Heroic Archetypes in The Carrington Event

Before you start play, you need to pick a Heroic Archetype, a Tragic Flaw, and a Gothic Mystery. Each set you up in a different way for your adventures. Each also gives a different aspect.

Your Heroic Archetype describes the kind of character you are seen to be. They fall into six categories, so if you really want, you could roll a d6 to find the category, and another d6 to find the specific archetype within that category.

The archetypes presented here are merely suggestions, and you don’t need to roll if you don’t want to. You can invent your own (or mix and match those listed), but try to keep the same style. They usually have an emotion, combined with an activity, which tells us what you can use the gained aspect for. Some of the archetypes below just talk about profession (activity) – feel free to add an emotional component.

Write a sentence or paragraph describing what this archetype actually is and what it entails, and if any are needed, include historical details. What happened when you got it?

The archetype isn’t fixed – it might become less important later in life, or drop in importance. In other words, don’t agonise over this choice – you can change it later.

  1. Adventurers: Men and women of action, who rush headlong into danger, solving problems with their wits and blades. The most important abilities are Daring and Ferocity.
    1. Brash Duellist: You are probably a commoner, and get into fights, brawls, or duels on the street. You might have some familiarity with crime, or get drawn into fights to defend people you care about.
    2. Cynical Soldier of Fortune: A veteran of military campaigns, who might have been dashing cavalier once. Now you make a living as a mercenary, just waiting for your heart to be opened once more.
    3. Dashing Cavalier: You are or were a hero of a prestigious cavalry regiment, and might have proven yourself in a famous military engagement.
    4. Feisty Adventuress: You might be a lady of means who left behind the comfortable life of womanhood to defy convention, or came from more humble origins to prove yourself the equal of any man.
    5. Secretive Vigilante: You live two lives, perhaps your public face is a foppish libertine while living a secret life driven to put on a mask to act against injustice.
    6. Vulgar Showman: You put on a good show, perhaps a circus strongman, street pugilist or wrestler, and so on. Both men and women are readily accepted in this role, with women being seen as more shocking and daring. You might be celebrated and feted by those of better means, but always as kind of a pet.
  2. Divas: You are charismatic, or charmingly manipulative. You talk your way out of problems – or into them. The most abilities are probably Charisma and Prestige (with some Shenanigans).
    1. Cunning Diplomat: You have travelled the world on sensitive missions of intrigue for your nation, or sometimes your employer. You might be a free agent now, called on for the skills and position developed during these years, or you might secretly still be serving… someone.
    2. Pillar of Society: You hold, or held, a respected position, like a functionary of a nation, the CEO of big business. Your old position brings you respect, and also maybe unwanted fame.
    3. Frivolous Socialite or Scandalous Libertine: You come from means, and are seen as a fop or dandy. Perhaps you use your position for your own advantage, or get familiar with the low life dives that cater to your sort, and spend your aunt’s inheritance on drink, opium, and (shock) card games.
    4. Passionate Demagogue: You are a rabble-rouser or agitator. You have a cause and the charisma to gain a following. Do you use these drawn to your banner for your own purposes or do you genuinely believe in raising the plight of whoever you are championing?
    5. Enterprising (or Shady) Entrepreneur: A businessman or businesswomen known for schemes or investments that don’t always work out. Maybe you are spending your family inheritance on a ridiculous dream (this castle will stand up in this swamp!), or maybe you have more earnestness than good sense. Maybe you have powerful debtors who are starting to want a return on their investment….
    6. Celebrity: You are a performer and entertainer, whether in written form or acting, dear boy. Your fame may have helped you survive some scandal or other, or perhaps you court scandal. You might be invited to reclusive balls because of your sharp and entertaining tongue.
  3. Explorers: Many of your Hero’s adventures were far from civilisation. You are resourceful and independent, and perhaps uncomfortable in industrial regions. Worldly Explorers of this time tend to be Learned and have some fame and respect (Prestige), but are also cunning and brutal (so Shenanigans, Daring, and Ferocity are good backups). Explorers are expected to be gruff, lacking ability with the social niceties.
    1. Big Game Hunter: You gained your fame through killing or driving off formidable wild beasts, and have either done this many times or gained a local following or reputation as the one to call in when a terrifying beast is running amok.
    2. Intrepid Explorer: You have travelled into the unknown, and may gave discovered a lost city, pyramid, source of a famous river. You are expected to be able to handle yourself, and to be a little rough around the edges, but some explorers are darlings of society and get the riffraff to do the hard work.
    3. Hero of the High Seas: You gained fame, or perhaps notoriety, through piratical adventures at sea. Perhaos you were the sole survivor of a raided crew who rose through your cunning, ferocity, and leadership to become a pirate captain, or perhaps you rain away from an unwanted life to prove yourself to the rough-and-ready sailors you found yourself with.
    4. Relentless Survivor: You didn’t choose the life of an explorer but were shipwrecked or stranded, and the story of your survival, requiring courage and daring, have become a thing of fame. The truths of that story is up to you, in addition to whether there were witnesses…
    5. Wild Brave: Some people of means gained fame from being stranded, raised by wolves or local tribes-folk, and returning to claim their inheritance. Others were members of strange tribes giving rise to pompous tales of the Noble Savage. You might have a scorn for civilisation and an appreciation for the more spiritual, or maybe you appreciate everything that wealthy colonial nations offer.
    6. World-weary Traveller: You are an “ordinary” person of some means with a love of foreign cultures or a scorn for your own, and spent move of your time travelling the world by train or sea. You might be a glorified tourist with all that entails, a pompous champion of uncivilised folk, a hero of the downtrodden, or just someone who likes travelling and has the means to travel (or their employer sends them to far flung places).
  4. Scholars: You have faith in reason, science, and technology, and solve problems by outsmarting them. Your faith in reason, and tendency to be a know-it-all, might create as many problems as it solves! The most important abilities are likely Learned and either Worldly or Tinkering.
    1. Daring Engineer: You see nature as a force to be conquered, and build railroads and dams through hostile land, blast your way through mountains, and travel the world on the ships and dirigibles you build. You are man (or woman) of science! (Whether for the betterment of humanity or the benefit of your pocketbook is up to you.)
    2. Eccentric Visionary: You are not part of the establishment, and see yourself as standing on the vanguard of new knowledge. Perhaps the continents move, or they are strange worlds hidden beneath this one, or the poor asylum dweller john carter really did travel to Mars. Things are changing fast, but not fast enough for you. Perhaps you are a grifter, recognising that the misses will eat up wild stories, or perhaps you really believe some eccentric truth about the world and are frustrated you can’t get people to believe it.
    3. Legal Eagle: Clerks and lawyers are in great demand in this age of civilisation, but you or superior may notice oddities as they look over those books. Maybe you champion the downtrodden in the courts or administration of poor houses, or are a simple member of the rising middle class, aware of how the world works and fimnding yourself drawn into adventures which challenge those assumptions.
    4. Military Nurse or Doctor: You care for others through the healing power of science, and maybe find yourself partnered up with a consulting detective, dealing with ruffians with your background experience and your trusty revolver. Or perhaps while making your name as a doctor or nurse, you revolutionised the way your ward tended its patients through pushing the science of cleanliness. Perhaps you are not who you say, and maybe not even the same sex, but your history stands for itself.
    5. Reckless Inventor: Some people of means, whether simple or grandiose, use their money and their intellect to build or design your own contraptions. You might be the first in your locality to own a marvellous steam-powered automotive, and build your own inventions – and some of them even work! Many heroes of the Penny Dreadfuls of this time fall into this category, hether building time machines, turning themselves invisible, constructing islands full of strange intelligent animals, or pretending to be doctors while defying god to construct a man.
    6. Stern Governess: You are an instructor, possibly teaching young minds or caring for the wards of distant aristocrats. Maybe you believe in the teachings of your books, or maybe you have seen some things… A good teacher is always in demand.
  5. Scoundrels: You are sneaky by nature, and use your skills to expose injustice, or to line your own pockets… Scoundrels are familiar with the failings of humanity, and might be either investigators or exploiters. Primary Abilities include Deduction and Shenanigans, and possibly some Drudgery.
    1. Consulting Detective: You have seen the failings of the so-called justice system,and put your faith in the revelatory powers of Science! You may have gained a reputation for solving mysteries that the law could not, or discovering truths they didn’t want anyone to know. Consulting detectives (or private investigators) are a new breed and while some follow the latest inventions (like fingerprints) some become little more than enforcers for those with money (like the Pinkertons). The term detective is broad – this covers journalists and biographers, dilletante investigators of all sorts.
    2. Gentle Thief or Cat Burglar: As a person of means, you have access to mansions and stately homes, meany of which have valuables just there, ready for anyone to take. The more grandiose your scheme, the better. Of course there are lowly cat burglars, and stories of daring exploits. Or perhaps you are known as an excavator of mysterious tombs, one who has overcome traps and curses.
    3. Plucky Ruffian: You are poor and live on the streets, and may even have started out as an urchin. You might be a lowly tavern keeper or a simple rough-and-ready servant orth whois overlooked by your ‘betters’ but always know more about what is really going on.
    4. Machiavellian Mastermind, or Criminal Enforcer: Some scoundrels are criminals, no question, exploiting their fellow humans for their own benefit. Or maybe they simply have a position in some criminal organisation, perhaps not by choice, and seek a way out of it. Then again, they may be scornful of the powers that be, and believe this is the only way to do “the right thing” in this world.
    5. Person of Letters: Some people travel the world investigating things for their employer or nation. Some uncharitable sorts would call these people secret agents or spies. Sometimes they have identities that give them some plausible deniability (their letters), but if they are too exposed, they will be denied.
    6. Weird Watcher: You are in investigator of human nature, and have seen that wealthy houses often lock away those they don’t want seen, but have also seen that some people rally do push the limits of what we know about mankind. You might have taken part in wacky treatments, or carried out abductions and cover-ups for your employer.
  6. Spiritualists: You believe in something more than the material world. With an Eldritch Secret, these beliefs might be true.
    1. Activist Priest: You are a man or woman of God (or another faith!), and uphold the ways of your faith. This may be celebrated, or seen as weird if its a more fringe belief. This faith may position yourself well in your adventures to come, or you may find it being challenged. Maybe looking around at the world, it is already being challenged.
    2. Adventure-seeking Cultist: The secret society and cults in the vein of the Hellfire Club are starting to fall out of fashion, but the wealthy scions of important families seeing adventure and scandal manage to prop them up, especially if the cult is Freemasonry. Some cultists earnestly believe their strange teachings and know with this next sacrifice, or wild party, they’ll finally summon this unpronounceable god and who will be laughing now!
    3. Monster Hunter: Most people think you unhinged, but you have faced something of the supernatural – perhaps a creature of the night, a wolfman, even a revenant back from the dead. The more you talk about it, the more unhinged you appear, but when people notice something queer, they may come to you.
    4. Parapsychologist: You believe that strange things like ESP and ghosts are manifestations of the natural world that science has yet to explain. But by God, you’ll be the first to expand this new frontier! While lacking any real success so far, you are interested in any strange tales that come across your desk…
    5. Faithful Reformist: The world is advancing and new wonders are discovered all the time, and yet people still suffer privations. Perhaps these people need to be taught about their own failings so they can improve themselves, or perhaps you are driven to simply help those in need. You might have been involved in a work house or home for troubled women.
    6. Spirit Medium: You believe you are being guided by or possessed by spirits of the dead, or you worked with someone who did, or perhaps you conducted an elaborate charade on gullible rubes. Choose whether your are cynical or accepting (or even gullible).

Later, you’ll choose six Abilities, and this archetype will inform your choices more than any other trait. If you’re a Brash Duellist (for example), you want abilities that suit a brash duellist. This choice is the closest thing to a “class”. If using these rules to play a genre other than this game’s peculiar brand of steampunk, this is where you choose your profession.

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