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Unfortunately, when writing within context of a certain profession, goal, or genre, some of these roles are useless, and especially when characters are in groups that are supposed to be specialized, it doesn't make sense to have some of these roles; in a group of scientific researchers, wouldn't all of them be smart? In a group of politicians, wouldn't all of them lead and disagree? Don't astronauts have to be well-rounded and exceptional in many ways?
But there is a way to make a group of people diverse without giving them specialized roles in a form of a group that would probably best be specialized for questing. One way is through personality, in this case based off of a long-since discredited wacky ancient pseudoscience (though it is still used for profiling).
The four temperaments (also called the "four humors") was a theory that behavior was caused by concentrations of body fluids -- the "humours" of Classical medicine: namely blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Each of these would affect a person's personality differently, and the way these fluids were thought to affect behavior eventually became a part of personality theory, eventually separated completely from the idea that fluids actually controlled behavior. However, the names still remain. An ensemble based on these four humors can make the ensemble diverse without actually changing the roles of the characters in the show's continuity.
The four temperaments (humors) are:
- Sanguine (blood): Extroverted and people-oriented; tends to both lead and follow. Exhibits optimism, good cheer, a sense of humor, enthusiasm, a youthful demeanor and just plain fun personality. On the flip side, may be teasing, impulsive, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, easily angered or upset, wear the heart on the sleeve, or even be a space case. If female, will be a Genki Girl, a Kawaiiko, or a more plucky/out-going Proper Lady.
- Expressive high, responsive high; responsive delay short, duration short.
- Ethics, means, and ends: ends-justify-means; flexible/fickle between reason and honor
- Oni type and Good Cop, Bad Cop: brash Red Oni, but "Good Cop" diplomacy
- Usual "dere" type (aside from pure deredere): The playful types, often shifting from obsessive Yandere to Type B Tsundere, to their hybrid Kamidere.
- Four-Philosophy Ensemble: the Optimist, Realist or Apathetic (stolid/"Opportunist" type)
- Corresponding element: air
- The Inspired Influence of DISC and Myers–Briggs types generally E_F_.
- People-oriented blends Sanguine & Supine: Forgiving, pure deredere, a Pollyanna, an optimist about most anyone; but also gullible, too permissive, clinging Motor Mouth, and giving benefit of doubt too freely. The Optimist Philosophy and Freudian Ego usually.
- Extrovert/Red Oni blends Sanguine & Choleric: Adventurous, confident, person of action, and unhampered by guilt; but also can be impetuous, prideful, unethical, and exploding or making threats when angered. The stolid Apathetic Philosophy and Freudian Id usually.
- Choleric (yellow bile): Extroverted and task-oriented; a leader, not a follower. Tends to exhibit leadership, dominance, ambition, and resistance to guilt-trips; but also tends to be obsessive, narrow-minded, self-righteous, the Unfettered, discriminatory, vengeful, condescending, jerk with a heart of jerk, and hair-trigger irritable. Could be the Bully, especially if a villain. Likes to be independent and have control over others; could be a Bad Boss if in charge. If female, will be a fierce and Hot-Blooded Lady of War.
- Expressive high, responsive low; responsive delay short, duration long.
- Ethics, means, and ends: Uses people as mere means that ends justify
- Oni type and Good Cop, Bad Cop: Red Oni and harsh, pure "Bad Cop"
- Usual "dere" types: harsh Type A Tsundere, sometimes Kuudere possessive like a Yandere.
- Four-Philosophy Ensemble: the Cynic
- Corresponding element: fire
- The Dominant Driver of DISC and Myers–Briggs types generally E_T_.
- Extrovert/Red Oni blends Choleric & Sanguine: Adventurous, confident, person of action, and unhampered by guilt; but also can be impetuous, arrogant, unethical, and quick to anger, to make threats, and "go off the deep end." The stolid Apathetic Philosophy and Freudian Id usually.
- Task-oriented blends Choleric & Melancholic: Independent, hard-working, with hard-to-break concentration; but also stubborn, dogmatic, stand-offish, resentful, coldly vengeful, stubborn about loyalties, sees the worst in people, and curtly hides insecure thoughts. Bends no strategy/rule for anyone, except to keep an oath to sworn loyalties.
- Melancholic (black bile): Introverted and task-oriented; can lead or follow, but prefers working alone. Polite, organized, elegant (in dignified ways), stoic, hard-working, analytical; but also a detached, brooding, straight-laced, obsessive perfectionist whose insanely high standards lead to depression. If female, will be a more brooding/loner type Ice Queen.
- Expressive low, responsive low; responsive delay long, duration long.
- Ethics, means, and ends: seeks to harmonize reason and honor; moral perfection before either
- Oni type and Good Cop, Bad Cop: Calm, stoic Blue Oni, but stern "Bad Cop" perspective
- Usual "dere" type: Kuudere (Types 1 & 2) -- takes a long time to open up; not often Dandere.
- Four-Philosophy Ensemble: the Apathetic (Non-Action type) or the Conflicted
- Corresponding element: earth
- The Contemplating Conscience of DISC and Myers–Briggs types generally I_T_.
- Task-oriented blends Melancholic & Choleric: Independent, hard-working, with hard-to-break concentration; but also stubborn, dogmatic, stand-offish, resentful, coldly vengeful, stubborn about loyalties, sees the worst in people, and curtly hides insecure thoughts. Bends no strategy/rule for anyone, except to keep an oath to sworn loyalties.
- Introverted/Blue Oni blends Melancholic & Supine: Calm, deep, reliable, courteous, and ethical to a fault; but also shy, neurotic, and easy to discourage or get feelings hurt. Tends to be the moral keep-in-line voice, the Conflicted, and the Freudian Superego. "Dere" type Dandere.
- Phlegmatic (phlegm): The one initially declared introverted and people-oriented. Calm, stoic, stable, observant, and not easily ruffled into a rage; but also teasing, lazy, reactionary, and without a particular motivation. If female, will be either a more calm and collected Lady of War or an emotionless Ice Queen. See Supine and Phlegmatic II below.
Alternatively, a system of five temperaments has been proposed, in which the Phlegmatic is moved into a central, fifth position, with the fourth corner being filled by the Supine temperament:
- Supine (tears): Introverted and people-oriented; a follower, not a leader. Basically the first-type phlegmatic category narrowed down to the shyness and/or low self-esteem reason for introversion. Tendency to be friendly, amiable, affectionate, relational, thoughtful, compassionate, elegant (in simple ways), the Fettered, observant, open-minded, emotionally intelligent, and non-confrontational (except when needed as an empath taking a stand in unambiguously abusive scenarios); but also docile, dependent on others for self-esteem (whether by choice or because of insecurity), difficulty saying "no", and too easily clouded by empathy to focus on anything else, which can be easily taken advantage of by most anyone. If female (and it usually is), may be a submissive Proper Lady and is sure to be the Heart; the Empath will often come into play.
- Expressive low, responsive high; responsive delay long, duration short.
- Ethics, means, ends: all goal accomplishments in bondage to ethics and compassion, regardless of outcome; often turns the other cheek
- Oni type and Good Cop, Bad Cop: Blue Oni and diplomatic, pure "Good Cop"
- Usual "dere" type (if not pure deredere): Dandere -- becomes talkative slowly-but-surely.
- Four-Philosophy Ensemble: the Conflicted or Optimist
- Corresponding element: water
- The Stable Supporter of DISC and Myers–Briggs types generally I_F_.
- Introverted/Blue Oni blends Supine & Melancholic: Calm, deep, reliable, courteous, and ethical to a fault; but also shy, neurotic, and easy to discourage or get feelings hurt. Tends to be the moral keep-in-line voice, the Conflicted, and Freudian Superego.
- People-oriented blends Supine & Sanguine: Forgiving, pure deredere, flexible, a Pollyanna, an optimist about most anyone; but also gullible, too permissive, clinging Motor Mouth, and giving benefit of doubt too freely. The Optimist Philosophy and Freudian Ego usually.
- Phlegmatic II: The "middle of the road" temperament. Someone who typically doesn't exhibit the extremes or weaknesses of the four basic temperaments. In a positive light: Balanced and well-rounded in character (mid-way among all temperaments). In a negative light: Empty and devoid of character (having no temperament). If the character is a hero, then Hot-Blooded can hold this role (due to being standard, and most other characters would be typified Choleric or Sanguine for such behavior). The positive light is commonly reserved for secondary characters such as Wise Old Mentors, because the more extreme "temperamental" characters are easier to identify with and thus make more popular heroes.
A Four Temperament Ensemble will have one character to fit each one of these four temperaments. Sometimes a Five Man Band with four members will also be a Four Temperament Ensemble, but in many cases, they're mutually exclusive. For the five-temperament version, the most common match-ups for the roles: The Hero (Phlegmatic II), the Lancer (Choleric), the Big Guy (Phlegmatic), the Smart Guy (Melancholic), the Chick (Sanguine), and the Sixth Ranger (Supine).
In Red Oni, Blue Oni, a Red Oni will likely be Choleric or Sanguine, while a Blue Oni will more likely be Melancholic or Phlegmatic/Supine.
There is also some overlap with Power Trio and Freudian Trio scenarios, with the five-temperament version possibly taking them to their maximum extension: The Kirk/the Ego is either the eclectic, balanced leader (Phlegmatic) or relational heart and glue for the team (Supine and Sanguine). The two triads slightly differ in their match-ups, however, in the other two roles: The Spock is the Choleric and Melancholic (cold logic and hard facts only, the latter as the withdrawn side), but the Superego ranges from Melancholic to Supine (the moralizer and the altruist, respectively). The McCoy is usually Supine and Sanguine (the compassionate, idealistic side and the expressive/dramatic side, respectively) if the eclectic mood gamut doesn't average out to Phlegmatic; but the impetuous Id ranges from Sanguine to Choleric. In a total of four, the one temperament remaining will be filled by a prominent supporting character who is still clearly outside of the triad; a group of five results in a Three Plus Two.
They are also similar to the four Personality Blood Types, and are sometimes also a Four-Element Ensemble. See also Cast Calculus for the overarching archetypes in this and differently numbered ensembles. Here is an Image Archive for this trope.
For another way to split up a group of four, see Four-Philosophy Ensemble.
Examples of Four-Temperament Ensemble include:
Categories with their own pages
Eastern European Animation
While FATAL does have a humors system, there is no rule forcing your party to be a Four-Temperament Ensemble. Indeed, this would actively contradict the obsessive randomisation inherent to the FATAL system.
Magic the Gathering has this with the five Praetors of New Phyrexia:
Intentionally invoked in Promethean: The Created. The five Lineages of Prometheans are Frankensteins (choleric), Golems (Melancholic), Galateids (Sanguine), Osirans (phlegmatic), and Ulgan (associated with the "humor" of ectoplasm.) The character's balance of humors is actually an important gameplay point.
Also invoked in Tribe8 with the monstrous Z'Bri, whose 4 types are named after the four humors: Koleris, Flemis, Sangis, and Melanis.
In Warhammer and Warhammer 40000, appropriately enough, the four gods of Chaos each represent an emotion and mindset. Khorne (the god of anger and bloodshed) is choleric, Slaanesh (god of passion and lust) is sanguine, Tzeentch (god of ambition and hope) is (ironically) melancholic, and Nurgle (god of despair and disease) is (appropriately) phlegmatic.
The final Hasse Och Tage revue Fröken Fleggmans mustasch is constructed around this trope, to the extent that the characters of the four person ensemble (if one excludes the pianist) are named accordingly. The quartet consists of:
- Count Niklas von Sanguin (played by Hans Alfredson).
- The banker Kurt S. Wresig, alternatingly his impostor son Kolerik Wresig (both played by Gösta Ekman).
- The maid Frida Fleggman (played by Lena Nyman).
- The Mysterious Stranger Alvar F. Dysterkvist (played by Tage Danielsson).
- The 4 aspects of a person's DISC assessment each have a direct parallel with one of the 4 temperaments:
- Dominance = Choleric
- Influence = Sanguine
- Steadiness = Phlegmatic
- Conscientiousness = Melancholic
- Jeff Dunham and his puppet characters:
|Walter, Achmed and Baby Seamus||Jeff||Peanut, Bubba J, Melvin and Daddy Dee||Jose Jalapeno|
- And whenever a female joins the group, they become a five-man version.
- Ragnar (It Makes Sense in Context)