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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    That's what it means in greek. The english word means someone savage and/or uncivilized, which fits an illiterate warrior with anger management issues well.

    To my knowledge it has never within my lifetime meant "foreigner" in english.
    there's some truth to it, but the adjective barbaric could be interpreted as "foreign/alien" in a very pejorative way. think of the "absolutely barbaric" meme. i've seen examples of it being about culture shock. maybe i'm stretching here, maybe it's mayb...arbarian.

    i'll get my hat for this bad pun.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Actual working language takes precedence over the origins of the word, and they were far more likely to be thinking Conan & co, not celts, gauls or north africa when the class was conceived.

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

    Also, I hate how often -CatholicChurchAnalogue- is terrifying/evil all the time if it's ever going to be important (it's probably fine if it's just a sidenote). It's especially prominent when I read manga.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    Actual working language takes precedence over the origins of the word, and they were far more likely to be thinking Conan & co, not celts, gauls or north africa when the class was conceived.
    I dunno, Asterix and Obelix must've looked pretty barbaric to those crazy Romans, no matter how even-tempered they were.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
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    Basically how I see evil is that it provides conflict and without conflict you would have no story. But the concept of evil and good being in balance is rediculous I agree.

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    'Magic is inherently unresearchable.'

    I'm sure this must have been brought up, but it annoys me when we have mages, especially ones taught in academies, that don't try to look into the underlying rules of magic. Are you telling me that no renegade mage has tried, even if most people are willing to stick to the spells handed down by the ancients? There must be some mage out there trying to poke magic with a stick (or several sticks, to see if that alters the response).

    Probably the only times I've seen it make sense are Discworld, where mages eventually get around to analysing the rules about how magic changes it's rules, and El Goonish Shive where those best placed to research magic have incredibly limited initial access but are noted to have a tendency to look into it anyway.
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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 Anonymouswizard View Post
    'Magic is inherently unresearchable.'

    I'm sure this must have been brought up, but it annoys me when we have mages, especially ones taught in academies, that don't try to look into the underlying rules of magic. Are you telling me that no renegade mage has tried, even if most people are willing to stick to the spells handed down by the ancients? There must be some mage out there trying to poke magic with a stick (or several sticks, to see if that alters the response).

    Probably the only times I've seen it make sense are Discworld, where mages eventually get around to analysing the rules about how magic changes it's rules, and El Goonish Shive where those best placed to research magic have incredibly limited initial access but are noted to have a tendency to look into it anyway.
    But what if you have a situation where there are no (or none accessible to mortal minds) patterns? That is, each spell works entirely de novo. Mispronounce a single word, and it fails (or explodes in your face). Exact repetition works, but experimentation is both fruitless and dangerous. So spells are discovered at random and passed down as black boxes.

    So it can be theoretically researchable without being practically researchable.

    Or, you could have a situation where each magical adept is born with a certain set of spells in their blood. They can cast those without needing more than to be able to control the flow of energy (meditation-focus style, not specific training). You can't learn more, and they don't inherit well. Call this "super-power style magic."
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    I hate how nobody want's to replicate technology/amazing biologies in fantasy/sci-fi/the superhero genre. First thing people'll want to do when they get a superior being, alien (Not always literally) technology, magic or whatever is to recover it, study it and try to replicate it.

    Nearly every superhero's a one off experiment that can't/won't be replicated, and it's nonsense. Convenient lab-explosion after the first successful prototype, can never reach such heights again.
    Last edited by The Jack; 2018-06-01 at 05:53 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    I hate how nobody want's to replicate technology/amazing biologies in fantasy/sci-fi/the superhero genre. First thing people'll want to do when they get a superior being, alien (Not always literally) technology, magic or whatever is to recover it, study it and try to replicate it.

    Nearly every superhero's a one off experiment that can't/won't be replicated, and it's nonsense. Convenient lab-explosion after the first successful prototype, can never reach such heights again.
    It's one of the main bugbears of superhero series as a whole, for a simple reason: if superpowers are replicable, it stops being a superhero series and starts becoming a sci-fi series very quickly.
    Exhibt A: Planetary.

    Although if that's within your interest, you may like Base Raiders: which is basically about raiding supervillain/hero lairs in order to snatch up and reverse-engineer their technology.

    Actual working language takes precedence over the origins of the word, and they were far more likely to be thinking Conan & co, not celts, gauls or north africa when the class was conceived.
    Dungeon world has a good line in using both meanings of the word though: The barbarian class is 90% Conan, but the question they start each session with is "How does this area differ from your homeland?" or something to that effect.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    But what if you have a situation where there are no (or none accessible to mortal minds) patterns? That is, each spell works entirely de novo. Mispronounce a single word, and it fails (or explodes in your face). Exact repetition works, but experimentation is both fruitless and dangerous. So spells are discovered at random and passed down as black boxes.

    So it can be theoretically researchable without being practically researchable.

    Or, you could have a situation where each magical adept is born with a certain set of spells in their blood. They can cast those without needing more than to be able to control the flow of energy (meditation-focus style, not specific training). You can't learn more, and they don't inherit well. Call this "super-power style magic."
    Sorry, I should specify that I wasn't talking about research definitely carrying results. Even if you can't get usable data it's still likely that people will try to.

    Although I'll admit that I have a massive preference for standardised, teachable, deconstructable magic. It's part of what makes me annoyed when settings don't feature people who even try to poke their magic with a stick (let's be honest, half of science has always been building more precise sticks to poke the universe with).

    So yeah, while I like it when the attempts yield results, the attempt is the important part.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    I hate how nobody want's to replicate technology/amazing biologies in fantasy/sci-fi/the superhero genre. First thing people'll want to do when they get a superior being, alien (Not always literally) technology, magic or whatever is to recover it, study it and try to replicate it.

    Nearly every superhero's a one off experiment that can't/won't be replicated, and it's nonsense. Convenient lab-explosion after the first successful prototype, can never reach such heights again.
    Yep, agreeing with this. It's one of the reasons I like Fate's Venture City setting, the background begins with 'we knew that superpowers had to be activated, but nobody was sure how to do it. Until we figured it out.' The end result is very much a superhero/science fiction setting, where there's low-end science fiction technology as standard, some people building higher end stuff (that tends to be pretty closely guarded), and companies making, employing, and marketing superheroes (with 'supervillains' being those without a sponsor).

    It really makes me wish superpunk was a more common genre. There's a lot of potential in stories where superpowers do change the world.
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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 Doorhandle View Post
    It's one of the main bugbears of superhero series as a whole, for a simple reason: if superpowers are replicable, it stops being a superhero series and starts becoming a sci-fi series very quickly.
    See, that's the kicker. There are ways to do things very well, and incredibly contrived methods. Scientists always dying just after their creations are released is just a ****y method of doing it. Hyper-misusable technology, a great danger to replication attempts, or a -we tried, we just can't do it- kinda deal when it comes to something too ahead is all fine.


    I loved Stargate; SG1, SGA,SGU were fantastic shows... but they were incredibly guilty of wasting technology. From armbands that gave you superhuman speed to that time a dude offered the humans his race's complete technological knowledge in a hard-drive in return for saving and was rejected for being a spacenazi (as if the US never recruited nazi war criminals) , to the personal shields they love to ignore. (alien stun guns are great but won't be reversed engineered for whatever reason) and all that nanotech...

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    I loved Stargate; SG1, SGA,SGU were fantastic shows... but they were incredibly guilty of wasting technology. From armbands that gave you superhuman speed to that time a dude offered the humans his race's complete technological knowledge in a hard-drive in return for saving and was rejected for being a spacenazi (as if the US never recruited nazi war criminals) , to the personal shields they love to ignore. (alien stun guns are great but won't be reversed engineered for whatever reason) and all that nanotech...
    For what it's worth, Stargate did a better job of it than a lot of works I've seen. They were constantly shown doing as much R&D as they possibly could, and eventually reverse-engineered enough alien tech to make their own starships from scratch.
    Also, there were a host of factors preventing them from broadly applying the armbands specifically.
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    Firstly, the armbands tended to affect the mindset of the user, either directly or through the simple effect of great personal power on a human psyche, and when the armbands make the users just that much better than the rest of your organization, that can prove a liability.
    Secondly, the armbands had a limitation in that any given individual could only use them for a short period, once, before their body rejected the armband and could no longer use it. At best, this would mean you would have to cycle them through your ranks, and eventually with use, you would run out of trained, trusted, and qualified personnel to hand the armbands to, which was theorized to be the cause of the demise of the armbands' creators.
    Thirdly, even if they decided to keep them in a closet somewhere and hand to random SGC guards for use in times of great need, SG-1 lost the armbands when they fell off automatically in a hostile environment (which I think later exploded).

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    It really makes me wish superpunk was a more common genre. There's a lot of potential in stories where superpowers do change the world.
    I think the biggest problem is that you end with one of two scenarios in anything approaching a sensible setting (of which neither Marvel or DC possess for the purposes of these scenarios): Stormwatch where a team/sufficient powerful individual takes control of the world because nobody can stop them, or a sort of semi-stable MAD scenario where nobody wants to do too much since they'll just end up blowing up the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    'Magic is inherently unresearchable.'

    I'm sure this must have been brought up, but it annoys me when we have mages, especially ones taught in academies, that don't try to look into the underlying rules of magic. Are you telling me that no renegade mage has tried, even if most people are willing to stick to the spells handed down by the ancients?
    (bolding mine)

    More irksome is when wizards are supposed to be academic or analytic, but the above cliche is applied. Having an academic society or even the concept of academia in a field that cannot be researched is like having a corporate board of directors in a society without money or industry. The social institution makes no sense in that context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    (bolding mine)

    More irksome is when wizards are supposed to be academic or analytic, but the above cliche is applied. Having an academic society or even the concept of academia in a field that cannot be researched is like having a corporate board of directors in a society without money or industry. The social institution makes no sense in that context.
    Certainly.

    I've seen game settings pull it off. Unknown Armies used to have a lot of magickians looking into how magick works, but these days such thaumaturges are rare and Adepts are more common. 99% of Adepts don't care about how magic works, although different schools will have different proportions (I suspect there are a decent number of bibliomancers who pride themselves on owning and having read actual tomes of magical theory).

    Of course, magick in UA settles down for long enough periods of time that you can work out a basic model. Research from I think the 1800s means even most Adepts know that magick tends to be based on paradoxes, or that Avatars get power fro devotion to an archetype. The exact type of Adepts you see tend to change (for example Cinemancers replacing Videomancers), but there's a core set of rules that don't change ("Oh look, a paradox", "ain't no such thing as a free lunch", and "ya obsessed with your school of magick kiddo"). That's just for Adepts, thaumaturge rituals still work (even for the noncrazy) and follow a simpler yet more complex set of rules ('do the actions and potentially provide the juice', but possibly a lot more within that), and Avatars simply most follow the strict rules of their archetype.

    The end result is wonderful and makes sense. Why aren't universities researching magick? Because magickians tend to not be associated with universities.
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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.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    No plans, no protoype, No backup - the big two had internally consistent handwaves for that back in the '80s and early '90s.

    · DC, you have a meta gene (see what they did there?) that activates the powers you have inside of you if the event that triggers them (sitting on a nuke, getting hit by lightning, plagiarizing anything by Harlan Ellison) doesn't kill you outright.

    · Marvel, powers were either tied to the accident that gave you the powers (bitten by a radioactive pygmy marmoset... Strike that, spider.) or your personality (dissociative identity disorder combined with rage issues) I always liked that they had something to hang your disbelief on.

    And Star Wars is a good example of how the balance between good and evil can create a crapsack world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    For what it's worth, Stargate did a better job of it than a lot of works I've seen. They were constantly shown doing as much R&D as they possibly could, and eventually reverse-engineered enough alien tech to make their own starships from scratch.
    Also, there were a host of factors preventing them from broadly applying the armbands specifically.
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    Firstly, the armbands tended to affect the mindset of the user, either directly or through the simple effect of great personal power on a human psyche, and when the armbands make the users just that much better than the rest of your organization, that can prove a liability.
    Secondly, the armbands had a limitation in that any given individual could only use them for a short period, once, before their body rejected the armband and could no longer use it. At best, this would mean you would have to cycle them through your ranks, and eventually with use, you would run out of trained, trusted, and qualified personnel to hand the armbands to, which was theorized to be the cause of the demise of the armbands' creators.
    Thirdly, even if they decided to keep them in a closet somewhere and hand to random SGC guards for use in times of great need, SG-1 lost the armbands when they fell off automatically in a hostile environment (which I think later exploded).
    Stargate missed more than it hit with tech. Sure, they got naquadah generators and eventually Impressive ships and Totally OP teleporters and a few times experimented with (disastrous) dimensional energy, plus you see them tinker with drones... But they miss far more often than they take. I think you could average it out to one new thing a season when they could've gotten so much more. I do recall episodes of " you've been meeting advanced species for years, what are you doing, why are we wasting our money when you don't bring things back" and "the SG dudes are useless at getting the tech we need to defend humanity so let's make our own group..."

    The Nazi episode might've been first season where the writers didn't quite know what they were doing, and the armbands wasn't late... But, I do recall that the armbands would work by secreting a certain drug into you, and a good goal would've been to modify the dosage or create temporary booster shots that don't need a band. The power of those armbands was phenomenal and earth has an extreme population in comparison to every other planet shown in stargate. Earth could've used them in emergencies reliably.

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    Really, can't stand them. the whole concept just irks me, and a couple times I have in fact banned them in games!
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtlasSniperman View Post
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    Really, can't stand them. the whole concept just irks me, and a couple times I have in fact banned them in games!
    When you say this do you mean Half-Human Half-X, the front of an X and the back of a Y (which was what the quote referred to), or both?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Personification View Post
    When you say this do you mean Half-Human Half-X, the front of an X and the back of a Y (which was what the quote referred to), or both?
    Centaurs and Half-Elves equally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Probably the only times I've seen it make sense are Discworld, where mages eventually get around to analysing the rules about how magic changes it's rules, and El Goonish Shive where those best placed to research magic have incredibly limited initial access but are noted to have a tendency to look into it anyway.
    It's a game mechanic in the 4x games Warlock and Master of Magic

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    Quote Originally Posted by AtlasSniperman View Post
    Centaurs and Half-Elves equally.
    Why though? Is it the biological impossibility? The "special snowflake" syndrome? Or just the idea that "they should just let us play a full orc instead?"

    Though I admit the waistline of a centaur would probably be massive weakpoint for them: kind of like having a second neck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doorhandle View Post
    Why though? Is it the biological impossibility? The "special snowflake" syndrome? Or just the idea that "they should just let us play a full orc instead?"
    Do I really need to expound when you easily list off the categories of problems that easily? :P
    But yes, in order of least to most annoying about them imo are; Full Orc, Special Snowflake, Biological impossibility
    Quote Originally Posted by Doorhandle View Post
    Though I admit the waistline of a centaur would probably be massive weakpoint for them: kind of like having a second neck.
    Mermaids are weird too
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtlasSniperman View Post
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    Really, can't stand them. the whole concept just irks me, and a couple times I have in fact banned them in games!
    I don't have a problem with them in pure fantasy. Once you start adding science into the mix, my tolerance for them drops quickly. And in pure sci-fi? NO. Just NO.

    Wtf star trek. Biology does not work that way. Spock is just bad science, and you should be ashamed of yourself. And worse you let it spread out from there. /rant
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
    I don't have a problem with them in pure fantasy. Once you start adding science into the mix, my tolerance for them drops quickly. And in pure sci-fi? NO. Just NO.

    Wtf star trek. Biology does not work that way. Spock is just bad science, and you should be ashamed of yourself. And worse you let it spread out from there. /rant
    A friend of mine has a headcanon that Spock is not a natural child, but rather the end result of ten years work from the greatest Vulcan scientists. It makes a lot more sense, Star Trek technology is powerful enough that a rough hybrid could be genetically engineered.

    Of course a Vulcan/Romulan child makes a lot more sense, as they're explicitly descended from the same species. Not complete sense, they've been seperated long enough that problem should arise, but more sense.
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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.

  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    A friend of mine has a headcanon that Spock is not a natural child, but rather the end result of ten years work from the greatest Vulcan scientists. It makes a lot more sense, Star Trek technology is powerful enough that a rough hybrid could be genetically engineered.

    Of course a Vulcan/Romulan child makes a lot more sense, as they're explicitly descended from the same species. Not complete sense, they've been seperated long enough that problem should arise, but more sense.
    Are Vulcans and Romulans still in the same genus? Because then it shouldn't be too hard. Y'know, barring the whole hating each other thing.

    Personally, I find hybrids fascinating and what bothers me in fantasy is that half-dwarves aren't (usually) a thing. I can think of two instances I've seen it, both in D&D. One is the Muls, who are the half-dwarf slave race of Dark Sun. The other is the Derro (specifically in 3.X, in 5e they're an offshoot of Duergar and I don't know what they were in other editions) who are all insane. Tolkien had a reason half-dwarves didn't exist, no other setting I've seen that includes human/other-humanoid hybrids do. Maybe I'm missing it somewhere.
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Star Trek had the "amazing" retcon that all these humanoid and interfertile species were the result of a "progenitor" species seeding all these planets with life billions of years ago.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    A friend of mine has a headcanon that Spock is not a natural child, but rather the end result of ten years work from the greatest Vulcan scientists. It makes a lot more sense, Star Trek technology is powerful enough that a rough hybrid could be genetically engineered.
    I had this same headcannon, and then they introduced the half-klingon character.

    Of course a Vulcan/Romulan child makes a lot more sense, as they're explicitly descended from the same species. Not complete sense, they've been seperated long enough that problem should arise, but more sense.
    As far as I know, they are only seperated by a few thousand years at most, so likely would be fully interfertile. Unless one side or the other did some genetic tinkering that would create a species break.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Star Trek had the "amazing" retcon that all these humanoid and interfertile species were the result of a "progenitor" species seeding all these planets with life billions of years ago.
    While I see and understand your sarcasm here, it just means that someone in the writers room understood how dumb these cross-species character were. And tried to fix it, by making the science worse?
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Are Vulcans and Romulans still in the same genus? Because then it shouldn't be too hard. Y'know, barring the whole hating each other thing.
    Eh, I think the viability will depend on how large the two groups were when they seperated, but I certainly can see them having moved far enough apart that there may be side effects. Seperated by the void of space and all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Star Trek had the "amazing" retcon that all these humanoid and interfertile species were the result of a "progenitor" species seeding all these planets with life billions of years ago.
    While as it has been pointed out that this means one of the writers noticed the problems, the science still makes no sense. It's not even worse science, because whether they were seeded by progenitors or not after billions of years they'll have different genetic structures.
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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.

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Default Re: Annoying Fantasy Clichés II: We're gonna need more Trope

    I think there's an element of functionality to cliche that often goes ignored. I think if you want to rely on shorthand, the kind of thing where you expect the audience to fill in the blanks, so as not to overburden your setting with pointless detail that's fine.

    All that being said, broody misery-guts NPCs who spout macho one-liners and are so totally awesome in combat are done. It's not nearly as cool as some people think it is.
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