Your strength is in your ~Refusal to accept Imperfection~. Regain Willpower any time your insistence on "getting it right" holds up the game, especially if you can totally invalidate the plot so far. Wait until the final scene of a chronicle, where the Storyteller has planned a cataclysmic showdown in the subways of New Orleans, and then remind him that New Orleans doesn't ~have~ subways.

Your weakness lies in your ~Pettiness~. If the Storyteller chooses to ignore your corrections for the sake of plot advancement, you will not enjoy the game any more


You exist to bridge the gap between "troupe play" and the "one-on-one session." If this means the other players remain silent throughout a two-hour session, that's okay--as long as you get a chance to really finish off all those niggling little details. Life isn't necessarily about the small things, but about that sense of satisfaction of a completed task, self-assigned or otherwise, no matter the cost in hours.

~Thoroughness~ is your strength. Gain Willpower every time the party gains some significant benefit from the three hours you just spent on a plot thread involving only your character.

Your greatest shortcoming is your ~Limited Life Span.~ Some day, they -will- kill you.

Time Lord

Undisputed master of the ret-con, your journal of campaign events is THE source for plotline history--which makes your eraser the second most powerful shaper of the World of Darkness (an -extremely- close second to the Storyteller herself.) It's not so much that you're grasping or
manipulative, but nobody else takes notes, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is, however, a strange discrepancy between your ironclad grasp of Episode One and your rather fuzzy recollection of the previous three scenes.

Your strength lies in ~Detailwork.~ You alone remember the names of the minor NPC of the previous week--Regain Willpower whenever you have a better recollection of events than your Storyteller, particularly if these events did not actually occur.

You will, unfortunately, be driven insane by the other player's ~Dependence~ on your information. Such is life.


The darkness of your Storyteller's living room is your stage; when you open your mouth, the others hush to hear you perform. You may even go so far as to dress as your character, to better bring you to understand your persona. You sometimes feel that your life revolve around Gaming...it's the only time you can really be yourself (whoever -that- is!)

Your greatest strength is your ~Performance.~ You are strengthened and affirmed every time you receive a standing ovation.

If you have a weakness, it is your ~Rapport~ with your persona. The accidental death or dismemberment of your character is a cause for major histrionics.


From: Jay Mehaffey <"Jay Mehaffey"@1usa.com>
Your greatest reason for liking the storyteller system is not the rules that enforce role playing or the simple and quick mechanics but rather that the rules are so vague that you can argue about anything. In truth your just in it for the argument, the factual basis of it is irrelevant, nor is consistency. This week you'll argue that ghouls that lose too much health can obviously heal themselves, but when an NPC ghoul does it next week you'll argue against it.

Your power is your ability to get other to ~back down~. Regain Willpower if anybody goes along with what your saying just to avoid an argument. If what you are arguing is clearly a rule violation you gain double Willpower.

The problem you suffer from is that you are so primed to argue that you will argue of ~anything~. Anytime anything happens that you dislike or is the least bit questionable in the rules you must start an argument.

The Writer

From: richa902@harrier.csrv.uidaho.edu (Stephen Richards)

The writer believes that story is everything. The purpose of roleplaying is to tell a story. Anything that hampers that story, or distracts from it, is bad.

The writer will virtually ask the storyteller to create the character for him or her. He or she will want to know as much about the chronicle as possible, what everyone else is playing and exactly what would work best both in the party and for the story. The writer is the first to the obvious plot hook in order to "get the story rolling" and shows agitation at players who participate in roleplaying not central to the plot that takes up more than minimal time.

Gain a willpower point any time your actions help get the story flowing again.

Lose a willpower whenever others cause the story to take an unnecessary detour.

Written and/or Collected by Theslin Wanders-Through-Bramble

Artist/Nightbird, occasionally Artist/Librarian

Note: This is a Work-In-Progress. If you'd like to play, let me know if I can tuck your contributions and E-mail address into this file's future editions.


( 1 die rolled — Roll the dice )
Sep. 23rd, 2003 11:18 am (UTC)
Cool list
Sent it to my Hubby (the GM in the family) he'll get a chuckle out of it.
( 1 die rolled — Roll the dice )


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