Created By: ThePope on June 20, 2012 Last Edited By: Koveras on February 1, 2013
Troped

Party of Representatives

The adventuring party composed of representatives from every faction/culture/species of the setting.

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Trope
A trope most commonly seen in party-based Role-Playing Games but also Fantasy Literature, wherein the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits represents most of the spectrum of cultures, factions, social classes, species, and even ideologies found in the setting. Such setup has multiple purposes:

Sub-Trope of Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits. Super Trope to Multinational Team. Compare also Five-Token Band and Alike and Antithetical Adversaries.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • Lampshaded by Armand (a French fox) in De cape et de crocs: On landing on the moon, Don Lope (a Spanish wolf) wants to plant a flag and a cross, but is stopped by Armand who notes that they also have an Italian rabbit, a Turkish janissary, a French noblewoman, and a Hot Gypsy Woman (and almost had a German scientist), and thus the question of whose flag/religious symbol should go up is best left unanswered.

Literature
  • The Fellowship of the Ring in Lord of the Rings consists of representatives of each "good" race of Middle-Earth: two humans (a ranger from the north and a prince from the south, respectively), one elf, one dwarf, one wizard, and four hobbits. Such composition was very much intentional.

Tabletop Games

Video Games
  • In Radiant Historia, you get four members from your home country of Alistel, someone from the "evil" country of Granorg, one member of the satyr tribe, and one of the ape tribe.
  • Fire Emblem games usually end with you recruiting a mishmash of people from all across the world. This is most evident in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, in which the entire continent is at war, and you still end up recruiting people from all sides.
  • In Grandia II, you have a vagabond mercenary, a priestess of The Church, a demon from the Fantasy Axis of Evil, a prince from a human kingdom, a guy from the Proud Warrior Race, and an an ancient humanoid robot servant of The Precursors.
  • Golden Sun: From the first two games, you had the hero, his best friend, his girlfriend and her brother from the (not-quite) Doomed Hometown, an orphan brought up by the leader of a merchant town, a healer who failed her one duty to keep a Cosmic Keystone where it was, an orphan implied to be of the Precursors, and a native of the Atlantis equivalent. The third game gives us the children of the original heroes, plus the heir to a Hidden Elf Village, a Miko, and a Pirate. In both games, your party is accompanied by the same Cool Old Guy.
  • Final Fantasy X: The final party contains the White Mage daughter of a famed summoner, the former bodyguard of said father, her Gadgeteer Genius cousin from the barely-tolerated technological faction, a sports star and a Black Mage from her village, a Proud Warrior Race Guy lion man, and a guy from a technologically advanced world. Or so it seems at first, it gets complicated.
  • A staple in the BioWare games. The Dragon Age chief writer David Gaider stated in an interview that they do it specifically to give exposition of their worlds' various aspects (such as factions and ideologies) a face the players can associate them with.
    • Mass Effect 1 party included two humans (one down-to-earth grunt soldier, the other an officer with biotic powers) and four aliens: two Proud Warrior Race Guys (one from a respectable high-tech military culture, the other from what the galactic community sees as a Barbarian Tribe), a Blue-Skinned Space Babe scientist, and a Space Roma girl, thus representing the entire spectrum of both human military and the Citadel space society.
    • Dragon Age: Origins had a Fereldan ex-Templar Grey Warden, a sociopath Hot Witch from the swamps, an Orlesian bard-turned-lay sister, a Proud Warrior Race Guy from overseas, an elderly Circle spirit summoner, an Elven assassin from Antiva, a dwarven berserker, a golem (DLC only), and a mabari war hound. There is also the paranoid lesser Big Bad of the game, if you so desire.
    • Dragon Age II had this on a different level: the party members represented not cultures but views on the central conflict of the game (mages vs. Templars). The three mages are an anti-Circle extremist, a moderate sorceress who dislikes but tolerates the Circle, and an Elven blood mage putting a personal agenda above the conflict. Similarly, the three warriors are a sworn Templar (eventually), a city guard captain who just wants people to stop killing each other, and a Magic Knight who hates all mages on principle for personal reasons. The three rogues are a free-spirit Pirate Girl, a dwarven Spy Master, and a member of the Chantry; of the three, only the latter is partial to the conflict, since the Chantry endorses the Circle system and the Templars.
  • In Chrono Trigger, you get one party member from each time period you visit if you're able to recruit the bonus Sixth Ranger.
  • This is a core aspect of every game in the Suikoden series, which always has the protagonist recruit the 108 Stars of Destiny. By the end of each game, their army literally consists of volunteer soldiers, mercenaries, and key political figures from all cities throughout the continent.

Western Animation
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is supposed to go to each nation to find a master to learn their respective element. But because he only has a year to do it, he instead recruits a master to follow him and train him on his way to the next place.

Will go under The Index Team and Just for Pun.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • June 20, 2012
    FuriouslySleepingIdea
    It seems we should have this. It's not only in games. In the Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship represents all the goodly races. It's also present in many fantasies that crib off of LOTR.
  • June 21, 2012
    ThePope
    Think there's enough non-examples to qualify it as a non-game trope, or should there just be a blocked off area for non-game examples?
  • June 21, 2012
    kjnoren
  • June 30, 2012
    Koveras
    A staple in the Bio Ware games. The Dragon Age chief writer David Gaider stated in an interview that they do it specifically to give exposition of their worlds' various aspects (such as factions and ideologies) a face the players can associate them with.
  • August 23, 2012
    Koveras
    Bump.
  • September 5, 2012
    Koveras
  • September 5, 2012
    Earnest
  • September 6, 2012
    Rognik
    @The Pope: it's far too early to worry about stuff like that. Get as many examples as you can, then decide which way it'll work.
  • September 6, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ I think the OP has abandoned this one.

    But anyway, to expand on my earlier Bio Ware example:

    • Mass Effect 1 party included two humans (one down-to-earth grunt soldier, the other an officer with biotic powers) and four aliens: two Proud Warrior Race Guys (one from a respectable high-tech military culture, the other from what the galactic community sees as a Barbarian Tribe), a Blue Skinned Space Babe scientist, and a Space Roma girl, thus representing the entire spectrum of both human military and the Citadel space society.
    • Dragon Age: Origins had a Fereldan ex-Templar Grey Warden, a sociopath Hot Witch from the swamps, an Orlesian bard-turned-lay sister, a Proud Warrior Race Guy from overseas, an elderly Circle spirit summoner, an Elven assassin from Antiva, a dwarven berserker, a golem (DLC only), and a mabari war hound. There is also the paranoid lesser Big Bad of the game, if you so desire.
    • Dragon Age II had this on a different level: the party members represented not cultures but views on the central conflict of the game (mages vs. Templars). The three mages are an anti-Circle extremist, a moderate sorceress who dislikes but tolerates the Circle, and an Elven blood mage putting a personal agenda above the conflict. Similarly, the three warriors are a sworn Templar (eventually), a city guard captain who just wants people to stop killing each other, and a Magic Knight who hates all mages on principle for personal reasons. The three rogues are a free-spirit Pirate Girl, a dwarven Spy Master, and a member of the Chantry; of the three, only the latter is partial to the conflict, since the Chantry endorses the Circle system and the Templars.

    I am too lazy to make a list of party members from ME2 and 3.
  • September 6, 2012
    Chabal2
    • Golden Sun: From the first two games, you had the hero, his best friend, his girlfriend and her brother from the (not-quite) Doomed Hometown, an orphan brought up by the leader of a merchant town, a healer who failed her one duty to keep a Cosmic Keystone where it was, an orphan implied to be of the Precursors, and a native of the Atlantis equivalent. The third game gives us the children of the original heroes, plus the heir to a Hidden Elf Village, a Miko, and a Pirate. In both games, your party is accompanied by the same Cool Old Guy.
    • Lampshaded by Armand (a French fox) in De Cape Et De Crocs: On landing on the moon, Don Lope (a Spanish wolf) wants to plant a flag and a cross, but is stopped by Armand who notes that they also have an Italian rabbit, a Turkish janissary, a French noblewoman, and a Hot Gypsy Woman (and almost had a German scientist), and thus the question of whose flag/religious symbol should go up is best left unanswered.
    • Final Fantasy X: The final party contains the White Mage daughter of a famed summoner, the former bodyguard of said father, her Gadgeteer Genius cousin from the barely-tolerated technological faction, a sports star and a Black Mage from her village, a Proud Warrior Race Guy lion man, and a guy from a technologically advanced world. Or so it seems at first, it gets complicated.
  • September 6, 2012
    chicagomel
    It's also a staple with Elemental Rock Paper Scissors, if you think about it. In Pokemon, for a big battle like the Elite Four, you need representitives from multiple types in your party. Grass,Fire,Rock,Flying,Water and Electric are probably a good pool example because you can teach them attacks to cover the other types. Of course, you also have your dual types, like Water/Flying or Fire/Fighting, ect.
  • October 11, 2012
    Koveras
    The OP hasn't been spotted in five months, so I am taking over this YKTTW. I have updated the description and examples, but I've excluded Pokemon, because I feel that "select a diverse active party to cover each others' shortcomings" is different from "have a representative of every faction on speed dial".
  • October 11, 2012
    acrobox
    Chrono Trigger: You get one party member from each time period you visit if you're able to recruit the bonus Sixth Ranger

    Also ^ the other way you could make a Pokemon example is by citing the Pokemon League organization. between the 8 Gym Leaders, Elite 4 and 1 Champion of each region you will have no overlap in specialties. That covers 13 of the 17 elemental types (18 potential types of masters if you include ??? a trainer that uses a variety instead of one type, like Trainer Green/Blue or Cynthia) and at least 8 different hometowns. At least in the manga the Pokemon League acts as a unit in times of crisis, starting in Gen IV they started showing signs of this in the games as well.
    • In Unova there are actually 16/18 because the first gym had three different type masters, and they added a Poison Master in the sequel. You can fight them all individually in the tournament in Pokemon Black 2 And White 2
  • October 11, 2012
    acrobox
    The obligatory Avatar The Last Airbender example. Aang is supposed to go to each nation to find a master to learn their respective element. But because he only has a year to do it, he instead recruits a master to follow him and train him on his way to the next place.
  • October 11, 2012
    Koveras
    ^^ I have never understood the Pokemon setting, so that explanation is too confusing for me...
  • October 11, 2012
    acrobox
    basically there are 17 elements. The bosses of the game are part of their nation's Pokemon League Orgnazation, Pokemon Masters who test the skills of up and coming trainers like the Player Character. Each Master specializes in 1 of the 17 elements, or a 18th option which is using a variety of elements. They also all hail from different cities in the nation. In times of crisis, this organization of masters comes together to help out. There are 8 gym leaders, 4 elites, and 1 champion, meaning 13 Masters in total. No Master overlaps in specialty with another, so you have at least 13/18 of the different types of masters represented in every nation's Pokemon League.
  • October 11, 2012
    MiinU

    Video games

    • This is a core aspect of every game in the Suikoden series, which always has the protagonist recruit the 108 Stars of Destiny. By the end of each game, their army literally consists of volunteer soldiers, mercenaries, and key political figures from all cities throughout the continent.
  • October 11, 2012
    Chabal2
  • October 13, 2012
    TBeholder
    "see also" is cute, but how this differs from Multinational Team and Five Token Band?
  • October 13, 2012
    Koveras
    Multinational Team is a team where every member comes from a different nation. Thus, a subtrope. For instance, the party in Chrono Trigger is an example of this but not of Multinational Team. Five Token Band... to be honest, I don't quite understand how that differs from Multinational Team, besides being a snowclone of Five Man Band...
  • October 14, 2012
    MorganWick
    ^ For the purposes of Five Token Band, "female", "disabled", and other marginalized groups count as "nations", and different nations on the same continent are generally avoided.
  • October 14, 2012
    Koveras
    Well, I guess in a story about marginalized groups, a Five Token Band would be a Party Of Representatives. The key to POR is that you have a representative teammate for each major group you encounter in the story.
  • November 21, 2012
    Koveras
  • January 13, 2013
    batgirl1
    So Five Token Band states that the characters all live in the same neighborhood for some reason? That's odd... But I can see how it would overlap with this otherwise. If it weren't for that detail, I might think this could also be a Sub Trope of that, since this is specifically about fantasy / adventuring. There also seems to be more of an emphasis on exposition here, (or at least the potential for exposition), whereas FTB seems to be more about Real Life demographics getting their place in the sun.
  • January 14, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ At the very least, they would be sister tropes.
  • February 1, 2013
    Koveras
    Bump again.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=5dmisubo1m84bksy373jgaa5&trope=PartyOfRepresentatives