She-Ra and Fantasy Archetypes for Mystery Men!

Illustration by FeiLong EX at DeviantArt

So I was watching She-Ra this morning …

No, I don’t really know why. It was on Me! TV this morning, and I was eating my breakfast, and … anyhow, when He-Man and all that jazz hit the scene, I was just about too old for it. A friend of mine got all the original He-Man stuff for Hanukkah one year, but I’ll admit it didn’t do much for me. I was never into fantasy stuff as a kid – I was a Star Wars and G.I. Joe man myself. About the only times I ever handled a He-Man figure was when I was playing with my cousins, who were younger. Now that I’m an adult, though, and a fan of gonzo fantasy/sci-fi, I have to admit you can’t go wrong with something as bonkers as He-Man. As I was designing Mystery Men!, I always thought it would be an excellent system for running something like He-Man.

Which brings me back to She-Ra. They were showing what I gathered to be the second episode, since it was the second part of a two-parter and appeared to be introducing the characters. A couple things came to mind.

First, She-Ra was a mega-babe. Yeah, I know, immature. But there it is.

Second, she was a paladin … or at least I saw her “lay on hands” in the episode.

This got me thinking about some of the archetypes in fantasy games other than the fighter, magic-user and thief, and how they might be done in Mystery Men!

First and foremost, you have the cleric. The cleric could be a sorcerer who devotes more XP to his level (thus getting more hit points and a higher attack bonus) and less to his sorcery pool than your typical sorcerer, or he could be an adventurer who takes a few powers related to healing – maybe embedding them in a holy symbol to cut down on the cost. There is no “turn undead” power per se’, but one could use the Fear power and tie is solely to the undead, thus cutting the cost from 10,000 XP to 5,000 XP. If you also embedded it in a holy symbol, you could cut the cost down to 2,500 XP.

That covers the main classes pretty well, which leaves us with the sub-classes.

The assassin could be a thief with the Inflict Wounds power.
Barbarians are just adventurers with the Rage power and maybe Catfall – just look at my previous post on Conan to get the idea.

The bard is probably a sorcerer with a small sorcery pool and the Enthrall and Suggestion powers.

The druid is probably a sorcerer who maybe goes to the trouble of taking Polymorph (self, one animal only) as a power. By and large, you can just use a sorcerer who focuses on druid-y kinds of spells.

The illusionist, and other specialist mages like necromancer, enchanter, etc. is just a sorcerer who picks and chooses his or her spells. No need for special rules.

The monk is really just an adventurer with a few powers – Catfall, Inflict Wounds, etc. – who doesn’t wear armor.

The paladin is an adventurer with the Heal Wounds power, probably embedded in a holy symbol or the paladin’s sword, along with Remove Impairment.

The ranger is actually a tough one. Tracking is just a task check – no need for anything special there. The extra damage against “giant-class humanoids” or the 3rd edition “favored enemy” could be a limited Inflict Wounds, and thus bought at half price. Maybe throw in things like Weapon Master (longbow), Catfall and Speak With Animals, and you’re probably in the right neighborhood.

Anyhow, as I finished my eggs this morning, I decided I should throw together some stats for She-Ra, who is a good example of a character that straddles the “swords & sorcery” and “superhero” genres. Enjoy the Princess of Power, and if you’re in the middle of a game, why not let her show up and kick Wolverine’s ass or something, just for fun …

SHE-RA, Adventurer 9 (Captain of the Guard, Princess of Power)
STR 13 (+6) | DEX 5 (+2) | CON 5 (+2) | INT 3 (+1) | WIL 3 (+1) | CHA 8 (+4)
HP 63 | DC 16 | ATK +7 (+13 melee, +9 ranged) | SPD 2 | XP 13,900

Ability Boosts: Str +10, Dex +2, Con +2, Cha +5

Powers: Heal Wounds (others), Invulnerability I, Speak with Animals, Strike True

Gear: Longsword (Potent Attack, Shield; 1d8+8, can hit ethereal and incorporeal creatures)

4 thoughts on “She-Ra and Fantasy Archetypes for Mystery Men!

  1. I have just this week been reminded of skeletor for the first time since the 80s AND seen the 1966 Batman movie (Adam West) for the first time. And I'm distressed/delighted that apparently half my ideas for Carcosa Wacky Races had already been done years ago in these two sources.

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  2. Norem's awesome. 1960's Batman is awesome (I have no use for grim, “god damn Batman”, except for when he posts on Twitter). Guys from the old days who designed all this crap are awesome.

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  3. I was a little to old for He-Man/She-Ra. I've always been a Thundarr guy. And that Ariel certainly stirred something in my 12 year old soul.

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