The crux of most RPGs is the class system that they offer. Classes add definition to what would otherwise be imagination. Without classes, all of the characters would effectively be the same and have the same abilities. And golly would that get boring. I know for me, my favorite part of character creation is choosing the class, so I can get right down to the nitty-gritty and figure out what my character is actually going to DO. Today, we’re going to talk about the job system in Sixteen and the details that go into it.
THE EIGHT PREFERENCES
In the Myers-Briggs theory of personality, eight different preferences are combined to create sixteen different personalities. Those eight preferences create four pairs of opposites, with each person having one preference from each pair. These preferences are Introversion versus Extroversion, Sensing versus iNtuition, Thinking versus Feeling, and Perceiving versus Judging. For the sake of Sixteen, these preferences are being interpreted somewhat loosely in order to give an idea of what each class represents.
INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT?
Every character has a preference as to whether they’d rather be part of a large group, or on a small team (possibly consisting of just themselves). Introverts work alone, or with a very small unit of trusted allies. Introverts are overwhelmed in situations where they are surrounded by a large number of enemies, or when multiple allies are calling for their help. However, they are incredibly effective when dealing with one person at a time. Conversely, extroverts thrive in scenarios where they are surrounded by people. They work well with others and can battle groups of enemies effectively, but when isolated they can be quite vulnerable.
SENSING OR INTUITION?
Sensing versus iNtuition is all about the world that the character is focused on: the physical one or the mental one. Sensing characters are aware of their physical surroundings, the details they take in with their five senses. They always clearly perceive what’s right in front of them but may not be able to see the bigger picture. iNtuitive characters are aware of their mental “surroundings,” a sort of sixth sense that enables them to see big-picture details. They often miss what’s right in front of them, though, as they tend to get lost in their own worlds.
THINKING OR FEELING?
These forces represent the ever-present opposition between logic and emotion, facts and fantasy, science and mysticism. A thinker is focused on what can be logically observed and quantified. They make reasonable decisions and can always look at situations objectively, although this can make them seem cold and distant when objectivity means hurting other people. Feelers are focused on what they feel, what they sense in their souls. They have rich emotional lives and are very empathetic, but this can create a subjectivity that sometimes leads them to ignore facts and reality.
PERCEIVING OR JUDGING?
While some characters can adapt to situations on the fly and resent the restrictions of rules and tradition, other characters thrive in structured environments where preparation is allowed. Perceivers are capable of improvisation and adaptable – indeed, they thrive in it. They like the freedom and flexibility, but this often leads them to procrastinate. They may not always have the tools they need, and not every solution can be improvised. Conversely, judgers are organized and prepared, observing rules and traditions so that their lives and actions may have order. Of course, if not given time to prepare or if forced to suddenly change their plans on the fly, judgers can feel directionless and unconfident.
THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Author David Keirsey created the idea of the four temperaments, an organizational tool that further defines and groups the sixteen personalities of Myers-Briggs. In Sixteen, these temperaments serve as broad job categories that help the players to understand what certain groupings of jobs have in common. The four jobs within each category always have two of their four preferences in common, meaning that they serve similar functions, though they may fulfill those functions in different ways. The four temperaments are Guardian, Artisan, Rational, and Idealist.
The Guardian jobs all share the preferences of Sensing and Judging. This means they are focused on the physical world, what they can see, and that they approach that world in a prepared and organized manner. Guardians like rules and traditions and thrive in those environments. They aren’t interested in theories or patterns – they deal with the tangible physical problems right in front of them. This allows Guardians to excel in combat – they prepare their strategies in advance and train themselves in tactics to they are ready for battle scenarios, and their focus on the physical keeps them from getting lost in unnecessary details.
Artisans all have a common preference for Sensing and Perceiving. Like Guardians, their focus is on the physical, but unlike Guardians they live in the moment. Artisans love the finer things in life, and they greatly value things like art, skill, craftiness, and eloquence. They live life to the fullest and are incredibly talented, becoming good at pretty much whatever they put their effort towards. This makes the Artisan jobs excellent with many BEHAVIORS, giving them versatility that makes them an excellent addition to any team. They are always willing to take risks that no one else will.
The Rational temperament is built on the preferences of iNtuition and Thinking. Unlike Guardians or Artisans, Rationals have little interest in the physical world. They are fascinated by mental challenges, and their logical minds are excellent at finding patterns and solving problems. Their intellectual prowess gives them power, as they are able to objectively observe situations and discover all the secrets they need to change the circumstances in their favor. Because they are inventive and understanding, Rationals can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
Idealists share the iNtuitive preference with Rationals but are Feelers rather than Thinkers. Existing in not only the mental world but also the world of emotions and spirituality, Idealists are incredibly moral and their focus is on moral concerns, particularly other people. They help their friends and allies reach their full potential. Their mental and emotional acumen gives them a sort of sixth sense, and many Idealists have a sort of indefinable quality that draws others to them. When it comes to strengthening and restoring the other members of the team, no one does it better than the Idealists.
THE SIXTEEN JOBS
Now that you have an understanding of the preferences and the temperaments, we can talk about the sixteen jobs available in the game. While some jobs may appear to have overlap, each one is designed to offer a unique experience. My inspiration for the jobs comes directly from the personality types themselves, but with some fantasy RPG flair added in to make them more like traditional RPG classes.
THE SUPERVISOR – ESTJ – The Supervisor is, as the name implies, a leader. They tackle problems they can see, like physical enemies or issues with supplies or goods, and they do so with preparedness and a logical approach. Supervisors don’t stand by with their arms crossed – they check their supplies, buy equipment, and battle enemies. They lead by example, and they are well-informed in tactical maneuvers. Example abilities include buffs for allies that follow-up on the supervisor’s actions, and bonuses for employing various combat maneuvers.
THE INSPECTOR – ISTJ – The Inspector is perhaps the greatest example of organization, a character that identifies problems, prepares a solution, and then executes it. Inspectors tend to work solo, conducting recon on their own to reduce the risk of being discovered. Their observation of rules and traditions makes them more than just monster hunters, though, and they are often hired as law enforcement. Example abilities include skills for identifying enemy weak points, and abilities that deal enhanced damage to rulebreakers.
THE PROVIDER – ESFJ – Providers are defenders of institutions. Things like schools and churches are the domains of the provider, and their strength comes from their desire to defend those institutions. Because they are driven by emotion rather than logic, they don’t have the same tactical approach as the supervisor or inspector. Providers are excellent team players and even have some mild healing/support abilities. Example abilities include having higher defenses when protecting something, and dealing extra damage to enemies of their institution.
THE PROTECTOR – ISFJ – The Protector is a bodyguard to those that (s)he cares for most. Developing fighting skills steeped deeply in tradition, the protector develops a number of unique special abilities that only years of training can provide. The Protector only applies their abilities in the defense of close friends or family, but anyone trying to harm the one that a protector protects is doomed before they begin. Example abilities include damage reduction when protecting an ally, and stat bonuses due to extensive training.
THE PROMOTER – ESTP – The Promoter is a smooth-talking wheeler and dealer. They’re the life of the party and the mouth of the team, able to say exactly the right thing in every situation. They love living on the edge and taking risks, particularly when risks lead to great rewards. Promoters often volunteer to start missions that others are nervous to pursue, willing to rush into situations that others will not. Example abilities include skills that make the Promoter more effective in conversations and deals, and bonuses to checks made when rushing blindly into trouble.
THE CRAFTER – ISTP – The Crafter is a master of tools of all kinds. It’s rare to see a Crafter without a tool, and as long as they’re holding one they’re going to be using it skillfully. This incredible versatility makes them very handy in the field, as any mechanical obstacle can easily be undone by a skilled Crafter. Like Promoters – perhaps even more so – Crafters love risks and putting themselves in danger. Particularly if it means they get to play with their toys. Example abilities include flat bonuses to their GEAR ratings, and extra modifiers when using tools with their BEHAVIORS.
THE PERFORMER – ESFP – The Performer has one purpose in life: entertainment. Whether instilling joy in themselves or others, the performer lives to create enjoyment. Smooth-talking and often talented in something like music, dance, or acting, Performers use their skills to invigorate the team and keep them healthy. Compared to other Artisans, they have more of a support role, but they still have many skills to bring to the table. Example abilities include healing allies with meal and music, and invigorating them during battle with a quick ditty or joke.
THE COMPOSER – ISFP – The Composer is a master of one art. Whatever that art is, nobody does it better than the Composer. Composers do not meticulously plan their creations – they have an incredible innate understanding of the elements of their work and are inspired in the moment to create something fantastic. It is as if the need to create seizes them in the moment, scooping them up and carrying them off into the realm of the fantastic. Example abilities include additional BEHAVIORS points for their specialty, and inspiration during combat or other challenges of how their art can turn the tide.
THE FIELDMARSHAL – ENTJ – The Fieldmarshal is a natural leader, having the talent from a very young age of taking command of groups of people. It is an unavoidable part of the Fieldmarshal’s abilities to build organizations and push them towards a goal, a goal that the Fieldmarshal is able to visualize better than anyone else around them. Their ability to visualize their goals helps them to equip and prepare their team with unrivaled skill. Example abilities include drawing battle plans that give bonuses for executing them, and incremental rewards or bonuses for meeting goals.
THE MASTERMIND – INTJ – The Mastermind, more than any other Rational, is an expert in contingency plans. They don’t just have plans A and B, but also C, D, E, and all the way through Z. They are driven by efficiency and will quickly isolate and eliminate any inefficient practices in their system. Laws, rules, and traditions don’t mean much to them, only ideas that have a logical sense. Because of this, Masterminds are able to think in radical ways that bring newfound efficiency to old systems. Example abilities include reduced costs for crafting, and special modifier bonuses when enacting a contingency plan.
THE INVENTOR – ENTP – The Inventor begins inventing from a young age, and as (s)he grows that skill grows beyond the strictly mechanical into abstract ideals as well. Of all types, Inventors are the least likely to do something a certain away because that’s how it has been done before – their drive is always to create something better, more efficient, more inventive than the first creation. Because they are Perceivers, Inventors don’t spend their energy making meticulous blueprints – they create a rough idea of what they want and then proceed, working out the kinks along the way. Example abilities include bonuses for modifications to creations during combat or puzzles, and improvements to their inventions the more they work on them.
THE ARCHITECT – INTP – Architects are able to see complex systems and break them down into their component parts, observing and rearranging patterns with ease. This stretches beyond the mechanical, though, and unique amongst the Rationals the Architect has incredible abilities in debate. Their ability to reduce anything to its basic patterns and rearrange it makes them devastating in combat, as they can quickly analyze bad situations and turn them around to favor them. Example abilities include improved modifiers in debate scenarios, and the ability to rearrange the parts of enemy tech and repurpose them.
THE TEACHER – ENFJ – The Teacher is a natural supporter, their powerful belief in their students driving them to always help those students improve. They facilitate learning and self-improvement like no other, using their excellent communication skills to inspire their students. Thanks to their Extroversion, they are able to support the whole team at once – and often more, if needed. They bring their best work to the table when they’ve had time to prepare their lessons. Example abilities include the ability to increase EXP for their allies, and buffs to specific BEHAVIORS or COMBAT thanks to lessons taught.
THE COUNSELOR – INFJ – Where the Teacher focuses their support abilities on many, the Counselor concentrates on a select few. Their guidance not only bolsters and teaches their students but also restores them, enabling Counselors to provide both healing and buffs to those around them. They also have a sensitivity to the emotions of others so powerful that it borders on psychic. Example abilities include the skill to read the hidden thoughts or feelings of others, and the ability to heal one ally significantly over time.
THE CHAMPION – ENFP – The Champion always seems to be on the front lines in the battle between good and evil. They are adventurous and consider life to be an endless string of incredible possibilities. This makes them similar to Artisans in their drive to experience life, but their desire is more driven by a spiritual experience than by finery and other more hedonistic motivations. Their gift for language is extraordinary, and they use their life experiences to inspire others to great deeds. Example abilities include attacks that deal more damage to truly evil opponents, and the ability to rally people to a specific cause.
THE HEALER – INFP – The Healer is the most combat-passive class, as Healers dislike and avoid combat as a rule. They are mediators whose title of Healer applies not only to physical wounds but also to social and political situations. Healers are driven to mend the world’s problems, usually focusing on one issue particularly close to their heart. They are gifted communicators whose strong sense of morality drives them to help others, even at a personal cost. Example abilities include healing skills for both groups and individuals, and pacifistic alternatives to resolve combat situations.
That’s a lot of stuff, right? And ultimately it’s just a little taste of what the jobs can do. I can’t give away all the details, though – otherwise I don’t have anything to publish! *wink* I allude here to a few different concepts I haven’t discussed yet: being able to train in BEHAVIORS, technology skills, and spirituality, for example. My next post will discuss these sorts of things – specifically, the mechanical application of the specialties of the temperaments. Look forward to that post tomorrow. For now, I hope you enjoyed learning about the job system of Sixteen!