Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Uriel718
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Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby Uriel718 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:57 pm

While I was browsing trough the "Upcoming Releases for The Dark Eye" discussion, there seemed to be some consensus that the Dark Eye 5th edition English version isn't all that beginner friendly. While thinking about that, I started to reread the Core Rules Character Creation chapter, and a thought occurred.

What are the archetypes of the Blessed Ones? I mean, sure, they're all priests, but many of them don't really match the priest archetype, or class, seen in other fantasy RPGs. All the mundane Dark Eye professions are archetypes themselves (warrior, knight, bard...), but the Blessed Ones are all simply priests, even though a priest of Peraine is totally different compared to a priest of Rondra. Compared to the D&D cleric class, there are a lot more differences.

In the Core Rules there is a following example of a player deciding what character to play "Recently, Louisa read several novels about assassins and thieves, and she would like to try playing a shady hero." However, what if Louisa had read books about Druids, Paladins, Eldritch Knights, Wizards, Necromancers, etc?

So, I decided to make a list of all the Blessed Ones and which archetypes those Blessed Ones could match. Now obviously this is going to be a rather crude over simplification and many Blessed Ones can match multiple archetypes, but that´s okay.

Here's what I've got so far:
EDIT2: Removed speculative archetypes and replaced them with official Variants

Blessed One of Praios -
Blessed One of Boron -
Blessed One of Phex - Cutpurse, Thief, Merchant
Blessed One of Rondra -
Blessed One of Peraine - Healer, Sower
Blessed One of Hesinde -
Blessed One of Rahja -
Blessed One of Efferd -
Blessed One of Travia -
Blessed One of Firun -
Blessed One of Tsa -
Blessed One of Ingerimm -

Followers of the Nameless One - Cultist

EDIT: Added Firun Archetypes
Last edited by Uriel718 on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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HEX the Dark
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Re: Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby HEX the Dark » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:46 pm

Uriel718 wrote:[...]
What are the archetypes of the Blessed Ones? I mean, sure, they're all priests, but many of them don't really match the priest archetype, or class, seen in other fantasy RPGs.
[...]
Compared to the D&D cleric class, there are a lot more differences.
[...]


That's because, lore and rule wise, are not like clerics at all. I am no expert on D&D, but what I have gathered from my brief touches with it, a cleric is basically a "godly wizard". Now, TDE5 has changed a lot of the rules behind the blessed ones to make them closer to mages, but in the lore they're quite different.
In D&D, as far as I have gathered it, it basically doesn't really matter which god you worship. In the end, you get cure wounds, bless weapon or whatever anyway.
In TDE each god has a very defined area of expertise, so to say. This is reflected in the blessed ones and from this stems the difference to the "priest archetype, or class, seen in other fantasy RPGs" (wich some exceptions I am sure).
In TDE the "archetype" you play as a blessed one is only partly influenced by the set rules and more by the lore. Of course, all servants of a god serve a certain mindset, else they wouldn't be serve said god, but within the churches are many different factions as well. Let's take the church of Firun for example. A hunter from the northern wilds, tough, strong, almost barbaric, has very little to do with the "gamekeeper" of let's say the horasian empire. They sure serve the same god - the god of hunt, self-abandonment and overcoming of obstacles, but in really really different ways. Even gods who have little to nothing in common can still have blessed ones who follow values of both, although not serving both.
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Uriel718
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Re: Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby Uriel718 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:14 pm

HEX the Dark wrote:Let's take the church of Firun for example. A hunter from the northern wilds, tough, strong, almost barbaric, has very little to do with the "gamekeeper" of let's say the horasian empire. They sure serve the same god - the god of hunt, self-abandonment and overcoming of obstacles, but in really really different ways.


And that's where, I'm assuming, the "not beginner friendly" comes in. Since we don't have classes in Dark eye, we have professions, but like you said, we also have cultures, which also affects the "class" or "archetype" of a character. It's nowhere as simple as many other systems.

That's why I'm creating this crude over simplification. In a situation where one of my players has an idea for character, barbarian for example, I would like to be able to offer most, if not all, viable options of playing a barbarian. And it seems that a Blessed One of Firun would allow for a "Nordic Barbarian, with magic potential" kind of character. Which might be more pleasing to that player than a Dwarven Warrior, a Tribal Warrior or a Thorwalian Sailor.

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Bosper
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Re: Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby Bosper » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:38 am

Best would be to completely forget the concept of archetypes and present the Aspects of the gods. There are basically parts of the church that focus on each of the different aspects. Some Firun priests focus on the hunt, those could be courtly game keepers or lone wolfs in the woods. Others focus on the winter and ice aspect either as a wise man or a hermit in the cold mountains.
But the basic archetype IS priest. They connect the gods with the believers. They just focus on different aspects of the god. Calling Rondranians Paladins creates more confusion than it would help. They are the ideal of the knight errant. looking for foul beasts to slay. Others are mystics, watching the fate of the world being foretold in the shapes of lightnings. A typical paladin is just a more warrior like servant of any god. Rondranians are pretty special. And more focused on themselves than on directly aiding others.
Killing the Wyrm next to a village is maybe helpful for the villagers, and protection is one of the aspects, but most rondranians would do it for the challenge alone.

Boron is the god of Death, Sleep and Dreams. They are caring for the deceised but also and especially in the south they are oneiromancers (interpreters of dreams). The Knights of Golgari again are a bit Paladin-Like on the first glance. The striking arm of the church, silent, efficient, and pretty mercyless ("if you draw your weapon do so to kill"). But again not knights in shining armor, but devout monks and disciplined warriors. They might decide to ease the death of a wounded one instead of healing if it looks like his time has come.

Well Efferd is basically Poseidon/Neptune. Thats easy to grasp. His priests focus on the elemental side of storm and water or the craft of seafaring. the latter being more of the urban culture type.

Peraine is often seen as Healer, because thats interesting for adventurers, But most priests will help the farmers and their crops and animals. Others will directly fight blights and sickness and even go into the Excorcist branch.

Travia basically cares for the poor. Thats what most of them do. Performing marriage for the "simple" folks and look after the hungry and unfortunate. Straightforward.

Phex IS indeed well summarised with Thief/Merchant. IF you only focus on the middenrealm. Phex is also the Moon and the tulamidian god of Magic and Guerilla Combat. Shadowwarriors against the scaled enemy that is the lizard folk.

Ingerimm is not only smithing. PCs are interestet in Weapons & Armor for sure but Ingerimm is the Brother of Efferd, a titan and god of Fire, Vulcans and Craft. Thats also Carpentry, Glas Blowing, Pottery, Jewel Cutting and so on. His urban priests aide and judge for the artisans guilds. His feral priests focus on the aspect of the red god, communicating with fires and ash. (quite literally)

Rahja is the goddes of wine, mirth, love, sex, beauty and basically everything else that is enjoyable. The Priests may just be highly sought after entertainers, but could also be knee deep in the mud training the best and most beautiful horses of the realm. Creating the best of wines, or introducing people the the hights of carnal love.

Tsa is as easy as complicated. Creation and novelty. If something is done, do it again, but differently. The paint on the temple walls will never dry, the sculptures never be finished. They surround themselves with artists and poets, or care for future mothers and aide the new live that is in mid creation. Others fight opressing and limiting regimes or for freedom in general.

Hesinde is scholars and magic. yeah thats it

Praios is oh so much more than just "paladin/cleric" Praios is the lord of the gods. He is the sun. He is light, he is rule, he is justice.
He is the one who gave everyone a place. So his priests will be there as council for the nobility. Strict Teacher and judge for the lower folks. As a Braniborian he is the other way around. Supporting and helping the low against unjust rule. Speaking for them and reminding the nobles of their duties, not only their privilege.
Others hunt down everything vile and demonic. As mystical hermit with pure karmal might maybe blinded by watching the sun. Or as Battle ready inquisitor acompanied by hardened Legionnaires.

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HEX the Dark
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Re: Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby HEX the Dark » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:17 pm

Uriel718 wrote:
HEX the Dark wrote:Let's take the church of Firun for example. A hunter from the northern wilds, tough, strong, almost barbaric, has very little to do with the "gamekeeper" of let's say the horasian empire. They sure serve the same god - the god of hunt, self-abandonment and overcoming of obstacles, but in really really different ways.


And that's where, I'm assuming, the "not beginner friendly" comes in. Since we don't have classes in Dark eye, we have professions, but like you said, we also have cultures, which also affects the "class" or "archetype" of a character. It's nowhere as simple as many other systems.

That's why I'm creating this crude over simplification. In a situation where one of my players has an idea for character, barbarian for example, I would like to be able to offer most, if not all, viable options of playing a barbarian. And it seems that a Blessed One of Firun would allow for a "Nordic Barbarian, with magic potential" kind of character. Which might be more pleasing to that player than a Dwarven Warrior, a Tribal Warrior or a Thorwalian Sailor.



That's a little hard to answer to, because you seem to mix two different things together.
a) "It's not simple."
b) "I don't find any archetypes."

Both I think have to be answered separately:
a)
Yes. TDE is not simple, at least not from the background. It's a living, breathing world that has been growing for over 30 years in a quite different way than e.g. the Forgotten Realms. If you follow the official timeline, it's a world full of politics, war, demonic incursion and mostly quite basic human problems.
That is, if you want to follow them. Many people don't like it and come up with their own version of Aventuria, where things have happened differently or not at all. And that's very well so. Especially beginners tend to or should focus on "simpler" settings (a reason why Nostria and Andergast were the first Region to be described) without much of the big politics.
It's even recommended for new players to start e.g. as a farmers boy, who wanders of into the big world for the first time, learning with their hero. So they start with "all Firunites are hunters" and somewhen meet one who isn't, for example, and suddenly a whole new aspect of the world and the god opens to the players and hero.

(Btw, I personally never thought TDE was not beginner friendly, but then, I read the rule- and sourcebooks like other did with novels when I was younger and really early lernt to ignore and adapt the overly complicated rules...
Almost all "simpler" rulesets I encountered didn't feel simpler to me, but just shallower.)

b)
Yes and no. Right now, you won't find many typical archetypes. There are archetypes, but archetypes of typical aventurian characters. Some of them are the same as in other fantasy settings (the dwarven warrior for example, the knight, the hunter etc. can all be found). Then again in TDE they're not just flat decals, they're real characters with a background, hence the threefold rede/culture/profession (what are you/where are you from/ what did you learn).
Right now, at least with the english publication, one big problem is that much of the stuff isn't really out yet. Despite (or because) TDE is has such a detailed background, there is also almost anything there.
You want to play a barbarian? Almost every mountain range has their own type of barbarian (a fact I for example don't like, but others do).
You want to play a Conan style barbarian -> the Fjarningers are your choice.
A Khal Drogo kinda looking dude -> go for a Trollzacker
Brutal mountain raiders in the desert -> Give the Ferkinas a try.


Once again, TDE is in many things quite different than other fantasy RPGs. In many cases more realistic, but sometimes just... different.
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Uriel718
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Re: Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby Uriel718 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Well both of you provide rather insightful analyses, and both of you seem to think that on some level archetypes and Blessed Ones don't mix, but neither analysis doesn't really answer the stated question.

To provide some backstory, I'm quite familiar with the Dark Eye. I have played most Dark Eye PC games, I own most of the English language material of the previous Dark Eye edition, and I backed all the 5th edition kickstarters for the collector's editions, but obviously there is still much that I don't know, especially since many things haven't been released in English yet.

There are some questions, that came to mind from your posts.

1. Why is it that, as Bosper said "Best would be to completely forget the concept of archetypes"? Given that archetypes are the basis of all mundane professions in Dark Eye? Even one of the upcoming Compendium kickstarter previews is titled "Compendium Preview #3 – Archetypes" and introduces the Albernian Farmer archetype. So it seems that the Dark Eye has an archetype for everything, except Blessed Ones, and archetypes are a big deal in Dark Eye. Even though I'm sure no player has ever had a farmer as their first choice when delving into a brand new RPG. Unless they've just seen the movie "Black Cauldron."

Obviously you can't compare a priest and a farmer. A farmer is a farmer pretty much everywhere he lives, or maybe not. Luke Skywalker was a moisture farmer on Tatooine. A profession quite dissimilar to a rice farmer in China or a vineyard farmer in France or rye farmer in Finland. So when you get really into the specifics, perhaps it would indeed be best to "completely forget the concept of archetypes" in any profession.

So why is a Blessed One profession so different compared to a mundane profession? Isn't it just a simple matter of attaching the culture in front of the archetype? As was done for the Albernian Farmer.

2. Whenever I play pen & paper RPGs, I always tend to play the same type of character. A religious character who gains his magical powers from his faith. Currently I've been mostly playing the part of the GM, but should I play as a player, regardless of the system. My first choice would always be a religious magic user.

Now, if I knew nothing about Dark Eye, I might be a little lost with the 12 options for a religious magic user. Fortunately each tradition and Blessed one profession are only about a page each in the Core Rules, so that wouldn't take long to read, but before I read any of those texts, I would talk with my GM, and would ask him/her to explain very very simply what would playing a blessed one of Praios, or Rahja entail. Now in such an event Bosper's explanation of Rahja wouldn't answer my question as a player. Because it's unlikely that I would be playing a whore or a horse trainer.

And, that's what the whole point of this discussion was. To provide the most simplest first step in explaining the Blessed Ones to a complete noob. If I'm casually talking to my players trying to convince them to play Dark Eye, that is not the time to go into in depth analyses of each Blessed One, but to provide a simple answer to a simple question. "Can I play as a fanatical Paladin?" "Yes you can, as a follower of the God Praios or Rondra, who are..."

So if you had to give each Blessed One an archetype or archetypes. What archetypes would you give?

Now obviously this is just how I see the introduction of new players to a new game system, perhaps to others an approach such as this seems strange, but based on my experience, players tend to ask very simple question, and expect very simple answers, when first learning about a new rule system and game world.

EDIT: Now I am grateful to both of you for your answers. In particular Bosper's presentation of the Aspects of the gods is definitely going to be useful in long run. I probably should have explained myself better originally.

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Re: Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby Shinxirus » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:22 pm

I think you misunderstand the concept of archetypes. The archetypes mentioned in the preview are the sample characters found at the end of each rulebook (which are called archetypes in TDE). In fact the classical fantasy archetypes play no role for mundane TDE professions, which simply represent professions that existed in the middle ages/renaissance.
As for Priests: Well the problem isn't that there is no archetype for priests, but that there are quite many. Religions in TDE are much more complex than in other games, and most simply cannot be reduced to a number of bulletpoints, let alone a single archetype. Even if you take out culture as diversifying factor, the churches still divide themselves into many sects and schools of thought, which would all create a different archetype. You're not just a priest of Praios, you're a Braniborian, or a Legalist, or a Pricipist etc. Maybe you belong to the Order of the Warden, or are close to the Holy Inquisition.

Then there's the idiosyncrasy. In the tulamidian regions, Feqz (Phex) is associated with magic (an aspect usually held by Hesinde) and the fight against the lizardmen. These aspects result in priests that are quite different from say their counterparts in the north. So again there is no archetype of a blessed one of Phex - rather there is one for the priest of Feqz, the blessed merchant from Festum, the scoundrel from Phexcaer etc.

To answer your question on how to introduce players to the blessed professions, I can only second Bospers advice: Don't try to shoehorn everything into a single archetype, but just explain the core tennets of the faith. Don't say "Rondrians are Paladins" - Instead say "Rondrians strive to uphold the romantic ideal of chivalry in everything they do, valuing honour above everything else". Apart from that, you can basically take each deity's aspects as "archetypes".

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Re: Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby Bosper » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:22 pm

Uriel718 wrote: I would talk with my GM, and would ask him/her to explain very very simply what would playing a blessed one of Praios, or Rahja entail. Now in such an event Bosper's explanation of Rahja wouldn't answer my question as a player. Because it's unlikely that I would be playing a whore or a horse trainer..

Then your GM could tell you that you also could be cultivating flowers. Or manage big festivals. But if its unlikely that you want to play like that, your question IS answered, you dont want to play a blessed one of Rahja. Thats what they do. Blessed ones are not clerics like in other RPGs they arent all made for fighting monsters. Some of them like most blessed ones of Tsa wont even fight anything at all.
SO the aspects of the god need to be of interest to you and you have to want to be a shining example of those aspects, spreading them and cultivating them along your travels. Thats what being a blessed one is about in general. So telling you what the aspects of the god and the main schools of thought are is the best he can do. The best you can do is to read about them, since you "need" to know about them anyway if you want to play in aventuria, as long as you are in touch with human civilisation which is deeply influenced by the faith of the 12.



The so called archetypes of TDE are examples of "one possible member of a profession" they are not THE typical one, just one that is quite likely in a region if you need to create one on the fly.

Uriel718
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Re: Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby Uriel718 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:39 pm

In many ways this has been one of the most interesting, bizarrely so, discussions I've had in any pen & paper RPG forum in a long time. Aside from holding a particular interest in the Dark Eye RPG, I am also almost equally interested in the Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG and, as a close third, 13th Age. I've also played homebrew and D&D.

It seems those games color my perception of the Dark Eye more than I realized. 13th Age has a class system similar to D&D, with all the same classes. Now Demon Lord, on the other hand, has a rather different system, that I now believe influenced my view of introducing Dark Eye to new players as a GM. In Demon Lord, after the party's first adventure, you choose a novice path (priest, magician, rogue, warrior). At level three you choose an expert path, of which there are 4: path of faith, power, trickery and war (priest, magician, rogue, warrior.) And for the path of faith, for example, the choices are: Cleric, Druid, Oracle & Paladin. And at level 7 you choose a master path, and in the core rules there are 64 master paths, such as: geomancer, diplomat, myrmidon, sentinel, zealot, tenebrist...

So it starts from a simple idea that over the campaign evolves into a very complex and specific path. And that's how I tend to approach most games, in the very beginning, when either exploring the game as a GM for myself, or introducing the game to my players. Starting from a very simple, very crude, over simplification, and if the players show a more in depth interest in a particular path, than we delve into the more detailed and varied explanation.

And if your coming to the Dark Eye after playing most any other RPGs that have a class system. I've always assumed that it would be best to "convert" Dark Eye terminology to a more common system. At the very beginning. I cannot stress that point enough, all of this was for figuring out how to best introduce someone who has no exposure to Dark Eye to the game. However the common opinion seems to be that you shouldn't over simplify the Dark Eye. So in my approach, that has served me and my players well thus far, I should just simply skip the first, and simplest, step.
Last edited by Uriel718 on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Uriel718
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Re: Archetypes of the Blessed Ones

Postby Uriel718 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:00 pm

Shinxirus wrote:I think you misunderstand the concept of archetypes. The archetypes mentioned in the preview are the sample characters found at the end of each rulebook (which are called archetypes in TDE). In fact the classical fantasy archetypes play no role for mundane TDE professions, which simply represent professions that existed in the middle ages/renaissance.


Actually I was referring to the profession package concept. In that you purchase a simple profession (which could also be called class or archetype), for example, the Hunter profession package for 246 adventure points, and then the rules provide several Variants. Which for the Hunter are: Big Game Hunter, Bounty Hunter, Slave Hunter and Tribal Hunter. With variable adventure points cost compared to the just Hunter package.

Mages however don't have Variants at all and the Blessed Ones Variants are for Peraine & Phex actual archetypes (Healer, Sower, Cutpurse, Merchant, Burglar) and for Praios, Boron, Hesinde & Rondra are cultural, political or dogmatic.

So why the variable approach to the Variants? Why provide practical Variants (which could be called professions, lifestyle choices, classes or archetypes) for Peraine & Phex, and no cultural, political or dogmatic Variants. And for Praios, Boron, Hesinde & Rondra no practical Variants, but only cultural, political or dogmatic Variants?

So if a player says they want to play a merchant or a healer. I can actually offer to "sell them" a healer mundane profession for 207 adventure points or a Blessed One of Peraine healer for 290 adventure points. And for merchant the prices are 315 AP for Blessed One of Phex merchant and 136 AP for a mundane merchant. But I cannot offer to sell them a mundane knight for 230 AP or a Blessed One of Rondra Knight for ~290 AP.

So what makes Phex and Peraine so different that the Core Rules provide a profession, lifestyle choice, class or archetype (or whatever you want to call those Variants) for them, but not for the others? And why don't Phex and Peraine have cultural, political or dogmatic Variants? Even though they clearly exist, as all of you have pointed out?

And why, what I'm most curious about, is it that everyone who has taken their time to answer my questions seem to find it very difficult give profession, lifestyle choice, class or archetype (or whatever you want to call them) Variants for the Blessed Ones, even though 2/6 translated Blessed Ones already have them in the Core Rules?

After all, all an archetype is, is "a very typical example of a certain person or thing." What are the two or three most typical duties, professions, jobs, whatever of any given God's Blessed One? Based on the Core Rules it could be understood that the three most common "professions" of Blessed Ones of Phex are Merchant, Cutpurse and Burglar and for Peraine most seem to do the work of Healers and Sowers. This is an official simplification offered for 2 of 6 priests in the Core Rules.


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