Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Hello, welcome to my interpretation of MBTI cognitive functions as fantasy/RPG stats. I have been an avid gamer since I was a young child and I have always been drawn towards fantasy as my favorite genre. That said, back in 2020 I created a video showing off the 16 MBTI types as fantasy classes using this system. What I wanted to do was really add some depth to it though and maybe explore it further. This post is an introductory post that aims to explain why I associate each of the eight cognitive functions with the stats I have chosen to pair with them. In the future, I am planning to do a fantasy profile for each of the 16 personality types explaining all of their stats and how they impact their potential roles/classes.
The core concept of this system is that each MBTI cognitive function can relate to a fantasy RPG stat. Now, the inspiration came from Dungeons and Dragons (DND), but as you can see, there are two additional stats that don’t exist within the DND world/lore, Mana and Cunning. This is because there are only six primary stats in DND and eight cognitive functions, so a bit of additional content needed to be added.
Consider this system a very loose adaptation from the general lore of DND. It is not meant to purely represent the fictional world of DND in particular.
Now I will run through the eight functions and why I associated each trait with the assigned function.
First, we will start with the judging/rational functions, Thinking and Feeling.
Te – Extroverted Thinking – While thinking doesn’t inherently make you “strong”, Te is often associated with “pushiness” and a drive to climb competency hierarchies. The ability to quickly analyze and organize external information and resources. For this reason, Te serves as almost a double-trait where you could also pair it with something akin to leadership via competency (as opposed to charismatic leadership). Think of Te in this sense as external drive. The desire and ability to forcibly impact and shape the external world through thoughts and actions in a way that is not directly affected by the emotions or feelings of others. The archetype of the fantasy “overlord” falls into this category – someone who rules with an iron fist over an army of soldiers. No one dare challenge him/her due to not only their inherent strength and power, but also because they exude confidence and competency.
"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion." — Alexander the Great
Fe – Extroverted Feeling – Charisma – This one might seem more clear cut than the others. When we think of someone charismatic, we tend to think of the ability to impact and influence the emotional state of others, usually in a positive sense. Fe as a function in MBTI is associated with social harmony and the ability to interpret the emotional states of others with ease (along with a desire to make sure the emotional “level” of the atmosphere stays at a desired level). Fe is very willing to step up and take the lead if they feel it is important enough, particularly if those they care about will be impacted. As opposed to the overlord archetype that Te represents, Fe is closer to the “Champion of the people.” They don’t entirely lead with strength and instead use their ability to recognize and value the needs of those close to them to inspire themselves and others to act.
"How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you." — Dan Reiland
Ti – Introverted Thinking – Intelligence – In many fantasy settings there is a contrast between a wizard and a sorcerer. A sorcerer is a being born with a small pool of magic within them that refills over time, they are able to tap into their innate magic to cast spells until they are burnt out. Wizards on the other hand use their knowledge and understanding of the magical properties of existence to tap into the nearly limitless potential of the mana that exists all around them. Intelligence represents the ability to quickly grasp and understand difficult and complex methods and structures of thought. Through intelligence individuals are able to understand the very fabric of nature and use it to their own advantage. Complex strings of words and symbols are used to pull mana from the air all around the caster. Not everyone can learn such advanced and complex techniques, but those with high intelligence perform incredible feats of magic and ingenuity via their ability to understand the most complicated theories and structures, much like how those high in Ti seek to understand the world around them.
“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” — Albert Einstein
Fi – Introverted Feeling – Wisdom – Wisdom is often seen as the sibling to intelligence. The primary difference is that wisdom is less concerned with the intellectual problems of the world and more so the philosophical. “The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” There is often an ethical undertone to the curiosities of wisdom; what is right not in the sense of numbers and facts, but what is RIGHT in the very essence of my being? Wisdom is often associated with intuitive feelings, following gut instinct, and trusting what the heart says. A desire to do what is right fuels the often-magical abilities of those who are high in wisdom. Whereas sorcerers pull from an internal magic source and wizards tap into the structures of the universe, the universe responds in and of itself to calls of those with wisdom. For if they are on the right path (or at least truly believe they are), then the will of the world shall bend to their understandings and desires.
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.” — Gandhi
Now we move on to the irrational/perceiving functions, sensing and intuition.
Se – Extroverted Sensing – Dexterity and Perception – Agility is the ability to adapt to situations quickly physically. To move, jump, run, and react at the drop of a coin with ease. Se is an extroverted perceiving function that is most associated with looking for and reacting to the immediate moment – the facts that are present at hand. Those who spend too much time pondering the possibilities will miss their chance to act and this is why those high in agility prefer to just do things instead of letting opportunities go to the wind. Whereas Te strength is like a bull, Se agility is like a dancer, quickly moving effortlessly around their opponents. Some prefer one big hit to finish their opponents but those high in agility often prefer to make it a battle of attrition, gradually wearing down opponents who are unable to land even a single hit upon them. Perception comes in to play here because those high in Se are able to notice their surroundings in great detail - changes, things that are out of place, people sneaking up on them.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” — Charles Darwin
Ne – Extroverted Intuition – Cunning – Those with agility can move their bodies with ease and react to their environment effortlessly…Those with cunning do the same but it is instead their mind and imagination that is reacting to the mental environment. Ne is the function most associated with noticing the mental and conceptual connections in the world around them, rapidly connecting the dots and seeing how the pieces fit together and unfold. Deceit, sleight of hand, illusions, poisons, and tricks are all tools in the arsenal of those high in cunning. Why fight an opponent when you can set a masterfully crafted trap? Why charge headfirst into the fray when a poison tipped arrow can achieve the same result? Why break through the magically sealed door when you are clever enough to disarm the tricks and traps? Much like a fox those who are high in cunning are able to outwit both the strongest and most intelligent of foes. Never underestimate the cunning for when you think you have them where you want them, it may be you who is in fact right where they planned.
“With a little a web as this I will ensnare as great a fly as Cassio” — William Shakespeare
Si – Introverted Sensing – Constitution – To hold what is important to you close to your very being is the essence of constitution. Si is a function associated with a preference for what is known and dear to those who have it, often holding family, friends, and their personal ideals to the highest degree – a degree in which they will do anything to protect. They can be the most resolute in defense of whatever it is that they believe in or hold dear to them; anything from a religious belief to a friend or family member to a belief in their city/society. Their unwavering dedication is what allows them to resist the harshest of storms. When you need a leader or friend who will not falter in the face of danger, look to those who have high constitution.
“Living without protecting what needs to be protected is the same as death...” — Hideaki Sorachi
Ni - Introverted Intuition – Mana and Insight – As mentioned previously, the difference between a sorcerer and a wizard is that a wizard taps into the magic of the world around them via an understanding of the world and its components while a sorcerer has an internal and innate pool of magic. Ni is this innate pool of magic, also known as mana. Often referred to as the most eccentric of functions Ni is associated with the ability to “know without knowing”, to have flashes of internal insight that lead them to make decisions and follow their instincts. Much like a sorcerer’s magic Ni is an internal and strange power that is not always easily understood. Why can some call fire and lightning from their body while others need to tap into the mana of the world around them? This great strength, the ability to call upon magic at need, is also a weakness, for the internal pool of magic is limited and must be recharged after being burnt out. Those with this type of magic are also usually only gifted in one or two realms of magic, those that are inherently present in their soul. Unlike the intelligent wizards of the world, those with innate mana need not waste time chanting or drawing sigils, but every spell they cast drains them of their life essence until given time to refresh. They may not always understand their magic or how they use it, but their ability to tap into the unknown at will rarely guides them in the wrong direction.
Alongside Mana is the idea of insight. Insight is the ability to see "within" something and in traditional DND it is paired with perception in the wisdom stat. I have it here with Ni because I think it is oppositional to general perception that the Se types tend to have. Those with high Ni are often able to read undertones, body language, and hidden signals with ease but they struggle to notice the obvious at times due to their low Se/Perception.
“Magic is not a practice. It is a living, breathing web of energy that, with our permission, can encase our every action.” — Dorothy Morrison
That’s all eight cognitive functions! I hope you enjoyed this intro into this experiment of psychology/typology and fantasy.
I plan to do a profile on all 16 types but if you want to see the video where I originally presented this idea and those classes, you can check it out here - https://youtu.be/eoJZSfnPG3k
That said, I will be updating the profiles with options that I think better fit some of the types, so keep an eye out!