Player Archetypes

The idea for this list came from listening to Happy Jacks RPG Podcast, however, Monica took a lot of the material taken from catch-phrases on RPGnet and extrapolated from sourcebooks like Wild Talents and the DnD 4e’s DMG.

Thespian – Prioritizes character development & interaction above mechanics.

  • Method Actor – this guy wants to be IN CHARACTGER ALL THE TIME. He or she loves their character so much they are just as happy actively roleplaying a shopping trip as they are pursuing the plot.
  • Wants an Oscar – this guy has a dice-and-math aversion. He’ll learn the game system so he can keep playing with his friends, but he just doesn’t care about the game parts. He might even have someone else always make his characters for him; he’s just here to roleplay. May even disdain the Power Gamer or the Barrister for their enjoyment of the rules.
  • Author – totally focused on the story as a whole. Wants to do everything to keep the plot going. Often more interested in his/her own character’s story above the rest.

Power-gamer – wants the best stats all the time, often so that he/she can have a sense of superiority to the group.

  • Munchkin – this guy bends the rules to be the best, finding every loophole and best item combination possible. The Munchkin often does this so he won’t be ‘held back’ by the goals of the group.
  • Slayer – the Munchkin, only purely combat focused. The Slayer doesn’t care about your plot or what everyone else wants to do, he’s here to “win the game” by killing everything that crosses him.

Hoarder – prioritizes having stuff over everything else.

  • Accountant – makes sure that all the group resources are accounted for and are fairly distributed. Also the kind of player who finds in-game economic systems fun.
  • Dragon – ALL THE BEST STUFF MUST BE MINE (often multiclasses into Munchkin).
  • XP Whore – Person who does anything and everything for the xp.

Sir Meeks-a-lot – Quiet and must be prompted to interact but wants to be there and play.

  • Eeyore – has self-esteem issues, will often think of self as “not good enough” even when character is good at what it does. Torn all to pieces by poor dice luck. Pitiable at first, easy to lose patience with after a while. Will suffer if in a group with a Munchkin.
  • Greenhorn – the newb who is afraid to speak up because he/she might be ‘wrong.’ Often gets talked over, and will play doormat to outspoken experienced players.

Barrister – prioritizes rules above all else

  • Rules Lawyer – argues the rules to his advantage. Picks fights with the DM to get his way by citing the book. Will often try to work loopholes. Is often also a Munchkin.
  • Rules Rabbi – argues the rules to OTHERS’ advantage. Wants the game to be fair for everyone. Will cite the book if he feels the GM has made a ruling in error (often to the detriment of someone else). Can be a real pain in the butt if a GM is trying to do things off the cuff, but is frequently a good person to pair with the Greenhorn.
  • Master Craftsman – loves the crunch. Makes characters for the sake of making characters. Is interested by the things that make the game tick. Can be a Power Gamer.

Needs Ritalin – Checks e-mail all of the time, read a book, talks about non-game topics, etc… and ignores what’s going on.

  • D&D Girlfriend– doesn’t want to be here, but is doing so anyway to humor a significant other. The D&D Girlfriend can also apply to siblings and friends who are only playing to humor the person who dragged them along. If they find they enjoy the game, they often morph into Thespians.
  • Sir Beer-and-Pretzels – is ONLY here to have a good time with his/her buddies and play a fun game. He/she couldn’t care less about the rules or their character and wants only to have a great time. Can be difficult to engage.

Captain Disquiet – Makes others uncomfortable at the table

  • Sore Loser – gets unreasonably upset when things don’t go his/her way. This can be anything from poor rolls to NPCs not reacting the way they expect. Is often expressed in at-table outbursts, but frequently comes in the form of passive-aggressive post-game pouting. Frequently also a Rules Lawyer.
  • Lord of Squick – interested in everything that makes the group uncomfortable. Wants to do things like brutally torture or rape NPCs and has no qualms with doing so on-screen. At worst, may even drag sexual fetishes to the table.
  • I Have Issues/Cat Piss Man – lumping these two together to save space. The first is distracted and a problem because of other things in his/her life. He/she may take out their frustrations on the game situation and can cause problems for the other players. The second’s personal hygiene bad enough to cause an issue at the table.
  • Prima Donna/Attention Whore – must always have the spotlight. If they are not the ‘main character’ or the party leader, they’re unhappy. Often bossy and gets testy if they’re criticized or argued with. Will either lead along or simply walk all over Eeyore or the Greenhorn. If a woman, she frequently feels a need to flaunt her gender at the table for attention. If a man, he is often also a Power Gamer.

Johnny One-Note – Someone at your table who is inflexible about one facet of the game or another.

  • Elf Fag/Always the Tank – This guy prefers one race or character build to the exclusion of everything else. He or she can always be expected to show up with a dual-wielding elf ranger or a platemail-wearing character who always uses a hammer, or a badass woman in a position of authority. This usually isn’t disruptive, but it might get boring and can sometimes lead to nerdrage fights if another player criticizes the Elf Fag for liking [favorite thing].
  • Comedian – this player ONLY wants a laugh, to the exclusion of all else. A relative of Sir Beer-and-Pretzels. He/she is bored by dramatic scenes and litters fights with slapstick. The kind of person who thinks insane characters wear tutus and smack people with fish. Often lots of fun, but can be disruptive if the tone doesn’t match his/her expectations.
  • Mr. Non-Fiction – the Comedian’s nemesis. He/she thinks that a game session should always be dramatic or serious and, while like anyone else, is ultimately there to enjoy themselves, they may get irked if things get too silly or if focus is lost. They may exclusively prefer ‘dark,’ ‘gritty’ or ‘realistic’ games to anything over the top.

The Cheater – The only one that is always a problem. Always fudges die rolls, may have more exp than everyone else, has items that were never given out, etc.

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