[[quoteright:358:[[VideoGame/QuestForGloryIII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/qfgclasses2.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:360:Whichever you choose, you know you'll regret it later.[[note]]Not Pictured: [[OldSaveBonus Paladin]].[[/note]] ]]

Most [=RPGs=] offer the player a number of classes or specializations that they can [[AnAdventurerIsYou choose]]. When you think about it, however, most boil down to three major archetypes for character specialization regardless of what they are called. These are the fighter, mage, and thief.

* ''Fighter'': The MightyGlacier if offensively-oriented, or StoneWall if a defensive specialist. A physical powerhouse of prodigious strength, the fighter solves problems by dicing or smashing them to bits with [[WeaponOfChoice weapons]]. These include [[CoolSword swords]], [[AnAxeToGrind axes]], [[DropTheHammer bludgeons]], [[EpicFlail flails]], the occasional [[BladeOnAStick spear or halberd]] and of course [[BareFistedMonk good ol' fisticuffs]] but usually not much in the way of ranged weapons unless firearms are widespread, in which case the Fighter will pick [[MoreDakka automatic weapons]] and [[ShortRangeShotgun shotguns]] or just the [[{{BFG}} Biggest Gun Imaginable]]. This class usually has the best armor as well, making for an effective tank. [[MagicallyIneptFighter Sometimes has a special weakness to magic.]]
* ''Mage'': The GlassCannon if offensive. A mighty wielder of arcane or divine magic, the mage has a tendency to [[SquishyWizard die if enemies look at him funny]]. This method of solving problems therefore tends to consist of [[BlackMage blowing them up before they can get too close]], or shaping battlefield to their benefit. The mage has the ability to take advantage of [[ElementalRockPaperScissors elemental powers]] to exploit the enemy's weaknesses, and may also get a number of utility spells to bypass the stickiest situations. It's also possible for them to use their power to heal, making them TheMedic[[note]]In many games, the Healer/Cleric is a fourth archetype in the setup. In this case they can cast healing spells and [[StoneWall take more damage through force fields and/or better armor, but their offensive spells might be weaker]] or cost more Mana.[[/note]]. Mages tend to favor the MagicWand or SimpleStaff as weapons, not that they want to be in a situation where they have to actually use them[[note]]they are often limited to use of light armor or no armor at all[[/note]].
* ''Thief'': The FragileSpeedster. Being quite a bit squishier than the fighter, but not as much as the wizard, the thief relies on stealth and guile. These methods of solving problems typically involve sneaking by them, [[BackStab stabbing them]] InTheBack, sniping them from a distance, or even talking to them. The weapons of choice are usually light weapons like [[KnifeNut daggers]] and handguns or ranged weapons like bows, sniper rifles, and throwing knives. Survival usually depends on stealth abilities, evasion/speed, weapon range, or a combination of these factors, rather than armor.

Likely, there will be builds that allow the player to mix and match elements of the three paths, but usually, it boils down to strength, stealth, and sorcery.

These may include:

* ''Fighter + Thief'' = GlassCannon: An agile individual focused less on stealth and more on refined combat. Where fighters are strong and brutal and thieves are sneaky and fight dirty, this one elevates combat to an elegant artform. May be a duelist, or a BareFistedMonk if relying on unarmed martial arts rather than weapons and armor. However, if having all the strengths of both and another weakness (such as a [[MagicallyIneptFighter lack of magical mojo]]) to off-set the balance, they may be a LightningBruiser.
* ''Fighter + Mage'' = MagicKnight: Combines the power of might and magic to deadly effect, though their magic is usually limited to status buffs, weapon enchants, and protection spells: things that assist in melee combat rather than a mage's more diverse array. Can also be ThePaladin, if the magic is focused more on healing or on fighting diabolical or undead foes. SwordAndSorcerer: Combines the two as different characters.
* ''Thief + Mage'' = Well, this can go a few different ways. First there are {{Druid}}s and [[WitchDoctor Shamans]]: nature-based casters equipping leather armor and having some degree of melee ability, be it weaponry or {{Animorphism}}. Next are "Nightblades" and {{Ninja}}: deadly assassins who combine agility with dark magic to become one with the night. [[LivingShadow Maybe literally]]. Last are Alchemists and [[GadgeteerGenius Engineers]]: artificers who technically don't use magic at all ([[AlchemyIsMagic unless their creations]] are [[{{Magitek}} explicitly stated as such]]), but they have so many tricks up their sleeves that they functionally work out the same way.
* ''Fighter + Thief + Mage'' = JackOfAllStats: which risks being a MasterOfNone if the skills don't have synergy. On the other hand, if they ''do'' overlap, you'll find yourself having a magic-slinging MasterOfAll with a stats total up the wazoo; in short, a GameBreaker.

This trend stretches back to the grandpappy of all [=RPGs=], ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. First edition offered players three main character classes: Fighter (called the [[MostGamersAreMale Fighting]] ''[[MostGamersAreMale Man]]'' at first), Magic User, and Cleric (who [[TheMedic healed the party]], and also dubbed as back-up fighter and/or mage) A standard D&D adventure is constructed for a 4-man party consisting of fighter, cleric, wizard and rogue or their functional equivalents. A lot of [=RPGs=] have followed in their footsteps.

Compare CombatDiplomacyStealth and DamagerHealerTank for other party trios. See also AnAdventurerIsYou for a breakdown of the party-based RPG (especially the MMORPG); as well as ActionHero, ScienceHero, and GuileHero.



[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'' games have minions that correspond to fighter, mage, thief, and cleric while mixing in ElementalPowers. The Overlord himself is always a MagicKnight.
* ''VideoGame/CrimsonAlliance'' has Gnox the mercenary as the party's tank and physical fighter, Direwolf the spell-slinging wizard, and Moonshadow the assassin and ranged-attack specialist.
* The wielders of the three parts of the Triforce in Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda games fit this dynamic. Ganon, who has the Triforce of Power, generally fights using brute force and sheer, well, power. Zelda, who wields the Triforce of Wisdom, generally uses magic. Link, who holds the Triforce of Courage, tends to fight with a variety of weapons including a bow and arrow, and usually uses quick reflexes and clever strategies to win. These styles carry over into the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' games as well.
* The three {{Eldritch Abomination}}s in ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' fit this mold in a villainous fashion. TheBrute Chattur'gha is the Fighter, who can be taken down by the EvilGenius Ulyaoth (Mage), who is in turn easy prey for TheTrickster Xel'lotath (Thief) who herself would be ripped to shreds by Chattur'gha. [[spoiler: Mantorok is the GameBreaker.]]

* The ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series has Fighter, Magic User (renamed Wizard in later games) and Thief. Unlocking cross-class abilities is possible at the expense of same-class starting abilities, though some quests are class-specific and criticized for it. It's possible to earn the class of Paladin, which amounts to a Fighter who does good things rather than just kill stuff, ''and'' has a FlamingSword to kill stuff with. Appropriately but oddly, there's at least one Paladin quest which is done for the sake of right, with no reward.
** ''[=QfG=]'' loves to [[{{Anvilicious}} hammer home]] the Paladin's need to be selfless: each game, starting with the second one, has a least one quest where you're either offered a reward that you should turn down, ''or'' you're not offered a reward at all. [=QfG4=] even has a quest where the ''quest'' isn't given to you; you just hear the basics and you're expected to run with it.
*** It is possible to become a paladin if you're playing as a thief, but do any actual thieving ([[spoiler:except to steal an item needed to defeat an elemental]]) and you've lost your chance.
** Also, Wizard isn't a class, it's an title for academically certified Magic Users, earned in the second game upon graduation from the [[FunWithAcronyms Wizard's Institute of Technocery]]. (As, if you haven't graduated from the school, you shouldn't be able to ''complete'' the second or subsequent games as a Magic User. This becomes part of a "new" character's assumed backstory.)
* ''VideoGame/HeroinesQuest'' offers the female version of Warrior, Sorceress, Rogue.

* ''VideoGame/CastleCrashers'' has three ways to fight, each with its own stat: melee weapons, ranged weapons like bows, and magic spells.
* ''VideoGame/DragonsCrown'' has three melee characters and three ranged characters: [[KnightInShiningArmor Fighter]], the MightyGlacier Fighter; [[AmazonianBeauty Amazon]], the GlassCannon Fighter; [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame Dwarf]], TheScrapper Fighter; [[SquishyWizard Wizard]], the Magical DPS; [[LadyOfBlackMagic Sorceress]], the Magical Support; and [[OurElvesAreBetter Elf]], the FragileSpeedster Thief.
* ''VideoGame/DemonStone'' has three playable characters you can switch between at any time: Rhannek, an armored warrior who fights with a two-handed sword. Zhai, a quick, stealthy half-drow rogue. And Illius, a sorcerer.

* VideoGame/ShadowEra uses these as three of the possible kinds of Heroes in the game.

[[AC:Driving Games]]
* ''VideoGame/BurnoutParadise'''s vehicles follow this dynamic:
** Aggression vehicles are ''[[LightningBruiser Fighter Thieves]]'' if they're fast, or ''[[MightyGlacier Pure Fighters]]'' if slow.
** Stunt vehicles are usually ''Thief Mages'', as they have speeds comparable to low-to-mid-tier Speed cars, and their handling are the best for Stunt Runs. Their durability sits between Aggression vehicles and...
** Speed vehicles, which are ''[[FragileSpeedster Mage Thieves]]''. They are among the fastest cars in ''Paradise'', but cannot take too much punishment.
** The Hawker Mech, meanwhile, is a JackOfAllTrades which can switch between all three modes.

* ''VideoGame/SystemShock2'' opens with the main character, a soldier, deciding whether to join the Marines (which specializes in combat), the Navy (which specializes in technical skills), or the OSA (which specializes in psychic powers). While it is possible to get a smattering of cross-training in other class abilities, attempting to be an across-the-board Jack-of-all-trades really will leave you MasterOfNone.
* ''Bioshock'' takes after System Shock. A character built to use normal weapons is the fighter, a character built to use plasmids is the mage, and a hacker build it the thief. So, you have Gunner, Plasmid-eer, and Hacker.
* {{First Person Shooter}}s also utilize FighterMageThief via its own weapons and equipment.
** Assault rifles, shotguns, machine guns and launchers are Fighters in that they rely on raw power more than accuracy and stealth.
*** Assault rifles in some games might fall into Thief or Jack territory, while launchers lean on Mage tendencies.
** Submachine guns, handguns, and sniper rifles are Thieves. Their precision, stealth and light weight make up for their lack of any firepower.
*** [=SMGs=] can also be Fighters, given their spray-and-pray tactics. Heavy-calibre sniper rifles border on Mage.
** Explosive ordnance, shields and medkits are Mages, requiring high intelligence to be used properly.
** This trope would otherwise be called "[[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Soldier Scientist Sniper]]" had fantasy not been prevalent.
* ''{{VideoGame/Battlefield}}'':
** Assault combines Fighter and Mage, dealing decent damage and able to launch grenades and patch people up.
** Engineer is Thief plus Mage, using rocket launchers to blow up tanks, blowtorches to fix tanks, and submachine guns to kill soldiers.
** Support holds the line with heavy fire, Fighter-style, while resupplying allies like a Mage.
** Recon is a combo Thief and Mage, able to deal damage from afar, and with high damage, keep foes from getting close.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' does this as well with its nine classes. Loosely speaking, the Heavy, Soldier, and Demoman are fighters--possessing decent HP and lots of power, but lower speeds. The Scout, Sniper, and Spy are thieves, being weaker, but use speed and stealth to make up for it. The Pyro, Engineer, and Medic are mages, being more supporting classes with a medley of abilities that aren't wholly focused on direct combat. Interestingly, Thief-type classes tend to be lower hp than Mage types.
*** Fighter/Fighter Heavy ([[MightyGlacier best frontal firepower]] and highest health in the game)
*** Fighter/Mage Soldier (Rocket Launcher and Various team-oriented buffs fueled by damage)
*** Fighter/Thief Demoman (Ambushing via stickybombs and non-direct combat with bouncing grenades)
*** Thief/Thief Spy (About as sneaky as you can get)
*** Thief/Fighter Scout ([[GlassCannon Massive firepower]] with [[FragileSpeedster the highest speed in game and a hard-to-target small frame]])
*** Thief/Mage Sniper (Long range Headshots and the ability to make people take mini-crits with Jarate)
*** Mage/Mage Medic (Mostly direct healing and incredibly powerful ubercharges, but lacks in direct combat.)
*** Mage/Fighter Pyro (Fights by setting foes on fire and detects spies aswell as the versatile Airblast)
*** Mage/Thief Engineer (Relies on building a base in corners to ambush people with [[MoreDakka a twin barreled gattling gun turret with a missile launcher on the top]] and hides his buildings all over the place)
* ''VideoGame/{{Hexen}}'' allows you to choose one of three characters to play the game with. While the Fighter and the Mage play the trope straight, the Cleric does not act like a typical thief - his abilities are more of a combination of the Fighter and Mage.
* The three main monsters of ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}''. Goliath is the close-range bruiser with lots of health, Kraken is the SquishyWizard (compared to the former) with devastating long-range electrical attacks, and the Wraith is fast with dual-blade like claws and decoy-based abilities but has the lowest health/armor of the three.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' does this to a degree with its main characters:
** Roland is a Fighter/Mage with specializations in both gun DPS and team support abilities, such as healing and ammo regeneration.
** Lilith is a Mage/Thief who can teleport in and out of sticky situations as well as augment her already supernatural abilities with elemental damage.
** Mordecai is a Thief/Fighter with [[GlassCannon spectacular gun and melee damage but poor survivability compared to the others]], requiring him to be more tactical with his movement.
** Brick is a Fighter/Mage leaning towards nuking with Rocket Launchers, extreme durability, and Melee combat.
* ''Videogame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' has similar archetypes but slightly different in some places.
** Axton is a JackOfAllTrades leaning Fighter who has no real specializations but can lay down deployable cover.
** Maya is a Mage who can spec into elemental damage, crowd control and healing.
** Zer0 is a thief/fighter GlassCannon similar to Mordecai, but focuses more on stealthy attacks.
** Salvador is a pure Fighter/Thief that relies on brute force and gun-juggling.
** Gaige is a Mage/Fighter who summons a robot to do damage for her though she can also specialize in electric attacks and [[PowerfulButInaccurate raw power at the cost of accuracy]].
** Krieg is a Fighter/Mage who focuses on melee damage and tanking while also capable of dealing significant fire damage via self-damage.

* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' technically does not have classes, but the time it takes to be proficient in fighting, archery, and magic guarantees that most players fall into one of the three categories. Note that while the fighter and mage are played straight, the "thief" does not use close range weapons like daggers and throwing knives, (s)he uses a bow and arrow coupled with lightweight leather armor.
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' the ship types boil down to: Cruisers (MightyGlacier), Escorts (GlassCannon), and science ship {{trickster}}, while officers are less specialized in terms of combat, but just as specialized in terms of abilities, complete with some missions having optional objectives that require being a particular class of having someone of that class in your party.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', there are three main stats: Muscle, Mysticality, and Moxie (in that order), and two classes "attuned" to each stat. The fact that the whole game is basically a parody of the RPG genre makes this a no-brainer.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline'' has three classes: Hunter, Ranger, and Force. Hunters use melee weapons, Rangers use ranged weapons, and Forces use [[MagicFromTechnology Techniques]].
** The ''[[PhantasyStarUniverse Universe]]'' series has four races to pick from: Beast (Brawn), Cast (Skill), Newman (Techniques), and Human (... JackOfAllTrades). The various Class options either serve to lead into CripplingOverspecialization, or [[JackOfAllStats balance out race weaknesses]]. The second Portable game even has a basic class which qualifies as the JackOfAllTrades, as its specialty is in single hand weapons (which every class has at least one or two of).
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline2'' returns the original Hunter, Ranger, and Force classes, as well as introducing three specialization classes for the original classes: Fighter ([[LightningBruiser better suited at using smaller, quicker melee weapons]]), Gunner ([[TheGunslinger a ranged class focusing on quick attacks and evasion]]), and Techer (a magic class with more emphasis on offense than support). Episode 2 introduced Bravers, [[BowAndSwordInAccord a hybrid melee/range class]], while Episode 3 introduces Bouncers, [[MagicKnight a hybrid melee/magic class]].
* ''{{Latale}}'' originally had four character classes, those being the warrior and knight, fighters who specialized in offense and defense respectively, and then wizards and explorers, who fit the stereotypical mage and thief mold. They later added engineers which are something of a JackOfAllTrades.
* ''{{Dragonica}}'' has 4 base classes: Warrior, Magician, Thief, and Archer. Later in the game, you can branch off to a different class.
** Warriors can choose to be [[SuperToughness knights]](defense) or [[BloodKnight gladiators]](offense)
** Magicians can choose to be [[TheMedic priests/acolytes]](healing) or [[MagicKnight battlemagi]](attacking)
** Thieves can choose to be [[LethalJokeCharacter jesters/tricksters]](flashy, direct battling) or [[GratuitousNinja assassins]] (stealthy, battling from afar)
** Archers can choose to be rangers(high attack, low in skills) or [[NatureHero hunters]](low attack, lots of skills)
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfConan'' directly divides its classes into 4 archetypes, "warriors", 'rogues", "priests", and "mages". Classes within these roles get the same set of tortage quests and a talent tree in common.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft's'' classes easily fall into these archetypes. Mages, Priests, and Warlocks are the three pure spellcasters, only equipping cloth armor and having no melee ability. Rogues and Hunters appropriately fall under Thief, while Warriors are obviously Fighter. Paladins and Death Knights are Fighter/Mage; Shamans and Druids are Thief/Mage (Shamans' melee style is more similar to Rogues than Warriors); and Monks are Fighter/Thief.
** The game's popularity has also brought about the popular term 'Holy Trinity' for the combination of Tank(s), Damage Dealer(s) and Healer(s) needed to complete almost all of its dungeons.
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' divides its nine "professions" (the term they use for character classes) into the "soldier" professions[[note]]Guardian, Warrior, Revenant[[/note]] (Fighter), the "scholar" professions[[note]]Elementalist, Mesmer, Necromancer[[/note]] (Mage), and the "adventurer" professions[[note]]Ranger, Engineer, and the appropriately named Thief[[/note]] (Thief). Characters are relatively flexible in the roles they fill, but the "soldiers" an use the heaviest armor and are more melee focused, "scholars" use almost all magic skills and only use the lightest armor, and "adventurers" are a bit more ranged focus, with generally more movement and trickery options, and have medium strength armor.
** Worth noting that there are also three tiers of [[HitPoints base HP value]], allowing the warrior to remain the tankiest of the lot when combined with it's heavy armour, and the thief to be as fragile as expected with it being in the lowest tier. This also leads to, perhaps surprisingly, the [[ThePaladin guardian]] having a low level of HP compared to its general toughness:
*** Warrior and Necromancer - 9,212 base HP
*** Revenant, Engineer, Ranger and Mesmer - 5,922 base HP
*** Guardian, Thief and Elementalist - 1,645 base HP
* ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'' has three types of weapons, melee, ranged physical, and magical, which fit the trope somewhat.
** And while they contain all types (just as a player will eventually learn to use all weapons), the player-available ''factions'' are strongly linked to this trope: one faction formed with goals including assimilating every warrior culture and mastering every form of personal combat and military art, one faction originating with scholars whose methodology involves knowing everything that happens while studying every application of science and sorcery to be able to control everything it sees, and one faction hidden deep in the shadows and poorer sections of the world which has gained utter mastery of trickery, long-term planning and the GambitRoulette at the expense of its own members having very little understanding of their goals.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Destiny}}'', the three class fit the roles well, Titan (Fighter), Warlock (Mage), and Hunter (Thief).

* Some games in ''VideoGame/WizardsAndWarriors'' series let you choose between a knight, wizard and a thief.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon'' has a version of this. After beating the game in "Vampire Hunter" mode (which has no perks) you get a code to change your class to Magician mode in the next playthrough. Beating Magician unlocks a code for another class (and so on).
** 2nd playthrough = Magician Mode (High MP and all abilities from beginning, but low Strength and Defense)
** 3rd Playthrough = Fighter Mode (High Strength and Defense, but no magic)
** 4th Playthrough = Shooter Mode (Increases Hearts, which are used for long range attacks)
** 5th Playthrough = Thief Mode (Low everything, but insane luck)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse'' has Trevor as the Fighter, Sypha as the Mage, and Grant as the Thief. Alucard is the odd man out, but the game still fits this nonetheless.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Trine}}'', the Mage can create boxes to use as platforms and [[MindOverMatter use telekinesis to move objects]]; the Thief can [[BuildingSwing swing on certain ceilings]] and use her arrow to shoot targets from afar; and the Fighter is your basic bash-things-with-your-sword character.

* A clever and a bit uncommon interpretation can be seen in "Heroes of Sokoban": the fighter pushes the blocks as in usual Sokoban (except that, being a fighter, he can push a whole row), the thief pulls them and the magician teleport-swaps with a block on approach.

* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' uses this as the base for the RPG-based {{Hero unit}}s. Heroes with the main attribute of Strength tend to be front-line brawlers with lots of hit points or supporting StoneWall heroes with auras and defensive skills, Agility heroes are either sneaky types or ranged, and those that focus on Intelligence are, without exception, casters with powerful spells but not much in terms of physical damage.
** The Undead heroes subverts this, due to the inherent fragileness of the faction itself. Both of its strength-based heroes, the Death Knight and Dreadlord, are relatively squishy compared to the other factions. One of the better tactics for the Death Knight, for instance, is to stay out of melee fights entirely, taking advantage of their above-average movement speed to keep him out of harms reach and healing friendly units or sniping enemies using Death Coil. Played straight with the Crypt Lord hero added in the expansion, which has a passive that increases his armor and reflects damage, in addition an ultimate that heals him.
** There IS one melee int hero, the Goblin Tinker. No ranged STR heroes, though.
** In a similar vain, it's averted in the case of ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients''. One of the most common newbie mistakes made is assuming Strength = Tank/Warrior, Agility = Carry/Thief, Intelligence = Support/Mage. The only thing primary attributes determine is which stats gives you 1 damage per point of it. Typically, if a hero has an role contrary to its commonly associated to its stat, it likely means the hero has particularly strong skills, and has a different attribute to balance them out.
* Modern real-time strategy games like ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft II}}'' has unites that can be classified:
** Fighter = MightyGlacier. Tanks, choppers and mecha for example.
** Mage = Ranged, SplashDamage units such as battleships, bombers and rocket artillery.
** Thief = LightningBruiser types like Humvees and fighter planes, or sneaky ones like submarines and stealth fighters.

* ''TheWitcher3'' features the surrogate family of Geralt of Rivia, Ciri and Yennefer of Vengerberg, who all share the exact same fighting styles as the Fighter, Thief and Mage, respectively.
* ''PlanescapeTorment'': the Nameless One begins the game as a Fighter, and can remember the skills needed to become a Thief or a Mage by respectively speaking to the thief Ratbone and to the midwife Old Mebbeth (who will first send you on a set of {{Fetch Quest}}s that help create your spellbook, and which you can realise [[WaxOnWaxOff taught you some secret lessons about magic]] if your Intelligence or Wisdom is at least better then average), both of whom are in the Ragpicker's Square. The Nameless One can only be one class at a time (though a bug does exist to make multiclassing possible), but once having "remembered" the other classes can switch between gaining experience by talking to party members of the appropriate classes. The other characters consist of Vhailor (Fighter), Morte (Fighter), Nordom ("Archer" - that is, a Fighter who uses [[GunsAkimbo twin crossbows]], thanks to having [[MultiArmedAndDangerous four arms]]), Dak'kon (Fighter/Mage), Annah (Fighter/Thief), Ignus (PyroManiac Mage) and Fall-From-Grace ("Cleric" - that is, a Mage who uses healing spells).
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'', the "physical" Ground, Rock, and Fighting, etc., types were typically associated with high Attack or Defense, "special" types (Water, Fire, Grass, Psychic, etc.) with high Special Attack and Special Defense, and Flying, Bug and Ghost types had generally high Speed stat and attacks that allowed them to act fast or evade attacks. With the appearance of more and more Pokémon, the type combinations multiplied mixing and matching these properties more and more.
** In one particular battle in ''VideoGame/PokemonRanger: Shadows of Almia'' you face [[DualBoss three bosses]] that fit perfectly in the categories: Rhyperior (slow-moving but resistant and with an array of close-range attacks), Magmortar (Less HP, but capable of using devastating long-range and area attacks) and Gallade (Smaller, faster, and regularly teleporting away from danger)
** In fact, the types that most closely match the trope also have an ElementalRockPaperScissors dynamic between them. Fighting (which uses powerful melee attacks and fits the Fighter role) is strong against Dark (which uses underhanded tactics and fits the Thief role), which is strong against Psychic (which uses mental powers similar to magic, fitting the Mage role), which in turn is strong against Fighting.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'', the usual trio of starting Pokémon recalls this motif. Fennekin, Braixen and Delphox are witch-like fox Mages with PsychicPowers, Froakie, Frogadier, and Greninja are frog Thieves based on {{Ninja}}s, and Chespin, Quilladin and Chesnaught are the bulky hedgehog Fighters that grow chestnut armor as they evolve. Their final forms are Fire/Psychic, Water/Dark and Grass/Fighting respectively.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' does a similar thing with their respective starters, only which motif they adopt is swapped: Grass-typed Rowlet eventually becomes Decidueye, a Grass/Ghost owl with [[ArcherArchetype archer abilities]] (The thief). The Fire type Litten becomes bipedal and takes on a Fire/Dark {{Heel}} wrestler theme as Incineroar (the fighter) and the Water-typed Popplio turns into Primarina, a Water/Fairy MagicIdolSinger mermaid (the mage).
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' generally tacks in these three directions, though some of the builds you're offered at the beginning are a blend of two or three. The leveling system generally means that every character winds up the pinnacle of all 3, especially in games before ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', where a bunch of skills leveled even if you weren't trying to practice them - Stealth, Medical, Backstab, Critical Hit, and Running and Jumping, for some examples.
** TES's skill breakdown demonstrates how this trope can be carried on through a purely skill-based character system. Though there are classes presented, the player can arbitrarily select any skills up to the limit and define the class with any name, and that class will still be predominantly combat, magic or stealth-based. Any class's leaning is subject to change at any time regardless of the name, but because of TES's skillpoint leveling system, it's as a result of what the player does. If you become more fighter-like it's because you're acting more fighter-like.
*** Although normally invisible to the player, when you start modding around [=NPCs=], espescially if you are modding in partners/followers, they strictly grow in skill according to their class. Fortunately, you can custom-build classes for them, as well, to cherry-pick the abilities of your companions.
** The Elder Scrolls also has an in-universe example of this trope in the form of the three "guardian constellations" in the in-game zodiac. Each confer benefits suited to their corresponding play styles.
** The classes have already been touched upon, but no fewer than ''three'' sets of organizations in ''Morrowind'' are built around this trope: the Imperial Guilds, the three Dunmer Great Houses on Vvardenfell, and the three vampire clans on Vvardenfell. Interestingly, joining the trio that best fits your character is discouraged -- the vampires aren't really tolerated by ''anyone'', and even discounting them the three Great Houses have (to varying degrees) issues with their Guild counterparts.
** The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jNT5cMwxw0 Alliance trailer]] for ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsOnline'' features three leaders for the three main alliances, along this dynamic. The Ebonheart Pact is represented by a huge and ''very'' angry looking Nord with an equally large battleaxe; the Daggerfall Covenant is represented by a black-cloak-and-hood Breton with knife-throwing and acrobatic skills reminiscent of [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreed Altair]]; the Aldmeri Dominion is represented by a High Elf sorceress who calmly vaporizes her enemies with a flick of her wrist.
** The Tribunal of Morrowind worshipped by the Dunmer consists of Almalexia (warrior), Sotha Sil (mage), and Vivec (thief). They replaced the Daedric Princes Boethiah, Azura, and Mephala respectively.
** According to one in-game source, Talos is actually composed of three men, each of whom represent elements the archetypes and are each one of the races of men. Wulfharth (Nord, warrior), Zurin Arctus (Imperial, mage), and Hjalti Early-Beard/Tiber Septim (Breton, thief).
* ''VideoGame/FableI'' allows you to invest experience into Strength (health, damage resistance, and melee weapons), Skill (archery, bartering, and stealth), and Will (magic powers).
** ''VideoGame/{{Fable II}}'' streamlines things further, though still into Strength (melee), Skill (ranged) and Will (magic). It also has heroes as [=NPCs=] that each personify one of these paths, so the Hero of Strength is big and muscular, the Hero of Will is glowing with magic power, and the Hero of Skill is tall and lanky, just like how the character will look if they specialize in a particular path.
*** Not like anyone would specialize in a single path unless they wanted a SelfImposedChallenge. As Exp is available from numerous sources and upgrade prices scale in such a way as to make purchasing skills from all three branches trivial, [[MasterOfAll there is little disincentive to being a generalist]], which eventually makes the character look like a giant (Skill) glowing (Will) barrel (Strength) with arms and legs (same goes if you're playing as a female).
* ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}'':
** The series has the stats of strength, dexterity, and intellect, with the three Principles each related to one stat (Strength = Courage, Int = Truth, Dex = Love). The classes associated with the virtues derived from the principles also mostly work out, with the meleeist Fighter for Valor (courage), pure-caster Mage for Honesty (truth), ranged fighter Bard for Compassion (love), MagicKnight Paladin for Honor (truth and courage), more-agile fighter Tinker for Sacrifice (love and courage), more-agile caster Druid for Justice (truth and love), jack-of-all-trades Ranger for Spirituality (all three), and [[MasterOfNone mostly-worthless]] Shepherd for Humility (none!).
** ''VideoGame/UltimaIV''[='=]s NES port also has the Avatar "class", which the PlayerCharacter (and the PC only) upgrades to upon achieving enlightenment in all Virtues. It's basically a PurposelyOverpowered version of the Ranger with access to all weapons, armor, and spells (depending on your INT), with the only real downside being that if you ever commit an unvirtuous act again, you're reverted to your base class and have to regain the enlightenment in that virtue again. In the original versions of the game, you were stuck with your normal class restricted weaponry, with the Avatarhood benefit being you got access to the eight sets of Mystic Swords and Mystic Robes, the best melee and armor in the game for all classes.
** ''VideoGame/UltimaIX'' gives you starting equipment based on what class you choose. The super-awesome Ranger gets an immediate boost to the three main stats, but crappy equipment. The super-crappy Shepherd, which gets no boost at all to the three main stats, gets equipment that other classes can't get for a least four or five hours. It pays to handicap yourself, apparently.
** While ''VideoGame/UltimaI'' and ''[[VideoGame/UltimaII II]]'' had the standard roster of fighter, cleric, thief and wizard, ''VideoGame/UltimaIII'' expanded this to include not only RPG standbys such as the barbarian and druid, but also the illusionist and lark.
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' has the stats of Body (health and strength), Mind (raises Focus, which allows you to enact BulletTime and use [[strike: special or non-mastered]] weapons), and Spirit (raises Chi, which allows you to heal and use magical martial arts). It's not a traditional breakdown, as there's little stealth involved, but it does provide a basic breakdown between strength, speed, and sorcery.
* Because magic doesn't exist in the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' universe, the three basic character builds are Fighter (punches and guns), Thief (stealth and stealing), and Diplomat ([[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath talking your enemies to death]]). The first two games offered 3 pre-built characters fitting each type. Of course, the open-ended character system allows you to mix and match attributes as you like. One of the many bits [[DummiedOut cut from the]] [[VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}} second game]] is a BonusDungeon that culminates in the player being able to recruit one of three characters, each representing one of the three basic classes.
** Fallout 4 features three factions that play to this trope. The Brotherhood of Steel are fighters, who use military tactics, brute force and ample power armour to clean the commonwealth. Siding with them involves a lot of direct combat. The Railroad are thieves, relying on stealth and clandestine operations to have a chance against their enemies. Siding with them involves a lot of cloak and dagger activities. Finally, the Institute are mages: near-magical technology and a decided preference for hanging back and letting their creations do the fighting and spying for them. Siding with them involves a lot of high tech missions and ample robotic assistance. Oh, [[MeleeATrois and all three are opposed to each other]] [[spoiler: and the player's decision on who to support determines which one is left standing after the dust settles.]]
*** There's also a 4th faction: The Minutemen of the Commonwealth, who the [[PlayerCharacter Sole Survivor]] can help bring BackFromTheBrink. Best described as the "Jack-of-all-Trades", They're largely concerned with Establishing/Defending Settlements and use whatever they can get their hands on to do the job, be it jury-rigged laser rifles (their signature weapon) to old-fashioned artillery cannons. However, they're largely un-involved with the main conflict, and the other factions tend to look at them with disdain (save for the Railroad, who like what they do but also see them as too short-sighted). [[spoiler: This can be a huge mistake, as if the player doesn't join one of the other 3 factions, the Minutemen will instead step up to end the conflict themselves; first by storming the Institute, then forcing the Brotherhood out of the Commonwealth (taking out their flagship, and leadership, in the process).]]
* ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'': The game does not have pure character classes, instead having more open-ended character building like in Fallout (see above), but there are still three basic builds: fighter (put the bulk of your points into combat skills), thief (distribute points broadly among stealth and social skills), and wizard (concentrate on willpower, intelligence and magickal skils). Technology is a unique fourth option; it functions as a prototypical ItemCrafting system, and technological aptitude interferes with your magickal aptitude. However, a "pure" technologist is hard to do, if not impossible; a fighter technologist will need combat skills (whether with a firearm or a mechanical axe) and a stealth technologist will need to know lockpicking (with a technological skeleton key). Later in the game, it's possible to rely entirely on technological minions, however.
* ''Videogame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' uses a modified version of the D&D D20 system. Basically, a character can have 3 kinds of features that the user specifically selects: skills, feats, and Force Powers. Each of the 6 classes in the game focuses on one of these. Soldiers focus on feats, while Scouts and Scoundrels focus on different sets of skills. The Jedi classes work like this too, only adding Force Powers to the mix. Guardians are basically Fighters with a few Force Powers; they get lots of access to feats. Consulars are Wizards with [[LaserBlade lightsabers]]. And Sentinels are Thieves that don't steal (skill-focused).
** The sequel's Prestige Classes play it even straighter, essentially boiling down to a combat monster, an arch-wizard and a stealthy assassin each with some Jedi or Sith flavour text.
** The MMORPG sequel ''Videogame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' has four classes for each faction that play pretty much the same for the most part, with each class having an Advanced Class that have two different specialization and one shared between the two. The Jedi Knight/Sith Warrior are Fighters who can become pure tanks (Guardian/Juggernaut) or Dual-wielding [=DPSers=], Jedi Consular/Sith Inquisitors are Mages that can focus purely on Force techniques (Sage/Sorcerer) or be a Mage/Thief mix (Shadow/Assassin), Republic Troopers/Bounty Hunters are ranged Fighters who can focus on tanking (Vanguard/Powertech) or versatility (Commando/Mercenary) and Smugglers/Imperial Agents are the resident Thieves who focus on either stealth and healing (Scoundrel/Operative) or pure ranged damage (Gunslinger/Sniper).
* ''DokaponKingdom'', a [[XMeetsY hybrid board game and RPG]], has these as the three default classes. All weapons can be equipped by any class, but certain ones grant special bonuses.
* The early ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' series by Spiderweb Software explicitly follows this trope in its class system, which offers a choice between "Guardian" (Fighter), "Agent" (Thief, albeit with combat magic) and "Shaper" (Mage). Later parts of the series have added new classes, however.
** In practice, it's more Fighter, TheBeastmaster, MagicKnight.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''
** The first game gives you a choice of attributes at the beginning: Fighter, Mage, and ''Defender''. The latter isn't as strong or agile as the Fighter, but learns defense and [[MoneySpider drop]] related abilities earlier, and has more item slots. The game also makes you give up one of the three, giving the feel of a bit more depth in the trio set-up. The three main party members also map to the three classes, with Sora being the Fighter, Donald being the Mage and Goofy being the Defender.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' is a straighter example. It has three MagicKnight protagonists, each with a different specialty: Terra specializes in strength, Ven specializes in speed, and Aqua specializes in magic.
** The ArcVillain PowerTrio are similarly {{Magic Knight}}s with different specialties: [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI Ansem, Seeker of Darkness]] favors spells (Mage); [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII Xemnas]] favors combos (Fighter); and [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Master Xehanort]] favors pragmatism (Thief).
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' goes in this direction with its classes, having the typical Fighter-Rogue-Mage setup. The playable races are also set up in a similar pattern, with the [[SquishyWizard magical]] [[OurElvesAreBetter elves]], [[SuperToughness hardy]] [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame dwarves]], and [[JackOfAllStats average]] humans.
** The classical lineup is particularly obvious in the ''Leliana's Song'' DLC, where your party consists of exactly three characters: warrior (Tug, who is, subversively, not the leader, [[spoiler:and Silas]]), mage (Sketch), and thief (Leliana herself). Other [=DLCs=] tend to remove one of the three parts: ''Golems of Amgarrak'' gives you no real mage (unless your PC is one), while ''Witch Hunt'' features no rogues (ditto).
** The default player characters in each game if a player does not transfer a custom world state fits this. [[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins The Hero of Ferelden]] is an elven warrior, [[VideoGame/DragonAgeII Hawke]] is a mage, and [[VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition the Inquisitor]] is a human rogue.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', the choice of [[spoiler:the new Divine comes down to Cassandra (a warrior), Leliana (a rogue), and Vivienne (a mage).]]
* The original ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' provided a breakdown of Warrior, Rogue, and Sorcerer, with later games adding more classes.
** ''Diablo'' is also a partial subversion in that any character can potentially learn any magic and use any equipment.
** Played straight in ''VideoGame/{{Diablo III}}'' with both the main hero classes and followers; the Barbarian, Crusader and Kormac the Templar represent fighter, The Demon Hunter, Monk and Lyndon the Scoundrel represent thief, and the Witch Doctor, Wizard and Eirena the Enchantress represent mage.
* ''VideoGame/{{Torchlight}}'': Destroyer is fighter, Vanquisher is thief (archer/gunslinger), Alchemist is mage. Like ''Diablo'', classes are fairly customizable, e.g. you can easily make a magic knight, a sneaky sorcerer, or JackOfAllTrades out of the Alchemist.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' has the original forms for several of the classes found (in various mutations) throughout the series. Given its dependence on the original D&D, it's hardly surprising.
** Fighter = [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Fighter]]
** Thief = [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Thief]]
** (Black) Mage = [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Mage]]
** (White) Mage = Cleric
** (Red) Mage = MagicKnight
** Monk = Fighter
** In addition, the Class Change that marked the midpoint of the game would give the magic-users access to more powerful spells and the monk a better attack, but would also grant MagicKnight status to the Fighter (who became the Knight and could use White Magic) and the Thief (who got a major upgrade as the Ninja and could use Black Magic).
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has [[BareFistedMonk Tifa]] (Fighter), [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Aeris]][=/=][[WhiteMagicianGirl Aerith]] (Mage), and [[{{Ninja}} Yuffie]] (Thief).
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', in the Evil Forest, the heroes are Zidane the thief, Vivi the Mage, and Steiner the Fighter-Knight. What's more is with Vivi's magic Steiner can become a MagicKnight.
* ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}'', The [[Main/TheNameless Unnamed Hero]] can choose his class by joining one of the three factions in the game - including the mixed classes. The Old Camp provides the choice of a Fighter or Firemage career, the New Camp a choice of a Thief or Watermage while the [[Main/EruditeStoner Swamp Camp]] - a Mage type of character.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' does this with a little sci-fi flavor, dividing proficiency into three categories, with respect to this trope's name: [[MoreDakka Combat]], [[GravityMaster Biotics]] and [[GadgeteerGenius Tech]]. You can be a pure class, or a class hybridized with any two:
** Soldier (pure Combat): JackOfAllTrades (a gun for any situation), or SuperToughness (most durable of all player classes)
** [[TheEngineer Engineer]] (pure Tech): Debuffer, MasterOfUnlocking
** Adept (pure Biotics): MindOverMatter (though the hybridized biotic classes are too, to a lesser extent)
** Vanguard (Combat/Biotics): MagicKnight
** Infiltrator (Combat/Tech): GlassCannon Trickster
** Sentinel (Tech/Biotics): JackOfAllStats or StoneWall, depending on how you play the class.
** Interestingly, the first game divides the classes of the squadmates along gender lines: The three women are the pure classes, while the three men are the hybrids. The one exception dies within the first 10 minutes.
** In the third game, the only three squad-mates you're guaranteed to have the entire game fall into this - James (weapons), Liara (biotics) and EDI (tech).
** Interestingly, {{the Verse}}'s [[FiveRaces three Citadel races]] (i.e. the primary decision-makers in intergalactic politics) also play into the class divisions. The reptilian turians are famed for their military prowess and their mighty space fleet, the amphibian salarians are famed for their scientific prowess and their many technological contributions, as well as their skill at espionage, and the humanoid asari are famed for their naturally powerful biotic abilities and their highly spiritual culture.
* Played straight in ''The Tomb of the VideoGame/TaskMaker'': fighters can use the most weapons, magicians can use the most spells, and thieves can steal items and pick locks.
* ''FateExtra'' Allows the player to choose one of three servants to fight for him/her.
** Saber (Fighter): Has the best stat growths in [[MightyGlacier strength]] and endurance, and has skills that are either direct physical damage, or add small [[StatusBuff buffs]] to her choices in the game's TacticalRockPaperScissors
** Archer (Thief): Specializes in [[JackOfAllStats agility, endurance, and magic]], and has a unique skill set revolving around preparation to use his HyperspaceArsenal, dealing a mix of physical and magical damage.
** Caster (Mage): Can easily gain levels in [[GlassCannon magic, agility, and luck]], and is the only character whose skills rely almost completely on magical damage and MP recovery.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'' has three paths that you can choose to pursue: Might, Sorcery, and Finesse. However, by putting enough points into the paths, you can unlock a different path that gives you different bonuses, such as becoming a MightyGlacier MagicKnight or a GlassCannon version. You can also switch between paths whenever you want.
* ''TalesOfTheWorld: Radiant Mythology'' has four basic classes you can choose, and three of them are a Fighter, a Mage and a Thief. The fourth is a Cleric, which is basically a mage with healing magic.
* The first three characters in ''[[VideoGame/LunarDragonSong Lunar Genesis]]''/''Dragon Song'' fit these archetypes. Jian is the fighter, with the highest attack, very good defense and the most broken combat mechanics in the game (can hit three times in one turn for the majority of the game), Lucia (and later Flora) is the mage, with a battery of healing spells and buffs, but very little actual power (although Flora is the only character that can hit airborne enemies with her bows), whereas Gabby is the thief, with more emphasis on dexterity and intelligence, as well as a nasty (and useful) spell right from the start. Rufus is the only character who doesn't fit, having the toughness and power of the fighter but the flexibility of the thief. Mind you, [[spoiler:he dies about two areas after he joins you anyway.]]
* The two Ravenloft video games have differing support for this trope. The first, Strahd's Possession, even has a fighter/mage/thief NPC you can recruit to your cause. The second game, Stone Prophet, has fighters, thiefs and cleric you can recruit, but unless you bring a wizard with you then you will be without arcane magic for the entire game.
* ''VideoGame/LandsOfLore: The Throne of Chaos'' offered four character choices, one [[TheMario balanced character]] and three specialized characters following this trope.
* In ''Videogame/DragonsDogma'', you start off as either a Fighter, Mage or Strider. Later on, you can either change your class into either a specialized version of the original classes (Warrior which focuses on powerful single-hit attacks at the cost of being unable to block or evade attacks, Sorcerers which focus on damaging spells at the cost of healing and Ranger which focus more on bow-wielding over melee) or a hybrid class (Assassin which focuses on versatility and is able to use any melee weapon except 2-handed swords and hammers, Mystic Knight which focuses on defensive spells and countering attacks and Magic Archer which focuses on elemental shots with special effects). The first 6 classes are also useable by [[NonPlayerCompanion pawns]], while the last 3 are exclusive to the Arisen.
* ''Videogame/SouthParkTheStickOfTruth'' has four classes: Fighter, Mage, Thief and Jew (which focuses on Jew-themed attacks as well as gaining power the lower your health is). The only difference between classes are the abilities and otherwise fight mostly the same.
* In ''Videogame/PathOfExile'', there are six classes which focus on a mix of three stats: Strength, Magic and Dexterity. The Marauder, Witch and Ranger focus on each stat respectively. The Templar is a MagicKnight who focuses on using magic to augment his combat capabilities. The Duelist is a Figher/Thief hybrid who focuses on being a LightningBruiser while the Shadow is a Mage/Thief hybrid who's more of a GlassCannon. The unlockable Scion class is a JackOfAllStats balanced in all categories and capable of fulfilling any role.
* [[PlayingWithATrope Played With]] in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2: Mask of the Betrayer''. One of your companions, the OneOfMany can at various points switch from a Barbarian, to a Rogue, to a Warlock, becoming each in turn (but the changes can't be reversed, and it's only one at a time)
* In ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'' the three main classes you can choose for Mike are analogous to this. Soldier/Commando is the Fighter, specialised in direct combat skills and Toughness. Tech Specialist/Engineer is sort of the Mage, due to its emphasis on gadgets that offer a variety of damage and utility effects, and Field Agent/Spy is the Thief with a focus on stealth and burst damage.
* ''VideoGame/{{Nox}}'' has Fighter and Mage classes that fit their mold pretty well, but instead of a Thief the game instead has a Conjurer class, sort of a hybrid Ranger/Mage with their own pool of spells.
* Vyse, Aika, and Fina fr<om ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' fit this dynamic; Vyse being the front line physical attacker (fighter), speedy Aika backing him up with her trusty Boomerang and a number of useful skills (thief), and Fina supporting them both with powerful healing specials and buffs (mage).
** Also applies for their cameo in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles''; Vyse is a Shocktrooper, Aika a Scout, and Fina a medic.
* Speaking of ''Valkyria Chronicles'':
** Scout = Fighter (GrenadeLauncher) + Thief (good range)
** Sniper = Thief (ranged damage) + Mage (OneHitKill)
** Shocktrooper = Fighter (frontline combat) + Thief (agility)
** Gunner = Fighter (MoreDakka) + Mage (keeps enemies from closing in)
** Lancer = Mage (StuffBlowingUp) + Fighter armoured)
** Engineer = Mage (healer)
** Armoured Technician/Swordsman = Fighter (heavily armoured, equally heavy melee damage)
* [[SuperPowerLottery Despite being capable of filling any role they want]], the protagonists of ''VideoGame/Persona3'', ''[[VideoGame/Persona4 4]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/Persona5 5]]'' eventually fall into these categories.
** The ''VideoGame/Persona4'' protagonist/Yu Narukami is the Fighter, with his fighting style in the fighting game spinoffs being primarily physical, and despite his balanced stats and moveset, he becomes a StoneWall in ''VideoGame/PersonaQ'' due to his diverse resistances. His ultimate persona is also a KnightInShiningArmour.
** The ''VideoGame/Persona3'' protagonist has an element-swapped version of his successor's in ''VideoGame/PersonaQ'', but his higher magic and lower endurance, combined with worse resistances (including a weakness to [[OneHitKill Mudo]])[[labelnote:*]]Comparatively. He still has better resistances than everybody who isn't the ''P4'' protagonist[[/labelnote]] make him a SquishyWizard. His ultimate persona is [[MessianicArchetype Messiah]], an archetypical miracle worker.
** The ''VideoGame/Persona5'' protagonist is [[PhantomThief obviously]] the Thief, and both he and his ultimate persona are TheGunslinger.

* ''VideoGame/TheIdolmaster'': A version of this dichotomy exists due to the fact that the game features a triangular stat system to determine how well a character does at specific categories of performing, with said stats directly affecting the player's score in the RhythmGame portions. If one quantifies "Dance" as physical prowess, "Visual" as charm and "Vocal" as magic, the resulting breakdown for the cast becomes:
** Fighter: [[TomboyWithAGirlyStreak Makoto]] (though in later games she skirts the line towards being a JackOfAllStats, her skillset still primarily helps her dancing), [[GenkiGirl Yayoi]], [[TricksterTwins Ami, Mami]] and [[FriendToAllLivingThings Hibiki]]
** Thief: [[FragileFlower Yukiho]], [[CoolBigSis Azusa]], [[{{Tsundere}} Iori]] and [[BrilliantButLazy Miki]], (though the latter can become a MasterOfAll if conditions are met in the first game.)
** Mage: [[CuteClumsyGirl Haruka]], [[BrokenBird Chihaya]] (whose overwhelming vocal ability is enough to pull her stat total into the highest tiers), [[BrainyBrunette Ritsuko]] and [[RichInDollarsPoorInSense Takane]] (who hovers on being a metaphorical Trickster, as her visual stat is also quite high.)

* ''VideoGame/LordsOfMagic'': Warrior, Mage, and Thief are the three types of champions (single unit characters that lead armies) in its gameplay, and much of the rest of gameplay is influenced by this division. Unit production buildings are divided along these lines as well, with a "barracks" producing infantry, cavalry, ships, and warrior champions, a "thieves Guild" producing thieves, ranged units, and scouts, and a "{{mage tower}}" used to produce mages and magical creatures, as well as having an associated building for spell research. Each champion can be used to "train" at its associated building, improving the experience of units produced there, and each type of unit uses different types of resources to produce and maintain depending on its category.
* In the iOS game ''VideoGame/{{Highborn}}'', the three Heroes are Archie, a knight/paladin; Enzo, a wizard; and Trillian, a rogue.
* "Videogame/{{FTLFasterThanLight}}" 's first 3 ships (One already available, the other two unlocked) fit into these archetypes. The Kestrel is a tough all rounder with strong recharging shields, the Engi ship has a small crew and weak weapons, but uses drones better than the rest, and finally the Stealth ship comes equipped with strong dodge and an augment which allows it to predict (and therefore avoid) dangerous beacons.
* ''VideoGame/TheBannerSaga'' never really had any literal thieves or mages, but the following classes make up for it:
** The Varl Warriors and Shieldbangers are the fighters of the caravan, designed to deal and absorb as much punishment as a typical fighter.
** The human Raiders, Landsmen and Spearmen are the thieves, specializing in speed, agility and hit-and-run tactics.
** The human Archers and Menders, while not literally mages, might as well play as such because of their long-distance capabilities and higher willpower.

* The three killers of ''Videogame/DeadByDaylight'' can be seen as this: The Trapper is the Thief (sets traps to harm and incapacitate survivors), the Hillbilly is the Fighter (his chainsaw is a charged rush-down that is a OneHitKill), and the Wraith is the Mage (uses a bell to turn invisible).

* In the game ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}'' weapons are classified into classes depending on whether they do melee, magic or ranged damage. An update later added a fourth class which focused on summoning things to fight for you, but aside from that this trope is still played straight.
* In the late game of ''VideoGame/{{Starbound}}'', this develops. Staves and magic armor focus on energy, melee weapons and armor on health, while ranged weapons and armor form a middle ground.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' featured three playable characters who, while not literally a fighter, mage and thief, do possess special abilities that make them play like such characters, including:
** Michael is technically the mage, because his ability to slow down time to snipe more easily would have made him a long-range GlassCannon similar to the mage.
** Franklin is technically the thief, except instead of on-foot hit-and-run tactics similar to the thief, he's all about precision driving that could have otherwise made him as fast as a thief.
** Trevor is technically the fighter, because his special ability grants him temporary invulnerability, which would make him deal and absorb as much damage as a fighter.

[[folder:Not Video Games]]

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* The three main heroes of ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'': Touma Kamijou, who relies on his AntiMagic [[GoodOldFisticuffs fist]] and [[{{Determinator}} inherent]] [[StoneWall toughness]] to beat bad guys into submission (Fighter); Accelerator, who is a super genius and relies on his SuperpowerLottery (Mage); and Shiage Hamazura, who is a skilled fighter like Touma but relies more on [[MacGyvering stealth]], [[CombatPragmatist tactics]], and [[TheGunslinger guns]] (Thief).
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', Buttercup is the physically strongest member of the trio (Fighter), Blossom has her smarts and [[AnIcePerson ice powers]] (Mage), and Bubbles has her charms and the ability to speak any language and to communicate with animals (Thief).
** In the Japanese adaptation ''Anime/DemashitaPowerpuffGirlsZ'', Buttercup, who now wields a [[DropTheHammer hammer]], keeps her spot as the Fighter; while Bubbles and Blossom swap places, making the former the [[MagicStaff staff-wielding]] Mage, and the latter the [[KillerYoyo yoyo-wielding]] Thief.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', the three main duelist protagonists, Yugi Muto, Seto Kaiba, and Joey Wheeler, each center their respective decks to fit a certain playing style. Yugi's deck is very adaptable and focuses on strategy (Mage), Kaiba's deck is loaded with powerful cards and monsters and focuses on strength (Fighter), while Joey's deck uses a lot of chance-based cards and focuses on luck (Thief). As if it gets any better, Yugi's signature monster is the Dark Magician and Joey has a card called Graverobber which allows him to steal a card from his opponent's graveyard, saving him on several occasions.
* The [[FanNickname Three Musketeers]] from ''LightNovel/AccelWorld'': Takumu Mayuzumi [=/=] [[MultiMeleeMaster Cyan Pile]] (Fighter), Chiyuri Kurashima [=/=] [[TheMedic Lime]] [[TimeMaster Bell]] (Mage), and Haruyuki Arita [=/=] [[WingedHumanoid Silver Crow]] (Thief).
* Subverted in ''LyricalNanoha'' where all combatants are mages. We have Nanoha (the Fighter+Thief who uses [[WaveMotionGun big and bigger lasers]], but they need time to charge; she has also the best defense and she is a CombatPragmatist), Fate (the Thief+Fighter who is the fastest and she is the only one who is specialized in melee combat, but has a poor armor; her MorphWeapon can also transform into a BFS), and Hayate (the Mage who is a PersonOfMassDestruction, but also a GlassCannon).
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': the three main fighting styles are Taijutsu (Fighter), Ninjutsu (Mage), and Genjutsu (Thief).
** Many of the three-man squads can also be divided up this way, although some characters have traits of more than one class. This is possibly intentional, as the squads are designed to either balance out or specialise in certain fields.
* In the penultimate battle of [[Anime/{{Bleach}} Bleach's]] arrancar arc, [[BigBad Aizen]] fights against three people. [[spoiler: Isshin Kurosaki]] mainly attacks with straight sword strikes, [[GuileHero Urahara]] with kido and careful planning, and Yoruichi with sneak attacks.
* The treasure hunters from [[Anime/FairyTail Fairy Tail Zero]] fit this [[spoiler: before they learn magic]]. Warrod is a MightyGlacier who can plow through an armed crowd, Yuri uses [[ShockAndAwe lightning bombs]], and Precht is a DanceBattler who favors chainblades.

* The three main characters in the ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'' comic each fit these archetypes: Oracle, who, with her hacking abilities, can gain knowledge and harm enemies from a great distance, but, being a paraplegic, is not as good (thought [[HandicappedBadass not completely helpless]]) in close combat, is the wizard; Black Canary, who, being the best martial artist of the three, and having the canary cry for dealing with more powerful enemies, is the best close combatant, is the fighter (although her ability to soak up damage is not appreciably greater than the others'); Huntress, being the best at and most reliant upon stealth, and using a crossbow as her primary weapon, is the thief.
** Their evil counterparts, the ''ComicBook/GothamCitySirens'', also fit the mold. Poison Ivy is the mage, having strange plant powers. Catwoman is the thief, duh. Harley is the fighter, somewhat oddly (hey, she hangs around with TheJoker and is most the likely the one to use guns and explosives...).
* ''ComicBook/RatQueens'' is explicitly a parody of RolePlayingGameVerse stories, and the four central characters are overtly a D&D Fighter-Mage-Cleric-Thief quartet.
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' has the wise and intellectual druid Panoramix (the mage), strong GentleGiant but not very bright Obelix (fighter) and Asterix who, although both smart and strong, often uses his wit and cunningness to trick Romans (the thief).

* In ''Fanfic/ShadowsAwakening'', Daolon Wong's new [[QuirkyMinibossSquad dark chi warriors]] fit this motif. Ironfist is a SmashMook, Tempest is a SquishyWizard with limited WeatherManipulation, and Fang is a MageKiller with AntiMagic energy daggers.

[[AC: Animated Film]]
* WordOfGod confirms they did this for ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' to create {{Contrasting Sequel Antagonist}}s. Tai Lung, as a martial arts master who usually fights physically and can take a lot of punishment, is the Fighter. Lord Shen, who relies on his speed, hidden throwing knives, and cannons to fight, is the Thief. And Kai, as a supernatural being who uses chi to attack, is the Mage.

* In ''Literature/{{Phenomena}}'': Alk (fighter), Ilke (mage) and Millian (thief) when they travel [[SeparatedFromTheAdults alone]].
* Unsurprisingly, a number of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' novels contain this trope:
** ''[[Literature/{{Ravenloft}} Vampire of the Mists]]'' has Jander Sunstar (fighter, although he has some supernatural abilities, and is quite stealthy, from being a vampire), Sasha (spellcaster, although he's actually a cleric, not a mage), and Leisl (thief).
** ''[[Literature/DragonLance War of the Twins]]'' has Caramon Majere (fighter), Raistlin Majere (mage), Crysania of Tarinius (cleric, which, again, is a different kind of spellcaster in D&D), and Tasslehoff Burrfoot (thief, [[BerserkButton but don't you dare call him one]]).
* The main characters of ''Literature/DoraWilkSeries'' fall into these categories: Miron's fighter, the strongest and most experienced one, Joshua's mage, with his [[SquishyWizard attitude]] and skills, and Dora, tricky and cunning, is thief.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', each of the Hallows falls into one of the archetypes here: The Elder Wand (fighter), the Resurrection Stone (mage), and the Invisibility Cloak (thief).
* The main characters of The Fire's Stone by Creator/TanyaHuff; Prince Darvish is the Fighter, Chandra is the Mage, and Aaron is the Thief.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' the races of Middle Earth can be categorized into these, Humans and Dwarves are Warriors, Wizards and Elves are Mage, and the Hobbits are Thieves.
* ''Literature/WheelOfTime'' has the three protagonists: Rand is Mage/Fighter, Perrin is Fighter/Fighter, and Matt is the Thief/Fighter.
** Rand's three love interests fit too: Aviendha is Fighter [[note]] as a ProudWarriorRaceGirl and ex-member of an AmazonBrigade [[/note]], Elayne is Mage [[note]] a very powerful channeler and graduate of the local WizardSchool[[/note]] and Min is Thief [[note]] not very imposing and has a magical ability that's not much use in combat, but is clever and resourceful, and usually has a knife up her sleeve[[/note]]
* The Mistborn of ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' are the jack-of-all-stats variety, inherently magi, They're mostly used for skulking, spying, stealing (usually information), and the occasional assasination.
* ''Literature/AdventureHunters'': Artorius is a former [[ThePaladin paladin]], Regina is a SquishyWizard and Lisa is a small and quick thief. However, there is one deviation; Lisa is both super strong and nigh invulnerable.
* The three heroes of Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned very loosely fit this trope. Alaric, though he is actually by far the most powerful mage of the three, doesn't know how to use his magic for the bulk of the book, and thus relies on his advanced training in hand-to-hand combat. Laeshana is an [[PlayingWithFire aesh]], and an exceptionally brilliant one at that, so she provides most of the magic side of things. Nahruahn is small, [[{{Keet}} hyperactive]], and as a ruahk has access to flight and teleportation magic.
* The three main Demons from ''The Elfstones of Literature/{{Shannara}}'' fit this categorization. The Dagda Mor is Mage [[note]]An extremely intelligent creature with incredibly potent magical powers[[/note]], the Reaper is Fighter [[note]] A single-minded, all but physically unstoppable killer[[/note]] and the Changeling is Thief [[note]]A physically weak but clever and tricky shapeshifter[[/note]]

* ''Franchise/{{Arrowverse}}'': The three main recurring villains fit this. Eobard Thawne has SuperSpeed and makes use of hit-and-run tactics, Malcolm Meryln is a master archer and martial artist, and Damien Darhk's future self gains access to the Lazarus Pits and the Khushu Idol.
* Olivia, Walter, and Peter on ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' respectively embody this trope. Olivia kicks butt and takes names, Walter's weird science qualifies as being nigh-magical, and Peter is the rogue with the checkered past.
* The Minbari on ''Series/BabylonFive'' have the warrior, worker, and religious castes.
* On ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', [[TheBigGuy Eliot]], [[PlayfulHacker Hardison]], and [[ClassyCatBurglar Parker]] largely fulfill these roles, though Hardison is a hacker instead of a mage.
* From {{Series/Merlin}}, Arthur, Merlin, and Gwen are a TwoGuysAndAGirl version of this. Arthur's the MasterSwordsman, Merlin's TheArchmage, and Gwen's a GuileHero.
* The three main Alpha quadrant races conform to this in ''Series/StarTrek''. The Romulans have the most advanced cloaking devices, and are entirely taken up with subterfuge, deception and backstabbing in everything they do. So thief. The Klingons are tough, proud warriors, renowned for having 3 spines, two hearts, and enough raw physical power to make melee weapons somewhat functional in a raygun future. So fighter. The Federation solves its problems using diplomacy and technical skill, possessing the most advanced holographic, replication, teleportation and shielding tech out of the three. It isn't for nothing the Dominion Officers are revealed in a''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode to have already stereotyped the Federation as capable of utterly absurd feats of ingenuity and scientific creativity ("One of those famed Starfleet engineers who can turn rocks into replicators"). So mage.
** Also as characters Star Trek TOS has action man Kirk (Fighter), wise and analitic Spock (Mage) and expert in medical tricks Bones (Thief).
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' has the three main races of the Dominion: The ruthless Jem'Hadar soldiers are obviously the fighters; the mysterious, shapeshifting Founders are the mages; and the silver-tongued, devious Vorta are the thieves.
* All of the main characters of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' fit very clearly into these roles: Fighter (Aeryn, D'Argo, Crais), Mage (Zhaan, Stark, Jool, Noranti), and Thief (Rygel, Chiana, Sikozu). John and Scorpius are Fighter/Magic-User compromise builds.
* In ''Series/ParkerLewisCantLose'' Parker himself prefers to use his wit and charisma to trick his rivals and enemies --like Miss Russo-- (Thief), Mickey is more an action man and a rebellious character (Fighter) and Jerry is the wise nerdy intellectual (Mage).

* In ''Manhua/InfinityGame'':
** The main group is made up of Meibo as the thief, Lu Xiao as the black magic mage (Long Wei is a cleric/white magic mage) and Hai An as the paladin - though he's never shown to use magic or that he can.
** The remaining members of the [[spoiler:RPG Society]] has this: [[spoiler:Xia Sheng Xue]] is the cleric, [[spoiler:Yue Bo Cheng]] is the wizard and [[spoiler:Xia Yun]] is the barbarian.

* In Myth/NorseMythology, you have the three gods who get the most screen time. Thor is the fighter, Odin is the mage, and Loki is the Thief.

* The [=True20=] RPG system, based off of the [=D20=] system for ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', provides the three basic classes of warrior, expert, and adept.
* ''[[http://www.basicfantasy.org/ Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game]]'' has four classes; Fighter, Thief, Magic-User and Cleric
** ''[[http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/ Swords and Wizardry]]'' uses five classes based on [=OD&D=]: the Fighting-Man (or Fighter), the Magic-User, the Cleric, the Dwarven Warrior (who was much like the fighting-man) and the Elven Adventurer (who could choose whether to be a fighter or a magic-user once a day).
** ''[[http://www.goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.htm Labyrinth Lord]]'', another old-style D&D retroclone, uses the Cleric, the Fighter, the Magic-User, and the Thief. In addition, the other races are classes in their own: the Dwarf (basically a Fighter, who is limited to level 12), the Elf (a MagicKnight who combines the powers of a Fighter and a Magic-User and is limited to 10th level), and the Halfling (small fighters with a few thief abilities who are limited to level 8).
* ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' somewhat does this with the five Auspices. Ragabashes are the thief-type with gifts related to stealth and deception, Theurges and Galliards could be considered mages as their gifts don't give direct combat ability but can act as buffers/good for working with spirits to make magical effects, and Philodoxes and Ahrouns as the fighters with Philodox gifts more focused on [[StoneWall taking it]] and shrugging it off and Ahroun gifts more focused on dishing out punishment for extended periods.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' does it, too--White Wolf has a thing for the number 5, and most types of Exalted have 5 subtypes. For example, the 5 castes of Solar Exalted are Dawn (Warriors), Zenith (Leaders), Twilight (Sorcerers/Smart Guys), Nights (Thieves), and Eclipse (Masters of SocialFu).
** It's been noted that ''White Wolf'' games that stick to the five-by-five system usually have a familiar breakdown for the social splats: Leader, Warrior, Mystic, Rebel, and Spy. ''WerewolfTheForsaken'' goes Blood Talons (Warrior), Bone Shadows (Mystics), Hunters in Darkness (Spy), Iron Masters (Rebel), and Storm Lords (Leader). ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' goes Adamantine Arrow (Warrior), Free Council (Rebel), Guardians of the Veil (Spy), Mysterium (Mystic), and Silver Ladder (Leader). ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' divides by the clans of Ventrue (Leader), Gangrel (Mystic/Warrior), Mekhet (Spy), Nosferatu (Rebel), Daeva (Warrior/Leader). ''TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated'' has Ferrum (Warrior), Mercurius (Mystic), and Stannum (Rebel) with Aurum (embracing humanity and mortals) and Cuprum (remaining isolated from humanity and touching on the inner self) blending elements of Leader and Spy.
** From TabletopGame/{{Exalted}} you have the Lunar who are the exception to the WhiteWolf usual trope of the FiveManBand by sticking more closely to this trope. The Full Moon (Fighter), the No Moon (Mage) and the Changing Moon (Thief).
* In the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms setting there were three adventurers who quested to overthrow Jergal, the god of discord, death, and the dead. They were a warlord named Bane, an assassin named Bhaal, and a necromancer named Myrkul, making them an evil version of this trope. Each of them ended up being freely given an aspect of the god's power, as he'd become bored with the job.
* ''TabletopGame/TheWitcherGameOfImagination'' makes a nice subversion, as it is entirely possible to create ''entire party'' of characters outside the triangle and still enjoy the game.
* In the indie role-playing game ''Warrior, Rogue, and Mage,'' the attribute system doesn't rate how strong or fast or intelligent you are -- it rates you on how good a warrior you are, how good a rogue you are, and how good a mage you are. Every task in the game is assumed to be "something a warrior does", "something a thief does", or "something a mage does". There are also variants for other settings -- e.g. "Resolute, Adventurer, and Genius" for games inspired by 1920s pulp novels.
* A similar rating system is used for ''TabletopGame/OnMightyThews'', with Warrior, Sorcerer, and Explorer standing in for the thief.
* ''TabletopGame/StarsWithoutNumber'' has Warrior, Psychic and Expert. Warriors have the best attack progression and the ability to negate one hit per fight; Experts have the best skill progression and can reroll a non-combat skill once per hour; Psychics can use psychic powers.
* In keeping with the feel of the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' video games, the [[TabletopGame/DragonAge tabletop RPG version]] also uses the three-class structure of mage, rogue, and warrior.
* The Eldar of ''Warhammer 40,000'' follow this trope with their non-phoenix-lord special characters. Eldrad Ulthran is the mage, being his race's most powerful psyker and a master of prophecy and subtle manipulations. Prince Yriel of Iyanden is the fighter, being a strong melee warrior and highly talented admiral/general (autarch in eldar parlance). Illic Nightspear is the thief, being a stealth expert and sniper who has spent millenia perfecting the arts of ambush, fieldcraft, and stalking. The Forgeworld exclusive Farseer Bel-Annath is a {{magic knight}} - a powerful psyker who has walked the path of the warrior beforehand (specifically, he was a fire dragon) and retains solid melee skills.

* ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'', which was designed to imitate a video game, has its three main characters match up with the archetypes: Ace Dick is the Fighter, Pickle Inspector is the Mage, and Problem Sleuth is the Thief.
** Defined by their high Vim, Imagination and Pulchritude, respectively.
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'''s main characters are a Fighter, two Mages (a straight example in [[BlackMage Black]], and a [[{{Munchkin}} deliberate]] JackOfAllStats in [[TheRedMage Red]]), and a Thief. (There's a White Mage too, but she wouldn't be caught dead hanging around with these people.)
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' Agatha, Zeetha and Violetta are essentially this (with Agatha as a [[MagicFromTechnology technomage]]). Zeetha points it out in [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20140509 this]] comic.

* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', the ponies are divided into Earth Ponies, who tend to be stronger than average (Fighter), Unicorns, who have the most powerful magic (Mage), and Pegasi, who are {{Fragile Speedster}}s in the air (Thief).
** Interestingly, prior to the founding of Equestria, the Pegasus tribe was the ProudWarriorRace.
* The [[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]: Zach and Shane are the Fighters (and both the career military types). Niko is the Mage (Psychic Powers and a FragileSpeedster compared to the guys), and Doc is a classic Thief (breaking and entering, espionage, and computer hacking).
* Donald Duck's nephews in ''WesternAnimation/QuackPack'' have the superhero identities of Captain Muscle (fighter), Brain Boy (mage), and The Really Fast Guy (thief).
* In ''WesternAnimation/MightyMax'', the three main characters definitely qualify. Norman, the huge and muscular guardian with the CoolSword, is the Fighter. Virgil, the [[ShorterMeansSmarter short]], [[SquishyWizard physically weak]] fowl who can foresee the future, is the Mage. Max, the KidHero who [[GuileHero always thinks on his feet]], represents the Thief.
* Ed, Edd, and Eddy of ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' fit this trope pretty well. Ed, the strongest, toughest, and most dim witted of the three, is the fighter. Edd, the smart one, capable of building nearly anything from cardboard, and the squishiest of them all is the mage. And Eddy, the sneaky, conniving one that comes with the underhanded scam of the week is the thief.
* The Crystal Gems (excluding Steven) from "WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse" are an example of this trope. We have Garnet, who is strong, stoic and almost always fights with melee attacks, as the Fighter. Pearl is shown to be the tactician and can create energy and light beams as the Mage and Amethyst will often resort to shape shifting and is the least likely to resort to her weapon, thus making her the Thief.
** This trope also applies to the Homeworld trio to some extent. Jasper is of course the Fighter, being a [[GiantMook Quartz]] type Gem. Lapis is the Mage, by far the most powerful single Gem seen in action, but exclusively fighting through the use of water constructs rather than her own body, and lacks the ability to summon a weapon. Peridot is the Thief in the old-school sense: the most adept at using technology and most likely to retreat from a face-to-face fight.
* The three races in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' universe have this dynamic: gargoyles are Fighters, humans are Thieves, and the Third Race (Oberon's Children) are Mages. Gargoyles are a ProudWarriorRace known for their superhuman strength and their stringent [[HonorBeforeReason code of honor]]; humans are far physically weaker than gargoyles, but they're renowned for their cunning and their mastery of technology, though they're widely seen as untrustworthy; the Third Race are [[TheFairFolk a species of immortal spirits]] from various mythological systems and world religions, and they have natural magical abilities that far eclipse those of human sorcerers.
* ''TeenTitans'' third episode "Final Exam" introduces evil PowerTrio of [[DumbMuscle Mammoth]] (Fighter), [[TheDarkChick Jinx]] (Thief, despite being a BlackMagicianGirl) and [[GadgeteerGenius Gizmo]] (Mage).
* The main trio of the Chan Clan in ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' fit this trope: Jackie is a fit martial artist and layman who ends up engaging in physical combat the most, [[MartialPacifist much to his chagrin]] (Fighter); Uncle is an elderly chi wizard whose main role is to do research about the magical artifacts and foes, in addition to concocting spells (Mage); Jade is a [[GuileHeroine cunning]] preteen master user of [[LoopholeAbuse loopholes]] and [[TheSneakyGal uncanny stealth]] (Thief). When the gigantic Dark Hand thug Tohru [[HeelFaceTurn joins them]], he's taken in as Uncle's student, making him [[GeniusBruiser a mix of Fighter and Mage]].
* The three main female members of the 90s ''WesternAnimation/XMen'' cartoon seem to follow this pattern. ComicBook/{{Rogue}} is brash, quick-tempered, and possesses the most overt physical strength of anyone on the team, making her the Fighter. ComicBook/{{Storm}} was poised, regal, and wielded awesome powers from a distance, fitting the Mage. And lastly, [[KidHero Jubilee's]] powers, while impressive, were rarely as useful to the team as her ability to move quickly and improvise, making her the Thief. JeanGrey was the odd one out, usally serving as a medic, or secondary Mage character...at least [[SuperpoweredEvilSide most of the time]].