May 2013 Reviewing Archetype System
Apr 2012 Introducing the Archetype System
Jul 2011 Classes, Roles, and States

I’ve been developing the Archetype system for three years now — check out the links for a few milestones — and it’s nice to see that I’ve made progress.

When I started the “class project” which would become the Archetype system, I originally envisioned classes based upon skill usage. There were something like eighty class archetypes in the original draft. Some things have changed.

For example, I first removed the skill connection to classes — then the suit connection to roles — then I dropped skills from combat entirely. Archetypes are now strictly power source-to-role and I have only twenty-eight to worry about.

I’ve gone through phases where I wanted none of the Archetypes to resemble existing classes — then I wanted to redefine classes I felt were “misrepresented” or “wrong,” and many of those sentiments remain. I will redefine many classes.

Last year around this time, I reached a major turning point when I began to actually develop classes around the Archetypes. It led to a number of interesting discoveries and a lot more research — all of it good.

Keeping the Archetypes relatively abstract has allowed me to develop the system without tying any one class to any one feature — for example, I recently recombined the Ranger with the Warden and moved the Ranger back among the “Faerie” Archetypes. That might not make sense to anyone but me.

At the same time, I’ve broken down the game into its elementary mechanics, especially combat mechanics, and reevaluated the importance of individual roles and maneuvers and so forth. I’m using Archetypes to reinforce magic themes.

The Seven States of Magic incorporate mysticism from all across the world and through time, even going so far as to include modern science fiction and fantasy elements that didn’t appear in traditional mythology and fairy tales.

It isn’t a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, it’s the whole gorram kitchen.

From the beginning, consistency has been a thing for me. I have that now, and it’s only getting better with time and continued development.

What I hope to have, presumably within the next few years — it’s always been hard to predict the development of this thing — is a fully self-contained magic system that is internally consistent and explainable from any angle.

If you encounter a faerie or a vampire or a beholder or a god or a barbarian or a hydra or Jack the Ripper or an asura or an OT angel or an NT angel or Azathoth or a genie or a jack o’ lantern or anything at all really, then you should be able to drop it neatly into a clearly-defined category.

You should “get” the supernatural entity you’re dealing with and know its place in the cosmos, from the perspective of a player — if not your character.