Changing Archtypes?

Hi everyone,

I don't own Feng Shui 2, but I have been considering picking it up. I have read a few reviews though, and they mention you advance my picking things listed on your archetype (sounds a bit like earlier versions of Warhammer Fantasy). MY question is, are there rules in the book for changing arc hypes in play?


It's a bit different from that. Archetypes are a lot more than the 'careers' of original WFRP (which I am still rather fond of) - they are a lot more all-encompassing. As the book puts it ... "Characters in action movies generally conform to a number of basic types: the hard-edged maverick cop, the stalwart young kung fu student, the crusty old kung fu master, and on and on. So do characters in a Feng Shui game. Hey, this isn’t Dostoevsky, this is action-adventure!"

The Archetype is therefore more a broad character concept ... "Killer" to play a classic Chow Yun Fat hitman type character, "Karate Cop" to play a Jackie Chan style 'honest cop who keeps going despite taking the hits', "Swordsman" for a samurai, "Martial Artist" for a kung-fu student, "Big Bruiser" for the big guy they can't take down, and so on.

Each Archetype comes with a (pretty extensive) list of the advances available - these usually include additional skills and, depending on the specific Archetype, will include additional gun or martial arts abilities (known as 'schticks' in the game) that allow you to do epically cool action movie manoeuvres, such as the classic 'gun in each hand' carnage of John Woo films, or the flying windmill kick of ... err ... Street Fighter? As a result, your character wouldn't change Archetypes within play - the gun-toting hitman wouldn't suddenly become a sorceror from ancient China - but as they advance they will become an even more dangerous hitman.

The starting characters are already some distance ahead of the crowd, though - after all, these are effectively action movie hero types at the start of their first film - they're already highly trained, very competent, and with the colourful backstories that you would expect. You start off dangerous, and get more so ...

(There's a link on the main Atlas Games Feng Shui 2 page ( to the 'Dirty Dragon Dozen Archetype Pack' (it's halfway down the box on the right-hand side). That contains some sample Archetypes, that might help.)

Hope I clarified that a bit?

Thanks, it does. I don't believe the game is for me though. Again, I appreciate the explanation.

The game was set up for you to never change archetypes, which can cause problems in long running games. A scrappy kid is going to get older and grow up.
Now characters can be customized and changed up but to how much depends on what edition you use.

Just remember this stuff:

The game's system mechanics is derived from the Nexus RPG and that is a point build system.
1st edition FS archetypes can be easily turned into Nexus characters if you want to change them and take a characters of a certain archetype and turn it into something else and just use a point build character design system. One thing of importance is that many of the archetypes added in 1st edition source books weren't well balanced and didn't use some of the number crunching that the 1st edition Core ones had. I spent a good bit of time looking at this and did some posts on the forums.
2nd edition streamlined stuff but a lot of the customization and stuff from 1st edition, so you might find 1st edition more to your liking or using 1st edition rules for some things in a 2nd edition game. (Make characters in 1st convert to streamline to 2nd as needed. Most of the stuff in 2nd that limits advancing and changing characters in it isn't in the older version. 2nd wants characters to grow a very specific way to keep advances to go with the "theme", "nature", or "troupes" of a particular archetype. 1st edition didn't have that limitation. So I could learn schticks and skills with a 1st edition character that 2nd edition will not let me. So a gun totting reformed killer could over a campaign learn sorcery and be hitman who uses spells or who gets cybernetics, etc. Most of the archetypes have a unique schtick that no other archetype can get get though. The 1st edition supplement Golden Comeback did have some schticks you could get that did the same job as the unique ones of certain archetypes. So a non big bruiser could get the particular unique ability of one.

If you want a more typical chargen process, here was my homebrew attempt at it (this is copied and pasted from an earlier thread):

You may want to check these out:

1st up the 2 threads in which I gave basic info on Nexus RPG character, Feng Shui's, parent game, and how it relates to Feng Shui Archetypes.

Next we have some info Robin D. Laws posted about making Archtypes on the old FS mailing list: ... types.html

Fan made guidelines on tweaking Archtypes: ... aking.html

That looks pretty good! Thanks for sharing it!