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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    Quote Originally Posted by Briare0s View Post
    For me it's the checklist of fantasy races that almost every author seems to rely upon instead of making their own races that fit into the world itself. It's gotten to the point where I kind of get somewhat disinterested in a fantasy world that heavily uses the same.
    This is annoyingly common, but it's far from almost every author - although most outside of this paradigm just don't have fantasy races at all, as just having humans is totally fine for most purposes.

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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    For me it's the "Traveling impossibly light" trope. You rarely see a hero carry a big backpack, food, water, blankets, tools unless it's part of comic relief.
    Same thing can be upscaled for fantasy armies. In a typical ancient army about 1 in 5 persons were non-combatants (animal handlers, cooks, smiths, builders, medics) and armies had to be followed by trains of animals/carts with provisions.
    Last edited by Bulhakov; 2017-09-25 at 05:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    A common trait for many a fantasy setting's deeper history is there's some sort of Golden Age of which the present world is but a pale shadow of and now it can only be remembered wistfully with hushed reverence, there are probably ruins involved and maybe a toppled giant statue or two.

    -snip-

    I like a sense that a setting is changing, in flux even. Change doesn't have to be universally good or bad, examining the repercussions is the intriguing thing about Speculative Fiction and that's no less true for a world with castles, wizards, and elves. The idea that everything was once awesome but now we're swirling the metaphorical drain because of some transgressive spiritual event is just dull.
    This is one of the things I really love about the Battletech setting. The timeline in which the game is played 99% of the time has references to the golden age of the Star League, which spanned almost all of humanity's territory in space. However, if you look back at the real history, you find that the Star League were actually a bunch of holier-than-thou colonizers who violently absorbed any societies outside their own.

    I'm also a huge fan of the Abusive Precursor trope, especially when it's portrayed in an even-handed fashion. Ultimate power corrupts, indeed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulbaquil
    2a. "Gods exist, therefore they must be constantly interfering in the affairs of mortals."
    2b. "Gods exist, therefore they must be perfect/omnipotent/omniscient/omnipresent."
    2c. "Gods exist, therefore there are no religious disagreements because the clerics can just ask."
    Hehehe. I've written in-universe religious works which exists to teach people how all three assumptions are faulty. Raziere knows what I'm talking about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Tad Insane View Post
    "Every other culture, past and and present, is more mystical than the current prevalent culture"

    An irl problem, to be sure, but I really hate the , to me, part of the western culture, the over mysticism of all of all other cultures.

    'In ancient times, magic was strong, and we went skinny dipping with fairies until the ignorant king banned it' or 'This primitive culture never stopped listening to the spirits of the earth, unlike us

    Just stop. We live in a cool era, too!
    I keep hearing how good the "Good Old Days" were. We have records showing people have been nostalgic for the "Good Old Days" within 300 years of the invention of writing. Whenever I hear someone say how much better things were back in the day, I'm reminded of this line from "Keeping the Faith" by Billy Joel:


    "The Good Old Days weren't always good
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Daemon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    A common trait for many a fantasy setting's deeper history is there's some sort of Golden Age of which the present world is but a pale shadow of and now it can only be remembered wistfully with hushed reverence, there are probably ruins involved and maybe a toppled giant statue or two. The magic was better then, the architecture more grand, the swords sharper, the people more perfect, the farts less smelly, etc, etc.
    My setting is roughly cyclical--a high magic age usually involving magitek and soul-manipulations, followed by some cataclysmic event (usually due to hubris causing wars). Then a long slow rebuilding. Each time, the magic is different--the gods of each new cycle tweak things to prevent the previous catastrophe, but the universe is better at creating new and unique idiots than the gods are at making things idiot proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    It's not a trope I'm necessarily against in and of itself, it's when its paired with a stagnant world where the Golden Age has represented its peak and nothing that follow will ever match its luster where it becomes really irksome. The "we can't hope to do/make X anymore, that was lost to the ages".

    I get why its there, it provides for easy story opportunities especially in game settings. You can have a dungeon to dive made by the Precursors which explains why it hasn't crumbled in on itself and is filled with valuable things -- for instance. Or you might need a McGuffin and because it was made during the Golden Age it isn't easy to find and naturally you can't just make a new one because lost technology, but when you do find it it will still probably work because they made **** to last millenniums ago. It's just tying into fairly ubiquitous element to the Fantasy genre, the fetishism of yore.
    I tend to play in the rebuilding part of the cycle, because it keeps things grounded and smaller scale. Also provides excuses for dungeon delving. The more they do, the more they realize that the ancients weren't so great--one particular empire whose descendents the players discovered had been into genetic manipulation and had locked their descendents (and slaves) into an eternal cycle of unwitting demon worship so that they could try to ascend to godhood. This involved the emperor sacrificing his daughter to become the living linch-pin, the living filter for the souls of all the sacrificed people. A major theme is the effects of hubris.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    I like a sense that a setting is changing, in flux even. Change doesn't have to be universally good or bad, examining the repercussions is the intriguing thing about Speculative Fiction and that's no less true for a world with castles, wizards, and elves. The idea that everything was once awesome but now we're swirling the metaphorical drain because of some transgressive spiritual event is just dull.
    Agreed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    A common trait for many a fantasy setting's deeper history is there's some sort of Golden Age of which the present world is but a pale shadow of and now it can only be remembered wistfully with hushed reverence, there are probably ruins involved and maybe a toppled giant statue or two. The magic was better then, the architecture more grand, the swords sharper, the people more perfect, the farts less smelly, etc, etc.

    It's not a trope I'm necessarily against in and of itself, it's when its paired with a stagnant world where the Golden Age has represented its peak and nothing that follow will ever match its luster where it becomes really irksome. The "we can't hope to do/make X anymore, that was lost to the ages".

    I get why its there, it provides for easy story opportunities especially in game settings. You can have a dungeon to dive made by the Precursors which explains why it hasn't crumbled in on itself and is filled with valuable things -- for instance. Or you might need a McGuffin and because it was made during the Golden Age it isn't easy to find and naturally you can't just make a new one because lost technology, but when you do find it it will still probably work because they made **** to last millenniums ago. It's just tying into fairly ubiquitous element to the Fantasy genre, the fetishism of yore.

    I like a sense that a setting is changing, in flux even. Change doesn't have to be universally good or bad, examining the repercussions is the intriguing thing about Speculative Fiction and that's no less true for a world with castles, wizards, and elves. The idea that everything was once awesome but now we're swirling the metaphorical drain because of some transgressive spiritual event is just dull.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scripten View Post
    This is one of the things I really love about the Battletech setting. The timeline in which the game is played 99% of the time has references to the golden age of the Star League, which spanned almost all of humanity's territory in space. However, if you look back at the real history, you find that the Star League were actually a bunch of holier-than-thou colonizers who violently absorbed any societies outside their own.

    I'm also a huge fan of the Abusive Precursor trope, especially when it's portrayed in an even-handed fashion. Ultimate power corrupts, indeed.
    One of my WIP settings features a Golden Age, a Precursor Civilization, and a Great Cataclysm.

    But it was only a golden age for the "blessed race" that dominated that civilization, most humans were either in a state of permanent servitude or lived in remote HG cultures -- and it ended in literal megadeaths because of the failings of their gods, not because of mortal moral failings.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-09-25 at 09:52 AM.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Considering there were two threads about it within the past couple of months I'm surprised nobody has mentioned

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    Which I personally don't have a problem with but apparently there are quite a few who do. Aside from that I'd agree with a dislike of always evil mortal races (due to the metaphysics of magic in my world supernatural races are acceptable but fairly rare). And I'll add on:

    Ugly = Evil, Beautiful = either Good or high ranking Evil - Actually no need to counteract this in many RPGs since due to min-maxing in their systems your PCs are probably a lot uglier than the NPCs. However I've still run across many people who will write up whatever description for their character regardless of their attractiveness score. I may be old school but getting rid of that stat was one of the best things to happen to modern gaming. Which unfortunately means we are starting to run into this trope again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    This is annoyingly common, but it's far from almost every author - although most outside of this paradigm just don't have fantasy races at all, as just having humans is totally fine for most purposes.
    I may have exaggerated a bit yes, but nothing really changes much about what I said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Half the problem with "tropes" is that anything that's happened at least twice in fiction is regarded as a "trope" by some, and even if you're really not trying to play with tropes and indulge in cliches and "memes", someone will also assert that you are no matter what you say.
    Yeah, the list of "tropes" grew to absurd lengths because, as you say, if it's happened twice ever then someone labels it a trope.


    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    I am confused by your Eddings example. Martel was extremely competent and dangerous. His siege of Chyrellos very nearly succeeded. Only at the last fight with Sparhawk did any kind of failure come forth, and that was more about (even as he admits) his own vanity being his downfall. Sparhawk is even thinking during the fight about how evenly matched they were. And Annias was a cunning and conniving politician who had a well-developed scheme that almost succeeded several times. If Eddings is guilty of tat, I think it's in the Mallorean, where any and all threats are just kind of casually brushed aside. The only fights that ever appear to be ACTUALLY dangerous are the 2 fights with the dragon. Unlike in the Belgariad, where most skirmishes seemed much more dangerous. The second series has people like Silk and Sadi, who, between them seems to have "just the right thing" up their sleeve. Belgarion himself is incredibly blasé about most combat, and even demons in that series, which they emphasize are a HUGE threat, never actually amount to any kind of sense of danger to our heroes.
    YMMV, but at no point during the Elenium did I ever feel like any of the heroes were in danger, except maybe when one of them (Bevier I think?) was wounded. It wasn't the most egregious example ever, but for me there wasn't enough tension. If Sparhawk & co. had been less likeable, the series wouldn't have worked at all for me.

    Falconsbane in the aforementioned Mage Winds trilogy was much worse about this, though.

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    Unrealistically long periods of stagnation/stability in the world's status quo. They're basically a way to avoid writing more historical events. Nothing stays the same for 3000 years. Even ancient Egypt changed and evolved over its twenty or so dynasties, and that was both an insular culture and one at the beginnings of recorded history, when rates of change were lower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    Unrealistically long periods of stagnation/stability in the world's status quo. They're basically a way to avoid writing more historical events. Nothing stays the same for 3000 years. Even ancient Egypt changed and evolved over its twenty or so dynasties, and that was both an insular culture and one at the beginnings of recorded history, when rates of change were lower.
    Ancient Egypt was far from an insular culture. There was flow of ideas, people and technology between Egypt and Sub Saharan Africa, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, North Africa and Europe thoughout the history of Ancient Egypt. Sometimes a trickle, sometimes a stream, but there was always a flow.
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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    The Non-Interference Pact of the Gods - This one is probably common because its a way to explain why there are clerics and not god-emperors trying to dominate all of reality. It's a necessity of the genre, for sure, but clerics and priests as we know them are not. What if, and bear with me here, magic is just like any other field of study and is not inherently good nor evil, cleric magic comes from the same source as wizard magic, and religion in this world is as ambiguous and wishy-washy as real life. Why must it be that in every single fantasy universe, "the gods work in mysterious ways" is not a good enough explanation?
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    Can I bring up one that I hate even though it's not exclusive to fantasy? I don't care, imma do it.

    Love triangles. The generic cookie-cutter plot device of about 90% of young adult fiction, but hardly exclusive to that age range. It hasn't just been done to death - it's been done past the point of even the most determined necromancer's ability to squeeze another drop of freshness out of this tired cliche.

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    One trope I absolutely hate is the idea of some ancient, super powerful, impossibly advanced empire that just randomly went extinct for no reason. And despite it having happened thousands of years ago, no one has ever come close to their knowledge or skill or ability for some reason. Then one of the central themes of the game is finding some of this ancient crap that is somehow better than anything else.

    I hate the idea of ancient, powerful, "lost" stuff as an ex machina excuse to have something absurdly powerful but have a flimsy explanation why people don't just make more of it.

    As for the folks talking about the whole black = evil thing, that is just based on the most primitive and instinctual human psychology. From the earliest man Light was seen as a good thing where you could see what you were doing, felt safe in being able to see your surroundings or where to run if danger was after you. Darkness was the first great enemy because you couldn't see what was coming for you, you couldn't see where to run away. Man fears what he doesn't know, what he can't see. So White and Light have always been associated with good while Black and Dark have always been associated with bad/evil.

    Someone said it wasn't the same in asian cultures, but that isn't true. One of the most iconic asian symbols, the Yin-Yang is a very basic representation of this same fact that white is good and black is bad, even though that particular symbol is there to indicate there is some dark in the light and some light in the dark.

    I think even races with dark vision would have evolved and developed culturally along similar lines because even if you can see in the dark 60 feet, there is still a lot of unknown and potentially scary stuff out there. Children are scared of the darkness for a good reason. Some adults are still scared of the dark. It's a fairly common problem that some people won't even use parking garages unless they are extremely well lit because they're afraid of the dark. Even without "monsters" in the darkness, it is still useful for hiding criminal activity, so again, black and darkness are bad things.

    And as one of my other threads indicates, I hate the whole "dead family" trope.

    I'm also extremely sick of anything that comes from anime. It has become way too popular in the last 10-15 years and so many people practically worship these emo edgelordy teenage characters and it just makes no sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cealocanth View Post
    The Non-Interference Pact of the Gods - This one is probably common because its a way to explain why there are clerics and not god-emperors trying to dominate all of reality. It's a necessity of the genre, for sure, but clerics and priests as we know them are not. What if, and bear with me here, magic is just like any other field of study and is not inherently good nor evil, cleric magic comes from the same source as wizard magic, and religion in this world is as ambiguous and wishy-washy as real life. Why must it be that in every single fantasy universe, "the gods work in mysterious ways" is not a good enough explanation?
    I dislike this trope as well.

    It's like, "Well, we have these all knowing, all powerful entities with very specific beliefs and ideals but they'd basically solve all the world's problems if they did anything so.... We have to make them not do anything."

    Very dumb.

    In my settings, I get around this because my pantheon of gods aren't gods at all, they are mortals who achieved pseudo-immortality through magical means and took on these roles because they knew people are fickle and foolish and will cling to the words of a god and pay it more mind than the words of a king or emperor. So they tried to guide the world in a better direction for a time. But as mortals aren't meant to live forever, over time they became bored basically being the babysitters of the world and all retreated to their own personal heavens to just live in a paradise they created for themselves.

    Clerics can still draw power from them, but these days its basically up to their faithful in the material plane to get anything done because they're all off vegetating in eternity and far removed from the cares of mortal life. Kind of like what happened to Dr Manhattan, they are just so beyond all that **** they don't care anymore because everything feels pointless to them.

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    My biggest gripe is the Good/Evil are absolutes trope. There is a world of grey and color and very little actual black and white when it comes to people's morality.
    And the whole "if you stop being absolutely good, then you become totally evil" has been done so many times and usually badly.

    The other trope that needs to be used much less is the idiot/lucky hero. Which is usually combined with the Chosen One. Harry Potter is the easiest example I can think of for that one. He gets all of the credit for the stuff his freinds do, and lucks into success for everything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post
    I dislike this trope as well.

    It's like, "Well, we have these all knowing, all powerful entities with very specific beliefs and ideals but they'd basically solve all the world's problems if they did anything so.... We have to make them not do anything."

    Very dumb.

    In my settings, I get around this because my pantheon of gods aren't gods at all, they are mortals who achieved pseudo-immortality through magical means and took on these roles because they knew people are fickle and foolish and will cling to the words of a god and pay it more mind than the words of a king or emperor. So they tried to guide the world in a better direction for a time. But as mortals aren't meant to live forever, over time they became bored basically being the babysitters of the world and all retreated to their own personal heavens to just live in a paradise they created for themselves.

    Clerics can still draw power from them, but these days its basically up to their faithful in the material plane to get anything done because they're all off vegetating in eternity and far removed from the cares of mortal life. Kind of like what happened to Dr Manhattan, they are just so beyond all that **** they don't care anymore because everything feels pointless to them.
    See, I like having gods. Provides a balancing against mortal hubris. Mine are more like craftsmen--each has a particular set of responsibilities (domains) for which he or she is responsible. In exchange for maintaining reality and making sure stuff happens, they get fed the power they need to survive. They're not the biggest fish, but the biggest fish have abandoned all personality and only care that the Great Mechanism keeps working. Many of the gods were raised up from mortal spirits because these caretakers (the 4) needed help keeping things working. They also have the task of ensuring that nothing comes in from Outside.

    Clerics don't directly draw power from them--they draw it by connecting with the domains and thus the Great Mechanism.

    The gods only interfere directly when absolutely necessary (read: the mortals are about to blow up the world...again). That's because they can't--direct intervention means taking on an avatar, avatars can die (pretty easily). It would also get them cut off from the Great Mechanism and they'd fall to become Demon Princes. Most of them only care about mortals because they further their personal desires and schemes. A whole bunch of them couldn't care less about mortals except that they exist--mortal souls produce the anima that keeps the Mechanism going and keeps the planes running.

    The current gods are all less than 200 years in their posts--the last set sacrificed themselves (except the 4, who sacrificed their personalities) to keep the planes stable after the last Cataclysm (which was only partially the fault of those pesky mortals).

    In fact, I'm tired of the "all morality must be grey, all religion is false/useless." It all blends together into one mushy paste. Overactive, controlling gods are the opposite of passive or useless gods, and neither one is inherently good; both can cause issues for the stories to be told.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post

    Someone said it wasn't the same in asian cultures, but that isn't true. One of the most iconic asian symbols, the Yin-Yang is a very basic representation of this same fact that white is good and black is bad, even though that particular symbol is there to indicate there is some dark in the light and some light in the dark.

    Yin (black half of the symbol) is not bad, and yang (white half of the symbol) is not good. They don't symbolize that at all (Edit: at least in Taoism. Other religions may use the concept differently; I dunno). They're opposing but complementary forces that are inextricably linked and work in concert. Yin represents slowness, softness, spread out, cold, wet, and passive; associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity, and nighttime. Yang is speed, solidness, focused, hot, dry, and active; associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime. Neither of these is intrinsically good or bad, when in harmony with the other.

    All-yang would be as bad as all-yin: eternal day (yang) would wither the crops, dry up the rivers, and scorch the land; eternal night (yin) would starve the crops and eventually freeze everything over. Steel that's too hard (yang) is brittle and breaks easily; steel that's too soft (yin) won't hold an edge or resist bending.

    But yin and yang also exist together: heat up (yang = hot) steel and it becomes more malleable (yin = soft, yielding)—which lets you forge it to shape, so that it can be used; when you quench it in liquid to cool it (yin) it becomes hardened (yang).
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2017-09-25 at 02:28 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post
    One trope I absolutely hate is the idea of some ancient, super powerful, impossibly advanced empire that just randomly went extinct for no reason. And despite it having happened thousands of years ago, no one has ever come close to their knowledge or skill or ability for some reason. Then one of the central themes of the game is finding some of this ancient crap that is somehow better than anything else.

    I hate the idea of ancient, powerful, "lost" stuff as an ex machina excuse to have something absurdly powerful but have a flimsy explanation why people don't just make more of it.
    Except most/all of these ancient advanced empires I can think of had some sort of proper cataclysm that nuked them (sometimes literally). They don't just disappear for no reason. Many D&D settings are post-apocalyptic to various degrees.

    Powerful lost stuff makes perfect sense if people don't have the knowhow to do things any more because of an apcalypse. Again, plenty of great examples in literature and games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Except most/all of these ancient advanced empires I can think of had some sort of proper cataclysm that nuked them (sometimes literally). They don't just disappear for no reason. Many D&D settings are post-apocalyptic to various degrees.

    Powerful lost stuff makes perfect sense if people don't have the knowhow to do things any more because of an apcalypse. Again, plenty of great examples in literature and games.
    I know there are lots of examples, because it is an overused trope. :)

    Whether they nuked themselves, or died to a natural disaster, or ascended to a higher state of consciousness, or they just left and went somewhere else, or whatever the reason: I still find it silly and absurd.

    If people ever forget how to do something, one of two things will happen... They will either rediscovery the way to do it eventually, or they will discover another (possibly superior) way to do it thus removing the need to rediscover the old way.

    Just like folks who argue all day back and forth about how they built the pyramids, it doesn't really matter ultimately because we have means of building far more impressive structures these days. The original method of producing Damascus steel isn't known anymore, but who cares, we can make better steel now that is superior. All that "old stuff" just gets romanticized and exaggerated to the point where people believe it's almost mythical, especially when you say "NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO DO IT ANYMORE!" they somehow believe its the best stuff on the planet when it isn't. People just love to praise "old stuff" and think it is the bee's knees, like those people who think folding the metal to make an ancient katana made it the best sword in the world because they don't know any better when the reality is they folded the metal because it was inferior metal and they couldn't do any better, they HAD to do that just to make a passable weapon while in medieval europe they just developed a better way to make metal in the first place and didn't have to jump through those hoops. But people always run off with the wrong ideas and want to romanticize everything and give it some mystical, magical properties that it doesn't actually possess.

    There are HEAPS of people today that still think Damascus steel was the best metal on the planet and that katanas folded 10,000 times are sharper and more durable than any weapon in the world. It's born of ignorance.

    The idea of some ancient society with superior technology or magic or whatever is very silly. Anything they found out would be rediscovered or superior alternatives found. I hate the nature of using that excuse of "superior old crap" as an excuse to have a finite amount of something powerful that can no longer be reproduced. There are plenty of logical, reasonable explanations for why you could have a finite amount of something or something that you can't simply make more of without resorting to the whole "its ancient, lost secrets" trope.

    That's why i dislike it. :) If you do, that's fine, you're welcome to your own opinion. I just hate the trope and think it's overused. It recurs a lot, especially in some of my favorite fiction.

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    the almighty quest-giver. Is either powerful enough that the pc cannot oppose them or know their darkest secrets to use against them as leverage, or some variation of this. Of course still need the pcs to run their errands.

    Even worse if they stick around DMNPC-style (Gandalf, I am looking at you!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post
    There are HEAPS of people today that still think Damascus steel was the best metal on the planet and that katanas folded 10,000 times are sharper and more durable than any weapon in the world. It's born of ignorance.
    I may disagree with a number of things in your post but this is not one of them. I think my favourite example was from Suethulu where the GM refused to provide electrodes that wouldn't decay but the player found a way around that by using folded steel katanas as electrodes since he knew the GM wouldn't admit that katanas could break down. In fact:

    Katanas being the greatest weapon ever designed

    Is one of my pet peeves, although it seems to be not as bad as it was in the 90s. How many RPGs have you seen where the katana inflicts a truly amazing amount of damage? Far too many. In a narrow handful of cyborg ninja genres I'll let it go because they are already pretty tongue in cheek but it can piss off out of the fantasy genre.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerer View Post
    How many RPGs have you seen where the katana inflicts a truly amazing amount of damage?
    Actually, thinking about it, none. People fanboying about how cool they are aside, I don't think I've ever seen a game where they don't deal roughly the same damage as an equivalently-sized European sword. That's more of an animoo trope than an RPG trope.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I got one more:

    Race/Species=Culture:
    You do not need a biological difference to create different cultures. Actually biological differences aren't enough to create cultural differences unless sufficiently extreme. Putting that aside it is both shallow and echoes a lot of real world "of course someone of X is going to be Y" which I find uncomfortable whenever I think about it too much. Also seen in a lot of sci-fi.

    Corollary:
    All races except humans are limited to one town/country/region is also weird.

    I actually find this a little bit more acceptable in Sci-Fi, where the different "Races" are from different planets. All Egdaforians are from Egdafor, and grew up in Egdaforian culture. The reason you don't have Human Egdaforians is because the two only made contact fairly recently.

    I find that a lot more acceptable than "All Elves are from Elfland and everybody from Elfland is an Elf."

    That said, I've got a bit of a complex relationship with this one. I like having a big pile of different fantasy races, and I like having a big pile of different cultures/groups, and mapping them one-to-one is an easy shorthand.
    Often, I'll either have a bunch of fantasy races, mapped one-to-one with different cultures, or I'll have everybody be Human, and just use different cultures/groups to play the role of different races. That means I don't have to keep track of two variables for every character. The first thing people with think about is if it's a Dwarf or an Elf, meanwhile the main difference between a Dwarf from southland and an Elf from southland is their height.


    As for tropes that bug me...


    Stagnation, but not just Stagnation, but the idealization of the Status Quo, or occasionally a return to a recent status quo. Basically, the World is Good, but that changed when the Evil attacked/is threatened by the rising Evil, our Noble Heroes must set out to save it!

    I have nothing against Rising Evils, or noble heroes setting out to stop them, that's all fine, but the idea that the Evil is the only force changing the world right now always gets to me. Have the Heroes battle the forces of evil while also negotiating the tricky politics of the old Nobility, and a new rising middle class.

    Defeat the Demon Cult, sure, but maybe there's also a shift between the Traditional Wizards, who are expected to spend years studying magical theory as an apprentice before they cast their first spell, vs a generation of Wizards produced by the new University system who jump straight to rote spellcasting without developing an appreciation for the theory and craft behind each spell.

    End the threat of the Dragons? Sounds Great! But, but since the King signed that treaty with the Orcs, how are the Knights dealing with Glory-seeking Orcish heroes who want in on the Dragon Slaying?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    #5
    What: "Magic as science." (Especially if combined with #4)
    Why: Larry Niven already did this and he did it better than you. Besides, this trope is you telling me your imagination is limited to swapping labcoats for wizard robes. Especially if combined with "magitech" that's really just ordinary tech "but magic!" A fire-shooting wand that's used like a rifle is no more interesting than a real rifle, it might even be less so if you're using magic as an excuse to skip actual research on rifles.
    I'm the opposite, I love this trope/cliché and find the complete lack of it to break my immersion. But it comes in levels, you can have research into magic without magitech.

    I mean, I'm currently designing two fantasy worlds, one has just started any research into magic (and what's been discovered has MAJOR implications), another has been doing it for hundreds of years and has some technologies based on it. Primarily shardshooters, commonly referred to in the setting as 'guns', which instead of using an explosion to launch a metal shell use a pair of metal rails to channel magic and work as railguns (using metal or stone bullets depending on the model).

    I have no problem with 'different workings, same function' magical technology, as long as it's treated as technology. Also no problems with other magitech (although I hate the term), although it should also appear alongside normal technology of the same level. My setting has magical railguns small enough to make into a pistol, and electrical powered flashlights. The only reason it doesn't have computers is because I've not added them yet.

    For the record, I know more about how a railgun works than how a firearm works.

    Not having the technology is fine, but people should be still applying science to magic.

    Oh, and those shardshooters? They're something the golden age civilisation never came up with. In fact 'modern' civilisation has quite a lot of toys the ancients never had, including 'instant' communication and effective computation devices, the ancients just managed to pull off some really big rituals and had access to types of magic that have been forgotten (to justify limiting mages to the corebook Arcana plus any I ok, while still having other effects occasionally appear). Golden Age artefacts aren't generally considered more than a curiosity unless they are based on one of the lost Arcana.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerer View Post
    How many RPGs have you seen where the katana inflicts a truly amazing amount of damage?
    I think I might have one of the oWoD games where it was the best melee weapon, it's a good choice in Shadowrun although there are more damaging melee weapons that are effectively as hard to conceal, and it's intentionally one of the best weapons in Legend of the Five Rings (although my favourite school turns the standard bow into just as damaging a weapon, and others beat the katana for pure damage in 4e). Otherwise I don't really see any, the best treat it as a two handed sword with maybe a couple of stat tweaks, the rest seem to fall into the myth that it's a one handed sword.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    This isn't something I believe i've seen in actual literature or fiction, but I tend to see somewhat often in D&D when playing in other people's homebrew games...

    ANd it basically that the world has existed, as it exists right now, same level of medieval technology with absolutely no development or innovation or invention at all in the past 10,000 years.

    I find that to be a bit silly. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post
    This isn't something I believe i've seen in actual literature or fiction, but I tend to see somewhat often in D&D when playing in other people's homebrew games...

    ANd it basically that the world has existed, as it exists right now, same level of medieval technology with absolutely no development or innovation or invention at all in the past 10,000 years.

    I find that to be a bit silly. :)
    The old "EU" Star Wars setting, including the "Old Republic" stuff, has this really odd contradiction of technology that appears the same over long periods of time -- 1000s of years -- and yet stories and fluff that sound like 20th/21st century rapid-fire technological progress (particularly as applies to combat hardware).
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post
    It's like, "Well, we have these all knowing, all powerful entities with very specific beliefs and ideals but they'd basically solve all the world's problems if they did anything so.... We have to make them not do anything." [...] Very dumb.
    ... From your the rest of your post you disagree with the first half, but I think I have to agree with the second if you end up there.

    I think there are two general solutions:
    • Make the gods small: Either in power or personality, they don't have the ability or inclination to solve every problem.
    • Make the gods big: They operate on scales, and time spans so completely beyond us that.

    You can't write the ideal god, because an ideal god would be the ideal hero and the benevolent dictator and a bunch of other things that are hard to turn into good stories. ... Well I suppose you could but if anyone pulls that off and makes a good read out of it, let me know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerer View Post
    I think my favourite example was from Suethulu where the GM refused to provide electrodes that wouldn't decay but the player found a way around that by using folded steel katanas as electrodes since he knew the GM wouldn't admit that katanas could break down.
    Basically, the shape of a sword can effect its chemical properties.

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    I actually find this a little bit more acceptable in Sci-Fi, where the different "Races" are from different planets. All Egdaforians are from Egdafor, and grew up in Egdaforian culture.
    Yeah, in that context it makes sense for there "international" culture to carry over into space. Still I think generally there should be variations within that, internationalism probably happened pretty recently in the history. So a Egdaforian from Nort Sogda* will be similar to, but not the same as, one from Hagria, and that is on top of any individual variation.

    And of course if humans moved to Egdafor for some reason, they would probably end up being kind of Egdaforian after even a generation.

    * I'm just making these up, if Egdaforians are an actual alien race I haven't heard of or forgotten, I apologize.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post
    This isn't something I believe i've seen in actual literature or fiction...

    ...no development or innovation or invention at all in the past 10,000 years.

    I find that to be a bit silly. :)

    I've seen it in actual literature Moorcock's Elric stories, ASoIaF, etc.

    It's a Trope

    and also

    another one
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