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Archetype (Storyteller System)

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Archetypes are descriptive personality types used in the Storyteller and Revised Storyteller Systems. A different set of Archetypes was published for each game line with more introduced in various supplements, though many were common to all games. Characters are usually assigned two Archetype Traits: Nature and Demeanor.

A character's Nature is their basic personality, their fundamental behavior and perception of the world. When a character acts according to their nature, they regain Willpower (in the Classic World of Darkness, this was the primary method of regaining Willpower). Nature is not the only aspect of the characters true personality, merely the most dominant aspect.

The Demeanor, in contrast, was the image the character projected to the outside world. It did not impact the character's attributes as Nature would, but instead was effectively how the character wanted to be perceived.

For example, a character with a nature of Child and a demeanor of Celebrant would regain Willpower in situations where he gets someone to nurture or protect him, but overall acts like someone who enjoys life. His nature could manifest through a high degree of dependency, such as by partying until incapacitated and depending on someone to walk him home, provide a ride, or the like.

As a rule, Demeanors can be changed by characters with relatively little effort - they are, after all, surface impressions. Natures can be changed only in response to major events, and should require roleplaying. A change in Nature represents a major shift in a character's attitude and outlook.

Garou and other fera in Werewolf: The Apocalypse do not use Archetypes by default; the game mechanics related to Nature in other games are instead tied to the character's Auspice. However, the Werewolf Players Guide and Players Guide to Garou introduced Archetypes as an optional rule for Werewolf characters. Changelings in Changeling: The Dreaming possessed Legacies rather than standard Archetypes, reflecting the ways in which their personalities were tied to the Dreaming. In Trinity, Aberrant and Exalted, characters do not have Demeanors, only a Nature. In Adventure! and the Storytelling System, Nature and Demeanor were eliminated in favor of Virtue and Vice (albeit working somewhat differently in the two systems).

Nature played an additional role in constructing Orpheus characters; along with deciding what Shade a character might adopt, it also gave bonuses to a character's Willpower, starting Vitality, and starting Spite.

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