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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    And if you're going to say "it's fantasy" then ideally, everyone above the age of 16 should be a hunk or a babe, even the elderly,
    I don't see how this follows, myself.

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    Personally, something I'm not a fan of is wholesale transporting of parts of a modern state into a fantasy setting. Ideas like "the military" or a bureaucratic structure can be made to work in them, but more often they're just thrown in until what you have is a 21st century nation-state but with swords.

    Also I don't like ignoring the implications of powerful groups within a country, especially when said country is undergoing crisis or is similarly in a position where power is up for grabs.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Amaril View Post
    Even in settings that portray body types more realistically, wouldn't you expect different species to have different average body types than humans? Think about, I dunno, walruses, who are supposed to have lots of blubber and aren't unhealthy for it--maybe your dwarves are adapted to cold environments and tend to put on weight for the same reasons, so they're perfectly healthy at levels of body fat that would be dangerous on a human, and "skinny" to them might still look slightly overweight to us. If your elves are adapted to live in treetops, it makes sense for them to be lighter. Just seems awfully humanocentric to me to assume all species should have the same range of healthy and unhealthy body types as us.
    If you want to diversify your races, then that's a cool idea, but for the most part, most fantasy races default to wearing clothes,using tools and building complicated structures for homes, so they are going to be similar to humans. Another thing is that humans have so many races and peoples for their environment. Some have ebony skin and on the complete opposite end one can have blue eyes,pale faces,freckles and orange/silver hair. People even adapt to diets over thousands of years, but there's only really a few outliers like some exceptionally short tribes. Humans change for their environments, but I'd argue that's somewhat superficial. Even Australian natives, who spent tens of thousands of years doomed to a poor hunter-gatherer state by a hostile environment, so much so that europeans thought they weren't human, have shown that people are mostly the same when in the same circumstances.

    Elves would really have to be full on monkey-like or go far more ape to live in trees, but if you're going to go that far with them there'd be some more extreme changes. Their arms would be develop differently, their fine motor skills would be poorer since the muscles would need to specialise towards the strength of climbing, their legs would be shorter

    ...you really need to go to extremes to do that kind of thing. I don't think I have any problem with most races being simple archetypes of what humans could be, it'd make an interesting narrative if it wasn't done to death.

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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    doomed to a poor hunter-gatherer state
    quite the assumption that this is a bad way to be
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Amaril View Post
    Even in settings that portray body types more realistically, wouldn't you expect different species to have different average body types than humans? Think about, I dunno, walruses, who are supposed to have lots of blubber and aren't unhealthy for it--maybe your dwarves are adapted to cold environments and tend to put on weight for the same reasons, so they're perfectly healthy at levels of body fat that would be dangerous on a human, and "skinny" to them might still look slightly overweight to us. If your elves are adapted to live in treetops, it makes sense for them to be lighter. Just seems awfully humanocentric to me to assume all species should have the same range of healthy and unhealthy body types as us.
    Agreed.

    I hate settings where all the elves and goblins and aliens and crap are just regular humans with rubber ears

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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Probably my biggest pet peeve in fantasy is when evil is presented as some necessary thing.
    +1 on that.


    There are a couple of Discworld quotes that I think are relevent here. Paraphrasing from memory:

    • One character (Vimes, I think) observing that all the people who like to insist that "good and evil are just points of view" are invariably the ones that fit the common conception of "evil".
    • Granny Weatherwax being of the opinion that the true cause of evil was "thinking of people as things". Now, if you accept that definition of evil, then one can envisage a hypothetical world where noone thinks of people as "things", and therefore true evil doesn't exist. That wouldn't mean that there was no free will, nor that people would have no motivation to do anything, nor that there was no difficuly or hardship or challenges in the world, nor that some people couldn't go beyond the call of duty in seeking to do good.

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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    +1 on that.


    There are a couple of Discworld quotes that I think are relevent here. Paraphrasing from memory:

    • One character (Vimes, I think) observing that all the people who like to insist that "good and evil are just points of view" are invariably the ones that fit the common conception of "evil".
    • Granny Weatherwax being of the opinion that the true cause of evil was "thinking of people as things". Now, if you accept that definition of evil, then one can envisage a hypothetical world where noone thinks of people as "things", and therefore true evil doesn't exist. That wouldn't mean that there was no free will, nor that people would have no motivation to do anything, nor that there was no difficuly or hardship or challenges in the world, nor that some people couldn't go beyond the call of duty in seeking to do good.
    That Granny Weatherwax quote is being interpreted backwards. That's not a definition of evil, that's a major cause of evil. Evil comes from thinking of people as things (a very Kantian argument) in her opinion, not that thinking of people as things is the sole definition of evil.

    Without the option to do evil, there is no option to do good. And vice versa. That doesn't excuse evil doers, and in a world where evil is a literal physical force, nor does it save creatures made of that evil substance from a righteous smiting. But it does say that removing evil cannot happen unless everyone chooses to stand aside from evil. And then evil still exists but it has no power. Because evil only has that power that it's given--light always excludes darkness, since darkness is merely the absence of light.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Without the option to do evil, there is no option to do good.
    Sure there is. Say you come across a person who fell into a hole.

    A good option: You roll up your sleeves and help them out of it (or call for help from someone better equipped to do so, or whatever).
    A neutral option: You don't get involved (for a practical reason such as not having the tools or the skills to be able to do so effectively, or believing that someone better equipped to the task will handle it).
    An evil option: You throw rocks down at them and laugh at them. Or actively interfere with rescue operations, or whatever.

    A hypothetical being who is physically or mentally incapable of performing and/or conceiving of the evil options is still entirely capable of performing the good and neutral options. And in a world where nobody could come across a person in a hole and laugh and throw rocks at them, it still doesn't make the people who will roll up their sleeves and help them any less good.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Sure there is. Say you come across a person who fell into a hole.

    A good option: You roll up your sleeves and help them out of it (or call for help from someone better equipped to do so, or whatever).
    A neutral option: You don't get involved (for a practical reason such as not having the tools or the skills to be able to do so effectively, or believing that someone better equipped to the task will handle it).
    An evil option: You throw rocks down at them and laugh at them. Or actively interfere with rescue operations, or whatever.

    A hypothetical being who is physically or mentally incapable of performing and/or conceiving of the evil options is still entirely capable of performing the good and neutral options. And in a world where nobody could come across a person in a hole and laugh and throw rocks at them, it still doesn't make the people who will roll up their sleeves and help them any less good.
    I don't believe in evil actions per se. Evil or good is a characteristic of moral agents, not of actions. Evil and good require intent--I wouldn't say that a robot programmed to help people out of holes is "doing good", nor that one programmed to throw rocks at people in holes is "doing evil". Their programmers, on the other hand, may warrant those terms.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Sure there is. Say you come across a person who fell into a hole.

    A good option: You roll up your sleeves and help them out of it (or call for help from someone better equipped to do so, or whatever).
    A neutral option: You don't get involved (for a practical reason such as not having the tools or the skills to be able to do so effectively, or believing that someone better equipped to the task will handle it).
    An evil option: You throw rocks down at them and laugh at them. Or actively interfere with rescue operations, or whatever.

    A hypothetical being who is physically or mentally incapable of performing and/or conceiving of the evil options is still entirely capable of performing the good and neutral options. And in a world where nobody could come across a person in a hole and laugh and throw rocks at them, it still doesn't make the people who will roll up their sleeves and help them any less good.
    If someone is stuck in a hole and can't get out, and you are in any position to help them, or even call for help, I would say that not doing so is evil. Inaction is just as much of a choice as action. Just because you aren't increasing their pain doesn't mean that your actions aren't problematic.

    Additionally, the conversation reminds me of a quote about stopping evil. (This is from a conversation between a mortal and a character who is effectively a god):

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanderson, Brandon. The Bands of Mourning: A Mistborn Novel
    You would have me intervene and stop the murders of innocents. I could do this. I have considered it. If I were to stop every one, what then? Do I stop maimings as well?”
    “Of course,” Wax said.
    “And where do I hold back, Waxillium? Do I prevent all wounds, or do I prevent only those caused by evil people? Do I stop a man from falling asleep so that he will not tip a candle and burn down his house? Do I stop all harm that could ever befall a person?”
    “Maybe.”
    “And once nobody is ever hurt,” Harmony said, “will people be satisfied? Will they not pray to me and ask for more? Will some people still curse and spit at the sound of my name because they are poor, while another is rich? Should I mitigate this, make everyone the same, Waxillium?”
    “I won’t be caught in this trap,” Wax said. “You’re the God, not me. You can find a line where You prevent the worst. You can find a line where You’re stopping the worst that is reasonable, while still letting us live our lives.” [...]
    “Perhaps,” Harmony said softly, “I have already done just as you suggest. You do not see it, because the worst never reaches you.”
    Basically, the idea is that you can't prevent all harm, because you wouldn't know where to draw the line.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    Something that has bugged me lately has been the "specific body types for specific fantasy races" thing: Elves are always "slender" and "willowy," Dwarves are always "stocky" or "stout," etc. Part of it is about beauty standards, naturally, slim elves being viewed as more beautiful than stocky dwarves and humans, and that's kind of seeped into fantasy film and stuff, most notably with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit live-action movies. Tolkien himself says hobbits are inclined to be fat (how could they not be, they eat 7 meals a day?!), but in the movies only Sean Astin as Samwise seems to have the "normal" hobbit body-type Tolkien described. I wanna see more muscular or chubby elves! I wanna see more slim or wiry dwarves! I wanna see humans of ALL body types in these stories, and not just chiseled barbarians and buxom princesses! I want to see more pretty orcs (these aren't TOO hard to find, but it's mostly through fanart or original depictions)! Thank you!
    I was going to do a version of this, but since it has already been posted, I'll get real specific: I hate it in any setting when female dwarves have beards. In the rare cases where it is not played for comedy, female dwarves never seem to show up, leading me to the conclusion that the stigma of a bearded woman has lead to a significant negative impact on characters that can be used in fantasy. I genuinely believe the idea of female dwarves having beards is what has lead to me almost never seeing them in fiction or at the table, even when it isn't the case for the setting. To a slightly lesser degree, elves that don't grow hair below their eyelashes. Can we get get some bearded elves please? I always thought the pictures of half-elves looked cool because they had the beard + pointed ears. I like that aesthetic and while I can put up with it a lot more easily than bearded dwarf women, it's still annoying that it manages to be so common to this day.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Probably one that's already been brought up, but common magic that doesn't change the world.

    In settings where magic is rare it makes sense. In settings where every ordained priest is a 1st level Cleric you'd assume that they'd at least prepare Create Food and Drink every morning during a famine.
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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?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    I was going to do a version of this, but since it has already been posted, I'll get real specific: I hate it in any setting when female dwarves have beards. In the rare cases where it is not played for comedy, female dwarves never seem to show up, leading me to the conclusion that the stigma of a bearded woman has lead to a significant negative impact on characters that can be used in fantasy. I genuinely believe the idea of female dwarves having beards is what has lead to me almost never seeing them in fiction or at the table, even when it isn't the case for the setting. To a slightly lesser degree, elves that don't grow hair below their eyelashes. Can we get get some bearded elves please? I always thought the pictures of half-elves looked cool because they had the beard + pointed ears. I like that aesthetic and while I can put up with it a lot more easily than bearded dwarf women, it's still annoying that it manages to be so common to this day.
    So what if a) dwarven females have beards (and are darn proud of them), b) dwarven females are easily visually distinguishable from the males, and c) dwarven females are just as common as males in society?

    My dwarves pair bond for life, for biological reasons. So much so that "widow/widower" and "broken" are the same word. They're almost always born as fraternal twins (one male, one female). And in one particular culture the women are the "face" of the pair by-and-large while the men do other things. Adventurer dwarves are weird, not the least because they're not usually married.

    And my elves do grow beards. Well, anyway, they can, although high elves tend to go for the goatee/chin beard look, while wood elves don't tend to go more than stubble/short beards.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    So what if a) dwarven females have beards (and are darn proud of them), b) dwarven females are easily visually distinguishable from the males, and c) dwarven females are just as common as males in society?

    My dwarves pair bond for life, for biological reasons. So much so that "widow/widower" and "broken" are the same word. They're almost always born as fraternal twins (one male, one female). And in one particular culture the women are the "face" of the pair by-and-large while the men do other things. Adventurer dwarves are weird, not the least because they're not usually married.

    And my elves do grow beards. Well, anyway, they can, although high elves tend to go for the goatee/chin beard look, while wood elves don't tend to go more than stubble/short beards.
    As long as you're willing to have female dwarves show up, great. I'll admit, I don't give female dwarves beards as a common trait because it isn't a preference of mine and I don't think you should give half a fantasy population any traits that might make you not want to use them in your story/game. Which is my problem with the trope when actually used: with literally just you as the exception (in my experience), everyone I've read/gamed with who gave beards to dwarven women never seemed to use them, even when they claimed it was what they preferred and that it didn't bother them. So good on you, glad someone is willing to roll with what they've written for their world.

    As for elves, my general rule in my writing is that noble elves use magic to give themselves the whole hairless elf look, while the general elven populace doesn't care that much (though they're usually less hirsute than humans and dwarves).
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    As for elves, my general rule in my writing is that noble elves use magic to give themselves the whole hairless elf look, while the general elven populace doesn't care that much (though they're usually less hirsute than humans and dwarves).
    My preference for dwarves is they grow hair in the usual way as humans, but a much greater rate. So dwarves grow body hair at a rate that it would take a particularly fuzzy human to grow in a week. So a dwarf shaved bald will have full head of hair or bead within a week, and within a month a male dwarf could pass as a member of ZZ Top.

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    I'm incredibly annoyed by the wild west feel of D&D fantasy. I like a Western as much as the next guy, but a Western with a veneer of medieval Europe? I don't see the charm in that. The wacky economical system of D&D (based on the gold rush), the semi-autonomous frontier villages. There are general stores but hardly any agriculture (seriously, check basically any map of a village included in an adventure). There's this feel that there's 'a law', but its agents are always distant. No, I like my fake middle ages to have a middle age feel.

    The worst offender in the wild west mockery is of course the inns and taverns in fantasy. Okay, fair enough, The Prancing Pony is a pretty huge influence on the genre too, but fantasy taverns are always just saloons with a brawl just seconds away. And there's always a tavern or inn, no matter how small a village. If you want medievalism, keep them in the towns and along the very large trade routes.

    I have no problem with the classic quest-starts-at-inn trope, but don't try to make the inn interesting. Any number of weird patrons won't change the fact that an inn scene in the beginning of the session is super hard to make interesting, the players are looking to get going, not have pointless chats with people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    As long as you're willing to have female dwarves show up, great. I'll admit, I don't give female dwarves beards as a common trait because it isn't a preference of mine and I don't think you should give half a fantasy population any traits that might make you not want to use them in your story/game. Which is my problem with the trope when actually used: with literally just you as the exception (in my experience), everyone I've read/gamed with who gave beards to dwarven women never seemed to use them, even when they claimed it was what they preferred and that it didn't bother them. So good on you, glad someone is willing to roll with what they've written for their world.

    As for elves, my general rule in my writing is that noble elves use magic to give themselves the whole hairless elf look, while the general elven populace doesn't care that much (though they're usually less hirsute than humans and dwarves).
    All my races are a bit...different. And different cultures of different races are different. The humans in the northern area build walls obsessively and are allergic to bees in large numbers, the humans in the south have minor amounts of elven and snake DNA (and some have mottled skin), the humans to the west are tall, dark, and pale even in the sun (because their ancestors were devoted to the old Goddess of Night).

    So you never see a solo dwarf except as an adventurer. Always pairs. Each pair ends up looking very similar to each other, no matter how different they were to begin with.

    And humans (and orcs, and halflings, and lots of other races) are descended from goblins by way of intentional magical manipulation. Blame the elves for that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blymurkla View Post
    The worst offender in the wild west mockery is of course the inns and taverns in fantasy. Okay, fair enough, The Prancing Pony is a pretty huge influence on the genre too, but fantasy taverns are always just saloons with a brawl just seconds away. And there's always a tavern or inn, no matter how small a village. If you want medievalism, keep them in the towns and along the very large trade routes.
    I don't actually use very many inns. Depending on the culture, some don't do inns--the only lodgings for travellers in some areas are people with spare rooms. Others have a tightly registered system of inns for non-locals, with tokens proving that you're registered there so the guards don't bust you for vagrancy. But I've never started a campaign in an inn, so :shrug:.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    As long as you're willing to have female dwarves show up, great. I'll admit, I don't give female dwarves beards as a common trait because it isn't a preference of mine and I don't think you should give half a fantasy population any traits that might make you not want to use them in your story/game. Which is my problem with the trope when actually used: with literally just you as the exception (in my experience), everyone I've read/gamed with who gave beards to dwarven women never seemed to use them, even when they claimed it was what they preferred and that it didn't bother them. So good on you, glad someone is willing to roll with what they've written for their world.

    As for elves, my general rule in my writing is that noble elves use magic to give themselves the whole hairless elf look, while the general elven populace doesn't care that much (though they're usually less hirsute than humans and dwarves).
    My current character specifically has a beard because he intentionally looks very feminine but I want his gender to be obvious (the party includes another tiefling, who's gender-ambiguous, so I'm contrasting). A rather short and well kept beard, but still a beard. However he is a tiefling, so the weird bit is that it's just the kinda slightly-patchy beard you'd see on a human in their twenties rather than an evil goatee.

    Although like me he also finds facial hair (and body hair, hair is good) on women rather attractive. Not to the full bushy beard sense (although it's not exactly a turn off), but certainly staches and sideburns. So yeah, while my worlds might not go for the 'dwarven women have beards' trope (I'm actually much more likely to have beardless males and just give them all long luxurious hair) they do tend to have a larger than realistic number of women who are noticably hairy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blymurkla View Post
    The worst offender in the wild west mockery is of course the inns and taverns in fantasy. Okay, fair enough, The Prancing Pony is a pretty huge influence on the genre too, but fantasy taverns are always just saloons with a brawl just seconds away. And there's always a tavern or inn, no matter how small a village. If you want medievalism, keep them in the towns and along the very large trade routes.
    Being an Englishman, I tend to run inns as if they were pubs. So while you might have a brawl break out occasionally most of them with locals looking to hang out with friends or just get a drink or a bite to eat. I'll generally put a pub or an inn in anything I'd mentally classify as a 'village' or larger, because I've been in hamlets with multiple pubs, but most of them will cater more towards locals than travellers (and outside of trade routes many of them won't have rooms intended for guests).
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    That Granny Weatherwax quote is being interpreted backwards. That's not a definition of evil, that's a major cause of evil. Evil comes from thinking of people as things (a very Kantian argument) in her opinion, not that thinking of people as things is the sole definition of evil.

    Without the option to do evil, there is no option to do good. And vice versa. That doesn't excuse evil doers, and in a world where evil is a literal physical force, nor does it save creatures made of that evil substance from a righteous smiting. But it does say that removing evil cannot happen unless everyone chooses to stand aside from evil. And then evil still exists but it has no power. Because evil only has that power that it's given--light always excludes darkness, since darkness is merely the absence of light.
    I think there's also a huge difference between "the possibility of evil being done is an unavoidable consequence of free will", and "evil as a cosmic force, in balance with good as a cosmic force, is absolutely necessary." It's the latter that is, IMO, dead wrong, occasionally bordering on the stupid, and beyond worn out as an aspect of fiction and gaming settings.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    My current character specifically has a beard because he intentionally looks very feminine but I want his gender to be obvious (the party includes another tiefling, who's gender-ambiguous, so I'm contrasting). A rather short and well kept beard, but still a beard. However he is a tiefling, so the weird bit is that it's just the kinda slightly-patchy beard you'd see on a human in their twenties rather than an evil goatee.

    Although like me he also finds facial hair (and body hair, hair is good) on women rather attractive. Not to the full bushy beard sense (although it's not exactly a turn off), but certainly staches and sideburns. So yeah, while my worlds might not go for the 'dwarven women have beards' trope (I'm actually much more likely to have beardless males and just give them all long luxurious hair) they do tend to have a larger than realistic number of women who are noticably hairy.
    I ran a character (a half-orc) who was rather short and stout. He got seriously sick of being mistaken for a dwarf, so he kept his head and face clean shaven to avoid that reference.

    I also am currently running a warlock/bard who started out doing the androgynous look. He's finally come out as female--he made a deal with a celestial (Celestial Warlock) who had a seriously twisted sense of humor (being chaotic). He asked for the best voice ever. The celestial decided that the best voice belonged to a female opera singer, so to make things work he'd have to give him her physical shape as well. It took him a while to become comfortable with that, so he (now she) tried to hide it for a while.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I think there's also a huge difference between "the possibility of evil being done is an unavoidable consequence of free will", and "evil as a cosmic force, in balance with good as a cosmic force, is absolutely necessary." It's the latter that is, IMO, dead wrong, occasionally bordering on the stupid, and beyond worn out as an aspect of fiction and gaming settings.
    That I can accept just fine. The first is my real-life view, but I don't do "good and evil as cosmic forces" in games these days. There are certainly evil people and beings out there. But that's because they chose to do horrific things. There is no "plane of good" or "plane of evil"--even the devils and demons can be good or evil as individuals. Demons tend to get a bad rap, living in the Abyss (created as a prison for the Primordial of Change after he rebelled before the beginning) and consuming souls and all, but mostly they've just chosen goals at odds with the current order. There was going to be a Demon Prince who was honest and good, accepting only willing sacrifices to create a paradise-like afterlife (something that's missing), but the players convinced him to self-destruct due to existential angst before he got that far. It was messy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I'll generally put a pub or an inn in anything I'd mentally classify as a 'village' or larger, because I've been in hamlets with multiple pubs.
    Sure, but that's like saying "most of the states in my medieval fantasy worlds are democracies, because I've voted in elections".

    If you want an medieval feel, where taverns are rare, there's still a way to get those barbrawl/quests scences. Beer in medieval times weren't stored, it was drunk freshly brewed. So ever so often, one of the farms would brew a batch and thus become an impromptu tavern for the village (and any visiting adventurers).

    There's nothing inherently wrong with putting an inn in every village, or even one along the road in the middle of nowhere, eigher because you like the Prancing Pony/saloon trope or because you like your fantasy to be close to home so it's easy to grasp. I'm just tiered of the trope, and that's my problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I ran a character (a half-orc) who was rather short and stout. He got seriously sick of being mistaken for a dwarf, so he kept his head and face clean shaven to avoid that reference.

    I also am currently running a warlock/bard who started out doing the androgynous look. He's finally come out as female--he made a deal with a celestial (Celestial Warlock) who had a seriously twisted sense of humor (being chaotic). He asked for the best voice ever. The celestial decided that the best voice belonged to a female opera singer, so to make things work he'd have to give him her physical shape as well. It took him a while to become comfortable with that, so he (now she) tried to hide it for a while.
    Yeah, you can certainly have fun with this stuff.

    I personally really do enjoy digging down into what the characters find physically attractive, rather than going for modern attractiveness. My character was raised by a criminal and managed to get himself through university (not quite legally), he's the grandchild of a low ranking demon and bard, and he's naturally charming if a bit shy. He certainly likes his cuddle buddies on the chubby side and with hair, partially because those with weight are doing well (he himself carries a bit of fat when he's been in town for a few weeks).

    EDIT: on inns, I mentioned it because I was explaining why my players tend to find it comfortable. Also 'village' really varies here, and realistically pubs/inns should not be spread as evenly as I have them. I suppose 'town' might be the better word, although I also don't run middle ages.
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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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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    On Inns, I think you should find them mainly along roads or waterways that see a bit of travel. Also, they should be seen as the center of communal life in smaller communities. It's where the village council gathers to discuss stuff, where court is held when the sheriff is visiting to decide on matters of justice or where public sales are held of properties (which still happens in Belgium that way, public sales of real estate is often done in a pub). It's often the only building in the settlement open to the general public.

    In smaller settlement you might mix it up with other functions, like Tim the Miller, who has a large estate with some room to spare and a place with a hearth were the villagers can share a bit of gossip while drinking the ale his wife made for just a few coppers. If you want a bed he might have spare room, and even a place for your horse. And you can share some of the stew that always on the fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Yeah, you can certainly have fun with this stuff.

    I personally really do enjoy digging down into what the characters find physically attractive, rather than going for modern attractiveness. My character was raised by a criminal and managed to get himself through university (not quite legally), he's the grandchild of a low ranking demon and bard, and he's naturally charming if a bit shy. He certainly likes his cuddle buddies on the chubby side and with hair, partially because those with weight are doing well (he himself carries a bit of fat when he's been in town for a few weeks).

    EDIT: on inns, I mentioned it because I was explaining why my players tend to find it comfortable. Also 'village' really varies here, and realistically pubs/inns should not be spread as evenly as I have them. I suppose 'town' might be the better word, although I also don't run middle ages.
    I've been doing some work with clothing and cultural descriptors. One particular culture is short (due to a genetic bottleneck and resource starvation). They actually find pudgyness and roundness attractive--the feminine ideal is heavy-set and "full", while a pot-belly is the ideal for me. Still strong, but definitely not the modern western ideal. Another culture, also of humans, prizes slender, almost androgynous looks for both men and women. They're into snakes, so sinuous is the ideal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blymurkla View Post
    I have no problem with the classic quest-starts-at-inn trope, but don't try to make the inn interesting. Any number of weird patrons won't change the fact that an inn scene in the beginning of the session is super hard to make interesting, the players are looking to get going, not have pointless chats with people.
    This is why one of the best games I was ever in dispensed with the adventuring in the wilds nonsense and just centered the entire campaign IN a tavern and the wacky shenanigans its wacky staff and wacky regular customers got up to! I played the head chef, a grumpy dwarf with a heart of gold and no indoor voice who doted on his pet duck and adoptive human son! It was fun!
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    This is why one of the best games I was ever in dispensed with the adventuring in the wilds nonsense and just centered the entire campaign IN a tavern and the wacky shenanigans its wacky staff and wacky regular customers got up to! I played the head chef, a grumpy dwarf with a heart of gold and no indoor voice who doted on his pet duck and adoptive human son! It was fun!
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Seems odd that Asmodeus hasn't been brought up at all in the whole "Good and Evil Balance" trope discussion.

    I personally think they did a good job of justifying it. Asmodeus was an angel who made a pact with the gods (in 3rd edition at least) to punish evildoers on their behalf. Sure, he made a sucker of them in the exact details of the contract, but you don't see any of the gods of good interfering in the Nine Hells.

    Also if the devils weren't keeping the demons occupied in the Blood War, there'd be a bloody apocalyptic war between them and the Upper Planes, with mortals caught in the middle.

    TL;DR: Asmodeus in 3.5 edition is a good example of "Good Needs Evil". In my opinion, at least.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Wolf View Post
    Seems odd that Asmodeus hasn't been brought up at all in the whole "Good and Evil Balance" trope discussion.

    I personally think they did a good job of justifying it. Asmodeus was an angel who made a pact with the gods (in 3rd edition at least) to punish evildoers on their behalf. Sure, he made a sucker of them in the exact details of the contract, but you don't see any of the gods of good interfering in the Nine Hells.

    Also if the devils weren't keeping the demons occupied in the Blood War, there'd be a bloody apocalyptic war between them and the Upper Planes, with mortals caught in the middle.

    TL;DR: Asmodeus in 3.5 edition is a good example of "Good Needs Evil". In my opinion, at least.
    This brings up another annoying thing, 'evil is more powerful but divided, but good is united and use can fend off whatever evil sends their way'.

    Whyis good united? Why isn't good divided over how to do good? Over what exactly is good? Why is good one big happy family?
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by Personification View Post
    In a world, where Cheers takes place on Faerun...
    Actually it was Eberron!
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    This brings up another annoying thing, 'evil is more powerful but divided, but good is united and use can fend off whatever evil sends their way'.

    Whyis good united? Why isn't good divided over how to do good? Over what exactly is good? Why is good one big happy family?
    Because generally speaking good people don't decide genocide is the appropriate answer to a philosophical dispute.

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