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"The Trickster represents the quality of randomness and chance in the universe, without which there could be no freedom. (...) The cosmos is interesting rather than perfect, and everything is not part of some greater plan, nor is all necessarily under control. "
― Starhawk, in The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess (1979), p. 231
"The trickster, the riddler, the keeper of balance, he of the many faces who finds life in death and who fears no evil; he who walks through doors."
― Christopher Paolini, in Brisingr (2008)

Archetype of character who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior.

Also Called

  • Fool
  • Jester
  • Joker
  • Manipulative Charisma
  • Master Manipulator
  • Mastermind
  • Mischief Mastery
  • Puppeteer
  • Sneak
  • Supreme Con Man
  • The Cunning One
  • The One Who Lurks in The Shadows
  • Topnotch Actor
  • Ultimate Grifter

Capabilities

User is a Trickster: a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior. The Trickster openly questions and mocks authority, encourages impulse and enthusiasm, seeks out new ideas and experiences, destroys convention and complacency, and promotes chaos and unrest. At the same time, the trickster brings new knowledge and wisdom. Even when punished horribly for their effrontery, their indomitable spirit (or sheer foolishness) keeps them coming back for more.

Tricksters can be anything from gods of chaos, bedeviling heroes for a few laughs, to master manipulators who use cruel ploys and sadistic choices. They can also be heroes (or more likely anti-heroes) who make up for a lack of strength or bravery with manipulation, planning, or outright cheating. The trickster is often a master of disguise and may have magical powers.

In mythology and religion, the trickster deities break the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously but usually (albeit unintentionally) with ultimately positive effects. Often, the bending/breaking of rules takes the form of tricks or thievery. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks.

Applications

Variations

Powerful Tricksters can reach nearly or even fully divine status:

Associations

Limitations

  • Their very nature makes Tricksters unable to stay away from trouble.
  • Since some tricksters are physically weak, they are limited to outsmarting the opponent by using tricks to win.
  • May be unable to trick those with Reality Perception.
  • People may find the user untrustworthy due to their nature of causing mischief and manipulating others.

Known Users

See also The Trickster and Tricksters.

Folklore/Mythology

  • Tricksters (Mythology)
    • Anansi the Spider (African Mythology)
    • San Martin Txiki (Basque Mythology)
    • Kuma Lisa (Bulgarian Mythology)
    • Sun Wukong (Chinese Mythology)
    • Puck/Robin Goodfellow (English Folklore)
    • Reynard (Various European Mythology)
    • Dionysus/Bacchus (Greco-Roman Mythology)
    • Hermes/Mercury (Greco-Roman Mythology)
    • Kitsune (Japanese Mythology)
    • Tanuki (Japanese Mythology)
    • Coyote (Native American Mythology)
    • Loki (Norse Mythology)
    • Māui (Polynesian Mythology)

Literature

  • Cheshire Cat (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
  • Hoki (Discworld)
  • Agi Hammerthief (Discworld)
  • Fred and George Weasley (Harry Potter)
  • Peeves (Harry Potter)

Television

  • The Trickster & His Brigade (Doctor Who/The Sarah Jane Adventures)
  • The Doctor (Doctor Who)
  • The Master (Doctor Who)
  • Gabriel (Supernatural); also called Loki
  • Tricksters (Supernatural)
  • Kitsune (Teen Wolf)
    • Noshiko Yukimura
    • Nogitsune

Cartoons

  • Bugs Bunny (Looney Tunes)
  • Megamind (Megamind)
  • Discord (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
  • Lotso (Toy Story)
  • Woody Woodpecker (Woody Woodpecker)

Comics

  • John Constantine (DC Comics)
  • Mister Mxyzptlk (DC Comics)
  • Bat-Mite (DC Comics)
  • Joker (DC Comics)
  • Mammon (Image Comics)
  • Flip (Little Nemo)
  • Gwenpool (Marvel Comics)
  • Impossible Man (Marvel Comics)
  • Loki (Marvel Comics)
  • Mystique (Marvel Comics)
  • Spider-Man (Marvel Comics)

Manga/Anime

  • Chelsea (Akame Ga Kill!)
  • Gin Ichimaru (Bleach)
  • Sosuke Aizen (Bleach)
  • Hisoka (HunterXHunter)
  • Shippo (Inuyasha)
  • Joseph Joestar (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
  • Flip (Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland)
  • Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto)
  • Caesar Clown (One Piece)
  • Capone Bege(One Piece)
  • Charlotte Pudding (One Piece)
  • Donquixote Doflamingo (One Piece)
  • Jabra (One Piece)
  • Krieg (One Piece)
  • Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)
  • Usopp (One Piece)
  • Teufel Diabolos (Senyu)
  • Xelloss (The Slayers)

Video Games

  • Hazama/Yuuki Terumi (BlazBlue)
  • Queen of Maggots (The Cat Lady/Downfall Remake)
  • The Contessa (Sly Cooper)
  • Dr. M (Sly Cooper)
  • Cyrille Le Paradox (Sly Cooper)
  • Yukari Yakumo (Touhou Project)
  • Tewi Inaba (Touhou Project)
  • Trickster (Valkyrie Crusade)
  • Loki (Valkyrie Crusade)
  • Puck (Valkyrie Crusade)

Other

  • Carrotjuice (Channel Awesome)
  • Erevan Ilesere (Forgotten Realms)
  • Jane Crocker (Homestuck); via spiral sucker
  • Jake English, Roxy Lalonde, Dirk Strider (Homestuck); via significant contact with other people in Trickster Mode

Gallery