New Archetypes for Hollow Earth Expedition

We’ll kick things off with a “blast from the past” as I try to get some old content back online. Hollow Earth Expedition, by Exile Game Studio, is one of my favorite games of all time. Here are some new archetypes to inspire character creation in HEX.


Servants accomplish much of what gets done in the world. They carry supplies, remove obstacles and handle many other details. In the 1930s, wealthy people will have personal servants and any expedition will have several laborers to move the expedition along. Servants may also blend in and mingle with working class society, becoming a source of local information. Servants are not mindless automatons. They have their own goals and motivations and can be key contributors to any expedition.

Examples: Loyal Butler, Experienced Sherpa, Rugged Porter


The youthful combination of curiosity and naïveté leads kids to turn up in all kinds of surprising places, including the Hollow Earth. Kids seem to find trouble, but their small stature and harmless appearance can get them out of many situations. While they may not have much in the way of useful skills, they may have exceptional local knowledge and a fresh perspective. Frequently underestimated, exceptional children can be worth the inevitable pain.

Examples: Street Urchin, Spoiled Brat, Teenaged Runaway


Mules, camels, sled dogs and elephants; these pack animals carry supplies over difficult terrain with a reliability that vehicles of the 30s can’t match. People with the skills to handle and care for these animals are essential to any successful trek into the wilderness. These individuals may also have valuable skills for dealing with the local fauna the expedition might encounter. Animal handlers don’t like to risk their animals, but an expedition can provide a way to pay the bills.

Examples: Cavalry Officer, Teamster, Dog Handler


Everyday Joes are the right people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe she was on vacation when her ship gets caught in the Bermuda Triangle, or maybe the bank financing the expedition sent him along to audit the expenses. Once over their head, the Everyday Joe will persevere and survive; and maybe find enough gold to pay off that mortgage.

Examples: Cook, Bureaucrat, Bartender


Physical Flaws are an important part of character creation in Hollow Earth Expedition. Here is a new one that may be relevant to a Kid (above) or a Scion of Atlantis. Of course, any archetype could use it if it makes for a great character.

Youth: Your character is young, impatient and inexperienced. He does not have the same rights as the other party members and others will often treat him like the child he is. If you are a teenager you are size 0, if you are younger than that you are size -1. You also suffer a -2 penalty to any roll that depends upon age or experience, like a roll to recognize somebody famous or remember some historical event. You earn a Style Point whenever your character’s standing (physical, emotional, or social) causes him severe difficulties.