I’ve been fiddling with some character archetypes in the Primeval state recently, frustrated but unable to make a lot of progress with them as a result.

I had a pseudo-revelation that may be the answer to this annoying problem — Bards have more in common with Rogues than either Rangers or Reeves. I had identified all four as Primeval, and consolidated Rangers/Reeves (“forest cops”).

The problem I had was with making Bards strikers — like Rogues — instead of controllers, which they clearly are (with just a dash of the “leader” role). Rangers would make a good controller class, representing ranged combat superiority.

Sneak Attack / Backstab was only one facet of the issue — and I solved that by moving it over to the hypothetical “Assassin” archetype in a different state.

Reeves didn’t really scream “striker” to me, and I was having difficulty putting both them and Rangers together, despite their thematic similarities. If ranged combat was going to be a “thing” with Rangers, how was that going to work with other classes in the “Reeve” archetype. The Ranger couldn’t be the sole exception.

That would be totally against the point of the archetype system.

A couple times before, I’ve tried to put Rangers together with Hunters, but it didn’t really gel with me. I wanted to keep them largely separate so I could expand on each of their abilities — traps versus ranged combat — despite compelling arguments.

Then, looking at them just now I realized what I was doing wrong.

I wanted the Rogue to work as a sort of “Knave” to balance the virtue of the “Knight” archetype in the same state of magic — I recalled the Knight was more versatile than that. The Knight archetype is like a cop — which is at the core of the Reeve concept — but the Knight has a preference for charge attacks.

It occurred to me the Reeve and Rogue were actually two sides of the same coin — what really got me there was thinking of the legendary Sheriff of Nottingham — cookiemonger and I had just watched Disney’s Robin Hood.

With the Bard effectively the Primeval controller, and the Rogue/Reeve combination serving as the Striker for the same — the Ranger could go and join the Hunter archetype, as it probably should have done a long time ago.

Ah, compromise.