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Asperion

Most playable archetype

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While reading the Easiest Game System thread, I got wondering which archetype people tend to find the most playable.  This does not necessarily mean that the archetype will be the easiest, hardest, simplest, most complex or anything else.  Only that this archetype tends to bring the player the greatest satisfaction while running it, and as a result will (if subconscious) gravitate back towards that archetype most often.

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For me, it's an energy projector--probably because that was the first character I played, the one I played the longest, and the one that I played the most frequently.  (Gotta love college . . . almost the entire gaming group lived on campus, so we played up to 7 nights a week.)

 

I've played pretty much everything archetype through the years and had fun with all of them--but Spectrum was *my* defining character.

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All of my characters tend to be street-smart, old-fashioned tough, and competent investigators. There have been intentional exceptions, but that's the norm. I've always been into hard-boiled pulps and noir cinema more than other genres. 

 

In a superhero game I prefer a flying brick or super-soldier with useful skills.

 

In a modern game I prefer a two-fisted private eye (e.g., Spade) or criminal anti-hero (e.g., Parker). I've played a lot of cops and feds, too, but those were in games that focused on "police procedural" or "weird and classified investigations."

 

In a fantasy game, I prefer a sword-wielding wizard. The first character I ever played was a Basic D&D elf who could, by design, do both. Our early AD&D games allowed elven wizards to use "elvish weapons" and wear "elfin chain." Over time that morphed into, "just let the wizard have a sword and mail." We never found it unbalancing. They still had worse to hit scores, attack sequences, melee damage output, and hit points than the fighters.

 

My oldest and most enduring fantasy character is a 20th level (1st Ed!) wizard with mostly divination and mind-affecting magic. He lives in a semi-permanent room in a rowdy inn / brothel and lives and thinks more like a debauched and libertine Sam Spade than Gandalf. He always does the right thing in the end, but he is often drawn into capers, political intrigue, and the seamy side of "the great city." He is a competent swordsman. His friends and ladies call him "Ritz."

 

For Champions, its Anthem, a flying brick who is the leader of a federal superhero team that works under the aegis of a joint task force akin to the Fringe Division from Fringe. In our game there is no PRIMUS. Instead, the avengers, iron guard, etc, are all Marshall's. Stronghold is run by the Bureau of Prisons, etc.

 

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Fascinating topic!
 

Abilities-wise, I gravitate toward characters who are very resilient, and who can do a little bit of everything.  This stems mainly from my desire for playing time; I prefer to roleplay characters who are not incapacitated and are not completely useless in any given situation.

 

Personality-wise, I almost always tend to play men of action, who approach events in the game very directly without necessarily wasting a lot of time considering options or gathering information.  I try not to take it to an extreme, because that tends to annoy the other players.  But sometimes I fail.  That gets back to the need for characters who are resilient...

 

One other thing--I'll almost always play human male characters unless I need to go non-human to get some ability I want.  Roleplaying is hard enough without also imagining different chromosomes or mutant DNA.

 

In Champions, I tend to play characters that are functionally minibricks with perhaps half a dozen useful powers.  The SFX can vary from magic to gadgeteering to wuxia, but regardless, they'll be able to do 2-3 things pretty well.  Beast, Spidey, Falcon, and Logan are all kind of around the type of supers I play.  Most recent was Pinball (brick/speedster with duplication).

 

In FH, I'm virtually guaranteed to play some sort of spellcaster or supernatural entity just to have access to powers.  They'll almost certainly be melee-capable somehow.  The two most recent were Dar the Oakenman (a bricklike druid) and Aleister Carloss (a necromancer who means well).

 

Similarly, in Pathfinder/D&D (gag) I tend toward melee-capable spellcasters like rangers, magi, clerics, or paladins.  Most recent was Knarsus Est (the paladin who is stronger, richer, handsomer, and better than you).

 

My Shadowrun character is a cybered-out brick who's good with guns.  He was my first-ever Shadowrun character so I built him for maximum survivability instead of flexibility, because I had no understanding of the rules (and still don't).  I'd probably try a physical adept next.

 

 

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I almost always play a martial artist of some sort. I have branched out into different directions though. And when I do it’s usually the arch type of that Super or genre. I’m getting better at coming up with different style of Powers and SFX.

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I enjoy well-rounded characters myself, but if your asking my opinion on the easiest archetype to play, I'd have to say the streetwise brick.  It's just such a deeply-entrenched stereotype that even people who tuned into Deep Space Yaw--  uh, Nine would catch a glimpse of Captain Sisko and gleefully cry out "Look!  It's Hawk!" 

 

The over-macho brick.   Common as earth and simple as a scowl. 

 

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One of the first characters I ever created (first, unnumbered version) was just a telekinetic. When I don't put any thought into a character, it comes out that way. As this appears to be my brains 'default' mode, I would have to say that's the easiest archetype to play (if you can call it an archetype).

The character I play MOST often, however, is the speedster. I'm constantly attempting to create in game the things I see in my head, and usually failing; that challenge is what brings me back over and over again.

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In Champions I tend to play gadgeteers or powered armor heroes. Or a mutant who pretends his powers come from overly-elaborate armor which has minimal real systems. I also tend to play characters who are highly competent in their fields, whatever those fields happen to be, rather than kids or average people who happen to have powers. Think about the difference between Mr. Fantastic and Plastic Man. When something is going wrong and you need a professional, no one thinks, "Gee, I wish I could consult with Plastic Man!"

 

In low fantasy, I tend to play a low-powered wizard who's a scoundrel looking for the edge needed to run a scam. He might spend his free time fixing the roof of the orphanage to get in good with the priest who gives him an introduction to the mark who is needing help. If the mark isn't needing help naturally, I set up a second scam so that the mark needs to hire someone who is trustworthy. Sometimes the scam is to take down a bad guy or to protect someone. Sometimes the scam is to make sure we get paid more than average by someone who can afford to pay more than he would have otherwise. The money earned usually goes back into worthy causes like buying gear, living well, hiring locals to be servants or cannon fodder, setting up the next scam by giving money to the priest or orphanage in the next town, etc. Though having something going on under someone's nose that they aren't aware of is the source of my character's thrills and much more important than the money involved.

 

In high fantasy, I'll play a highly competent wizard whose goal in life is to be a know-it-all.

 

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Bricks and tanks do pretty well in most systems where combat is a major focus of play. They tend to be uncomplicated mechanically,  but are rewarding to play because they are good at both dealing damage and staying in the field of play.

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My faves for supers are Shape shifter, and Speedster. Otherwise Martial Brick. I just seem to like oddball power sets.

 

In general I like to play the Champion, some one who protects a place or organization. Peasant hero or Paladin, I'm happiest as a capable defender.

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I think the easiest for people to start with is the brick.  Lots of damage, high defenses, a few options, easiest to learn.

Most playable is I think the martial detective.  They usually are well rounded and have sufficient skills to keep the player happy in most game scenarios.

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For the archetype I go for energy-projectors, bricks, and martial artists. They are almost always well-rounded in powers and skills. And in D&D terms are almost always Lawful/Neutral Good.

 

One of my old GMs described my chars as "Swiss Army knife Boy/Girl Scouts".

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