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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    I must say I was definitely engaging in hyperbole when I said a massive amount of damage, however I recall that back in 2nd ed katana's were definitely above other swords being faster and deadlier than 99% of medium weapons. In 3.5 they were automatically considered masterwork bastard swords. And in Palladium (if I recall correctly) they were the most powerful sword not including some unique one offs. So we're up to about 6 systems including some of the most popular of the past 40 years. I'd say my acquired distaste is justified.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerer View Post
    In 3.5 they were automatically considered masterwork bastard swords.
    On the plus side, I remember them being just as expensive. I believe it was more of a case of 'each one took a long time and was made as good as possible, so they were masterwork'. Which in all honesty wasn't a massive boost, and was only really relevant for the first few levels.
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    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    ASoIaF -- a perfect example of a work more fixated on trope-busting than actual quality fiction. It tries so hard that it just becomes its own set of cliches.

    And yet it's loved by many, which I just do not get.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    On ASoIaF: ... Does that stand for A Song of Ice and Fire? That's the only thing I can think of but it is a rather awkward short form. I got about half way into chapter 1 before I stopped reading that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    On ASoIaF: ... Does that stand for A Song of Ice and Fire? That's the only thing I can think of but it is a rather awkward short form. I got about half way into chapter 1 before I stopped reading that.
    Yeap... Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire, whatever.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  6. - Top - End - #96
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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.
    I knew I forgot something. I actually hate this trope.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    ASoIaF -- a perfect example of a work more fixated on trope-busting than actual quality fiction. It tries so hard that it just becomes its own set of cliches.

    And yet it's loved by many, which I just do not get.
    The writing is solid, but the world building is utter garbage. So much just feels utterly arbitrary without even a token nod or lampshade or anything and everyone is dumbfoundingly stupid, incredible sadistic for no good reason, a puppet, or some mix of these. Everyone. It's like diet FATAL at times honestly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATHATH View Post
    Mate, we have a PrC for skydiving dwarves and a feat that lets you turn Turn Undead into Rebuke Hippos in this game.

    Nothing is out of reach of a 3.5 character.

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    <Number> <Important Thing> that the hero needs to get.

    Slay the three dragons of evil, find the four crowns of destiny, raise the three hammers high, etc.

    Okay, maybe I like that last one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8BitNinja View Post
    <Number> <Important Thing> that the hero needs to get.

    Slay the three dragons of evil, find the four crowns of destiny, raise the three hammers high, etc.

    Okay, maybe I like that last one.
    Can I add this is quadruply annoying when the number is 4 and the important things are linked to air, earth, water, and fire?
    It always amazes me how often people on forums would rather accuse you of misreading their posts with malice than re-explain their ideas with clarity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8BitNinja View Post
    <Number> <Important Thing> that the hero needs to get.

    Slay the three dragons of evil, find the four crowns of destiny, raise the three hammers high, etc.

    Okay, maybe I like that last one.
    Ugh, repetitive gathering quests. They're obnoxious enough when they show up in video games, but plots this bad cropping up in actual books are just terrible. This is one of the reason the Deltora Quest novels are terrible - sure, they're aimed at young children with limited taste, but there's decent writing in that category and those aren't it.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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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.
    I disagree.

    Back in the Golden Age, the farts were more powerful and so smelly that great heroes could weaponise them. The majestic sight of fart-powered wizards strafing the Dark Lord's goblin hordes could bring tears to your eyes. Indeed, some sages believe that the Great Bean Blight of '36 was responsible for the ending of the Golden Age.
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    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Beer View Post
    I disagree.

    Back in the Golden Age, the farts were more powerful and so smelly that great heroes could weaponise them. The majestic sight of fart-powered wizards strafing the Dark Lord's goblin hordes could bring tears to your eyes.
    Probably not just the sight, either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitruviansquid View Post
    Can I add this is quadruply annoying when the number is 4 and the important things are linked to air, earth, water, and fire?
    Yes, because then it would be lacking the fifth and most important - Heart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Chosen Ones:
    If your protagonist is yet another person who has been chosen by the gods or destiny and everyone loves them, I will sigh and lament to myself. A hero does not need the backing of some great destiny to be awesome and save the day. They can be, y'know, just a good person who works hard to defeat all the evil they can and defy any doom coming their way. A hero who defies destiny is much better in my opinion. Chosen Ones are just fate-based mary sues really.
    I like to deconstruct this by having it that the gods chose them by picking their name out of a hat.

    Hey, that could be a quest or even an entire campaign. The gods' magic hat with the names of all intelligent beings in it has been stolen by the dark lord. It's become clear that a bunch of normal prople are going to have to go after it because the gods cannot choose champions without it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Ugh, repetitive gathering quests. They're obnoxious enough when they show up in video games, but plots this bad cropping up in actual books are just terrible. This is one of the reason the Deltora Quest novels are terrible - sure, they're aimed at young children with limited taste, but there's decent writing in that category and those aren't it.
    It's not so much that I consider it a trope/cliche that annoys me as I consider it to be dull writing most of the time. I mean, it can be done well, like Akatsuki no Yona, where the protagonist sets out to find the four legendary dragon warriors - it is actually really well done, IMHO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    I like to deconstruct this by having it that the gods chose them by picking their name out of a hat.

    Hey, that could be a quest or even an entire campaign. The gods' magic hat with the names of all intelligent beings in it has been stolen by the dark lord. It's become clear that a bunch of normal prople are going to have to go after it because the gods cannot choose champions without it.
    Well if I were deconstructing it, I'd just turn it from a fighting of objective good and evil into a fight between two warring gods neither better than the other, using propaganda to paint the other side as evil and their chosen one as the champion, and that either chosen one winning would be bad, because one god would conquer over the other god do a lot of oppression upon the people who worship that god. and yes you can still have action with that kind of set up, think medieval fantasy gundam without the mecha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitruviansquid View Post
    Can I add this is quadruply annoying when the number is 4 and the important things are linked to air, earth, water, and fire?
    The four elements are slightly over done, and by slightly I mean a lot. Still they are different and I would take that over 4 different pieces of ancient demon slaying armour. And no one has really managed to "improve" the elemental system very much. Even other stories that I have enjoyed with different systems, well there systems are a bit odd. Like ice is really "not fire" when you get down to it.

    Also what is your opinion on elemental bending?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    This is one of the reason the Deltora Quest novels are terrible
    I'll agree they were not great, but I wouldn't call them terrible. Any other particular reasons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    I mean, it can be done well, like Akatsuki no Yona,
    I have absolutely nothing of significance to say, except I have it open on the other tab. And yes I'm enjoying it.

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    A scarcity of inhumane punishments in an otherwise medieval society is a big one for me. Traitors, murderers, spies and a host of lesser criminals shouldn't be getting thrown in a cell for years without a good reason, they should be getting public executions. Strangely common quality among humans until fairly recently was horrific public executions for a host of crimes.

    Second is the good kingdom that has been good and ruled by good people for centuries. It strains my belief that there's been no political murders, cultural frenzies akin to the anti-Jew or anti-Spaniard paranoia that would occasionally run through England, rebellions by peasants or nobles, religious conflict, regime changes, insane or just unpleasant rulers, major wars, plagues, famines or gross misamanagment of the realm for even 30 years, let alone hundreds of them.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    ... 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.
    Aroo? I didn't disagree with myself at all.

    My gods aren't anything like the example I gave there. They aren't all-knowing, they just have access to powerful divination magics that can give them the ability to see things if they want to, and they did take a very active role in solving world problems for a long time. The problem is, imagine being revered as this all-knowing, all-powerful entity which is the guise they used, and being expected to solve all the problems for everyone all the time. Millions of people praying to you, all wanting different things, and you having to dedicate all your time to problem solving and cleaning up other people's messes. And these aren't eternal, cosmic entities that were basically birthed by the universe to serve this function, these were former adventurers. They just got tired of the whole thing. After everyone they knew and cared about died of old age, after their children and children's children live their lives and died of old age, they just got kind of tired of it all.

    It's like working a high stress, high maintenance job without vacations for thousands of years and finally just getting fed up with it and quitting.

    My deities still exist, and they created their own servants (like solars and devas) with very construct-like absolute mentalities that continue to channel power to followers and occasionally answer prayers from the truly devout and so on, but the "gods" themselves as it were created their own little paradises they dwell in and they just don't really care much about the world anymore and kind of stopped checking in on it, like an old video game they just got tired of playing.

    But these aren't your typical gods. They don't know everything, they aren't all powerful, it's all just a big sham anyway to make people believe that. Because FAITH is stronger than the reality. And just like the real world, people who believe in it can't be convinced otherwise regardless of the fact prayers never really get answered and evil is allowed to exist, the faithful always make up excuses for why their deity doesn't do certain things. And they credit them for "answering prayers" everytime they pray for something and it does just happen to happen, like the real world. Unlike the real world though, the clerics are in fact gifted with some measure of divine power which helps build faith and belief in the people and it does prove to some extent that there is certainly something there.

    They just don't realize it's a bunch of retired veterans who are all soaking it up on a never ending beach drinking fruity beverages surrounded by beautiful women in another reality they created for themselves for their own amusement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pex
    Elves being absolutely perfect in every way.
    I hate that one too. Luckily I've not encountered it in D&D before, just in other games of a larger scale or with less defined mechanics. (Basically, it's not too bad as long as elves actually have game rules describing their characters in detail to limit their capabilities, and a murderhobo PC behind the wheel to keep em from getting to Mary-Sue-ish.)

    This is one of the reason the Deltora Quest novels are terrible - sure, they're aimed at young children with limited taste, but there's decent writing in this category and those aren't it.
    If I think back to when I was a young child with limited taste, the Deltora's quest novels were partially responsible for getting me solidly into fantasy, so for that I am grateful. I really enjoyed them at the time, too, since I was very taken with giant monsters, of which Deltora's quest had a large number.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    Because stormin' through the forest, movin' rocks, bashin' doors and killin' monsters is true D&D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    The four elements are slightly over done, and by slightly I mean a lot. Still they are different and I would take that over 4 different pieces of ancient demon slaying armour. And no one has really managed to "improve" the elemental system very much. Even other stories that I have enjoyed with different systems, well there systems are a bit odd. Like ice is really "not fire" when you get down to it.

    Also what is your opinion on elemental bending?
    Bending is great in that one setting defined by it, and the two cartoon series that were defined by that setting.

    But put bending in some other setting for the sake of "bending is cool" and you'd have missed the point entirely.

    The thing that sells bending as cool to me is the way they are all connected to an approach to problem-solving that is adopted like a philosophy by the elementally color-coded people in the world, like how earthbending is about being stubborn and withstanding things while waterbending is about change and adaptation. Take bending out of that context and say a wizard in your fantasy setting can move water by gesturing, and it's suddenly become really bland and awful.
    It always amazes me how often people on forums would rather accuse you of misreading their posts with malice than re-explain their ideas with clarity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Sun Gnome View Post
    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.
    Not as insular as, say, the Sentinelese, but significantly more so than, say, early modern France. A little cultural flow into a well-established society over a period of 3000 years is not enough that I would exactly call it xenophilic or cosmopolitan.

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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    Humanoid species used to represent real life races. Instead of using, say, moon elves to symbolize black people, why not just write black people?

    Anything with swords and horses being called "medieval".

    Pragmatism = cowardice.

    Guns being dishonorable.

    The main character being either always right or always wrong.

    Morality being always black and white or always gray, instead of having all of them in the same setting.

    I'm sure I'll think of more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitruviansquid View Post
    Bending is great in that one setting defined by it, and the two cartoon series that were defined by that setting.

    But put bending in some other setting for the sake of "bending is cool" and you'd have missed the point entirely.
    Sort of like hobbits or hobbit knockoffs outside of a Tolkien novek

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    I like to deconstruct this by having it that the gods chose them by picking their name out of a hat.

    Hey, that could be a quest or even an entire campaign. The gods' magic hat with the names of all intelligent beings in it has been stolen by the dark lord. It's become clear that a bunch of normal prople are going to have to go after it because the gods cannot choose champions without it.
    You see, I dislike it enough to just avert it. Any prophecies about chosen ones are bunk, in fact anything smaller than a town can't be prophesized (and even then you want a decent sized city for good results).

    To get me to subvert or deconstruct a troops I have to actually care about it. Most of the time I don't.
    Last edited by Anonymouswizard; 2017-09-26 at 04:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    "Evil is always self-destructive and stupid" annoys me to no end. "Might makes right" even more so, especially when the protagonist has to steadily learn ever greater "power" of one sort or another to overcome the opposition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitruviansquid View Post
    Bending is great in that one setting defined by it, and the two cartoon series that were defined by that setting.

    But put bending in some other setting for the sake of "bending is cool" and you'd have missed the point entirely.
    That was just supposed to be a reference to those two series, not actually about bending. Maybe I should have reference the series directly. Probably. But still the first series is definitely built around an elemental themed fetch quest, although A) they start with one and B) it is practice and not an object that is being "fetched".

    To 90sMusic: No you didn't disagree with yourself. It was just a little joke about the phrasing of the quoted section.

    Hero's Home is Destroyed:
    Not always bad but often overused and rarely has the emotional impact it is supposed to because I (the reader) don't know these people nor to they feel like real people yet and the protagonist tends to move on so quickly or... actually that's the main on. I suppose there is plenty of room for edgelord from it but I don't see that so often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Sort of like hobbits or hobbit knockoffs outside of a Tolkien novek
    See also: Elves, dwarves. I'll happily make an exception for other works which pull from the same mythology Tolkien pulled from, but usually people just go straight to Tolkien.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    See also: Elves, dwarves. I'll happily make an exception for other works which pull from the same mythology Tolkien pulled from, but usually people just go straight to Tolkien.
    DND was awful about this until 3rd ed. 2nd Ed AD&D not only were elves absolutely amazing as a race but also they were biologically immortal. When they grew to old they would simply leave. IIRC it was literally to the West.

    One of the tropes I hate the most is the Awesome Super Race that is Better Than You. I watch a lot of sci-fi so I know more advanced races appear and having them intimidating and advanced without turning it into an anatomy waving contest is hard and, in my opinion, this trope is generally handled well but, when they fail it hurts and pretty much guarantees I cannot take the story/world/mythos etc seriously anymore. For me the biggest offender were the elves in the Eragon books but there are other examples.

    Otherwise I am generally okay with tropes as long as they fit into the narrative/world well for reasons beyond that they are tropes.
    Awesome avatar by snusnumrik! I often post from my phone so please forgive really weird typos.

    Homebrew: Mountebank Fix|Warrior Adept
    Ethergaunt Monster Class

    Quote Originally Posted by ATHATH View Post
    Mate, we have a PrC for skydiving dwarves and a feat that lets you turn Turn Undead into Rebuke Hippos in this game.

    Nothing is out of reach of a 3.5 character.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fantasy Tropes/Cliches that Annoy You

    The fact that in most fantasy settings magic is consequence free.
    Last edited by S@tanicoaldo; 2017-09-26 at 11:00 AM.
    I'm not a native english speaker and I'm dyslexic(that doesn't mean I have low IQ quite the opposite actually it means I make a lot of typos).

    So I beg for forgiveness, patience and comprehension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It's like somewhere along the way, "freedom of speech" became "all negative response is censorship".
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    ."Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning"

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