Echelon Archetypes

This is part of the Echelon RPG Development series. Here are links to other articles of the series:

Archetypes are similar to classes, but unlike proper classes, they do not determine a character’s abilities. As such, Archetypes work a lot more like a template with the exception that a character may only have one Archetype associated with him. Echelon will make heavy use of templates later in order to apply characteristic sets to characters and monsters (i.e. demonic, vampiric, zombified, ghostly, etc.).

Archetypes help build character concepts, serving as the foundation of character development. While selection of an Archetype can make certain paths easier, it does not mean characters need to adhere to those paths. In fact, completely ignoring those paths can make for more interesting characters. Each Archetype confers bonuses to one or more Secondary Traits, access to Archetype Advantages, and provides a unique Archetype Power.


Adventurers are thrill seekers and tomb raiders who refuse to earn their living by traditional means. Many adventurers prey on the week, practically ransoming safety from villages in plight or extorting nobles to rescue relatives. However, there are some that do it just for fun or to be heroes.

Trait Bonus: +10 Bonus to Vigor

Bonus Advantage: Extra Favored Ability

Archetype Power: Fortune Favors the Bold

Once a day, before making the action roll, an Adventurer can use this power to gain a bonus on a single action roll equal to the character’s Apotheosis rank +2. Using this power is a Free Action.


Brutes are stronger than ordinary specimens of their Species. They tend to be excellent athletes and warriors, but more often than not, they become common thugs and miscreants. However, a few noble Brutes have leveraged their prowess to become pillars of the communities they protect.

Trait Bonus: +2 Bonus to Resilience

Bonus Advantage: Stout

Archetype Power: Blood in the Water

Once a day, before making the action roll, a Brute can use this power to gain a bonus to his Impact score for a single damage roll equal to the character’s Apotheosis rank +5. Using this power is a Free Action.


The Devout allow their faith to guide them in all things. Whether it is faith in a god, a cause, or themselves, the Devout use their faith to help them triumph in the face of impossibility.

Trait Bonus: +2 Bonus to Resolve

Bonus Advantage: Karma Sink

Archetype Power: Divine Intervention

Once per day, before the damage is rolled, a Devout may force an opponent to reroll any attack that the Devout was a target of. The result of the second roll is used to determine the success regardless if it is better or worse than the original. In the case of area effects, the new roll only applies against the Devout. Using this power is a Free Action.


Mentalist characters prefer brains over brawn in any confrontation. They use their superior intellect to discover opponents’ weaknesses and strategies and exploit them. Mentalists are found as often in the ranks of military officers as they are in arcane libraries.

Trait Bonus: +10 Bonus to Animus

Bonus Advantage: Metaphysics

Archetype Power: Vitiate Energy

Once per day, upon a successful attack which deals Vitality damage to an opponent, a Mentalist may instead choose to reduce either the target’s Temporary Animus or Temporary Vigor instead. This power must be invoked before damage is rolled and gains bonus damage equal to the Mentalist’s Apotheosis rank. Using this power is a Free Action.


Scoundrels make their living on deception and misdirection. They are natural smugglers, thieves, and rogues but they be found in all sorts of professions. Whichever career they choose, they have a tendency to quick and elusive when in a pinch.

Trait Bonus: +2 Bonus to Reaction

Bonus Advantage: Quickened

Archetype Power: Elusive Step

Once per day, for a single Move Action, a Scoundrel can use this power to move 10 feet plus an additional 5 feet per Apotheosis rank without provoking attacks of opportunity and ignoring rough terrain. The Scoundrel may also move through spaces occupied by enemies but must end his movement in an unoccupied space. Using this power is a Free Action.


Survivors are often the only living citizens of villages pillaged and slaughtered by raiders, or former soldiers left for dead on the battlefield, or perhaps once infected by plague or other diseases. Whatever their misfortunes, they have survived insurmountable odds and overcame events many would perish in.

Trait Bonus: +1 Bonus to all Defenses

Bonus Advantage: Not Dead Yet

Archetype Power: Second Wind

Once per day, a character may use this power to regain half his Vitality. A character cannot gain more than his Maximum Vitality by using this power. Using this power is a Free Action.

Future Development

I can see an opportunity to grow Archetypes in the future by providing a rank or tree system, but for now, I’d like to just stick with basic implementation so I can have more time to develop Abilities, a preview of which is coming next.

Listening to: Scum of the Earth – Sleaze Freak – Devilscum

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