In Art of War, there are many stories to be told with the assistance of Tropes to define a heroic path. While you can fill your niche with a Trope angle, what can help guide you is the list of concepts to inspire character creation. We feature two different writing styles to highlight flawed and honorable concepts. Some with a description and others filled with questions to answer to help in background design of the hero. Not all are savory or simple, but are selected to portray a type protagonist. Below is a small sample from that list (some are still in draft format. Forgive our errors).
Acrobat: Flips, tumbles, balance, agility and strength highlight the qualities of an acrobat. Circus acrobats and wandering street urchins have talents that mix well with the lifestyle of a martial artist. Acrobats can be travelers showcasing skills of gymnastics, tightrope walking, dance and graceful movements by day, and use incredible talents to access third floor windows at night.
Drunkard: What happened to you? Or at least that’s what the townsfolk ask. You have fallen on hard times or an inebriated state is the only thing that quiets the voices, or perhaps you really just like booze. Everyone knows who you, but you often go overlooked and forgotten. Alcohol takes a lot of your money, no matter how you come by it. Keep in mind, even those with vices are entitled to redemption.
Hermit: For religious, research, training, or personal reasons you have shunned interaction with society to focus on your individual pursuits or redemption. Isolation can be a path of self discovery allowing a practitioner to understand and gain wisdom from the order of the natural world. How have you spent your time alone? Was it training on a technique, running from your past, or simply to become one with nature? Why have you come down from your mountain?
Soldier: Structured routine, paid accommodations, a term of service and decent salary is a life to look forward to as a soldier. This also means becoming a conscript in war that must be willing to face death. There are many avenues into becoming a soldier: volunteer service, family tradition, alternative sentence to minor crimes. Do you continue to serve in some capacity? Have you become a mercenary using your skills to earn coin? Have you recently ended your term of service and returning to civilian life?
Warrior Monk: Some call you a Sohei for you are a warrior devout in your belief. You do everything possible to maintain an ascetic lifestyle and religious devotion while practicing the martial arts. Even though your temple or sect might frown upon aggressive action, in this world you understand that you must be the warrior so others need not face the burden.
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