Getting Personal 4: Ninja Ninja Bo Binja


In my last column I covered eight personality archetypes, aligned along piratical lines. As one might expect, the followup to that discussion involves the age-old enemy of the pirates. Introducing the ninja.

Ninja Robots (NR**) aka Wizards

Ninja Robots are "pinball wizards," remote and distant emotionally, yet focused on the task at hand. They are rarely just competent at what they specialize in, preferring to become an expert at one particular thing, and are very demanding of themselves (and others) when it comes to that pursuit. Though not necessarily leaders, they are often drivers (literally or figuratively), and push themselves and others to accomplish goals and uncover truths. They prefer logic to emotion even in their interactions with others, and hate "small talk," preferring not to state the obvious or engage in meaningless banter.

The inclusion of someone called "The Assassin" in a category about Wizards might be somewhat controversial, but nevertheless I think the name fits. Perhaps a better term might be Necromancer, if we wanted to stick with Wizard names.

Makes me wonder if all the D&D schools of magic could be broken down along these same lines... hmmm...

Anyway, there are four types:

The Assassin (NRZC)

Assassins make excellent military commanders, as their aggressive, direct personalities and sense of charm make them good leaders. They like to plan and plot, and though they have a tendency to exaggerate when describing large projects they know what needs to be done. Decisive to a fault, they are resolute and insensitive when it comes to others, and will send people off to perform whatever tasks are needed (even if it means their deaths). Argumentative when challenged, they are not to be trifled with, their unequivocating demeanor giving them a knack for debate and improvisation.

Not surprisingly, assassins often drift into Sadistic behaviors, becoming cruel, demeaning and aggressive in their need to dominate others. They will threaten violence, lie, publicly humiliate people, and dole out unfair and harsh discipline on others, while taking pleasure in this psychological and physical suffering. When they can they seek to control the freedom of others, through direct bondage or fear, and they are fascinated by violence, weapons, torture and the martial arts.

Well-known assassin types include Richard Nixon, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver and Steve Jobs.

The Illusionist (NRKC)

Illusionists are masters of wit, inventive and clever and capable of thinking on their feet while walking a tightrope. They are entertaining lecturers and cunning linguists, and they love to show off their skills and perverse sense of humor, even if it risks confusing or hurting the butt of their jokes. They are innovative problem solvers, yet cut corners and break rules if it's expedient, and hate even small inconveniences. They have no patience for stupid people, yet are charming when they are not being harassed, and are capable of close relationships with loved ones, who tend to be as clever and entertaining as they are. The rest of the world is seen as an audience to be entertained by these unique, eccentric oddballs.

Illusionists often suffer from Compensatory Narcissistic behavior, a form of narcissism which is derived from a sense of insecurity and weakness, rather than a true feeling of high self-esteem. They seek to create the illusion of superiority and build up an image of high self-worth, yet feel they are not worthy of recognition or prestige. To this end they may ridicule the achievements of others, exaggerate and boast, and otherwise seek the attention and approval of everyone around them, even to the detriment of others. They persistently reach for the stars, wishing for glory and status beyond their means and then feeling frustrated and depressed when their wishes are unfulfilled. Extremely self-conscious, they are prone to feelings of shame and hypochondria, and often underperform out of a desire to get immediate gratification and succcess, rather than taking time to get things right.

Famous illusionist types include Alexander the Great, Sir Walter Raleigh, Thomas Edison, Lewis Carroll and Weird Al Yankovich.

The Wizard (NRZB)

The self-confidence of the wizard is often mistaken for arrogance, but it is a confidence rooted in expertise. The perfectionist wizards focus on specialized knowledge, and are willing to work at things and improve until they are masters of their domain. They know what they know, and they know what they don't know. Yet wizards are not all about logic; they combine intuition and imagination with reliability, and turn everything they work on into a personal moral cause. To this end, they will disregard authority if it suits their purposes, even pretending to conform while secretly working in their own unconventional, opportunistic ways. Anything is possible, and paradoxes are seen as a source of amusement, not an obstacle. With people, wizards have no tolerance for slackers, and their lack of appreciation for social rituals, small talk and flirtation means that personal relationships are their Achilles heel. They are deeply private and impassive, and their unempathetic self-confidence and expectation for directness means that they turn off many, leaving them with only a few close friends.

Wizards are prone to Schizotypal behaviors, wherein they feel extreme discomfort in close relationships and often experience strange cognitive and perceptual experiences and eccentric appearance and behavior. They may see chance happenings as being related to their own experiences, and react with odd, magical beliefs and thinking. Their paranoid, suspicious natures leave them with few close friends, and their odd speech and inappropriate behaviors often drive away others, leading to increased anxiety in social situations.

Famous wizard types include Dan Akroyd, Augustus Caesar, Chevy Chase, Arnold Schwarzenegger and John F. Kennedy.

The Tinker (NRKB)

The solitary tinker is detached from the world at large, forever deep in thought analyzing or inventing something. They are fond of games, puzzles, mathematics and language, with the task they are performing secondary to the mastery of the logic involved. They are relatively easygoing and likable enough, but when their beliefs are trod upon they become outspoken and inflexible, and while they do not want to make a spectacle of themselves they will defend their point of view vociferously. They are quite critical, of themselves and others, and they will correct imprecise language or thought, and consistently second guess themselves, often predicting impending failure. This lack of trust (in themselves and others) leads them to pursue solitary careers, leaving them aloof and detached, lost in the workshop of their own mind.

Tinkers often fall into Schizoid behavioral patterns, with an indifference to social relationships and a limited range of emotional expression. They take pleasure in only a few solitary activities, and keep only a few close friends (often relatives), pushing aside all others and things. This emotional frigidity leaves them detached and indifferent to praise and criticism.

Famous tinkers include Socrates, Descartes, Newton, C.G. Jung and Albert Einstein.

Ninja Monkeys (NM**) aka Healers

Ninja Monkeys are emotionally driven, interested in healing, harmony and happiness in themselves and others. They are on a constant search for themselves, and for a sense of peace and union with their community at large, and as such they place a great value on relationships with others. They desire to inspire, and feel that they need to live a life that is significant in some way. While they generally hate that which is seen as evil, they often overlook it to focus on the good and redeemable in others.

Again, there are four types:

The Cleric (NMZC)

Clerics are conscientious teachers and tutors, healers and enablers, eager to spread the word about their beliefs to other people. Bestowed with tremendous charisma, spiritual awareness and salesmanship, they are capable of swaying minds and hearts, and are always welcoming of new members of their flock, preferring many shallow (but sincere) acquaintances instead of intimate close friendships. Their focus on the big picture, and the desire to help and teach everyone, often gets them into trouble. Not only do are they forced to juggle many responsibilities and relationships, but they often neglect themselves, letting down their boundaries to let others in and thus risking heartbreak when they are attacked. They are ever optimists, always looking for the silver lining in all people and constantly searching for ways to improve the world.

In darker hours, clerics tend towards Obsessive-Compulsive behavior. Their preoccupation with orderliness and perfectionism means that they become focused on rules, lists, and schedules, often insisting that others submit to their way of thinking. Devoted to work, they avoid distractions to the point of procrastinating about decisions, and they are often unwilling to spend time or money on things that do not benefit them and their goals directly. Their conscientious but inflexible focus on morality and ethics can cause problems when they run into people who do not share their world view, and they are often reluctant to express affection at all, preferring to keep the world at a distance while struggling with the desire to let everyone in.

Famous cleric types include Abraham Lincoln, Sean Connery, Andy Griffith, Oprah Winfrey and John Cusack.

The Paladin (NMKC)

Paladins are vigilant and outgoing, enjoying the exploration of ideas and people and seeing everything and everyone as part of a cosmic whole. While they often give in to the wishes of parents, friends and authority figures (especially those symbolic of some ideal), they generally dislike bureaucracy, and are fond of launching crusades against such obstacles to their beliefs. They genuinely want to help others, but expect to be liked and admired in return (everything being part of the same whole, this is not surprising). While they are open to learning about new ideas, and meeting new people, they are often quick to discard most ideas as not fitting in with their own philosophies, and often forget older friends to focus on new ones. Yet they are pleasant and fun to work with, and use their strong convictions and social skills to persuade others of the rightness of their ideas. Their opinions of others and need for "return on investment" can leave them open to being wounded by uncaring individuals, and they have difficulty being alone, when they are forced to dwell on their feelings (they are quite the romantics!).

Paladins often tend towards Paranoid behavior, distrusting others and assuming that everyone is malevolent and "out to harm them." They question the loyalty of others (including close friends), and read hidden meanings into even benign events. Reluctant to confide in those close to them, they become easy to anger, quick to counterattack, and hold grudges for lengthy periods of time.

Famous paladin types include Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Carol Burnett, Paul Harvey and Bill Cosby.

The Monk (NMZB)

Monks are humanitarian prophets and seers with deep convictions about weighty matters and clear insights into good and evil. They are idealistic champions of the oppressed and downtrodden, seeking good things for all (and poetic justice when wrongs are done) without any thoughts of personal glory or power. Fluent in languages and nonverbal communication, their complex characters and depth of personal talent brings them into contact with many. Yet they are not easily fooled, and are suspicious of others motives, being highly selective about the close friends they make. Both empathic and enigmatic, they often withdraw into themselves to focus on abstract theories and think about the inner workings of their minds and emotions. Their desire to share feelings and conclusions with others generally keeps them bonded to at least a few allies, but they prefer to do much of their true thinking quietly, often becoming so absorbed in thought that they ignore physical reality altogether.

Monks are often plagued by Avoidant behavior, feeling intense social discomfort and timidity due to a fear of negative feedback about their actions. Easily hurt by criticism, they turn away from all but a few close friends, and avoid all others unless they are sure of being liked. They avoid social activities and are shy when forced into them, and fear embarrassment if they show emotion or anxiety in front of others. They will go so far as to exaggerate difficulties in performing ordinary activities in order to avoid them, yet yearn for acceptance and attention while avoiding those very things that might bring them what they crave.

Famous monk types include Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Carrie Fisher.

The Druid (NMKB)

Druids are filled with a dramatic sense of wonder, viewing the world through rose-colored glasses as they watch everything come to life, from flora and fauna to mundane objects. They see the good in almost everyone and everything, yet struggle with the idea of ethical perfection (or lack thereof). They tend to turn away from the world and toward essence and ideal, and while they are concerned with all people and creatures, those things are valued only in that they are part of a greater whole; in this, they often struggle to find their place in things, and need to feel a part of whatever they are involved with. Fluent with language, they are keen to pick out patterns in people and things, although their somewhat otherworldly focus on the larger picture can lead them to seem somewhat absentminded. Nevertheless, they have a knack for explaining complex things quite simply.

Druids are often beset by Histrionic behavior, craving attention, reassurance and praise in everything they do. Emotionally exaggerated and often sexually charged, they become concerned with physical appearance, and grow uncomfortable when they are not the center of attention. Their emotions are subject to rapid shifts, and their actions are entirely self-centered, with no tolerance for delay in getting what they want. Their speech often lacks detail as their shallow emotions carry across into their dealings with others.

Famous druid types include Homer, Shakespeare, Dick Clark, Jackie Onasis and Julia Roberts.

More to Come?

Next time: An exploration of how this theory maps to Bartle's MUD personalities, and more!

Do you suppose that certain personality archetypes may be more attracted to RPGs than others?


Something about this post is making me think about astrology and personal styles. I was just thinking that we could re-make the standard astrological chart and replace different character types.

Just a random thought. What do you think?

I just created a personality test using aeon's content:

Anonymous, how did Monkeys enter this??