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The warrior is a character who specializes in battle. Unlike swashbucklers, most warriors prefer to dispatch their enemies with ruthless efficiency and sound tactics rather than with flashy displays of skill. This does not necessarily mean that the warrior is a humorless killing machine, however. Many warriors revel in the thrill and glory of battle (and even more in the victory celebrations that follow). The main distinction between the warrior and the soldier of fortune is that warrior often fights for reasons beyond the simple desire to earn a living–justice, his homeland, or political ideals, for example.
The warrior is universal archetype that appears in nearly every genre of fiction. The only real difference between warriors from one genre to the next is the technology level of the tools they take into combat.
The Name Game
Warriors should have strong, action-oriented names that reflect their battle-readiness. They also frequently acquire nicknames that describe physical traits, reputations, or military rank.
Warriors are the muscle of any group, and therefore need high Body Numbers to reflect their physical prowess. A good Nerve Number allows the warrior to wade fearlessly into battle and provide leadership in combat situations. While a high Brain Number is not essential for warriors–in fact, the stereotypical warriors is often presented as rather dumb–it can be useful for spotting an enemy’s weakness or coming up with battle plans.
Suggested Jobs: Amazon, Archer, Assassin, Barbarian, Berserker, Bodyguard, Boxer, Brave, Captain, Cavalryman, Commando, Duelist, Enforcer, Footsoldier, General, G.I., Gladiator, Green Beret, Guard, Guerilla Fighter, Gunslinger, Gunner, Henchman, Highwayman, Hunter, Klingon, Knight, Man-at-Arms, Marine, Mech Pilot, Mercenary, Monster Hunter, Musketeer, Outlaw, Paratrooper, Raider, Redcoat, Samurai, Sergeant, Scout, Sharpshooter, Soldier, Space Marine, Squad Leader, Street Samurai, Super Hero, S.W.A.T. Officer, Thug, Ultimate Fighter, Vigilante, Viking, Wrestler
Suggested Gimmicks: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, Battle Frenzy, Born Leader, Brilliant Tactician, Cybernetic Enhancements, Danger Sense, Giant, Gun-Fu, Hard to Kill, Lightning Reflexes, Mighty Thews, Nerves of Steel, Nine Lives, Tough a Nails, Reputation, Square-Jawed Man of Action, Super Soldier, Super Strength
Suggested Weaknesses: Anger Management Issues, Battle Scars, Big and Dumb, Danger Junkie, Getting Too Old For This Shit, Giant, Post Traumatic Stress, Sadistic, Wanted Man, War Wound, Warrior’s Code
Suggested Skills: Ambush Climbing, Axe, Contacts, Demolitions, Dodge, Foraging, Forced March, Fencing, Flame Thrower, First Aid, Gambling, Heavy Weapons, Horseback Riding, Hunting, Intimidation, Jousting, Knife Fighting, Martial Arts, Pole-Arms, Politics, Quick Draw, Skydiving, Stealth, Swordsmanship, Tactics, Tracking, Wilderness Survival, Wrestling
Andre The Giant, Adam Baldwin, Sonny Chiba, James Coburn, Sybil Danning, Johnny Depp, Michael Dorn, Sam Elliot, Mel Gibson, Brendan Gleeson, Lina Hamilton, Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Vinnie Jones, Lucy Lawless, Jet Li, Mr. T, Liam Neeson, Chuck Norris, Clive Owen, Mickey Roarke, Arnold Schwartzeneggar, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman, Gina Torres, Danny Trejo, Lee Van Cleef, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Christopher Walken, John Wayne, Carl Weathers, Bruce Willis, Chow Yun-Fat
Tag Line: “Any man don’t wanna get killed better clear on out the back.”–William Munny, Unforgiven
Tools of the Trade: Weapons, armor, and survival gear. The exact equipment used will vary with the technology level of the setting. While warriors are skilled with a wide variety of different weapons, most have a preferred weapon type and possibly a specific weapon that holds sentimental value or is special in some way. Some warriors name their weapons.
Where You’ll Find Him: When they’re not on the job, the stereotypical warrior lives life to the fullest and can be found drinking to excess, eating huge slabs of meat, and chasing women.
Social Circle: Warriors generally prefer the company of other fighting men, especially those who have faced battle with them. Those who have been through especially bloody battles or who have fought for a long time may have trouble relating to non-combatants.
Lt. Col. William Kilgore
Job: Air Cavalry Commander (14)
Gimmick: Born Leader (13)
Weakness: Racist (13)
Skills: Surfing +3; Classical Music +2; Tactics +1
WWPHITM? Robert Duvall
Dumb Fact: Commander of 1st Squadron, 9th Air Cavalry Regiment
Tag Line: “You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like … victory.”
Books & Comics
Conan series by Robert E. Howard
Guy Garner: Warrior
Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkein (Aragorn, Boramir, Gimli)
Mystery Men (Mr. Furious)
Preacher by Garth Ennis (The Saint of Killers)
Movies & TV
The 13th Warrior
Alien series (Ripley)
Any Clint Eastwood Western
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The Initiative, The Slayers)
Erik the Viking (Sven the Berserk)
Full Metal Jacket
The Magnificent Seven
The Princess Bride (Fezzik)
Saving Private Ryan
Sleepy Hollow (The Hessian)
Star Trek: The Next Generation (Worf)
Terminator series (John Connor, Sarah Connor, the Terminators)
We Were Soldiers
Mythology and Folklore