There are so many different kinds of Characters explored on this wiki that we can lay out several independent dimensions of characterness. It would be too hard to graph three dimensions on this page, so a series of sliding scales will have to do, each representing a different axis of Character Calculus.
The Morality Axis
The morality axis describes how good or evil a character is, regardless of whether they're The Protagonist
or even a main character at all. Tropey the Wonder Dog
will tell all about how to change place.
The POV Axis
The point of view (POV) axis describes the range of narrative perspectives between a protagonist
and an antagonist
or foil. Not to be confused with how much attention a character gets, this is about how closely the character's perspective is aligned with the story's perspective. (This can get weird when, say, the Big Bad
is also the Narrator, like in Samurai Jack
.) Movement along this axis is quite rare, nothwistanding moments of Captain's Log
The Focus Axis
This axis describes how much a character is in the focus of the point of view. So, how much attention it gets. Movement is Character Focus
, including everything from Demoted to Extra
and Ascended from it.
The Power Axis
This axis describes how effectively the character shapes the world around them.Characters can move up this ladder if they Take a Level in Badass
and can slide down via Badass Decay
. See also Super Weight
uses the variability which is the point of antihero. An anti-hero must vary away from a hero on one of these scales, but hero has a couple more scales to fail on including Respectability (Type I), Niceness (Type II), but also morality like here. Type IV and V are heavily lacking on morality, which is more defining for heroes than most characters, yet are on high the regular axes like perspective.
Note that since these axes are separate, any combination is technically possible. (Whether it's a good idea is a different question entirely.) For example, the Sympathetic P.O.V.
could be assigned to an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
who is a jerkass quirky miniboss
who serves a Big Bad
with a short temper. Then, the position of a Narrator
who observes and comments on the real main characters could be added to his other role as a Chew Toy
who provides comic relief with his Amusing Injuries
See also Cast Calculus
for how any given cast interacts with their extended ensemble, if any.