Some folks have asked me about Archetypes: What they are and if they’re necessary. So I figured I’d take a moment to explain more about Archetypes to give you a better idea of what is we are previewing here.
Are they the same as the Archetypes in the Savage Worlds Deluxe corebook?
No, they’re not. I chose the term because it was fitting for what they are in Streets of Bedlam. In order to avoid confusion though, I’ll likely change the term to “Character Type” or something similar.
So then, what are Archetypes?
Archetypes are character foundations, not skill packages like classes are. Much like races function in other Savage Worlds games, Archetypes provide you with a basic idea, a special ability, edges and hindrances either specific to the Archetype or that would be good fits for it, and some suggestions as to where to go from there. (What I’m showing here on the site is just the tip of the iceberg. Archetype write-ups in the book will include a lot more information.)
Beyond those guidelines, you’re not restricted. For example, the Monster archetype put up yesterday could be used to create Marv from Sin City or Batman from The Dark Knight. All Monsters have a few things in common, the way the Kehana from 50 Fathoms all have sharp teeth and claws. Monsters are tough, a bit slow, and have a high resistance to bullets. Valkyries, whom we will meet tomorrow, are all charming, especially to those they intend to take down. Badges, Pilgrims, and others all have things in common, base traits, edges, and hindrances that make them, well, Archetypes.
Are Archetypes necessary?
Not in the strictest sense, no. Streets of Bedlam doesn’t depart greatly from the rules presented in Savage World Deluxe. One of the benefits of that is, if you’re already familiar with Deadlands Reloaded!, Rippers, Realms of Cthulhu, and such, you don’t have to learn a new ruleset. Another benefit is you can bring any other character your group allows into a Streets of Bedlam campaign.
Archetypes provide a lot of flavor, speak to the core of both the world and neo-noir point-of-view of the setting, but you are not required to use them. Most of the folks in the game world are average citizens living everyday lives. If telling their stories interests you, by all means, tell them!
What else would you like to know?
What questions do you have about Archetypes? Or about Streets of Bedlam in general? I’d love to know what you’d like to know about the game. Leave a comment below!
—Jason L Blair, Writer & Game Designer