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View Full Version : ArmorArmadillo's Archetype Artilce #1: The Scoundrel



ArmorArmadillo
2007-06-15, 06:47 PM
(Reposted from accidently being put on OOTS)

Well, I've really loved Lumby's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45671) work with alignment so far, so I've decided to try and make my own series of articles, using "Color Format" used for MTG colors. To avoid stepping on toes, I'm not going to do alignment, but rather character themes.

I can't really do classes, because there's so much variance in them; so instead I'm doing the character archetypes I can think of, starting with my personal favorite: the scoundrel.

What is the archetype?
The scoundrel is someone who succeeds by virtue of his unlikeliness to do so. He's someone who is capable of exceeding what should be his limits by creativity and guile.

What does the archetype consider to be most important?
Skill; the scoundrel is one who thrives on challenge but tends to lack the overall power, insight, or charisma to get a job done directly. Because of this, the scoundrel relies on these skills to break through nearly any challenge in an often unorthodox manner.

What does this archetype hate?
Running out of options; a scoundrel likes to have a choice with any decision he makes. He doesnít have the ability to solve things in a straightforward, traditional way, and if he isnít able to find a creative solution to a problem he is in, it really causes him problems.

What methods will the archetype use to achieve its goals?
Anything; the scoundrel is really defined by his ability to use skills in ways others canít. A normal rogue can sneak into a castle by sticking to shadows and moving silently and deliver a fatal knife to the king, but only a true scoundrel can disguise himself as a chef, cater the kingís party with poisoned food, and then accept payment from the kingís clerk on his way out.

What is this archetypeís best feature?
Scoundrels donít see problems, they see opportunities. Not only can scoundrels find unique solutions to problems, but they take both strength and joy from the challenge those problems present.

What is the archetypeís worst feature?
Some situations really do require the straightforward strengths that scoundrels lack. If a scoundrel canít bring his unique skills to bear, he really lacks the means to carry his weight otherwise.

What makes the archetype unique?
Being unique, even among other scoundrels; strong fighters come and go, so do arcane wizards, but each scoundrel is unique in his combination of style, abilities, and creativity.

What are some common misconceptions about the archetype?
1) Scoundrels are sneaky. A scoundrel doesnít have to lie, sneak, or steal, to be a scoundrel, nor do doing those things make you one. A scoundrel can be a fighter who uses his opponentsí size against them, or a wizard who specializes in using the terrain in unexpected ways.

2) Scoundrels are chaotic. Using the law creativity is a tactic of certain scoundrels, and some lawful people even follow a personal credo of overcoming ever-increasing challenges with guile and panache.

What are some examples of the archetype in popular culture?
Nale (OOTS): Nale never attacks his opponents head-on, he knows heíd lose. But he always has some creative way to get others to do the heavy lifting for him, and place himself in the perfect position to get things done without needing the massive power and resources that Roy or Xykon possess.

Dogbert (Dilbert): Dogbert is always in control of the situation. By his amazing powers of observation and charm, he always manages to turn other people to whatever way of thinking he prefers. For him, itís not just about having power, itís about the fun of manipulating people.

Sir Francis Drake: Simply being desperate and raiding ships doesnít make you a scoundrel; getting the British to protect you and pay you to do so does.

Isomenes
2007-06-15, 06:58 PM
This puts bards right up there for scoundrely-type tasks. Because a traditional bard can't charge right in with magic, he's got to approach the situation from a social engineering standpoint. One could argue that his class skills (fascinate, suggestion) almost demand that he play the scoundrel.

And arguably the archetypal scoundrel himself: Han Solo.

"Scoundrel? Scoundrel! I like the sound of that."

I like this sort of idea, AA; keep 'em coming!

DraPrime
2007-06-16, 08:20 PM
You said in one page what WotC couldn't in one page. Well done. I never thought of Dogbert as a scoundrel, but now that you mention it I think you're right. Keep 'em comin!

Draz74
2007-06-16, 09:49 PM
Sir Francis Drake: Simply being desperate and raiding ships doesnít make you a scoundrel; getting the British to protect you and pay you to do so does.

And not many of us would have thought about sailing 80% around the world, the long way around, to get away from law-enforcement ships that were looking for us; at least, not in Drake's time, when only Magellan and a couple other Portuguese crews had ever made it around the world. :smallamused:

ArmorArmadillo
2007-06-16, 10:23 PM
This puts bards right up there for scoundrely-type tasks. Because a traditional bard can't charge right in with magic, he's got to approach the situation from a social engineering standpoint. One could argue that his class skills (fascinate, suggestion) almost demand that he play the scoundrel.

And arguably the archetypal scoundrel himself: Han Solo.

"Scoundrel? Scoundrel! I like the sound of that."

I like this sort of idea, AA; keep 'em coming!
Solo is perfect, but I made a point of not using any of the (many) examples used in Complete Scoundrel.

I'm glad people like this, I'll try to do another one soon.

DraPrime
2007-06-16, 10:42 PM
And not many of us would have thought about sailing 80% around the world, the long way around, to get away from law-enforcement ships that were looking for us; at least, not in Drake's time, when only Magellan and a couple other Portuguese crews had ever made it around the world. :smallamused:

Don't forget the part where the english pay and protect you. Drake truly was an one of the greatest scoundrels of his time. He's also a good REAL scoundrel. So many archetypal scoundrels are fictional, yet what makes Drake so cool is that what he did really happened.

Dervag
2007-06-16, 11:22 PM
And not many of us would have thought about sailing 80% around the world, the long way around, to get away from law-enforcement ships that were looking for us; at least, not in Drake's time, when only Magellan and a couple other Portuguese crews had ever made it around the world. :smallamused:In today's terms, this would be roughly equivalent to escaping the cops by going to the Moon and sneaking back after the heat had died down.

F.H. Zebedee
2007-06-16, 11:30 PM
EXCELLENT ARTICLE! *applauds* May want to fix the name from ArtiLce, though. But I do love how you clarified the role of scoundrel so well, making it very easy to define them without pigeonholing anything or anyone.

Cybren
2007-06-16, 11:40 PM
I was really hoping this was going to be a Mega Man X writeup. Way to crush my hopes and dreams, internet.

DraPrime
2007-06-17, 08:30 AM
I was really hoping this was going to be a Mega Man X writeup. Way to crush my hopes and dreams, internet.

Why would you ever think that?

ArmorArmadillo
2007-06-17, 02:46 PM
I was really hoping this was going to be a Mega Man X writeup. Way to crush my hopes and dreams, internet.

Stay tuned for Archetype Article #2: Killer Robot Shaped Like an Animal