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View Full Version : The Cliched cliche of Cliches!!!!



Silverscale
2009-10-06, 01:32 PM
My friends and I are starting a 4.0 game full of cleche's. So far, we started out in a tavern in the middle of a bar fight, went to the cellar to fight rats, the Mage cast Magic Missile at the Darkness, and we've gone after cowardly Kobolds.

I just want to make sure we get in as many cliche's as possible so if anyone can think of any realy good/funny ones, that would be cool.

Oh yeah and we're about to go after a princess who may very well be locked in a tower.

Athaniar
2009-10-06, 02:01 PM
TVTropes is perfect for this. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StandardFantasySetting)

*Make sure the BBEG is a typical Evil Overlord (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilOverlord) who ignores every aspect of the Evil Overlord List. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilOverlordList)

*Dwarves should be Dwarves (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame).

*Chicks in less than average clothing (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BreastPlate) (which might actually be average clothing if you use this trope enough)!

root9125
2009-10-07, 11:15 AM
TVTropes is perfect for this. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StandardFantasySetting)

*Make sure the BBEG is a typical Evil Overlord (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilOverlord) who ignores every aspect of the Evil Overlord List. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilOverlordList)

*Dwarves should be Dwarves (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame).

*Chicks in less than average clothing (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BreastPlate) (which might actually be average clothing if you use this trope enough)!

I accidentally ignored a physics lecture for TVTropes. May a thousand fleas infest your armpits.

:-P

Mulletmanalive
2009-10-07, 06:16 PM
Orc

10ft x 10ft room

Chest, suspiciously unlocked.

One of the above guards the others.

Done and done.

Godskook
2009-10-07, 06:23 PM
Monty Python. That is all.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2009-10-07, 06:29 PM
Was the quest given by a mysterious cloaked stranger? Is there a prophecy involving the PCs? Must an ancient artifact be destroyed before untold devastation hits the world?

Eldan
2009-10-08, 03:40 AM
If the message is not delivered by a cloaked stranger, have a messenger die from an arrow wound on the tavern's doorstep.

Make sure to involve gelatinous cubes, goblins, orcs and other monsters that have been around forever.

AzazelSephiroth
2009-10-08, 12:48 PM
-Don't forget to make one of the Major villians the father, mother, or uncle/aunt of one of the PCs!
-Make sure to have the wizened Mage in a lone tower who has all the Knowledge of the world and yet can never give a straight answer.
-A random Unicorn or two with a virgin rider.
-Red Dragon in Lava Cave with Orc or goblinoid minions on a Giant pile of gold housing an ancient Dwarven Artifact.:smallbiggrin:

Morty
2009-10-08, 01:27 PM
Make sure that PCs only win after discovering the true meaning of friendship and overcoming humorous conflicts between their personalities.

Lord_Gareth
2009-10-08, 03:02 PM
Use the 3.5 alignment system, precisely as presented, and then strictly enforce it. Morality? Pssh, this is fantasy.

Eldan
2009-10-08, 03:16 PM
-Don't forget to make one of the Major villians the father, mother, or uncle/aunt of one of the PCs!

You forgot scorned lover and evil twin.


Also, roll on the following improvised table to name things on your world map:

1 Forest.... 1. of Doom
2 Valley.... 2. of Death
3 Desert .... 3. of Despair
4 Mountains .... 4. of Darkness
5 Tower .... 5. of Destruction
6 Sea .... 6. of Damnation
7 Gorge ....7. of... more D-words.

Squirrel_Domain
2009-10-08, 03:21 PM
-Give each dungeon a cliche theme (fire level, ice level, cave, etc..)

-make the main quest to collect "crystals" with an appropriately themed crystal at the end of each dungeon

-when someone is losing a fight and is on the verge of giving up, they are revived through the encouragement of their friends and asspull a win

-find some way to involve the phrase "meddling kids" into a baddies speach :smallbiggrin:

FlyingWhale
2009-10-08, 03:56 PM
Slowly entwine your story with that of anything Tolkien... Game. Set. Match.

DracoDei
2009-10-08, 04:27 PM
-find some way to involve the phrase "meddling kids" into a baddies speach :smallbiggrin:

Sounds like you need an age regression spell... if you need to keep it simple, just make the mechanical effects equivalent to "Reduce Person", and/or a reversed size gain for a monster.

Violet Octopus
2009-10-08, 05:44 PM
* Meet lots of NPCs who are much more powerful than you but for some reason can never assist you.
* Have the baddies wear spiky black armour. Meet a noble NPC paladin who falls and becomes the BBEG's blackguard (gaining spiky armour in the process)
* Have another mysterious NPC who is revealed to be a dragon in alternate form.
* Find a portal that lets your characters crossover into the real world.


You forgot scorned lover and evil twin.


Also, roll on the following improvised table to name things on your world map:

1 Forest.... 1. of Doom
2 Valley.... 2. of Death
3 Desert .... 3. of Despair
4 Mountains .... 4. of Darkness
5 Tower .... 5. of Destruction
6 Sea .... 6. of Damnation
7 Gorge ....7. of... more D-words.

Desolation
Dread
Dolorousness
Distress
Dentistry

Mercenary Pen
2009-10-08, 06:35 PM
Question, will there be occasional reversal of cliches- just to stop the players being able to second-guess everything?

Have a quest to save a princess from the tower of the dragon (alternatively, if you're willing to reverse cliches, see the spoiler in my sig for a reversal of this quest).

Flarp
2009-10-08, 06:49 PM
Mysterious cloaked strangers, linked to weird occurrences. And by weird occurrences, I mean a dead messenger on your doorstep, an amnesiac warrior, a beer-drinking dwarf, and a snarky forest-loving elf.

golentan
2009-10-08, 07:38 PM
Orc

10ft x 10ft room

Chest, suspiciously unlocked.

One of the above guards the others.

Done and done.

But why is the mimic guarding the Orc? A cliched orc is never a caster, and therefore should be a soldier, and should be guarding the room. :smallconfused:

These (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TabletopGames) are all the tabletop tropes on the aforementioned site, read through them. Many are cliches, and thus useful. I'd also recommend bringing in some cross-genre and medium cliches (you mentioned a princess in a castle? I'm sorry, the princess is in another castle). Ask all your players to base their character word for word on an existing fictional character if it's not too late. Make it so that plots can ONLY be advanced by cliches, they will never get the next plot hook until they ask "is there a dark stranger in the corner" and go talk to them.

Darcand
2009-10-09, 12:26 AM
You are sitting in a tavern when a cloaked stranger approaches. "I have a message for you from my master" he rasps, sliding a folded piece of paper onto the bar. Before you can respond he turns and moves briskly toward the door.

(We follow after him!)

You reach him just as he opens the door. You touch his arm and turns to face you. His eyes go wide with surprise and slumps forward against you, a black feathered arrow protruding from his back. "M-Mordred..." he murmers with his last breath.

(I run outside!)

It is dark and stormy outside in the streets, but as lighting flashes you catch a glimps of a figure dressed all in black vanishing across the rooftop of a nearby building, but quickly loose sight of him in the rain.

(We read the note!)

You unfold the note, in spidery script is written; (Hero's name) I need your help, my daughter has been taken by a dark force who plans to use her for unspeakable evil! Please, my need is dire! (Local Noble's Name)

King of Nowere
2009-10-09, 06:41 AM
Also, roll on the following improvised table to name things on your world map:

1 Forest.... 1. of Doom
2 Valley.... 2. of Death
3 Desert .... 3. of Despair
4 Mountains .... 4. of Darkness
5 Tower .... 5. of Destruction
6 Sea .... 6. of Damnation
7 Gorge ....7. of... more D-words.

Love that table! Maybe I'm going to use it.

T.G. Oskar
2009-10-09, 07:50 AM
Also, roll on the following improvised table to name things on your world map:

1 Forest.... 1. of Doom
2 Valley.... 2. of Death
3 Desert .... 3. of Despair
4 Mountains .... 4. of Darkness
5 Tower .... 5. of Destruction
6 Sea .... 6. of Damnation
7 Gorge ....7. of... more D-words.

You forgot "Dungeon" on the left. And Destard, Deceit, and Despise on the right. Will try to get a cookie to whomever gets it.

Mercenary Pen
2009-10-09, 07:58 AM
You forgot "Dungeon" on the left. And Destard, Deceit, and Despise on the right. Will try to get a cookie to whomever gets it.

Well, let's face it, the table needs expanding anyway... because there ain't such a thing as a d7...

Kiren
2009-10-09, 05:03 PM
Have a guy that wears a white cloak and does nothing but pray and hug people with one arm.... and then they die. Edit: I think he had been highly armed.... but he was praying so he couldn't of done it.

Eldan
2009-10-09, 06:50 PM
Well, let's face it, the table needs expanding anyway... because there ain't such a thing as a d7...

That was a subtle joke, actually. I think I actually saw a table somewhere in an old that included impossible numbers, like d13.

TelemontTanthul
2009-10-09, 07:01 PM
Elves.

In the forest.

And they want everyone to leave them alone.

But they can't seem to isolate themselves.

Oh, and all orcs have an intelligence of 4, but a strength of 20.

Dwarves love beer.

Oh, and an Evil Wizard living in a tower decides to try and take over the world, but fails because he is a cliche' villian whose downfall is entirely dependent upon his inability to not monologue.

King of Nowere
2009-10-10, 04:24 AM
Every place in the world, it is utterly enchanted. No forest is a simple bunch of trees, no ruin is a simple place that was abandoned years ago.

There was an ancient age of greatness with magic that cannot even be comprehended today, but it is all lost now.

UnChosenOne
2009-10-10, 07:27 AM
Also remember that all Necromancer do either a) have dead litel sister b) animate corpses just for evulz.

lesser_minion
2009-10-10, 08:11 AM
Well, let's face it, the table needs expanding anyway... because there ain't such a thing as a d7...

Actually...
(http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/D7_class)
Generating a number from 1-7 isn't difficult - you can use a d14 and halve the result, or you can roll a d8 and re-roll 8s.

Also, 7 x 14 = 98. You can just re-roll any rolls of 99-00 if you use a d100.

As for words beginning in 'D', try Devastation.

Locations include Castle, Temple, Plain, City, and Field.

How you handle vampires might be an interesting question - I actually find "popular misconceptions about vampires include X,Y and Z" to be worse than actually having vampires who are vulnerable to everything.

Maldraugedhen
2009-10-10, 03:51 PM
I accidentally ignored a physics lecture for TVTropes. May a thousand fleas infest your armpits.

:-P

It's not like they don't warn you. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TVTropesWillRuinYourLife)

Kanosint
2009-10-10, 05:55 PM
Actually...
(http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/D7_class)
Generating a number from 1-7 isn't difficult - you can use a d14 and halve the result, or you can roll a d8 and re-roll 8s.

Also, 7 x 14 = 98. You can just re-roll any rolls of 99-00 if you use a d100.

Yes, or, ya know, 2d4-1 :P Or is that too simple?

As for cliches, depends on the genre :P Wizards should be old and have pointy hats, though... With robes.

Cross-genre: One of the villain's right-hand men is really a woman, but once she sees the hero, she falls in love with him, and betrays her master in the final showdown to help her crush XD

Pie Guy
2009-10-10, 05:59 PM
On the left: Tomb, on the right : Horrors.

DracoDei
2009-10-10, 06:26 PM
... 2d4-1 =/= 1d7 statistically...

Just in case anyone here is still that clueless about statistics.

T.G. Oskar
2009-10-10, 07:11 PM
... 2d4-1 =/= 1d7 statistically...

Just in case anyone here is still that clueless about statistics.

But that's statistically. Not realistically (you DO get numbers from 1-7, except that you have a higher chance to get numbers between 2-6 because of how things work out).

And even then, just how many times you get a 1 or a 20, without using statistics to prove that? Some get 2 or 3 20's in a row, some (like me) get several 1s a few times. But some get next to none. So it's not like you'll never get 1s or 7s using that method. Just...not with the same statistics as a real 1d7.

Gnomo
2009-10-10, 08:15 PM
Because everybody loves to use a d12:

{table=head]Result|Beginning|Middle|Ending
1|Dungeon|Of Godly|Dragons
2|Forest|Of Absolute|Death
3|Valley|Of Impervious|Despair
4|Desert|Of Impending|Darkness
5|Mountain|Of Gigantic|Destruction
6|Tower|Of Unavoidable|Damnation
7|Sea|Of Unfettered|Deceit
8|Gorge|Of Gargantuan|Despise
9|Swamp|Of Hidden|Destination
10|Cave|Of Lurking|Devastation
11|Mine|Of Elusive|Diatribe
12|Village|Of Complete|Doom[/table]

Eldan
2009-10-11, 06:51 AM
The Mine of Elusive Diatribe?

I'm so gonna use that. :smallbiggrin:

Jolly Steve
2009-10-11, 08:20 AM
An ancient prophecy that no man can do such and such. The 'twist' is that women can.

Bisected8
2009-10-11, 09:57 AM
Have a pirate fight (wait for it....) a ninja! Or rogue (or perhaps a seafaring barbarian) with a pirate theme fight a rogue with a ninja theme if it's easier...

Eldan
2009-10-11, 10:19 AM
Have an evil lich as the main opponent. He should also have the ability to control an ancient red dragon or a demon who will later break free of his control and attack him just when the party is losing the fight.

imp_fireball
2009-10-11, 02:08 PM
Your heroes should be fighting in the name of good and making a point to mention it at all times. They are not interested in anything but adventuring and must oppose evil because it's evil and not for any other reason. :smallcool:

The rogue should be a rogue.

The fighter should be stupid.

The half orc should be semi-fully retarded. Like can't even perform precise motor functions because he's so darn retarded. He should use 'me' when speaking the first person, lack proverbs, and other things associated with a 'savage race' with an intelligence penalty. He won't have a modicum of self consciousness as a result of this ineptitude. They aren't any different from ogres even though ogres should be comparably brain dead.

The ninja should become akin to an epic level wizard when alone.

Elves should love nature and be the UPPER ECHELON GOOD GUYS right up their with angels and classic paladins.

Environmentalists should be in it for the greater good while forestry empires are evil fascists complete with Sauron/Darth Vader in formal business attire as CEO.

Drow should be so much darker and edgier it's mind numbing. Oh and chaotic evil.

Some wizards are mysterious good guys despite all the power afforded to them and how much it might conflict with the above concerning nature and goodliness.

The swashbuckler is a wisecracking bad ass.

If you wanna go anime, there's a strong arm warrior with a big sword who may or may not be wisecracking, but is a bad ass.

The fighter, dwarf, orc and any other bawdy, martial race should be male. The only female should be a bard or elven ranger or some such.


Have a pirate fight (wait for it....) a ninja! Or rogue (or perhaps a seafaring barbarian) with a pirate theme fight a rogue with a ninja theme if it's easier...

That's just far too creative!


An ancient prophecy that no man can do such and such. The 'twist' is that women can.

Or a boy who happens to be evil and be the son of sauron so that when the PCs find out they'll be like 'oh ****'.

Siosilvar
2009-10-11, 05:31 PM
The fighter should be stupid.

"I like swords."

Gnomo
2009-10-12, 04:39 AM
The Mine of Elusive Diatribe?

I'm so gonna use that. :smallbiggrin:
It's also my favorite xD... but you would have to get 3 11s in a row to say it was "randomly" determined.

Mercenary Pen
2009-10-12, 08:35 AM
It's also my favorite xD... but you would have to get 3 11s in a row to say it was "randomly" determined.

Or just roll these things away from the table (or behind a screen)... You're the DM, you can DO that.

onthetown
2009-10-12, 09:24 AM
You forgot "Dungeon" on the left. And Destard, Deceit, and Despise on the right. Will try to get a cookie to whomever gets it.

Hmmm... you wouldn't happen to be talking about Ultima Online, would you? :smalltongue:

Amphetryon
2009-10-12, 09:52 AM
There is a throne.

Anyone who sits in the throne causes a button to pop up on the armrest.

Pressing the button causes a lever to spring out of the floor in front of the character.

Pulling the lever gets the player a Deck of Many Things.

:smallbiggrin:

Mercenary Pen
2009-10-12, 11:18 AM
There is a throne.

Anyone who sits in the throne causes a button to pop up on the armrest.

Pressing the button causes a lever to spring out of the floor in front of the character.

Pulling the lever gets the player a Deck of Many Things.

:smallbiggrin:

However, the throne is also an Iron Maiden (of a sort) and pulling the lever not only releases a Deck of Many Things (about 140ft away) but encases the foolish player in spikes...INT poisoned spikes

And the throne has a dimensional anchor...

Seriously, this is the Deck of Many Things, cliches or no cliches, there have to be some safeguards...

King of Nowere
2009-10-12, 11:30 AM
The big bad is super powerful, but he takes his power from an artifact, and destroy said artifact is the only way of saving the world; but beware, because to destroy said artifact you need to throw it into a vulcano that is near the big bad's fortress.
And instead of sending some epic level party to do the job, the send a bunch of paesants...

Oh, wait, this is the lord of the ring. Well, it has to be clichè for something...

Scow2
2009-10-12, 03:32 PM
Drow should be so much darker and edgier it's mind numbing. Oh and chaotic evil.

Except for lone adventurer drow, who are all chaotic-good clones of Drizz't Do'Urden, copyright laws be damned.

Silverscale
2009-10-17, 12:02 AM
Thank you guys for all your ideas. You have given my group and I a lot of fun ideas to include in our campain. If you have any other ideas please fell free to share them.

Eldan
2009-10-17, 06:58 AM
Make sure that the big bad can't or won't send his strongest troops right away to flatten the annoying peasants with his artefact. Instead, he will only send level-appropriate encounters, save for that one time when he shows up, threatens them and then teleports away to safety, leaving only an ogre (or something) behind.
Basically, there are two kinds of cliché: "fantasy book" and "fantasy computer game". Use both "wisely".

To make it simple: if it came up in Lord of the Rings, any old DnD RPG or one of the lower-numbered Final Fantasies (I don't really know these, apart from the clichés, since I never played them), it's fair game.

lesser_minion
2009-10-17, 09:09 AM
This list may be of use:

The Grand List of Console Role-Playing Game Clichés (http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html)

There is also the possibility of characters mistaking someone completely different for their kidnapped sister.

Because 14-year old girls lead armies into massive pitched battles all the time.

Admittedly, the plot of the game in question actually wasn't too bad, despite that mother of all contrivances.

Silverscale
2009-10-17, 01:34 PM
This list may be of use:

The Grand List of Console Role-Playing Game Clichés (http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html)

Yes thank you! That was a very entertaining list to read and has given me a few ideas.