Many a player (and GM) may have desired to run a particular sort of character, whether it be the classic knight in shining armor, the archetypal wizard, the daring swashbuckler, or some other relatively common trope, and wondered how best to build them. It can be especially hectic when we all (hopefully) have other lives to attend to. Here follows a list of many of these simpler character types, which will contain suggestions on how to build (i.e. spec for) them in terms of attributes, skills, feats, spells, gear, and even a bit of playstyle and combat mechanics. Please note that these are character types, and while some classes are better suited to certain types, few (if any) have class requirements. Please also note that (with few exceptions) none of these archetypes are intended to have class names unless otherwise stated in their descriptions. Lastly, it may be argued that the best and most interesting characters are unique creations; in that spirit these archetypes should ultimately engender creative and imaginative possibilities within the minds of GMs and players alike. Don’t just take the cookie cutter route; break the mold and do something crazy … it just might work.
- Lancer – “shishkabob”
- Cataphract – horses are weapons too
- Horse Archer – parthian mounted skirmisher
- Sniper – one shot: right between the eyes
- Hailfire – exchanges accuracy for number of attacks
- Axe Thrower – staple of any dwarven military; move-throw → hail of axes
- Crossbowman – powerful ‘frontline’ ranged combatant
- Skirmisher – quickfoot, mobile, higher damage, closer range
- Whirling Dervish – threatens everybody
- Cleaver (Thrasher) – don’t stop choppin’ ‘til the bodies stop droppin’; slaughters goblins
- Net-Fighter – net + trident = dead
- Spartan – team-fighter, classic fighter; everything is a weapon.
- Tripster – put them on the ground, every time they get up; disarm them while you’re at it.
- Elite Guard – puts people back, and keeps them there; polearm user.
- Bulldozer – drop ’em off; you can get their stuff later.
- Swashbuckler – debonair (or not) daredevil; acrobatic fighter.
- Cranium Basher – make your enemies flat.
- Brawler – use anything, throw anything, or nothing
- Wrestler – good in a grapple
- Karate Kid – master of exotic tools
- Prince of Combat – capable in most martial situations
- Iron Wall – armor armor armor armor armor ….
- Cattail – missed again.
- Tumbler – can’t touch this.
- Meatbag – “I’ve had worse!”
- Indomitable – general defense specialist; guards evenly against most dangers.
- Spearman – staple unit of any army;
- Halberdier – spearman with more tricks
- Greatswordsman – one shot, one kill: next!
- Highlander – Bastard sword & buckler
- Longswordsman – longsword & shield
. . .
- Abjurist – protect your allies.
- Summoner – let others do your fighting.
- Seer/Sage – knowledge is power.
- Charmer – allies, enemies, thralls, whatever.
- Battlemage – make things blow up.
- Trickster – fantasy is a powerful thing.
- Foul One – undead make such fantastic minions.
- Transmuter – change is good, sometimes.
- Universalist – got something for everyone.
- Anti-mage – enemy spells? what enemy spells?
- Cabalist – magic on a global scale (Red Wizards, witches, hags, etc. synergy).
- Spellblade – focus magic thru a weapon or dual wield spells & swords. (Arcane Archer, Eldritch Knight, Blackguard synergy)
- Mastercrafter – create powerful arcane items of all sorts.
- Junglebook – focus on animals.
- Survivalist – tracker, trapper, hunter. (Horizon Walker synergy)
- Bloodhound – seek and destroy.
- Greenblood – plants can be dangerous.
- Undead Bane – turn, destroy, repeat.
- Holy Healer – fill your allies and keep them full; remove their ailments.
- Relic Master – create items of divine power for every situation.
- Protector – guard allies from harm.
- Archmagi (/Heirophant) – master of raw magic.
- Mystic Theurge – cast anything.
- Lore Master – know everything.
- Powerslave (Thaumaturgist) – the power of Faustus.
- Dragon Disciple – power by birthright.
- Backstabber – personally deliver the killing blow.
- Poisoner – watch from a distance.
- Strangler – get the drop on someone.
- Pickpocket – moneybags, jewels, anything on a person is gone.
- Burglar – excel at infiltrating the most guarded strongholds.
- Con Artist – why not make them feel good about it too?
- Infiltrator – information is the name of the game; 007 would be proud.