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-   -   IGN - The Evolution of RPG Archetypes (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20277)

Couchpotato May 5th, 2013 03:09

IGN - The Evolution of RPG Archetypes
 
IGN has an editorial explaining "The Evolution of RPG Archetypes".
Quote:

Seems like every game is an RPG these days. At this point we fully expect the next chapter of Tetris to tout "RPG elements!" on the box. It's the cliché of our times. But saying something has been inspired by RPGs usually means more than "it has numbers and a skill tree." Just about anything with even a whiff of RPG about it can trace its roots back to Dungeons & Dragons, the tabletop adventure that debuted back in the '70s.

Perhaps the greatest contribution D&D made to gaming wasn't just the use of numbers and random rolls to determine success and strength, but rather the definition of, well, roles. D&D laid down the basis for the character archetypes that appear in nearly every modern game, especially anything that even vaguely resembles an RPG. And, as it turns out, just about everything breaks down to one of three character types: The warrior, the wizard, and the thief. Or to put it into proper D&D 1st Edition terms, the Fighter, the Magic-User, and the Rogue.
More information.

joxer May 5th, 2013 03:09

Was IGN the site who nominated DA2 for GOTY award?
Maybe yes, maybe no.
But it wouldn't surprise me it was.

Couchpotato May 5th, 2013 03:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by joxer (Post 1061196361)
Was IGN the site who nominated DA2 for GOTY award?
Maybe yes, maybe no.
But it wouldn't surprise me it was.

You do know they have different writers with different opinions right? I won't excuse them for certain reviews, but that's the negative side when your dependent on ad revenue.

Zloth May 5th, 2013 06:45

Wait, the Monk as a fighter?? I'm not so sure about that.

So what are these archetypes, really? I mean, you could say that Mass Effect soldiers were actually like mages with rapid-fire wands but I don't think that would really fit. I think it comes down to tools and skills.

Fighter: uses tools that most people in the setting understand. Swords, guns, armor, shields… stuff that's common enough that you can outfit entire armies with them. As they advance they become quite good at using those tools but never in any kind of mystic way. For instance, an expert fighter might be able to throw a longsword effectively but he wouldn't be able to throw it like a boomerang, have it cut off four or five heads, then catch it as it returns.

Mage: uses arcane tools that most people don't understand and can't use. Spells, psionic powers, special favors from deities… you can't outfit an army with this stuff. They're a clever lot so they can use them in ways you might not expect but not in ways you wouldn't believe possible.

Specialist: uses normal tools but in more arcane ways. The thief's legendary backstab and the martial artist's use of common weapons or even just their own fists go here.

Theoretically, there should be a class that uses arcane tools in arcane ways. Like a magic user that only knows Continual Light and Magic Missile but has practiced with both spells so often that she can fire off 30 missiles and hit 30 different targets or toss a that light spell right on to an attacker's retina. I can't recall that ever being done, though.

And, of course, you can get bunches of hybrids.

Drithius May 5th, 2013 07:01

It's silly to pigeonhole gameplay like that; you'd be better off classifying classes geared towards various psychological dispositions.

Also, not all [insert class here] are created equal; I wish I could once again have the experience of a Storm Controller "wizard" of City of Heroes but that is not to be. So, to sum it up, stupid articles like this only serve to limit the scope of what's possible in an archetype by falling back on tropes of the genre.

ChienAboyeur May 5th, 2013 15:43

The future is RPGs. That is what you get when you try to corner a genre by attributing game mechanics that so many game genres can make use of.

This article makes a big confusion between classes (an economic dimension of a role) and the role itself.

Thief, warrior, monk etc are no role by themselves. They are mere classes. Cant blame ADD for that, that game system made that point ultra clear.

rjshae May 5th, 2013 21:00

One person's "Greatest contribution" is another's "Biggest boat anchor". Class-based systems are a relic of the past.

Myrkrel May 5th, 2013 22:04

I had to laugh when they mentioned:
Quote:

Pretty much everything in D&D came from Lord of the Rings
Apparently they haven't done their research. Gygax was far more influenced by weird tales, pulp sword & sorcery and especially Jack Vance (for the magic system), than by Tolkien. The article writer ought to look at Appendix N in the 1st edition AD&D DMG to truly understand the roots. Tolkien is mentioned, but alongside a long list of other authors.

Capt. Huggy Face May 5th, 2013 23:05

Both Tolkien and D&D drew heavily from various mythologies from around the world. Tolkien wrote of how he was trying to create a new mythology that was truly British, since he didn't believe King Arthur qualified, having been so heavily influenced by the French.

TimtheTaxMan May 6th, 2013 03:10

To me, the defining trait of a role-playing game is that the player character's stats influence the outcome of events more then player skill. In an RPG you are playing the role of someone else and have to live with their limitations. Dialogue trees (aka the modern definition of an RPG) are insufficient. To use NES games as examples, most modern "RPGs" are action adventure games like Zelda rather than RPGs like Final Fantasy.

CraigCWB May 6th, 2013 03:51

rjshae: One person's "Greatest contribution" is another's "Biggest boat anchor". Class-based systems are a relic of the past.

That was just as true back in the day, and for the same reasons, as it is now. Everyone here knows that people aren't good at everything. How many people in high school with a 4.0 GPA could make the (American style) football team, let alone be the star player? Or run fast enough to be a sprinter on the track team? Or both? How many of those star athletes have a legit 4.0 GPA? And while some of those athletes have the big rep to score the hot chicks, how many of them have the personality to legitimately influence people into going their way? And more unlikely is the proposition that those incredibly bright students could strike up a conversation with random strangers and have it end with anything that wasn't awkward and weird. On the other hand, what are the odds a natural born shit talker would invest the effort to be exceptional in either academics or athletics? But it's FANTASY, isn't it? So people won't accept that their fantasy alter-egos can't be great at everything. That's why the creators of D&D started adding advanced classes and multi-classing and etc etc etc forever. You gotta give the whiners what they want if you want to be successful.

Myrkrel: Apparently they haven't done their research. Gygax was far more influenced by weird tales, pulp sword & sorcery and especially Jack Vance (for the magic system), than by Tolkien. The article writer ought to look at Appendix N in the 1st edition AD&D DMG to truly understand the roots. Tolkien is mentioned, but alongside a long list of other authors.

It's true they had a lot of influences, but if it hadn't been for Tolkien it's likely D&D would never have existed. Certainly, it wouldn't have taken off the way it did. I'm old enough (barely) to remember how popular Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit was with hippies and various other weirdos in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Lord of the Rings made D&D cool, in a way, or at least understandable, to a lot of people that would have had no clue WTF it was all about, otherwise.

Myrkrel May 6th, 2013 04:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by CraigCWB (Post 1061196551)
It's true they had a lot of influences, but if it hadn't been for Tolkien it's likely D&D would never have existed. Certainly, it wouldn't have taken off the way it did. I'm old enough (barely) to remember how popular Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit was with hippies and various other weirdos in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Lord of the Rings made D&D cool, in a way, or at least understandable, to a lot of people that would have had no clue WTF it was all about, otherwise.

Oh yeah - I could totally see LotR contributing a lot to D&D's popularity - but my main issue was with the statement "Pretty much everything in D&D came from Lord of the Rings", which oversimplifies the game's history to a ridiculous degree.

BillSeurer May 6th, 2013 16:36

The original D&D boxed set had three classes but they were fighting-man, magic-user, and cleric. No thief/rogue. Soon after though the *four* basic classes in D&D emerged: fighter, magic-user, thief, and cleric.


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