Saturday, June 9, 2007

Star Trek Characters as Archetypes +

Originally Posted by Masaka:
How do you feel the leadership option will be presented in STO?
Not a clue. :)

I'm actually not even sure that leadership style should be something that has an RPG component -- maybe it should be entirely a matter of the player's own personality.

On the chance that there's some RPG goodness here that I'm just not seeing, I do have a vague idea of leadership styles that might be derived from the archetypes I suggested.

Thinker Leaders (e.g., Picard and Janeway) are at their best when they're able to gather information and plan the optimal response given the available resources. To those whom they don't know they can seem cold and aloof, but once their trust is gained they can open up unexpected depths of feeling that they also use to guide their leadership decisions.

The Doer Leaders (such as Kirk and Sisko) attract followers who assume that anyone who's that sure of their actions must know what they're doing. That's not always the case, but Doer Leaders are so adept at perceiving and responding swiftly to changes in the situation that they seem unstoppable.

The Healer Leader is one that I don't think we've seen as a main character in Star Trek, but I suspect there've been a few as guest stars. This kind of leader achieves his or her goals not by planning (as the Thinker Leader) or by action (like the Doer Leader), but through charisma and a powerful vision. This kind of leader doesn't have to communicate grand strategies or leap into action -- they accumulate followers who are moved by the depth of their insight into what needs to be done.

It's just a hunch, but I wonder if an important storyline in the version of Star Trek Online that was being developed by the late Perpetual Entertainment was wrapped around the character of Miral Paris. The daughter of Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, Miral was described in one of Perpetual's info releases as inspiring many Klingons as a kuvah'magh, a kind of spiritual leader.

Had that story been told, Miral might have been a fascinating counterpoint to the usual Leader/Doer or Leader/Thinker styles of central Star Trek characters.