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Taking motifs Up to Eleven. Every major player has the same sort of objects associated with them. Say, a group of heroes where every member has their own animal spirit, weapon, and elemental alignment. Or every country has their own gem, compass direction, and celestial body. That sort of thing.
So named because as it all seems to have been plotted out using a table.
Anime & Manga
- Sailor Moon - every Sailor Scout has a planet, a gemstone, an astrological sign, a color, a secondary color, a particular title, an element, a Meaningful Name, and they're also paired off as partners (Sailor Jupiter and Mercury, Venus and Mars, Uranus and Neptune, Pluto and Saturn, and Sailor Moon with Tuxedo Kamen or Sailor Chibimoon.)
- Everyone who gets a pactio in Mahou Sensei Negima gets not only an artifact, but a card with their dominant color, virtue, celestial body, title, and number. The girls' numbers are the same as their number on the class roster; Negi's is 496, the sum of said numbers.
- In Shakugan no Shana, every Flame Haze has: a title, a contracted Crimson Lord, a title of the Crimson Lord, a vessel for it (although it doesn't come up often), fire colour, and sometimes trademark spells and Treasure Tools.
- Especially in Digimon Adventure, each of the 7, (and later 8) chosen had their own partner Digimon, Virtue, Color and Element. They also all paired up with each other nicely, (Tai/Matt, Sora/Mimi, Izzy/Joe, TK/Kari)
- In season two there was a lot of consolidation as the 3 new chosen inherited both virtues from the pairs, and would change their element depending on which one they invoked. The 6 new kids however all ended up pairing of for the Fusion Dance.
- In The Black Bull Of Norroway, each of the Black Bull's brothers inhabits a castle made of a different material and decorated in a different way, and gives the heroine a different fruit containing a different jewel.
- In Farmer Weathersky, the hero meets three very similar witches, one at a time, each using her nose for a different task, commanding animals of a sort vaguely related to that task, and providing some of those to the hero.
- Circle of Magic: 4 siblings (by adoption), each with a type of magic they have, a teacher, a student (two for Daja), a lost family (or, in Tris' case, disowned), two books in which they ultimately save the day and a crisis they save it from, and a reason they don't fit in at Winding Circle.
- Keys to the Kingdom: 7 trustees, each named after a day of the week, suffering from one of the Seven Deadly Sins, with a domain, a key, a part of the Will (corresponding to one of the Seven Heavenly virtues), a Dawn, a Noon, and a Dusk. Whew!
- Incarnations of Immortality: 7 incarnations, each with a book, duty, way they're selected, and possibly some other things.
- Deltora Quest: 7 tribes, each with a gem, city, guardian and dragon.
- Pendragon: 10 territories each with its own Traveler, technology, turning point. Gets mixed up later on, though.
- In Harry Potter, each of the four Houses has two colors, a heraldic animal, a ghost, an artifact of their Founder's, and a secret common room which requires some trick to enter.
- Any character guide can potentially look like this, with slots for not just "wand" but "Patronus" and "Animagus form." Certainly your average fanfic OC is likely to have all of these and probably more.
- American Girl: the different series are all Strictly Formula, and each girl has a necklace, a Happy Holidays dress and doll (both introduced/acquired during the Christmas book), and a pet (birthday book). At one time they also all had a character trait they were supposed to represent: independence for Felicity, courage for Addy, kindness for Samantha, etc.
- In The Belgariad mythos, each god had a signature colour and totem animal.
Live Action TV
- Power Rangers: All seasons have 5+ rangers, each with a colour, a token, a zord, and a weapon.
- By extension, Super Sentai does this, but with variations dependent on the series (some have associated elemental powers, associated animal motifs, and so on).
- The concept of "fundamental attributes" in role playing games. These are "stats" attributed to every character in a game. There may be more stats than the basic ones, but you can generally tell what someone will be doing in the game based on the base stats. It's usually a shallow sort of thematic representation, since not every physically strong character will fight the same way, but you can reasonably assume they'll fight. Some games go further, making players choose their moral and legal alignments, their family, their hometown, and whatever else the designer deemed relevant. If the entire character creation process is composed of choices like that, as in e.g. Burning Wheel, it's called a "life path".
- Much of historical occultism works this way, creating elaborate lists of symbolic correspondances. The classical elements for instance would be associated with colors, compass directions, bodily organs and "humours", astrological signs, etc.
- And taking it even further, each astrological sign, for instance, can be aligned with a color, mythological figure, gemstone, metal, time of the year (obviously), two sister signs and one opposing sign, parts of the human body, and geographical places, and Tarot card (and don't even get started on Tarot cards.)
- If you live in Eagleland, you might be aware of your state's date of founding, origin of name, capital city, official state flower, state animal, state rock, state vegetable (yes really), etc. Now they've come out with state quarters, which contain some symbol significant to the state in question on the back.
- Many countries will also have a national flag, anthem, motto, bird, mammal, flower, and more.
- Every properly equipped school has a fight song, a mascot, and two or three school colors.
- Occurs in The Bible a lot, particularly around the number Twelve, and the four Evangelists.
- As well, in Catholic tradition, each Saint has a Feast Day and a list of attributes, and many are patrons of particular professions, places, or against particular dangers. For example, St. Jude, who helps impossible cases, St. Cecilia, who protects musicians, and they didn't draw the name Notre Dame de Paris (St. Mary, our Lady of Paris) out of a hat.
- Classical Mythology gives each god a name, a few titles, a domain, a sacred tree, a sacred bird, and a few symbols associated with them.
- Ayurvedic medicine is made of this. Each personality type has specific traits, foods that are good/bad for that type, health signs, etc. Every chakra has specific color, location in the body, personality, planetary influence, and gemstones that are good for it. So important is the Theme Table that people in India don't get married until they've consulted an astrologer who chooses the appropriate mate (based on date of birth) and an auspicious day for the wedding.
- In Persona 3 and 4, each of the major characters has a specific Tarot Arcana assigned to them that is usually reflective of their role in the story.
- In the Quest for Glory series, each of the original four games' settings is associated with a compass direction, a season, and an element. Game 3 doesn't fit the theme because it wasn't part of the original series plan.
- All over The Legend of Zelda. As of Ocarina of Time, Link, Zelda and Ganon each possess a Triforce, with the powers courage, wisdom and power respectively, left by the three creator goddesses Farore, Nayru and Din respectively. Each of also correspond to a mystical pearl and, via their associated races (Kokiri, Zoras and Gorons respectively) a spiritual stone.
- Bionicle: Six Toa, each with an Elemental Power, a matching color, a Cool Mask with another power, and a Weapon of Choice. This holds true to varying degrees for most other characters as well, with a group of six in the same six colors as a bare minimum.
- Pretty common in toylines, and consequentally in Merchandise-Driven series, probably because arranging products this way can encourage people to form collections of them and perhaps also because it can allow more toys per idea.
- Homestuck: 4 young chums, each with a color, a classical element, a Weapon of Choice, a musical instrument, a humour, a specific title corresponding to their role in the game, a personal world in the Incipisphere from which each must reach Skaia, the remains of a deceased creature or family member, and a single guardian who seems to know something about the Ancient Conspiracy. Oh, and an African-American celebrity.
- Also a specific item (E.G. uranium, oil).
- A more thorough listing of the similarities can be found here on the series's Wiki.
- And now there are 28 more of them.
- Not to mention the fact many of the NPCs are associated with specific games: the chess-themed Prospitian/Dersite fighters, the card-themed Midnight Crew and the billiards-themed Felt.
- Homestuck's predecessor, Problem Sleuth, was no slouch either. *Takes deep breath* There are three detectives, each with a certain body type (which in turn are each associated with a type of food, a truck carrying that food, and a district of the city that is named after the makers of that food, a gentleman with some sort of optical accessory, and a room in the Sleazy Brothel in the sky), an office, something keeping them from escaping their office, a different kind of window/portal to the World of Imagination, a stat in which they excel, a standard weapon/key, a candy weapon, a type of candy armor, a Super Mode based on both a classic movie monster and type of candy, a Distaff Counterpart (each of which have their own weapon/other object, two of which get a weapon/object used in painting and a undergarment that warps their physical properties, and one of which is just a clone of one of the detectives wearing a wig), an ultimate move, and a non-human race they go on a quest for (each of which terrorizes another of the races somehow, and each of which has some kind of emissary and a champion that represents a Fantasy Character Class). The Big Bad gets in on most of this as well.
- Captain Planet: Each of the Planeteers wears a ring that taps into the powers of one of the four classical Greek elements. (Heart, of course, being the misfit cousin.)