Roleplaying Writers

Philip van Dijk (1683, Oud-Beijerland - 1753, The Hague) Title The bookkeeper.
Philip van Dijk (1683, Oud-Beijerland – 1753, The Hague) Title The bookkeeper.

Ink & Quill

Author Thomas Knauss

Series Dragonwing Games/Bastion Press

Publish date 2002

Common interests alone do not spur the formation of the aforementioned groups. The participants’ personalities play an essential role in determining the outlook, structure and goals of these organizations. Writers rarely join the Profession for monetary reasons. Instead an inner and indescribable hunger to communicate their emotions, ideas, passions and desires motivates them to don their pen and pour their souls onto a blank page. Despite the generally universal nature of their creative urge, their reaction to its cravings shapes their personality in a variety of manners. Although hardly all-inclusive, a number of major archetypal personality types are provided. Intended solely as a guide, players may opt to select one of the personality types discussed below or create their own.

The Bohemian

The bohemian possesses a smattering of attributes found in many of the other personality types described below. With the educational background of the bookworm, the idealism of the romantic and the social skills of the rake, they are generally wellrounded individuals. However, their divergent interests frequently distract them from their task, resulting in brilliant, but sporadic work. They care little for wealth and material possessions, a fact demonstrated by their rather nomadic lifestyle. They make a conscious effort to avoid traditional conventions, instead experimenting with innovative and creative forms of their art. Lyrical poets, musical composers and playwrights are best suited as bohemians.

The Bookworm

The socially awkward, introspective bookworm prefers the comfort and safety of a quiet, solitary library to any social gathering. Possessing a remarkable Intelligence and mnemonic capacity, bookworms are voracious readers, digesting vast quantities of information in relatively short periods of time. Incredibly adept at producing scholarly texts and comprehending complex theories and hypotheses, they paradoxically encounter difficulties understanding and performing mundane, routine tasks. Although fairly comfortable among a small group of their peers, their confidence deserts them in a larger, integrated social setting. However, given time and effort, most bookworms acclimate themselves to society in general. Barristers, cryptographers, scholars and scribes are best suited as bookworms.

The Child Prodigy

Blessed at birth with an astounding talent, the child prodigy soars past her contemporaries and enters the adult world at an early age. At the behest and urging of a frequently domineering parent, she spends most of her formative years on the road, traveling from one performance to another. Often maturing into a spoiled and unruly youth, her adult admirers indulge her deviant behavior, while awed by her unbelievable abilities. Sadly, many child prodigies struggle with the transition from adolescent to adulthood. Deprived of the carefree years of a normal child, many simply burn out from overwork and parental neglect. Any writer is well suited as a child prodigy.

The Hedonist

Driven by an almost childish curiosity and naiveté, hedonists indulge their material desires regardless of the cost. Sociable and impulsive, hedonists act as the centerpiece for any party, freely showering acquaintances and flatterers with cash and gifts. Constantly crushed by indebtedness, hedonists hurl themselves into their creative work, waging a futile battle to generate more income than they spend. Vulnerability to substance abuse and lecherous confidence men exasperate their financial woes, ultimately leading to hopeless addiction and poverty. Lyrical poets, musical composers, and playwrights are best suited as hedonists.

The Loyalist

Although similar in some respects to the zealot, loyalists distinguish themselves from their fanatical counterparts in a number of ways. Tremendously proud of their heritage and culture, loyalists do not adhere to a particular political or religious agenda. Devout students of history, loyalists write to instill cultural pride into its citizenry through the heroic presentation of its past and present. In addition to their creative skills, loyalists are also accomplished warriors, leading their nation into battle against its foes. Despite their unswerving devotion and bravery, loyalists do not seek martyrdom like zealots. Warrior poets are best suited as loyalists.

The Rake

The smooth talking, suave rake uses her bubbly charm and disarming physical appearance to her best advantage. One step ahead of the law and spurned ex-lovers, the rake views life as an endless escapade fraught with peril and opportunity alike. Always on the prowl for a new sexual conquest, rakes spend much of their time and money at social events or in common gathering places such as taverns, inns and restaurants. Rakes do not discriminate based upon economic status; their social circles run the gamut from the wealthy and powerful to the seedy and downtrodden. Society views them as shallow, self-centered pariahs attempting to Constitution their way into their victim’s purse, bed or both. However, in many instances, the rake’s own insecurities and fears fuel their seemingly insensitive behavior. Barristers, lyrical poets,
musical composers and playwrights are best suited as rakes.

The Romantic

Shy and introverted, romantics adore their object of affection from afar, authoring countless verses and lyrics praising the attributes of their beloved. Unable to reconcile their carnal desire with their pure and rational ideals of love, romantics resign themselves to the path of inaction, convinced that fate interceded against them. In most circumstances, the romantic’s beloved is someone beyond their social or economic grasp
such as a married person, a royal family member or another powerful and influential individual. Torn between the insatiable need to garner their love’s attention and the fear of rejection and ridicule, the romantic purges her emotions through writing, secretly hoping and at the same time dreading that her suppressed longings are discovered. Lyrical poets and playwrights are best suited as romantics.

The Stoic

Consciously avoiding the pitfalls of emotion, stoics embrace a path of logic and discipline, viewing life through the eyes of an impassive bystander. Regardless of their condition, stoics accept the challenges fate bestows upon them. Even tempered in their demeanor, they claim to experience none of the creative ebbs and flows of their colleagues. Consistent with their general outlook, stoics approach their writing as a necessary task rather than a labor of love, endeavoring to educate rather than entertain their readership. Despite their insistent pleas, stoics never succeed in completely suppressing their emotions, a charge substantiated by their steadfast devotion to their philosophy. Barristers, cryptographers, scholars, scribes and warrior poets are best suited as stoics.

The Tortured Artist

Consumed by self doubt and loathing, the tortured artist both longs and dreads admiration by her peers. Although plagued by fits of debilitating melancholy and manic creativity, their demeanor remains constant and level. Quiet, contemplative and often timid, the tortured artist rarely initiates conversation, preferring listening over speaking. As a result of their bipolar personality, tortured artists produce voluminous quantities of work in compacted periods of time before again becoming dormant and depressed. Unfortunately, many of them acquiesce to the demands of an overly aggressive family member, friend or lover, eventually leading to their self-induced destruction. Lyrical poets, musical composers and playwrights are best suited as tortured artists.

The Zealot

Obstinate and headstrong, zealots proudly and openly display their passion, loudly extolling the righteousness of their cause. Whether motivated by national, political, racial or religious fervor, zealots write to espouse and advance the merits of their belief. Discarding the advantages of subtlety, zealots boldly proclaim their ideologies and goals regardless of the consequences. Zealots view martyrdom as the ultimate expression of their devotion. Despite their apparent convictions, zealots frequently contradict and pervert many of their belief’s tenets for their own purposes. Barristers, cryptographers, scholars and warrior poets are best suited as zealots.

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