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Character Archetypes

Below are lists of various types of character and personality archetypes, with brief descriptions, that you may with to use to inform and inspire your character creation.

Jungian

Enneagram

Western Zodiac Signs

Chinese Zodiac Animals

Myers-Briggs

 

Jungian

Innocent

Innocents are the exemplars of optimism, and will always be kind and trusting. This means they help make the world a nicer, brighter place, but that they may sometimes need a reality check when their rose-tinted glasses cloud their vision of the truth.

Everyperson

The everyperson believes that everyone is equal, and that everyone belongs. They are honest and hardworking, but may create resistance if a leader tries to take the reins.

Hero

The hero is one who aims high and demonstrates discipline, focus and courage. They inspire those around them, leading teams to victory, but their uncompromising mentality can lead to burnout and even aggression.

Caregiver

Caregivers are responsive, consistent and trustworthy. They are natural parents, offering an ear, a hand and a shoulder to those in need. However, their support could grow excessive, leading to martyrdom and dependency.

Explorer

Trail blazers, Explorers don’t like to follow the map - they’d prefer to see what’s off the edge of it. Often with a childlike curiosity and enthusiasm they like to set their own agenda, but their unilateral ‘wherever I lay my hat’ attitude can make it hard for them to fit in with others.

Lover

Natural artists and connoisseurs, Lovers delight in giving all five senses the experience of a lifetime. They believe money is there to be spent on the good things, but can be overly susceptible to flattery.

Revolutionary

Revolutionaries believe rules are made to be broken, and the status quo is there to be challenged. They can bring true innovation and real change, but they might leave some damage in their wake.

Creator

Creators combine art with science, finding fluidity in order. They believe that inventions must be both beautiful and functional. Take this two far however, and Creators risk becoming mired in the frustration of their own pursuit of perfection.

Ruler

Rulers are the ones who naturally step into the lead and start giving orders – and everyone falls in line. They make things happen with the force of their personality, but may put others’ noses out of joint in doing so.

Magician

Big dreams and transformation lead the Magicians. They dazzle with their ability to accomplish the impossible and force those around them to adjust their perspectives. But doing the undoable takes great energy and they may struggle to maintain levels of expectation, and may burn out.

Sage

Methodical and objective, Sages like to have all the information and take their time coming to the best, evidence-based decision. They are smart to the point of nerdy, but their systematic approach may try the patience of those around them, and sometimes real life doesn’t give us all the information we need.

Jester

Jesters are innovative and outspoken, and people are drawn to their fun-loving attitude. They can take the pain out of life’s hardest moments, and lift us with a smile and a joke. Their downfall comes when times call for a bit more gravity, and they may be judged tasteless or foolish.

Enneagram

  1. Reformer

The Reformer is sometimes also known as the Perfectionist. They are idealists who set high standards for themselves and those around them and judge failure harshly. They focus on right and wrong, and tend to be direct, precise and honest. Others may find them preachy and closed minded. They believe in repressing their less virtuous desires.

  1. Helper

Helpers believe in giving and focus strongly on their relationships with others. This means they can be caring and supporting and go out of their way to help others, but some people might find this assistance crosses the line into meddling and intrusiveness. They are open and expressive, and genuinely listen, but they may end up nagging or resentful if their advice isn’t heeded.

  1. Achiever

The Achiever measures their worth by their goals and accomplishments. They work hard and enjoy a fast-pace, but they may step on other people’s feelings in their race to the top and can be impatient and preoccupied with their image. They focus on the topic at hand and get straight to the point with enthusiasm, but they can be overly efficient and override other’s views.

  1. Individualist

Individualists are romantics at heart. They are the dramatic artists, the poets, in search of a unique and ideal love. They feel things deeply and are empathetic and genuine but they can be moody and self-absorbed. Individualists have a flair for originality and take things personally. Others might find a them a bit intense and they may be prone to envy.

  1. Investigator

The Investigator values intellectual understanding and self-sufficiency. They want to achieve complete mastery of their knowledge and skills and prefer concepts to direct experience. They keep the world at arm’s length, preferring to analyse rather than engage. They speak in facts and figures and have no time to small talk. They may come across as aloof and emotionally disconnected.

  1. Loyalist

Loyalists are always seeking security in an uncertain world. They are intuitive and inquisitive always thinking and questioning. They are also trustworthy and make great friends. They believe that being prepared for the worst case scenario makes them more resilient, but this focus can make them come across as pessimistic, doubting and controlling.

  1. Enthusiast

Enthusiasts live for the pleasure of the moment. They are thrill-seekers, always upbeat and ready to grab the next opportunity for pleasure. They are optimistic and adventurous and so are exuberant, spontaneous and fun to be around. However, they can be easily bored and flit from one thing to another and they can be self-absorbed and indifferent to the input of those around them.

  1. Challenger

Challengers are big personalities with big ideas. They value strength and power and use their authority to seek justice, truth and to protect those weaker than themselves. They believe in taking decisive action, even if it means being impulsive. Others may find them confrontational, intimidating and loud.

  1. Peacemaker

Peacemakers like to go with the flow rather than make waves. They seek harmony and want everyone to feel included. They are easy-going, confident and are a steady hand. They pay attention to other people’s wants and needs and try to find compromises where there is conflict. However, they can be over-conciliatory when sometimes they need to put their own needs first. They can also be stubborn, indecisive, scattered and shy away from conflict.

Western Zodiac signs

Aries

Aries people are natural leaders, being strong-willed and creative. They are ambitious over-achievers with fiery personalities. They are loyal and often support the underdog, but sometimes they can be stubborn, and may jump in feet first without checking all the facts.

Taurus

Taurus people have strength and stamina. That can work for or against them and those around them as they have staying power to see things through, but may not know when it’s time to give ground or even quit. They are great listeners and are patient, practical and efficient and value simplicity and functionality.

Gemini

Flexibility, balance and adaptability describe the Gemini personality. Their responses can be difficult to predict and they may be prone to mood swings, but they can also be generous, affectionate and imaginative.

Cancer

Cancer people are traditionalists, loving a simple home life. They will usually be composed, but that hides a turmoil of moods going on under the surface. They are easily hurt and can be prone to depression, but they are loyal, sympathetic friends and carers.

Leo

Leo people are exuberant and powerful. Born leaders, they won’t hesitate to let you know what they think and that they are right. Which they usually are. They can be brave and intuitive, but may come across as pushy and overbearing. Their bossiness often hides a sensitive soul and an underlying insecurity.

Virgo

Virgos are charmers. They will listen so well you will find yourself telling them your deepest secrets and fears. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and have analytical intuitive characters. They can be short tempered and self-serving.

Libra

Libras believe in balance. They like to surround themselves with harmony and beauty. They are very active people, but can over-reach themselves and run out of steam. They are very caring and can be shy if not treated gently.

Scorpio

Scorpios are cool and confident. They can take on big projects and bold enterprises and achieve anything they put their mind to. However, they can be secretive and single minded and will never forget or forgive a perceived act of treachery.

Sagittarius

The Sagittarius person is a philosopher. They are able to focus and can be quite intense, but they are not patient and expect quick results. They are loyal friends but shy away from commitment.

Capricorn

Capricorns are practical and intellectual. They like to maintain order and stability and are very systematic in their approach. They are patient and will persevere in the face of failure but can be known to dwell on the negative.

Aquarius

Quiet and unassuming, Aquarius people will use unusual methods to achieve their goals. They will take up any cause and are honest, loyal and highly intelligent. However, they can be prone to laziness and can get lost in philosophical musings.

Pisces

Pisces people are knowledge gatherers, but they like to keep a low profile. They are unselfish and happy to stay out of the limelight. However they can be overcautious and sometimes gullible, and people may take advantage of their trusting, caring nature.

Chinese Zodiac animals

Rat

Rat people use their charm and imagination to achieve their high ambitions. They can be imaginative and generous towards their loved ones, but sometimes their power-seeking can get out of hand and they may come across as aggressive and distrustful. They have a hot temper and aren’t afraid to criticise those around them.

Ox

Ox people are honest and conservative and therefore make trustworthy steady leaders. They are strong individualists and can be persistent to the point of stubbornness. They can be inspirational and carefree but others may find them a bit plodding and reluctant to change their mind.

Tiger

Tigers are brave, big personalities. Some people may find them difficult to handle as they can be both unpredictable and aggressive, but under the surface they are sensitive and highly emotional. They like taking risks and enjoying the goods things in life.

Rabbit

Rabbit people like to keep their heads down. They are friendly and conscientious, so make good team mates. They avoid conflict at all costs and prefer a tranquil, secure existence. They are conservative and hate taking risks.

Dragon

Dragons are intellectual and domineering, you know when one has entered the room. They can come across as cocky and excel at whatever skill they put their hand to. However, they are not as confident and thick-skinned as they appear and hide a very tender heart.

Snake

Snakes are witty and romantic. They can be very intense and always pay attention to their intuition. They are preoccupied with looks so may come across as vain or shallow, but actually they have a deep wisdom and sharp intellect.

Horse

Horse people are hard-working and positive. They are usually popular, because they have friendly demeanours, but they tend to think of themselves as better than others. They are wary of the unknown but have a poetic manner and grace of movement.

Goat

Goats are artistic and passionate, but can lose track of details and become disorganised. They are warm-hearted and elegant, but in the bad mood can be pessimistic and have very fragile egos. They are good problem solvers but don’t perform well under stress.

Monkey

Money people are resourceful and entertaining, but can be unpredictable and easily discouraged. They have magnetic personalities so they tend to have lots of friends, but few who really know them well. They can be opportunistic and unreliable but can succeed in anything they try.

Rooster

Roosters are courageous and hard-working. They have a thirst for knowledge, are good at making decisions and are attentive to detail. However, they can be arrogant, egoistic and sometimes boastful. They can be reckless and eccentric when given a free rein.

Dog

Dogs are calm and loyal. They are good listeners and will be honest and helpful in their advice, but they can sometimes be paralysed by anxiety. They are constant worriers and have a tendency to see flaws – both in themselves and others.

Pig

Pig people are devoted and affectionate, but can have a short temper when rattled. They have romantic and materialistic ambitions and can be persistent in achieving their goals. They often devote their entire lives to a good cause.

Myers-Briggs

INTJ – The Strategist

Architects are strategically brilliant, and extremely capable. They are able to keep track of complex situations and act decisively. They have powerful imaginations and the ambition and determination to make almost anything happen. They are not restricted by conventions and are able to think outside the box to come up with influential innovations.

They hold others to their own high standards, which can be difficult, as others may find it hard to keep up. They have little time for things they consider frivolous, which can cause friction in areas such as personal relationships, which don’t always behave logically. They can be arrogant and judgemental and may tend towards a neurotic level of perfectionism.

 

INTP – The Engineer

Vigorously intellectual, Logicians are logically precise but also inventive and creative – they pride themselves on their unique perspective. They are responsible for many scientific discoveries throughout history as their ability to identify and analyse patterns is second to none. They are enthusiastic and objective and are honest to a fault.

They can be insensitive and unsympathetic to emotional considerations, as they dismiss them as irrational, and don’t understand them. They can also become so immersed in their intellectual analysis they become absent minded to the point of neglect. Their disdain of rules and guidelines, can sometimes cause them to disregard quite useful ones. As they are constantly hungry for new information, they can find it hard to commit to a decision.

 

ENTJ – The Commander

Commanders are natural born leaders, oozing charisma and confidence. They are efficient and energetic, and excellent strategic thinkers, they always have one eye on the big picture while decisively dealing with minor crises. They meet obstacles with enthusiasm, and enjoy setting their willpower against obstacles and overcoming them one by one.

They can be stubborn and lack the ability to compromise or listen to the input of others, and even be impatient with those who take a little more time to consider options. They are scornful of emotional considerations, which they consider subordinate to their primary goals, so can be hurtful in their bluntness. They can come across as cold, ruthless and arrogant.

 

ENTP – The Visionary

Debaters love mental sparring, especially with abstract concepts. They have a hunger for knowledge, which they absorb fluidly, without a need for a practical application. They are extremely intelligent and curious and like to attack an idea from all angles, just for the fun of it, even if it’s not something they personally agree with. They have a quick wit and are able to link disparate ideas.

As they value challenging all ideas for the sake of it, they can be very argumentative, which can cause tension and unhappiness in more consensus loving types. They can be insensitive to the fact that others might not appreciate their commitment to digging out the truth over all else and they may find it difficult to focus or concentrate on practical matters.

 

INFJ – The Campaigner

Advocates have a strong sense of idealism and morality, but they are no dreamers. They have the determination and willpower to change the world for the better. They fight for noble causes with creativity, conviction and sensitivity. They are warm and connect well with others, genuinely caring deeply for the feelings of those around them.

They a sensitive to criticism and can flare up if their motives are questioned. They are also extremely private, preferring the world to see their most ideal image. Their passion for easing the suffering of the world can lead to burnout, especially as they sometimes have little patience for the mundane but important parts of taking care of themselves and their desire for privacy may leave them isolated.

 

INFP – The Idealist

Mediators are idealists, seeing the good and kind in everything. They are guided by their principles, which revolve around honour, beauty and virtue. They are led by their genuine inner compass for right and wrong, rather than by external rewards and punishments. They have a talent for self-expression, though metaphors and parables.

They can become too focused on their quest for virtue and neglect common day-to-day demands, even to the point of losing touch with reality. They see the world with such broad brushstrokes that sometimes they may ignore the detail, especially when facts contradict their outlook. They are reserved and self-conscious and can be racked with guilt for not giving more of themselves.

 

ENFJ – The Leader

Protagonists are natural born leaders. They take pride in guiding individuals and communities and taking a stand for truth and justice. They have a knack for tailoring their communication to different people in order to reach them in a way that is meaningful to them. They are altruistic and genuinely want the best for others, and their authenticity often inspires those around them to self-improvement.

They can become over idealistic, and fail to accept reality when people disagree with them or their views. They are so sensitive to the needs of others, their own can get lost and if they spread themselves too thin they can become debilitated. Their self-esteem fluctuates depending on how successful they are in achieving their goals, meaning they can be prone to highs and lows.

 

ENFP – The Dreamer

Campaigners are free spirits and thrive on connection with others, often being the life of the party. They are always searching for the deepest meaning of life and take joy in seeing the world as a complex, mysterious system of emotion and compassion. They love to innovate and be creative and they like to play as hard as they work.

They can rely too much on their intuition, when sometimes a good look at the facts might serve better.  They are not very practical and find it difficult to focus, but at the same time can overthink things, looking for ulterior motives where none exist. They can be highly emotional and become stressed easily. Their need for complete independence can make working within societal and work structures a challenge.

 

ISTJ – The Worker

Logisticians have a tireless dedication to duty. They live with integrity and are guided by practical logic. They don’t make assumptions, preferring to work with facts they can confirm for themselves. They are autonomous and self-sufficient and consider dependency a weakness. They are honest even to their own expense.

They can be stubborn and insensitive in the face of what they consider impractical theories and time consuming debates that delay progress. They follow all the rules and go by the book, even when a bit of flexibility and understanding of context may be more appropriate. They can heap responsibility on themselves them unfairly take the blame personally if results aren’t delivered.

 

ISFJ – The Carer

Defenders are kind and humble, going above and beyond while underplaying their achievements. They are practical, loyal and hard-working and can be relied upon to get the job done. They are good listeners and take time to remember the details of others’ lives and make them feel special. They are thoughtful gift givers and are meticulous to the point of perfectionism.

Their shyness and humility means people may walk over them and take advantage. They take small things personally, but repress their feelings, which can lead to stress and frustration. They tend to overload themselves, trying to help all those around them while not burdening others with their own troubles. They can be reluctant to change.

 

ESTJ – The Governor

Governors represent tradition and order, and often organise and bring together communities, bringing people together and leading by example. They stick to their principles and believe strongly in honesty and hard work. They are practical and able to manage even large, complex tasks. They are patient and reliable and prefer straightforward and provable over abstract or overly complicated.

They can be stubbornly resistant to new ideas and modernisation, and can become stressed when places in unconventional situations. They are focused on social status and may be judgemental of those they consider ‘deviants’. They find it difficult to let loose and show their weaker or less dignified side, and find it difficult to express emotions. They don’t value beauty for beauty’s sake.

 

ESFJ – The Cheerleader

Cheerleaders are popular people, and can be found brightening any party. And it’s not just for show, they genuinely love people and hearing about everyone’s lives. They take their guidance from established authority rather than philosophy or mysticism. They are practical and love participating. They like feeling valued and appreciated, and make devoted and loyal partners and parents.

They care more about fashion and gossip than science or politics, and can be preoccupied with social status. They can be inflexible of embracing anything beyond the mainstream, and reluctant to step out of their comfort zone. Their need to be valued can turn into neediness and they can be oversensitive if people criticize or are simply indifferent to their efforts.

 

ISTP – The Mechanic

Mechanics love to pull things apart and put them back together better. They explore the world physically and believe in trial and error and first-hand experience. They have a permissive nature and are optimistic and energetic, happy to roughhouse and get stuck in. They go with the flow and are good in a crisis, not afraid to take risks and get their hands dirty, while remaining calm.

They can be easily bored, especially with long term projects that don’t change much, and similarly, they dislike commitment, preferring to live in the moment. They might push boundaries just for fun, or take risks for kicks and can be insensitive to others’ concerns. They often suffer from foot-in-mouth disease, so often prefer just to stay silent and aloof.

 

ISFP – The Artist

Artists are inspired by ideas and by the colourful, sensual world around them. They love experimenting and thinking outside the box. They are spontaneous and enjoy upsetting traditional social conventions, although they are sensitive to people’s feelings. They are constantly reinventing themselves and chasing their passions with vigour and aplomb.

They can lose their tempers in spectacular fashion and are prone to gambling and risky extreme sports. They are unpredictable and struggle to plan for the future. They can be selfish, manipulative and egoistic. They are emotional and can become stressed easily, and their self-esteem relies heavily on the opinions of others. They can be over competitive and bad losers.

 

ESTP – The Adventurer

Adventurers prefer to get on with it, rather than sitting around making plans. They love to be the centre of attention and will entertain people with their straightforward sense of humour. They prefer energetic, intelligent conversation, but don’t like to get bogged down with details or abstract concepts. They dive into the eye of the storm and believe rules were made to be broken. They are extremely perceptive and original.

They can be insensitive, and their blunt honesty can ruffle feathers. They are impatient with those who don’t move at the same breakneck pace as them or if they are forced to focus on minor details. Their tendency towards risky behaviour can land them in hot water or lead to unexpected fallout and their focus on the here and now means they may not appreciate the longer term objectives.

 

ESFP – Entertainer

Entertainers love the spotlight and will make every outing feel like a party. They are sensitive and supportive friends, happy to provide emotional support. They prefer to focus on immediate pleasures and they recognise value and quality. They are playful and fun and have a keen sense of aesthetics and showmanship. They are original and stand out in a crowd.

They can be over-sensitive and respond badly to criticism They avoid conflict at all costs, preferring to ignore it or say or do anything to avoid it. They can become bored easily and are terrible long-term planners, preferring to take things as they come. They struggle to focus on static topics that require long-term dedication.

 

 

 

 

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