It's very tempting to look on a cliché as a "skill" or a "character class", but you can pack an incredible amount of character information into one. Using the categories from S. John Ross's "Anatomy of a Cliche" article in the Risus Companion, I've come up with several examples of what you can do with a cliche in Anachromerica. (One cliche is worth a thousand words!)
- Profession: Jobs, occupations, or pursuits.
Examples: River Boat Gambler, Six Million Dollar Cyborg, Flesh-Eating Zombie
- Race or Species: Something that sets you apart from normal humanity.
Examples: Earthbound Angel Meddling In The Lives Of Others; Cowardly Talking Dog; Helpful But Naive Alien "Pet"; Persecuted Mutant
- Cultural Background: Affects personality and abilities of the character
Examples: Aristocratic Southern Actor Bent on Avenging the South; Aspiring Actress Trying To Make It Big In The City; Washed-Up LaLaLand B-Movie Star Who Wants To Direct
- Personal History: What you used to be still affects what you are.
Examples: Defrocked Priest; Ex-Champion of Truth, Justice, and the American Way; Retired Air Force Pilot
- Degree of Dedication: How committed you are to your pursuit.
Examples: John Wilkes Booth's Biggest Fan; Part-Time Mystic Guardian; Amateur Assassin; Overzealous Masked Avenger
- Religious or Philosophical Bias: Beliefs about life, the universe, and everything.
Examples: Devout Catholic Zombie-Master; Nietschean Ubermensch; Atheistic Exorcist.
- Social Class or Financial Means:
Examples: Struggling Actress; Sharecropper's Son; Polo-Playing Dilettante; Society Matron
- Gender: Either embracing or working against the typical gender of a cliché.
Examples: Brightly-Clad Toreador, High-Paid Gigolo, Beautiful Aviatrix
- Group Affiliation: The perks and responsibilities of membership in a group or organization.
Examples: SWAT Team Member; 33rd Level Mason; Corrupt Civil Servant; High School Freshman
- Demeanor: Personality
Examples: Grumpy Elf; Cheerful Assassin; Cynical Motivational Speaker
- Appearance: Judging a book by its cover
Examples: Shabbily-Dressed Private Detective; Mammarially-Enhanced Country Music Diva; Bookish Librarian
- Ham-Handed Reference: Direct allusion to real or fictional people.
Examples: A Modern-Day Julius Caesar; Don Knotts as a Cyborg; The Cleopatra of the Missourippi
- Goals: Aspirations that motivate a character's activities and abilities..
Examples: Mad Scientist Meddling In God's Domain; Self-Tortured Genetist Trying To Resurrect His Dead Wife; Self-Taught Financial Genius Trying To Make A Killing On The Stock Market
- Self-Image: Who the character is, and who he thinks he is.
Examples: Superhero With a Messiah Complex; Surgically-Enhanced Supermodel Who Thinks She's An Ugly Duckling; Bumbling World Conqueror-Wannabe Who Thinks He's Adolph Hitler, Alexander The Great, and Genghis Khan Rolled Into One
- Sub-Plots and Relationships: Interactions with other people.
Examples: The Ladies' Man; A Modern-Day Knight Errant Trying To Win The Love of A Southern Belle; The Guy Who Knows People, If You Know What I Mean
- Problems: Imperfections, challenges, and handicaps that make playing a character more fun.
Examples: Wheelchair-Bound Dodgeball Coach; Midget Gunslinger; Disembodied Brain In A Tank