The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) is, for all you non-psychology nerds, a personality inventory and test to make C.G. Jung’s theory of psychological types understandable and relatable to the average person. Essentially, Jung tried to tell us that our behaviour has order and is consistent based on how we use our perception and judgement. There are 16 distinct personality types derived from 4 preferences, according to the Meyers Briggs website:
What does this have to do with role-playing, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. Role-playing is a social game, thriving on communication. It is important to get to know the people behind the characters, as well as what they will bring to the table. We’ve included some descriptions of each personality type, as well as what they can bring to your role-playing group below. See if you can guess which personality fits with the players at your table.
1. ISTJ – The Logistician
“Logisticians” are one of the most common personality types, and are defined by their integrity, reliability, and practical logic. They are also highly dedicated, whether that is to the military, law, or any personal role. They take pride in their work and hold strong to tradition and family values. In game, don’t expect this player to be carefree and easygoing; they’re far too logical for such nonsense. They will always work to understand their characters’ situations and respond accordingly with the best plan available to them.
2. ISFJ – The Defender
“Defenders” are kind to a fault. They are engaging, exceed expectations, and are often meticulous in anything to which they set their minds. They are very humble, dedicated, and often don’t know when to say “no”. In game, their strong drives to assist their fellow players will often lead them to find gratification in playing a support role. Often shy, they may not handle in-game confrontations well, as it will often be taken personally. And that means no healing for you.
3. ISTP – The Virtuoso
“Virtuosos” are very in tune with their senses, tending to examine the world around them. They are very curious, creative, project-driven people, finding no greater joy than getting their hands dirty and taking things apart to see how they work. In game, you won’t find a more practical player. This can be good, such as when planning for an adventure or finding solutions to problems, or it can be bad, especially given the inherent impracticality of many of the role-playing scenarios with which they must deal. Insensitivity to others’ emotions and a penchant for boredom if something is taking too long might lead this player to act rashly or escalate conflicts just to keep things interesting.
4. ISFP – The Adventurer
“Adventurers” are true artists that desire to push the limits of social convention. They are quiet, experimental people that need to have space to be creative, imaginative, and let their passions and worldly curiosities show. In game, this is a player who will be quite popular. Naturally artistic, their active imaginations will bring the game to life for themselves when a player or for others when a GM. Their unpredictability and irrationality may irritate the more straightforward thinkers in the group, but when you’re this likeable, such things matter little.
5. ESFJ – The Consul
“Consuls” are the popular ones, probably taking the spotlight and leading their teams to victory. They are very social, making sure they have the inside scoop on what their friends are up to. They are very focused on external matters, such as their appearance or fashion, rather than intellectual matters. In game, this player will be the one everybody likes, so much that they might get preferential treatment from the GM. However, their characters may mirror their need to be universally liked, which is especially unfortunate if playing an uncharismatic sort (or a smelly ogre).
6. ESFP – The Entertainer
“Entertainers” love to put on a show for anyone who will show them attention. They have an eye for fashion and style, and will focus most of their time on immediate pleasures rather than the responsibilities that make those luxuries possible. In game, expect this player to go all out when playing their character. They will inject their own brand of creativity and imagination into every character they make. As such, they will thrive in a more story-focused group. This player will also likely become quickly bored if someone else attempts to ‘plan’ or ‘strategize,’ as such things aren’t what makes role-playing so much fun.
7. ESTJ – The Executive
“Executives” are your classic model citizen. They will lend a helping hand, make sure rules are followed, and have a strong focus on making our communities and neighbourhoods fit for everyone. They make great leaders as they enjoy creating order, are very straightforward, and never give up on their beliefs. In game, this player will gravitate towards the more ‘lawful’ alignments for their characters. They might struggle when faced with some of the more unconventional situations encountered when role-playing, but they will excel at organizing the group’s play sessions and will always show up on time.
8. ESTP – The Entrepreneur
“Entrepreneurs” love to be the center of attention, cracking jokes and entertaining everyone, ignoring all those that want to be serious and discuss world news. They thrive on drama and fast paced, “on the edge” living. In game, this player is the very antithesis of cautious thinking and prior planning. As such, they will be incredibly fun to play with and the stories which come out of their games will likely be epic (and feature them strongly). Just don’t expect all these stories to end in success.
9. INTJ – The Architect
“Architects” are strategic, quick thinkers with a high self-confidence and are very determined when they put their mind to a task. They are jacks-of-all-trades and excel at analyzing anything life throws their way. In game, this will be the player who always has a plan for every situation. While their plans will often work, they may become sulky if someone else’s plan is chosen (regardless of whether or not the plan actually works…)
10. INTP – The Logician
“Logicians” are novel theorists and have an unrelenting logic. They will frequently use you as a sounding board for their ideas, despite their ideas being quite undeveloped. They are private, withdrawn, and can be absent-minded since they are always in their own head, formulating their incomplete thoughts. In game, this person will think they have a deep understanding of how the game should be played (i.e. the rules) and won’t be afraid to let their fellow players know it. This is the personality type most prone to rules lawyering, which is unfortunate because when it comes to the rules, they will be right.
11. INFP – The Mediator
“Mediators” are idealistic people look for the good in anyone and anything, as well as for a way to make life better. They are often reserved and guided by their principles, looking to honour, beauty, morality, and virtue. In game, they will be the first in line to help solve the group’s pressing problems, most likely diffusing any tension with a sonnet or a witty limerick. This person will often act as the group’s moral conscience and tend toward an act of heroics to save the day.
12. INFJ – The Advocate
“Advocates” are creative, insightful, and always need to have a cause. Helping others is their purpose in life, and they desperate to get to the heart of issues and will often sacrifice what they need to help the common good. In game, this player will likely speak less than any other; however, their engagement in the story and care for their fellow players (both in and out of game) makes them a worthy asset to any game group.
13. ENTP – The Debater
“Debaters” play devil’s advocate, picking apart arguments until there are only little pieces in a pile on the floor. They have an effortlessly quick wit and are stellar at connecting all the dots to prove a point. In game, the phrase ‘problem focused’ will be applied to this player more than ‘solution focused,’ as they will tend to find any potential flaws in the groups’ plans. Take their advice with a grain of salt, however, as listening too closely to them will leave the group discussing how to simply enter a guarded room or cross a trapped bridge for hours on end.
14. ENTJ – The Commander
“Commanders” are natural-born leaders, with all the charisma, confidence, and determination it takes to achieve any of their goals. However, they can often be impatient, intolerant, or even stubborn, always wanting the upper hand. In game, this person will attempt to take charge of the group, as they have the plan and logical mind needed to lead. They can unintentionally bully the timid or less vocal to following their lead and heaven help a group with more than one of these rare beasties, as internal power struggles will arise.
15. ENFP – The Campaigner
“Campaigners” are free-spirits that are the life of the party. They look for the deeper meaning and have an energy that makes them a leader, which is often times undesired by the “campaigners” as they want an independent environment. In game, this person is often the life of the party, creating and acting out vibrant personalities for their characters. They excel at relating to other people (both PCs and NPCs) but can become bored if the routine administrative tasks associated with gaming (i.e. inventory management, tactics and planning, etc.) interfere too much with their role-playing.
16. ENFJ – The Protagonist
“Protagonists” are natural-born leaders with passion and charisma, and they are often an inspiration to others. They are often our teachers, coaches, and world leaders, and will cast aside anyone that stands in the way of a brighter future. In game, this player will also be vying for the group leader but they will approach it from a more human perspective. Good at working for and with their fellow players, they will do well to heed the advice of the planners in the group. Too much stubbornness could cause problems. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain
I hope this inspires you to take the test or to share this with others on your game night to learn more about your preferences as individuals and as role-players. The ramblings on the different personality types included herein are just our opinions on the matter and don’t constitute any actual scientific findings. Regardless, thank you for reading our baseless drivel anyways.
This article was co-written by Jake, the husband of Sam and an INTP, and Sam, the wife of Jake and an INFJ. He understands that he knows the rules better than most of the people but tries to keep it to himself. She realizes her tendency to be the quiet one and hopefully makes up for it with delightful writing and whatever, I don’t know.
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.