Zodiac Archetypes
  • ♈ Aries:The Pioneer, The Explorer, The Combatant, The Freedom Fighter, The Defender, The Rescuer, The Worthy Opponent, The Dare Devil, The Adventurer, The New Born
  • ♉ Taurus:The Nature Spirit, The Musician, The Silent One, The Object of Passion, The Owner, The Temptress, The Artist, The Creator, The Banker, The Designer
  • ♊ Gemini:The Student, The Storyteller, The Gypsy, The Wander, The Journalist, The Trickster, The Comedian, The Child, The Writer, The Teacher, The Messenger
  • ♋ Cancer:The Healer, The Psychic, The Mother, The Invisible Man, The Maiden, The Witch, The Counsellor, The Seductress, The Psychologist
  • ♌ Leo:The Protector, The Warrior, The Artist, The Actor, The Ruler, The King, The Performer, The Golden Child, The Healer, The Prophet, The Magician, The King, The Queen, The Guardian
  • ♍ Virgo:The Healer, The Perfectionist, The Servant, The Analyst, The Alchemist, The Messenger, The Martyr, The Nature Spirit, The Naturopath
  • ♎ Libra:The Lawyer, The Counsellor, The Socialite, The Lover, The Peacemaker, The Creator, The Seductress, The Lover, The Flirt, The Minx, The Designer, The Mediator
  • ♏ Scorpio:The Mystic, The Alchemist, The Detective, The Sorcerer, The Hypnotist, The Chemist, The Psychiatrist, The Witch, The Investigator, The Fortune Teller, The Guardian
  • ♐ Sagittarius:The Wanderer, The Tourist, The Teacher, The Guide, The Philosopher, The Psychiatrist, The Student, The Benefactor, The Comedian, The Free Spirit
  • ♑ Capricorn:The Old Soul, The Administrator, The Judge, The Mentor, The Prime Minister, The Father, The Entrepreneur, The Banker, The Wizard
  • ♒ Aquarius:The Revolutionary, The Scientist, The Eccentric, The Visionary, The Rebel, The Genius, The Outlaw, The Free Spirit, The Activist, The Inventor, The Alchemist, The Exile
  • ♓ Pisces:The Mystic, The Dreamer, The Artist, The Poet, The Guide, The Guru, The Medic, The Healer, The Worshipper, The Creator, The Dancer, The Psychotic, The Addict, The Visionary

anonymous asked:

I write a lot and have a lot of different stories. However, I've gotten the critique that often my antagonists are really similar: Big, tyrannical despot type characters who have a lot of power. The problem is usually with my stories I /need/ a really powerful bad guy, or else they wouldn't be able to pose a challenge to the main characters. I've gotten better about it, but any suggestions?

When you think of ‘a really powerful bad guy’, how do you imagine them? Someone with a lot of money? Status? Pawns?

Power can be a lot more than someone with a lot of resources… Let’s look at some of the different types of power:

  • Physical power. Someone with great physical strength. Their power is best demonstrated in a physical fight. They use total dominance and aggressive, scare-tactics to maintain their position. If they lose a fight, they lose their influence of fear…
  • Intellectual power. Someone with a vast quantity of knowledge. Their power is in the information they have, and how they decide to use or apply it.
  • Coercive Power. This is power attained through the punishment of those who don’t comply. The power accumulates when others actively try to avoid bringing a punishment upon themselves.
  • Informational Power. This person knows things the other characters want or need to know. They can exercise their power by purposely withholding information, or only giving it in the way they specifically choose.
  • Legitimate Power. Someone in a high position, whether it be in government, the military or any standard work place. Their power is in their rank - without their title, they lose everything that comes with it.
  • Generational Power. This person comes from a long-line of powerful people. All of their power is in their reputation, so they must uphold it if they wish to be respected as their ancestors were. This power can also manifest as a bloodline power or ability.
  • Expert Power. The best of the best, this person is hailed as the most knowledgeable in a specific field. Therefore, they hold onto power not only through intrigue and recommendation, but by consistently proving they are better than any of the competition.
  • Ownership Power. This person only has power because they have claimed ownership of everything they command.
  • Reward Power. Someone who can offer special treatment or material items as a reward for desired behaviour from their subordinates. If they have something that is heavily sought-after, then their power grows all the more.
  • Referent Power. This person may have very little that entitles them to power, but the way they are received by others demands respect and reverence. In essence, they are worthy of power only if those who ‘worship’ them continue to believe they deserve their admiration.

When you imagine a ‘tyrannical despot’ character, you’re automatically taking from this list more than one form of power. That’s not to say a character can’t possess more than one type… but the despot character is a very specific one, along with the kinds of power they can exercise.

A despot maintains legitimate power - more often than not - by forcing their way into the seat (otherwise they wouldn’t be despotic). Since they fear their title cannot retain their power alone, they begin to exercise other types of power to keep their status. So, for example, reward power to those they want to keep close, coercive power to those who look like they may not be loyal to the cause, etc.

When you find yourself thinking up an antagonist, try to think about what other kind of powers might be in their reach.

Ultimately, in a story, there is The Big Bad. So, in Shaman King, although Yoh and his friends go through the tournament facing-off against a lot of different Shamans in one-on-one/group battles (arguably, mini-antagonists with different extents of power), the ultimate bad guy is Hao, who plots to win and use the legitimate power that comes with that to reform the world into a Shaman-only place.

Hao isn’t the Shaman world’s equivalent of a CEO or national leader; all he has from the list above is generational power and great physical power based on the fact that his spirit ally is nails as hell. He isn’t already the Shaman King… it’s something he is shown to work his way towards becoming.

You don’t always have to create the character to be at their peak from the very beginning. Even those without great legitimate power can hold something over the heads of your main cast in order to antagonise them throughout the story.

Power comes in all forms, and it’s not always, ‘the most powerful and influential person in the world’. Alongside Hao, there are other great and powerful shamans in Shaman King that hold power over Yoh and the other characters in some way. Just look at Lyserg, who becomes completely taken over by the X-Laws even though they’re not in a leadership role; they win him over by claiming expert power and using Iron Maiden Jeanne’s referent power as a poster for their ‘worthiness’.

Additionally, the shaman world coexists with the real world and even though the humans still have powerful representatives, those people have no influence on the story’s events.

I think all you really need to do here is think about new ways of creating your ‘really powerful bad guy’ by re-establishing the types of power they will need in order to do their job as your bad guy. When you start to think about making the biggest, baddest of the lot, scale the character down a little and think about other ways they could influence the lives of your other cast members. Basically, take away all of their resources and re-imagine what they would have to use and/or do to exert the power you want to give them.

Nobody is saying this character can’t become the biggest and the baddest… but they don’t always have to start out that way.

I hope this helps… Followers, any additional thoughts?

- enlee

MONSTERS AND MAGIC | The Incantation

It does not require a full moon. No
newts’ eyes unless you can get them cheap, nothing
seasoned dried smoked or
measured. Only this: It requires

a story, a teller, and a monster
to be overcome. It requires
a secret. This is why (they say) witches
are women. All those words
carried sharp in throat-back told since birth
never to tell, but witches
do. This is why (they say) witches
drip wicked. This is why (they say) witches are just
no good. When it comes to witches, men
will say anything, so

put some blood into it, and by blood I mean every razor word
they ever tried to cram back down your throat. Say

no. Say it
again. This is (witches know)
the only formula for magic.

– mythandrists

MONSTERS AND MAGIC | Angels of the Lord

It originally meant messenger, but God militarised them. And they let him. Legions of them, flaming swords and blinding halos, earthshakers, death on pale wings. The word of God is etched on their skin in Old Enochian; the wind through their feathers sings the Book of Revelation. They are beautiful, but only in the way monsters are beautiful: because they know how to kill.

The Four Temperaments
  • Taken from Wikipedia
  • Sanguine:The sanguine temperament is fundamentally sociable and pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are impulsive and charismatic. They tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be boisterous. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. Sanguines generally have an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right. They have no lack of confidence. Sanguine people are warm-hearted, pleasant, lively and optimistic. They have been called "people-oriented extroverts."
  • Choleric:The choleric temperament is fundamentally ambitious and leader-like. They have a lot of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill that in others. They are task oriented people and are focused on getting a job done efficiently; their motto is usually "do it now." They can dominate people of other temperaments with their strong wills, especially phlegmatic types, and can become dictatorial or tyrannical. Many great charismatic military and political figures were cholerics. They like to be in charge of everything and are good at planning, as they can often immediately see a practical solution to a problem. However, they can quickly fall into deep depression or moodiness when failures or setbacks befall them. They have been called "task-oriented extroverts."
  • Melancholic:The melancholic temperament is fundamentally introverted and is given to thought. Melancholic people are often perceived as very (or overly) pondering and are both considerate and very cautious. Melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry, art, and invention – and are sensitive to others. Because of this sensitivity and their thoughtfulness they can become preoccupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world and are susceptible to depression and moodiness. Often they are perfectionists. Their desire for perfection often results in a high degree of personal excellence but also causes them to be highly conscientious and difficult to relate to because others often cannot please them. They are self-reliant and independent, preferring to do things themselves to meet their standards. One negative part of being a melancholic is that they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of other issues. Their caution enables them to prevent problems that the more impulsive sanguine runs into, but can also cause them to procrastinate and remain in the planning stage of a project for very long periods. Melancholics prefer to avoid much attention and prefer to remain in the background; they do, however, desire recognition for their many works of creativity. They have been called "task-oriented introverts."
  • Phlegmatic:The phlegmatic temperament is fundamentally relaxed and quiet, ranging from warmly attentive to lazily sluggish. Phlegmatics tend to be content with themselves and are kind. Phlegmatics are consistent, they can be relied upon to be steady and faithful friends. They are accepting and affectionate, making friends easily. They tend to be good diplomats because their tendency not to judge and affable nature makes reconciling differing groups easy for them. Phlegmatics prefer to observe and to think on the world around them while not getting involved. They may try to inspire others to do the things which they themselves think about doing. They may be shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. Their fear of change (and of work) can make them susceptible to stagnation or laziness, or even stubbornness. They are consistent, relaxed, calm, rational, curious, and observant, qualities that make them good administrators. They can also be passive-aggressive. They have been called "people-oriented introverts."
MONSTERS AND MAGIC | Southern Witches

Raised on the Ten Commandments and original sin, they take after Lilith, not Eve. Late-night rituals, prayers whispered backwards, secret meetings in the woods behind the old water mill. They convene in graveyards, keep jars of frogs’ eyes and cats’ livers in their root cellars. Every witch worth her salt knows this: fire is for invoking; water is for drowning dissenters.

A Hex Guide to Moral Alignment: Neutral Evil

Neutral Evil characters stick by their own morals, and can partner up with any other evil characters as long as they benefit from it or else share a common interest and/or goal.


  • amoral or immoral
  • selfish
  • obnoxious
  • revengeful
  • sadistic
  • egotistical
  • malevolent
  • elitist
  • smug
  • indifferent


  • Focused on themselves
  • Usually independent
  • Can work in the law
  • Will help others for rewards/payment


  • Disregards others
  • Usually pure evil
  • Dishonorable
  • Will not keep their word
  • Prone to cheating and lying
  • Will harm, attack and kill who they want
  • Has no loyalty to friend.

Associated Tropes

Associated Archetypes

  • The Assassin
  • The Villain
  • The Assassin
  • The Mercenary
  • The Con Man
  • The Scientist
  • The Innovator
  • The Engineer
  • The Soldier
  • The Bully
  • The Leader
Writing Archetypes: The Chessmaster

The Chessmaster is very simple in concept, but ends up being one of the most difficult characters to do right. This is because they are heavily reliant on the author having the firmest grasp they can on the inner workings of the societies in their setting both social, military, and political. They need a firm grasp on the actual landscape of the setting such as where the mountains are, what towns are situated where, maps, and such. They need an understanding of scope. Most importantly, they have to be able to keep an eye on the bigger picture.

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