Revisiting Velotha's Flock: Archetypes Part 1

in #gaminglast year

The Archetypes system in Velotha's Flock is intended to give players an opportunity to fully explore their characters from a conceptual level, giving them powerful and meaningful abilities that direct them toward a certain path.

In this update, we'll be looking at the original Archetypes from the core rulebook of the Early Bird Edition, but we'll also look at the additions from the advanced rulebook soon. All rules are reverse-compatible with the Early Bird Edition available on DriveThruRPG.

Archetypes (Part 1)

The goal of Archetypes is to give each character a really simple definition that gives them some strengths but doesn’t require a whole lot of thought. You should be able to look at an Archetype in the list and think “Oh yeah, this will let me do X, Y, or Z” like I want.

However, each Archetype reflects the psychology of a character more than their physicality. They may have more practice and aptitude due to these inclinations, but they are generally focused on the mind.

0. Dreamer

You are consumed by your dreams and hopes, grand visions of futures that could be. You live in the full spirit of life, drawn from numinosity to numinosity with your eyes wide open.

+2 Swiftness
+2 Allure
+1 Resilience
-1 Acumen

Spirit of Innocence

You gain a +1 bonus to any attempt to avoid being discouraged, drawn away through deception, or otherwise distracted from your dreams.

Shadow of Denial

Once you have made a plan, you must make a RES[-1] test to avoid going through with it, even if evidence shows that it is no longer viable.

1. Outsider

You were never a fortunate son or daughter of the goddess. Her light has never shined upon you, and you have known bitterness, but it reminds you that you must make your own paradise and cannot count on others’ dreams.

+2 Resilience
+2 Technology
+1 Acumen
-1 Allure

Orphan’s Mouth

You gain a +1 bonus to any attempt to search for things you need, make a good first impression, or foment righteous anger.

Shadow of the Outcast

When someone rejects you, you gain a -1 penalty to all future Allure or Acumen tests regarding them as your bitterness overtakes your reason.

2. Knight

You are guided by memories or stories of how the Old World died and you were cast out of the Garden. You have taken the tragedy to heart, and strive to prevent the next defeat.

+2 Violence
+2 Resilience
+1 Swiftness
-1 Allure

A Thousand Wars

You are full of discipline and resolve, striving to master your craft so you can protect those you love. You gain +1 Violence when using a weapon you are familiar with, which is pretty much any of them.

Shadow of Wrath

The others cannot comprehend what it takes to fight and win the war. You suffer a -1 penalty to all actions that compromise your convictions or seek to avoid a fight.

3. Caregiver

You watch over the unhatched and the unborn, sheltering them from the destruction of the greater world that lies beyond their primordial paradise. Those who need help can always turn to you.

+2 Allure
+2 Resilience
+1 Acumen
-1 Violence

Echo of the Goddess

When you help someone heal or when you try to defuse a tense situation, you gain a +1 bonus to your rolls and the moon always shines.

Shadow of the Martyr

If someone you have helped with your Echo of the Goddess betrays you, check the moon. If it shines, there is no problem, but if it is dark, you suffer a -1 penalty to all actions until you are reconciled or the next sunrise comes.

4. Pioneer

You always push the limits of the known, going further from what has been discovered and into the greatest mysteries. Some would say that this is foolishness, but to you it is the only way to do what must be done.

+1 to all attributes.

Seeker’s Rebirth

When you would die and you succeed on the Resilience test to stay alive you regain one Hit, even if the moon does not shine.

Shadow of Imperfection

Nothing will ever be good enough for you; you might not even be able to settle for the Promised Land if you find it. When you compromise your ideals or act toward a lesser outcome than what you want, you suffer a -1 penalty.

5. Lover

You believe in building connections between people. Harmony is the path to a brighter future, and you will bring it about.

+2 Allure
+2 Acumen
+1 Resilience
-1 Violence

Lover’s Sanctuary

You cannot be attacked unless you are the only valid target for your opponents or you make yourself more dangerous than your companions. This can be bypassed with a RES[-3] test.

Shadow of Jealousy

If you fail an Allure test, make a RES[-1] test. If you fail this test, you suffer a -1 penalty to all actions until you can take an hour to rest and collect your thoughts.

6. Destroyer

Some things are ready to be burned to the ground, and you are the agent of change that the world needs. You are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to destroy evil wherever it is found.

+2 Violence
+2 Allure
+1 Acumen
-1 Technology

On the Precipice

You always go first in combat. If others have this ability, you roll initiative normally and everyone with this ability goes before people without it go.

Shadow of Wrath

If you don’t cause any damage to an enemy during a fight, you suffer a -1 penalty to all actions until you engage in destructive behavior.

7. Creator

You see the wonders of the universe and produce grand designs to bring even more of the potential to life.

+2 Technology
+2 Acumen
+1 Allure
-1 Resilience


Whenever you use advanced technology (e.g. electronics, motor vehicles) the moon always shines.

Shadow of Obsession

If you are interrupted in the middle of a task for any reason, you suffer a -1 penalty to all rolls other than that task until you finish what you started.

8. Ruler

You guide those who need guidance and make decisions that shape the future of those around you. It is a heavy weight, but you bear it willingly.

+2 Allure
+2 Acumen
+1 Violence
-1 Swiftness

Ruler’s Backing

When you have at least one ally at hand, gain a +1 bonus to Resilience tests.

Shadow of Tyranny

If someone defies you, you have a hard time handling it gracefully. Make a RES[0] test or suffer a -1 penalty to all actions until you are able to resolve the issue or until the next sunset, whichever comes first.

9. Magician

You know secrets that are older than the world itself, secrets of the Garden and the Promised Land and all that lies between. You are distant from others, but your inspiration guides you.

+2 Technology
+2 Swiftness
+1 Violence
-1 Allure

Magi’s Secrets

You find the workings of complex systems trivial, and that includes the world around you at large. You may make an ACU[0] test whenever the moon shines on your efforts; if successful you gain an insight about future events.

Orphic Shadow

You strike others as weird and unnatural; you gain an additional -1 Allure when dealing with humans who are not aware of what you are. You cannot hide your true nature from others who know what to look for.

10. Sage

The truth will set you free; there are laws and rules that govern the universe and you seek to set yourself in a position of unity with the flow of being itself.

+2 Acumen
+2 Resilience
+1 Swiftness
-1 Allure

Bearer of Truth

You cannot be lied to, and gain a +2 bonus to Resilience and Acumen tests to avoid being deceived. You also gain a +2 bonus to Acumen and Allure tests to convince people of the truth.

Shadow of Judgment

When you do something you know to be deceptive, immoral, or harmful, gain a -1 penalty to all actions until the next sunrise or sunset.

11. Jester

You have figured out the meaning of life: you have to actually live. There’s no reason to do things unless they contribute in some way to joy and forestall the decline into shadow.

Instead of gaining a fixed attribute bonus, roll a six-sided die four times and write down the results individually.

Each result is tied to an attribute:

  1. Resilience
  2. Violence
  3. Allure
  4. Swiftness
  5. Technology
  6. Acumen

You gain a +2 to the attributes associated with the first two results, +1 to the attribute associated with the third result, and a -1 to the attribute associated with the fourth result. If this would cause an attribute to exceed its maximum, it is increased past its maximum.

Keep the written down results so that you can change them later.

False Face

You take off the mask, revealing something that others could not have known hid beneath.

You may spend a token to reroll your attributes and apply the new effects, even after you make a test.

Alternatively, you may suffer a -1 penalty to all attributes for the next 24 hours to change your attributes without spending a token.

Shadow of Gluttony

You can resist anything except temptation. You suffer a -1 penalty to Resilience to avoid temptation. If something gives you a bonus against the temptation, this penalty increases to -2 to try to negate it; greater bonuses can overcome this penalty.

Designer's Notes

You'll notice a lot of little prods and tweaks here and there, plus some pretty major changes.

I renamed about half of the archetypes here. I'd been drawing the names from Pearson's personality archetypes, and many of them didn't necessarily stick for me; people who were familiar with Pearson's system would have had some dissonance (at least in my opinion). I don't think there's any real room for legal trouble there; the names themselves aren't enough to really cause problems and it's presented academically as an idea, so I'd have to basically copy text before we wound up in legal issues, but I also want to reflect where I've deviated, especially since her archetypes represent facets of a person and these represent core principles.

Also changed: pretty much anything strictly related to korakthropes. While I don't like the systems for playing heroic mortals and fallen angels presented in the Early Bird Edition's unreleased advanced guide, I also want to leave the path open for these archetypes to be applied to other characters as well.

Also changed the old Seeker ability to not be a return from death thing, but rather an improvement to resisting death. This may not be powerful enough, but I liked the idea of the Returned and didn't want to make it limited to a single archetype.

At Loreshaper Games, we're dedicated to the pursuit of free, fun, and meaningful storytelling in games and other media. Feel free to join us on Discord or Twitter (@loreshapergames), or follow us here on Steem for updates!

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