Stereotype List

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A list of stereotypes and archetypes for use in games. Everyone gets stuck now and then, and this list might help you out of a pit.

== Kids, stereotypes and archetypes are NOT the same thing

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Genre-Based Stereotypes[edit]

Although this list has been categorized by genres, an efficient method to employ a stereotype is to move it from a familiar genre to a fresh environment with appropriate modifications.

All genres[edit]

Believer: Believes everything, even the most far-fetched and unlikely theories. Put on the map by David Duchovny's Fox Mulder of The X-Files.

Sacrifical Virgin: Stereotypical beautiful innocent female, except she is always hunted after because well, she's so damn pretty and pure that she would make a swell addition to one's villianous flesh cookie batter. Often saved by some heroic dullard on a horse with a pointy stick. Princess Peach from the Mario franchise.


Street Samurai: Cyberpunk. Modernized version of the traditional Japanese samurai, although more pragmatic. William Gibson's Neuromancer introduced this concept in the person of Molly Millions.


(Elvish) Archer: Fantasy. LotR (Legolas), Salvatore (Catti-brie). Linked with The Ranger.

Grumpy (Dwarven) Warrior: Fantasy, obviously. Effectively used in LotR (Gimli) and R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novels (Bruenor).

He Who Is Foretold In The Prophesies: a.k.a. the "Chosen One" The prophesy is an old favourite in fantasy literature, and is also easily used in RPGs. He Who Is Foretold often has additional powers that are crucial to the story. The Belgariad (Garion, and just about everybody he travels with), Star Wars ('He who will bring balance to the Force'), Harry Potter ('...the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not...').

Jive-Talking Wizard: A more annoying cousin of the Old Man, this character constantly makes obscure references, veiled warnings, and obscure prophecies, but whenever someone asks them to talk straight, they reply that the time is not yet right, the questioner is not yet ready for such knowledge, ad nauseum. He may speak in rhymes.

Prodigal Son / The Hidden Heir To The Throne: LotR (Aragorn), Simba (Lion King). Anybody any more examples? Linked with "He Who Is Foretold In The Prophesies". King Arthur / "The Once and Future King."

Prophet: Hey, somebody has to make the prophesy. Related with The Wise Old Man, although that one is often more active.

Stuck-Up Paladin: Fantasy, again. Paladins can be so 'holier-than-thou' and condescending, they're a real pain in the ass.

Stupid Orcs: Never see an orc mage.

Psuedo-Evil Witch: Joins the hero with dubious intentions. Clearly evil, but hates the guys you're fighting even more. Very powerful, condescending, often scantily clad and with posh English accent.

Female Mage/Healer: The ever faithful sidekick who specializes in healing her comrades, she is only really there to be the main love interest of the male lead. Gentle, powerful, kind, gracious--this character is infuriatingly perfect and usually completely two-dimensional--as well as brick stupid, seeing as she falls in love with the main male lead despite his violent tendencies and god complex. eg. Arieth from FFVII


Film-fan: Knows every film and can spew forth relevant quotes in every situation.

Nerd: Member of the chess team, high grades in mathematics, plays games and reads comics. Complete lack of social skills. Of course, can also be 'redeemed', and those computer skills sure can come in handy. Mostly harmless, until stroked the wrong way. Buffy: the Vampire Slayer (Willow), Revenge of the Nerds. Also see: The Mad Scientist.

New Kid: whether they are reluctant about the move or excited for a fresh start, New Kid faces the challenge of making new friends, rude front desk ladies, bullies, etc. (Can also apply to "'Hero/Heroine Thrown Into a New World'" cliche); usually fixes social issues or influences the authoritative figures into making the school a fairer/more harmonious place

Popular Girl: by money or own accomplishments, this girl has it all. Or does she? Her arrogance and bitchiness may cause her friends to abandon her if they see her true self. Or the girl is 'redeemed' by a movie-shaking turn of events. Often captain of the cheerleading squad. Buffy: the Vampire Slayer (Cordelia), Mean Girls {Regina George), Sarah Michelle Gellar's character in Cruel Intentions.

Psycho-analyst: Too busy analysing himself, his friends and their relations to actually live life. Dawson from Dawson's Creek.

Quarterback: Handsome, athletic but often also a bit lacking in mental and social skills. Can be a bully to the Nerd, and is often the Popular Girl's love interest. (And vice-versa). Has a squad of henchmen, who are always a bit more stupid and depend on the coolness of the leader.

Bad Boy: Slightly alternative, ruggedly handsome and mysterious. The guy doesn't care about looks and coolness and is thus not part of the Popular Gang. But he is rather interesting... Cool due to his rebelliousness.

Loner: Similiar to the bad boy. Few friends, whether by choice or force. Nothing particularly special about him. Smart, but doesn't associate with nerds.

Vixen: Often bubble headed, sometimes dangerous, always sexy.

Scene: The type between "prep" and emo. Often wears bright colors and poofy hair


Brash Pilot: The guys in the jets and choppers -- brash, cocky and arrogant. Often look down upon the ground hogs. Exemplified by Maverick (Tom Cruise's Character in Top Gun), Lt. McKay (the heli pilot in Tour Of Duty). Wedge Antilles in Star Wars can also be seen as a Brash Pilot (although his character eventually becomes more mature later on, turning him into the Competant Officer.)

Loudmouth Sergeant Who Loves his Men: Loud, gruff, tough and grizzled, this archetype takes in much of the Grizzled Veteran, only the Sergeant also operates as a mother hen for his men. He is a decent fighter, but his strength lies in his ability to get his men, who are each better at a specific aspect of soldiering than he is, to do their job and not shirk from doing it well. Think Big Joe from Kelly's Heroes.

New Recruit: Young, naive and overly enthusiastic. Get their dreams of fame and glory shattered, if not by the Drill Sergeant, than often on the field of battle. Some survive to become more experienced characters and thus can become a Drill Sergeant or Grizzled Veteran. Most of the characters in Tour Of Duty and Band of Brothers.

Officer Fresh From The Academy: Has all the training but none of the experience. Can be a real threat to his unit if he stubbornly leads them, believing his theoretical knowledge and the rules to be superior to his lower-ranking's advice. Maj. Frank Burns in M*A*S*H.

Sergeant: A variation on the Drill Sergeant, this guy saves the lives of his soldiers time and again. Knows that practical knowledge beats the Rules and the Academy every time. Stern but fair. Adored by the men, hated by the Officer Fresh From The Academy. Sgt. Zeke Anderson in Tour Of Duty.