Deeper character creation: dramatic poles revisited

One of the most powerful storytelling tools I’ve encountered this year is also one of the simplest: the idea of dramatic poles from Robin D Laws’ Hillfolk RPG. I write about it more here. 

I thought it would be fun to come up with some more ideas for dramatic poles, organized by class, alignment, and background. I’ve numbered them, so you can use a dice roll to determine one randomly if you want. Let me know if they are useful, and feel free to make requests for any archetypes you think I’ve missed!

The full post is a Patreon exclusive. I’ve included one class, one alignment, and one background below to give you a sense of the whole thing.

⚔️ Fighter

  1. Mercy or ruthlessness
  2. Loyalty or ambition
  3. Courage or vulnerability
  4. Honour/chivalry or pragmatism
  5. Duty or freedom
  6. Justice or vengeance
  7. Competitiveness or camaraderie
  8. Discipline or impulse
  9. Common good or personal gain
  10. Heroism or cynicism

❤️Neutral Good

  1. Idealism/compassion v realism/pragmatism
  2. Self second or self first
  3. Freedom or order
  4. Hope or despair
  5. Forgiveness or justice
  6. Peace or conflict

⚔️ Soldier

  1. Duty or independence
  2. Trauma or resilience
  3. Honour or survival
  4. Vengeance or forgiveness
  5. Justice or revenge
  6. Family or comrades
  7. Trust or paranoia
  8. Ambition or contentment

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